I know that is has been a looooooooong time since my last post. Between coaching basketball and baseball teams for both of my kids and work, it’s been tough to write lately. The patience of the readers and commenters here is sincerely appreciated.

Not much has gone on in the conference realignment world over the past couple of months between a few smaller moves on the margins, such as the Big Ten adding the Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse team as an affiliate member. (They didn’t join the B1G at the same time as the men’s team.) However, University of Oklahoma President David Boren had some interesting direct comments yesterday about Big 12 expansion. Some quotes from NewsOK about his desire for the Big 12 to add teams:

University of Oklahoma President David Boren on Wednesday reiterated his stance that the Big 12 should expand to 12 teams.

“I think it’s something we should strive for while we have the time, stability, all of that to look and be choosy,” Boren said. “(We) can be very selective about who we want to add. It would have to add value to the conference. I think we should.”

Boren said he worried about not only the perception of the league as other major conferences have expanded but there long-term health of such a setup.

“How many years can this go on?” Boren said. “Finally, it just gets to be really debilitating. I worry about that. That’s something I just worry about long-term about the conference, not short term.”

Boren also threw some shade on the Longhorn Network and the notion that the Big 12 TV revenue distributions would be reduced by expansion:

Boren also said without explicitly naming it that the Longhorn Network—which keeps the Big 12 from having a conference network like the SEC, Big 10 and Pac 12—is a big problem for the conference.

“The elephant in the room remains the network south of us that has struggled and has in a way as long as it’s there,” Boren said. “And we have done quite well with our network and if anything ever changed, it has value to it which we see. But someday, maybe we’ll get past that other problem as well. It’s a problem.”

Boren said the problem of reduced revenue per school with expansion wasn’t as big of a hurdle as it had been made out to be.

“The contract says that our main television contract … if we grow from 10 to 11 or 11 to 12, their payments to us grow proportionally,” Boren said. “So everybody’s share stays the same. If it’s ‘X’ dollars, it stays ‘X’ dollars.

“Our main media contract says it’s not the same pie now cut 12 ways instead of 10.”

Boren did say that that only includes the primary television contract, not other revenue that is split between the schools.

“It’s not total because there’s some smaller—much smaller—amounts of money around the edges but if you can find the right people, it should be additive even though it’s split 12 ways instead of 10.”

Boren provides an important confirmation that the Big 12’s first tier TV contracts would increase proportionally in the event of expansion. Essentially, the notion that each Big 12 member’s revenue slice would be reduced in the event of expansion is largely a non-factor. As a result, any potential Big 12 expansion school doesn’t need to show that they would directly increase the value of the league by $20 million (as some Big 12 expansion opponents have suggested) – that increase is already baked into the conference’s TV contracts.

West Virginia Athletic Director Shane Lyons also indicated support for Big 12 expansion earlier this month (albeit athletic directors generally do not drive conference realignment talks in the way that university presidents have done, notwithstanding the efforts of special exceptions such as Tom Jurich of Louisville and

Does this mean that the Big 12 will take my advice and invite BYU and Cincinnati (or Memphis or other potential candidates)? I’ll reiterate my belief that the Big 12 has been focusing on short-term revenue dollars at the expense of long-term stability… and Boren indicates that there isn’t even much of a short-term revenue upside to avoiding further expansion. The worst thing that happened to the Big 12 leadership (and in turn, many of their fans) is that they deluded themselves into believing schools from the ACC (notably Florida State) could possibly be interested in joining the Texas-centric league. Ever since that occurred, the Big 12 has been paralyzed on the expansion front with an overrating of their position in the conference realignment marketplace (which is #5 out of the 5 power conferences). The Big Ten might have initially wanted Texas and Notre Dame (and to be sure, I wanted them as a fan), but the league moved on with adding a national brand in Nebraska and two mega-markets with Rutgers (New York City) and Maryland (Washington/Baltimore). The Pac-12 had a Pac-16 proposal to create a superconference that would have completely upended the college sports world by adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado, but when that fell through, the league quickly shifted gears to solidify the Rocky Mountain region with a smaller expansion with Colorado and Utah. The SEC surely would have wanted Texas and Oklahoma, too, but they went out and nabbed Texas A&M and Missouri. The ACC will always dream of getting Notre Dame as a full member while harboring their own delusions of thinking that they could ever raid the Big Ten, but that league still got the Irish to commit to being a non-football member with 5 football games per season against ACC opponents and pilfered much of the value of the old Big East.

The point is that the other 4 power conferences gained more power and adjusted even when they didn’t get their #1 and/or #2 expansion options, whereas the Big 12 simply survived. Now, the Big 12 will always survive as long as Texas stays there. The MAC could add Texas and it would be automatically deemed to be a power league. However, if the Big 12 ever wants to get past mere survival and continuing to be the primary target for raiding by the other power conferences, it needs a more cohesive long-term strategy that doesn’t involve pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams. The only realistic pool of expansion candidates for the Big 12 exists in the non-power “Group of Five” conferences plus independent BYU. The Big 12 can’t just sit back and wait for much longer – it needs to proactively find a way to extract value from 2 (or even 4) expansion candidates from that group in order to be more than a very regionalized (with a West Virginia appendage) conference.

Otherwise, the words of David Boren should be cautionary to the Big 12: this doesn’t sound like a guy that would turn down an invite from the Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC. Indeed, once you get past the expansion targets that multiple conferences lust after because of their combination of athletic value and academic prestige (i.e. Texas, Notre Dame, North Carolina), Oklahoma is probably the single most valuable school that you could plausibly envision actually moving conferences in the nearish-term (defined as the next 10 years). I’ve stated here previously that if you take away any Texas/Notre Dame/Florida State expansion scenarios, the Big Ten adding Oklahoma and Kansas is probably the most valuable expansion that the league could realistically obtain. Their respective direct markets might not be the largest, but the national brand values of Oklahoma football and Kansas basketball are massive. With the NYC and DC markets already in the fold, the Big Ten Network is not necessarily going to be swayed by market size unless it’s the size of California, Texas or Florida (all of which might be unrealistic). Instead, expansion is about taking the last step of turning the BTN into a true national network, which is something that OU football and KU basketball can do. (Think about how much more attractive the Big Ten West looks as a division with Oklahoma in the fold, too.) On paper, Oklahoma may have some academic issues with the Big Ten since it is not an AAU member, but I believe the conference would look at form over substance in this instance with such an elite national football brand. Oklahoma has long been in the same academic tier as its neighbors of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, so this would not be a completely outside-the-box expansion. To be sure, it would be a much easier case for OU if it did have AAU membership, but they’re such a valuable potential addition (like non-AAU member Notre Dame) that I think that it would tip the balance.

The massive mountain-sized caveat, though, is that Oklahoma and Kansas aren’t schools that have complete autonomy over their conference decisions. Oklahoma State and Kansas State need to be taken care of if those schools move, which means either (a) the Big 12 can’t collapse (AKA Texas can’t move anywhere else) as a result of OU and KU ditching the league or (b) OSU and KSU have to come along with them as a package. This is big difference from the decisions of Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri leaving the Big 12 and even Texas A&M was able to avoid outside political pressure (which had occurred during the collapse of the Southwest Conference in connection with the formation of the Big 12 and the potential leaving behind of Baylor in the Pac-16 proposal) since Texas had (and still has) such huge financial incentives with the Longhorn Network that provide it with golden handcuffs to the Big 12.

Indeed, the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 would all take Oklahoma in a heartbeat, but the existence of Oklahoma State could limit the options of the Sooners. Note that the Pac-12 turned down an expansion proposal from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the chaotic days following Texas A&M’s announcement that it was leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, which means that the Pac-12 did NOT reject Oklahoma as an individual expansion candidate. If Oklahoma and Kansas were making that expansion proposal instead, then they would almost assuredly be Pac-12 members today.

Regardless, David Boren is pretty directly stating that Oklahoma isn’t that happy with where the Big 12 is today. Whether OU has any leverage to do anything about it depends upon whether it can act alone (in which case it has all of the options in the world with the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) or needs to do everything in tandem with Oklahoma State (where the only option might be to grit their teeth and stay in the Big 12).

(Image from Wikipedia)

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Comments
  1. Gei says:

    Go Bucks

    Like

  2. greg says:

    Hawks.

    Like

  3. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  4. vp19 says:

    Congrats to the Cavs on being the first ACC member to win the College World Series since Wake Forest in 1955. And with the 2014-2015 collegiate athletic year officially done, here are the final Capital One Cup standings (separated by men’s and women’s sports): http://www.capitalonecup.com/assets/standings/complete-capital-one-cup-standings.pdf

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  5. davidpsu says:

    It would be interesting to see the Big 12 add 4 schools: BYU (a school with a national appeal), Memphis, Marshall (should not be a problem adding another West Virginia school if the TV contract will proportionally expand anyway, and WVU gets a travel partner and more stability in the Big 12) Houston (the 4th largest TV market) so that they are finally at the same number of teams as the B1G, ACC, and SEC.

    Then the B1G can finally invite the University of Toronto so the Big Ten Network covers all of Canada. Cha-Ching! $ $ $ $ $ $

    Like

    • davidpsu says:

      North American football traces its very origin to the University of Toronto, with the first documented football game played at University College on November 9, 1861. The Blues played their first intercollegiate football match in 1877 against the University of Michigan, in a game that ended with a scoreless draw.

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      • Quiet you dumb hick from a transplanted NYC PEI Maratimer into NYC/NJ….where American college FB was 1st played!!! Go back to Young St in Toronto with your idiocy!!

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        • Brian says:

          Woah! Not cool. We don’t act like that here.

          Liked by 1 person

        • davidpsu says:

          LOL… People were in shock when the 10-member BigTen Conference asked Penn State to join as the 11th member in 1990. It almost didn’t happen as the vote among the presidents was close and some had to be convinced to vote accordingly. THAT was the event that started realignment.

          I offer the idea of adding the University of Toronto in jest, but I would not be surprised to someday see it happen. The Big Ten has been well ahead of all other conferences with its out-of-the-box thinking for decades. What was once thought impractical (like starting a conference cable network) is now the norm.

          I can see so many reciprocal benefits with an alliance with that great university right on the Big Ten border.

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        • Duffman says:

          Quiet you dumb hick from a transplanted NYC PEI Maratimer into NYC/NJ….where American college FB was 1st played!!! Go back to Young St in Toronto with your idiocy!!

          .

          .
          Thank you for a memorable afternoon, usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.Hobson

          Like

          • Russell MacEachern says:

            Your welcome…btw could you look under the bed of your spouse as i left my shoes and wallet there! Be a gentleman and send them back.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      It would be interesting to see the Big 12 add 4 schools: BYU (a school with a national appeal), Memphis, Marshall (should not be a problem adding another West Virginia school if the TV contract will proportionally expand anyway, and WVU gets a travel partner and more stability in the Big 12) Houston (the 4th largest TV market) so that they are finally at the same number of teams as the B1G, ACC, and SEC.

      Except for BYU, your other three schools have pretty weak justifications. There has never been a substantial following for Memphis football. There is likewise no great following for Houston football (despite the size of its market), and the Big XII already has four Texas schools. As it is, some Big XII members thought that was one too many, but when they had to expand, TCU was the prettiest girl on the dance floor. That is not the case with Houston.

      The need for a “travel partner” for WV is overrated: it comes down to one football game every other year. On top of that, WV has nowhere else to go. To the extent it matters, Cincinnati fulfills that function far better than Marshall does. Yes, it’s true that the TV networks would have to suck it up, even if the Big XII adds another school in the same (small) market as WV. But that’s a very short-sighted view, since they have to think ahead to the next TV contract, and the one after that.

      There has never been a time when all of the power leagues had the same number of members. You add four schools because there are four compelling candidates, not merely because the B1G, ACC, and SEC did it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BruceMcF says:

        Travel partners are much more about Olympic sports than about Football … since the week separation between games means it is not possible to actually schedule a pair of schools as travel partners in football.

        And I would note that David Boren is not quoted as explicitly saying that the media contract would expand in proportion to adding an 13th and a 14th … in the same way he is quoted as saying it would expand in proportion to adding an 11th or a 12th.

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  6. Seanbo says:

    I believe the B12 would be much better off by investing in UCF (Florida market), Cincy (Ohio), BYU (Utah), Colo State (Colorado) and possibly even Memphis (TN) & ECU (Carolina) if they wanted to forn a B12 Network. Those 4 (6) add huge markets to the foot print. Also look at the recruits from those states that B12 would be exposing their brand too.

    Without change, sounds like OU is gone. Boren’s statements are no doubt warning shots for the B12 to grow or die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davidpsu says:

      I am surprised by how often East Carolina University is overlooked in these discussions on expansion. A very good choice for the Big 12, as well as the other schools you mentioned.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        4 P5 schools in North Carolina, all much closer to the population centers.

        And then there’s the “Think like a President” factor. ECU is one of the least prestigious schools in the AAC.

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      • pioneerlion says:

        Strongly disagree. East Carolina would devalue an already marginal BigXIIofX. BigXII football is already not compelling for this easterner to watch, the Pirates Of ECU make it less compelling.

        I hope Texas continues to play prima dona with its Longhorn Network, and Oklahoma walks to the big10, and the bigXIIofX collapses. I see OK as in a similar situation to Nebraka’s gripes just before it went to the big10. The only thing keeping OK in the BigXIIofX is if it has to take OKstate…

        Can’t believe that a TV network (then again, its Fox, why should I be surprised…) would pay proportionally more to add BYU, Memphis, or Cincy. Those teams are like lower tier ACC teams (WF, NCState, etc) that don’t bring good football or lots of TV sets – nothing to move the needle on the bottom line for a TV network. Also, as a University president, these teams don’t appear to add anything to the long term value of future league contracts, nor do they move the needle academically and with research $$.

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        • ccrider55 says:

          “Can’t believe that a TV network (then again, its Fox, why should I be surprised…) would pay proportionally more to add BYU, Memphis, or Cincy. ”

          That agreement probably had nothing to do with the incoming possibility list and more to do with the continuing existence of the B12 at the time. See the billion dollar investment ESPN made to influence UT (LHN).

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        • davidpsu says:

          But that is exactly why East Carolina would be a good fit: marginal into a marginal conference.

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          • ccrider55 says:

            No. What matters is what keeps UT happy, and I doubt ECU would do that. They came extremely close to going west in ’10 when only CU and NU were gone. Now mizzu and aTm are replaced by TCU and WVU. Steps down, but both serve a purpose. Increasing the mediocrity might instigate a call from Austin to Larry Scott to see if revisiting the previous offer was possible in some form or other. Perhaps that is the hidden Boren objective.
            Or he’s just trying to influence ccg deregulation votes with the threat of unrest.

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          • East Carolina is sort of a Bizarro realignment candidate in that fans generally like ECU much more than university presidents. Fans see ECU’s attendance (which is quite good for a G5 school) and perceive it to be one of the better non-power conference candidates, but for one reason or another (whether it’s academics, location, lack of direct TV market, too much in-state competition with ACC schools, etc.), university presidents just don’t seem to the like the school. Remember that even when the old Big East was getting pilfered at will, ECU was only originally offered a football-only invite to the league (whereas oft-maligned Tulane received an all-sports offer the same day). It was only after Rutgers and Louisville were poached that ECU finally got an all-sports invite.

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          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            *ECU was invited for football-only days or maybe a week after the Big East lost Louisville and Rutgers. It was only after the Catholic 7 had announced it was leaving, and after Boise State and San Diego State had backed out, that ECU was invited for remaining sports. The all-sports announcement for ECU was made the same day as the invitation to Tulsa. By that time, it had already been resolved that the league would no longer be the “Big East.” The name “American didn’t get announced for another month or so.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            As a Raleigh resident, I think it’s more than fair to call Raleigh ECU’s home market for football. In the fall, yes, it stands behind NC State and UNC, but even during Duke’s best three-year run in maybe 40 years, ECU garners more interest locally than the Blue Devils, or Wake Forest, for that matter. The Pirates are very, very popular here.

            On the flip side, ECU NEVER gets attention locally for basketball. Davidson, Elon, out of state ACC schools, and many other schools get more attention that East Carolina for hoops, and that’s even with the Pirates getting to host Memphis, UConn, Temple, SMU, and Cincinnati. They’re invisible for hoops. So they’d be a total deadweight for any league when it comes to basketball.

            This may seem out there, but I can’t help but wonder if ECU suffers from its own name a little. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, its football program and national profile was on par with Virginia Tech. The Hokies were a fellow southeastern independent who was also in the middle of absolute nowhere who had played similar opponents for a long time (each other, Cincinnati, South Carolina, to name a few). VT emerged ahead when it joined the Big East, while ECU remained relatively anonymous. I think that Virginia Tech’s name may have, at least in some way, helped its profile. East Carolina has more of a directional, lesser-sounding university name. Maybe if it had been called “NC Tech” or something, things would be different. Just an idea of mine. No way to test it.

            Suffice it to say, ECU has a lot going for it, but not nearly enough to make it into the Big 12. If anyone goes into that league from ECU’s conference, it’ll be Cincinnati, UCF, Memphis, and/or Houston. ECU is way, way down the list, fair or not.

            Like

    • vp19 says:

      Where could Oklahoma go? Might Scott and the Pac again attempt an OU/Okie State combo?

      Like

    • Whats wrong with New Englands UConn and their M and WBB Natty’s? Add wealthy Connecticut along with some NYC/NJ and Mass markets?

      Liked by 1 person

      • davidpsu says:

        I agree. Too many people look past UConn. Why is UConn so rarely mentioned?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Location, location, location.

          It’s too remote from all but the ACC, and BC has fought to keep them out before. It’s too far from NYC or Boston to really claim those markets. It’s football stadium is well away from campus and too small for big games. It’s not AAU. Also, it’s football program is new and not very good.

          Liked by 2 people

        • pioneerlion says:

          Location, mediocre to bad football, and no football tradition, no TV sets with their fan base, etc.

          Not every school deserves to be in a power conference. Taking them in when they don’t pay their way in to actually enhance value in the TV contract make no sense. Schools that SHOULD be in play are those that bring real value, not feel-good vibes of sharing the wealth of other teams that have built a conference’s brand and TV contract value.

          Like

  7. hammersfc says:

    Do you think the same combo of Oklahoma and Kansas would be attractive to the SEC? If so then which league might that combo prefer if given the choice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Basketball is less of a driver in the SEC than in any other P5 league. They are about the least likely league to find Kansas basketball appealing, and we already know that Kansas football adds next to nothing.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        marc – I’d be OK with Oklahoma! and Kansas. Then we could move Bama and Auburn to the SECEast, Mizzou to the SECWest, get rid of permanent crossover games and (maybe) go to a 9 game schedule. Or we could do pods and it works nicely:

        Division A: A&M, Oklahoma!, Kansas & Mizzou
        Division B: LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss & Miss State
        Division C: Auburn, Bama, Vandy & Tennessee
        Division D: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina & Kentucky

        Kentucky is the only geographical outlier, but they get exposure in recruiting-rich GA & FL every year.

        Like

        • FrankTheAg says:

          That doesn’t work from an A&M perspective. You want to recreate the B12? I doubt the SEC would now except OU, much less Kansas.

          Like

          • FrankTheAg says:

            accept….

            Like

          • Brian says:

            While Alan gave the pods, I think the SEC would stick with divisions, so:

            West = A+B = A&M, Oklahoma!, Kansas, Mizzou, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss & Miss State
            East = C+D = Auburn, Bama, Vandy, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina & Kentucky

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          • bullet says:

            That would mean Alabama would have both Auburn and Tennessee, their two biggest rivals in the other division. Doesn’t work from a scheduling standpoint.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            While Alan gave the pods, I think the SEC would stick with divisions, so:

            West = A+B = A&M, Oklahoma!, Kansas, Mizzou, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss & Miss State
            East = C+D = Auburn, Bama, Vandy, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina & Kentucky

            “That would mean Alabama would have both Auburn and Tennessee, their two biggest rivals in the other division. Doesn’t work from a scheduling standpoint.”

            Ummm….

            Like

  8. hammersfc says:

    Do you think the SEC would be interested in the same combo of Oklahoma and Kansas? If given the choice, which league would that duo prefer to be in?

    Like

  9. vp19 says:

    As the late ’90s WAC showed, conferences with members in three time zones don’t work (and that isn’t even taking Hawaii into account). Brigham Young might be an exception, but it’s nearly a mini-Texas in that it has a track record of not playing well with others.

    I personally would select Cincinnati and Central Florida as members #11 and #12; if BYU absolutely must be in the mix, make it part of #13/#14 with South Florida, giving the Big 12 inroads into Florida recruiting and enabling it to survive in the long term should that Texas/Texas Tech/OU/Okie State move to the Pac ever happen. (It’s Scott’s only realistic expansion option.)

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Though the late 90’s WAC may have shown that conferences of 16 organized into pods don’t work, or they may have shown that a non-power conference of 16 spread across three time zones doesn’t work.

      If the TV contract goes up by 1/6 with the UC Bearcats as a full member and BYU as a FB-only associate, that would eliminate the travel issue with BYU in Olympic Sports and the Sunday games issue with BYU in Olympic Sports, and also minimize the issues of BYU not playing well with others, since they wouldn’t be a full member.

      Like

  10. SlartyBartFast says:

    WVU continues their powerhouse dominance in rifle. Don’t f**k with the Mountain State.

    Like

  11. Mike says:

    “We talk about membership at every meeting,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday afternoon. “I think our presidents individually have their own opinions on things. President Boren expressed his today.

    “I have not got the indication that the majority of our presidents feel that way. I get the feeling that nothing has changed since we last discussed it.”

    http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/06/bob-bowlsby-no-indication-that-a-majority-of-big-12-presidents-currently-favor-expansion.html/

    I mentioned in the last thread that there is fear among the smaller Big 12 schools that expansion will decrease their exposure. I can’t imagine Iowa St being thrilled about missing OU or Texas some years for a game with Cincinnati.

    Like

  12. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Same old Big 12. They don’t know what they want. Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Missouri are all gone. West Virginia and TCU are part of the club instead, yet it’s the same old story. The really old issues were where to have the league headquarters and whether to have partial qualifiers in the league. Later it was where to hold the conference title game. Then it was how to split TV revenue. Then it was schools leaving. Then it was the LHN. Now it’s to expand or not, and with whom?

    The league is clearly handcuffed together, but it is amazing how much lingering resentment remains even after such turnover in membership.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. ccrider55 says:

    Perhaps we are reading too much into Boren’s statement. Could it be that he is simply trying to influence votes for deregulating CCG/13th game? Could the threat of another round of realignment chaos be enough to sway votes toward allowing what by itself would be less attractive?

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I’ve long believed that CCG de-regulation would pass for many reasons, one of them being exactly what @ccrider55 has stated: that the current rules encourage further realignment, and many of the leagues would prefer that didn’t happen.

      But I think they already know that, which means that Boren’s statement doesn’t really add much information. Most reports have suggested that the new rule was on track to pass anyway. In the same statement, Boren launched a bunch of zingers at the Longhorn Network. I think he was just saying what he really thinks, not trying to influence legislation.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      cc – I doubt the B-12 adding BYU and an AAC member or Boise would cause “another round of realignment chaos”.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        It depends on how you define “chaos”. The AAC is at 12 football members. If they lose one, then they can no longer stage a CCG. They’ll probably want to rectify that, which means they go hunting. Let’s say they take a Mountain West school, leaving them at eleven, which they would want to rectify. And so on.

        Conference switching is a bit like a Lays potato chip. You can’t have just one.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Perhaps I exagerated. However, 2010 originally involved UNL, Colo, and Utah in actual original moves. It didn’t end there. (How’s the national landscape look now?) Plus, I don’t see how stable adding parts partly for their ease of jettisoning/abandoning is.

        Like

  14. Marc Shepherd says:

    I’m not so sure it’s in the Big XII’s interest to expand right away. It may be that BYU & Cincinnati are the two most compelling schools — assuming they must expand. That does not mean they are more compelling than the default option of doing nothing.

    If they expanded, TV revenue would enlarge proportionately, but other payouts (like NCAA tournament credits and college football playoff money) would not, unless the two new schools bring new revenue to the table, and it’s not clear that they do.

    The other problem, which I mentioned on the earlier thread, is that as you add schools, the non-Texas schools get less access to Texas and its recruiting territory. You can see why Boren wouldn’t worry about this, since the Red River Rivalry will almost certainly survive as an annual game. But I think the other non-TX schools will demand that any addition be revenue-accretive, and not merely neutral, before they agree to give up playing two football games in Texas every year.

    Frank thinks that any league would accept Oklahoma “in a heartbeat,” but that’s not so clear, either. In the last round of realignment, Oklahoma was joined at the hip with Oklahoma State, and there is no evidence that has changed.

    Even if Oklahoma and Kansas could leave their in-state sister schools behind, do they have the votes to get into the Big Ten? Gordon Gee was on record as publicly supporting “a couple of western schools,” but that didn’t happen. I think expansion requires approval of 10 out of 14 current members. To put it differently, any five could derail it. Do we know there are 10 votes for that? I don’t think so. Certainly, it’s not so obvious that we can just assume it would sail through.

    Anyhow, with the Big XII schools locked into a Grant of Rights until the mid-2020s, there’s no reason for the league to jump to conclusions, just because David Boren says so.

    Like

    • With the money that the Big Ten is poised to make with their new TV deal (whether it’s with 14 teams or 16 somehow), they can help KU/OU buy out any Grant of Rights they need to. Without even reaching too deep into their pockets.

      The SEC probably could too, but their pockets aren’t as deep overall (see academic monies too).

      And when a league gets to 16, that’s it. Barring any major sort of restructuring of NCAA (Pac-12, Big Ten merger weirdness, Power 5 breakaway, etc.), I think 16 would be the sweet spot for the foreseeable future.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        With the money that the Big Ten is poised to make with their new TV deal (whether it’s with 14 teams or 16 somehow), they can help KU/OU buy out any Grant of Rights they need to. Without even reaching too deep into their pockets.

        It would cost a lot more money than you seem to think

        And when a league gets to 16, that’s it. Barring any major sort of restructuring of NCAA (Pac-12, Big Ten merger weirdness, Power 5 breakaway, etc.), I think 16 would be the sweet spot for the foreseeable future.

        I wouldn’t glibly assume that. Many people think that even 14 is too high, as it has relegated many formerly annual (or almost annual) football games to rare meetings.

        For instance Michigan and Wisconsin have not played in football since 2010, and aren’t playing this year either, unless both win their respective divisions. North Carolina and Wake Forest have scheduled non-conference football games in 2019 and 2021, because they now meet so rarely in conference play. Some SEC teams are practically strangers, so seldom do they play.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SlartyBartFast says:

        “I think 16 would be the sweet spot for the foreseeable future.”

        Assuming the economics of televised sports doesn’t dramatically change in the next few years (and if they do then all bets are off anyway) I respectfully disagree.

        16 is where instability begins. It takes 8 teams to be a viable NCAA conference. The most valuable half can leave a conference and start their own, knowing that 1/8th of the new conference is at least as, if not more, valuable than 1/16th of the old. The clout and bureaucracy of being one of eight is also better than being one of sixteen.

        The former is what helped break up the Big East/AAC, the latter the WAC back in the day.

        Assuming any of the Power 5 conferences made it to 16 you don’t think that an entity looking to make a splash won’t wave SERIOUS cash at half of a power conference to a) grab premium content and b) hurt a rival? I’m not saying every conference *would* necessarily split up, but it opens up those avenues of pursuit.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The bigger you are, the less stable. You’ve got more and more competing interests and more and more differences between the members. The stability of the Big 10 has largely been because the schools are so much alike. The SEC schools used to be very much alike, although with growth in Georgia and Florida, that has changed.

          Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        If 16 is the upper limit, that makes it highly unlikely to also be the sweet spot … I think that the sweet spot is more likely to be 12, with expansion above 12 requiring specific value from the schools to offset the disadvantages of expansion toward 16.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I agree. The max is very rarely also the ideal. Under the current rules, 12 does seem like a sweet spot.

          The fun question is this:

          Post CCG deregulation, what is the sweet spot? The money available from a CCG has made 12 that sweet spot so far. Does it drop to 10 (full round robin in FB, double RR in hoops)?

          Like

    • vp19 says:

      With Florida as fertile a recruiting ground as Texas, why wouldn’t adding Central Florida, South Florida or both provide a complement or substitute? Iowa State probably recruited more Florida than Texas talent in the Big Eight years.

      Like

  15. Glad Boren inspired your realignment flame to flicker again, Frank. 🙂 It has mine too.

    You brought up a difficulty that I hadn’t thought of with the OkSt/KSt needs as part of this. Off the cuff, I can’t think of a way for the Big 12 to survive as a power conference without OU/KU. Because Texas would look pretty stupid if it saw OU/KU leave and THEN added two lesser parties (e.g. BYU and Cincy) to get back to a paltry 10. And once you go below BYU and Cincy, I really think the Big 12 would be scraping the bottom of the barrel when you talk about marquee names. UConn? Memphis? Meh.

    I think the SEC would come calling for OkSt…but Kansas State???…I just don’t see it.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I tend to agree with you. If OU and KU are gone, the Big XII checks into the hospice, and the priest comes in to administer last rites.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Would the Pac go 16 with OU/Okie State/KU/K-State…even if it’s a bluff (or ultimatum) by Scott to force Texas and Texas Tech west? Take the Kansas and Oklahoma schools out of the Big 12, and you are reduced to half the old SWC + Iowa State + WVU — a burnt orange nightmare.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Scott can do no more than what his members authorize. Some of his presidents might not be comfortable with that bluff. For one thing, it could backfire. Suppose Texas goes to the Big Ten, and then the Pac-12 is “stuck” with a cohort of schools it didn’t really want.

          Of course, there is also the moral question of whether it’s good manners to toy with the two Kansas schools like that. Some Pac-12 presidents could object. Conference expansion is a blood sport, but even blood sports have unwritten rules. And of course, a bluff only works if everyone who knows it’s a bluff keeps his mouth shut, and it also requires that the schools being duped don’t figure that out. It could work, but it’s a dangerous game.

          Besides, does the Pac really want to mess with Texas? Last time around, UT’s insistence on keeping the Longhorn Network to itself was what scuttled the deal. Maybe UT has learned from that experience, but are they ready to be in a league where they don’t call most of the shots?

          Like

        • bullet says:

          They already tried that once.

          Like

    • FrankTheAg says:

      Why would the SEC be interested in OkSt? That seems very unlikely.

      Like

  16. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Here’s a post I made on the old topic just before Frank posted this topic.

    “Marc – that’s why the B-12 ought to go with football-only members as I’ve advocated for years. Take BYU and Boise and give them $10 million each with proceeds from the CCG, with their membership concurrent with the expiration of the GOR. That way the B-12 could kick them to the curb if somebody better comes along in ten years. BYU and Boise would take that deal in a heartbeat and the B-12 all-sports members would at least break even.”

    What’s the downside?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Allowing affiliate membership/single sport specific in most sports is a sign of conference strength/generosity. Requiring it for FB (and possibly basketball if that ever occurred) is not a sign of strength.

      Like

  17. Dan says:

    Cincy is a bigger market (2.2 million in metro area) then Iowa State, WVU, Kansas St so to say they don’t bring value is false. If Cincy had a Big 12 schedule the folks would come out. When Oklahoma played UC at PBS the crowd was 59,000. When UC played Ohio St at PBS the crowd was 67,000 largest to see a game at PBS.

    Like

  18. Mike says:

    FWIW, Boren is 74 and probably won’t be in charge of OU when the GOR expires.

    Like

  19. Rick says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  20. Gitanole says:

    Here’s your move, Mr Bowlsby.

    South Florida
    Central Florida
    Memphis
    Cincinnati

    Cincinnati makes a bridge out to your WV island, brings a big urban TV market, and gets you into recruit-rich Ohio.

    Memphis gets you a year-in year-out basketball power, another urban media market, fills in your footprint along the gulf area to Florida, and plants you on SEC turf. Memphis regularly plays rivalry games with Tennessee and Ole Miss.

    The Florida schools bring recruit-rich Florida and two more urban media markets. Inviting both of them together boosts fan interest far beyond what either school does alone.

    Result: a conference that includes Texas, Florida and Ohio as recruiting grounds, offers appealing content in both football and basketball seasons, and has significantly more sports fans watching its games.

    You’re welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Eric says:

    I just don’t see much value in the Big 12 going back to 12 with the available options if a CCG is coming anyway. I’ll grant not having one is an issue (although is also a differentiater which brings attention), but I don’t think not having 12 is. If the Big 12 takes BYU and Cincinnati, that’s going to do nothing to stop anyone else from leaving and will bring up big schedule issues.

    I think a full round robin in football with a CCG is probably the best bet for the time being. It won’t stop the Big 12 from being the one most prone to being raided, but it will mean any future contracts only have to be split 10 ways (even if this one is OK with expansion; long term you have to account for the new members pulling their weight). It will also mean a closer nit group long term which might be a good contrast with other conference who will be playing opposite division teams less and less.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davidpsu says:

      When the BigTen had 11 teams they also petitioned the NCAA for having a championship game with less than 12 members. It didn’t happen then, so why would it happen for a 10-team conference?

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Because its presently on track to happening under the broader reform of deregulating championship game access.

        Deregulation may be part of what allows the Big12 to expand to 12, since you can establish a non-divisional system of fixed rivalry games that ensures two games in Texas every year to KS & KS St which is more difficult to do with two six game divisions … solving the Big12 “divisional problem” at twelve by not having divisions.

        Like

  22. dsquare says:

    The b12(or 10) has snoozed thru realignment, and they are going to be standing around with their hands in there pockets if the acc, b1g, p12 or sec decide to invest in some of these g5 schools. They are way to focused on immediate gratification and short on long term planning. Some of these g5 schools are in good areas they are not in currently, and they seem to have only a minority who focuses on it. WV makes no sense out there by itself. They do not seem to learn anything from their mistakes. Must be the Texas way.

    Like

  23. Tom says:

    @Frank, according to Nate Silver the B1G has the three biggest college football fanbases in the country (OSU, UM, and PSU, #1, #2, and #3), and four schools with large followings (UW #12, Iowa #15, UNL #18, MSU #20). Oklahoma is no slouch at #19, but my point is that the B1G needs talent to feed its existing programs more so than it needs additional brand names.

    I agree that Oklahoma would strengthen the WEST, but a 16 team league would most likely end up in four pods with rotating divisions so the EAST/WEST imbalance wouldn’t be as much of an issue. I also think that without Texas, Oklahoma is basically Nebraska. Let’s say OU accepts a B1G invite. I would expect the Red River Rivalry to end immediately after the announcement (see UT-A&M). I suppose OU could try and schedule A&M at a neutral site in Texas every year, but would A&M be interested in playing OU in addition to its SEC slate? I also wouldn’t count on any series with Baylor, TT, or TCU, in the near future seeing that OU would have single handedly destroyed the Big 12. Norman is only a 3 hour drive from Dallas, so it’s not entirely akin to Nebraska’s situation but OU would still be looking at a significantly decreased presence in Texas. Still, if OU comes knocking either on its own or with KU, it would be really hard for the B1G to turn it/them down.

    That said, the smarter approach by the B1G would be to invite Virginia and Virginia Tech once the ACC GOR is near expiration. The DMV area produces almost as much high school football talent as Ohio and is rapidly growing. The B1G has secured a large part of that market with UMD but UVA and VT still have sizable alumni bases in the area. If the B1G takes OU and KU, the SEC will most likely expand by two and would be looking to bust into the nation’s capital. UVA is mediocre at football and has a smaller fanbase (#36), but it has a strong athletics program, excellent academics, and would get the B1G closer to Virginia’s talent rich areas in Richmond and Virginia Beach/Norfolk. VT football basically didn’t exist prior to Beamer and VT is located in the rural, western part of Virginia so there is some concern about how good the Hokies will be in the future. Still they have the #13 fanbase and would give the SEC a presence in DC. By taking the Hokies, you prevent the SEC from getting anywhere past North Carolina. The B1G probably would cede UNC and Duke to the SEC, but it would cement DC as Big Ten country forever with almost all of DC’s largest alumni bases.

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Aside from Missouri, no SEC school and no ACC school meets the B1G’s implied (if not stated) criteria for membership:

      1. Large public universities, preferrably state flag ship and land grant;
      2. Large, prestigious, well funded graduate and research programs;
      3. High quality undergraduate programs;
      4. Comprehensive athletic programs;
      5. Commitment to the student/athlete ideal;
      6. Contiguity;
      7. Large TV markets or national fan base;
      8. Culturally part of Yankeedom/Midlands, Foundry/Breadbasket.

      Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers meet nearly all or all of these criteria.

      Athletic excellence is important, but kings need princes and princesses to beat on. That said, Maryland and Rutgers are competitive in the revenue sports with most of the B1G.

      TV markets are important but not determinative. The national fan base is more important, viz. Penn State and Nebraska, both located in the boondocks but drawing nationally.

      The only remaining schools that meet substantially all of the B1G’s criteria are Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the advantage of reigniting one of the historic rivalries.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Oklahoma has the advantage of reigniting one of the historic rivalries.”

        But at the probable cost of ending another, the RRR?

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I’ve never heard #8 stated or even implied. Texas didn’t meet 6 or 8 but there were conversations. They clearly wanted UNC, so 5 is definitely not particularly important.

        So while they wouldn’t go to the Big 10, Texas A&M, Florida and Georgia would meet the criteria.

        Like

        • @bullet – I would say that the Big Ten would overlook #8 for the right school like Texas or UNC. The cultural factor is really more of an issue for the school being targeted and their willingness to move. The overall transformation at Maryland where it shifted away from being culturally like other Southern schools was critical to them being open to a Big Ten invite – it would have been an unthinkable move a generation ago.

          Like

      • @bob sykes – I would say that Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech all meet the first 7 requirements when taken as a group. Point #8 is certainly still the issue and why those 3 schools still have a lot of affinity for the ACC. I could definitely see UVA making the transition into being more culturally in line with the Big Ten within the next generation, though (in the same manner Maryland moved that way in the past generation). We’re already seeing that shift with Northern Virginia (which has more in common with the NYC metro area than Richmond) becoming the dominant region economically and politically in the state. The cultural shift is close, but not quite there yet.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Don’t underestimate, though, how much of a stronghold southern culture has in Virginia. It will take a lot more than transplants from other regions to change Virginia, across the board, the way that Maryland changed.

          – Baltimore has long had much more in common with cities on the east coast than cities in the South. Not so much with Virginia’s cities (DC suburbs a big exception, obviously)
          – As much as Virginia may be regarded as “less southern” than, say, Alabama or Mississippi, keep in mind: Richmond was the Confederate capital. The Confederate flag was the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Monuments all over the state are of Confederate generals and politicians. Etc., etc., etc.
          – UVA remains, culturally, a southern school. Just as at Auburn, fraternity students wear freaking ties to football games. Ever seen that at a Big Ten game?
          – Moreover, judging by a visit there two years ago, Charlottesville just bleeds (1) Thomas Jefferson, (2) American history, (3) southern history. It’s everywhere you look. Maryland fits into the Big Ten much more because it’s a campus in a much more northern-like setting, being just outside DC limits. UVA is, comparably, in a relatively rural/small town setting.

          If UVA ever left the ACC, it would have far, far more to do with changing economics or other factors than becoming more like a northern school culturally.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “Don’t underestimate, though, how much of a stronghold southern culture has in Virginia.”

            VA is a split state much like GA (Atlanta vs the rest). The southern and rural areas tend to be quite Southern except on the western border where Appalachian culture dominates. The northern part of the state, especially the DC suburbs, is quite different. 1/3 of the population is in the extended DC metro area. Then you have the Navy influence around Newport News that also makes it less southern. Combined, those two areas make up roughly half of the state’s population.

            The population of VA has doubled in the past 50 years, and lots of immigrants (American and foreign) have diluted the southern flavor of VA. You can see it in their politics. In presidential elections, VA went from under 40% Democrat in the 80s to over 50% lately.

            “It will take a lot more than transplants from other regions to change Virginia, across the board, the way that Maryland changed.”

            Agreed. But the academic culture of UVA fits well with B10 ideals, and that’s the culture that really matters. I’m not saying they’re a great fit, and I don’t want the ACC to fall apart, but UVA wouldn’t be a great fit in the SEC either.

            “– As much as Virginia may be regarded as “less southern” than, say, Alabama or Mississippi, keep in mind: Richmond was the Confederate capital. The Confederate flag was the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Monuments all over the state are of Confederate generals and politicians. Etc., etc., etc.”

            My parents live in VA and I’m in Atlanta and have been to the neighboring states a lot. VA is Southern in a very different way from the deep south.

            “If UVA ever left the ACC, it would have far, far more to do with changing economics or other factors than becoming more like a northern school culturally.”

            Agreed. The culture shift would just help smooth the transition.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Politics don’t define southern, particularly in the border states like Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. Those states often voted Republican while the Deep South stayed Democratic at the local level until the last 10 years.

            The Deep South (Louisiana to South Carolina-and South Carolina is kind of a class by itself) is different. And they often don’t consider southern states like Kentucky and Texas to be southern.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And local culture changes immigrants if they don’t flood it too quickly. They get assimilated.

            Just listen to the accents of Bush 41, Bush 43 and Jeb Bush. Bush 41 sounds like a Connecticut Yankee. Bush 43 has a West Texas drawl as he grew up in Midland. Jeb sounds like a Houstonian as that’s where he grew up.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Politics don’t define southern, particularly in the border states like Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.”

            No, I just used it as a proxy to show the change in the state as it has grown.

            “The Deep South (Louisiana to South Carolina-and South Carolina is kind of a class by itself) is different.”

            Agreed, and I said so.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “And local culture changes immigrants if they don’t flood it too quickly. They get assimilated.”

            They also change the locals. The melting pot is never the same after adding a large number of people.

            Like

      • davidpsu says:

        If they wanted to, I believe that the B1G can take Missouri out of the SEC. Missouri seems to realize that they are more of a cultural fit with the B1G.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think that would be harder than you make it sound. The SEC offered them a spot when the B10 wouldn’t. MO will be making tons of cash in the SEC, so there’s no financial motive to leave. Their fans seem happy in the SEC, so there’s no pressure there. It’s very hard for a president to force a conference switch when no power base outside the faculty (perhaps) are pushing it.

          Like

    • davidpsu says:

      I always thought more that the University of Virginia — Georgia Tech combination would be an excellent way for the B1G to reach 16. GREAT schools and Atlanta is an excellent market. Southward was always the intention for B1G expansion.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        GT’s following in GA is too small to bother with. Atlanta would fit into the B10 okay due to all the transplants, but UGA is the most popular team here and always will be. It’s a long trip to get here, too. GT is a great academic fit and the demographics are wonderful, but I think it’d be a case of the B10 spreading itself too thin.

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Foremost, the BIG is fine as is.

          People on here are treading the UVa or GT to the BIG fantasies again. Those schools are very proud of the ACC. Va, esp, had a banner year in sports, they will win the Capital One Cup. These institutions would rather make the ACC the premier conference while continuing to make inroads over SEC dominance in the South. The ACC, unlike the SEC can boast having more national reach – Northeast & Mid-Atlantic, the Yankee South (Lville) and Indiana (ND). In my opinion, the ACC ship has sailed for the BIG. The ACC is set in stone & damn they have a lot of upside, albeit they will need to work very hard to peel away the Deep South from the SEC. It’s better for CF, especially, for the Southeast to be saturated with two major conferences. I don’t mind the infighting : ).

          I’d be perfectly happy if the BIG went West with OU & KU. I’ve said it before, if they get these two then 18 is very possible. UT has to think hard about BIG membership & UConn, which would trip on themselves accepting a a BIG invite, would create 4 new additions that inevitably create a national BIG with a towering football & m. basketball influence.

          I just don’t see UT joining the BIG unless KU, OU and another Tx school comes along. Thus UConn is expendable. Thus a very tricky proposition arises for the BIG – which second Tx school? Would they think progressively and consider Rice? Would they go for TCU, which is actually a very good school with a healthy endowment and much more secular than people think? TCU actually adds a major growing metro to the equation as well.

          Who knows.

          I’m seeing a major perception issue the BIG had for many years being addressed now. OSU deservedly won the NC in football and right now the BIG is recruiting nationally and doing quite well. Most the BIG currently sits in the top 40 of various recruiting rankings – football.

          Like

          • davidpsu says:

            Founding member Maryland also liked the ACC… until the B1G invite came along.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            David,

            Md was the ACC outlier for decades until BC. VA is near the Tobacco Road core & has a much stronger southern culture, albeit changing, than Md.

            And though I don’t know for sure, I have a strong suspicion Va was offered by the BIG – they stayed.

            The one Va school that has more consensus to leave the ACC is VT due to historical ties being far less and the fact that they consider themselves more along the lines of big state school despite UVa getting the flagship tag. VT has nearly 9 thousand more students than UVa.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “Foremost, the BIG is fine as is.”

            It is, and was better for fans when it was smaller. If the presidents say they needed the expansion for future students, I’ll accept the reasoning without thinking it made the conference better.

            “People on here are treading the UVa or GT to the BIG fantasies again.”

            It’s the dog days of summer and we don’t have much to talk about. Fantasy realignment is going to come up under those circumstances.

            “These institutions would rather make the ACC the premier conference while continuing to make inroads over SEC dominance in the South.”

            If wishes were wings …

            “In my opinion, the ACC ship has sailed for the BIG.”

            Fair enough, but it is only opinion. Reasonable people can disagree about that.

            “The ACC is set in stone & damn they have a lot of upside,”

            So does IL. It doesn’t mean it’ll ever come to fruition. The ACC hasn’t been a/the premier football conference ever. They’ve had premier teams (FSU, mostly), but they’ve always been a step behind the top.

            “albeit they will need to work very hard to peel away the Deep South from the SEC.”

            It’s just not happening. The SEC is more firmly ingrained and more focused on football.

            “It’s better for CF, especially, for the Southeast to be saturated with two major conferences. I don’t mind the infighting : ).”

            Agreed.

            “I’d be perfectly happy if the BIG went West with OU & KU.”

            But the B10 is fine as it is, so why dilute the rivalries (and academics) further?

            “I’ve said it before, if they get these two then 18 is very possible.”

            18 essentially means two separate conferences that only meet in the CCG. I don’t see the B10 going that far.

            “UT has to think hard about BIG membership & UConn, which would trip on themselves accepting a a BIG invite, would create 4 new additions that inevitably create a national BIG with a towering football & m. basketball influence.”

            UConn is your pipe dream but they have a near zero chance of ever joining the B10. They don’t fit in any way.

            “I just don’t see UT joining the BIG unless KU, OU and another Tx school comes along. Thus UConn is expendable. Thus a very tricky proposition arises for the BIG – which second Tx school? Would they think progressively and consider Rice? Would they go for TCU, which is actually a very good school with a healthy endowment and much more secular than people think? TCU actually adds a major growing metro to the equation as well.”

            The B10 might consider Rice, but athletics would be an issue. I don’t think any other TX school would fit besides TAMU (not an option).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “Md was the ACC outlier for decades until BC. VA is near the Tobacco Road core & has a much stronger southern culture, albeit changing, than Md.”

            Agreed.

            “And though I don’t know for sure, I have a strong suspicion Va was offered by the BIG – they stayed.”

            I think offered is much too strong of a word. Did the B10 study them? I assume so. Did someone mention the idea to UVA to gauge their interest level? Most likely. Did it go any further? Nobody knows.

            UVA isn’t the same level of fit as UMD was. It’s smaller, more southern and 1 of 2 large state schools so it doesn’t dominate the state.

            “The one Va school that has more consensus to leave the ACC is VT due to historical ties being far less and the fact that they consider themselves more along the lines of big state school despite UVa getting the flagship tag. VT has nearly 9 thousand more students than UVa.”

            VT wants to be wherever UVA is. They’d be allowed to go elsewhere I think, but they spent years/decades trying to join UVA in the ACC and owe their spot to them.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Brian,

            I do check in with the Virginia Tech board” “Techsideline”. They have a “conference realignment” section-board. There seem to be a decent number of pro-BIG fans, but consensus, as you implied: stick with the ACC and VT. They did work hard to get into the ACC, many decades if I’m not mistaken.

            UConn isn’t as far outside the BIG as you think. But it only works for them if certain schools are brought with them. And yes, I do have a basketball bias. But I’m also pro academics – UConn is for sure a rising flagship university & the state believes in them, their academics. Hence, the constant investment.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Correction: “Stick with the ACC and UVa”.

            My thoughts on Rice and being the second Tx school if the BIG were to lure UT – I’m being pro-academics again. TAMU is obviously off the table. They wanted into the SEC long ago. That was a long-term process that had roots as far back as Bear Bryant, or maybe slightly after with Gene Stallings.

            I have no idea which Tx school the BIG would accept if UT said: “We’ll join the BIG only if you accept the following Tx school _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “I do check in with the Virginia Tech board” “Techsideline”. They have a “conference realignment” section-board. There seem to be a decent number of pro-BIG fans, but consensus, as you implied: stick with the ACC and VT. They did work hard to get into the ACC, many decades if I’m not mistaken.”

            My parents have lived in VT territory for over 10 years, so I’ve interacted with a lot of VT fans and alumni as well as seeing the local newspaper stories. That’s what I based my opinion on, mostly.

            “UConn isn’t as far outside the BIG as you think.”

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. I’ve never seen anything but fan opinions to indicate UConn had any chance at all. It’s not AAU, it’s not big, it’s got an off campus football stadium, it’s a long way from a major market, etc.

            “But it only works for them if certain schools are brought with them. And yes, I do have a basketball bias. But I’m also pro academics – UConn is for sure a rising flagship university & the state believes in them, their academics. Hence, the constant investment.”

            Their academics are improving, but they’re still below B10 standards.

            World rankings:
            Times HE – 276-300. NE, 301-350. UConn
            ARWU – 201-300. NE, 301-400. UConn
            USN&WR – 253. NE, 272. UConn

            If you aren’t better than NE, you’re in trouble. It’s why I think adding OU might be an issue.

            “My thoughts on Rice and being the second Tx school if the BIG were to lure UT – I’m being pro-academics again.”

            I appreciate that. I’m just unsure if a school that small with such meager football and basketball would be acceptable to UT or the B10.

            “I have no idea which Tx school the BIG would accept if UT said: “We’ll join the BIG only if you accept the following Tx school _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”.

            I doubt anybody knows. I’m not even sure UT knows. We often assume they’d say TT, but that’s a dealbreaker.

            Like

          • @Brian – Also, I think the big issue with UConn that few people seem to focus on is how young their FBS program is as of today. It simply hasn’t been around very long (just over a decade) in a realignment world where old money credentials (even those as specious as Rutgers’s credentials) mean a whole lot. There isn’t anyone older than 35 years old that attended school at UConn while it has had FBS football. It is perceived by a lot of fans as an “old school” program due to its basketball history in the old Big East, but it’s a complete newbie in football. (Yes, they had FCS football, but that effectively doesn’t count at all when it comes to power conference invites.) That’s something that won’t be solved by anything other than time. It’s a shame because I think UConn has a lot going for it otherwise.

            Like

          • Tom says:

            I thought UConn’s best chance for a B1G invite was being the final piece in delivering the NYC market. Unfortunately for UConn, RU managed to do that by itself.

            I still believe UConn has a shot at an invite but it will have to earn it the old fashioned way: on the field. It will also be a long term play and will require more investment, a risky proposal seeing that there is no guarantee of an invite ever coming. Over the next decade or so, it needs to dominate the AAC, schedule and beat power 5 opponents, win a few New Year’s six bowl games, and build a new stadium on campus with capacity in the 50-60k range. If UConn can accomplish all of this, then it may put itself in position for consideration. But as Boise State has showed us, it still may not be enough.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Tom,

      “@Frank, according to Nate Silver the B1G has the three biggest college football fanbases in the country (OSU, UM, and PSU, #1, #2, and #3), and four schools with large followings (UW #12, Iowa #15, UNL #18, MSU #20). Oklahoma is no slouch at #19, but my point is that the B1G needs talent to feed its existing programs more so than it needs additional brand names.”

      Brands build value in the TV deals. Brands draw eyeballs and sell tickets. Brands give you more chances to have elite teams. The West is sorely lacking in brands now, especially with IA trending down. OU would be a huge boon for getting the media to cover the West more. It also brings exposure to the TX area, which would help recruiting.

      “I agree that Oklahoma would strengthen the WEST, but a 16 team league would most likely end up in four pods with rotating divisions so the EAST/WEST imbalance wouldn’t be as much of an issue.”

      I dispute this notion. Fans love to play with pods, but I’m not convinced ADs do. I think they are much more likely to stay with divisions despite pods having some advantages.

      W = OU, NE, WI, IA, MN, IL, NW, KU
      E = OSU, MI, PSU, MSU, UMD, RU, IN, PU

      7 divisional games, 2 crossovers (play teams 25% of the time). Scheduling by tiers (everyone plays one top tier and one bottom tier team). This sucks for the few cross-division rivalries (MI/MN, OSU/IL) but is otherwise decent.

      The problems with pods are balance and the loss of rivalries unless you start locking games.

      W = OU, KU, IL, NW
      N = NE, WI, IA, MN
      S = OSU, MI, MSU, IN
      E = PSU, UMD, RU, PU

      “I also think that without Texas, Oklahoma is basically Nebraska.”

      Except OU is much, much closer to TX (about 450 miles closer). Families in Dallas could easily drive to Norman for home games, for example.

      “That said, the smarter approach by the B1G would be to invite Virginia and Virginia Tech once the ACC GOR is near expiration.”

      This assumes they have any interest, of course. And VT isn’t AAU, which could be a problem. Perhaps the B10 would pursue, other ACC options instead (we’ve discussed them ad nauseum).

      Like

      • Tom says:

        One thing to keep an eye on in the next several years is the happiness of Nebraska, which could drive the B1G’s future expansion plans. Realistically, it is not going anywhere, there is more money and prestige in the B1G. But as we saw with PSU, despite these two conditions, there were whispers that the Nittany Lions were unhappy and while I doubt they would have ever left for the ACC, the Rutgers and Maryland additions gave them two eastern rivals so they would no longer be on an island (Stage College is more than a 5 hour drive from Columbus). A KU and OU addition would give Nebraska two historic rivals and make UNL less of an outpost in the B1G.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Tom,

          “One thing to keep an eye on in the next several years is the happiness of Nebraska, which could drive the B1G’s future expansion plans. Realistically, it is not going anywhere, there is more money and prestige in the B1G.”

          1. NE is thrilled in the B10. Not all the fans are, but that’s more about their football team not being what it was under Osborne than the change in conferences. They weren’t happy in the 00s in the B12, either.

          2. Your second sentence also negates the concern. PSU at least had the option of joining a new conference. NE isn’t going to undo their decision to leave the B12 anytime soon.

          “But as we saw with PSU, despite these two conditions, there were whispers that the Nittany Lions were unhappy”

          Those PSU fans are unhappy they aren’t independent and JoePa isn’t the coach. neither of those conditions will ever change. It isn’t the 80s anymore.

          “and while I doubt they would have ever left for the ACC, the Rutgers and Maryland additions gave them two eastern rivals so they would no longer be on an island (Stage College is more than a 5 hour drive from Columbus).”

          More importantly, RU and UMD did something for the whole B10. The major markets and demographics they provided got them invited. We didn’t invite Pitt and Temple.

          The differences for NE are:
          1. They don’t have a bunch of neighboring schools like PSU did
          2. They aren’t culturally different from all of the B10 like PSU was
          3. Their biggest rival dumped them in favor of UT while PSU dropped their old rival

          IA is as much of a neighbor as ISU, MO is off the table and KSU is a nonstarter. That only leaves KU, and KU is not a rival to NE.

          “A KU and OU addition would give Nebraska two historic rivals and make UNL less of an outpost in the B1G.”

          KU is no rival to NE. KU only cares about hoops and NE only cares about football. It would be a familiar face, but that’s about it. As for being remote, that’s part of being NE. The plains are filled with vast spaces between cities and schools.

          As for OU, they chose UT over NE. I’m not sure they’d choose the B10 unless UT came along.

          Like

          • davidpsu says:

            @Brian, How was PSU’s culture different from the rest of the B1G schools when they were added to the conference in 1990? I thought that most people thought they were a great cultural fit? Lots in common, especially academically, with other B1G members.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            davidpsu,

            “@Brian, How was PSU’s culture different from the rest of the B1G schools when they were added to the conference in 1990? I thought that most people thought they were a great cultural fit? Lots in common, especially academically, with other B1G members.”

            It was the whole midwest versus east coast thing. It wasn’t that the school didn’t fit in so much as the alumni and fans. There was also a giant culture gap coming in as a lifelong independent to the most close-knit major conference. PSU was used to calling the shots and suddenly they were just 1 of 11 voices. Anything that didn’t go exactly their way outraged the fans. The conspiracy theories of how the B10 has constantly endeavored to keep PSU down are all over the internet.

            Like

        • Nostradamus says:

          Nebraska is going nowhere. Nebraska could care less about Kansas and Oklahoma to Nebraska changed after the Big 8.

          Like

  24. Duffman says:

    The more things change the more they stay the same

    Boren wanted Louisville but got shot down and now Louisville is nestled in the ACC. With the Cards in the Big 12 the folks in West Virginia would have gotten a partner. Most importantly the Big 12 would have gotten east coast time zones and east coast media exposure. If that was not enough, they would have still been the Big 12 with 12 schools.

    12 – Nebraska – Colorado + Louisville + West Virginia = 12

    Even if Texas A&M goes to the SEC they add back Cincinnati and stay at 12.

    .

    .

    I said it early on in this thread and will say it again. B1G should have added Missouri and Kansas as 13 and 14 when they had the chance. Now with Missouri in the SEC that option is gone and the SEC has new territory closer to Chicago than ever before. Instead most kept swinging for the fence, and the fence has yet to happen. A B1G 16 with Kansas and Missouri on 1 flank and Maryland and Rutgers on the other is a nice expansion and locks down the borders so to speak.

    .

    .

    Even after all this, Boren is still rattling the saber and the folks in Texas are still ignoring him. Now Frank is saying Oklahoma and Kansas to the B1G except for one thing, Missouri is already gone so I can see Oklahoma and Kansas to the SEC as the more probable option. Missouri gets Kansas back as a rival and the SEC gets a top basketball school with AAU membership. Oklahoma just flopped on a major fundraiser but my guess is donors would drop their $$$$ if they are in the SEC west with Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU, and others on their football schedules.

    B1G may have missed on Missouri but Texas seems to have missed on Boren

    Like

    • metatron says:

      I don’t think Missouri is ever truly off the table. Pride and grudges aside, there’s no reason to turn down a conference that would pay more if they added Kansas and Oklahoma.

      Like

      • Duffman says:

        Which would have more value?

        a) Oklahoma + Kansas + Missouri on the BTN
        b) Oklahoma + Kansas + Missouri on the SECN

        Kansas + Kentucky in basketball
        Oklahoma + SEC SIX in football
        Oklahoma + SEC baseball
        Oklahoma + SEC women sports
        Oklahoma + Arkansas + Texas A&M rivals across sports

        Oklahoma would also get into LA, GA, and FL for recruiting.

        SEC makes more sense.

        Like

        • metatron says:

          I’m sure the presidents, regents, and state officials are salivating over the potential sports matches.

          Realistically, whichever conference caves and adds OSU will get OU overnight. If we were to assume that Oklahoma would only be invited on their own, I’d have to say the Big Ten given the historical rivalries with Nebraska, likely better financials, and (as loathe as I am to tout it) the prestige and academics. Plus it’s an open secret that both have inquired about each other.

          Oklahoma is in a very lucrative position. They’re a wanted commodity, they just have an anchor around their neck. Once that’s gone both the SEC and the Big Ten will be fighting over themselves for their favor. That’s not even including the Pac-12 who have even fewer options should they want to expand.

          Who knows. The world reads this blog and our comments have either been clairvoyant or the inspiration for the future. I’m looking forward to a more Midwestern Big Ten.

          Like

          • Duffman says:

            ESPN and FOX write the checks the presidents cash.

            State officials approve the windfalls for road work and new sports facilities

            Big donors fill the luxury boxes and donor coffers of schools

            .

            .

            Ignore this if you will but so far it has been the puppet master of realignment

            Like

      • FrankTheAg says:

        Pay more? That seem very unlikely. Maybe if Kansas and OU move to the B1G, Mizzou would want to renew their associate with their old Big 8 rivals but I doubt more money would be a factor under consideration.

        Like

  25. King in the North says:

    If the Big 12 wants the top two non P5 schools, it should take Cincy and UConn. Adding both schools helps the entire league’s athletic portfolio by adding a solid football program (Cincy) and one of the elite basketball programs in the country (UConn – 4x Titles in 15 years). People will say that football drives the bus, whereas in reality, television content drives the bus. UConn’s proximity to NYC (#1 TV Market in the United States) and it’s dense alumni base in the tri-state and New England region leaves me to believe that they have to be at the top of the list for conference realignment.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      That’s what I keep telling people. Unless you can stomach BYU (and maybe even then), UConn is the best school available.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      King in the North,

      “If the Big 12 wants the top two non P5 schools, it should take Cincy and UConn. Adding both schools helps the entire league’s athletic portfolio by adding a solid football program (Cincy) and one of the elite basketball programs in the country (UConn – 4x Titles in 15 years).”

      UConn is the WV isolation problem taken to the extreme for the B12.

      “People will say that football drives the bus,”

      Because it does. Hoops brings in just a fraction of what football does. The B10 gets about $1M/school from their current hoops deal with CBS while football brings in at least 8 times that for Tier 1 rights.

      “whereas in reality, television content drives the bus.”

      Not for a conference without a network.

      “UConn’s proximity to NYC”

      It’s 140 miles away.

      “and it’s dense alumni base in the tri-state and New England region leaves me to believe that they have to be at the top of the list for conference realignment.”

      And yet nobody has added them. BC fought to keep them out of the ACC before and nobody else has even looked at them.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        And yet nobody has added them. BC fought to keep them out of the ACC before and nobody else has even looked at them

        Don’t forget Louisville’s AD said UConn’s name was written in ink on the ACC invite before UL made their pitch.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The ACC is the only possible P5 spot for them, but the ACC gains nothing from adding them unless they lose someone else. The ACC doesn’t need hoops, they need football power. Is it worth irritating FSU and the other football schools by adding another northern hoops school?

          UL’s AD may have said that, but a name written in ink doesn’t get erased. Many people assumed it would be UConn, but if all it took was a presentation of the facts to change their minds, then UConn wasn’t written in ink.

          Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      It really is a shame for schools like UConn and Cincinnati, and even Memphis, UCF, and a few others. The economics are just a total feast or famine. The P5 are each making $20M+/school/year. Everyone outside of those are making $2M/school/year or less. There’s no in-between.

      Like

  26. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  27. bullet says:

    I fail to see how adding G5 schools makes the Big 12 less vulnerable to poaching. On the contrary, it could negate the financial advantage the Big 12 has over the Pac 12 and ACC. The Big 10 and SEC will, as long as conference networks remain huge money makers, have a financial advantage if you are a Big 12 school not named Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas (and in a few years, probably Oklahoma and Kansas as well).

    As when Louisville was being discussed as #11, there is a difficulty getting a #12. BYU has issues, but wouldn’t degrade the average schedule (it would, however, mean less games against Texas and OU, offset by fewer Iowa St. games). Anyone else would degrade the average schedule.

    Like

  28. bullet says:

    Clearly the expansion isn’t a blank check. The schools would have to be acceptable to the networks. Maine and Eastern Washington won’t cut it. I would think the acceptable list would be relatively short. Anyone other than BYU and Rice not in the MWC or AAC would almost certainly be unacceptable.

    The AAC has their “Tier A” in their contract-UConn, Temple, Cincinnati, Houston. BYU and Boise would seem to fit as they are ESPN favorites. Possibly those 6 are the list of acceptable schools. Maybe UCF, USF, Memphis, SMU and Tulane (who has been mentioned several times) also qualify. Maybe SDSU, UNLV, Colorado St. and New Mexico from the MWC would qualify. But I can’t see the acceptable list reaching 20 schools.

    Like

    • m(Ag) says:

      Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a blank check, as long as the networks automatically get the Big 12 title game as part of the new payouts.

      If the networks value the title game at, say, $20 million a year, that would justify a large amount of the increased payouts. They could then justify the rest as the price of increased inventory and keeping their partners happy.

      But if I’m right, the contract would only guarantee a proportional increase for an expansion to 12 members (not 14 as some are suggesting). It would also be invalidated if the Big 12 were to add a title game at 10 members, which may be why Boren is bringing it up now.

      Like

  29. metatron says:

    I feel like every post from Frank is vindication. I’ve been saying for years that Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri should be in the Big Ten only to be laughed at over the preference of others to invite Southern schools that have nothing in common with us.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      metatron,

      “I feel like every post from Frank is vindication. I’ve been saying for years that Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri should be in the Big Ten only to be laughed at over the preference of others to invite Southern schools that have nothing in common with us.”

      1. That’s revisionist history.
      2. How much does OU have in common with the B10?
      3. Preferences vary and often for different reasons (availability, academics, athletics, etc).
      4. Many people spent more time discussing what they thought might happen versus what they wanted to happen.
      5. Should? According to what/whom?
      6. Many people have doubted the availability of OU and KU without their little brothers (most agree OkSU and KSU are deal-breakers), or that the B10 would accept OU’s academics.
      7. Once MO went to the SEC, it’s a very different argument to say they should leave it for the B10 versus the B10 should have gotten them in 2010.

      Like

  30. Jake says:

    I guess a post on Big 12 expansion is what it takes to get me commenting again. Man, it’s been like a year or two since I was last on here. Looking over the old Big 12 expansion index, Frank, I think you undervalue UConn. Basketball is helpful to conferences with their own networks, as you point out – and would that not make them even more valuable to a conference trying to create its own network? And you take off points for football recruiting value, which is fair, but I don’t think that’s a major concern for the Big 12. I mean, you’ve got Tulane ranked ahead of UConn on that thing. Something’s amiss there. I just hope UConn is an option for the Big 12 – I am surprised as well that they aren’t in the ACC already.

    BYU is such an obvious expansion candidate that the usual sticking points with that school (nicely summarized here by a BYU alum and OU professor: http://texags.com/forums/15/topics/1966760) must be holding them back. Otherwise, wouldn’t they have been a more attractive option than either TCU or West Virginia?

    I agree on Cincinnati – that should be the other add along with UConn.

    Or perhaps this is just D-Bo posturing. Perhaps its all a long con to get more efficient pizza delivery: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/video-even-david-boren-gets-pizza-delivered-to-his-house/article_22c7c264-0490-11e5-9d47-2323a35558d8.html

    Like

    • metatron says:

      The Big XII is a conference of necessity, not choice. Every player in that game is there because they have no better option: Texas can dictate policy via fiat, both OU and KU are tied to their in-state rivals legally, and the rest have nowhere else to go.

      West Virginia would jump ship at the drop of a hat if they could get an invite into one of the three neighbor conferences. That’s the problem, by inviting members, it frees up Kansas and Oklahoma to jump ship and leave their “little brothers” in a secure home. Texas knows this, which is why they’ve stubbornly resisted expansion.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Jake,

      “Looking over the old Big 12 expansion index, Frank, I think you undervalue UConn. Basketball is helpful to conferences with their own networks, as you point out – and would that not make them even more valuable to a conference trying to create its own network?”

      But the B12 isn’t trying to do that. They can’t unless the LHN goes away and/or they do it without Texas. OU and KU would probably lose money that way, so I think it’s dead in the water unless the LHN dies.

      “I just hope UConn is an option for the Big 12 – I am surprised as well that they aren’t in the ACC already.”

      BC fought to keep UConn out before and will continue to do so. As for the B12, UConn is 600 miles away from the nearest B12 member and 2000 from the farthest. Who wants to send all their sports teams that far? Plus, UConn adds another crappy football program and neither the ACC nor the B12 needs that.

      Like

  31. mushroomgod says:

    Frank is neglecting his own advice to” think like a university president”. Adding KU and OU would be adding 2 other schools in the same academic category as Nebraska….that is, KU and OU would be slum properties as far as the academics are concerned…….academic prestige was one of the reasons the Big was talking about UVA, UNC, and GT……the other main reason, ie..population/markets, also is N/A to an OU/KU addition.

    Like

    • metatron says:

      If you’re going to talk about North Carolina, you might as well mention Alabama and USC. It’s ludicrous to think they’d ever leave the ACC and Duke.

      As for Virginia and Georgia Tech? Who would watch that? The Big Ten already got a tremendous amount of flak for adding Rutgers and Maryland. Suggesting that the follow up be adding the irrelevant Cavaliers and the ho-hum Hornets is silly. Adding a billion potential viewers is pointless if they don’t watch your product.

      Besides, I’d sooner dissolve the Big Ten and defund our wonderful universities than associate with any school that raised arms against this Union.

      Like

      • metatron says:

        Yellow Jackets, apologies. And yes, they’re better than I gave them credit for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        “Besides, I’d sooner dissolve the Big Ten and defund our wonderful universities than associate with any school that raised arms against this Union.”

        A selection of people here in the South, certainly more in the rural parts than in the much more progressive cities like Raleigh, still don’t accept that the Civil War is over. Everyone involved in it, plus their children and their children’s children, are all dead. They need to get over it. In fact, I wish they’d recognize the war was about states’ rights… states’ rights to permit utterly dehumanizing slavery… and that it was an unjust cause.

        Likewise, I wish that people wouldn’t begrudge states in the South in 2015 for what their ancestors did 150 years ago.

        Like

        • metatron says:

          I don’t begrudge you, I just don’t want your peanut butter in my chocolate.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Michael in Raleigh,

          “A selection of people here in the South, certainly more in the rural parts than in the much more progressive cities like Raleigh, still don’t accept that the Civil War is over. Everyone involved in it, plus their children and their children’s children, are all dead. They need to get over it. In fact, I wish they’d recognize the war was about states’ rights… states’ rights to permit utterly dehumanizing slavery… and that it was an unjust cause.

          Likewise, I wish that people wouldn’t begrudge states in the South in 2015 for what their ancestors did 150 years ago.”

          Can I still begrudge the ones that won’t let it go?

          Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        I didn’t say I wanted UNC, UVA, GT…..the point was that the Big ten was looking at them…..a big reason being their academic prestige…..a 2nd reason being their population/markets.

        Liked by 1 person

      • davidpsu says:

        The citizens of Virginia will watch the Caveliers, and the people of Georgia will watch the Yellow Jackets. Add-in the fans of the opposing team and you have millions of interested viewers.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          For Georgia Tech, read Brian’s comment. Brian, as I recall, went to school there.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, GT is to the state of GA like NW is to the state of IL (if UofI was a good brand) or Vandy is to the state of TN. It’s small and many of the alumni move nationally. You’d have to fight Comcast to get the BTN on the main tier.

            Like

          • davidpsu says:

            Joining the B1G has done, and will continue to do, amazing things at Rutgers. Academics and athletics will be elevated over time. Just look at the excitement and massive crowds at the Rutgers home football games. Recruiting has already gotten much better. Rutgers will surprise many people in the upcoming years.

            The same would happen at a school like Georgia Tech.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            davidpsu,

            “Joining the B1G has done, and will continue to do, amazing things at Rutgers. Academics and athletics will be elevated over time.”

            Money and a focus on athletics can do wonders.

            “Just look at the excitement and massive crowds at the Rutgers home football games.”

            Massive? The average attendance was only up 4,000 over last year, so the crowd size wasn’t that different. They had a full stadium for 3 of 6 home games, but that’s still a small enough crowd (< 54,000) to get the coach fired at 7 other B10 schools.

            "Recruiting has already gotten much better. Rutgers will surprise many people in the upcoming years."

            Steeping up to a P5 league helps a lot.

            "The same would happen at a school like Georgia Tech."

            No it won't, for several reasons:

            1. GT is already in a P5 league so it won't get the same prestige bump that RU did.
            2. GT has decent fan support and plays big name schools, so they won't get the schedule bump that RU did.
            3. GT is a small school that sends its alumni all over the country. It just doesn't have the local alumni base to draw upon.
            4. GT shares the state with a CFB power. UGA will always be bigger and more popular in Atlanta and GA. RU has no local competition.
            5. GT's academics are already great. They can't get elevated much.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            People forget Tech has a fine football tradition, especially when it was an SEC member. But during the 1960s, it and Tulane chose to leave the conference, and while Tech has somewhat recovered after joining the ACC in 1979-80 (though it wasn’t eligible for football until 1983, IIRC), it’s never been quite the same. B1G membership won’t automatically restore Tech football to its Bobby Dodd glory days, but leaving the ACC and its lackluster football culture could do for the Yellow Jackets what it’s doing for the Terrapins.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            vp19,

            “People forget Tech has a fine football tradition, especially when it was an SEC member. But during the 1960s, it and Tulane chose to leave the conference, and while Tech has somewhat recovered after joining the ACC in 1979-80 (though it wasn’t eligible for football until 1983, IIRC), it’s never been quite the same. B1G membership won’t automatically restore Tech football to its Bobby Dodd glory days, but leaving the ACC and its lackluster football culture could do for the Yellow Jackets what it’s doing for the Terrapins.”

            1. Their glory days were mostly before the Falcons.
            2. The money would help, but GT is stuck with a small stadium and a small alumni base.
            3. UGA is the dominant school in Atlanta and will remain so.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        The comment you would get is that the Union invaded them.

        There were a lot of Missourians, Kentuckians and Marylanders fighting for the South. Lincoln’s brother-in-laws were Confederate officers. Kentucky and Missouri had stars on the Confederate flag as there were groups that voted to secede. They had to re-route Lincoln around Baltimore as they were afraid he would be assassinated. Baltimore was a very southern city at the time.

        And other than VMI and the Citadel, I doubt there were any “schools” that raised arms against the Union (and they aren’t looking for a Big 10 invite).

        As mobile as this country is, unless your family are recent immigrants, you probably have southerners among your ancestors. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois had a lot of Virginians, North Carolinans, Tennesseans and Kentuckians settle there.

        My parents were born in the south and 3 of my 4 grandparents raised there, but the vast majority of my ancestors are northerners. So far as we know, we only have one ancestor who fought in the Civil War and he joined the Union army from Pennsylvania.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “As mobile as this country is, unless your family are recent immigrants, you probably have southerners among your ancestors.”

          For the south, southwest and plains maybe. I doubt that’s true in the midwest and northeast. The north was much more populous and there’s been more migration south than north (excepting the great migration).

          “Ohio, Indiana and Illinois had a lot of Virginians, North Carolinans, Tennesseans and Kentuckians settle there.”

          But also a ton of immigrants straight off the boat or from eastern states. I know I can trace all my family back to OH and then Europe.

          “My parents were born in the south and 3 of my 4 grandparents raised there, but the vast majority of my ancestors are northerners. So far as we know, we only have one ancestor who fought in the Civil War and he joined the Union army from Pennsylvania.”

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Well, like I said, unless your family was all relatively recent immigrants (by recent I was referring to late 1800s).

            Like

  32. Nick in South Bend says:

    While I would not personally mind Oklahoma and Kansas, I highly doubt the B1G would go for two western schools. They made moves out east, opened an office in NY, and it seems like the mid atlantic makes more sense on virtually every front.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Bottom line is that there really are no great choices for #s 15 & 16….and that’s probably driving Delaney and the BTN guys nuts….

      UNC, VA, and GT are too southern and wouldn’t come anyway….

      OK, MO, and KU are somewhat academically deficient and lack population/markets….

      U CONN is too small and football-challenged……

      Like

      • Brian says:

        mushroomgod,

        “Bottom line is that there really are no great choices for #s 15 & 16….and that’s probably driving Delaney and the BTN guys nuts….”

        I think it really depends on what their goals for expansion are and what the criteria for acceptability are.

        Did RU and UMD remove demographics of the footprint from their list of concerns? With upcoming changes in cable TV, are brands more important now? How important is divisional balance in football? Is AAU membership or equivalent status a deal-breaker?

        For that matter, why would they want 16 schools? What is the goal? Do they want to basically become two separate conferences under the B10 banner? If they want to stay unified, is that really possible at 16+?

        “UNC, VA, and GT are too southern and wouldn’t come anyway….”

        Money can do strange things to decision making. If they see UMD making $10M more per year than they are, that will influence them. Schools are underfunded already.

        http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/
        Current AD subsidies according to USA Today:
        UVA = $13.2M (15.8%)
        UNC = $9.1M (10.8%)
        GT = $7.1M (10.4%)

        The CIC will be a minor factor, but hanging out with a large group of AAU schools will mean something to the presidents. Having a solid lacrosse conference to join (including an old rival) as well as a strong basketball conference doesn’t hurt. They’d alsd get the benefits of a conference network for visibility.

        “OK, MO, and KU are somewhat academically deficient and lack population/markets….”

        OU has the biggest academic issues, being a little below NE and never having been AAU. MO has solid demographics with St. Louis and KC (18th biggest state). OK isn’t huge (#28), but it’s very close to TX which helps as does being a football king. KS is the smallest and slowly growing but it is a hoops king and AAU.

        “U CONN is too small and football-challenged……”

        They offer nothing valuable enough to add them. The downsides greatly outweigh their hoops prowess.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          The downsides of adding any pair of schools grow with the size of the conference, so its not necessarily the case that another pair on par with the UMD at #13 and Rutgers to round up to #14 would be enough to justify the better as #15 and the other to round up to #16.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “The downsides of adding any pair of schools grow with the size of the conference, so its not necessarily the case that another pair on par with the UMD at #13 and Rutgers to round up to #14 would be enough to justify the better as #15 and the other to round up to #16.”

            I think it depends on the downsides you are talking about. Playing old rivals less often obviously gets worth with size. Travel for athletes may or may not get worse. Expanding the footprint would increase travel unless it led to divisions/pods that reduce the total travel at the expense of playing certain teams regularly. Almost everything else is either good and bad or just good.

            Cultural changes may be good or bad. Increased TV money is good. Adding brands to increase exposure is good. Adding weak teams to dilute the product is bad. I don’t think it’s as simple as saying that the downsides grow with each pair.

            If pairs were always added in a logical progression of value, then I’d agree. Thus, I agree that another UMD/RU pair wouldn’t justify going to 16. But if the next pair was UT/OU, that’s a different story, I think.

            The real question is what additions would be a net positive for the B10 after considering all the factors.

            Obvious: ND, UT
            Maybe (west): OU, MO, KU (small states and/or small brands, iffy academics)
            Maybe (east): UVA, VT, UNC (add big states, keep SEC out, iffy football)
            Only in a bigger group: Duke, GT, UConn, SU, BC
            No: ISU, KSU, OkSU, TT, Pitt, WV, UL

            I’m trying to be generous in my groupings to avoid arguments.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            ““The downsides of adding any pair of schools grow with the size of the conference, so its not necessarily the case that another pair on par with the UMD at #13 and Rutgers to round up to #14 would be enough to justify the better as #15 and the other to round up to #16.”

            I think it depends on the downsides you are talking about.”

            The ones independent of the specific schools being added. Diluting contacts with the conference, in FB and often in BBall as well. Diluting the influence of one vote in conference decisions. Sharing the conference brand equity among more members. Likely reducing the athletic championships that will be won by the school you are a President of.

            Past some point, the opportunity cost of adding another pair of schools goes up as the conference grows, and I reckon that point is around about 12 schools. There may be schools that justify the expansion, but the threshold should be higher for 14 and higher again for 16.

            So those general costs of expansion have to be added to any disadvantages of adding a particular pair at a particular point in time when balancing against the advantages of adding that pair at that time.

            Like

  33. m(Ag) says:

    I have 2 points:

    1) I don’t think expanding with any non-major schools really makes the Big 12 more stable. If someone gets a compelling offer, having Cincinnati, BYU, or UCF in the Big 12 won’t make a difference.

    2) I don’t agree that there’s no chance for a future with FSU in the Big 12. Sure, there’s no chance of it now. But we can all imagine that there may come a time when the BIg Ten & SEC get far enough ahead that UNC decides to move (perhaps Virginia would move to the Big Ten first & then UNC would decide to leave the ACC). If that happens we can have several schools move to the Big Ten and/or SEC, but FSU, Clemson, & Miami would all be candidates to be left behind. In that case, an 18 school Big 12 would make a lot of sense. The current schools minus WVU in the Western division & WVU plus 8 other schools in the Eastern Division. It would function almost as an alliance between 2 small conferences, but it would have a great title game & a solid TV deal. Adding any school now would possibly mean not having space for a better school in this possible future.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      m(Ag),

      “1) I don’t think expanding with any non-major schools really makes the Big 12 more stable. If someone gets a compelling offer, having Cincinnati, BYU, or UCF in the Big 12 won’t make a difference.”

      Might it help by offering some insurance, though? If OU says it’ll feel better if the B12 is back at 12, would getting to 12 make the others have more peace of mind? It also means that if someone else leaves, they may still be viable as a conference.

      I think it all comes down to what are the goals of your expansion and do the available options really satisfy your goals?

      “2) I don’t agree that there’s no chance for a future with FSU in the Big 12. Sure, there’s no chance of it now.”

      There’s always a chance, I agree. It seems pretty slim to me, though. Would enough schools be willing to do a conference merger like you propose? It means a lot of automatic NCAA bids in minor sports lost, for one thing. Maybe with the deregulated CCG they could get permission to do a B12/ACC CG instead of one in each conference and stay as 2 separate entities instead?

      Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Assuming it goes like this:
      B1G adds UVA and VT
      SEC adds UNC and Duke
      leaving 10 plus Notre Dame.

      Wake is a double leave behind plus Syracuse and BC in the event that ND reluctantly or vigorously pushes its way into your proposed eastern division.

      At that point Wake/Syracuse/BC are candidate s for the AAC or the Big East depending on their institution’s valuation of football participation.

      Like

      • Pablo says:

        From the perspective of remaing ACC schools (ie, if UVA, VT, UNC & Duke leave), not at all convinced that shedding low economic value schools to join the B12 makes any sense. For example, Syracuse brings a lot more value to a conference than Baylor, TCU, Kansas State or Iowa State. Financially, Syracuse is about par with Kansas, Ok State, WVU and TT.

        In this worst case scenario for Florida State, I would still much prefer keeping the remaing ACC schools together rather than trying to grab UT’s coat-tails. OU (which is a comparable athletic department to FSU) does not have viable alternatives, but FSU would still have much better options. First, ‘losing’ UVA, Duke and UNC is addition-by-subtraction in terms of the TV-rights value of ACC football (I say that as a proud Wahoo who actually loves college football). ESPN would make it financially worth it to keep the ACC together. Second, FSU would be better-off doing to the ACC what UT has done to the B12…making other conference members its minions. Clemson, Miami and Georgia Tech would clearly prefer to stay with FSU. It’s possible that Pitt & Lousville would be vulnerable to poaching by the B12, but that is the biggest financial risk.

        The B12 losing TAM, NE, MO and CO was more debilitating than the ACC potentially losing UVA, VT, UNC & Duke. UT and OU could have moved to other conferences (the PAC would even let them bring along TT and OSU). Yet UT and OU chose to stay in the B12.

        Notre Dame is not an ACC football member, but having an independent ACC actually helps the athletic interests of Notre Dame. BC and Syracuse are in the markets that Notre Dame values. Losing some football games in Virginia and North Carolina would be a bonus.

        Like

        • FrankTheAg says:

          Actually – OU chose to leave and go to the Pac but the Pac backed away since Texas wasn’t part of the deal.

          Like

  34. Bob Marley says:

    My guess is that the Big 12 is going to hold out to see if Nebraska will leave the Big Ten, they’ve been screwed in the whole ordeal since moving and if the Tier 3 rights are lucrative enough and possibly ESPN and/or Fox Sports adding more money to their TV deals. I can see Nebraska and its alumni pushing for a move back.

    Otherwise I think the Top 5 candidates goes as such…

    1.) Cincinnati
    2.) BYU (Sunday Problem)
    3.) Colorado State
    4.) Memphis
    5.) Houston

    My guess would be that Cincinnati & Colorado State would get the invites to the Big 12 but don’t be shocked if it ends up being Nebraska first and the Big 12 trying to make a push for Missouri to return as well too. Big Ten & SEC don’t have Grant of Rights and to me Missouri & Nebraska make the most sense to return to the Big 12 with Cincinnati as a back-up Plan B and Colorado State, Plan C.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Bob Marley,

      “My guess is that the Big 12 is going to hold out”

      I think they will, too. If they make the CFP this year and next and the CCG deregulation passes, they have no pressing need to expand. I think they’d wait to see what happens in the next 5-7 years and then consider expanding as their GoR comes to an end. The ACC’s will be ending, too, as will the CFP contract. That’s the time period when I most expect to see change.

      “to see if Nebraska will leave the Big Ten,”

      Never. A better academic neighborhood that pays more and is filled with similar schools is always preferable.

      “they’ve been screwed in the whole ordeal since moving”

      No, they haven’t. They’ve gotten exactly what they asked for and expected. Having to buy into partial ownership of the BTN isn’t getting screwed since everyone had/has to do it.

      “and if the Tier 3 rights are lucrative enough and possibly ESPN and/or Fox Sports adding more money to their TV deals. I can see Nebraska and its alumni pushing for a move back.”

      I can’t.

      “My guess would be that Cincinnati & Colorado State would get the invites to the Big 12 but don’t be shocked if it ends up being Nebraska first and the Big 12 trying to make a push for Missouri to return as well too.”

      MO has zero interest in the B12, just like NE.

      “Big Ten & SEC don’t have Grant of Rights”

      The B10 most certainly does have a GoR.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Nebraska will not go back to the Big 12 and I can’t believe anyone in the Big 12 thinks that is any sort of possibility.

        Missouri was salivating at the SEC $ projections. They aren’t going to give up SECN$ for the meager Tier III they could get on their own. And even with a Big 12 conference network, there wouldn’t be the population to generate as many conference network $ as the SEC. In any event, Missouri is the one departee who would get voted down if they applied to re-join.

        Colorado St. will not get an invite to the Big 12. Colorado has enough trouble getting fan support in Colorado.

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Neb back to the Big12 – no chance in hell, despite some of their fans on Rivals.

          NU’s entire athletic department is witnessing the advantages of being in the BIG.

          To the whiny Bugeaters on Rivals, you have the BIG West to own each year where no one else stacks up in terms of tradition or stadium size.

          Yet two consecutive losses to Minnesota.

          WISCONSIN!

          Need I say more. Well, yes I do.

          Win and stop complaining, you don’t rate.

          Returning to the Big12 would essentially say: “We tried the BIG, got our asses kicked in numerous marquee games, especially against Wisconsin. During our tenure, a BIG team proved they could win the inaugural CFP, but not us, not mighty Nebraska.”

          See you and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Cowards!

          Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      Nebraska hasn’t been screwed in any way during or since the move. Had they stayed they would’ve done something similar to the LHN as both Texas and Nebraska had IMG researching options. That said, there is no way they’d be making more in 2 years in the Big XII than the Big Ten.

      Like

  35. Chet says:

    If the Big Ten would expand to 16 schools for football, and ADs are much more likely to stay with divisions, then one alternative scheduling concept is the following:

    (a) Schedule three division schools every year,
    (b) Schedule the remaining division schools 10 times over a 12-year period,
    (c) Schedule the non-division schools once every three years.

    A key feature of this scheduling concept is that tier (b) schools would schedule six years on, one year off, four years on, one year off. This allows the scheduling concept to map across all schools (if there are no locked schools between divisions) according to a 12-year cycle.

    Another key feature of this scheduling concept is that every division school would play the same number of division games. For example:

    Y01, Y04, et5c: seven division schools, two non-division schools
    Y02, Y03, Y05, Y06, etc: six division schools, three non-division schools

    This would simplify the necessary tie-breaker rules.

    Suppose the Big Ten would expand with Oklahoma and Kansas, and Oklahoma would lock with Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa as their tier (a) schools. Then a sample schedule for the Sooners could be the following:

    Y01//@Neb/@Kan/@Min/@Ill/@Msu//Iow/Wis/Nw/Psu
    Y02//Neb/Kan/Min/Md/Ind//@Iow/@Wis/@Nw/@Osu
    Y03//@Neb/@Kan/@Min/@Rut/@Pu//Iow/Wis/Ill/Mi
    Y04//Neb/Kan/Min/Nw/Msu//@Iow/@Wis/@Ill/@Psu
    Y05//@Neb/@Kan/@Nw/@Md/@Ind//Iow/Wis/Ill/Osu
    Y06//Neb/Kan/Nw/Rut/Pu//@Iow/@Min/@Ill/@Mi
    Y07//@Neb/@Kan/@Wis/@Nw/@Msu//Iow/Min/Ill/Psu
    Y08//Neb/Kan/Wis/Md/Ind//@Iow/@Min/@Ill/@Osu
    Y09//@Neb/@Kan/@Wis/@Rut/@Pu//Iow/Min/Nw/Mi
    Y10//Neb/Kan/Wis/Ill/Msu//@Iow/@Min/@Nw/@Psu
    Y11//@Neb/@Kan/@Ill/@Md/@Ind//Iow/Min/Nw/Osu
    Y12//Neb/Kan/Ill/Rut/Pu//@Iow/@Wis/@Nw/@Mi

    Of course, this assumes that the Conference Championship Game Rule would change, and that acceptable tie-breaker rules are established, in which case almost anything is possible.

    Like

  36. Duffman says:

    Since this is a primary B1G board, lets get back to academia in the discussion

    (the law of) diminishing returns
    phrase of diminish
    noun: law of diminishing returns
    1.
    used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.

    .

    .

    It seems in current discussions we have lost touch with the financial reality. Realignment is not about expansion but about contraction. Adding teams does not create linear or exponential growth over the longer view. In fact adding teams may do just the opposite at a point of saturation. Pro sports may max at 32 teams and college – due to lower cost of entry – may max at 64. Perhaps this is what drives the press for 4 super conferences with 16 teams. Has anybody considered what happens past this point?

    When I see the B1G discussion past 12 – 16 and on to 22 – 24 I just shake my head. Sure it fuels every middling college team to believe they have a chance, but do they really? If we see a B1G 24 it seems logical to see a ACC 24, a PAC 24, and a SEC 24. At that point you have almost 100 teams with the same “haves” and a whole lot more “have nots”. Logical thinking would mean the next step would be a return of 8 team conference’s and truly national ones at that. At the this point the real “super conferences” would take control but it might be 4 or 6 conferences with 8 members and 2 at large spots when you get to the playoffs.

    Everybody else would be relegated to what we refer to now as the Gang of Five.

    Just something for the academic folks on this blog to ponder.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Duffman,

      There can be diminishing returns, but expansion isn’t quite that simple.

      1. Which returns? Academics can benefit longer from growth to draw more grants. Athletics faces diminished rivalries depending on which schools are added and how pods or divisions are formed. Larger groups have more leverage in TV negotiations. Demographic changes in the footprint can help or hurt.

      2. Let’s stick to athletic finances. The Law of DR would be easier to apply if we were discussing the addition of schools of similar or decreasing value. Unfortunately, expansion isn’t that orderly, especially since prior additions can impact the value of future additions (not to mention what’s happening in other conferences). Adding UT would make financial sense if they were #11 or #21 in the B10. Adding Pitt could only have made sense as #11.

      3. I think the tipping point for a conference is 16. At that point, it can split into 2 viable conferences potentially but an 8 team conference would struggle as a power conference. Further expansion increases the risk of a split by making the survivors more viable and adding more conflict.

      4. When you talk about megaconferences (20+), I think the idea of contraction still applies. A few more schools will join the power ranks every so often due to population growth, but mostly it’ll be the P5 being reduced to the P4 and maybe the P3 eventually. But if it goes that far, each conference will really be two separate conferences that really only meet in CCGs and tournaments. The point will be to increase their leverage for TV negotiations. Eventually you could see the P3 form 1 group for TV negotiation purposes and we’ll be right back to the 80s in many ways.

      CFP = 3 champs + 1 at large

      I could see expansion going that route, but I could also see nothing more happening. Speculation is more fun, though.

      Like

      • Duffman says:

        If you get to a P3 are we talking B1G, PAC, SEC?

        I agree speculation is more fun but maybe I am tempering to just speculate a team or two at a time now instead of bulk migrations.

        As to your 2nd point
        Adding Pitt at 11 and UT at 21 may not work either way. Pitt is overlap on PSU’s footprint so some of that footprint is overlapped and lost. UT only makes sense at 21 if 11 – 20 kept increasing values. If Ut was max value of 2x then 3 or 5 in-between is not enough to validate UT. At some point the money just does not cover the cost.

        As to your 3rd point
        When say you hit 16 and it shrinks, I was talking more about the arms race escalating so far that schools drop out and focus back on education. Chicago did it in the B1G and Tulane did it in the SEC. Say Texas and Oklahoma took the B1G to 16. Schools finding themselves in the lower quartile for say a decade or so would have a hard time generating 100 million or more in sports revenue to justify the expenses. At that time maybe the bottom 4 or bottom 8 drop out just to focus on academics like Chicago did.

        Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, and Illinois all have the academic clout to go full academic if it means just to keep up they need to fill 80K stadiums. Maybe a school like Indiana drops football B1G membership and goes all in on everything else. Notre Dame has done a similar thing with the ACC so if it works one way it may happen the other way. Again, with a finite pool of NFL teams requiring a finite pool of players you supply can not exceed demand and keep values high. In short you have 24 schools in the B1G, but only 8 of them continue to play football. If several new stadiums are smaller than their previous stadium it seems contraction is just a matter of time.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Duffman,

          “If you get to a P3 are we talking B1G, PAC, SEC?”

          Probably, but with most of the B12 and ACC split into them. I assume the biggest conference brands would survive. The B12 is barely 20 years old. The ACC is older but still a weaker brand.

          “I agree speculation is more fun but maybe I am tempering to just speculate a team or two at a time now instead of bulk migrations.”

          Piecemeal is how it’s likely to happen, so nothing wrong with speculating that way.

          “Adding Pitt at 11 and UT at 21 may not work either way. Pitt is overlap on PSU’s footprint so some of that footprint is overlapped and lost.”

          Well, if Pitt was #11 then PSU would be the overlap and we’d be debating the value of having 2 schools in PA. There is no debate about adding Pitt with PSU onboard.

          “UT only makes sense at 21 if 11 – 20 kept increasing values.”

          11-20 are irrelevant to my point. The point is that diminishing returns wouldn’t apply to going to 21+ if UT was #21 (meaning we somehow got to 20 before that). But very few schools could add value as #21.

          “When say you hit 16 and it shrinks, I was talking more about the arms race escalating so far that schools drop out and focus back on education. Chicago did it in the B1G and Tulane did it in the SEC.”

          2 schools (plus the Ivies, I suppose) in almost 150 years. If NW didn’t do it after their decades of ineptitude, nobody else will except maybe the academies. I think you see the B10 fighting to make changes to keep academics a focus despite the focus on athletics. I think schools are so committed to big time sports now that they can’t afford to drop out. They’d still have to pay off the debt they’ve acquired building new facilities and do maintenance or demolish the buildings.

          “Say Texas and Oklahoma took the B1G to 16. Schools finding themselves in the lower quartile for say a decade or so would have a hard time generating 100 million or more in sports revenue to justify the expenses. At that time maybe the bottom 4 or bottom 8 drop out just to focus on academics like Chicago did.”

          Schools like NW and PU have been at the bottom for a long time and show no signs of dropping out. They get their share of the money despite not generating nearly as much as the bog boys.

          “Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, and Illinois all have the academic clout to go full academic if it means just to keep up they need to fill 80K stadiums.”

          They’ve never needed to before and the B10 will never force them to.

          “In short you have 24 schools in the B1G, but only 8 of them continue to play football.”

          It’s never going to happen. Maybe the SEC would consider that sort of thing, but the B10 just won’t.

          “If several new stadiums are smaller than their previous stadium it seems contraction is just a matter of time.”

          Except it’s never happened. TCU just moved up but built a smaller stadium. Stanford just got good at football again but built a smaller stadium. What I think you see is that ticket revenue is becoming less important to many schools as TV money increases.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        If you are doing it for TV negotiating power, its simpler just to do a joint contract like the Big 10 and Pac 10 did in the past.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It’s simpler to say, but I’m not sure it’s actually simpler. Being in the same conference forces you to find solutions. As separate entities, it’s easier to refuse to find common ground.

          Like

  37. Mike says:

    Three to four Big 12 presidents are in favor of expansion. Probably not happening.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Probably not, but it depends a little on who those 3 or 4 are. If it’s UT, OU, KU and maybe one more, that’s an issue. If it’s ISU, KSU, OkSU and maybe TT, then it’s not.

      Like

  38. Mike says:

    Like

  39. Logan says:

    He follows up by saying he believes Nebraska is a long shot (duh), along with a series of other tweets in his timeline about expansion. I really don’t see the appeal of Houston unless the Big 12 thinks it really lost that market when A&M left, and even then, i don’t know that the Cougs deliver it back.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      The Big 12 probably thinks its losing that recruiting market as opposed to the fanbase/TV market. It could be an overreaction to the peaking of the SEC West we’ve seen in the past 6 seasons (which may abate in due time anyhow).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think there’s any sense of that. If somebody besides A&M starts doing well in that market it would be an issue, but that’s not happening.

        With TCU and WVU as examples, picking Houston would be about name and regular visits to recruiting grounds. If the Big 12 goes back to 12, teams would have fewer visits to Texas. And TCU and WVU had names. Both had been very successful in football in the recent past. Noone but Boise has been real consistent among the G5, but Houston was a major player in a major conference at one point in time. They have proven they can compete on the field and have more national name recognition than schools like UCF and USF.

        Like

        • FrankTheAg says:

          LSU does very well in the Houston market and on the recruiting grounds. To believe otherwise is silly. Probably the rank order is A&M, Texas, LSU, Houston….

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            FtA – you’re right. LSU’s largest alumni base outside of Louisiana is the Houston metro area.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            LSU doesn’t get that many recruits from Texas. They don’t focus there. They have always been able to pick off a few top players but fill most of their roster from elsewhere. That hasn’t changed.

            They get their 3-5 but get most from Louisiana. I would think Alan would confirm last year was typical-13 Louisiana, 4 Texas (Dallas area-2, Houston area, Austin area), 5-other SEC states.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I guess it depends on what you mean by “LSU doesn’t get that many recruits from Texas.” Since Les Miles has been the HC, LSU has signed as many as seven and as few as none, but average 4-5 a year. That’s about 20% of a class.

            Keep in mind that LSU doesn’t need to go out-of-state to find talent. Louisiana, a state that has less population than the Houston metro area, has as many Rivals top 100 players as MI, OH & PA combined for the 2016 signing class.

            When LSU goes into Texas, its usually to fill a need and they usually get who they want. All things being equal, LSU is not going to take an out of state player of equal talent over a Louisiana kid, but to state that LSU doesn’t focus on Texas is not accurate. LSU’s recruiting priorities are: 1. Louisiana, 2. East Texas (including DFW & Houston), 3. Florida, 4. Mississippi, & 5. Georgia.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            LSU has recruited that way for as long as I remember. A&M in the SEC and the SEC’s 7 straight MNCs hasn’t given LSU an inroad into east Texas. LSU has always been there, but has always drawn most from their ample local talent base. The only thing that impacts the quality of recruit is how much LSU wins.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Over time a few more recruits are likely to choose other SEC destinations. LSU already gets most of what they look for and don’t need an inroad into a different fertile recruiting ground. A few other schools might.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m not sure having a team in a state is as big a deal as made out to be for recruiting. Otherwise, the Big 10 would never recruit Florida. Kentucky wouldn’t do so well in Ohio. Texas wouldn’t have picked up 5 players from the Miami area last year. Its much more about the coach and their connections (Texas never had much success with Florida players before Charlie Strong).
            I doubt having Central Florida or South Florida would have any noticeable impact on Big 10 or Big 12 recruiting in that state, except that it would help Central Florida or South Florida.

            It certainly doesn’t hurt. But I’m not sure its that big a benefit.

            College basketball recruiting is very much national.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            If you look at the top 100 in Texas over the last 7 or 8 years, the number of players going to Texas schools and out of state Big 12 schools hasn’t really changed. The only real difference is that more are going to Pac 12 schools and fewer to Big 10 schools. And that’s probably the choice of the coaches. Schools like Arizona and UCLA are recruiting heavier in Texas. Schools like Michigan and Purdue are doing less.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      A few other tweets from him:

      [UH and UC]
      That’s my choice since BYU is reportedly not in the discussion because of location and other items.

      Some Big 12 officials have quietly studied UH and are impressed with potential

      Note Dame, Nebraska & FSU top ultimate Big 12 pipe dream sheet. Don’t see any of those happening.

      Helps Boren’s goal of getting 12 in Big 12. Boren has pushed Tulane in the past to me, but not hearing it this time

      Hoops driving FSU frustration.

      Also said SMU is not in the picture.

      Like

    • m(Ag) says:

      Houston doesn’t just have a lot of A&M fans; I believe it has the largest number of LSU fans in the country. I don’t think any current Big 12 team besides the Longhorns has a big presence there.

      I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the number of A&M fans + LSU fans+ all other SEC team fans in Houston exceeded the number of Texas fans + all other Big 12 fans.

      That said, I don’t think adding a 5th Texas school makes a lot of sense for the Big 12.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, adding UH wouldn’t make any sort of dent in the SEC power in Houston. It’s a big enough market to share, but I don’t think UH adds all that much beyond what they have now.

        I could maybe see another TX school as a balance for adding another distant one. It’d be to promise the current members plenty of TX access. But TCU had years and years of success before being added. UH had 1 good year. That’s too big of a gamble I think.

        Like

        • Duffman says:

          It look like they are pandering to the middle

          Boren wanted Louisville but Dodds wanted TCU and TCU just made it look more like SWC II when the other P5’s were expanding footprints at all costs. If they go with UC and UH it is a repeat of the TCU and WVU compromise. Make both sides kinda happy but does not help the conference long term. Say the Big 12 was at 8 and made a concerted effort to penetrate the eastern time zone and east coast media.

          Louisville + West Virginia + Cincinnati + Uconn
          and
          UT + TT + BU + OU + OSU + KU + KSU + ISU

          Instead they will have

          UC + WVU
          and
          UT + TT + BU + TCU + UH + OU + OSU + KU + KSU + ISU

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Baylor has a pretty similar number of fans to LSU in Houston. Both behind Houston and probably behind Rice.

          Houston was the clear #2 school in Houston behind UT when they were in the SWC. I don’t think they would get back there as A&M has gone from a much smaller school (approx. 20k around 1980 vs. UH 30-35k) to a bigger school (55k vs. 35-40k). But there’s a lot of latent UH support.

          Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Living in Houston I would rank them a little differently

            1. aTm – used to be tied with Texas. The last decade has seen them surge ahead. As noted, the size of the school has really made a difference.
            2. UT – big everywhere.
            3. LSU – larger fan base than people realize here. Hurricanes and economics have driven a lot of south Louisiana into the Houston area.
            4. UH – it’s not latent support. It’s been dormant for decades.
            5. Baylor – much bigger school than Rice. Lots of Baptists here root for them.
            6. Rice – almost no non-alum fans.

            Tech is very small here. SMU and TCU are negligible.
            In the FCS ranks, Sam Houston probably has as many fans as Rice does here.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          Now adding Houston helps you get Houston fans. I don’t think it significantly adds to interest in other Big 12 schools in Houston. There’s already a good bit of that.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        The oil business has brought lots of OU and Oklahoma St. alums and fans to Houston, along with the many LSU alums and fans.

        Like

      • WapitiHorn says:

        The Houston Chapter is the largest local chapter of The Texas Exes at over 50,000 members, that’s about 4,00 less than the Aggies’ Former Students Assn. Anyone suggesting that LSU has a larger fan presence in Houston is delusional.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          WapitHorn – I certainly never made that suggestion and after reviewing the thread, it doesn’t look like anyone else did either.

          Like

  40. LifestyleJayhawk says:

    The Big 12 is like a stagnant swingers club. They have members who show up each week, mainly because they don’t have other options, not because they have desire to be with each other. The club took a major hit when four attractive couples CU, MU, NU and aTm left. Faced with the possibility of the club closing they took two new couples who required the rest to go slumming.

    One new couple tries to set the furniture on fire, when they get lucky. The other requires a large amount of pre-party praying for the sins they are about to commit. The combination has a negative impact on the party.

    Any swinger will tell you that they want to trade up or at least break even with their swapping. Why is it the guy with the ugliest wife wants to swap? The conference wants to trade up or at least break even with any new couples. They are concerned they will end up with more members that are down grades or private religious schools. One potential couple, doesn’t drink and won’t play on Sunday’s. Talk about more pre party consternation.

    In the Big 12 you have:
    Two AAU Flagships that are pockets of Blue in Red states. KU and UT
    Two non AAU Flagships. OU and WVA
    Four State and Tech schools. ISU(AAU), KSU, OSU and TT.
    On the opposite end of the scale from the liberal Flagships you have two private religious schools BU and TCU.

    The mix here does not seem to fit. That’s why most of the parties aren’t a lot of fun. There just isn’t a lot of commonality.

    The best thing for KU is to try to end up in the BIG. They would give the Corn a partner and revive one of the oldest bb/fb series out there. OU would more than make up for KUs current dismal football. KU has programs that are rated in the top 10. School of Education is highly rated and in most years their special Ed program is rated number one. There are others.

    KU has already exceeded a $1.2B dollar capital drive. With a little more over a year to go they are hoping to get to $1.6B.

    Who knows what will happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happens over the next five years.

    Off to a party. I really hope we don’t draw that Baylor couple again. The praying followed by the post party tearful regrets is almost to much to handle.
    😜

    Like

    • largeR says:

      LOL I don’t think I’ve ever read anything on Frank’s blog using a swingers club as analagous to CFB expansion. But I like it! It seems to be right on target. Now I’m anxiously waiting for Brian’s argument against your logic! 🙂

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I see nothing to dispute in his post. I agree the best thing for KU would be to seek a B10 spot. I also agree OU football would cover for KU football (and vice versa for hoops). KU isn’t an elite school but it is AAU and on par with the bottom of the B10. I don’t think the B10 would object too strenuously to them. I also agree that nothing may happen in the next 5 years.

        The sticking point for the B10 would be OU’s academics. There might also be concern about whether the conference should focus on the midatlantic or add a third region to the mix (Oklahoma is not the midwest).

        OU would have serious issues to consider, especially the RRR and OkSU. Recruiting (athletes and regular students) in TX would have to be a concern as well.

        Likewise, KU would have to think about KSU.

        Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      So who would the urban schools like UC, USF, UCF, Houston, Memphis, Boise, SDSU be? The “help” of one of the old swingers with a masquarade mask at a costume party?

      Like

  41. kombayn says:

    I think the Big 12 should expand to 14 members, having a sliding pay scale for these four schools in Cincinnati, Houston (or Rice), UCF & USF while signing a 5-game scheduling agreement with BYU. That would be solid for the conference and add a Big 14 vs. WCC challenge apart of the BYU agreement so you don’t have to have 15 members and get out of the “No Sunday” rule that BYU has. But if we’re going off of just TV market size and recruiting grounds along with potential program growth, you take Central Florida & South Florida and it’s no question. If you can get a Texas vs. Oklahoma Big 12 Championship game, that’s HUGE and AT&T Stadium would be packed to the brim. If you don’t take the Florida schools, Cincinnati & Memphis would be my votes.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think the Big 12 should expand to 14 members, having a sliding pay scale for these four schools in Cincinnati, Houston (or Rice), UCF & USF while signing a 5-game scheduling agreement with BYU.

      This is an intriguing idea, and I certainly wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. But there might be drawbacks to a conference structure in which certain members are permanently second-class citizens. I mean, it’s easy to envision a future where UCF is a lot more valuable to the league than Iowa State. At some point, the Florida schools would balk at being paid less.

      I’m not sure why they need a 5-game scheduling agreement with BYU. The ACC has that deal with Notre Dame, but in exchange they got Notre Dame’s Olympic sports, which they desperately wanted. What would the Big 12 be getting from BYU? Individual Big 12 members can just go out and schedule non-conference games with the Cougars (which the Cougars are happy to play).

      If you can get a Texas vs. Oklahoma Big 12 Championship game, that’s HUGE and AT&T Stadium would be packed to the brim.

      Sure, but don’t bank on it. The ACC designed their division structure so that FSU and Miami could meet in a conference championship game. In ten years of that game, it has never happened.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        And the B12 intentionally put UT and OU together in the same division. Both schools seem to want that, so it may be tough to split them.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Based on the historic strength of the two schools, I think OU and UT felt that if they were in separate divisions, there’d be a high probability that the CCG would be a re-match. There is some basis for this: in the 15 years that the Big XII had divisions, either OU or UT won the South in 13 out of 15 years. And the South representative won the game in 11 out of 15 years.

          Anyhow, they felt that a re-match would inevitably diminish the value of the RRR game, and it’s damned annoying to have to beat a hated rival twice in the same year, in order to advance to a major bowl game and/or playoff spot. This was exactly the point that many Ohio State and Michigan fans made, when they were in separate divisions in the Big Ten.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Marc said, “and it’s damned annoying to have to beat a hated rival twice in the same year. . .”

            Tell me about it!

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And really hard.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Based on the historic strength of the two schools, I think OU and UT felt that if they were in separate divisions, there’d be a high probability that the CCG would be a re-match. There is some basis for this: in the 15 years that the Big XII had divisions, either OU or UT won the South in 13 out of 15 years. And the South representative won the game in 11 out of 15 years.”

            It was a real concern, especially given how much stronger their brands are than anyone else in the B12 except NE. But that’s part of the point. OU and the B12 chose the RRR over OU/NE. The B12 may have been quite different with UT and CO paired and OU and NE together.

            “Anyhow, they felt that a re-match would inevitably diminish the value of the RRR game, and it’s damned annoying to have to beat a hated rival twice in the same year, in order to advance to a major bowl game and/or playoff spot.”

            I disagreed for several reasons:
            1. I don’t think a December rematch hurts the October RRR. If anything, the rematch is hurt by the RRR having been played.

            2. However, I think the 6+ weeks between games erases most of the problem anyway. Both teams are different by then.

            3. It’s both annoying and hard to beat a rival twice in one season, but it’s hard for the loser to earn a rematch. The only years it would have happened were 2000, 2003-4, 2006 and maybe 2008 (I don’t know who they would’ve picked). That’s 4 (maybe 5) times in 15 years, but both UT and OU were near their peaks while CO fell apart and NE was down. A 9th game would have made it even less common, probably.

            “This was exactly the point that many Ohio State and Michigan fans made, when they were in separate divisions in the Big Ten.”

            I was one of the many fans that liked them split. The odds of a rematch weren’t all that great, about once every 7 years IIRC. It made sure both sides got equal media coverage and everybody got plenty of visits from one of the Big 2. The lack of balance built into the current divisions is leading towards a whole set of problems. Maybe some schools in the West will use the power vacuum to grow their programs, but for now I anticipate slightly inflated records, a losing record in the CCG and disappointment in the bowls.

            Like

          • Tom says:

            One thing to note about the OU-NU rivalry is that it wasn’t much of rivalry from the final few years of the Big 8 through the first several years of the Big 12. From 1988 to 1997 (the last game after 71 straight games before a two year hiatus in the series due to Big 12 scheduling) NU won 9 of 10. From 95 to 97, NU outscored OU 179 to 28. I’m not aware of the process that ultimately determined the Big 12’s divisions but I could see why protecting OU-NU wasn’t made a priority.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Tom,

            “One thing to note about the OU-NU rivalry is that it wasn’t much of rivalry from the final few years of the Big 8 through the first several years of the Big 12. From 1988 to 1997 (the last game after 71 straight games before a two year hiatus in the series due to Big 12 scheduling) NU won 9 of 10.”

            That doesn’t stop it from being a rivalry. OU/NE was always streaky. OU won the 40s and 50s (1943-1958 all won by OU), split the 60s, OU won the 70s (6 straight), split the 80s, NE won the 90s and OU won the 00s. It was a matter of which team was up compared to the other. It was at it’s best in the 70s and 80s because both teams were top 5-10 every year.

            Like

  42. LeafsNitsGunners says:

    12 seems to be the ideal conference number for scheduling and championship game. The B10 and SEC are stuck trying to schedule for 14 and the ACC is worse off with 141/2. 16 would be easier to schedule (pods) than 14 but there are no viable schools for expansion…….currently. The cynic inside of me says the SWC 2.0 exists until Texas can get the best possible deal from the B10, SEC or P12 then its gone.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      12 seems to be the ideal conference number for scheduling and championship game. The B10 and SEC are stuck trying to schedule for 14 and the ACC is worse off with 14 1/2.

      This might be the perception of certain fans, but I don’t see any evidence that the leagues themselves see it as a serious issue. Of course, you do hear isolated grousing from certain schools, but you’d have that in any event. The Big Ten’s football scheduling system with 12 teams wasn’t exactly beloved.

      If conference championship game deregulation passes, then static divisions will no longer be required, and that will open up more potential scheduling formats than are allowed today. I suspect the ACC will be the first to consider abolishing divisions, because there seems to be more unhappiness in that league than in most others.

      Like

  43. Doug Shelton says:

    If the Big 10 expands, Texas and Oklahoma would be the likely targets. Here’s why:
    • During the last conference realignment upheaval, Texas and the Big 10 had very serious, very advanced discussions – much more serious and advanced than people realize (per a source very high in the UT athletic department). Keep in mind too that Texas purportedly petitioned to possibly join the Big 10 around 1991 after Arkansas decided to leave the SWC and after Penn State had announced it was joining the Big 10. There’s lots of interest, lots of familiarity and there have been lots of quiet discussions over the years (including, presumably, now).
    • Frank has said that when it comes to expansion, one must think like a university president (academic benefits / prestige) and that realignment is based on football (where the money is). The speculation is that the new Big 10 TV contract will yield current Big 10 members $45 – $48 million per year! If Texas and Oklahoma were part of the Big 10, it’s not hard to imagine the new TV deal to be possibly over $60 million per year per school with matchups of football blue-blood brands that included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma!! (And, this doesn’t even take into account Michigan State and Wisconsin for attractive matchups too.)
    • Texas would be able to keep playing their top rival (OU) and they could schedule Texas Tech or Baylor for nonconference games which could placate possible political concerns. Texas would also be able to re-establish their nasty rivalry with Nebraska. Outside of OU and TT and/or BU, is there any current Big 12 team on Texas’s schedule that they need/want to play?? Even with a nine-game Big 10 conference schedule, there are still three / four open games to schedule…
    • The Big 10 would gain the UT/OU Red River rivalry and, by adding Oklahoma, would re-establish the classic Nebraska / Oklahoma rivalry. Oklahoma could guarantee that they would play OK State every year as a non-conference game (like UF/FSU or even UT/OU in the SWC/Big 8 era) which could address possible political concerns.
    • The Longhorn Network has been very disappointing and underwhelming to date. It would not be surprising if ESPN is looking for a way out of the contract. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Jim Delaney figuring out some creative financial solution with ESPN and Fox to either end the LHN (if UT was going to make significantly more money in the Big 10, would they be so adverse??) or roll the LHN into some sort of expanded BTN version with regional networks that still preserves equal (and massive) revenue distribution to all conference members including Texas.
    • The academic side of the Big Ten – the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – entails annual research expenditures topping $10.2 billion — more than the Ivy League and the University of California System combined. The benefits from being part of such a prestigious organization with such an expansive footprint across the nation would hold (and have held) enormous appeal to Texas (which strongly values its academic reputation) and to Oklahoma. Conference realignment is not just about money (and football) for university presidents. Yes, OU is not an AAU member but they are respectable enough and the Big 10 would make an exception for them given the brand value (in football) they bring and given the potential financial windfall that all conference members would gain from having both schools in the Big 10.
    • Texas has been humbled in the last few years especially since Texas A&M successfully moved on to its new life in the SEC. They have struggled in football (badly), baseball and basketball in the last five years. They have a new president and a new athletic director. There is a lot of discontent among its alumni and fans. They have seen Texas A&M sort of eclipse them by joining the SEC. The Big 12 does not have big-name teams (outside of UT and OU), it does not and cannot match the TV revenues of the Big 10 or SEC, and the revenue differences will only grow much more significant in the coming decades. With the current fragmented Big 12 situation, the unpromising future for a largely regional conference (minus WVU) and with the intolerable idea that Texas A&M has surpassed Big Brother, Texas might be willing to give up its power and control in the Big 12, play nice, and be willing to be a team player (with Oklahoma) in the equitable Big 10. They can’t afford to be so arrogant these days especially when things are so unsettled and when their future is cloudy. By joining the Big 10, there won’t be time zone issues (PAC 12), there are tremendous academic benefits (as with the SEC – just kidding!), they will be able to revive their brand relative to A&M by joining a top conference featuring prestige names such as OSU, UM, PSU, UN and OU, and they will be securing their future as the money (which is the bottom line for most decisions) will be astronomical!

    Like

    • Logan says:

      Texas would be able to keep playing their top rival (OU) and they could schedule Texas Tech or Baylor for nonconference games which could placate possible political concerns.

      I like the irony in this. A&M leaves for the SEC, so Texas refuses to play A&M. But if Texas leaves, sure, Tech and Baylor will continue to schedule them, no hard feelings.

      If a school leaves a conference, those rivalry games are dead. If Kansas leaves, they won’t be playing K-State anymore. If Oklahoma leaves, they won’t be playing Oklahoma State anymore. If Texas leaves, they won’t be playing TCU/Tech/Baylor anymore.

      Like

      • Doug Shelton says:

        Texas Tech and Baylor need Texas… Texas doesn’t need them. Texas would only possibly continue to schedule them simply for political mollification and not because they need/want to play these ‘smaller’ in-state schools.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Logan,

        “I like the irony in this. A&M leaves for the SEC, so Texas refuses to play A&M. But if Texas leaves, sure, Tech and Baylor will continue to schedule them, no hard feelings.”

        TAMU is a peer to UT. TT might need that UT sellout every other year. Baylor too, but less so as a private school that’s winning a lot now.

        “If a school leaves a conference, those rivalry games are dead. If Kansas leaves, they won’t be playing K-State anymore. If Oklahoma leaves, they won’t be playing Oklahoma State anymore. If Texas leaves, they won’t be playing TCU/Tech/Baylor anymore.”

        Unless governments force their hands. They have in other states. I could see a state forcing it in those cases so the “little brother” doesn’t suffer as much.

        Like

        • Logan says:

          You are underestimating the hurt feelings that come with a move. If big brother leaves for a better conference and little brother is stuck in a degraded conference, little brother won’t want to play, despite the financial incentives, simply out of spite.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            You’ll note I gave 2 motivations, money and the forcing hand of government. Little brother’s feelings are irrelevant if the state government decides the game is important. And if ticket sales for that game are important enough, money will trump feelings. UT and TAMU can afford to be mad. TCU or TT or Baylor in a degraded B12 might not be able to.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Doug Shelton,

      “If the Big 10 expands, Texas and Oklahoma would be the likely targets. Here’s why:”

      They’re certainly 2 of the likely candidates, but it takes interest from both sides.

      “• During the last conference realignment upheaval, Texas and the Big 10 had very serious, very advanced discussions – much more serious and advanced than people realize (per a source very high in the UT athletic department). Keep in mind too that Texas purportedly petitioned to possibly join the Big 10 around 1991 after Arkansas decided to leave the SWC and after Penn State had announced it was joining the Big 10. There’s lots of interest, lots of familiarity and there have been lots of quiet discussions over the years (including, presumably, now).”

      And yet nothing ever came of it. The same things could be said about the B10 and ND, and that didn’t work out either.

      “• Frank has said that when it comes to expansion, one must think like a university president (academic benefits / prestige) and that realignment is based on football (where the money is). The speculation is that the new Big 10 TV contract will yield current Big 10 members $45 – $48 million per year! If Texas and Oklahoma were part of the Big 10, it’s not hard to imagine the new TV deal to be possibly over $60 million per year per school with matchups of football blue-blood brands that included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma!! (And, this doesn’t even take into account Michigan State and Wisconsin for attractive matchups too.)”

      Simple math:
      14 * $45M = $630M
      16 * $60M = $960M

      Thus, UT + OU = $330M per year

      I’m all for enthusiasm, but that’s just crazy talk.

      http://www.tvb.org/media/file/Cable_UEs_by_State.pdf

      5.3M cable households = $84M per year
      Pro rata increase = $90M per year

      That’s $174M of your proposed $330M, or just over half of it (gets you from $45M to $50M each). Where does the rest come from? It’s not like OSU, MI, PSU, NE, etc aren’t already providing brand value.

      “• Texas would be able to keep playing their top rival (OU) and they could schedule Texas Tech or Baylor for nonconference games which could placate possible political concerns. Texas would also be able to re-establish their nasty rivalry with Nebraska. Outside of OU and TT and/or BU, is there any current Big 12 team on Texas’s schedule that they need/want to play?? Even with a nine-game Big 10 conference schedule, there are still three / four open games to schedule…”

      The political problem is that if UT leaves, the B12 collapses and the other TX schools are screwed. An occasional OOC game won’t fix that.

      “• The Big 10 would gain the UT/OU Red River rivalry and, by adding Oklahoma, would re-establish the classic Nebraska / Oklahoma rivalry. Oklahoma could guarantee that they would play OK State every year as a non-conference game (like UF/FSU or even UT/OU in the SWC/Big 8 era) which could address possible political concerns.”

      The football value to the B10 is obvious. Again, the problem is the B12 dying, not the lack of games.

      “• The Longhorn Network has been very disappointing and underwhelming to date. It would not be surprising if ESPN is looking for a way out of the contract. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Jim Delaney figuring out some creative financial solution with ESPN and Fox to either end the LHN (if UT was going to make significantly more money in the Big 10, would they be so adverse??) or roll the LHN into some sort of expanded BTN version with regional networks that still preserves equal (and massive) revenue distribution to all conference members including Texas.”

      I have no idea how ESPN is doing financially with the LHN. However, many believe keeping the B12 together was one of its goals for the LHN. It’s cheaper for ESPN to pay UT that money than have to pay the whole B10 a lot more per school.

      Besides, wanting out and getting out are 2 different things. They owe UT $300M over the life of the deal. Could the LHN be the first of several regional BTNs? Sure, I’ve mentioned that idea before:
      BTN West = NE, WI, IA, MN
      BTN Central = OSU, IN, PU
      BTN North = MI, MSU, IL, NW
      BTN East = PSU, UMD, RU
      BTN Southwest = UT, OU

      But Fox and ESPN would have to get very deep in bed together. That’s always possible, since they’ve split conference rights before.

      “• The academic side of the Big Ten – the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – entails annual research expenditures topping $10.2 billion — more than the Ivy League and the University of California System combined. The benefits from being part of such a prestigious organization with such an expansive footprint across the nation would hold (and have held) enormous appeal to Texas (which strongly values its academic reputation) and to Oklahoma. Conference realignment is not just about money (and football) for university presidents. Yes, OU is not an AAU member but they are respectable enough and the Big 10 would make an exception for them given the brand value (in football) they bring and given the potential financial windfall that all conference members would gain from having both schools in the Big 10.”

      The academics of OU are questionable for the B10. It’s not certain the B10 would say yes to them. I think they would with UT as part of the deal, but it’s not guaranteed. These are the same presidents that didn’t vote to keep NE in the AAU after all.

      “• Texas has been humbled in the last few years especially since Texas A&M successfully moved on to its new life in the SEC. They have struggled in football (badly), baseball and basketball in the last five years. They have a new president and a new athletic director. There is a lot of discontent among its alumni and fans. They have seen Texas A&M sort of eclipse them by joining the SEC.”

      It’s hard to put UT and humble in the same sentence.

      “The Big 12 does not have big-name teams (outside of UT and OU), it does not and cannot match the TV revenues of the Big 10 or SEC, and the revenue differences will only grow much more significant in the coming decades. With the current fragmented Big 12 situation, the unpromising future for a largely regional conference (minus WVU) and with the intolerable idea that Texas A&M has surpassed Big Brother, Texas might be willing to give up its power and control in the Big 12, play nice, and be willing to be a team player (with Oklahoma) in the equitable Big 10. They can’t afford to be so arrogant these days especially when things are so unsettled and when their future is cloudy.”

      It’s hard to change your institutional nature.

      “By joining the Big 10, there won’t be time zone issues (PAC 12), there are tremendous academic benefits (as with the SEC – just kidding!), they will be able to revive their brand relative to A&M by joining a top conference featuring prestige names such as OSU, UM, PSU, UN and OU, and they will be securing their future as the money (which is the bottom line for most decisions) will be astronomical!”

      Travel is still an obstacle. Austin is a long way from RU.

      Like

      • Doug Shelton says:

        o “If the Big 10 expands, Texas and Oklahoma would be the likely targets. Here’s why:”
        They’re certainly 2 of the likely candidates, but it takes interest from both sides.
        “Of course it does and the potentially astronomic financial figures along with the academic benefits / prestige make this an attractive proposition to UT and OU.”
        “• During the last conference realignment upheaval, Texas and the Big 10 had very serious, very advanced discussions – much more serious and advanced than people realize (per a source very high in the UT athletic department). Keep in mind too that Texas purportedly petitioned to possibly join the Big 10 around 1991 after Arkansas decided to leave the SWC and after Penn State had announced it was joining the Big 10. There’s lots of interest, lots of familiarity and there have been lots of quiet discussions over the years (including, presumably, now).”
        And yet nothing ever came of it. The same things could be said about the B10 and ND, and that didn’t work out either.
        “Times change… The BTN is much more financially successful than it was five years ago. The Big 10 has the national champion, Ohio State, who under Urban Meyer have become a Top 3 program. Harbaugh will revive Michigan and James Franklin is rapidly rebuilding Penn State. The Big 10 is much stronger today than it was five years ago. As well, their new TV deal (network) is going to yield a bonanza and the future TV dollars that will be allocated to Big 10 teams will attract the interest of many programs. As well, the Big 12 is shakier than ever and UT and OU know this better today than five years ago.
        P.S. The Notre Dame ship has sailed and, after two rejections, the Big 10 has moved on from them.”
        “• Frank has said that when it comes to expansion, one must think like a university president (academic benefits / prestige) and that realignment is based on football (where the money is). The speculation is that the new Big 10 TV contract will yield current Big 10 members $45 – $48 million per year! If Texas and Oklahoma were part of the Big 10, it’s not hard to imagine the new TV deal to be possibly over $60 million per year per school with matchups of football blue-blood brands that included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma!! (And, this doesn’t even take into account Michigan State and Wisconsin for attractive matchups too.)”
        Simple math:
        14 * $45M = $630M
        16 * $60M = $960M
        Thus, UT + OU = $330M per year
        I’m all for enthusiasm, but that’s just crazy talk.
        http://www.tvb.org/media/file/Cable_UEs_by_State.pdf
        5.3M cable households = $84M per year
        Pro rata increase = $90M per year
        That’s $174M of your proposed $330M, or just over half of it (gets you from $45M to $50M each). Where does the rest come from? It’s not like OSU, MI, PSU, NE, etc aren’t already providing brand value.
        “The bulk of the huge increase in TV revenue will come from the renegotiated TV deal with ABC / ESPN / FOX. Who is to say how much they would pay for TV rights for a conference that included UT, OU along with OSU, UM, PSU and UN. Yes, revenue from an expanded BTN will also increase significantly but the talk of $60M plus for total TV revenue is primarily based off of the huge increase in the new contract with ABC / ESPN / FOX.”
        “• Texas would be able to keep playing their top rival (OU) and they could schedule Texas Tech or Baylor for nonconference games which could placate possible political concerns. Texas would also be able to re-establish their nasty rivalry with Nebraska. Outside of OU and TT and/or BU, is there any current Big 12 team on Texas’s schedule that they need/want to play?? Even with a nine-game Big 10 conference schedule, there are still three / four open games to schedule…”
        The political problem is that if UT leaves, the B12 collapses and the other TX schools are screwed. An occasional OOC game won’t fix that.
        “Yes, I agree with you but the question remains… will UT and OU do what is best for themselves or will they try to save their conference brothers?” Politically, do they have a choice? No one is really sure but self-interest usually prevails if there is a choice…”
        “• The Big 10 would gain the UT/OU Red River rivalry and, by adding Oklahoma, would re-establish the classic Nebraska / Oklahoma rivalry. Oklahoma could guarantee that they would play OK State every year as a non-conference game (like UF/FSU or even UT/OU in the SWC/Big 8 era) which could address possible political concerns.”
        The football value to the B10 is obvious. Again, the problem is the B12 dying, not the lack of games.
        “Agree… see previous response.”
        “• The Longhorn Network has been very disappointing and underwhelming to date. It would not be surprising if ESPN is looking for a way out of the contract. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Jim Delaney figuring out some creative financial solution with ESPN and Fox to either end the LHN (if UT was going to make significantly more money in the Big 10, would they be so adverse??) or roll the LHN into some sort of expanded BTN version with regional networks that still preserves equal (and massive) revenue distribution to all conference members including Texas.”
        I have no idea how ESPN is doing financially with the LHN. However, many believe keeping the B12 together was one of its goals for the LHN. It’s cheaper for ESPN to pay UT that money than have to pay the whole B10 a lot more per school.
        Besides, wanting out and getting out are 2 different things. They owe UT $300M over the life of the deal. Could the LHN be the first of several regional BTNs? Sure, I’ve mentioned that idea before:
        BTN West = NE, WI, IA, MN
        BTN Central = OSU, IN, PU
        BTN North = MI, MSU, IL, NW
        BTN East = PSU, UMD, RU
        BTN Southwest = UT, OU
        But Fox and ESPN would have to get very deep in bed together. That’s always possible, since they’ve split conference rights before.
        “Again, if UT stands to gain significantly more TV revenue in the Big 10, would they be so opposed to dropping the LHN? Lots of behind-the-scenes negotiating on this point between all of the parties.”
        “• The academic side of the Big Ten – the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – entails annual research expenditures topping $10.2 billion — more than the Ivy League and the University of California System combined. The benefits from being part of such a prestigious organization with such an expansive footprint across the nation would hold (and have held) enormous appeal to Texas (which strongly values its academic reputation) and to Oklahoma. Conference realignment is not just about money (and football) for university presidents. Yes, OU is not an AAU member but they are respectable enough and the Big 10 would make an exception for them given the brand value (in football) they bring and given the potential financial windfall that all conference members would gain from having both schools in the Big 10.”
        The academics of OU are questionable for the B10. It’s not certain the B10 would say yes to them. I think they would with UT as part of the deal, but it’s not guaranteed. These are the same presidents that didn’t vote to keep NE in the AAU after all.
        “I don’t think UT would make this move without OU (and vice versa). If the Big 10 had to compromise somewhat on academics for OU in order to secure Texas, they would do it in a heartbeat.”
        “• Texas has been humbled in the last few years especially since Texas A&M successfully moved on to its new life in the SEC. They have struggled in football (badly), baseball and basketball in the last five years. They have a new president and a new athletic director. There is a lot of discontent among its alumni and fans. They have seen Texas A&M sort of eclipse them by joining the SEC.”
        It’s hard to put UT and humble in the same sentence.
        “True but I’ve lived in Austin for the past eight years and there seems to be a noticeable change in the way Texas conducts and even views themselves today after the past few years of struggles.”
        “The Big 12 does not have big-name teams (outside of UT and OU), it does not and cannot match the TV revenues of the Big 10 or SEC, and the revenue differences will only grow much more significant in the coming decades. With the current fragmented Big 12 situation, the unpromising future for a largely regional conference (minus WVU) and with the intolerable idea that Texas A&M has surpassed Big Brother, Texas might be willing to give up its power and control in the Big 12, play nice, and be willing to be a team player (with Oklahoma) in the equitable Big 10. They can’t afford to be so arrogant these days especially when things are so unsettled and when their future is cloudy.”
        It’s hard to change your institutional nature.
        “Perhaps but if circumstances change, the environment changes, and if the future looks ever more shaky, institutions do what they need to do in order to survive.”
        “By joining the Big 10, there won’t be time zone issues (PAC 12), there are tremendous academic benefits (as with the SEC – just kidding!), they will be able to revive their brand relative to A&M by joining a top conference featuring prestige names such as OSU, UM, PSU, UN and OU, and they will be securing their future as the money (which is the bottom line for most decisions) will be astronomical!”
        Travel is still an obstacle. Austin is a long way from RU.
        “Yes, but some sacrifices will be necessary especially if the status quo is not really a viable option for the future. Money can help soothe a lot of discomforts.”

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        “Travel is still an obstacle. Austin is a long way from RU.”

        Which is why Texas wants to play in the Eastern time zone rather than the Pacific if they have to travel long distances to most of their games … student athletes finish an hour earlier on their home time when playing in the East, so get home an hour earlier for the same finish time, versus getting home two hours later for the same finish time in the Pacific.

        And it could well be that once you are flying to most of your games, how close the stadium / arena is to the airport is a bigger travel time factor than the flight time … that was part of the thinking behind the Metro.

        Like

    • djbuck83 says:

      From one Doug to another. You took the words right out of my mouth.
      You laid it out perfectly.

      Like

  44. Ray Cotropia says:

    I beg to differ. The SEC in no way wanted Texas in the conference. The attitude and the lhn were not a fit. I did enjoy your article and agree that the mini 12 is the bottom of the power 5 and has some huge problems.

    Like

    • @Ray Cotropia – We should put a qualifier there: the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 certainly want schools like Notre Dame and Texas as long as they are *equal* members. It’s the unequal treatment (i.e. ND’s NBC TV deal and the Longhorn Network) that are the issues as opposed to the schools themselves.

      Like

      • Duffman says:

        I agree, the unequal treatment is the key point.

        Since the LHN is the baby of ESPN, the SEC is where ESPN may want Texas to go first. That may be the least desired destination of Texas

        On a side note, Notre Dame is already halfway in the ACC and kept NBC. At least somebody in South Bend knew they had to bit at least part of the way to not get left behind. Does Texas have this ability or will thy just ride their horse into the ground? Even if they do a deal similar to what Notre Dame got with the ACC, they will have to give up control as the lead dog going forward. It would be hard to believe the ACC will not always be based in the core of Carolina schools.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          On a side note, Notre Dame is already halfway in the ACC and kept NBC. At least somebody in South Bend knew they had to bit at least part of the way to not get left behind. Does Texas have this ability or will thy just ride their horse into the ground?

          With the ACC, Notre Dame got what it had always had: a home for its Olympic sports plus football independence. Notre Dame is in the ACC, practically the same way that it was in the Big East. It was just a change of affiliation.

          (The only difference between ND’s ACC deal and their BE deal, is that they are compelled by contract to play a certain number of ACC football games a year. They had a similar deal with the BE, but it was more of a gentleman’s agreement that the Irish apparently did not honor, or at least not consistently. But they always did play several BE schools a year, so their ACC deal wasn’t dramatically different from what they’d always done.)

          The ND–ACC deal was possible because both sides were looking to remedy a weakness. ND needed a respectable home for its Olympic sports (the denuded Big East no longer being a conference on their level), a source of non-conference football games, and access to the bowl system. The ACC needed to prop up their conference, to make it less likely they’d get poached.

          Getting to your last question, it is hard for me to imagine the circumstances where both the Longhorns and some conference are in a position where both would find a ND-like deal beneficial.

          Like

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            I know words are just words. But Swarbrick also said that the ACC would be their home if ever FORCED to join a conference. I have complete confidence he did this with the backing of the president and the board.

            ND sees themselves as an east coast university, and the league has private schools. Between a third and a half of the ND schedule will be ACC games.

            I guess what I am saying is that, ND maintained independence, but also made some commitments to the ACC they never made before.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            ND maintained independence, but also made some commitments to the ACC they never made before.

            That’s a valid point. In fact, I believe ND committed contractually that if they joined any conference during the life of the ACC’s current TV contract, it’d have to be the ACC.

            That doesn’t mean the Irish have any intention of doing so. The ACC gave them pretty much everything they needed. It’s hard to see what they have to gain by joining the ACC as a full member. To the contrary, they’d have to give up a number of their annual rivalries (beyond those they’ve already given up), and would have far less flexibility to play a national schedule, which is part of their appeal.

            I do agree that the Irish see themselves as an Eastern school (culturally). They also like being in a league with multiple private schools, including the only other Catholic university in the P5. The Irish don’t need a primarily Midwestern schedule in order to recruit the Midwest, so Big Ten membership doesn’t really do much for them, unless it’s a pure cash play.

            Like

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            Oh I completely agree Marc Shepherd. ND would not willingly sacrifice any more than they would have to in order to remain afloat and compete for national titles in football.

            If they had to join a conference, and by that I mean if they did not then a national title would never again be possible (an extremely remote possibility) then it would be the ACC. So I am all in favor of the B1G, B12 and everyone else planning on that being the only move ND would make.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “The ND–ACC deal was possible because both sides were looking to remedy a weakness. ND needed a respectable home for its Olympic sports (the denuded Big East no longer being a conference on their level), a source of non-conference football games, and access to the bowl system.”

            And late season home games … its not just that they commit to a certain number of ACC games, but that the ACC selects the match-ups, Notre Dame decides in what weeks they will be played, and the ACC schedules its conference schedule around the scheduled games with Notre Dame.

            Like

  45. […] Over on Frank The Tank’s Slant, who’s a pretty reputable voice in the community, he’s been clamoring for the Big 12 to add Cincinnati for a while. He reiterated that stance last week. […]

    Like

  46. LifestyleJayhawk says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the swingers analogy. A politically correct one would have been the former Austro-Hungarian empire. “A melting pot on a cold fire.” Someone, I don’t remember who, said it.

    FYI, KU would keep playing KSU if the whole thing fell apart. A nice revenue game with minimal expenses for both sides. The only question would be around hoops. Home and home each year or a single game off campus. I would vote for home/home. Not the level of distaste like there is for Mooo.

    The one real concern about KU is if the half crazed legislature goes off the rails. Cuts state funding to zero. In that environment I’m not sure people would want us as an academic partner.

    Cheers

    Like

  47. urbanleftbehind says:

    The Big XII little brothers, if left in the dust by OU/UT/KU –

    Would they peel off the Front Range schools (CSU, WY UNM, maybe AFA) from the MWC for a new G5 conference? The Front Range schools tend to have many gripes against what they perceive has become a SDSU-Boise axis.
    Would the more midwestern ones (ISU, KSU) go AAC or MAC-West (NIU, Miami-OH, some not all _MUs)?

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      If you peel away OU, UT, and KU, what’s left is a cohort of schools that have been considered “power schools” (or the equivalent of that term) for most of CFB history — including several schools with long track records of major bowls, BCS bids, and so forth.

      I am pretty sure those seven schools would argue strenuously that they are still a power league. I think they’d try to pick up the three best G5 schools available, keep the Big XII name, and strive to retain P5 status.

      Whether they could prevail is a close question, but I certainly don’t see them accepting G5 status as a foregone conclusion.

      Like

      • @Marc Shepherd – Agreed. At the very least, the “leftovers” would have a lot more leverage to backfill slots within whatever is left of the Big 12 as opposed to creating an entirely new conference or having to join a different existing G5 league. We saw this with the Big East (now AAC) even though it ultimately lost 5 of its 8 football members. S**t always rolls downhill in conference realignment.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      urbanleftbehind,

      “The Big XII little brothers, if left in the dust by OU/UT/KU –”

      Just to enumerate – ISU, KSU, OkSU, Baylor, TCU, TT and WV

      “Would they peel off the Front Range schools (CSU, WY UNM, maybe AFA) from the MWC for a new G5 conference?”

      I think they’d go after the best available first – Boise, BYU, UC. Then I think they’d have to consider TX schools (UH, Rice, SMU, UTEP), Tulsa, front range schools (CSU and AF especially) and maybe UConn, UCF and USF. The goal would probably have to be 12 schools. I’m just not sure who would accept an offer. I think that version of the B12 would likely suffer the same fate as the BE and lose their power conference status.

      “Would the more midwestern ones (ISU, KSU) go AAC or MAC-West (NIU, Miami-OH, some not all _MUs)?”

      They wouldn’t leave to join those leagues unless the B12 officially died since it’s a bigger brand. WV would want out, but neither the ACC nor SEC wants them. They might jump to the AAC if the B12 loses it’s financial value. ISU could get stuck in the MAC in a worst case scenario, but I think they are big enough brand to get a better home than that.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        ISU. KSU. OkSU, Baylor, TCU, TT, WV.

        So, they’d first go for Boise, BYU, UC. BYU might not take it, seems likely Boise and UC would …

        … the game theory is that’s already on par or better for the fight for Best of the Rest, so one name jumping would settle it.

        At which point they have their pick of the balance of the Go7.

        I’ll assume BYU doesn’t leave independence to join a “Go7” conference.

        East: WV, UC
        Northern Plains: ISU
        Southern Plains: KSU, OkSU, Baylor, TCU, TT
        Mountain West: Boise

        I think they follow the population, FB recruiting and the travel partners and raid the AAC for UCF/USF:

        East: WV, UC, UCF, USF
        Northern Plains: ISU
        Southern Plains: KSU, OkSU, Baylor, TCU, TT
        Mountain West: Boise

        … and then there is a slot for one more.

        If there’s deregulated CCG by that time, so there’s no need for FB divisions, its a fairly open competition for the 12th spot.

        Like

  48. Mike says:

    Conspiracy theory by Chadd Scott.

    I simply can’t believe that David Boren actually believes Cincinnati or UCF or Houston or USF or BYU adds enough value to his conference to stick his neck out to this degree. Oklahoma hasn’t spent billions building itself in to an athletic powerhouse only to then expend major political capital by championing the admission of obvious “lesser-thans” into its league.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    What does make sense is that when the Big 12’s grant of TV rights expires in 2025, the Sooners would be a highly desirable target for any conference looking to grow. Oklahoma represents beach-front property on the college athletics’ real estate market and if the Sooners were unhappy with membership in the Big 12 – as Boren is establishing by “losing” his Big 12 expansion fight – they’d be a natural for admission into the SEC.

    It’s a “long play” for a 73-year-old.

    http://www.sportsdaynow.com/oklahoma-angling-for-sec-expansion-invite/

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      Well how about this:

      Paul Finebaum ‏@finebaum 6h6 hours ago

      According to @ESPN_Colin “The Big 5 in CFB is ready to be the Big 4… BigXII will evaporate, Oklahoma is SEC bound & the Pac12 wants Texas”

      Like

      • @gfunk – Ugh – Paul Finebaum quoting Colin Cowherd in Tweet. Throw in some HOT TAKES from Stephen A. Smith and (IMHO, the absolute worst) Skip Bayless and we’d have an ESPN shock jock grand slam.

        To be sure, when you actually get Cowherd *away* from his own show in interviews, he’s incredibly business savvy and intelligent (which is what makes his low-brow schtick of HOT TAKES on his show so much more disappointing). He’s similar to Howard Stern in that regard (whose radio show I’ve never liked but it’s clear that he’s a media business genius when you talk to him outside of his own show). The other 3 guys, on the other hand, are just plain terrible in all respects.

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          I totally agree – but this is our mainstream sports, 101, which is a damn shame. Even worst, this sort of reporting has evolved into our headline news as well. Media and conference expansion rarely ever produces worthy headlines until it’s all said and done, it’s an alias world of projections, insecurities & arm chair experts, me and this site included.

          What you can’t deny is the reach these people achieve, the chatter they instigate, which ultimately reaches the ears of decision makers.

          I just heard the Colin Herd interview with Jim Harbuagh. Unbelievable!

          http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=13180506

          Like

      • Brian says:

        gfunk,

        “Paul Finebaum ‏@finebaum 6h6 hours ago

        According to @ESPN_Colin “The Big 5 in CFB is ready to be the Big 4… BigXII will evaporate, Oklahoma is SEC bound & the Pac12 wants Texas””

        Well, of course the P12 wants UT. So did the P10, and it didn’t happen. If the P16 offer wasn’t good enough for UT, what will be this time? Will the P12 make the LHN the regional P16N for Texas? Would that be enough to seal the deal? Do the others want to go west, or will they consider other options?

        As for OU, they could already be in the SEC if they had wanted it. Have they really changed their minds? Are they ready to drop UT?

        Like

        • SlartyBartFast says:

          If I was OU and looked at either the SEC West or East and say these are the teams I’d be playing year in and year out, and then looked at the BigXII schedule… I’d jump in a heartbeat. So you lose one HUGE game in OU/UT. You’re gaining a bunch of REALLY BIG games against either division. Plus, there’s always the possibility of keeping OU/UT as an OOC game.

          Like

        • gfunk says:

          Brian,

          You’re being more literal here than the direction I spun this thread. Frank partly got me, but was too literal as well. My intentions were clear by my second post.

          Who knows about expansion?

          This is merely a blog, always has been, always will be.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I was replying to Cowherd’s vapid quote which you happened to provide. Your intentions were irrelevant to my response.

            Like

  49. wes@wes.com says:

    In terms of Boren and OU, this has everything to do with underachievement and the final nail in the coffin of Big Game Bob. Two to four losses every year and with noted exceptions, regular bowl game beat downs. If OU played to projections there would be a lot less noise coming out of Norman Oklahoma.

    In terms of Texas, apparently they’ll never get that despite all of their bluster they’ll never have it as good anywhere else, as they had it and will have it in the B12. The old guard in any other conference are never going to allow Texas to come in and push them around.

    If there is a major shake-up, it will spell the end of major college athletics. Conferences will be so diluted, major rivalries destroyed, minor and yet still compelling regional rivalries will be destroyed, and they’ll be a growing cry to remove the non-profit status of major college athletics.

    Like

  50. Marc Shepherd says:

    In terms of Texas, apparently they’ll never get that despite all of their bluster they’ll never have it as good anywhere else, as they had it and will have it in the B12.

    What makes you believe they don’t “get” that? Last I checked, they are still in the B12 and have made no noises about leaving. Maybe they do “get” that it’s the best place for them.

    Like

  51. bullet says:

    We may have to go to war over this latest effort of the North to force their thoughts on us. PEAS in guacamole????????????????????

    The New York Times should just never write about anything related to Texas or Texas cuisine.

    Its bad enough these turnip green tacos they call Mexican food, but peas in guacamole is just too much.

    Like

  52. bullet says:

    Next thing you know they will suggest we put beans in our chili!?

    Like

  53. Brian says:

    I don’t do twitter, but Frank tweeted this:

    I wouldn’t go that far, but Ohio State’s market share is weaker in Cincinnati compared to the rest of Ohio.

    It is, but not as much as people say.

    http://www.allstatesugarbowl.org/site.php?pageID=19&newsID=849

    Talking about the 1/1/2015 rankings for the CFP:
    Metered Markets
    Birmingham was the top market for both telecasts, averaging a 39.6 rating for The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, and a 50.2 for the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

    Rose Bowl Game: Portland was the second highest-rated metered market with a 30.8 rating followed by Columbus (29.8), Dayton (26.7), Knoxville (25.1), Jacksonville (24.0), Greenville (23.9), Tampa-St. Petersburg (23.4), Atlanta (21.3) and Orlando (20.7). Overall, the coverage generated the highest metered market rating for a bowl game on ESPN in three markets and a record for a non-college football national championship telecast in 15 markets.

    Sugar Bowl: Columbus was the second highest-rated metered market with a 43.7 rating followed by Dayton (38.7), Cleveland (32.5), New Orleans (25.0), Nashville (24.6), Memphis (23.9), Atlanta (23.4), Knoxville (23.3) and Cincinnati (22.8). Overall, the coverage generated the highest metered market rating for a bowl game on ESPN in seven markets and a record for a non-college football national championship telecast in 10 markets.

    Rose:
    3. Columbus – 29.8
    4. Dayton – 26.7

    Sugar:
    2. Columbus – 43.7 (+47%)
    3. Dayton – 38.7 (+45%)
    4. Cleveland – 32.5
    10. Cincinnati – 22.8

    Cincinnati sure seems like a pretty good market for OSU.

    Like

    • @Brian – Right – I just meant Cincinnati was weaker compared to the other Ohio markets on a relative basis (where Ohio State effectively has complete control for college sports purposes). Ohio State delivers its home state as thoroughly as any school in the nation. For the vast majority of other schools across the country, Ohio State’s level of support in Cincinnati would be deemed to be a strong market.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Frank the Tank,

        “@Brian – Right – I just meant Cincinnati was weaker compared to the other Ohio markets on a relative basis (where Ohio State effectively has complete control for college sports purposes).”

        I know, and I agree. Cincinnati is the relative weak spot in OH for OSU. My comment was aimed more at the tweet you were responding to than at what you said.

        Like

  54. Brian says:

    ESPN.com has a couple of stories on teams that changed the game of CFB in the past 50 years.

    First: Miami and FSU under Johnson and Bowden making speed the most important factor, especially on defense.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/13174840/how-jimmy-johnson-bobby-bowden-changed-college-football

    Second: NE introducing big time weight lifting to CFB in 1969.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/13175331/how-former-pole-vaulter-sparked-college-football-training-revolution

    Like

  55. loki_the_bubba says:

    http://interactive.orlandosentinel.com/college-football-countdown/index.html

    I’m loving the Orlando Sentinel football countdown. We have 6 CUSA teams left to rank in the top 56. So far Rice will be ahead of at least Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Michigan, VT, Washington, and South Carolina. I’m not sure everyone will admit that this is correct…

    Like

    • Brian says:

      loki_the_bubba,

      “I’m loving the Orlando Sentinel football countdown. We have 6 CUSA teams left to rank in the top 56. So far Rice will be ahead of at least Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Michigan, VT, Washington, and South Carolina. I’m not sure everyone will admit that this is correct…”

      I don’t know if it’s correct or not, but several of those schools have fairly new coaches so ranking them is pure guesswork.

      Like

  56. djbuck83 says:

    Adding a Cincy, Houston, or a Memphis does nothing for stability or more money for B12.
    Texas likes 10.
    In reality, the B12 conference was a disaster in the making.
    You basically have the old Southwest conference with now only 4 old B8 schools.
    It will follow suit as the SWC.

    The old BIG 8 mirrored the BIG10.
    As a Buckeye and a CFB fan, I you always looked forward to Cornhuskers – Sooners
    on Friday after Turkey Day. It was one of the main rivalries of CFB.
    While the The Red River game is great.
    it was more regional interest until after the B12 was formed

    It makes sense that Oklahoma and KU go to the BIG.
    Delany already vetted both Universities for future expansion.
    I doubt that Boren is worried about Texas going along with them or Okie St. for that matter.
    The Gor and AAU have little baring today. This is about Universities futures. DOLLARS !!!
    Would make no sense for the Sooners to head west to Pac12.
    P12 suffers from west coast time zones.
    The ACC is in the same boat. ND helped themselves not the ACC.
    They may get a network with ESPN should the BIG go with FOX, NBC, or CBS in 2 years.

    So. I believe Oklahoma and KU head to the BIG. Texas could follow should they not get a
    deal like that of ND. The rest are picked up by the P12, SEC, or C-USA.

    It’s been fun to see who’s going where in the last 5 years.
    We all have our Conference pride and at times pick each other apart.
    But, I will say. It has been unfortunate to see regional and cultural rivalries be torn apart.

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      The best choices for the B1G are Gee’s: Kansas and Missouri. UOk and UTx are not good matches.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bob sykes,

        “The best choices for the B1G are Gee’s: Kansas and Missouri. UOk and UTx are not good matches.”

        What problems do they solve for the B10, though?

        Demographics? No.
        Better academics? No.
        Better football? No.
        Bigger brands? Not in football.
        More money? Doubtful, at least not significantly more.

        Better hoops? Yes, but that’s not a major problem for the B10.

        Are KU and MO worth the downsides of expanding? Are fans looking to play old B10 foes even less for the benefit of adding KU hoops?

        Like

    • Brian says:

      djbuck83,

      “Adding a Cincy, Houston, or a Memphis does nothing for stability or more money for B12.”

      Stability is a nebulous thing. Nobody can accurately tell exactly what all will or won’t impact it (some things are obvious).

      “Texas likes 10.”

      OU doesn’t.

      “As a Buckeye and a CFB fan, I you always looked forward to Cornhuskers – Sooners
      on Friday after Turkey Day. It was one of the main rivalries of CFB.
      While the The Red River game is great.
      it was more regional interest until after the B12 was formed”

      Agreed. But that’s largely because OU/NE was huge in the 70s (both top 5-10 every year) so it became a major TV staple. When TV expanded in the 80s, that game had already been locked in as important.

      “It makes sense that Oklahoma and KU go to the BIG.”

      Ehh. Maybe.

      “Delany already vetted both Universities for future expansion.”

      But that doesn’t mean they passed the vetting. The presidents were rumored to have said no to any schools on par with NE or worse.

      “I doubt that Boren is worried about Texas going along with them or Okie St. for that matter.”

      1. I think many presidents care about their rivalries.
      2. Boren isn’t the only one who matters. He’s about to retire and the BoT would have to approve the move probably.

      “The Gor and AAU have little baring today.”

      That’s news to me. When did they stop mattering?

      “This is about Universities futures. DOLLARS !!!”

      So are GoRs and AAU status.

      “Would make no sense for the Sooners to head west to Pac12.
      P12 suffers from west coast time zones.”

      Unless that’s where they were invited and the money and stability were too good to turn down. Maintaining rivalries and staying in a power conference could make the P12 make sense for them.

      “The ACC is in the same boat. ND helped themselves not the ACC.
      They may get a network with ESPN should the BIG go with FOX, NBC, or CBS in 2 years.”

      ND helped the ACC quite a bit, actually.

      “But, I will say. It has been unfortunate to see regional and cultural rivalries be torn apart.”

      It has.

      Like

  57. Steve says:

    There is nothing in writing or as Gov. Brownback stated during the last round of realignment nothing in blood tying KU and K-State together, in fact five years ago the KS Board of Regents directed KU to raise their entrance requirements and become more selective, if these schools were tied together KBOR would not have done that.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Steve,

      “There is nothing in writing or as Gov. Brownback stated during the last round of realignment nothing in blood tying KU and K-State together,”

      Good to know. But sometimes politicians feel the need to step in when they since something unexpected is coming. UVA and VT aren’t tied together legally either, but the politicians jumped in when they had the chance. They did in TX, too.

      “in fact five years ago the KS Board of Regents directed KU to raise their entrance requirements and become more selective, if these schools were tied together KBOR would not have done that.”

      I don’t see how those 2 things are connected.

      Like

      • Steve says:

        The reason I brought that up was if the two schools were tied together I doubt the state government of BOR would have allowed different entrance requirements, but that is just conjecture on my part. I do agree though that some politicians would try to get involved to keep the two schools together.
        As long as I’m typing on this subject, I’ve found it interesting that a couple of schools including K-State (especially KSU) has either played or is considering playing Missouri in KC, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the other Big 12 schools know that something is up and are willing to go against KU and it’s desire not to play MU.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          “The reason I brought that up was if the two schools were tied together I doubt the state government of BOR would have allowed different entrance requirements, but that is just conjecture on my part.”

          If there’s a connection between the two, it would be that protecting the interests of the state land grant that has been directed to provide wider access, since the university that has been directed to be more selective will become more attractive, so there will be a push to protect the interests of the university that has been directed to be less selective.

          Its Kansas State that has the program which combines two years at participating Kansas community colleges with two years of online upper division coursework at Kansas State for a selection of degrees. Since they cover that, there’s no particular need for Kansas to have that as well, which goes along with Kansas being more selective.

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