The Connection Between Star Wars and Big Ten TV Rights

Posted: December 3, 2015 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

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The financial news stories coming out of ESPN over the past several months have been quite negative. The Disney-owned cable network has endured several rounds of layoffs and reported  last week that it has lost 7 million subscribers over the past two years. This is of particular interest to the Big Ten, which will be negotiating new television contracts over the next year and has been banking on massive increases in rights fees. All of the Big Ten’s off-the-field moves during this decade, from conference expansion to adding a conference championship, has been leading up to providing the league with maximum leverage in this negotiation. The Big Ten Network has certainly been a boon, but the first tier national TV contract is still the Big Ten’s top priority both financially and in terms of brand exposure by a wide margin.

Many of the Big Ten’s financial projections during the conference realignment process were based upon the assumption that ESPN would offer a massive rights fees increase (which in turn would garner similar bids from other media companies, particularly Fox). However, should the Big Ten be worried with the recent turbulence at ESPN? Do the cost-cutting measures at ESPN mean that the network will pull back on what it could offer to the Big Ten?

John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal recently examined the race for the Big Ten rights and noted that the market may not be as “frothy” as it was when the Pac-12 secured a huge rights fee increase in 2011. However, he still expected “ESPN and Fox Sports to at least double the conference’s annual average payout and share the rights” despite the overall market factors (and he would have as great of an insight of what’s likely for sports media rights as anyone in the business).

I completely agree with Ourand on the likelihood of ESPN and Fox splitting the Big Ten rights (as I also predicted in my last post). This would have the effect of ESPN and Fox not having to each completely break their individual banks yet provide the Big Ten with much larger overall rights fees compared to one single contract holder. At the same time, I believe that the Big Ten greatly values the exposure the ESPN provides via its multiple platforms that can’t be matched by any other media company (even with pressures on the basic cable model). I don’t buy the notion that the Big Ten would walk away from ESPN completely – Jim Delany has set up this league to be like the NFL with multiple high profile media partners viewing it as an essential product. (See this article from Ed Sherman from this past March pointing out the presence of ESPN, Fox-affiliated BTN and CBS all at the Big Ten Tournament.)

At the same time, Big Ten fans shouldn’t pay attention to the arm chair observers (i.e. partisans from other leagues that would love to see the Big Ten fail to meet its expectations) that simply assume that ESPN cutting costs in its operations will mean that it will cut its spending on rights fees (and thereby the Big Ten). Ultimately, content is king, and ESPN in particular needs live sports content whether we live in a basic cable world or cord-cutting a la carte/over-the-top streaming world. If anything, retaining premium live sports programming becomes even more critical to ESPN as more people drop basic cable. It’s not going to sell over-the-top subscriptions like HBO Now with more Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith shows. The only way ESPN is going to get people to shell out $20 (or $30 or $40 or $50 or more per month) if it has to move to that environment is to have the broadest suite of exclusive live sporting events that large audiences want to watch as possible. That includes the Big Ten.

The adjustments that ESPN’s corporate siblings at Disney in Hollywood have already made years ago provide a template for sports programming expenditures in the future. Movie studios have already had their revenue and profits eroded by the Internet much more quickly than the television industry. Box office revenue is only being buoyed by ticket price increases (masking a general decline in attendance) while increases in digital streaming and downloads have not been enough to offset the decline in sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs . It’s harder than ever to make money in the movie industry today.

However, that doesn’t mean that Disney has slashed all of its movie budgets. Quite to the contrary, Disney will greenlight massive production and marketing budgets for its tentpole franchises and brands, such as Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, that dwarf the figures that have been used in the past even on an inflation-adjusted basis. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is estimated to have a production budget of $200 million and films of that size typically have marketing costs that come close to matching that number dollar-for-dollar on top of that. The Avengers: Age of Ultron had a combined production and marketing budget of over $340 million. When it comes to premium content, Disney isn’t skimping because those tentpole movies have downstream impact on the company’s business, such as merchandising and theme park tie-ins. (This classic Spaceballs clip is now literally the business strategy for all of Hollywood.)

Disney will also greenlight lower budget movies, such as documentaries out of its Disneynature unit. Other Hollywood studios have figured out that really cheap horror films provide the best returns on investment in the business, which is why consumers now get a steady diet of new horror movie releases throughout the entire year.

What Disney did completely cut, though, was its middle budget film division. Disney sold off Miramax in 2010 (less than a year after Disney purchased Marvel), which was the Oscar nominee producing machine of films such as Pulp Fiction. The prestige film business might provide nice publicity during awards season, but it doesn’t generate the top-to-bottom movie/merchandising bonanza of tentpole films like Star Wars or the pure ROI of low-budget movies. As a result, Disney has gotten out of the mid-budget film market entirely.

This “high/low” budget strategy while cutting out the middle is almost certainly what ESPN has in mind. Indeed, one the highest profile casualties of ESPN’s recent cost-cutting was the elimination of Grantland. In my opinion, Grantland had produced the best content on any ESPN platform over the past few years (particularly Zach Lowe on the NBA and Bill Barnwell on the NFL) with its mix of sports and pop culture analysis targeted to educated readers. The issue from ESPN’s perspective was that employing the talent to produce such high-level analysis was relatively expensive, yet its mothership website has been getting its most hits for fantasy football lineup recommendations. What is ESPN going to spend its resources on in the future: more top flight reporting on Outside the Lines that is getting marginal ratings, or more lowest common denominator hot take shows where the same broadcast can take up a couple of hours on ESPN2, get syndicated on ESPN radio affiliates across the country and be uploaded to the ESPN website as a podcast? It doesn’t take long to figure that one out.

Believe me – I don’t personally like these trends. Even though I’m a massive Star Wars fan and I’ve got my tickets with the exact seats reserved for opening weekend (along with buying the spectacular Chewbacca Illini T-shirt shown above that might as well have been custom-made for me), I’m also a large watcher of prestige films (and I have zero interest in cheap horror flicks). Grantland was one of my favorite websites and I can’t stand vapid talking head shows (whether news-based or sports-based). We need more resources dedicated to hard news and smart analysis. Unfortunately, the Internet’s business model doesn’t really reward that type of content compared to slideshow click-bait. As a result, prestige content producers may need to go toward an NPR-type funding model.

Putting my personal feelings aside, the high/low budget strategy still works very well for the Big Ten. As far as sports properties go, it’s definitely the equivalent of a tentpole movie franchise and, timing-wise, it’s the only tentpole of any kind available on the TV rights market until the next decade. That’s not hyperbole. Outside of the NFL (which is the undisputed king of TV sports), college football has consistently delivered the best week-in and week-out ratings out of any sport for U.S. viewers and the Big Ten has been at the top of those ratings next to the SEC for many years. This is not a property that ESPN can afford to lose (whether on the mothership cable channel or ABC, whose Saturday programming is heavily reliant on the Big Ten), and this is also not a property that Fox can afford to miss out on. Top tier sports brands like the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, SEC and Big Ten aren’t going to be the ones that are worried about cord cutting because they are all proven drivers of viewership on multiple platforms. Inexpensive sports rights with lower production costs and high ROI (think West Coast Conference basketball with Gonzaga games) will also be in high demand. The sports brands that should be worried are the ones that have relatively high production costs but lower viewership, such as Group of Five conference college football and non-major tennis and golf events.

At the end of the day, ESPN (and likely Fox with them) will end up paying top dollar for the Big Ten just as its Disney corporate siblings continue to pay top dollar for Star Wars films. Going forward, ESPN is in a position where it needs to keep its premium sports rights because that is the only way that it can maximize its value regardless of whether the world stays with basic cable (where such rights are needed to keep the basic cable subscriber fees high) or moves to an over-the-top environment (where such rights are needed to draw in direct paying subscribers). ESPN still paid a premium for more European soccer rights in the past month (as Ourand pointed out) and was still willing to sign up for massive deals with NBA and Major League Baseball when they were fully aware of the erosion of their basic cable subscriber numbers. The Big Ten has tentpole sports content and that will always be in demand.

Comments
  1. gGGGg says:

    Go Bucks and Go Jayhawks!

    Like

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Tigers! Geaux Les!

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      I was glad to see LSU came to their senses and kept Miles. I can understand the frustration of LSU not being AL, but there are very few coaches out there that have shown they could top Miles’ performance at LSU (Saban and Meyer, maybe a couple of others are on par with Les) and they aren’t leaving their current jobs to go to LSU. It may be good to get some pressure on Les to upgrade the offense, but the talk of paying almost $20M to fire him made no sense to me.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Saban, Meyer, Harbaugh, Dantonio, Stoops, Gary Patterson.
        Chip Kelly & Art Briles for someone willing to go that route.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Miles has a national title, putting him ahead of Harbaugh, Dantonio, Patterson, Briles and Kelly in CFB accomplishments. You can make arguments for them to be on his level or maybe even potentially better, but only Saban and Meyer have done more.

          Besides, would any of the coaches you listed leave for LSU either?

          Like

          • Richard says:

            All of them are (was, in the case of Harbaugh) at schools that either don’t have the resources or recruiting potential of LSU either.

            A national title isn’t everything.
            Gene Chizik won a national title. Want him?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            As I said, you can make cases for them but they haven’t proven it. That’s a big gamble with an almost $20M buyout and a 76% winning percentage in place.

            National titles are one of the major measures of coaching greatness. Not all great coaches win one, and not every coach that wins one is great, but it’s a common measuring stick. Also, that’s the goal for LSU fans so it seems relevant here.

            Miles is 1-1 in the NCG and 2-1 in the SECCG in 11 seasons at LSU.
            Saban is 4-1 in the NCG/semis and 5-1 in the SECCG in 13 seasons in the SEC.
            Meyer was 2-0 in the NCG and 2-1 in the SECCG in 6 years at UF.

            So the two most accomplished active coaches in CFB played for SEC titles roughly 50% of the years they coached and national titles less than 40% of the time. Miles is at 27% and 18% respectively and he did it while facing one or both of those two for much of his career.

            If it wasn’t for AL, LSU would likely have several more SEC titles under Miles. Only 3 years has a team other than AL or LSU won the SEC W since Miles arrived. The West has won the SECCG 6 times in a row and 7 of 8 times (plus is a heavy favorite this year), too. LSU has the 2nd best SEC W% since Miles was hired. His only real problem is that he has been stuck in the same division as Nick Saban at Alabama.

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      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Brian and Richard – here’s the latest on the Miles saga.

        http://theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/14179166-63/sources-lsu-jimbo-fisher-entered

        Everything I’m hearing is that Jimbo was ready to come to LSU, but his agent Jimmy Sexton was trying to drive up the price to over $7mm.

        BTW, Les is 3-3 against Urban.

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  3. vp19 says:

    Go Terps — go Durkin.

    As a screenwriter specializing in romantic comedies, I know of what Frank speaks.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Seems to be a pattern throughout the economy. The middle is getting squeezed.

      Even with accounting firms. Late 70s there were the Big 8 and about 16 large middle firms.
      Now there are the Big 4 (7 merged into 4 and 1 died) and probably 3 middle firms who are much further behind the Big 4 than they used to be. The middle has gotten squeezed by the giants (Star Wars) and by the nimble small specialists (for example-cheap horror films).

      Like

  4. greg says:

    #4 Hawks!!!

    Like

  5. May the Schwartz be with you

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  6. BePcr07 says:

    Frank – does Gordon Gee from West Virginia visiting Houston as well as Herman signing his more contract have any bearing in your mind for Big 12 expansion in the near future?

    Like

    • @BePcr07 – I haven’t heard anything about Gordon Gee visiting Houston. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Big 12 has put out feelers over the past few months to Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis, but it’s about the same level of feelers as last year (which weren’t acted upon). So, I think it’s an indication that the Big 12 is open-minded regarding expansion, but I wouldn’t call it imminent or that they’re ready to move on it quickly.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Its was on the UH president’s twitter a day or two ago. She’s also had pictures of herself with Ken Star (Baylor) handing him a UH book and Greg Fenves (Texas) in the past month or so. Clearly, she’s letting alums know that she is “working the room.”

        That Gee was on campus doesn’t mean he was visiting for athletic reasons.

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    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Is WVU a lateral or even lesser move for Herman? Is Holgorsens’ buyout much less next year than this year? Trip may have been made by Gee under the guise or “primary” reason being B12 expansion, but also the 2nd purpose of trying to snare Herman.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        WVU is technically a step up from Houston, but not the sort of step that I would see Herman making after just one year.

        If he can string together a few good seasons at Houston, Herman would be angling for jobs like LSU, USC, Nebraska, etc. — not those exact jobs, but jobs of that caliber. There’s no particular reason for him to take a detour to WV, which is not likely to be a terminal job for someone of his ambitions.

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  7. Richard says:

    Posted this in the previous thread, but it ties in with the topic here:

    Hm. Ourand says he foresees a huge rights increase for the B10. Then says it will double.

    I suppose the key is what will double? The average over the life of the contract or the year-to-year jump at the beginning of the contract.

    For example, for the StL Cardinals, their annual average over the life of the contract jumped from $20M to $66M, but the year-to-year jump was from $30M to $50M (and they got a share of Fox Sports Midwest).

    The B10 has grown as well, so is that doubling per school or of the contract?

    The B10 will probably receive close to $150M from the old contract in it’s final year. A doubling of the average (from $100M to $200M) would be extremely disappointing (it would be less than the Pac got, and B10 TV ratings blow that conference’s away). It would also mean almost no year-to-year bump.

    But if it’s a year-to-year doubling and per school, that means $30M/year per school in the first year and an average annual amount of $500M-$600M over 15 years.
    An $8.4B 15 year contract.

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      He explicitly states in the article that he expects “the average annual payout” (the $100 million) to “more than double.”

      Like

      • Richard says:

        OK, but “at least double” (which is what he said) can mean doubling, tripling, or quadrupling (or X5, X6, X7 times more), and each of those mean a very different amount of money.

        As I said, if the annual average merely doubles (and it’s a 15Y instead of 10Y deal, and it’s $200M average annual (but now spread over 14 schools) that’s very disappointing. It would mean vrtually no year-over-year jump (or even a year-over-year decrease) and a lower payout than the Pac/B12/SEC get for tiers 1 and 2. If it’s $420M average annual ($30M per school), that’s a different story. It would put B10 schools’ TV revenues at the upper end of P5 conferences, but not too far away from the SEC. $700M total ($50M per school, which has been bandied around by some people), and B10 TV revenues would blow all other conferences away.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          If it merely doubles, the Big 10 would be in last place for Tier I and Tier II.

          What that demonstrates is how much it has to go up to get far ahead of anyone else.

          I think they will probably just be a little ahead of the pack and not blowing everyone away as many Big 10 fans imply.

          Big 10 average contracts:
          ESPN $100 million
          Fox-ccg $24 million
          CBS-basketball $12 million

          That’s $136 million. That has to increase to $294 million just to equal the Pac 12’s $21 million per year average.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The Big 12’s contracts went from $60 million to $110 million on Tier I (effectively,after it all got re-worked between Fox and ESPN-now they split Tier I & II while previously ESPN had Tier I and Fox Tier II) and from $20 million to $90 million on Tier II.

            The big increase was Tier II. What seems to be happening is the “junk” in college football is generating much more money than it did before. The increases are coming in Tier II and Tier III.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Richard,

      We have to remember that the B10 expanded during these contracts. The $100M number is not applicable anymore, it’s the amount per school per year. By the most common reading, that is what Ourand says will at least double. The B10’s projected numbers support that.

      http://www.jconline.com/story/sports/college/purdue/football/2014/04/25/big-ten-schools-expecting-big-payouts-continue/8187133/

      Back in 2014, the B10 projected the total payout per school to jump from $35.5M in 2016-2017 to $44.5M in 2017-2018 (only for the 12 getting a full payout). That’s an increase of $9M per year per school.

      The Big Ten is anticipating 12 schools will receive roughly $33 million in 2017-18 from television revenue alone — about a $10 million per school increase from 2016-17 projection, the final year of a 10-year, $1 billion deal which started in 2007-08.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/3163/a-comparison-conference-television-deals

      We also need to remember that there are multiple TV deals coming up for bid all at once. The tier 1 TV deal for FB, the CCG deal and the tier 1 MBB deal.

      CFB tier 1 deal = $1B / 10 years / 11 schools = $9.09M per school
      Hoops deal = $72M / 6 years / 12 = $1M
      CCG deal = $145M / 6 years / 12 = $2.01M
      Total = $12.1M

      I’d expect some increase in all the deals, but the MBB and CCG deals were for 6 years so they aren’t as out of date plus we didn’t add any football power. On the other hand, we added major markets and a strong hoops program. Still, the CFB deal is the heart of the TV payout. And doubling it to $18M on average would basically match what the B10 projected.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Brian, your doubling is from the average of the last contract to the first year of the new contact (not the average of the new contract).

        If it’s the average of the new contract that’s doubling the average of the last contract (as Ourand seems to be saying), then there’s almost no year-over-year jump from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018.

        A $10M jump implies an average of $30M-$35M/school/year in the new deal.
        The non-BTN TV revenue is probably already at $15M (or slightly above)/school/year. If that $12.1M figure is doubled, an average of $24.2M would imply roughly $17M/school/year for 2017-2018. That would be a figure that would be at the bottom of the range of the P5 conferences and almost no year-over-year jump.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, it is. But that’s because I think that’s the simplest reading of the numbers. I think people remember the B10 projecting a $9-10M growth in TV revenue going into the new deal, crunch the numbers to show that the current deal gets the B10 $9M average and say they expect it to double. I just don’t expect most people to put more effort into it than that.

          You can crunch the numbers and determine roughly what the total value of the deal would be expected to be to give the $9M step change the B10 projected.

          Assume a 7% annual growth
          Old deal: year 1 = $6.6M -> year 10 = $12.1M and average = $9.09M

          Double the average: year 1 = $13.2M -> year 10 = $24.3M and average = $18.2M
          As you noted, it makes for a small change from the old to new deals. Essentially it’s an extension of the current deal.

          Deal to make a $9M bump for year 1: year 1 = $21.1M -> year 10 = $38.9M and average = $29.2M

          You can tweak the numbers by using a different growth rate obviously. At 5%, the new deal would average about $25.4M for example.

          Like

  8. I’m just happy Tim Beckman’s face isn’t the first thing you see on this page anymore!

    Like

  9. Rick says:

    Go Big Red

    Like

  10. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  11. Duffman says:

    I’m also a large watcher of prestige films (and I have zero interest in cheap horror flicks). Grantland was one of my favorite websites and I can’t stand vapid talking head shows (whether news-based or sports-based). We need more resources dedicated to hard news and smart analysis. Unfortunately, the Internet’s business model doesn’t really reward that type of content compared to slideshow click-bait.

    Best part of your post. needs to be shouted from the rooftops but in this day and age it will not.

    Like

  12. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I noticed on Twitter you are continuing to bang the 8-team playoff in January drum. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Why do you continue to dismiss the 2-semester problem? Every president or commissioner I’ve ever seen quoted or paraphrased has said that’s a huge issue, but you blithely dismiss it every time. Do you have any source to support your stance that the issue is a smokescreen? It doesn’t matter whether anyone else understands or agrees with them, the important thing is whether or not this is a sticking point for the presidents. I’ve always heard it is a line they won’t cross. Eventually I could see enough financial pressure building up that they might cave in, but not anytime soon with the current playoff money being a fresh boost to the bottom line. They seem much more inclined to move quarterfinals earlier than bump the final four later, but that runs into academic calendar issues unless something else gives.

    2. What is so great about emphasizing division races? Nobody nationally should care about 3-loss teams competing for a division title. That should only be of regional interest. Only the best should be eligible for a playoff. Why on earth would TV want to focus on 6-6 UCLA in 2011 or 7-5 WI in 2012? Why should that WI team have made any playoff that claims to be finding the best team in the country? That’s the problem with unqualified autobids.

    You reference the NFL, but that’s a double-edged example. The NFL playoffs demonstrate every negative aspect of a playoff. You tout the objectiveness of all division winners getting in, but it’s countered by ignoring many of the regular season results and declaring a 9 or 10 win team the best team over a 14 to 16 win team. You even have teams with losing records eligible. In addition, a large amount of the interest in the NFL regular season is based on gambling and fantasy sports. Neither is as big in CFB and the presidents want to keep that true.

    I understand the concept of trying to have more teams “alive” later in the year, but is there evidence that’s ever hurt CFB? Do ratings drop as the season progresses or do fans shift to watching the big national games instead of their team? Also, you don’t really fool those fans into thinking their team has a realistic chance. After a third loss almost every fan will admit that their team doesn’t deserve to be #1 and wouldn’t win a playoff. I think you are trading making more games technically matter for reducing how much the big games matter. There are no big games if a loss doesn’t really matter. That’s how 2011 basically killed the BCS. Early OOC games would become mostly meaningless so why watch them no matter what the rankings? That’s the cost of making 6-3 teams still be alive on paper.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Frank’s 8-team proposal is not the one I’d support. I also think that if it ever happens, it’ll take a LOT longer than most playoff proponents believe is possible. You’re talking mid-2020s, at the earliest.

      On the 2-semester problem, however, Frank does have some valid points. Many of the university presidents and conference commissioners who approved the 4-team playoff, are the same people who once said they would never, ever, ever, agree to that.

      In other words, they have a track record of doing something they once said could never be done. . . . a track record of citing a problem as insurmountable, only to “surmount” it later on. I therefore think, that when evaluating what this crowd says, we have to analyze the underlying issues ourselves.

      CFB is already a multi-semester sport. In some years, the championship game will be as late as January 13, a date by which many (most?) schools have already resumed winter classes. Of course, all schools have 15 organized practices in the spring—basically, the same amount of time it takes to prep for a bowl game, without the actual game.

      It must also be noted that the length of the CFB schedule has expanded repeatedly. There was always a purported reason for the prior limits, before they were erased and rewritten. The same is also true in college basketball, already a two-semester sport by any definition. (There has been some whingeing that the CFB season should be cut back, but I’ll believe it when I see it.)

      Since there is no real analysis behind the claim that football needs to be a one-semester sport, I conclude that it really is just a “smokescreen”. It seems to be a convenient way of avoiding a substantive discussion, just like the reasons originally given why a 4-team playoff would be unacceptable. I cannot believe that this issue would stand in the way, if all the other problems were solved—not that they have been.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Frank’s 8-team proposal is not the one I’d support.”

        I’d prefer December quarterfinals if it has to happen, but his plan makes some sense.

        “I also think that if it ever happens, it’ll take a LOT longer than most playoff proponents believe is possible. You’re talking mid-2020s, at the earliest.”

        I also think expansion is a long way off. They need to get used to the current playoff cash before they start feeling the need to get even more.

        “On the 2-semester problem, however, Frank does have some valid points.”

        I don’t disagree with most of his arguments, I just don’t think they’re necessarily relevant. I won’t believe the presidents will cave on mid-December games until I see it due to the sanctity of finals time to them. Likewise, they’ve been adamant about not going deeper into January. With all the academic concerns any more, I believe they truly don’t want football players to have to deal with more January games. As part of that, I think they’re also concerned about the impact on MBB if CFB is still going until late January.

        “Many of the university presidents and conference commissioners who approved the 4-team playoff, are the same people who once said they would never, ever, ever, agree to that.”

        Which might make them more likely to dig in their heels, having already placated the other side with expansion to 4 teams.

        “I therefore think, that when evaluating what this crowd says, we have to analyze the underlying issues ourselves.”

        Which is great, but I’ve rarely/never seen anybody really take the president’s stance on this issue seriously to begin with. There’s no analysis of why they feel the way they do and how strong those feelings are, just dismissal of their stance as stupid or fake.

        “CFB is already a multi-semester sport. In some years, the championship game will be as late as January 13, a date by which many (most?) schools have already resumed winter classes.”

        That Monday is the day many semester-based schools start classes again (quarters schools tend to start 1 week earlier). Any push back from then would interfere with classes.

        “Of course, all schools have 15 organized practices in the spring—basically, the same amount of time it takes to prep for a bowl game, without the actual game.”

        And we all know that isn’t what they’re referring to when they talk about the two-semester issue.

        “It must also be noted that the length of the CFB schedule has expanded repeatedly.”

        But not in a way to interfere with academics. They dropped a bye week for another game. They started before classes were in session. The presidents have declared Labor Day weekend the starting point and drawn a line in the sand in mid-December to protect finals. With all the health risks, I’m not sure anyone wants to start earlier in August. I doubt the presidents will cave on mid-December any time soon either. Likewise, I believe they are serious about protecting the winter term from football.

        “The same is also true in college basketball, already a two-semester sport by any definition.”

        And the presidents hate what the academic numbers are in MBB. They also don’t like the attendance and interest MBB receives before March.

        “I cannot believe that this issue would stand in the way, if all the other problems were solved—not that they have been.”

        I think there is diminishing pressure for each further expansion of the playoff. How much net financial gain is there in adding quarterfinals after subtracting the impact on bowls and CCGs? How tough is it to solve all the other problems? Until a lot of people can agree on a plan that deals with all the issues, I think the status quo wins.

        Like

  13. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/128054/b1g-statement-big-ten-staking-claim-as-best-conference

    ESPN.com has a headline that the B10 is staking a claim as the best conference this year. I note that because first, I usually complain about how negative they are about the B10, and second because I don’t think it’s remotely true.

    Arguments for:
    * B10 teams are #4, 5, 6, 14, 15 (nobody else has more than 3 in the top 15)
    * B10 could be the first conference to get 2 playoff teams in one year (doubtful)

    Arguments against:
    * IL, PU, RU, UMD (4 of the worst P5 teams in the country, all in the bottom half of I-A according to the Massey composite of ranking systems – http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm)
    * Sagarin’s conference rankings (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/sagarin/2015/conference/) show the SECW as by far the best division, then the B12, P12N, P12S, B10E, ACCC, ACCA, SECE and B10W. The #5 and #9 divisions don’t add up to the top conference. Sagarin isn’t the end all, be all but he’s one of the few that explicitly lists the conferences.

    If you only consider the top of the conference you can make a valid case, but then I’d want to know why only the top teams matter.

    Like

    • BoilerTex says:

      Well you can’t have a whole bunch of good teams in a conference without having a bunch of teams with terrible records. I understand your point but I don’t think Purdue and Rutgers beating OSU and MSU this year would necessarily make the conference stronger.

      I think you can argue a conference’s perception is as strong as it’s best teams. B1G got a boost simply by OSU winning last year.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They could have good OOC records and poor conference ones, though. And objective measures all say those are bad teams, not decent teams with bad records. The number of their coaches that got fired backs that up I think.

        Like

        • I’d agree. Leagues that are really elite shine in OOC play, and the B1G really hasn’t this year.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Anyone know what the OOC record of the P5 conferences against other P5 teams are?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            vs P5 + ND:
            SEC 6-5
            P12 5-5
            B10 8-8
            B12 4-4
            ACC 7-13 (6-8 without ND)
            ND 7-2 (2-1 without the ACC)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Should include BYU as well.

            In any case, that’s what I thought.
            The B10 isn’t any worse than the SEC this year.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Now subtract the FCS games…

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Never mind.

            I use to be able to read…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Should include BYU as well.”
            BYU was 1-1 vs B10, 0-1 vs P12, 0-1 vs SEC.

            “In any case, that’s what I thought.
            The B10 isn’t any worse than the SEC this year.”

            I think you’d need to look at the individual games to determine that. Beating Clemson and beating WF are two very different things (see ND’s record vs the ACC and why I pulled it out). That said, most of the matchups between conferences balanced out. The biggest mismatch was the B12 going 2-0 vs the SEC (TN lost to OU in 2OT, TT beat AR).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            True, but the only OOC wins over a top 15 team (not counting the ND games; all of the ND losses would be in OOC play) were Northwestern over Stanford, SCarolina over UNC, Memphis over Ole Miss, Utah over Michigan, and MSU over Oregon. B10 has 2 of the 5. Even if you count the Stanford and Clemson wins over ND, the B10 ties with the Pac for the highest number of impressive OOC wins.

            That’s not a bad record and doesn’t support any assertion that the B10 is weaker than other conferences this year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “That’s not a bad record and doesn’t support any assertion that the B10 is weaker than other conferences this year.”

            I’ll let Matthew defend his assertion if he wants. I didn’t use OOC vs P5 results in deciding that I didn’t think the B10 was the best conference.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Perhaps he got tired of the lifestyle restrictions for players limiting his recruiting. He should be a good fit for a school like UVA plus he’ll have more fertile recruiting grounds.

      Like

  14. Mack says:

    B10 filed an amendment to require CCGs to be between division winners, but does not require the divisions to have 6+ teams. Did not see reference to round-robin requirement either. So more restrictive than the current ACC/B12 proposal, but it will still allow B12 to hold CCG without expanding. Under the more restrictive B10 proposal they would just need to name the 5 team divisions before the start of the season.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      A division without a round-robin is not a very meaningful construct.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Neither is a CCG in a small enough conference that full RR can occur and still allow for several OOC games.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          The meaning of the construct in the Big12’s case is adding an additional quality win to the school that is named the conference champion, to increase their clout in taking a CFP spot … which is exactly why they would like it to be top-2 playoff rather than division winners playoff.

          IIUC, from the gaps in the reporting I’ve seen about what is NOT mentioned in the Big Ten proposal, it would seem to allow the Big12 to do the least useful of possible CCG’s if they stay at ten. But if a full division-round-robin is not required to select division champions (it is not strictly required at present, for conferences that do not have balanced divisions, but a waiver is required each year), would permit a 14-team conference playing six in-division games and three cross-division games to expand to 16-teams while continuing to play six in-division games and three cross-division games. And requiring the CCG to be division winners without a lot of additional regulation on divisional structure would seem to allow a 14-team conference that plays eight conference games to expand by one into three five-team divisions, playing four games in-division and four games cross-division, with a “best of division winners” CCG.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            You know, this is a proposal that gives the B10 what it wants as well. Maybe not so much right now, but it would make expanding to 16/18/20 a lot more logistically feasible.
            No B10 school really has more than 3 rivalry games that they need to protect, and this way would allow each school to play 3 rivals annually and yet still play all the other schools at least half the time (so both home and away over a player’s 4-year career) even with 16 teams (and a 9 game conference slate).

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            You know, this is a proposal that gives the B10 what it wants as well. Maybe not so much right now, but it would make expanding to 16/18/20 a lot more logistically feasible.

            Yes and no. If the B10 is thinking about a 16- or 20-team future, what it should want is maximum flexibility to structure that game as it sees fit, with minimal interference from bureaucrats outside the league. It should therefore prefer the B12/ACC proposal.

            However, all of that is moot unless the B10 actually gets to 16-20 teams, which it cannot do unless the B12 or the ACC fails. Therefore, it should want to throw as much sand in their gears as possible, which this proposal is evidently intended to do.

            The article states that the proposal has the votes to pass as it stands, as long as the B10 is the only league voting no. Of course, we don’t know for sure how the B10 would vote, if it came down to the B12/ACC proposal or no reform at all.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            But if there is a part of maximum flexibility that they are not interested in, while taking it away also throws sand in the gears, it would be understandable to offer a proposal to ONLY take away the flexibility you don’t have an interest in using. If there is adamant opposition inside the Big Ten to sending anybody but a division champion to the CCG, so that the Big Ten is already constrained to doing that for internal reasons, then retaining that constraint in the NCAA rule might not be an ADDITIONAL constraint on the Big Ten.

            A “Big Ten Wet Dream” 18 realignment might be UTexas, UVA, UNC and Duke/GTech. So Big Ten West, UTexas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern; Big Ten Central, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, MSU, TSUN, OSU; Big Ten East, PSU, UMD, Rutgers, UVA, UNC, Duke/GTech. 5 conference games, two each from two other divisions, 9 conference games, top two division champions play in CCG.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        It really depends on the size of the division. For a 20 team conference, that’s 10-team divisions. No conference is likely to completely drop crossover games and a 10-game conference schedule is also highly unlikely. Playing 7 of 9 in division is certainly more meaningful than playing 9 of 19 overall. I’d say 16 is about the limit for a round robin in division.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          For 16, 18 and 20, it allows two divisions, seven games in-division. For 18, it also allows three divisions, full round robin in division, best two of three play in CCG. It supports all of the pod people nonsense that various conference realignment addicts were hanging their hopes for another fix of conference realignment excitement on for a while, which are effectively divisional scheduling with rotating divisions … and which would allow two divisions of ten each annually playing no cross-division games because the divisions get shuffled every year.

          The only system I can see that it does not support is a non-divisional schedule with a different set of locked opponents for each school and the top two schools play in the CCG. So if they known that there are hard political barriers against doing that there is nothing lost by the Big Ten in the medium or long term in “deregulation of divisions, deregulation of choice of division winners, CCG’s are only for division winners”.

          Like

          • Sportsman says:

            At 16, there could be four Divisions of 4 schools…
            Each school plays the 3 in their Division & 2 each from the other 3 Divisions.
            Then, they’d play a Conference Semi-Final & Title Game.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            At 16, there could be four Divisions of 4 schools…
            Each school plays the 3 in their Division & 2 each from the other 3 Divisions.
            Then, they’d play a Conference Semi-Final & Title Game.

            The proposal as it stands does not permit both a conference semi-final and a conference title game, unless the semi-final occurred as the last game of the conventional 12-game regular season—something no rational league would do.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Mack,

      http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/25401391/big-ten-trying-to-stop-acc-big-12-move-to-alter-conference-title-games

      Here’s a link about it.

      Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBS Sports he believes there is enough support among the 10 FBS conferences for his league’s version of the legislation to pass.

      However, “two divisions isn’t the end of the world,” he said.

      The legislation will be considered in January at the NCAA Convention.

      “Consistency, that’s what you have everywhere else,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in explaining the Big Ten amendment. “We’re trying to make sure there is consistency with what the college football committee will look at. That’s my view.

      “I’m in that room with those guys [CFP Selection Committee] this weekend. I would want what’s in basketball. I remember being on the basketball committee and figuring out divisions and no-plays. It’s an absolute nightmare.”

      Smith was referring to his time on the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee that selects and seeds teams annually in the NCAA Tournament.

      “There’s really no magical reason we did it, just looking for more structure,” a Big Ten spokesman said. “Full deregulation would lead to unintended consequences.”

      The spokesman was not specific about those consequences.

      The Big Ten’s rationale taken from the NCAA’s legislative database not accessible to the public: “In order for the additional game to be exempted as a conference championship, the match-up must be reflective of the participating teams’ success within the conference, which is provided through the divisional-format provision.”

      Bowlsby believes that at least four of the five Power Five conferences support the Big 12-ACC version. That would total eight votes. If that’s the case, the rest of the FBS conferences could only muster seven votes.

      SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said the SEC could be willing to allow the Big 12 to stage a conference championship game with 10 teams and no divisions while playing a full round-robin schedule.

      “There’s a willingness to listen but not an interest to just say, ‘Yes, let’s change the model,’ Sankey told CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon. “I think the rules and regulations we have now are appropriate for 12-team and 14-team conferences. I think divisional play is healthy. But in circumstances where there are 10 [teams], I’m open to conversations about the Big 12 with 10 if they play a full round robin and have a championship game in addition.”

      Sankey said he often hears questions from the public, and even fellow commissioners, about why the Power Five conferences can’t get on the same page regarding scheduling and conference championship games.

      “I don’t necessarily feel the need to dictate every scheduling parameter for other conferences in part because when I look at the rigor of a Southeastern Conference schedule, that’s real,” Sankey said. “We play eight [conference] games. That’s an appropriate model for us. If others want to play a different number of games, they’re certainly free to do that. But I think that’s part of the regulatory process that doesn’t need to go further.”

      Like

        • Brian says:

          “I agree a conference should not have to expand in order to have a championship game,” Delany told ESPN.com. “That wouldn’t be right. That’s tail wagging dog. On the other hand, I want to have some familiarity — some knowledge as to how these things are going to play out. I don’t want unintended consequences. I don’t want to wake up one morning and see some odd structure that’s unfamiliar.

          “We don’t think he should have to expand to have the same option we have,” Delany said, “but we feel he should have a structure similar to ours.”

          “We don’t want to play two five-team divisions then have the potential of everyone else has the two best teams in one division,” Bowlsby said. “We don’t think we ought to be forced into that sort of thing.”

          Delany is looking for more specific answers from Bowlsby and ACC commissioner John Swofford, who together submitted the original proposal to loosen the NCAA’s restrictions on how conferences hold title games. Delany wants to know exactly how the Big 12 and ACC would determine their respective champions if given complete liberty.

          Swofford reiterated his support for the proposal and for conferences to have power to determine their champions in the way they choose but expressed contentment with the ACC’s current situation.

          Said Delany: “They’re the sponsors, so they should have the ability to articulate what they plan to do. We already have enough differences.”

          Bowlsby is still under the impression, though, that his conference could be at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have one. Michigan State jumped Oklahoma for the No. 3 spot in the final ranking on Sunday in large part because of its win over Iowa in the Big Ten title game.

          “It was really a function of what Michigan State did in their 13th game,” committee chair and Jeff Long said. “They beat last week’s No. 4 team in the nation, and that was significant. No question that had an impact on the committee. I think that win over that highly ranked team, added to the rest of their body of work, caused Michigan State to be ranked ahead of Oklahoma.”

          Delany said he has spoken with Bowlsby about deregulation in person, written him a note about it and discussed it on a teleconference with the other commissioners. Delany said the Big 12 should be different than the ACC because it is a smaller league and plays a round robin format, and he doesn’t think there would be sympathy for the ACC to simply select its two best teams to play in a title game because there’s not a round robin format to determine the ACC’s top two teams.

          Delany said the Big Ten’s amendment was less of a blatant rejection of the proposal than it was the “straw man” in getting the discussion going.

          “I’m sympathetic to what Bob wants to achieve, but we wanted to start the conversation and not just have one vote for total deregulation,” he said.

          I think this is a wise step. The goal should to de-regulate within reason, not just endorse anarchy. Perhaps the final solution is as simple as each specific proposed CCG format must be approved individually by a committee vote. That way if someone comes up with something crazy in an attempt to game the system they can be stopped. It sounds like Delany has no interest in stopping the B12 from selecting their top 2 to play but has concerns with the ACC or SEC doing that.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            He can spin how he likes, but bottom line is introducing limitations and requirements (to keep it as close to the other conference’s CCG qualifications as possible). Henry Ford once said customers could have model T in what ever color they wanted – as long as they wanted black.

            Bowlsby: “We don’t think we ought to be forced into adding schools in order to have a championship game, but it could end up that way.”

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “He can spin how he likes, but bottom line is introducing limitations and requirements (to keep it as close to the other conference’s CCG qualifications as possible).”

            Now who’s spinning? The bottom line is keeping some limitations and requirements, not introducing them.

            “Henry Ford once said customers could have model T in what ever color they wanted – as long as they wanted black.”

            And that went so poorly for him.

            “Bowlsby: “We don’t think we ought to be forced into adding schools in order to have a championship game, but it could end up that way.””

            Except Delany explicitly said that wasn’t their intent as I quoted above.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            1: Offering the amendment to the proposed deregulation isn’t introducing regulation to what was proposed?

            2: Ford sold a lot of black cars, right up to when he decided to do other colors. Customers didn’t get to dictate.

            3: Who cares what Delany says about the amendments intent. What matters is its effect.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “1: Offering the amendment to the proposed deregulation isn’t introducing regulation to what was proposed?”

            No, it’s reducing the amount of regulation to be eliminated. The regulation already exists, the question is how much to remove.

            “2: Ford sold a lot of black cars, right up to when he decided to do other colors. Customers didn’t get to dictate.”

            And? All he did was delay the growth of the after-market car painting industry by doing it in house. People were always free to repaint their cars any color they liked and some did.

            “3: Who cares what Delany says about the amendments intent. What matters is its effect.”

            The amendment contains no language requiring expansion by the B12. It would allow a 10-team B12 to have a CCG. Therefore Bowlsby’s comment is irrelevant. What they’d have to do is form divisions, not add anyone.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And Bowlsby’s take is that they might need to, not as a requirement but as an effect. Why? I’m not sure, but that’s what he said. Perhaps… I got nothing.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            That’s my problem with his statement. He didn’t articulate any reason why they would feel forced to expand any more than they do now. They’d get the CCG money and resume boost they want. What new pressure would divisions create in a league that plays a full round robin that forces expansion? Is splitting the 10 teams really that difficult if you keep the round robin?

            Like

  15. ccrider55 says:

    Why the f**k are the B1G, ACC, PAC (and MWC) championship games all at the same time?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Unimaginative TV schedulers. Primetime has the most viewers and nobody wants to go head-to-head with the SEC in the afternoon.

      However, OSU-UMich draws huge ratings even with a noon kickoff, so ESPN definitely could have moved the ACC CCG to noon, but they didn’t because they’re stupid.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        This is the problem with tv trying to nationalize every game. College FB, both teams and conferences, are primarily regional with a national interest to a lesser extent.

        Perhaps you have it backwards and they don’t want to expose that the SEC, and their investment in it, might not be the national draw (especially this year) if competing for other regions eyeballs at the same time?

        Like

        • Absolutely no one wants to go up against the SEC Championship Game head-to-head, especially when it’s the late afternoon. When Fox is paying over $23 million per year to the Big Ten, they basically dictate what would be the best for exposure.

          The ACC used to have a 12 pm ET start for its championship game, but it generally got slaughtered in the ratings compared to the prime time games despite less competition. Ever since the new ACC-ESPN deal has been in place, the ACC title game has been in prime time (likely a mutually agreeable situation).

          Like

          • IIRC the Pac-12 experimented with Friday night for more or less this reason, and then when basically no one showed up, they abandoned it. I think it was UCLA-Stanford, though I could be wrong.

            Like

          • @Matthew Smith – The Pac-12 CCG time slot is entirely dictated by TV. When ESPN/ABC has the game, then it’s on Saturday. When Fox has the game, then it’s on Friday night since the Big Ten CCG has Saturday locked down on that network. It was on Friday night last year because it was a Fox season.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frank: that’s what I thought too. However, it’s on Saturday in ’16 and ’17 on their projected schedule. Perhaps Fox didn’t like Friday?

            Like

    • Brian says:

      ccrider55,

      “Why the f**k are the B1G, ACC, PAC (and MWC) championship games all at the same time?”

      Because the games are on Fox, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 respectively. What can they put on in prime time that would top a CCG? Besides, they count on several of the games being duds and the viewers switching to the best game available. In addition, the ESPN family may have certain other contractual obligations that require the CCGs to all be later.

      Like

  16. ccrider55 says:

    A little insight into how different BYU operates compared to most other schools. If Miles or Sabin or whoever applied, they wouldn’t be acceptable unless they were LDS in good standing.

    http://www.sltrib.com/home/3267192-155/byu-football-shallow-pool-of-candidates

    Perhaps Mendenhall saw no P5 membership likely?

    Andy Reid seems unlikely, although the church did suggest the dean of Harvard business school leave to become president of BYUIdaho (formerly Ricks).

    Like

  17. metatron says:

    I’ve been saying ESPN and FOX will split the rights for years. Jim Delany, where’s my media consultant job?

    In any case, ESPN is more desperate than ever to keep the Big Ten rights and they’ll pay handsomely to have that programming. They could work out a deal so ESPN or at least Gameday has first choice on games. Either way, I figure the Big Ten to make out like bandits.

    Like

  18. Jake12801 says:

    Yo Frank……..

    Do you believe the chances are that BigTen will add any schools during TV contract negotiations?

    If so, which schools do you believe are most likely to be added?

    Thanks

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Zilch. There is nothing suitable left in the East, and only Kansas and Missouri are siitable in the West. The B1G might stay at 14 for a generation.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Unless the ACC or B12 break up.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes, so the Big Ten might stay at 14 for a generation, it might expand in a decade with Oklahoma bolting the Big12 and Texas deciding it wants to get into a bigger money conference presenting the shiny bauble for academic snobs to swing Oklahoma in. (Or, less happily, in a decade’s time, one or more of the presently snobbier schools has bad enough budget crises in its state that its no longer in a position to be a snob to Oklahoma.)

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      If not “zilch,” then pretty close to it. Outside of the SEC (and nobody is leaving the SEC), all of the desirable schools are locked up in grants of rights with many years left to run. I can’t see the money making sense, when a school would be leaving so much on the table.

      The next realistic window for expansion will be in the early 2020s, when the GORs start to approach expiration. Not that anything will happen then, but nothing’s likely to happen any earlier.

      Like

  19. Redwood86 says:

    Who will Stanford play in the Rose Bowl????

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I think OSU.

      I hope OSU because I’d like to see the Cardinal stomped.

      Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Iowa, they outrank tOSU in the B1G, and had a better season overall.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’d say the two have very similar resumes. Both lost to MSU. OSU beat MI and IA beat NW. OSU would’ve won the East if MI punted successfully against MSU. They’ll probably be ranked next to each other. I personally think OSU is a better team, but on paper they are about the same.

        If I were the Rose Bowl, I’d take Iowa. They haven’t been there in a long time while OSU was there pretty recently. I think IA fans will be more excited to go. OSU fans are disappointed in 11-1 while IA fans are thrilled with 12-1.

        Like

  20. Duffman says:

    0 & 1 loss teams after 14 weeks and who picked up 2nd loss

    ———————— P5 schools + Notre Dame ————————
    ACC 07.14% / 14 teams / 1 team remains
    (1) | 13 – 0, 8-0, and 1-0 Clemson beat North Carolina (picked up 2nd loss)

    B12 10.00% / 10 teams / 1 team remains / NO CCG
    (1) | 11 – 1 Oklahoma

    B1G 07.14% / 14 teams / 1 team remains
    (1) | 12 – 1, 7-1, and 1-0 Michigan State beat Iowa
    (2) Iowa @ 12-1 and Ohio State @ 11-1

    PAC 00.00% / 12 teams / 0 teams remain / eliminated in week 11

    SEC 07.14% / 14 teams / 1 team remains / CCG
    (1) | 12 – 1 Alabama beat Florida

    IND 00.00% / 3 teams / 0 teams remain / eliminated in week 13

    ———————— non P5 schools ————————

    AAC 00.00% / 12 teams / 0 remain / CCG
    (1) | 12 – 1 Houston || probably eliminated in week 12

    MAC 0.00% / 13 teams / 0 remain / eliminated in week 13

    CUSA 0.00% / 13 teams / 0 remain / eliminated in week 10

    SUN 0.00% / 11 teams / 0 remain / eliminated in week 10

    MWC 0.00% / 12 teams / 0 remain / eliminated in week 7
    .

    .
    4 playoff spots locked down, all is according to plan?

    ACC / Clemson (Big State School)
    B1G / Michigan State (Big State School)
    SEC / Alabama (Brand Name)
    B12 / Oklahoma (Brand Name)

    Like

  21. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Wow! Sparty, that was a drive for the ages!

    Like

  22. Brian says:

    Quick prediction:

    1. Clemson
    2. AL
    3. OU
    4. MSU

    Orange = Clemson vs MSU
    Cotton = AL vs OU

    Rose = Stanford vs Iowa
    Sugar = OkSU vs MS
    Fiesta = UH vs OSU
    Peach = FSU vs ND

    Like

    • Redwood86 says:

      Wrong on the playoff. I like your logic on Rose Bowl, but tOSU has not been there that recently and that would be a marquee matchup. I agree with Richard that tOSU might stomp Stanford, just as I am confident that Stanford would stomp Iowa. So, I prefer Stanford v. tOSU. And that is the matchup that will prompt Stanford fans to drive down for the game. As for Fiesta, all the “experts” are calling ND to Fiesta Bowl.

      BTW, I question FSU being ranked ahead of UNC. I wonder if the committee will do that too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bob sykes says:

        It will Iowa. The B1G is like the GOPe. It’s Iowa’s turn. Besides, Iowa is higher than OSU in the B1G standings.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Well, it’s up to the Rose Bowl and not the B10. They’ve said they would normally take the highest ranked team in the CFP rankings but can pick someone else if special circumstances apply (like WI going 3 years in a row). The question is whether IA or OSU will be ranked higher.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        “I like your logic on Rose Bowl, but tOSU has not been there that recently”

        2010. Iowa was last there in 1992.

        “and that would be a marquee matchup.”

        There is no such thing as a marquee matchup involving Stanford.

        “As for Fiesta, all the “experts” are calling ND to Fiesta Bowl.”

        Good for them. I’m not convinced the committee thinks the same way the experts do.

        “BTW, I question FSU being ranked ahead of UNC. I wonder if the committee will do that too.”

        FSU was ahead last week and UNC lost yesterday. Why would they move UNC up?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Experts were right.

          Anyway, Stanford is a pretty big name in college football now. Like TCU or Baylor or even Oregon, they may not have been decades ago, but they are now.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Experts were right.”

            They often are. I considered that the committee might factor in distance (UH is much closer to Phoenix than ND/OSU) more than ranking (7. OSU, 8. ND, 9. FSU). I realize UH is closer to Atlanta than Phoenix, but ND and OSU are both closer to Atlanta than UH is.

            “Anyway, Stanford is a pretty big name in college football now. Like TCU or Baylor or even Oregon, they may not have been decades ago, but they are now.”

            To CFB fans, maybe, but not to casual fans. The big bowls are all about getting the casual fans to watch. Stanford doesn’t have anywhere near the drawing power of the marquee brands.

            Like

          • One thing to consider is that there was a not-so-hidden quid pro quo that the Fiesta Bowl wouldn’t get “stuck” with the G5 participant for a second year in a row. Everyone should expect the Cotton Bowl to get the G5 team next year no matter who it might be.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            A traditional B10-Pac Rose Bowl will draw in casual fans regardless of which teams from those conferences play in it.

            Also, TV viewership numbers these days are driven much more by rankings than “name” programs.

            BTW, AZ has a ton of Midwestern retirees.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “A traditional B10-Pac Rose Bowl will draw in casual fans regardless of which teams from those conferences play in it.”

            The evidence doesn’t really support that.
            2009 – #7 OR vs #8 OSU – 13.2 rating
            2011 – #6 OR vs #9 WI – 10.2 rating (up to 11.3 to adjust for switch from Fox to ESPN)
            2014 – #4 MSU vs #5 Stanford – 10.2 rating (also up to 11.3)

            “Also, TV viewership numbers these days are driven much more by rankings than “name” programs.”

            Evidence?

            “BTW, AZ has a ton of Midwestern retirees.”

            I’m well aware of that.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            TCU-Baylor (even though Baylor already had one loss and TCU 2 losses by that game) got more viewers than both OU-Texas and OU-OKSt. even though the RRR is a rivalry game that features 2 big names, Bedlam is a rivalry game with a big brand and playoff consequences and OU has been good this year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “TCU-Baylor (even though Baylor already had one loss and TCU 2 losses by that game) got more viewers than both OU-Texas and OU-OKSt. even though the RRR is a rivalry game that features 2 big names, Bedlam is a rivalry game with a big brand and playoff consequences and OU has been good this year.”

            Numbers:
            BU/TCU – 3.1 rating, 5.11M viewers, Friday 11/27, 8pm, ESPN, no major CFB competition
            Bedlam – 2.8/4,79M, Saturday 11/28, 8pm, ABC, versus ND/Stanford & FSU/UF & MS/MsSU
            RRR – 3.3/4.99M, Sat. 10/10, noon, ABC, no major CFB competition

            Bedlam was on at the same time as several other major games, reducing their rating and viewer numbers. Perhaps the 12.5M viewers (6.7 rating points) watching those other games might have been more likely to watch Bedlam if it was the only game on.

            The RRR was on at noon which always reduced viewer numbers. In addition, UT was terrible coming in at 1-4 and just having been blown out by TCU 50-7.

            You expect those 2 games under those conditions to exceed BU-TCU?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BU-TCU was on a Friday night, which traditionally is a bad night for TV viewing.

            In any case, you’re taking the side that brand trumps rankings, and regardless of how terrible Texas is, they still have the brand. But they drew fewer viewers even against another power program in a traditional rivalry.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “BU-TCU was on a Friday night, which traditionally is a bad night for TV viewing.”

            It was Black Friday which is just a bit different from a typical Friday.

            “In any case, you’re taking the side that brand trumps rankings, and regardless of how terrible Texas is, they still have the brand. But they drew fewer viewers even against another power program in a traditional rivalry.”

            At noon. In a game nobody expected to be close. And the RRR drew a higher rating.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The RRR was on ABC while Baylor-TCU was on cable, which should give the RRR a significant advantage.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Baylor-OKSt. also drew roughly as well as UF-FSU and USC-UCLA even though the last 2 games are big rivalry games featuring king programs and both UF and FSU were ranked as well.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Baylor-TCU also outdrew OU-Tennessee while Baylor-OKSt. drew roughly as well. Yet I hope you’ll acknowledge that OU and Tennessee are bigger traditional brands than Baylor, TCU, or OK St.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Finally, those Baylor-TCU and Baylor-OKSt. games (and TCU-OKSt. as well) far outdrew the UMich-PSU and UNL-Miami games last year. UMich-PSU was far higher this year because Michigan was good and they hired Harbaugh.

            Which means that rankings (and personalities, to an extent) matter more than brands when it comes to ratings.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Which is why the SEC ratings have been so good the last few years.

            They have had brands AND rankings.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Texas/OU was the top rated game of that weekend. That shows the power of brand. Texas was 1-4, had just been blown out and had been looking mostly unwatchable on offense. Still carried the weekend.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, if you have one king program who’s good (like OU this year) in a game, that game will draw boffo ratings.
            For instance, OSU-Rutgers got more viewers than the RRR. Does that show how great a brand RU has (since they got great ratings despite a down year)?

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Oh well. They chose to bump MSU past OU. AL is a 9 point favorite over MSU while OU is favored by 2.5 to beat Clemson.

      1. Clemson
      2. AL
      3. MSU
      4. OU

      Semis:
      12/31 Orange = Clemson vs OU
      12/31 Cotton = AL vs MSU

      Predictions:

      12/31 @ 12:
      Peach = FSU vs ND

      1/1 @ 1, 5 & 8:30 respectively
      Fiesta = UH vs OSU
      Rose = Stanford vs IA
      Sugar = OkSU vs MS

      Notes:
      1. Stanford is locked
      2. MS and OkSU are essentially locked (replacements for missing champs)
      3. ND and OSU are interchangeable for location
      4. IA and OSU might be swapped, in which case IA would go to the Fiesta and ND to the Peach

      Like

      • Brian says:

        CFP rankings:

        1. Clemson
        2. AL
        3. MSU
        4. OU
        5. IA
        6. Stanford
        7. OSU
        8. ND
        9. FSU
        10. UNC

        That should get IA the Rose Bowl and FSU a NY6 game.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Semis:
        12/31 Orange = Clemson vs OU
        12/31 Cotton = AL vs MSU

        12/31 @ 12:
        Peach = FSU vs UH (this game should get about 17 viewers due to date, time and teams)

        1/1 @ 1, 5 & 8:30 respectively
        Fiesta = ND vs OSU
        Rose = Stanford vs IA
        Sugar = OkSU vs MS

        This is an ugly set of games at first blush. There isn’t a single one I’m looking forward to watching.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Then you’re strange.
          The playoff games will be watched.
          ND and OSU are only 2 of the most tradition-laden and successful power programs in college football.
          Stanford vs. Iowa features 2 top ten teams and a traditional B10 vs. Pac matchup as well as a cinderella story in Iowa. It will draw tons of viewers.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Honestly, I’m more interested in the Rose and Fiesta than any of the other bowls including the preliminary games of the invitational…err, playoff. That said, Go Sparty!

            Like

          • bob sykes says:

            Agreed, Brian is strange. We’re getting some of the best big name matchups in decades, especially downcard, like Michigan/Florida.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Then you’re strange.”

            Nothing new there.

            “The playoff games will be watched.”

            I didn’t say they wouldn’t be. I said I’m not excited about them and that the Peach won’t get many viewers. People will watch the games out of sheer habit if nothing else. And maybe some of them will turn out to be good games.

            I’ll be working on 12/31, so I’ll definitely miss the Peach and Orange. As I hate the playoff, hate seeing major bowls moved to 12/31, hate watching AL win and also hate seeing B10 teams lose to the SEC in bowls, I have zero motivation to watch the Cotton. Besides, I don’t have cable so I don’t have to worry about watching any of these bowls.

            “ND and OSU are only 2 of the most tradition-laden and successful power programs in college football.”

            Really? I’ve never heard of them. I never like to watch ND and there is no rivalry between them and OSU.

            “Stanford vs. Iowa features 2 top ten teams and a traditional B10 vs. Pac matchup as well as a cinderella story in Iowa. It will draw tons of viewers.”

            It’ll draw decent numbers but nothing special unless the game turns out to be better than expected. It could easily be a snoozefest like the first 3 quarters of the B10 CCG.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The B10 CCG was the most watched program in primetime.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bob sykes,

            “We’re getting some of the best big name matchups in decades, especially downcard, like Michigan/Florida.”

            We were only discussing the NY6 games.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “The B10 CCG was the most watched program in primetime.”

            So? That doesn’t mean it wasn’t boring football. A CFP slot was on the line no matter who won and it was a close game.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian, my opinion is that only people who don’t understand/appreciate football would have found MSU/Iowa boring. That was one of the most drama-filled finishes to a football game this year.

            And my point is, what you consider a snoozefest, people will watch.
            In short, you are strange and out of sync with the rest of the world (as per usual).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            “Brian, my opinion is that only people who don’t understand/appreciate football would have found MSU/Iowa boring. That was one of the most drama-filled finishes to a football game this year.”

            Note that I specified the first 3 quarters of the CCG, which ended at 9-6. IA had less than 200 total yards at that point and MSU less than 250. There had been 7 punts, 3 TOs and 2 missed FG to go with the 3 made FG. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call it boring and many comments in social media and even in articles agree.

            “And my point is, what you consider a snoozefest, people will watch.”

            Some will, some won’t. The WI/TCU Rose Bowl didn’t do very well by Rose Bowl standards. It was #3 vs #4 and expected to be a slugfest like this one and was, and pulled an 11.3 rating versus 13.2 the year before.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            TCU/Wisconsin also wasn’t a traditional Pac-B10 matchup.
            Try again.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I can only work with the game that were played. Very few recent Rose Bowls (available TV rating data doesn’t go back too far) paired highly ranked teams and were slugfests with two physical teams. You’re the one who claims rankings trump brand, so #3 TCU should be valuable.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I also noted the importance of a traditional B10-Pac matchup for Rose Bowl ratings.

            Like

      • Redwood86 says:

        Boy, MSU looks like a sure thing with 9 points. Unless Alabama shuts out Sparty, I don’t see how it scores enough points to cover.

        Like

  23. frug says:

    We all know that the SEC West has been better than the East for years, but the Sagarin ratings this year show just how far they have diverged.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/sagarin/2015/conference/

    At least based these ratings, the SEC-W is best division in college football, while the East is the worst among P5 conferences (and that includes counting the Big XII as one division).

    Like

    • Brian says:

      The East was really weak this year. SC was terrible and UGA disappointed. UF lost their starting QB and all of their offense with him. TN is improving but not over the hump yet. Vandy was the Vandy of old and so was UK. MO was bad, too.

      I’d expect big improvements next year. UF will have some offense. SC can’t be worse. UGA and TN should improve. I assume MO will be at least decent.

      Like

      • Duffman says:

        I think that may be too simplified

        4 of the 7 were really down – VU, UK, MU, and SC so this may have tended to affect the perception as a whole. As for the other 3 I am not sold on just how far down they are.

        Georgia, at 9 wins, would be an enviable record in any of the P5’s and with their only losses to ranked teams (Alabama, @ Tennessee, and vs Florida) not sure I would say they were down in any broad metric associated with FBS football.

        Tennessee, at 8 wins, is even more deceptive as to where they are right now. September losses to Oklahoma (in double overtime) and @ Florida (by a single point) may have been reversed if the games were played right now. October rolled around with losses to Arkansas (by 4 points) and @ Alabama (by 5 points) show nobody blew them out early in the season. Since Halloween they have gone 5-0 – granted against a softer late schedule – but they seemed to have turned the corner and become the team Herbstreit and other touted so highly in the pre season. Seems all those close losses were to teams who will be playing in the postseason.

        Florida, at 9 wins, only dropped 2 games in the regular season (@ LSU in a night game in Tiger Stadium) and (vs in state rival Florida State) before picking up a 3rd loss in the SEC CCG. Again, some losses to top 10 type teams but no losses to lesser schools and no total blowouts that might indicate major flaws.

        We will now have to see what happens in the bowl season but I can see Tennessee beating Northwestern. The other 2 may be coin flips or blowouts but allow the games to be played to see where the real answer lies.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Georgia didn’t beat anyone and got whipped by the 3 good teams they played.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Duffman,

          “4 of the 7 were really down – VU, UK, MU, and SC”

          I said the same thing about all of them. But MO and SC have both been much better than that recently so I expect some reversion to their mean (so be at least decent).

          “As for the other 3 I am not sold on just how far down they are.”

          How much did you watch them this year?

          “Georgia, at 9 wins, would be an enviable record in any of the P5’s and with their only losses to ranked teams (Alabama, @ Tennessee, and vs Florida) not sure I would say they were down in any broad metric associated with FBS football.”

          UGA beat nobody and struggled with some of those games. They got blown out by UF despite UF having no offense. In consecutive weeks to end the season they barely beat 6-6 Auburn, 8-4 GA Southern and 3-9 GT. They were blown out by the only 2 ranked teams they faced. Their best win was over 6-6 Auburn. They had no skill at QB and were totally reliant on running the ball. Being a top 50 but not top 25 sort of team is down for UGA.

          “Tennessee, at 8 wins, is even more deceptive as to where they are right now.”

          Yes, they are improving but not quite over that hump yet. They still blow too many games they should win. They should be quite good next year.

          “Florida, at 9 wins, only dropped 2 games in the regular season (@ LSU in a night game in Tiger Stadium) and (vs in state rival Florida State) before picking up a 3rd loss in the SEC CCG. Again, some losses to top 10 type teams but no losses to lesser schools and no total blowouts that might indicate major flaws.”

          Their QB was lost for the season in mid-October and their offense died. After LSU, they topped 170 yards in passing only once in 6 games (against a terrible SC). They didn’t hit 135 yards in 2 of them, including against FAU.

          “We will now have to see what happens in the bowl season but I can see Tennessee beating Northwestern. The other 2 may be coin flips or blowouts but allow the games to be played to see where the real answer lies.”

          I expect TN to win, and UF too if they can find any passing attack. UGA may be a mess with the coaching transition and no QB. None of that means the East wasn’t weak this year with several teams playing below expectations.

          Like

  24. GreatLakeState says:

    Finbebaum said on ESPN’s playoff announcement show that, as hard as it was for him to say, the Big Ten IS the best football conference this year and that MSU would be number three. He was right. On both counts. Best line up of bowls in ages. Michigan vs. Florida. Awesome. OSU vs. ND. I was praying for this one. I also think IOWA is going to beat Stanford, although that could go either way.

    Like

    • Redwood86 says:

      The Bowls will demonstrate how over-rated BiG is this year, except Sparty could very well upset an over-esteemed Alabama, which would then spin the truth. The only way that Iowa beats Stanford is if Shaw “turtles” again once the Card establish a lead – just as he did two years ago v. Michigan State.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I’d take the SEC over the B10 this year no questions asked. The B10 is better at the very top but the SEC is deeper.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        And they ended up with really good matchups. MSU doesn’t match up well with Alabama. Ok. St. is probably #4 in Big 12, not #2. Most of the way down the line they have favorable matchups.

        Like

  25. GreatLakeState says:

    Paul *Finebaum

    Like

  26. loki_the_bubba says:

    Just came back an read this latest entry. I got about halfway down and started thinking ‘uh oh, we’re in trouble’. And there it was in the penultimate paragraph:

    “The sports brands that should be worried are the ones that have relatively high production costs but lower viewership, such as Group of Five conference college football and non-major tennis and golf events.”

    The bifurcation of FCS is almost complete. Unfortunately the richss of CFB on the P5 will spill over into other sports that smaller conferences once could compete in. College basketball may have room for the Big East to be competitive. But I don’t think anyone outside the P5+1 has won championship since the 1980s. Baseball is going the same way. There won’t be spot for the Rice Owls in ten years. Some SEC teams spend as much on baseball as Rice U. spends on sports.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Loki:

      With roster/scholarship limits I doubt baseball and basketball will be as dramatically impacted as FB (with its rosters large enough to stockpile top recruits). College baseball has always been impacted by the MLB first year draft, yet is a good product. It is the selection process that stacks the post season with power conferences (sometimes more than half a P5 conference getting in) that reduces the odds of a non P5 champ. Yes, money drives the ability to schedule a more likely path. But Fullerton, Dallas Baptist, Long Beach, Stony Brook, etc. aren’t in the money area code of the SEC but have shown well…when they get an invite.

      Like

  27. What are your thoughts on Delaney’s attempted block on the Big 12 CCG deregulation proposal? I can’t tell if it was because:

    – he’s a stick in the mud who generally doesn’t like change;
    – he’s trying to mess with and/or piss off the Big 12;
    – he’s actually trying to force the Big 12 to expand by taking two of a bunch of really mediocre options;
    – “something else”

    I suppose the conspiracy theorist in me might suspect this is him actually trying to destroy the league and/or push UT/OK to bail, but this seems like a pretty ham-handed approach if that’s actually the goal.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      He doesn’t want the B12 to gain a competitive advantage.

      For example, if the B12 gets to match their top 2 teams, both with one loss, the winner of that game has a better chance of getting in to the playoff than a B10 division winner with one loss who matches up against an 8-4 team in the CCG even if they win.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I’d say it’s something else.

      1. I think his proposal is aimed at the ACC (and the SEC) more than the B12.
      2. I think he wants to prevent scheming to game the system.
      3. I think he’s rational enough to realize a CCG makes no sense without 2 divisions, and divisions make little sense without as close to a full round robin as is possible.

      Like

      • @Brian – Yes, I think Delany seems to be aiming this proposal more directly at the ACC and the notion of just taking the two highest ranked teams in a league without any divisions. He seems to have less of a problem with the Big 12 having a CCG with 10 teams as long as they have divisions since they inherently play each other in a round-robin, anyway. Of course, splitting a 10-team Big 12 into divisions defeats almost all attraction of the league holding a CCG (where the main goal for the Big 12 was to just have its 2 highest ranked teams play each other). So, Delany’s amendment would effectively kill the Big 12’s desire to have a CCG even though the rule superficially looks like it’s aimed at the ACC. I don’t know if I personally agree with Delany’s stance on this issue, but it’s a slick move.

        Like

        • Only if he pulls it off. If his amendment is voted down, and the original one passes (which I’d guess is likely given that B12 / ACC want the original without amendment, and it’s hard to see Pac-12 / SEC having a very strong “anti” opinion), then the whole thing just looks bad.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Really? I doubt most CFB fans even know anything about this. Certainly casual fans don’t. After the January vote it’ll be a forgotten issue until and unless someone tries a funky new CCG format.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            It’s possible that some in the PAC-12 might just now be thinking that giving the Big12 a better crack at the CFP is not necessarily the best medium term play. If so, Delany could be pitching to them.

            Like

          • I meant more looking bad to the other people in the room. Irritating the Big 12 and ACC without any actual gain seems like an unforced error politically. I’d agree that casual CFB fans aren’t really paying attention to this.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Matthew Smith,

            “I meant more looking bad to the other people in the room. Irritating the Big 12 and ACC without any actual gain seems like an unforced error politically.”

            See my comment below. Larry Scott agrees with Delany and supports the amendment.

            Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        He doesn’t want the B12 to gain a competitive advantage.

        It’s interesting how far we’ve come from the purported aims of the rule as originally written. Now Delany is worried because it might work too well, and produce a “better” (more qualified) champion than it otherwise would have. And this is called “gaming the system”.

        I think he’s rational enough to realize a CCG makes no sense without 2 divisions, and divisions make little sense without as close to a full round robin as is possible.

        What exactly is “as close to a full round robin as is possible”? I’ve never heard of a sport with divisions, without a full round robin in each division. Without that, the “division” is pretty close to a meaningless thing.

        Obviously, you could imagine leagues large enough that a divisional round robin was not realistically possible (or not possible at all) without increasing the length of the regular season, but that concern is not what is driving the ACC/B12 proposal.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          A ccg with 10 seems like a competitive disadvantage. Everyone plays each other and then you have a guaranteed rematch in the ccg. It decreases your chances of getting a 2nd team in the NY6.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            A ccg with 10 seems like a competitive disadvantage. Everyone plays each other and then you have a guaranteed rematch in the ccg. It decreases your chances of getting a 2nd team in the NY6.

            It depends on what goal you’re seeking to optimize. Last year, the B12 was the only league that didn’t place a team into the playoff, because their champion lacked the extra game to prove themselves against a tough opponent. This year, the B12 did make the playoff, but their champ was demoted from third seed to fourth in the final weekend, again for the same reason.

            A CCG with the two best teams gives you a pretty high likelihood that your champ will have the extra game against a strong opponent that all the other power leagues have. It also ensures an extra loss for one of your teams, which could be a negative, but so far hasn’t been. There’s a risk that a strong regular season will be ruined against a much inferior opponent, which happened a few times when the B12 used to play that game.

            Like

          • It’s a slight competitive advantage in that it largely eliminates the chance of a clearly unworthy champ somehow squeaking in due to an unbalanced division and a CCG upset (see: 1996 Texas, 2001 LSU, 2005 Florida St, 2012 Wisconsin [sanctions-enabled], nearly 2012 GA Tech, nearly 2012 UCLA, etc.). When a non-playoff competitor scores an upset, it knocks your league out, while when a team ranked in say the 8-12 range scores an upset, they at least have a shot of jumping into the mix.

            Of course, the flip side is that when you have huge CCG mismatches, the upsets become relatively less common. So I’m not sure that it really is any kind of meaningful edge either way.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            It’s a slight competitive advantage in that it largely eliminates the chance of a clearly unworthy champ somehow squeaking in due to an unbalanced division and a CCG upset.

            There’s really two questions that one needs to answer. The first is whether it is, in fact, advantageous. The second is who gets to decide.

            The question of advantage is debatable. But the one thing that is without debate, is that if they ARE at a disadvantage, they can do nothing about it unless they expand and split into divisions, a prospect so undesirable that the cure might be very well be worse than the disease.

            We will need a lot more data, before we know how the committee judges these things. In the two years of the playoffs, no league yet has been harmed by its CCG outcome, but one league clearly has been harmed by not having it at all: the Big 12.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            [discussing a CCG with 10 teams]

            “There’s really two questions that one needs to answer. The first is whether it is, in fact, advantageous. The second is who gets to decide.”

            The B12 gets to decide. They can choose to have one or not under the B10’s amendment.

            “But the one thing that is without debate, is that if they ARE at a disadvantage, they can do nothing about it unless they expand and split into divisions, a prospect so undesirable that the cure might be very well be worse than the disease.”

            No, they can choose to form divisions and hold the CCG if they feel that not having it is a disadvantage. Nobody is forcing them to expand.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The B12 gets to decide. They can choose to have one or not under the B10’s amendment.

            I was referring to today. No reform has passed yet.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            They still get to decide. Nobody is forcing a CCG on them. And it seems unlikely that one or the other plan won’t pass in January. Even if the ACC and B12 aren’t thrilled with it, it doesn’t hurt them to pass it. They can still push for complete deregulation in the future. The B10 and P12 can’t really turn around and vote against their own plan.

            Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          As I proposed many months ago, missing one division opponent in divisions larger than 6 or 7 (or 8?)would allow for more cross division and retain OOC. Most conferences didn’t play full RR before CCGs, and until they got even larger the need to divide and play off to decide champ didn’t exist (or wasn’t demanded). I don’t love it, but find it a reasonable accommodation. Far better than anarchic deregulation.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Marc Shepherd,

          “What exactly is “as close to a full round robin as is possible”?”

          Which word is confusing you? If there’s a 24-team conference, that’s 12 per division. It’s unrealistic to expect 11 conference games in a 12 game season so you’d want “as close to a full round robin as is possible.” Even at 18 teams, expecting 8 division games is unrealistic.

          “I’ve never heard of a sport with divisions, without a full round robin in each division.”

          So? You are eliminating any new ideas ever? Mister deregulation is demanding a full round robin? Most sports play many more games than football, so there is no lack of games to complete a round robin. There have been plenty of conferences that didn’t play a full round robin in CFB. As conferences get larger, why is the concept of a division not playing a full round robin so hard to understand?

          “Without that, the “division” is pretty close to a meaningless thing.”

          Not really. It’s a subset of the teams in the conference and they play each other more often than they play the other division.

          “Obviously, you could imagine leagues large enough that a divisional round robin was not realistically possible (or not possible at all) without increasing the length of the regular season, but that concern is not what is driving the ACC/B12 proposal.”

          Who said it was? However, consider the ACC. The currently play 8 conference games due to the ND deal and all their locked rivalry games, and those 8 include 2 crossover games to keep everyone connected. That’s fine at 14 teams but what if they expand to 16? Or what if they decide they need 3 crossover games to maintain their connection? Isn’t that why they want the change?

          Any new rule will have to deal with that situation as well as any future superconference or miniconference. Can a future 8 team conference stage a CCG? What if a conference wants to try 3 or even 4 divisions? There’s no telling what someone might want to try in the future. Allowing a free for all isn’t always wise policy.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “I’ve never heard of a sport with divisions, without a full round robin in each division.”

            So? You are eliminating any new ideas ever? Mister deregulation is demanding a full round robin?

            No, I am suggesting that any new rule needs to make sense. I’ve long said that the old rule was outdated (however well intentioned it may originally have been), but I realize that many dumb rules stay on the books simply due to inertia.

            If you actually bother to change it, then it ought to, you know, not be a sham. Jim Delany needs a better reason than, “I’m afraid the ACC might use this rule to crown a champion that the playoff committee likes better than ours.”

            That’s a genuine concern, if you’re Jim Delany, but it’s not the problem that this rule was intended to address.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “What exactly is “as close to a full round robin as is possible”?”

            Which word is confusing you? If there’s a 24-team conference, that’s 12 per division. It’s unrealistic to expect 11 conference games in a 12 game season so you’d want “as close to a full round robin as is possible.” Even at 18 teams, expecting 8 division games is unrealistic.

            There are no 18- or 24-team conferences in FBS. For the conferences we have now, a 9-team round-robin (for the Big-12) or a divisional round robin (for the other leagues) is “as close…as is possible” to a full round robin.

            So I am wondering what is “as close as possible” to you, given that a full divisional round-robin (or full league round-robin for the B12) is clearly possible today, without changing anything.

            Obviously, any rule they write needs to anticipate the contingency of further expansion, but when the B12 and ACC made their proposal, I don’t think their main motivation was to answer the question, “What will we do in the future, if we have 16 or 20 teams in our league?” They want relief to change the way they operate at their current size.

            In order to make such a change, one needs to acknowledge that the aim of the new rule must be something different than what it was before. Because as @ccrider55 has so often, and so patiently explained, for the original purpose the status quo works just fine.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “No, I am suggesting that any new rule needs to make sense.”

            And the abandonment of all regulation makes sense but retaining some of it doesn’t?

            “If you actually bother to change it, then it ought to, you know, not be a sham. Jim Delany needs a better reason than, “I’m afraid the ACC might use this rule to crown a champion that the playoff committee likes better than ours.””

            Delany would be fine with not changing it at all. He just wants to restrain the changes to minimize any unintended consequences.

            “That’s a genuine concern, if you’re Jim Delany, but it’s not the problem that this rule was intended to address.”

            So what? If the B10 is voting on it, their vote will be based on their concerns and not the supposed intention behind the rule. Intentions are irrelevant to rules, what matters is only what’s in black and white.

            “There are no 18- or 24-team conferences in FBS.”

            Now. But there may be in the future.

            “So I am wondering what is “as close as possible” to you, given that a full divisional round-robin (or full league round-robin for the B12) is clearly possible today, without changing anything.”

            I discussed this in another thread on here already. I think 14 teams can do it, and possibly 16 depending on how many crossover games are felt necessary for conference cohesion. Any more would require 10 conference games and that isn’t realistic win a 12 game season.

            “Obviously, any rule they write needs to anticipate the contingency of further expansion, but when the B12 and ACC made their proposal, I don’t think their main motivation was to answer the question, “What will we do in the future, if we have 16 or 20 teams in our league?” They want relief to change the way they operate at their current size.”

            First, their motivation is irrelevant to what the rule will actually allow. Second, the ACC has repeatedly said they have no intentions of making any changes right now. They want freedom in case they decide to make changes later, and expansion is at least possible as a future change.

            “In order to make such a change, one needs to acknowledge that the aim of the new rule must be something different than what it was before.”

            The aim of the B10’s amendment would be something different from the current rule, too. It would allow any conference to stage a CCG without expanding to some minimum size.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            …the abandonment of all regulation makes sense but retaining some of it doesn’t?

            It very well might not. The status quo had a very clear purpose, which (as you know) I disagreed with, but at least it was clear.

            As @ccrider55 has so often explained, they wanted to keep a lid on the number of games played (for player safety and academic/athletic balance). The extra game, therefore, was allowed only for those leagues that could not settle their championship with a round robin.

            A permissible reason for the extra game was NOT, “We want one more chance to impress the Committee”; nor was it, “We want the TV money from an extra game.”

            Apparently, Jim Delany is now conceding that he doesn’t mind if 10-team leagues play a CCG, even though they very clearly CAN stage a round-robin without it. So that raises a question, to which I don’t know the answer. What is the new rule’s purpose? Only then can we assess whether the regulation is a suitable answer to a real problem.

            One should not speak of “unintended consequences,” before first establishing what the intended ones are. If he is worried about the former, it’s on him (not on me) to enumerate some of the possibilities, and articulate what’s so terrible about them.

            Of course, Delany could simply say, “I prefer the status quo.” That had a clear purpose, which was namely to limit the extra game to leagues that truly needed it. The ACC/B12 proposal also has a clear purpose: to get the NCAA out of the CCG regulation business.

            This middle ground is not so clear. My suspicion is that Delany is being disingenuous: submitting an amendment that’s de-regulatory on its face, but in actual operation, helps no one but him. Of course, people are allowed to submit legislation for entirely selfish reasons, but if he wants support, he will probably (at least publicly) have to state other reasons. So I am wondering what those are.

            Brian is focused on what happens if a league expands to 16+, certainly a valid question, but I am trying to figure out what legitimate benefits Delany’s proposal has (if indeed it has any) for the size of the leagues that exist today.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Apparently, Jim Delany is now conceding that he doesn’t mind if 10-team leagues play a CCG, even though they very clearly CAN stage a round-robin without it.”

            I think he’d prefer to prevent it but knows he can’t get the votes. He’s trying to draw line where he might have a chance at getting some support.

            Also, remember that he did some similar things with the playoff. He said then, as now, that his main goal was to start a discussion about the bigger picture rather than just quickly voting on something.

            “What is the new rule’s purpose?”

            The B10’s amendment is designed to start a discussion and on it’s face allow the B12 to add a CCG without expanding. It’s also designed to keep all the conferences more similar, making it easier for the CFP committee to compare teams.

            “One should not speak of “unintended consequences,” before first establishing what the intended ones are.”

            He’s talking about the B12’s proposed rule when he says that, and that rule is designed to allow conferences to have their cake and eat it, too.

            “If he is worried about the former, it’s on him (not on me) to enumerate some of the possibilities, and articulate what’s so terrible about them.”

            No, it isn’t. He can stick with the avoidance of unintended consequences as his rationale. Nobody has to enumerate what those might be.

            “This middle ground is not so clear. My suspicion is that Delany is being disingenuous: submitting an amendment that’s de-regulatory on its face, but in actual operation, helps no one but him.”

            That’s not disingenuous, although I disagree that this amendment specifically helps the B10 more than the P12 or SEC.

            “Brian is focused on what happens if a league expands to 16+, certainly a valid question, but I am trying to figure out what legitimate benefits Delany’s proposal has (if indeed it has any) for the size of the leagues that exist today.”

            I’m mentioning it as a possible source of unintended consequences. Remember, all these I-A CCGs are an unintended consequence of the original rule so it’s not like there isn’t a track record of this type of rule being susceptible to issues.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “If he is worried about the former, it’s on him (not on me) to enumerate some of the possibilities, and articulate what’s so terrible about them.”

            No, it isn’t. He can stick with the avoidance of unintended consequences as his rationale. Nobody has to enumerate what those might be.

            It depends on the mood in the room. Mike Slive used to point out, that the first time he raised the idea of a playoff in a meeting with his fellow commissioners, he was met with silence. No one even wanted to have the conversation, in which they stated a viewpoint and supported it with facts. That happens sometimes.

            But if people actually want a debate…then yes, you generally have to give reasons, and unarticulated “unintended consequences” might not cut it.

            “This middle ground is not so clear. My suspicion is that Delany is being disingenuous: submitting an amendment that’s de-regulatory on its face, but in actual operation, helps no one but him.”

            That’s not disingenuous, although I disagree that this amendment specifically helps the B10 more than the P12 or SEC.

            I’d call it disingenuous if you have one aim, while claiming another.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I’d call it disingenuous if you have one aim, while claiming another.”

            Where is Delany claiming anything different from his intent? The ACC & B12 are the ones championing deregulation, not the B10. Delany is proposing to limit their plan.

            Also, being deregulatory and only helping the B10 (something I don’t see in this proposal anyway)are orthogonal issues. It’s not disingenuous to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Has he ever claimed he didn’t think his amendment was better for the B10 than the ACC/B12 plan? Has he made claims to be anti-regulation?

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mark Shepherd “There are no 18- or 24-team conferences in FBS.”
            Brian: Now. But there may be in the future.

            There were no Power conferences with the numbers to have a CCG game when the CCG rule was first passed. The phenomenon of power conference CCG’s is an unintended consequence of a rule change.

            Like

    • Eric says:

      I really dislike this move as I’d love the Big Ten to go division-less. I hate feeling like Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc are half in another conference. The Big Ten should be spearheading this instead of trying to derail it.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        It’ll get a bit better with nine conference games.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Don’t forget the parity-based scheduling.

          Now:
          8 games = 6 * 100% (division) + 7 * 28% (crossover)

          2016-2033:
          All but IN and PU – 9 games = 6 * 100% (division) + 3 * 56% (same tier crossover) + 4 * 33% (other crossover)

          IN/PU – 9 games = 6 * 100% (division) + 1 * 100% (locked rivalry) + 6 * 33% (other crossover)

          The plan:
          * Tier 1 vs tier 1, tier 2 vs tier 2 – 1 locked, other 2 rotate with IN/PU (6 years then rotate locked team) = 10 games in 18 years for same tier, 6 game for IN/PU

          * Tier 1 vs tier 2 – rotate equally (once every 3 years) = 6 games in 18 years

          * Tier 1 = NE, WI, IA // OSU, MI, PSU

          * Tier 2 = MN, NW, IL // MSU, UMD, RU

          Except for PU or IN, you’ll see 3 teams in the other division twice as much as you do now. You’ll see the rest slightly more than you do now.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Actually, we don’t know what the locked crossovers will be after 2021 yet.

            Who knows; if the B12/ACC proposal goes through, the B10 may just drop divisions.

            Otherwise, they may decide to emphasize rivalries the next 6 years from 2022-2027 (after the new TV deal is locked in, if it turns out that less strong schedules and more wins for top teams is better for ratings and/or getting teams in to the playoff and/or rivalry games get a ratings boost).

            Right now, we don’t know if the B10 has 2 tiers or 3 tiers (because it’s a straight down matchup of #1 vs. #1, #2 vs. #2, etc. to #6 vs. #6).
            But if from 2022-2027, they decide on emphasizing rivalries, I can see
            UMich-Minny
            OSU-UIUC
            PSU-UNL
            MSU-Wisconsin
            RU-Iowa
            UMD-NU

            OK, the last 3 aren’t rivalry games, but then, RU and UMD wouldn’t have any rivals in the B10W.
            It would be a matchup of
            B10E tier #1 vs. B10W tier #3
            B10E tier #2 vs. B10W tier #1
            B10E tier #3 vs. B10W tier #2

            Still some attractive annual cross-overs, especially if MSU stays elite, Wisconsin stays good, and PSU and/or UNL get better.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Actually, we don’t know what the locked crossovers will be after 2021 yet.”

            We don’t know anything beyond the published schedules, but we can extrapolate the pattern. Especially using Delany’s comments in the past.

            “Who knows; if the B12/ACC proposal goes through, the B10 may just drop divisions.”

            Yes, all future things are subject to change.

            “Right now, we don’t know if the B10 has 2 tiers or 3 tiers (because it’s a straight down matchup of #1 vs. #1, #2 vs. #2, etc. to #6 vs. #6).”

            Actually we do, because Delany basically said so. He didn’t use the word tiers, he just listed the teams in tier 1. That leaves 8 teams, and clearly IN and PU form a separate tier for scheduling do to their locked game.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/75684/jim-delany-talks-divisions-league-schedules

            If you look at the schedules, what you’ll see is over time, the crossovers rotate. In the first 18 years, you’re going to see a lot of competition between teams at the top of either division. We call that a bit of parity-based scheduling. You’ll see Wisconsin and Nebraska and Iowa playing a lot of competition against Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. But it will eventually rotate.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Ah yes. He said that a few years ago.

            We’ll see if the B10 sticks to that philosophy after the first 6 years.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, obviously the B10 could change their minds about the scheduling plan at any point. That shouldn’t stop us from talking about the current plan to the best of our understanding. As I recall, you were the one who first predicted the plan on here and then the next batch of released schedules backed you up.

            The whole plan would take 36 years to complete. I think most of us highly doubt that the last 18 years, with intentionally having fewer marquee matchups for almost 2 decades, will ever happen. But I think the parity-based scheduling plan may be part of the sales pitch to the networks just like moving to 9 games and requiring tougher OOC schedules is. It may have enough extra value that the B10 decides to keep cycling through the first 18 years of it over and over assuming no further expansion.

            8 games straight:
            Division – 3 king/king games, 5 king/prince games, 1 prince/prince game (locked)
            Crossover – 0.86 K/K game, 2 K/P games, 0.57 P/P (average)

            9 games straight:
            Division – 3 king/king games, 5 king/prince games, 1 prince/prince game (locked)
            Crossover – 1.28 K/K game, 3 K/P games, 0.86 P/P game (average)
            Increase = 0.43 K/K game, 1 K/P game, 0.28 P/P game (average)

            9 games parity-based (first 6 or 18 years):
            Division – 3 king/king games, 5 king/prince games, 1 prince/prince game (locked)
            Crossover – 1 K/K game, 2 K/P games (locked)
            Crossover – 1.67 K/K games, 3.67 K/P games, 0.67 P/P game (average)
            Increase vs straight = 0.38 K/K game, 0.67 K/P game, -0.19 P/P game
            Increase vs 8 games = 0.81 K/K game, 1.67 K/P games, 0.10 P/P game

            The increase in the number of marquee games definitely has TV value, especially if the B10 is pushing to get a prime time game every week. The new plan offers over 2.5 more marquee games (based on brand) per season on average (from 12.43 to 15). That makes it much easier for a network to find a good game to show every week.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The whole plan would take 36 years to complete. I think most of us highly doubt that the last 18 years, with intentionally having fewer marquee matchups for almost 2 decades, will ever happen.

            You’d probably struggle to find any league, pro or collegiate, that ever made a 36-year scheduling plan, and stuck to it.

            Even assuming no change in the underlying conditions, new people will eventually be in charge, and they will not feel bound by the original trade-offs and assumptions that such a plan entails.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yep, the B10 followed the plan I predicted (thanks for the acknowledgement, BTW).

            However, that plan was to achieve a purpose (to maximize the new tier 1 TV contract).

            However, once that TV contract starts, the goals shift to maximizing BTN ratings and getting teams in to the payoff (assuming that the TV contract doesn’t put in restrictions on scheduling).
            Maybe they’ll decide that parity-based scheduling still does the best job, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they switch to emphasize rivalry games more from 2022-2027.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “However, once that TV contract starts, the goals shift to maximizing BTN ratings and getting teams in to the payoff (assuming that the TV contract doesn’t put in restrictions on scheduling).”

            I don’t know how deep those contracts normally get into conference matters like scheduling. My guess is they normally stick to discussing inventory but would expect a heads up if a major scheduling change was coming (dropping OSU/MI, going to 7 games, etc). That said, I could see the price of getting the absolute best deal being putting certain things in writing. A vow to schedule a certain way means nothing to a network.

            “Maybe they’ll decide that parity-based scheduling still does the best job, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they switch to emphasize rivalry games more from 2022-2027.”

            I think it should make things better across the board for TV. The more peers play each other, the more competitive games there will be. That should help ratings. Also, I’d be a little surprised to see them drop this plan after just 6 years. They release schedules years in advance and I don’t think they’ll have enough evidence to know how the plan is working before it’s time to release the 2022 schedule.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        I’d like that too, I just wouldn’t want a CCG.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Personally, I feel that if the B12 gets it’s way, the B10 should just drop divisions and have 3 locked games and 6 vs. the other 10 teams.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The Big Ten should be spearheading this instead of trying to derail it.

        It’s typical NCAA corruption. Right now, Jim Delany is more worried that the ACC will get stronger. And he might want to poach a few of those teams, one of these days. That concern is trumping the fact that, if the rule passes as first proposed, he would get flexibility that he might find useful someday.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I dislike deregulation. CCGs were allowed because a couple of Division II conferences were too large to schedule a rr.

        Like

  28. Carl says:

    There’s a lot of that going around:

    Paul Myerberg (Verified) @PaulMyerberg

    Calif. appeals court rules NCAA disregarded the truth in Bush case to reach a “predetermined conclusion” against USC http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2015/12/07/court-slams-ncaa-reggie-bush-usc-violations-case-todd-mcnair/76958960/

    9:51 PM – 7 Dec 2015

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Guess I should read all posts before posting same info…

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Any chance USC can get wins/title back, and Bush his trophy?

      I think it’s very likely that USC will get the wins and title back. The entire premise of the NCAA’s case was that USC knew that Bush was receiving illegal benefits. This, in turn, was founded on the premise that Todd McNair knew—the very question that is at issue in the current lawsuit.

      If that part of their case fails, then there is no basis for the sanctions. The cancelled scholarships can never be returned, but the NCAA can un-vacate the wins and the title. Much as happened with Joe Paterno, we could be headed in that direction.

      Reggie Bush is a different story, because no one disputes that he knew he was getting the benefits.

      Like

  29. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings/

    The whole season of ratings (minus the SECN, P12N, BTN and CBSSportsN) not including the CCGs.

    Provides some input on the debate above concerning ratings. Are they driven by brand name or by rankings? We are hampered here by not having the BTN and SECN numbers.

    Northwestern provides a few data points: four games reported here (PSU, Iowa, Neb, & IL) none well watched. They are not a name-brand, but they have been ranked most of the season.

    Iowa is interesting. They get a good number for the last game against Nebraska, but otherwise, they did not seem to gain viewers as their undefeated season progressed.

    I think the data supports the idea of brand names primarily driving ratings. The data also supports the idea that some brands (e.g., Baylor) are growing. The data (for a very long time) also shows that winning brings in eyeballs (from the fan base that is winning at the minimum (bandwagon effect, I guess)).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I think you have to differentiate between top 20 and top 5 when debating whether rankings matter. Northwestern, while ranked several weeks, was never top 5, and it seems like top 5 (or so) teams get a major viewership boost.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      BuckeyeBeau,

      “Provides some input on the debate above concerning ratings. Are they driven by brand name or by rankings? We are hampered here by not having the BTN and SECN numbers.

      I think the data supports the idea of brand names primarily driving ratings.”

      It’s clear that both factors impact ratings. I think different games get a different amount of impact from each factor. In a major bowl where both teams generally are highly ranked, I think brand trumps actual rankings. Some other times, rankings are more important.

      “The data also supports the idea that some brands (e.g., Baylor) are growing. The data (for a very long time) also shows that winning brings in eyeballs (from the fan base that is winning at the minimum (bandwagon effect, I guess)).”

      Winning grows brands. Some easy examples are Miami, FSU, Boise and TCU. Enough losing can erode a brand, too (MN for example). But if you build a brand for long enough, you can survive some down years.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Probably, because they generally have smaller fan bases and the fans are less focused on CFB compared to the midwest or south. Stanford will always hurt their TV numbers due to the lack of a large alumni base. USC vs OR would draw pretty well I’d think.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        It was also a rematch of a blowout. Not exactly a highly anticipated matchup, and one that would have required chaos in a couple other games going on at the same time in order to have impact on the playoff picture. I watched B1G game 60% of the time and McCaffery, err Stanford/USC the other 40%.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        USC (with an undergrad student body of less than 20K) and Oregon are also fairly small schools by B10 standards, however. Both would be in the bottom half of the B10 in student body size.

        In that sense, the Pac needs bandwagon fans in order to draw well as they just don’t have as many alums, and college football just isn’t as big a deal out West.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, I figured those 2 were the most likely to attract a large number of casual fans and bandwagon fans. USC under Carroll was must-see TV and Nike University has been quite popular, too.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        There’s also the time zone issue. A 7 pm game on the west coasts starts at 10 pm on the east coast. I used to watch a number of the late Pac 12 games when I lived in the central time zone, but its just too late in the east.

        Like

  30. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2015/12/sec-championship-ratings-cbs-alabama-florida-overnights-highest-season-college-football/

    Like FtT mentioned above, no one wants to compete with the SEC CCG for ratings in that time slot.

    SEC CCG gets biggest audience of the season.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      If B1G CCG was sole game in time slot and SEC joined the other three competing in another (not just ACC but P12 and MWC were at same time) wouldn’t the numbers be different?

      Maybe Friday on fox is a better time for the PAC?

      Like

  31. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2015/12/big-ten-championship-ratings-fox-michigan-state-iowa-overnights/

    If I am reading this right, viewership jumped quite a bit from the 3:30 time slot.

    ACC = 4.6; P12CCG = 2.0; and B1GCCG = 5.9

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      As an aside, does anyone know how the ratings handle channel-switching when there are three games on simultaneously? I know I often switch between games. How does that impact the ratings?

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Viewership always jumps significantly in prime time. That’s why the networks push to move so many games there all season long. More people are home and available to watch TV than during the afternoon (kids activities, honey do lists, etc).

      Like

  32. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2015/12/thursday-night-football-ratings-packers-lions-overnights-hail-mary-cbs-nfl-network/

    and while we are at it, some NFL numbers for comparison. 11s, 12s and 13s in overnight ratings. As FtT said above, the NFL is king.

    Like

  33. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2015/12/acc-championship-ratings-abc-clemson-unc-overnights-down-college-football/

    Here’s the link for the ACC CCG and AAC’s first CCG. Houston/Memphis pulled a 2.0 (same as P12CCG).

    Like

  34. greg says:

    http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=210560102

    The Big 12 has announced it will require Conference football programs to annually play at least one non-conference game against an autonomy conference institution (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, plus Notre Dame).

    “Schedule strength is a key component in CFP Selection Committee deliberations,” commented Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “This move will strengthen the resumes for all Big 12 teams. Coupled with the nine-game full round robin Conference schedule our teams play, it will not only benefit the teams at the top of our standings each season, but will impact the overall strength of the Conference.”

    Additionally, no Big 12 program shall play more than one game annually against a non-Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.

    This new scheduling requirement does not impact existing non-conference game contracts.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s about time. That leaves only the P12 and ND without such a rule, and nobody accuses them of scheduling softly. Baylor has been playing embarrassing OOC schedules for years with no change in sight. Apparently it takes B12 action to force them to play real OOC games.

      http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14321459/big-12-schools-required-schedule-game-power-5-team-notre-dame-fighting-irish-going-forward

      The rule figures to have the greatest impact on Baylor.

      Kansas, which went winless this past season, and Baylor are the only Big 12 schools without a Power 5 nonconference opponent on the schedule for 2016.

      Winner of the previous two Big 12 championships, Baylor played SMU, Lamar and Rice this season. The Bears have a home-and-home scheduled with Duke for 2017-18, but no other Power 5 opponent until 2023-24 against Utah. Since Baylor’s schedule is filled out through the next three years, the earliest the Big 12 mandate will affect the Bears will be 2019.

      It’s also nice to see them limit themselves to 1 I-AA game per year. It should be pointed out that by NCAA rule you can’t count 2 I-AA wins towards bowl eligibility until we run out of 6-6 teams so this is hardly a sacrifice on their part. I doubt any of their schools are intentionally playing 2 I-AAs in a season very often anyway.

      Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25406227/pac-12-commissioner-larry-scott-wants-big-12-to-play-conference-title-game

    Big news. Larry Scott wants the B12 to add a CCG and he supports the B10’s amendment. His focus, much like Delany’s, is getting things to be more similar between conferences.

    “I’d like to see more consistency (between conferences) rather than less,” Scott said. “I’d like to see the Big 12 go to a championship game. I don’t think it’s good or fair to see a conference not have to win that extra game and have that extra opportunity both for a win and a loss. I don’t like the idea that a champion can be in the clubhouse and not put it on the line when, in this case, there are strong teams in other conferences that if they lose can be out of the playoff.”

    There is, of course, some irony that Scott wants the Big 12 to stage a championship game. The Pac-12 made an unsuccessful play for Texas several years ago that caused the Big 12 to lose members and drop below the 12-member, two-division NCAA threshold for a championship game. Scott supports the Big Ten’s amendment to NCAA legislation that would allow the Big 12 to stage a championship game with 10 teams, but only between division winners. Deregulating conference championship games will be voted on at the NCAA convention in January.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Simple. Tell Delany and Scott to send Nebraska and Colorado back.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Tell the B12 that keeping its own house in good order would have not necessitated four members of a CCG holding conference choosing to go elsewhere.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Its just pretty arrogant for Scott and Delany to try to tell the Big 12 what to do.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            You mean arrogant for telling them we’ll loosen the rules (expansion to 12 not required) from what both of them were required to do? Arrogance is saying “we want to do whatever we want.” Which (to reiterate past posts) is in fact completely allowed as long as done in the 12 games allowed without the 13th game exemption.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Arrogance is stealing teams and then trying to tell them they have to get back to 12 when they had 12 before. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet: Nobody is telling the B12 that they have to expand. They can hold a CCG without expanding. They just have to split in to divisions to do so.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Receiving an application, and then accepting it is not stealing. It’s not other conferences responsibility to be membership guards for the B12, especially to their own detriment.

            No one says anybody has to get back to twelve. In fact, the B1G amendment allows for a CCG at current membership level. If this isn’t a case of want your cake and eating it, too, then I really don’t understand this as anything other than a tantrum.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Its just pretty arrogant for Scott and Delany to try to tell the Big 12 what to do.

            I happen to think the B12/ACC proposal is the correct one.

            Having said that, when you join a self-regulatory organization, you have to accept that it will sometimes adopt rules you don’t like. If you want the benefits of membership, then you take the detriments as well.

            Granted, the Delany amendment is most likely offered with corrupt intent. Nevertheless, as Brian loves to point out, nothing obligates them to legislate against their own self-interest.

            Like

  36. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bigten/2015/12/08/maryland-name-change-byrd-stadium-segregationist/76974966/

    UMD’s president recommends renaming the football stadium since it’s named after a segregationist former school president who had to be forced by court order to integrate the campus.

    Like

  37. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2015/12/08/mwc-not-happy-with-colorado-st-nevada-playing-in-same-bowl/76998744/

    Because of how the bowl process worked, 2 MWC teams are playing each other in the Arizona Bowl.

    Like

  38. ccrider55 says:

    So, if “deregulation” passes with the B1G amendment will UT and OU insist on being in the same division? Will UT still resist the CCG itself, or are they on board with it? Bullet?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think anyone likes the idea of a ccg with 10 teams. Haven’t heard anyone seriously suggest it and Bowlsby questioned whether that made any sense. Expansion would have a better chance than a ccg with 10 teams.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I don’t think the B12 will institute a CCG with 10 games, unless they see a persistent pattern of being at a disadvantage because they play one less game. It would take several years for such a pattern to develop. And after they institute it, very likely the Longhorns would go 12-0 the following year, and get upset in the CCG by a 7-5 team. When you flout the football gods, they tend to retaliate.

      The difficulty of creating balanced divisions has plagued the B12. When they had a CCG, the South division won it 11 out of 15 times. But they wanted to keep the Texas teams together, and they also did not want a RRR re-match in the CCG. Without altering those constraints, they didn’t have much choice.

      If they were going to do it, I’d simply re-seed the teams every year. Division X would have the prior season’s #1, 4, 5, 8, 9. Division Y would have the prior season’s #2, 3, 6, 7, and 10. The following year, you tear it up and start over again. This is the best chance you have, of not being locked into divisions that are permanently unbalanced.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        That makes fairly good competitive sense. Stands no chance for that reason. And the fact it’d be more confusing than the Atlantic and Coastal divisions are.

        Like

      • The basic idea of having a CCG w/ 10 teams is that you do a full round robin and the best two teams play. So it’d be REALLY rare for a 12-0 Texas to match up against a 7-5 whoever. With divisions, such an outcome is much more likely. And in fact you could see that in the old Big 12, where you had a really nasty two-year run of North champs in 2004-2005:

        2004 Colorado 7-4 pre CCG (4-4 B12)
        2005 Colorado 7-4 pre CCG (4-4 B12)

        In both those seasons, the south runner up was much worthier (2004 Texas at 7-1, 2005 Oklahoma/Texas Tech both at 6-2). So in a non-divisional round robin (or near round robin) setup, you would have seen better CCG’s compared to what actually happened those years (and probably others as well).

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          In both those situations the results spoke to the accuracy of “selecting the best”. Were they upsets? Yes. But they prove the south wasn’t untouchable or the north undeserving of the game. 66-0 routes by the favorite would support your position, not examples providing proof the underdog is more than competitive.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Not sure what you are saying. In 2005, Texas beat Colorado 70-3 in the ccg. In 2004, OU won 42-3.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And yet UT wanted to avoid the possibility of damaging upsets disregarding the positive confirmation value of wins, even big ones.

            My point is that the blowouts are confirmation of superiority in that division. The “upsets” highlight that what conventional wisdoms says about the superiority of one division is sometimes not the case. That’s why we play the games.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            KSU wasn’t better than OU when they upset them. A&M wasn’t better than KSU when they upset them. CU wasn’t better than Texas when they beat them by 2 after losing 41-7 earlier in the year. Now maybe Missouri didn’t deserve to be #1 when OU upset them for the 2nd time. But most of these were clear upsets, like Michigan St. to Nebraska.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Just win, baby.

            In standings and results I’ve W and L, and in the past T. I’ve never seen a colum U (for upset). What is that – lost, but not really? Doesn’t count because we were expected to win?

            Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The basic idea of having a CCG w/ 10 teams is that you do a full round robin and the best two teams play.

          This is precisely what the Big Ten is trying to prevent, with their proposal. Jim Delany wants you to lock in your two divisions, before you know who the two best teams will be.

          In that scenario, you very well could have three 11-1 teams in Division X, and the best team in Division Y is 7-5. Something similar to that actually did happen when the B12 had divisions, except that the disparity between the divisions wasn’t quite as bad.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      ccrider55,.

      “So, if “deregulation” passes with the B1G amendment will UT and OU insist on being in the same division?”

      The divisions shouldn’t be such a big issue since they’d keep a round robin anyway. For financial reasons I’d think they’d want the chance for a RRR rematch since they have to have a rematch anyway.

      Like

  39. bullet says:

    @Frank

    re: your tweet about Marriot taking out the desks. That’s hilarious!

    There’s a lot of internet “knowledge” about millennials that seems to be based on focus groups and not based on any serious research.

    Like

    • @bullet – It’s pretty incredible that Marriott could be that myopic. It would be one thing to take out desks if these were, say, strictly W Hotels, but the main Marriott brand gets a ton of business travelers that need desks! I work with a lot of Millennials that have to travel for work almost 100% of the time and the thought they’d *want* to get rid of desks in hotel rooms is insane. The focus groups must have been composed of Millennials that don’t actually have to travel for work.

      Like

  40. Richard says:

    IMO, from the perspective of the B10, full deregulation of the CCG criteria makes sense only after its TV negotiations are done.

    After that, they may relent.
    So full deregulation of CCG’s by the 2017 or 2018 season at the earliest.
    They’ll probably do the full first 6-year cycle themselves first, but after 2021, don’t be surprised if the B10 switches to 3 locked rivals and 6 vs. others.

    Like

  41. Richard says:

    bullet:
    “Which is why the SEC ratings have been so good the last few years.

    They have had brands AND rankings.”

    However, going forward, the B10 will be just the same as the SEC in having both a relatively large number of brands and highly-ranked teams. The B10 has as many kings as the SEC (with no other conference being close) and going forward, all 3 of UMich, OSU, and MSU look like they will be elite (and PSU may even join them, if they turn out to be as good as their recruiting has been).

    This is why in 2015, of the 29 regular season games that topped 5M viewers,
    the B10 had 10 of them, the SEC had 9.5 of them, and the rest of college football has 9.5 of them (and ND was in 4 of those)*.
    * OOC games were split between 2 conference; ABC split telecasts were split between the 2 games

    The only games that topped 10M viewers were
    OSU-VTech
    ‘Bama-LSU
    OSU-MSU
    OSU-UMich

    There were only 3 telecasts (out of 29) that had over 5M viewers and did not get any contribution from the B10, SEC, or ND:
    FSU-Clemson
    OU-Baylor
    Baylor-TCU

    Of the other 5 telecasts where a non-B10, non-SEC conference got credit and was not playing ND,
    3 were split telecasts where the B10 game was on ABC in the majority of the country and 2 were OOC games with B10 teams (MSU-Oregon and OSU-VTech).
    Every non-ND OOC telecast that got more than 5M viewers had a B10 team (those 2 above + ‘Bama-Wisconsin & OSU-NIU/UNL-Miami)

    Like

    • @Richard – Thanks for posting that data. I think that this trend also helps the Big Ten regarding the subject of this post (TV rights fees) regardless of the macro cost issues that ESPN and other cable networks are facing right now. At the end of the day (and without hyperbole), SEC and Big Ten football consistently deliver the highest ratings of any sport in the America besides the NFL (even more than NBA and Major League Baseball outside of their respective championship rounds). The ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 might ride a hot team or two periodically (i.e. Florida State, Texas, USC. etc.), but there’s significantly greater year-to-year brand depth in the Big Ten and SEC (which is why it isn’t an accident that they both have highly successful TV networks, the best time slots, the best tier 1 TV exposure, the best bowl deals, etc.). The expectations for what the Big Ten will receive in rights fees should continue to be at the maximum amount (and I think they’ll be end up being higher than what all of us armchair QBs are projecting, just as it was the case when the much less popular Pac-12 signed its current TV deal).

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Yep. I believe that the average annual per school non-BTN TV payout will be between $30-$50M. Delany evidently threw out that $50M/school number, though I don’t know if he was counting the BTN money (which should be close to $15M/school annually in a few years) in that.

        If I had to make a guess, I would peg the new contracts (covering everything outside the BTN) to average $34M-$37M per school annually. That would put the B10 at the top of the range in TV money, but would not be a lot more than what the SEC and Texas get. $50M/school annually would blow everyone away.

        Like

  42. John S says:

    Could the complete deregulation of cgs allow the ACC to devise criteria that would allow ND playing a 5 or 6 game conference schedule to qualify for its cg? Would the Big XII consider adding only one school while going to an 8 game schedule and staging a cg?

    Also, its interesting to note that in a 16 school conference w/o divisions, a 9 game schedule with 3 locked rivals allows for schools to play non-locked conference foes 50% of the time.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      John S,

      “Could the complete deregulation of cgs allow the ACC to devise criteria that would allow ND playing a 5 or 6 game conference schedule to qualify for its cg?”

      Yes, it could. They could choose the two teams with the best W% so that 6-0 ND would always make it but a 7-1 ACC team would trump 5-1 ND. For that matter, they could choose any criteria they want. They could pick the two most popular teams regardless of record. They could choose FSU vs Miami no matter what. Anything’s possible with no rules.

      “Would the Big XII consider adding only one school while going to an 8 game schedule and staging a cg?”

      Who knows? I’m not sure what adding 1 would buy them, though. They could drop back to 8 games now if they wanted that. They could also theoretically schedule their #1 team to play ND in the B12 CCG every year if there were no rules.

      “Also, its interesting to note that in a 16 school conference w/o divisions, a 9 game schedule with 3 locked rivals allows for schools to play non-locked conference foes 50% of the time.”

      Yep. We’ve looked at the math for schedules a lot on here. Many people have suggested the B10 move to that type of model. Some (one person, really) has suggested having a variable number of locked games for each school based on how many rivals they have.

      14 teams, 9 games:
      3 locked = 60% * 10 teams
      5 locked = 50% * 8 teams

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Big 12 cannot go to 8 game schedule with 11 teams. TV contract requires 45 league games.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Got held harmless, and paid for it anyway, when the CCG went away. I’m sure adjustments would be made. I’m not sure why they would want to do that (drop to eight) and add a single school. Kinda make it a per school revenue neutral move at best.

          Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        They could pick the two most popular teams regardless of record. They could choose FSU vs Miami no matter what. Anything’s possible with no rules. . . . They could also theoretically schedule their #1 team to play ND in the B12 CCG every year if there were no rules.

        It is fine with me if they want to behave like idiots—not that I think these ideas have any realistic shot of being adopted, even if they were allowed. If you’re Jim Delany, you ought to be delighted if they do something that dumb.

        As noted elsewhere on this thread, I think he’s worried they’ll do something a lot smarter than that, i.e., pair the two best teams.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Ohio St. vs MSU would have been a viable choice last week under a “do as you want non-rule” rule.

          I’m not sure, other than in the gilded cage conference, that majority of membership in power conferences want to forfeit opportunity, and institutionalize popularity and perception as a competitive criteria.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Ohio St. vs MSU would have been a viable choice last week under a “do as you want non-rule” rule.

            I’m not sure, other than in the gilded cage conference, that majority of membership in power conferences want to forfeit opportunity, and institutionalize popularity and perception as a competitive criteria.

            Exactly: you’ve made my point. There is no way a majority of the Big Ten would agree to a rule where the most popular teams get to play for the championship, regardless of merit.

            No other college sports have a rule like the present CCG rule; and in those other sports, no league has adopted the idiotic system that you’re apparently so worried about.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’d say almost every sport does. Does basketball choose the finalist for conf tourney? Does baseball? Or wrestling? Or gymnastics or softball? No. They compete, and if seventh seed meets eighth seed in the finals, one of those earns the auto berth (unless the conference has assigned that to the regular season champ in team sports).

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I thought what you’re “worried” about is that, if the CCG is de-regulated, the Big Ten could just put UM and OSU in to the championship every year, because they are the two most popular teams. No sport does that.

            Like

          • @Marc Shepherd – I don’t necessarily agree with Delany’s stance, but there is a legitimate concern that having complete deregulation would allow for manipulative and lopsided scheduling practices. For instance, what if the ACC changed its scheduling on annual basis so that the best projected teams don’t play each other in the regular season to maximize their chances of all having high rankings by the end of the year? What if they avoid having Florida State and Clemson play each other in the regular season for 10 years straight? I’m not sure if that’s what Delany is concerned about, but that is what I would point to as a real potential problem if you eliminate any divisional round-robin component. This seems to track why he (at least superficially) said that he wasn’t as bothered by the Big 12 since everyone is playing each other in a full round-robin in a 10-team league (so there isn’t the concern that the Big 12 would avoid scheduling certain teams against each other in the regular season), while the ACC could easily start using more manipulative scheduling practices.

            In thinking about this further, a lot of us might be making a naive assumption that conferences will use nice, tidy. logical, pod-like rotations for scheduling if there’s complete deregulation (and I say that as someone that generally supports deregulation). It’s not so much that the conferences would explicitly put the two most popular teams in their conference in the championship game every year, but they can start manipulating their scheduling practices to maximize the chances of that occurring.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Let’s completely deregulate the additional game rule. Let’s remove the waiver that allows for any 13th game for any reason. Let conferences do whatever they want within the allowed 12.

            Some regulation is wanted/needed by those supporting the theory that the less regulation the better.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            What this could lead to is no CCG’s but replacement by playoff quarterfinals that weekend.

            Everybody (unless they visit Hawaii) has a 12 game regular season.

            Indy and Atlanta as permanent sites. The last 2 permanent sites would be tougher. Bay Area? DFW or Charlotte or somewhere in FL?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t necessarily agree with Delany’s stance, but there is a legitimate concern that having complete deregulation would allow for manipulative and lopsided scheduling practices. For instance, what if the ACC changed its scheduling on annual basis so that the best projected teams don’t play each other in the regular season to maximize their chances of all having high rankings by the end of the year? What if they avoid having Florida State and Clemson play each other in the regular season for 10 years straight?

            They are already allowed to do that. The ACC put FSU and Miami in separate divisions, believing they would frequently meet in the CCG. (In fact, Miami has never won the Coastal Division, which shows the folly of trying to predict such things.) It so happens that they are also locked in the regular season, but that was the ACC’s choice. No rule made them do it.

            I don’t see it as the NCAA’s role to preclude all the dumb ways that a conference could put its schedule together. As far as I know, nothing prevents the Big Ten from having Michigan and OSU play each other 3 times a year, since that’s the conference’s most lucrative game. Never mind that its value would obviously decrease if it were played too often. We’re talking about what’s allowed, not what makes sense.

            Indeed, in the ACC’s current scheduling format, there are some cross-division games that only very rarely occur. That sort of schedule manipulation (if you call it that) is perfectly legal.

            Like

          • @Marc Shepherd – Oh, I understand, but there’s still the primary rule of having to play a round-robin within each division (so there’s still a limitation to how much you can mess with the scheduling from year-to-year). I’m just trying to explain Delany’s possible thinking (not that I agree with it). Also, I’m fairly certain that Delany would have totally different viewpoint if the Big Ten still had the Leaders/Legends divisions instead of the geographically-based ones. The Big Ten and Pac-12 both now have pretty well-defined geographical divisions, whereas the ACC has a hodgepodge that, as you’ve said, was basically originally set up to maximize the chances of a Miami-FSU title game (which has never occurred).

            Like

          • Kyle Peter says:

            “What if they avoid having Florida State and Clemson play each other in the regular season for 10 years straight? I’m not sure if that’s what Delany is concerned about, but that is what I would point to as a real potential problem if you eliminate any divisional round-robin component. ”

            Not sure about how a University President would view this, but if it was me I’d be royally pissed off if the conference I belonged to took such obvious steps to tilt the playing field in someone else’s favor. Talk about a huge slap in the face. I’d argue it would increase the chances, of those schools penalized by such scheduling, that they’d be open to a possible shift to another conference.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Not sure about how a University President would view this, but if it was me I’d be royally pissed off if the conference I belonged to took such obvious steps to tilt the playing field in someone else’s favor.

            Of course! There’s no way a majority of the ACC presidents are going to approve that.

            It would be nice if those who support the Delany amendment could cite a consequence of full de-regulation that: A) You honestly believe a league will do; and B) What is actually so terrible about it.

            Instead, we see these extreme counter-factuals, such as, “The league’s #1 team vs. Notre Dame, every year, regardless of ND’s record.” I’ll grant that if you fully de-regulate, you can’t predict what people will do, but I’d be interested to see someone give it their best shot.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “It would be nice if those who support the Delany amendment could cite a consequence of full de-regulation that: A) You honestly believe a league will do; and B) What is actually so terrible about it.”

            A. We have no idea what a conference might do. That’s why they are called unintended consequences. If we knew what would happen, they would be intended consequences.

            “Instead, we see these extreme counter-factuals,”

            How can you have a counter-factual hypothetical future? Has any suggestion been literally impossible?

            “I’ll grant that if you fully de-regulate, you can’t predict what people will do,”

            Which is Delany’s main issue with it. He also wants conferences to be more similar, not less, since they have a joint post-season. Nobody would care about this if the old bowl system was in place.

            Some of the many possible options:
            1. The ACC takes the 2 highest W% in conference, including ND in the mix.
            2. Someone takes the two highest CFP ranked teams regardless of conference records (possibly including ND in the mix if it’s the ACC).
            3. Someone decides to let the #1 seed pick their opponent.
            4. Someone decides to make an easier match-up if the top seed is a CFP lock already.
            5. Someone decides that undefeated teams don’t need to play in the CCG and by rule pits #2 vs #3 instead.
            6. Someone decides that divisions can be very different sizes and only counts division games to help get a brand into the CCG.
            7. The B12 decides to give ND an autobid into the CCG (an easy win most years and always great for ratings).
            8. Someone decides to form more than 2 divisions so they can play fewer conference games.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            A. We have no idea what a conference might do. That’s why they are called unintended consequences. If we knew what would happen, they would be intended consequences.

            Well sure, but in rulemaking it’s quite typical to first consider the intended ones, and then consider whether one has unintentionally made it over-broad or over-narrow.

            “Instead, we see these extreme counter-factuals,”

            How can you have a counter-factual hypothetical future? Has any suggestion been literally impossible?

            You’re not obligated to answer my question, but I’ll ask it again anyway. Is there any “bad option” that you honestly and sincerely believe someone would do? I do not think you actually believe that any league would…..

            …..let the #1 seed pick their opponent.

            Instead, I think you are trying deliberately to dream up the most absurd scenarios imaginable. They’re all possible, but none are believable. And anyhow, my reaction to these would likely be: “Okaaaaay, if you want to do something that stupid, then go ahead.”

            “I’ll grant that if you fully de-regulate, you can’t predict what people will do,”

            Which is Delany’s main issue with it.

            In point of fact, I think his main issue is what FTT said above: he doesn’t want leagues to pit their #1 vs. their #2 — which is the most overwhelmingly likely consequence of de-regulation. I’d buy you an expensive dinner if Delany said that any of the various “joke” options you listed were the ones he is truly concerned about.

            He also wants conferences to be more similar, not less, since they have a joint post-season. Nobody would care about this if the old bowl system was in place.

            He didn’t seem to care if they were similar when he was issuing invitations to Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            I don’t think it’s Delany’s primary point, but my issue with matching #1 and #2 is without a playoff like structure (divisions) you can’t be certain in every instance that you have the proper two. It may seem obvious many times, but sometimes not. We’re trying to decide a champion with a CCG, not the best final matchup. The upsets often cited as reasons to select are in fact the evidence that selection is nothing but guess work. Was CU the better team? That day, yes. That year, probably not. Don’t play a CCG if your wanting year results to be decisive.

            Whether the B1G added or not, the concern is about the structure in place. He even is conceding on minimum number to hold a CCG. It’s the concern about its structure – keeping results an apples to apples comparison so winning a championship in each conference makes comparison meaningful.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Well sure, but in rulemaking it’s quite typical to first consider the intended ones, and then consider whether one has unintentionally made it over-broad or over-narrow.”

            Which sounds exactly like what Delany is doing. He isn’t fighting to prevent the B12 from getting a CCG like everyone else has without expanding, he just doesn’t see the need to give anyone more freedom than that.

            “Is there any “bad option” that you honestly and sincerely believe someone would do?”

            It doesn’t matter what I think because you’ll dismiss any option I suggest. If I’d suggested 30 years ago that every conference would expand to 12+ teams and stage CCGs you would’ve denied that as crazy talk, too.

            “I do not think you actually believe that any league would…..”

            I think anything’s possible if there is enough money to be had.

            “…..let the #1 seed pick their opponent.”

            It means fewer upsets and thus more CFP slots. That has direct monetary value. And it also would be a way to play a team you didn’t face during the season instead of getting a rematch.

            “Instead, I think you are trying deliberately to dream up the most absurd scenarios imaginable.”

            As I predicted above.

            “In point of fact, I think his main issue is what FTT said above:”

            Fine. I think his main issue is that he doesn’t know what they might do, you think it’s one particular scenario. That seems related to me since my issue contains yours plus all other scenarios.

            “he doesn’t want leagues to pit their #1 vs. their #2 — which is the most overwhelmingly likely consequence of de-regulation.”

            How can you possibly know the most likely outcome? The ACC has said all along they don’t want to make any changes and the B12 hasn’t clearly decided to stage a CCG even if they can, so wouldn’t the status quo be the most likely consequence?

            “I’d buy you an expensive dinner if Delany said that any of the various “joke” options you listed were the ones he is truly concerned about.”

            I think he’s worried about all of them including the 1 vs 2 scenario.

            “He didn’t seem to care if they were similar when he was issuing invitations to Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland.”

            Sure he did. He was trying to become yet another 2 division conference with a CCG when he added NE, and he succeeded. He was trying to become yet another 14 team conference with 2 divisions and a CCG when he added RU and UMD, and he succeeded.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            . . .my issue with matching #1 and #2 is without a playoff like structure (divisions) you can’t be certain in every instance that you have the proper two. It may seem obvious many times, but sometimes not. We’re trying to decide a champion with a CCG, not the best final matchup.

            This is an entirely valid point, but let’s consider how far the goalposts have moved. The original idea (as you explained many FTT posts ago), was:

            — They really don’t want you to play a 13th “regular season” game. (The rules treat that extra game as if it were part of the regular season, though practically everyone thinks of it as a post-season game.)

            — Therefore, they want to limit it to situations where the game is truly needed; and

            — They want to ensure that the selection of the two teams in that game address the actual need, i.e., the inability to play a full round-robin.

            All of that is lost in the Delany proposal. In fact, Larry Scott (who supports the Delany amendment) has said explicitly that he wants all leagues to have a CCG, so that conference champions will have played the same number of games, and can be more readily compared.

            The current rules allow conferences wide latitude—essentially unlimited latitude—to schedule the first 12 games according to any pattern they want. I could easily think of dozens of silly regular-season scheduling ideas like Brian’s that no conference has adopted, but that the current rules permit.

            Indeed, conferences have already adopted a fairly wide variety of scheduling strategies in the first 12 games, making comparisons difficult. No one yet has suggested putting further constraints on them.

            There is an intellectual coherence to the idea of limiting the length of the regular season, and therefore permitting the 13th game only where “you really need it”. Once you concede that every league can play that game, that idea is out the window.

            The upsets often cited as reasons to select are in fact the evidence that selection is nothing but guess work.

            Favorites win a statistically significant majority of games. The fact that they sometimes lose does not mean there was no basis for them being favored.

            It’s the concern about its structure – keeping results an apples to apples comparison so winning a championship in each conference makes comparison meaningful.

            How could that truly be the concern, given the even wider variation in regular-season scheduling formats, which no one is proposing to alter?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            In reply to ccrider55, not me.

            “This is an entirely valid point, but let’s consider how far the goalposts have moved. The original idea (as you explained many FTT posts ago), was:

            — They really don’t want you to play a 13th “regular season” game. (The rules treat that extra game as if it were part of the regular season, though practically everyone thinks of it as a post-season game.)

            — Therefore, they want to limit it to situations where the game is truly needed; and

            — They want to ensure that the selection of the two teams in that game address the actual need, i.e., the inability to play a full round-robin.”

            That was the original (and current) rule, yes. The SEC abused the lack of specificity in the rule to apply the CCG for an unintended use. That then caused other conferences to follow suit. All of conference expansion for the past 25 years could be viewed as an unintended consequence of the original rule being too broad.

            “All of that is lost in the Delany proposal. In fact, Larry Scott (who supports the Delany amendment) has said explicitly that he wants all leagues to have a CCG, so that conference champions will have played the same number of games, and can be more readily compared.”

            The genie is out of the box now. They know there is no way they can unring this bell and recognize that some rule will be passed that allows the B12 to add a CCG without expanding. Based on the two years of the CFP so far, it has become apparent that making the conferences more similar in scheduling would make the selection process more fair for everyone.

            The question is how best to meet that new goal while minimizing the damage to student-athletes and the original intent of the rule. By requiring divisions, the amendment maintains similarity between the conferences while allowing enough freedom for various sizes. Complete deregulation could easily defeat the purpose of increased similarity.

            “The current rules allow conferences wide latitude—essentially unlimited latitude—to schedule the first 12 games according to any pattern they want.”

            Not as much as you indicate. The season is tightly restricted by the calendar and number of games. There are weekly limitations in terms of time as well as practicality. Game locations are regulated, too. The types of wins that can count towards bowl eligibility are also regulated.

            “Indeed, conferences have already adopted a fairly wide variety of scheduling strategies in the first 12 games, making comparisons difficult.”

            One of the sources of the desire to keep the CCGs regulated to some degree.

            “No one yet has suggested putting further constraints on them.”

            Bull. Lots of football people (head coaches and others) have suggested that everyone should have to play 9 conference games and/or that everyone should have to play a CCG to make things more similar. There has also been talk of some dropping back to 8 conference games to match what others are doing.

            “There is an intellectual coherence to the idea of limiting the length of the regular season, and therefore permitting the 13th game only where “you really need it”. Once you concede that every league can play that game, that idea is out the window.”

            Obviously not or they’d be pushing for all teams to get 13 games and nobody is advocating that. Everyone involved wants to keep these games to a minimum, but they also don’t want to force expansion on the B12.

            “Favorites win a statistically significant majority of games. The fact that they sometimes lose does not mean there was no basis for them being favored.”

            The B12 CCG experienced many more upsets than would be expected.

            Top 3 teams nationally went 7-5 in the B12 CCG:
            1-3 vs top 10 teams (#8-#10)
            2-1 vs top 15 teams
            2-0 vs top 25 teams
            2-1 vs unranked teams

            “How could that truly be the concern, given the even wider variation in regular-season scheduling formats, which no one is proposing to alter?”

            You have it backwards. The disparity in the regular seasons is one thing driving the desire to make the CCGs more similar. And lots of people have proposed to make the regular seasons more similar, but they realize that has to be an internal decision by each conference. The CCG started off as regulated so it’s easier to maintain regulation there than add it to the regular season which has been more free for a long time.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            I agree with a fair amount of what you are saying, but disagree about some of the conclusions.

            The CCG still serves the original purpose and could continue to with no change. However, the playoff/selection has added to (not replaced) its importance as it relates to other conferences primarily as an additional game against a higher quality opponent that every CCG winner will have on it’s resume. It is also a $ producer for the conference. Allowing a 13th game in a 10 team conf with the rest of regs in place is completely reasonable rather than requiring the B12 to scavenge a couple more schools just to get on the even playing field. Complete deregulation is saying everyone can create whatever playing field they currently think is advantageous. May as well not change at all – only one conference is currently possibly disadvantaged (and maybe not) – rather than introduce potential chaos and comparing maybe five different systems.

            Most conferences are increasing conf games, and limiting 1aa. The SOS component is forcing these without legislation. We have had rules governing what/how many games of different levels count for bowl eligibility, so in fact we have legislated consequences for regular season scheduling.

            “Favorites win a statistically significant majority of games. The fact that they sometimes lose does not mean there was no basis for them being favored.”

            Nor does it provide a basis for underdogs exclusion based on perception. In fact it argues for their inclusion as it proves perception incorrect, at least on that day (the same day another supposed stronger opponent would like to be credited with proving themselves the champ.

            Like

        • Mack says:

          Brian:
          I think Delaney offered the amendment because he knew the ACC/B12 proposal had the votes. I doubt the B10 wants any change to the current CCG rules. This looks like an attempt to get the PAC and SEC to support a watered down change. I expect the ACC/B12 is now trying to keep the SEC on side and checking interest among the Go5. The Go5 have more to gain and less to lose if they structure a CCG to give their conference the best shot at the Go5 bowl slot. As far as allowing the B12 to hold a CCG with 10 members, the PAC would probably have wanted OU to have another chance to lose this year so that was probably a non-starter.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            “I think Delaney offered the amendment because he knew the ACC/B12 proposal had the votes. I doubt the B10 wants any change to the current CCG rules.”

            I agree. The B10 knows some change will be passed to accommodate the B12 and wants to limit the collateral damage. Besides, I think most presidents would rather let the B12 stage a CCG with 10 teams than force another round of expansion just so the B12 can get to 12 and stage a CCG.

            “This looks like an attempt to get the PAC and SEC to support a watered down change.”

            The P12 already does support it.

            “I expect the ACC/B12 is now trying to keep the SEC on side and checking interest among the Go5. The Go5 have more to gain and less to lose if they structure a CCG to give their conference the best shot at the Go5 bowl slot. As far as allowing the B12 to hold a CCG with 10 members, the PAC would probably have wanted OU to have another chance to lose this year so that was probably a non-starter.”

            The G5 could be a tough sell because P5 CCG upsets help them potentially. They need P5 upset champions to have a shot at getting a top 4 team.

            Like

  43. RSB says:

    I wonder if Delaney’s motivation for the proposal is to position the B1G to go to subdivisions of four (or five) teams with future expansion?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I highly doubt it since the B10 amendment would prevent having a CCG in that scenario. The completely deregulated proposal would work for that scenario, though. This has to be aimed at limiting the options of others (ACC, B12 and ND).

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I agree with Brian: Delany wants to limit their options.

        As noted upthread, the most likely option Delany wants to prevent, is a CCG that simply pairs the two best teams. For conferences adopting this choice, it practically guarantees that they’ll always crown a champion with legitimate playoff credentials.

        In contrast, conferences with static divisions risk a major CCG upset, where their champion is nowhere near playoff caliber. That hasn’t happened the last couple of years, but historically it does happen occasionally.

        Of course, the more sinister explanation is that Delany opposes any move that makes the Big 12 and ACC stronger, since they have teams he might want to invite to the Big Ten eventually.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

            True, but you—of all people—would have to concede that the Delany amendment has taken the rule pretty far afield of its original intent, which was to provide a way of crowning a clear champion, for leagues that could not conduct a round robin.

            If Delany has any integrity (which there is no guarantee he does), he should return to first principles: what legitimate regulatory purpose does the new rule serve, and how does his amendment address that purpose?

            Of course, he might win without ever having to state his reasons, but that doesn’t stop people like us from inquiring what they might be.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            As you know, the rule has nothing to do with dictating how a conference identifies it’s champion. It is an exception to the 12 game rule so large conferences in which it’s impossible to come close enough to RR to accurately identify one to RR in halves and playoff for the title in a 13th game. We seem to have arrived at the point where TV, money, and national final four have subsumed the rule. I am disappointed. Competitive balance/similarity seems to be Delany’s emphasis. The reason for the game has changed – it’s now for reasons external to the conference.

            I’m back to thinking four super conferences, CCGs as qtr finals, each champ to the semi’s, is the only way to restore competition to this fake playoff (selection) we are now arguing how to put on the best beauty contest in hope of being chosen.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Right. Its the ACC and Big 12 amendments that take the rule pretty far afield of its original intent.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No, it’s the ACC and B12 proposal to erase any regulation governing the holding of a 13th game. The amendment Delany offered only partially restores some regulation.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Right. Its the ACC and Big 12 amendments that take the rule pretty far afield of its original intent.

            Yes, but their aims are at least clear: they want to de-regulate, which is an intent anyone can relate to. Delany’s proposal has neither purpose: not the original intent, nor the ACC/B12’s intent.

            Leaving aside joke proposals, Delany’s fear seems to be that a fully de-regulated CCG will work too well (i.e., giving the ACC a clear #1 vs. #2 every year). That doesn’t strike me as a very legitimate regulatory purpose, even though I can see why (selfishly) Delany would love for it to work that way.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Yes, but their aims are at least clear: they want to de-regulate, which is an intent anyone can relate to.”

            De-regulation is not an end in itself, its a means to an end. It’s reasonable to ask what end it’s a means to.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            De-regulation is not an end in itself, its a means to an end. It’s reasonable to ask what end it’s a means to.

            Your comment would be accurate, if you replaced “de-regulation” with “regulation”.

            The normal state of everything is non-regulation. There is an infinite number of things that people can do, and only a tiny fraction of them are regulated.

            Regulations are passed, either to prevent re-occurrence of a specific harm that has already happened, or to preempt a harm that has been anticipated.

            It is fairly clear that the regulators no longer care about the original (purported) harm that animated the current CCG rule. It was supposed to limit the 13th game to leagues that could not conduct a regular-season round robin—on the grounds that football in excess is harmful, and 12 games should ordinarily be enough.

            They are now perfectly willing to allow all leagues to play that game, regardless of size. Once you make that concession, it’s reasonable to ask why the CCG should not be like the rest of the schedule: that leagues choose the participants however they want.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You assume there is no reason they should care.

            In fact, with the legal and social environment, they absolutely should keep the original purpose of the rule in mind. Just adding another game without justification (other than money) is the mentality that got them in some of this trouble in the first place.

            Some of the same arguments for not expanding the playoffs to 8 are ignored with regard to this rule. With expanding the playoffs, at least there is some benefit (gives more a shot at a championship) to the student-athletes (I’m sure Baylor and TCU last year and Stanford and Ohio St. this year would be unanimously in favor of expanded playoffs). This is just adding a game with no reason for its existence. If you have a round robin, you shouldn’t have to beat the same team again. If you can play a round robin in a division, then you should, or you should forgo a championship game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “The normal state of everything is non-regulation.”

            In what world is that true? Every facet of society and life is regulated.

            “There is an infinite number of things that people can do, and only a tiny fraction of them are regulated.”

            What you can say, where you can go and what you can do are all regulated. Whether your choices bump up against those regulations or not is based on your choices. The same is true of CFB.

            “Regulations are passed, either to prevent re-occurrence of a specific harm that has already happened,”

            Like “forced” expansion to stay competitive?

            “or to preempt a harm that has been anticipated.”

            It isn’t always one specific harm that calls for regulation.

            “It is fairly clear that the regulators no longer care about the original (purported) harm that animated the current CCG rule.”

            No it isn’t. You have no idea what they care about. Accepting that something is going to happen despite your wishes doesn’t mean you don’t care about it happening.

            “They are now perfectly willing to allow all leagues to play that game, regardless of size.”

            Accepting that the votes to force it are out there is different from encouraging or supporting it.

            “Once you make that concession, it’s reasonable to ask why the CCG should not be like the rest of the schedule: that leagues choose the participants however they want.”

            They can’t choose participants however they want, at least not if they want the games to count.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            In fact, with the legal and social environment, they absolutely should keep the original purpose of the rule in mind.

            That ship has sailed. Once they allow a 10-team league to conduct a CCG—which it appears they are about to do—what vestige of the original purpose is left standing?

            Just adding another game without justification (other than money) is the mentality that got them in some of this trouble in the first place.

            Exactly what “trouble” did it cause?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “The normal state of everything is non-regulation.”

            In what world is that true? Every facet of society and life is regulated.

            Just think about it a little harder: of the millions of things you elect NOT to do in your life, how often is a regulation or law the reason why? Very few.

            As full of regulation as our world is, the things you are free to do vastly outnumber the things that are prohibited.

            “It is fairly clear that the regulators no longer care about the original (purported) harm that animated the current CCG rule.”

            No it isn’t. You have no idea what they care about.

            @ccrider55 has often explained the original purpose of the rule, and I don’t recall you disagreeing. Actually, I was pretty sure you agreed (and you are not the sort to allow even the slightest disagreement to pass without comment). Have you changed your mind?

            “They are now perfectly willing to allow all leagues to play that game, regardless of size.”

            Accepting that the votes to force it are out there is different from encouraging or supporting it.

            If “the votes are there”, that means that a majority or super-majority(*) is now “perfectly willing to allow all leagues to play that game, regardless of size.” What else could it mean?

            By the way, I believe I read that if just two P5 leagues voted against it, the B12/ACC proposal would be de-railed, and the status quo would reign. It takes more than just a bare majority to pass legislation.

            Larry Scott has said explicitly that he thinks it would be preferred if all leagues played a CCG regardless of size, because it would more easily facilitate comparisons across conference champions.

            “Once you make that concession, it’s reasonable to ask why the CCG should not be like the rest of the schedule: that leagues choose the participants however they want.”

            They can’t choose participants however they want, at least not if they want the games to count.

            I assume you are referring to the fact that no more than one FCS game can count towards bowl eligibility. Nevertheless, there are a few FBS teams this year that elected to play two FCS teams. If it had beaten Clemson decisively in the CCG, North Carolina could very well have made the playoff despite having two FCS teams on its schedule.

            It just goes to show what I have been saying, that the variety of scheduling options that are allowed vastly outnumbers those that are prohibited.

            “No one yet has suggested putting further constraints on them.”

            Bull. Lots of football people (head coaches and others) have suggested that everyone should have to play 9 conference games and/or that everyone should have to play a CCG to make things more similar.

            I assumed you realized I meant, “no one with the authority to legislate,” not, “no human being anywhere.”

            After all, a few coaches have said that Notre Dame shouldn’t be playoff-eligible without being forced to join a conference, but you know they are whistling past the graveyard. There is essentially zero chance that the presidents would enact legislation that prevents ND from remaining independent.

            There has also been talk of some dropping back to 8 conference games to match what others are doing.

            I have not seen any talk of enforcing that legislatively. Doing it voluntarily, of course, would just be another example of what I am talking about. Leagues already “game” their schedules for a wide variety of reasons.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            #1 They haven’t approved a 10 team ccg yet. And they shouldn’t.
            #2 Their money grubbing without considering the interest of the student-athlete, in fact while increasing time demands and putting more restrictions on what the student-athlete could do with regard to working, transferring and doing things outside of athletics, lead to a lot of the resentment against the NCAA that created the union movement and several of the lawsuits. It also weakened their position in some of these lawsuits.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            By joining the NCAA every aspect of competition is governed (regulated), except for activities the NCAA doesn’t sanction. Perhaps the B12 would like to leave the NCAA and create an anarchist only organization?

            There is a huge difference between being “perfectly willing” as a matter of indifference and begrudgingly willing because of changing circumstances making the CCG far more important now than a few years ago. Allowing the 10 team CCG is a choice between evils. The choice to allow is seen by the B1G and PAC as the lesser as long as the format remains similar (divisions).

            NC stood absolutely no chance of inclusion precisely because of those games. I’d argue that with a loss and even just one 1aa game they wouldn’t have passed Stanford, but they had two.

            Like

          • I guess that I come down in the middle on this issue. The primary reason for the NCAA’s entire existence is to be a regulatory body. It regulates which schools get to be FCS or FBS (or Division I, II or III). It regulates the number of players that get scholarships on each team. It regulates the fact that those players don’t get paid a salary. Those are just a few examples of pretty extraordinary regulatory measures that would be antitrust violations in virtually any other industry. As a result, I don’t agree with the sentiment that de-regulation is the “natural” course for college sports because that has very clearly never been the case. In fact, it’s one of the most heavily regulated industries in all of America when you consider all of the restrictions that are in place.

            That being said, I can sympathize with the arguments that (a) college sports are too regulated at a general level (as I’ve argued that many times before regarding player compensation) and (b) the conference championship game requirements should have few or no regulations at a specific level. I can make up some arguments that would justify Jim Delany’s position regarding the conference championship game requirements, but they don’t really make sense. IMHO, either keep the current rule in place (as it at least has a reasonable basis of requiring a round robin within each division for 12-team leagues that are too large to realistically have a full conference round-robin) or get rid of the requirements entirely. There’s little point in having a rule that’s in between.

            Like

          • greg says:

            “In fact, with the legal and social environment, they absolutely should keep the original purpose of the rule in mind.”

            The original intent was D2 tennis.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            In general, I find the argument that deregulation is the natural state (ergo deregulation is good) to be a poor argument for anything.

            For instance, there are a lot more things you may do in or with your car than there are regulations prohibiting such actions. But if you try to argue that that means that seatbelt laws should be invalid, everyone would find that argument ludicrous.

            Plus which, very few people would actually want to live in the “natural” state of anarchy with no laws or regulations, even if they think they do (in such environments, strongmen take over, feudalism develops, and religious extremism flourishes).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “The normal state of everything is non-regulation.”

            and

            “Just think about it a little harder: of the millions of things you elect NOT to do in your life, how often is a regulation or law the reason why? Very few.

            As full of regulation as our world is, the things you are free to do vastly outnumber the things that are prohibited.”

            Are two completely different statements. And regulations/laws prevent all sorts of choices people and businesses would prefer to make. How many drunk drivers would there be if DUI wasn’t a crime? How much theft? How many murders? How much freely dumping toxins into the ground or water? How much abuse of workers? How would government function without rules to enforce taxation?

            Yes, of course I have many legal options. That doesn’t make the normal state of things non-regulated.

            “If “the votes are there”, that means that a majority or super-majority(*) is now “perfectly willing to allow all leagues to play that game, regardless of size.” What else could it mean?”

            It means that the people offering this amendment aren’t in that majority and thus don’t agree with their thinking. So the rules that make sense to one group are different from what makes sense to the other.

            “By the way, I believe I read that if just two P5 leagues voted against it, the B12/ACC proposal would be de-railed, and the status quo would reign. It takes more than just a bare majority to pass legislation.”

            It’s possible. Have a link? 4 P5 conferences equal 8 of the 15 possible votes which is why the B10 can’t kill it by themselves. With 2 P5 conference saying no, it would be up to the G5 conferences to decide if it’s a majority vote (which is how ESPN was explaining it).

            “It just goes to show what I have been saying, that the variety of scheduling options that are allowed vastly outnumbers those that are prohibited.”

            No, that isn’t what you’ve been saying. Nobody would’ve disagreed with that.

            “I assumed you realized I meant, “no one with the authority to legislate,” not, “no human being anywhere.””

            Head coaches and ADs are a little different from fans and media in this regard. Presidents don’t talk much on any sports issue.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “IMHO, either keep the current rule in place (as it at least has a reasonable basis of requiring a round robin within each division for 12-team leagues that are too large to realistically have a full conference round-robin) or get rid of the requirements entirely. There’s little point in having a rule that’s in between.”

            I’d agree in the pre-CFP era. But the committee has made clear how important a CCG is to their decisions. Thus every conference now needs access to that 13th game as an unintended consequence of starting the playoff. Presidents are loathe to force another round of conference expansion, but that would be the likely result of not giving the B12 some path to as CCG with 10 teams. A conference with 10 or 11 teams needs some way to compete with the bigger conferences. The B10/P12 amendment grudgingly grants that path while keeping restrictions to avoid rewarding a smaller conference too much either.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            #1 They haven’t approved a 10 team ccg yet.

            Absolutely correct. We can only go by what they are saying publicly, and so far no one (with the authority to vote) has said they oppose it.

            #2 Their money grubbing without considering the interest of the student-athlete…..

            Football has been a revenue sport for decades. The horse hasn’t merely left the barn…it’s left the galaxy. We could go back to the late 1960s, when Big Ten teams played 10 regular-season games, and only the champ went to a bowl. Every single one of the schedule expansions since then, and it has happened repeatedly, has been done to make money.

            I don’t know how old you are, but if you stood on a building and yelled “Stop!” every time, at least you would be consistent. Otherwise, it is remarkably incoherent to complain about “money grubbing” now, as if it were ever (in our lifetimes) about anything else.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            By joining the NCAA every aspect of competition is governed (regulated), except for activities the NCAA doesn’t sanction.

            That’s a big “except”. As far as I can tell, what you’ve just said, is: competition is regulated, except where it’s not.

            Perhaps the B12 would like to leave the NCAA and create an anarchist only organization?

            Was there an overnight news story I missed? Last I checked, the B12 was working lawfully through the legislative process.

            NC stood absolutely no chance of inclusion precisely because of those games. I’d argue that with a loss and even just one 1aa game they wouldn’t have passed Stanford, but they had two.

            I am not so sure what the Committee would’ve done, had they demolished Clemson, but remember, Stanford had to beat USC. There certainly are scenarios where NC gets into the top four with two FCS wins. They made a strategic scheduling choice, one of many allowed them.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t agree with the sentiment that de-regulation is the “natural” course for college sports because that has very clearly never been the case.

            Of course it has been the case: there wasn’t always an NCAA, and it didn’t spring out of the ground fully formed. Regulation evolved gradually, to solve particular problems that the members felt were worthy of a nationwide solution.

            But anyhow, I think you’ve misstated what I meant, when I said that non-regulation is the natural state of things. This does not mean that we are headed (or ought to be) in a direction where nothing will be regulated.

            All it means, is that non-regulation is the natural state. Just about everything starts non-regulated (as college sports, in fact, did), and regulation is added gradually as problems arise.

            The current CCG rule solves a particular problem, which someone at the time thought was important enough to regulate. It appears they no longer care about that problem.(*) For a new CCG rule to make sense, someone ought to articulate what the NEW problem is. “Scheduling uniformity” is pretty weak, given the enormous variety of regular-season scheduling formats that are already allowed, and which they are not proposing to further regulate.

            Of course, Delany and Scott have a trump card, namely, that the original rule is still in place, and although no one acts as if they believe in it any more, it doesn’t just magically go away. (This is why Acts of Congress often have sunset dates, but the NCAA doesn’t legislate like that.)

            (* I can only go by what people in authority say in public. @ccrider55 has often explained the purpose of the original rule, and it makes sense. No one I can find is saying that today. And beyond that, if you permit CCGs for 10-team leagues, and no longer require divisional round-robins, it is pretty obvious that the original concerns have been tossed out the window.)

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            In general, I find the argument that deregulation is the natural state (ergo deregulation is good) to be a poor argument for anything.

            “Deregulation is the natural state” does not mean “deregulation is good.” It only means that most things start out non-regulated, and we add regulation where we (as a group or society) conclude that it is needed.

            For instance, there are a lot more things you may do in or with your car than there are regulations prohibiting such actions. But if you try to argue that that means that seatbelt laws should be invalid, everyone would find that argument ludicrous.

            Actually, this is precisely the point I was making: there are far more things you can do with your car, than things you cannot. Seatbelt use was once optional. (I can remember when seatbelts weren’t even standard equipment; you had to pay extra for them.) Society concluded after much experience that seatbelts should no longer be optional. You are certainly not seeing me argue that that was a mistake.

            On the CCG topic, it appears to me that the P5 commissioners no longer care at all about the concerns that motivated the original rule. I am not a mind-reader, but not one of them is talking about that. Brian refers to “grudging acceptance,” as if poor Jim Delany is forced to play a game that, gosh dangit, he really wishes didn’t exist. My heart bleads for the poor guy, who schemed for years to expand so that he could play a game that he never wanted.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There are lines you can cross on money-grubbing. I disliked it when they drove a Mercedes out on the field at UT’s Memorial stadium in the 90s. I don’t know how much they got for it, but that was crossing the line IMO. Degrading the value of a championship (and adding a game with no real value) by having a 10 team ccg also crosses it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Of course it has been the case: there wasn’t always an NCAA, and it didn’t spring out of the ground fully formed.”

            http://www.bigten.org/school-bio/big10-school-bio.html

            The precursor of the B10 formed in 1895 in part to regulate college athletics.

            The history of the Big Ten traces back 120 years to the Palmer House hotel in Chicago, where on January 11, 1895, then-Purdue president James H. Smart and leaders from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and University of Wisconsin set out to organize and develop principles for the regulation of intercollegiate athletics.

            In 1895, all of 7 schools had played more than 100 games (and it was more rugby than football). Another 8 had played at least 50 games.

            Between 1890 and 1905, 330 players died. In 1905, Teddy Roosevelt supposedly threatened to shut down CFB if changes weren’t made. While that is disputed, he definitely met with football representatives from 3 Ivy League schools. This lead to the precursor of the NCAA forming in 1906 (it became the NCAA in 1910).

            “Regulation evolved gradually, to solve particular problems that the members felt were worthy of a nationwide solution.”

            Completely irrelevant to your point. You said non-regulation is the natural state, so any regulation disputes that point.

            “But anyhow, I think you’ve misstated what I meant, when I said that non-regulation is the natural state of things. This does not mean that we are headed (or ought to be) in a direction where nothing will be regulated.

            All it means, is that non-regulation is the natural state. Just about everything starts non-regulated (as college sports, in fact, did), and regulation is added gradually as problems arise.”

            Society has regulated human behavior for tens of thousands of years. It’s what we do. The natural state implies that is where it should be, not just where things start. And even then I’d dispute that CFB started without regulation because the two teams had to agree to a whole set of rules. Time just added more regulation.

            “The current CCG rule solves a particular problem, which someone at the time thought was important enough to regulate.”

            http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/05/16/conference-championship-games-rule-origin

            Yes, it was designed to allow the PSAC and CIAA (2 D-II conferences) to play a CCG without wasting the final week of the season for everyone else. Due to a lack of experience by the drafter, the rule was left too broad. The PSAC never even staged a CCG because the D-II playoffs expanded and they didn’t want to risk an upset.

            The SEC jumped on the rule and expansion took off.

            “For a new CCG rule to make sense, someone ought to articulate what the NEW problem is.”

            Which they have, but you turn around and automatically respond with garbage like this:

            ““Scheduling uniformity” is pretty weak, given the enormous variety of regular-season scheduling formats that are already allowed, and which they are not proposing to further regulate.”

            Since there is no reason you’ll accept as valid, why ask them to state their reasons?

            “(* I can only go by what people in authority say in public. @ccrider55 has often explained the purpose of the original rule, and it makes sense. No one I can find is saying that today. And beyond that, if you permit CCGs for 10-team leagues, and no longer require divisional round-robins, it is pretty obvious that the original concerns have been tossed out the window.)”

            The proposed amendment keeps that divisional RR requirement, showing that the original concern hasn’t been tossed out by some.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            ““Deregulation is the natural state” does not mean “deregulation is good.” It only means that most things start out non-regulated, and we add regulation where we (as a group or society) conclude that it is needed.”

            It most certainly does not mean that in the English language.

            “On the CCG topic, it appears to me that the P5 commissioners no longer care at all about the concerns that motivated the original rule.”

            Except the 2 that have proposed an amendment that would retain much of the original purpose. A third has said absolutely nothing on the topic as far as I have seen. That leaves 2 that have proposed a change but neither has committed to actually implementing any approved change.

            “Brian refers to “grudging acceptance,” as if poor Jim Delany is forced to play a game that, gosh dangit, he really wishes didn’t exist.”

            The CFP committee has made it clear that you need a CCG to stay on a level playing field.

            “My heart bleads for the poor guy, who schemed for years to expand so that he could play a game that he never wanted.”

            Schemed for years? It took him less than 1 year to add a 12th member once the B10 committed to doing it. The B10 kicked the tires of ND a couple of times but there was no scheming going on.

            Like

  44. Richard says:

    In any case, count me now as someone in favor of the B12/ACC anything-goes CCG deregulation proposal.

    Then the B10 can have 5 locked games per school (protecting any and all rivalry games out there) yet still allow everyone to play everyone else at least half the time. Both would be improvements over the current system. Furthermore, I can lock the games in such a way that each king (UMich, OSU, PSU, and UNL) is locked with 2 kings and one prince and each prince (MSU and Wisconsin) is locked with 2 kings while every other team is locked with the one king that the makes most sense for them, so some parity-based scheduling would still be preserved.

    Maybe put this in after 2-4 years of the current system, so going in in 2018 or 2020 so NJ and MD still get a bunch of kings visiting for a while.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      For those dying of curiosity, here are the locked series that I propose:
      UMich: OSU, UNL, MSU, Minny, PU
      OSU: UMich, PSU, Wisconsin, UIUC, IU
      PSU: OSU, UNL, MSU, RU, UMD
      UNL: PSU, UMich, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern
      Wisconsin: UNL, OSU, Iowa, Minny, RU
      MSU: UMich, PSU, IU, Northwestern (MSU wants to visit Chicagoland), UMD
      Iowa: UNL, Wisconsin, Minny, Northwestern, UIUC
      Northwestern: UNL, Iowa, UIUC, MSU, RU
      UIUC: OSU, Iowa, Northwestern, PU, UMD
      Minny: UMich, Wisconsin, Iowa, IU, PU
      IU: OSU, PU, MSU, Minny, RU
      PU: UMich, IU, UIUC, Minny, UMD
      RU: PSU, UMD, Wisconsin, Northwestern, IU
      UMD: PSU, RU, MSU, UIUC, PU

      All rivalry and trophy games protected (except UNL-Minny and the bogus Minny-PSU trophy game).

      4 kings locked with 2 kings and 1 prince (counting Wisconsin and MSU as princes).
      2 princes locked with 2 kings
      The rest locked with the king that makes most sense for them. All of those 8 besides PU and UIUC locked with a prince as well (as UIUC is too if you count Iowa as a prince).

      And here’s the thing: You won’t actually end up with more unattractive games than the current 9-game schedule with divisions and even semi-locked crossovers.

      King-king matchups each year:
      Old plan: 4.67 New plan: 5 (even more!)

      King-prince matchups each year:
      Old plan: 6 New plan: 6

      Prince-prince matchups each year:
      Old plan: 0.33 New plan: 0.5 (even more!)

      Even if you count Iowa as a prince, that becomes
      King-prince matchups each year:
      Old plan: 8.67 New plan: 8.5

      Prince-prince matchups each year:
      Old plan: 1.67 New plan: 2 (even more!)

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “In any case, count me now as someone in favor of the B12/ACC anything-goes CCG deregulation proposal.”

        I’m not, but I’m against CCGs in general.

        “Then the B10 can have 5 locked games per school (protecting any and all rivalry games out there) yet still allow everyone to play everyone else at least half the time. Both would be improvements over the current system.”

        I’ve laid out such a plan before as well. Marc always objects that I’m locking too many games but I think you need 5 to accomplish all the goals of the B10, plus I like the symmetry of playing everyone else 50% of the time.

        “Furthermore, I can lock the games in such a way that each king (UMich, OSU, PSU, and UNL) is locked with 2 kings and one prince and each prince (MSU and Wisconsin) is locked with 2 kings while every other team is locked with the one king that the makes most sense for them, so some parity-based scheduling would still be preserved.

        Maybe put this in after 2-4 years of the current system, so going in in 2018 or 2020 so NJ and MD still get a bunch of kings visiting for a while.”

        My plan is similar although I also focus on getting brands to visit the newbies.

        “UMich: OSU, UNL, MSU, Minny, PU
        OSU: UMich, PSU, Wisconsin, UIUC, IU
        PSU: OSU, UNL, MSU, RU, UMD
        UNL: PSU, UMich, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern
        Wisconsin: UNL, OSU, Iowa, Minny, RU
        MSU: UMich, PSU, IU, Northwestern (MSU wants to visit Chicagoland), UMD
        Iowa: UNL, Wisconsin, Minny, Northwestern, UIUC
        Northwestern: UNL, Iowa, UIUC, MSU, RU
        UIUC: OSU, Iowa, Northwestern, PU, UMD
        Minny: UMich, Wisconsin, Iowa, IU, PU
        IU: OSU, PU, MSU, Minny, RU
        PU: UMich, IU, UIUC, Minny, UMD
        RU: PSU, UMD, Wisconsin, Northwestern, IU
        UMD: PSU, RU, MSU, UIUC, PU”

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

        They’re pretty similar except I don’t emphasize king/prince games as much while getting more prince/prince games. I don’t lock a king for NW but they’ll get 2 every year. That gives everyone equal Chicago access. To lock a king for NW I’d need to drop the NYC and DC focus and I don’t think the B10 is ready for that yet. Maybe in a few years. That’s a punishment for OSU, so I’m only doing it because I think the B10 wants it right now.

        “King-king matchups each year:
        Old plan: 4.67 New plan: 5 (even more!)

        King-prince matchups each year:
        Old plan: 6 New plan: 6

        Prince-prince matchups each year:
        Old plan: 0.33 New plan: 0.5 (even more!)

        Even if you count Iowa as a prince, that becomes
        King-prince matchups each year:
        Old plan: 8.67 New plan: 8.5

        Prince-prince matchups each year:
        Old plan: 1.67 New plan: 2 (even more!)”

        I do count WI, MSU and IA as princes.

        My plan:
        K/K – 4 locked + 2 * 50% = 5
        K/P – 3 locked + 9 * 50% = 7.5
        P/P – 3 locked + 0 * 50% = 3

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Marc always objects that I’m locking too many games but I think you need 5 to accomplish all the goals of the B10. . . .

          If you feel it’s important to lock an equal number of games for all, I think you accomplish all of the B1G’s goals with four locks, which creates more “openings” to play the remaining teams in the league.

          For most teams, your fifth “lock” seems a bit random. If your plan were adopted, there are probably very few Ohio State who’d think “Indiana” was an obvious lock. Among those paying attention, half would be grateful to the Big Ten office for the closest you can get to an automatic win, among the original ten teams.

          The other half would be wondering why they’re stuck with Indiana on their schedule every year. Among fans of the other teams, I suspect there’d be a large number wondering whom Gene Smith paid off, to get the gift of Indiana as a locked opponent.

          From Richard’s proposal…..

          MSU: UMich, PSU, IU, Northwestern (MSU wants to visit Chicagoland), UMD

          MSU wants to visit Chicagoland for the same reason everyone does: for recruiting. It’s not as if the Spartans have a special kinship for Chicago that is beyond just the general, widely shared desire to frequently visit the league’s biggest city.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “If you feel it’s important to lock an equal number of games for all, I think you accomplish all of the B1G’s goals with four locks, which creates more “openings” to play the remaining teams in the league.”

            And I think 5 is better. 4 ins enough for most teams but not all. Besides, I prefer playing everyone else 50% of the time to locking 4 and playing 9 teams 56% of the time.

            “For most teams, your fifth “lock” seems a bit random. If your plan were adopted, there are probably very few Ohio State who’d think “Indiana” was an obvious lock.”

            Every school except NW got a king locked. IN got OSU. It wasn’t random. OSU and IN also have strong ties being border states and having Bobby Knight in common, not that there’s any football rivalry.

            “Among fans of the other teams, I suspect there’d be a large number wondering whom Gene Smith paid off, to get the gift of Indiana as a locked opponent.”

            Everyone gets them half the time already. PSU got PU. MI got RU.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “For most teams, your fifth “lock” seems a bit random. If your plan were adopted, there are probably very few Ohio State who’d think “Indiana” was an obvious lock.”
            But for an Indiana fan, continuing Indiana’s longest standing series, at 88 games and I believe over 80 Big Ten games could well be something they insist upon, despite the lopsideness of the series. If you had each school bid their top three preferences, it could well be Indiana’s second preference, after Purdue.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, I replied to the wrong place. But yeah, it’s not random, and 56% is virtually no inprovement over 50% (1 extra game every 18 years).

            BTW, Brian, I locked UNL with Northwestern (because OSU and UMich already had their fill of locked games).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “But yeah, it’s not random, and 56% is virtually no improvement over 50% (1 extra game every 18 years).”

            Exactly. And I think it’s much easier for fans when you have something clear cut like a 50% schedule. Then the question becomes whether to do home and homes or alternate teams every year.

            “BTW, Brian, I locked UNL with Northwestern (because OSU and UMich already had their fill of locked games).”

            I wanted to lock those two as well but after the western trio and then 2 kings NE had no games left. You could easily justify giving NE only 1 king since they have WI and IA, but I thought they might want that MI game. You can also put in NW over MN (they do get MI after all), but I like that regional game to be kept. In short, I don’t think there’s a perfect answer and I’m not sure what each school would request. I’m not even saying my list is better than yours, they just have slightly different goals. Not having to put MI in NYC and OSU in DC would help with other games.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “In short, I don’t think there’s a perfect answer and I’m not sure what each school would request.”
            If you try to guarantee each school their top two preferences and try to give them one of their third and fourth, I think that for many schools their picks are in one or another of those lists. If you sort “over-requested” schools out by history of the series, you get even closer to those lists.

            And I think you often end up needing five games when you start considering that low priority games for one school may be a higher priority game for another school, and with five locked games giving a simple seeing the other schools 50% of the time, once at home each four year cycle, its a bit of a focal point solution.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            I’ll add as a postscript to Brian’s that if OSU and TSUN split the newbies, they might prefer the split the other way around, since I have the impression that TSUN has more of the Big Ten DC alumni, and OSU has a larger share of its alumni in NYC than DC. But whichever, everyone would play on the east coast half the time, even if they are not locked with UMD or RU.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “I’ll add as a postscript to Brian’s that if OSU and TSUN split the newbies, they might prefer the split the other way around, since I have the impression that TSUN has more of the Big Ten DC alumni, and OSU has a larger share of its alumni in NYC than DC.”

            https://www.osu.edu/highpoints/alumni/

            No, it’s the other way around. DC is the top city for OSU alumni outside of Ohio, with almost 9400 versus 9100 in NYC. It’s not a huge difference, obviously, but MI is tilted the other way slightly (I think).

            http://www.annarbor.com/news/where-u-m-alumni-live/

            MI has over 25k alumni in NY state, over 13k in NYC. They have “only” about 20k alumni in VA and MD combined, so presumably fewer in DC than NYC.

            “But whichever, everyone would play on the east coast half the time, even if they are not locked with UMD or RU.”

            I know, but this would get RU and UMD even more king games and that was one thing the B10 stressed when adding them – getting brands to play there to build the B10 brand on the east coast.

            Just to be clear, my list isn’t my personal list but what I think the B10 might do. I would never choose to lock OSU with UMD otherwise.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          Chicagoland has the most MSU alums outside MI of any metro are.

          In any case, 4 locks would lead to playing the non-locked schools 5/9ths of the time, which is essentially no improvement on 50% of the time, so might as well put in 5 locks to achieve the other goals (more attractive matchups and at least 1 locked king for all).

          Like

    • Tom says:

      I am in favor of the current divisional setup. It adds more intrigue to the B1G by creating two separate races (East and West). You can’t predict the future but for the next several years as long as Harbaugh, Meyer and Dantonio are at their respective schools, the top 2 teams would come from those 3 if you get rid of divisions. If you’re not MSU, UM or OSU, say good night. With the divisional set up, those 3 will continue to rule the East (maybe PSU gets in the mix) but at least the West is wide open for anyone to win, even Purdue.

      Personally as a Michigan fan the East division is just about perfect. Michigan plays MSU, OSU, and PSU every year. I live on the East Coast so playing Maryland and Rutgers every year is great since I can see Michigan at least once in person. I could care less about Indiana but I could also care less about any of the West teams aside from Nebraska, and I have no desire to play any of them more frequently. I would certainly not trade the current setup to play Purdue or Minnesota every year.

      Like

      • bob sykes says:

        I agree fully. Living in central Ohio and being a tOSU fan, I like to see MSU, MU and PSU every year. And since I grew up on the east coast, I like to see tOSU play Rutgers and Maryland every year. I especially like it the tOSU one of the top five winning teams in history gets to play one of the founding schools of football. I graduated from Purdue, but I’d not particularly interested in seeing them every year, nor Minnie.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        From OSU’s perspective, the tradeoff would be UIUC (which you folks have a trophy game with) and Wisconsin in favor of RU, UMD, and MSU.

        For UMich, it would be UNL, Minny, and PU in favor of PSU, RU, UMD, and IU.

        BTW, as someone who’s from the Midwestern part of the B10, I have to say that cheering against your alma mater or even being a fan of another B10 school (except during OOC play) is a foreign concept.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          As someone who was born in Columbus and grew up in Central Ohio, becoming a Buckeyes fan in HS when I went to some games in the Shoe on my mom’s student tickets … I have to say that I am a mild fan of another Big Ten school most weeks of the year, except the last week of the regular season or weeks when the Buckeyes and/or TSUN has a bye.

          Like

  45. GreatLakeState says:

    Taking a page from Arkansa’s Boss Hog, this guy thinks the B1G/SEC Challenge is where the future of college football is headed. Not sure if this has been posted yet. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogergroves/2015/12/07/the-future-is-now-for-sec-big-ten-rivalries-in-bowl-games/

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Um, does that guy realize that the B10 & SEC have been matching up in the top bowls outside of the BCS/NY6 for decades now?

      B10 #2 vs. SEC #2 in the Citrus*
      B10 #3 vs. SEC #3 in the Outback
      Lately, B10 #4 vs. SEC #4/5 in the Gator/Music City

      *Really, the best team outside the NY6 bowls in these conferences is rarely the 2nd-best now, but I’ll still use that ordering.

      Like

  46. GreatLakeState says:

    Arkansas’/Arkansas’s

    Like

  47. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/25410047/rice-utep-being-mentioned-as-mountain-west-considers-expansion

    Rice and UTEP are the focus of MWC expansion talk, but nothing is imminent.

    Two sources familiar with the process said expansion of the MWC is not imminent. One huge hurdle: The current 12-team league splitting revenue 13 or 14 ways. Major rightsholders may not be in position to pay any more for league rights given current financial conditions.

    “I don’t think it’s any point where they’re going vote on it right now,” said one source of the Mountain West meetings.

    Another source course close to the situation said the expansion discussions are “accurate but misleading,” in that no immediate action is expected to be taken.

    Any Mountain West expansion candidate would have to bring approximately $3.5 million in annual equity to the league. The conference distributed a record $47 million to its 12 members last season. Without a team in the New Year’s Six, that number will be closer to $40 million this year.

    The current MWC television contract expires after the 2019-20 academic year.

    BYU has long been speculated to be a Mountain West expansion candidate since it chose independence in 2011. One source termed current Mountain West support for BYU as “fractioned.”

    The Mountain West has only 11 basketball-playing schools. Wichita State of the Missouri Valley inquired about membership two years ago, according to a source, but that’s as far as it went.

    Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      What is the consensus out in the broader world? Is the MWC a step up from CUSA? It seems like it would be with all of the back-filling from the SunBelt and FCS that CUSA has had to do. More travel in the MWC but better, more well-known schools. Football and basketball would be better, but baseball would be worse.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’d consider it a step up in football. I don’t know enough to judge how it is for MBB. CUSA baseball is probably much better, though. Overall I’d consider it a small step up in reputation.

        The unknowns for me are the financial benefits versus increased travel costs and what the next CUSA TV deal will be worth (it ends after this fiscal year). There’s also the TV downside of the MWC playing later games.

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          It also seems like a better fit academically, too. AFA is probably the closest peer to Rice in either conference. About the same size and selective. Plus four state flagships where CUSA has none.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        Absolutely. CUSA is now basically the old Sun Belt. 5 members directly from Sun Belt, 1 indirectly, 3 former members who added football in the last 5 years (UAB after dropping). Only ones who aren’t are UTEP, Rice, USM, Marshall and UTSA.

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        “Football and basketball would be better, but baseball would be worse.”
        I think the consensus in the broader world is that this in itself clearly answers the question. “FB and BBall is better but X would be worse” = “better conference”

        Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Key point is that this is just taking the temperature of the conference, since it seems the last time they talked through conference realignment was when they realigned. If an unexpected move happens, there will be a lot of rushed conference calls, and having an up to date feeling for where members stand on the basics now that they have had some experience with the new alignment is only prudent.

      Like

  48. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25407923/college-football-playoff-avoids-acc-refs-but-gets-pac-12-refs-in-title-game

    CFP refs have been announced. B10 for the Orange Bowl (Clemson vs OU), B12 for the Cotton Bowl (AL vs MSU) and P12 for the title game.

    Like

  49. bullet says:

    Rice and UTEP to the MWC? Sounds like Back to the Future. Slowly putting the WAC 16 back together. BYU, Utah and TCU are gone, replaced by Boise, USU and Nevada, but that would bring everyone else back except for Tulsa and SMU, now in the AAC.

    Wonder how Rice’s position would change if Houston got invited to Big 12?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      BYU is available, maybe? Could part of mendenhall’s leaving be connected to B12 not happening?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Considering that BYU’s TV contract by itself gives them more than twice the MWC’s total per school payout, I would say no.

        The B12 wasn’t happening for BYU in any case (I say that with 99% certainty), but that doesn’t mean that BYU will abandon independence. Their rationale for independence hasn’t changed since they went independent.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Is there any chance they’d add them but let BYU keep their TV package? They’d get to add all BYU’s road MWC games to the inventory for the MWC TV deal which has some value. The MWC already has 12 teams, so I’m not sure BYU would add enough value to make it worthwhile. Add in the hurt feelings from the past and I doubt it.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Maybe MWC proactive replacing B12 bound BSU and AFA?

            Sorry, I’ll put the bottle down.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Is there any chance they’d add them but let BYU keep their TV package? They’d get to add all BYU’s road MWC games to the inventory for the MWC TV deal which has some value.

            What benefit does BYU get out of that?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “What benefit does BYU get out of that?”

            Ease of scheduling in football plus playing their other sports in the MWC instead of the WCC. That’s less travel and a better conference for their other sports plus less travel for football without losing any TV money or exposure.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And CCG possibility.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            But I think BYU wants to play a national schedule in football, as they think it improves their chances of becoming a P5 team. (How likely those chances really are, is a whole other question.)

            As long as they are able to put together a schedule, I can’t see why they would give that up, unless the WCC is a serious detriment to their other sports.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            They’d still have 4 games for national scheduling and a conference makes late season scheduling easier. They play 6 western games per year right now. Being in a conference can keep them relevant later in the season and makes bowl games much easier to get, too.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            This was discussed quite a while ago, folks. BYU wants to play a national schedule because of the LDS. Not because of P5 aspirations. Almost everything BYU does is because of the LDS.

            Would the MWC make enough concessions to be attractive enough to BYU? Who knows, but it would be beyond what any other conference gives a member. No other conference allows a member school to have its own TV contract in a sport where it is a member for all home games (Texas has the LHN, but that does not get first pick; ND football has NBC, but ND is not in the ACC in football). And many people have noted that these special deals may weaken rather than strengthen a league.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Also, as an independent, BYU is playing 4-6 P5 teams each year (from 2015-2020).

            They won’t be able to do that as a member of the MWC.

            Like

          • Believe me – BYU is either going to a P5 league or it’s going to stay independent. Beyond what others have stated already about BYU’s desire for a national schedule and being able to play several more P5 teams per year compared to being in the MWC, they are *extremely* concerned about perception. BYU would prefer to get a P5 (meaning a Big 12) invite over being independent, but being independent is definitely better than being G5 school in heir eyes. At a very guttural level, BYU can argue that they are “special” compared to Utah because they are independent and have the national fan base to get their own ESPN contract. In contrast, being in the MWC or any other G5 institutionalizes the fact that BYU is a lower level school than Utah, which is a 100% non-starter. To them, this would be like Michigan joining the MAC while Michigan State is in the Big Ten. Absolutely *nothing* (whether it’s ease of scheduling or more bowl opportunities) is worth that in the eyes of BYU.

            Like

  50. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25409017/no-daily-fantasy-ads-will-air-during-college-football-playoff-games

    There will be no daily fantasy ads in the CFP games. ESPN agreed to let the CFP follow the same rules as all NCAA championship events in that regard. I assume the trade-off is that all the other bowl games will have nothing but DFS ads.

    Like

  51. Brian says:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2015/12/ohio-state-passes-alabama-in-athletic-department.html

    The 2014 financial year data are out.

    1. UT – $180M (+13%)
    2. OSU – $171M (+19%)
    3. AL – $151M (-1%)
    4. LSU – $139M
    5. OU – $136M
    6. MI – $132M (-3%)
    7. UF – $131M
    8. PSU – $128M
    9. AU – $127M
    10. WI – $126M

    The top 67 includes all the P5 teams plus #13 ND, #52 UConn and #66 BYU.

    Lowest P5 by conference:
    ACC: #67 WF – $59M
    P12: #65 Utah – $65M
    B10: #64 RU – $65M
    B12: #62 ISU – $66M
    SEC: #59 MS St – $68M

    Average by conference:
    SEC – $110M
    B10 – $102M
    B12 – $99M
    P12 – $86M
    ACC – $82M

    Central-weighted average by conference:
    SEC – $111M
    B10 – $99M
    B12 – $93M
    P12 – $85M
    ACC – $81M

    # of schools over $100M:
    ACC – 2 (FSU and UL; 11 below $87M)
    B10 – 7 (MN yes, MSU no; 6 below $88M)
    B12 – 4 (6 below $88M)
    P12 – 3 (Stanford, USC, UW; 8 below $86M)
    SEC – 10 (MO, MS, MS St and Vandy all below $84M)

    Distribution:
    >$120M – 13
    $100M – 14
    $80M – 18
    $60M – 20
    $40M – 14
    <$40M – 47 (mostly in the 20s and 30s)

    Like

  52. Brian says:

    http://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/2015/12/64938/report-ohio-state-to-hire-greg-schiano-as-defensive-coordinator-to-replace-departed-chris-ash

    Most people probably don’t care, but OSU will hire Greg Schiano as the new DC (and assoc. HC) to replace Chris Ash who is leaving to coach RU. Schiano is already on campus working.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Catbird’s seat, if Meyer has a re-occurence of heart problems.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I don’t know. I think Tom Herman is sitting pretty with some HC experience, too. In a couple of years Ash could be a possibility as well.

        The Meyer coaching tree has been impressive so far and he’s only 51:
        Dan Mullen (MS St)
        Charlie Strong (UL, UT)
        Steve Addazio (BC)
        Kyle Wittingham (Utah)
        Doc Holliday (Marshall)
        Gary Andersen (OR St)
        Tim Beckman (IL)
        Gregg Brandon (BGSU)
        Tom Herman (UH)
        Dan McCarney (UNT)
        Chris Ash (RU)
        DJ Durkin (UMD)
        3 lower level HCs

        They haven’t all been great, but that’s a lot of HCs to churn out so early.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      And just to be clear, Ash is coaching at OSU through the bowl game but not recruiting. Schiano is only recruiting for now.

      Like

  53. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/128404/iowa-fans-ignite-secondary-ticket-market-for-rose-bowl

    No surprise here. IA fans are excited for the Rose Bowl.

    The school, preparing for its first Rose Bowl in 25 years, capped requests on Thursday for its 22,000-ticket allotment at 54,381. Iowa will notify fans Monday on the status of their requests.

    The average resale price of a ticket to the Rose Bowl has outpaced all others by a significant margin. Seats to the game are selling for $691, according to ticket aggregator SeatGeek, and $633 through StubHub.

    StubHub and SeatGeek both report 31 percent of Rose Bowl sales to addresses in the state of Iowa, followed by California at 20 percent. SeatGeek lists Illinois addresses third at 10 percent and Wisconsin with 5 percent of sales.

    The next priciest postseason tickets sold, by comparison, according to SeatGeek, are for the Capital One Orange Bowl ($333), the Goodyear Cotton Bowl ($323), BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl ($226) and Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl ($169).

    Iowa fans left without tickets will perhaps look to help from Stanford, as Michigan State fans did before the 2014 Rose Bowl. That game, fueled by MSU interest, ranked as the most expensive Rose Bowl of the past six years on the secondary market, according to SeatGeek, with a final average selling price of $576.

    The Rose Bowl demand this year may dip before kickoff, though it has shown no signs. In fact, SeatGeek reports an average resale price of $940 over the past three days.

    Like

  54. bullet says:

    http://www.masslive.com/umass/2015/12/more_from_umass_ad_ryan_bamfor.html

    Article related to UMass. Found this question and comment interesting-doesn’t really tell much, just says what the ADs are doing:

    As Bamford explained, there’s not a whole lot he or UMass president Marty Meehan can do about finding a new conference when there aren’t any “Help Wanted” signs hanging up around the country at other leagues. I asked Bamford if the Big 12 situation, which could spark up more realignment if the Power Five conference decides it wants to expand, is the one he keeps the closest eye on:

    “I think you look at everything. I don’t look necessarily right at the Big 12. I keep my ear to the ground, I talk to ADs every day and people in the know about what they’re hearing. It’s hard to say. I don’t think anybody could have predicted what has happened in the last five years and where schools are currently residing. So I don’t try to get a crystal ball and figure out all the different permutations. I think it’s really important for us to just focus on what we’re doing and make sure that I’m doing the right things for this university and that we’re putting ourselves in the position to have success.”

    Like

    • Brian says:

      UMass is in a tough spot geographically. The MAC doesn’t make much sense and they aren’t good enough for the AAC. If CUSA loses Rice and UTEP, would they consider UMass or stay at 12?

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        UMass and who else? 13 doesn’t work very well. It kind of seems more plausible if only UTEP was to leave CUSA … for the exact reason that 13 is awkward for FB.

        That was a major reason that UMass didn’t work as a FB-only school for the MAC … the MAC needed to add one or drop one, and weren’t willing to add one for a FB-only school that would be gone at the first better offer, so they played their “get all the way in or all the way out” card. But of course, that was mutual, the MAC only really made sense for UMass when Temple was in: Temple, Buffalo, Akron, Kent State, OhioU and MiamiU is not that bad, given that there are only 3 FBS schools in New England.

        So the MAC really stopped making sense exactly the first season that UMass played in the MAC.

        If Northern Illinois ended up being raided somewhere near the end of the decade, when movement seems a bit more likely than at present (and Northern Illinois BBall may be on the improve over the next two or three years), there might be a willingness on the part of the MAC to have UMass as a #12 FB-only, playing BBall with 11, just as the MWC do today.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          “UMass and who else? 13 doesn’t work very well. It kind of seems more plausible if only UTEP was to leave CUSA … for the exact reason that 13 is awkward for FB.”

          Don’t they have 13 teams now (until UAB returns in 2017)? Lose 2 and add 1 would work short term.

          But to answer your question: Army. I know they failed in CUSA before, but that was a stronger version of CUSA. Most of the teams from back then have moved on to better conferences (ACC, B12, AAC x6) with only USM and UAB left. Army would provide a geographical bridge to UMass from the rest of CUSA, too (ODU and Marshall are the nearest schools).

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            But UAB is going to return in 2017 … since Rice and UTEP wouldn’t be gone next year, 2017 and after IS the short term for a CUSA realignment.

            I hadn’t considered Army, since I hadn’t seen any indication they are looking to join a conference. If they do look to join a conference again, FB-only, CUSA would be the one for them to join … it has a much broader footprint than the MAC, so they would be able to have more of a national schedule than in the MAC, and gives them much more hope for going bowling than the AAC. And it would leave the Army/Navy game OOC, which would be in Army’s interest.

            Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14348174/navy-coach-ken-niumatalolo-confirms-meeting-byu-cougars-head-coaching-opening

    BYU is interviewing Navy’s coach to fill their HC vacancy. Niumatalolo is LDS and his son plays at BYU.

    “I love the Naval Academy,” Niumatalolo said. “I love what it stands for. But when this one opened up, it’s different. It’s just different for me.”

    Niumatalolo is a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his family were featured in last year’s documentary “Meet the Mormons,” and Niumatalolo’s son Va’a is a sophomore linebacker at BYU.

    “My faith is everything to me, and so this is the only reason I just feel like I need to listen to what they have to offer, and that’s it,” Niumatalolo said.

    A team with BYU’s talent level running the triple option could be devastating at the lower P5/upper G5 level. They’d basically be GT but with an easier schedule.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      I checked a couple fan boards. Fans are adamant, almost apoplectic over the thought of triple option coming to Provo. A majority feel/think the interview of Ken was “suggested” by church leaders. Many believe Holmoe may have Utah’s Wittingham, but elders want that guy who was in their “Meet the Mormons” video. I doubt this, but the church hierarchy did “suggest” the BYU Idaho president exit as dean of Harvard business to take the post…

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Hilarious.

        The triple-option can win at BYU.

        Guess there are folks who don’t prioritize winning at BYU.

        Like

        • Tom says:

          I think the issue is that the triple option is boring to watch. It makes sense to run it at Air Force, Navy and Army, but less so at BYU, which can recruit higher level athletes. BYU’s incoming class is ranked #53 per 247. That’s right in the range of a lot of Power 5 programs. The service academies are all ranked #90 and above.

          Obviously, Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech has shown that you can run the triple option in a power 5 league and have success. But there is a reason that Power 5 teams (aside from Georgia Tech) have moved away from it. I actually think Georgia Tech would be better off running something else since they are located in one of the most talent rich areas. I understand they have some academic restrictions but so do Northwestern, Stanford and Duke, all of which have higher ranked classes. They are essentially hindering the level of athlete they can recruit. Their current class is #69, well below most Power 5 teams.

          One place where I think the triple option could work very well is Purdue. They have been among the worst recruiting teams in the country the past several seasons. Indiana produces decent talent, but the best talent always goes to teams not named Purdue and Indiana. You also have to contend with Indiana’s Big 12 style offense which is fun to watch and very unique to the B1G. Under Tiller, they differentiated themselves by running a pre-cursor to the air raid that was unique to the B1G. Purdue could carve out a niche by installing the triple option. They aren’t recruiting high level talent anyway. Their current class is ranked #107 per 247.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            You didn’t watch it in its hey-dey. It was pretty exciting watching Texas and Oklahoma play it in the 70s. The teams playing it now are doing it because they don’t have Texas/Oklahoma level athletes. When you combine it with that explosive speed, its very exciting.

            Now if you play it all the time, you know how to stop it. It was Texas slowing OU that finally shifted teams away from it.

            Now I don’t think it makes sense for BYU. They have a long tradition for getting great passing QBs. They get a lot of big linemen (triple option tends to use smaller linemen). I haven’t heard that Navy’s coach intends to use the triple option there. He shouldn’t.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            Last time there was even discussion of that at Purdue, Jeff George ran screaming to Champaign (after a pit stop in Coral Gables) following Fred Akers’ hiring in ’87. There are several Chicago area HS power houses that run that type of offense, so that might help keep some local talent around plus the native IN talent.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          Personally, I like watching the triple-option.

          Also note that Nebraska ran it not too long ago.

          Evidently, they recruited well enough to win 3 national titles with it.
          (As an aside, I believe that Peterson firing Solich and ditching the triple option to go pro-style will go down as one of the all-time greatest administrative mistakes in college football).

          Also, while Northwestern and Stanford do have academic restrictions for athletes above what other schools have, Duke (and Vandy) don’t really (at least for revenue sport athletes; otherwise, there’s no way Coach K gets all those McDonald’s All-Americans).

          Thus, GTech’s academic restrictions may be even more severe than Duke’s.
          In theory, a coach there can recruit anyone who meets the NCAA minimum. In practice, every GTech student has to pass one year of calculus in order to graduate. That limits the recruiting pool quite a bit. Obviously not all kids can do that, and even of those who can, not all are willing to tackle calculus.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Also, while Northwestern and Stanford do have academic restrictions for athletes above what other schools have, Duke (and Vandy) don’t really (at least for revenue sport athletes; otherwise, there’s no way Coach K gets all those McDonald’s All-Americans).”

            I think Duke is like most B10 teams in terms of having standards higher than the NCAA minimum but not at the level of Stanford and NW. My brother used to tutor some of the MBB players at Duke and they weren’t illiterate idiots but they weren’t all Rhodes scholars either. It all comes down to how many special admits Duke allows Coach K, and I don’t know that number.

            “Thus, GTech’s academic restrictions may be even more severe than Duke’s.
            In theory, a coach there can recruit anyone who meets the NCAA minimum. In practice, every GTech student has to pass one year of calculus in order to graduate. That limits the recruiting pool quite a bit. Obviously not all kids can do that, and even of those who can, not all are willing to tackle calculus.”

            http://investigations.myajc.com/football-admissions/

            The Atlanta paper has done an in depth look at football players versus normal students at the major state schools in GA over the past 6 years.

            2014 GT freshmen average SAT scores:
            football – 1025
            normal – 1445

            There were a handful of extremely low scores. Georgia Tech admitted one player with a Math-Verbal combined SAT of 590, and UGA, 570. A score of 400 is the lowest possible on the SAT. Among college-bound seniors in 2014, just 2 percent of all SAT test takers nationally scored 600 or below, according to the College Board.

            The University System of Georgia sets minimum benchmarks for admission to its campuses.

            The standard uses a freshman index, which is a formula that takes into account grade point average and either SAT or ACT test results. The minimum SAT score for admission to a four-year university is 430 Critical Reading and 400 Math — or 830 combined.

            Students with SAT scores below that threshold may be considered as a category of special admit referred to as a presidential exception. Schools have caps on the number of such special admits they may accept in a given year.

            Special admits from 2009-2014:
            GT – 31
            UGA – 63

            http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/paper-trail/2008/12/30/athletes-show-huge-gaps-in-sat-scores

            Quoting from a similar 2008 article by the AJC:

            Many schools routinely used a special admissions process to admit athletes who did not meet the normal entrance requirements. More than half of scholarship athletes at the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin, Clemson University, UCLA, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University were special admits. . . At Georgia, for instance, 73.5 percent of athletes were special admits compared with 6.6 percent of the student body as a whole.

            USN&WR continues:
            At a glance, here are the top 10 highest and lowest schools based on the average SAT scores of football players (out of a maximum 1600 score):

            FOOTBALL SAT SCORES:

            THE TOP 10

            School, Average

            Georgia Tech, 1028
            Oregon State, 997
            Michigan, 997
            Virginia, 993
            Purdue, 974
            Indiana, 973
            Hawaii, 968
            California, 967
            Colorado, 966
            Iowa, 964

            THE BOTTOM 10

            School, Average
            Oklahoma State, 878
            Louisville, 878
            Memphis, 890
            Florida, 890
            Texas Tech, 901
            Arkansas, 910
            Texas A&M, 911
            Mississippi State, 911
            Washington State, 916
            Michigan State, 917

            Obviously no private schools are included since they don’t have to release information.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Hard to imagine how an 830 could survive at Georgia Tech, yet they were recruiting an average of 5 a year during that time frame.

            And they still had the highest average SAT.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Free tutors and unlimited academics support is my guess. Also lots of electives to counterbalance their calculus grades.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            GTech does have a handful of humanities majors. And at most places, its possible to graduate in something with a GPA above 2.0 if you are disciplined enough to put in the work.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            A good tutor and a lot of drilling, you can pass calculus at a C level by investing a lot of grunt work. Mostly need to get algebra skills up to speed, but if its a good tutor and a solid base of information on what kind of problems will show up, a lot of it is overcoming math anxiety and the ingrained idea that there is some math gene require to do passable work in basic math techniques, as opposed to investing the time and effort into learning the skills and learning to step through the problem solution steps. And learning to recognize basic problems and hard problems, so you take the points on offer and don’t sweat too hard over the problems that are there to sort the A’s from the C’s.

            Of course, part of the challenge of recruiting academic under-performers for a school like GTech is recognizing the difference between woefully badly taught students and dummies. Indeed, come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure GTech would necessarily wants a dummy playing offensive line in a triple option offense.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bruce:

            Another challenge is getting kids who want to major in football.
            Having the ability to pass calculus is one thing. Having the inclination is another.
            UNC had their fraudulent joke classes for athletes. At many other schools, a student-athlete may actually have to do the work, but the work may not be much or that demanding, at least compared to passing calculus.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Having the ability to pass calculus is one thing. Having the inclination is another.”

            And that is something that the SAT score will not actually tell for a HS student that has been badly taught. I am not talking in general, I am talking about the specific system at GTech … being able to offer the genuine chance to overcome that kind of academic handicap is not going to have traction with a majority of FB-scholarship-bound HS students, but it could well be that ones for which it does have traction are likely to be a good fit for the GTech system.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        ccrider55,

        “I checked a couple fan boards. Fans are adamant, almost apoplectic over the thought of triple option coming to Provo.”

        They probably spent years mocking AF for having to use a high school offense and now fear that same offense coming to them. Also, they have such a long history of the spread and a strong passing attack that I’m sure it’s a culture shock.

        “A majority feel/think the interview of Ken was “suggested” by church leaders.”

        It probably was if Holmoe didn’t think of it on his own. How many successful LDS head coaches are out there? Add in that he’s Polynesian which is a big group for BYU in recruiting.

        “Many believe Holmoe may have Utah’s Wittingham, but elders want that guy who was in their “Meet the Mormons” video.”

        Is BYU going to greatly outspend a P12 school for a coach? I know he’s a BYU alumnus and LDS member but I doubt he gives BYU a discount.

        http://www.vanquishthefoe.com/2015/12/9/9881834/byu-football-coaching-search-kyle-whittingham-this-is-not-a-drill

        Whittingham is paid around $2.6 Million at Utah, and per Drew, BYU is prepared to go “as high as $2 million” and probably much less than that if they aren’t hiring a sitting FBS head coach.

        Coming up with the money to pry Whittingham away with a raise would require some major digging into BYU donor pockets, plus a bit of a change in how BYU has traditionally operated.

        Like

        • Redwood86 says:

          Utah AD has been undermining Whittingham for years. No love lost there. That is why Whittingham interviewed at Wisky and Nebraska last year. I expected to hear Whittingham’s name come up in searches this year, but it has not – except that he said he was willing to listen to BYU when Holmoe reached out. . . .There were rumors in Salt Lake papers last December that BYU was going to hire Whittingham then. Is this why Mendenhall left now?

          Like

        • Redwood86 says:

          Ha! USC didn’t even conduct a search. Talk about insular. But hey, the USC AD is the gift that keeps on giving as far as the rest of the Pac-12 is concerned.

          Like

  56. Richard says:

    B10 has 2/4 Final Four teams and 6/16 Sweet Sixteen teems in the NCAA volleyball tournament. The conference with the 2nd-most Sweet Sixteen teams was the Pac with 3 (granted, the B12 also has 2 Final Four teams, but they were the only B12 Sweet Sixteen teams as well).
    None of the 9 B10 teams who entered the tournament lost in the first round.

    Ever since the advent of the BTN, the B10 has turned in to a volleyball powerhouse (which makes some sense as B10 country has plenty of big tall people).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Granted, B10 volleyball wasn’t bad before, and adding Nebraska has definitely helped. However, while PSU has that insane run (6 national titles in 8 years from 2007-2014), in recent years, the depth the B10 has in volleyball rivals that of SEC football during its title run.

      The B10 has had half the Final Four in 3 of the past 4 years, now.
      Since 2011, 6 different B10 schools have made the Final Four.

      Like

  57. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14369127/missouri-legislator-proposes-bill-revoke-student-athlete-scholarships-strike

    A MO state legislator has proposed a bill that would strip an athlete’s scholarship if strike. Coaches would also be fined for encouraging or supporting it.

    The bill proposed by Republican Rep. Rick Brattin last week in the Missouri House of Representatives would strip scholarships from any athlete who “calls, incites, supports or participates in any strike.” Colleges and universities would be required to fine coaching staff members who encourage or enable such student protests.

    Brattin wasn’t immediately available to comment, but Rep. Kurt Bahr, the co-sponsor of the bill, said his goal is to show that some state lawmakers don’t approve of how University of Missouri administrators handled student unrest. Bahr said he hopes this bill fosters discussion between the legislature and university leadership.

    The aim is to show “the response that they’ve had has not been as strong as the legislature would like,” said Bahr, a St. Charles Republican, “and that we, the General Assembly, expect the leadership of this state institution to actually lead and not allow the students to call the shots.”

    Brattin’s bill is one of a number proposed in response to the unrest at the university. Republican budget leaders have said state funding for the university will be under greater scrutiny in the legislative session that begins Jan. 6.

    Like

  58. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/14382140/bo-ryan-says-greg-gard-keep-wisconsin-badgers-together-show-improvement

    I hate to see another prominent coach quit in midseason. These guys would throw a fit if one of their players did the same thing. He’s trying to influence the hiring of his replacement by getting him a free trial and that bothers me. It’s not his job to decide on his replacement. Too many coaches stick their nose into their “legacy” at a school.

    “I really wanted to have something like this done earlier,” Ryan told ESPN. “I know this is unorthodox to some people, but in the long run, [Gard] will have a chance to take over before the Big Ten season. I had to make the decision in time to give him a chance to be able to show what he knows.”

    Ryan said part of the reason he came back for this season was to give Gard time to be with his father, Glen, who was diagnosed with cancer in the spring and died this fall. Ryan said the demands on Gard’s time to fly around the country meeting with doctors and helping Gard’s dad put his retirement on the back burner. Following Glen Gard’s death, Ryan then spoke with athletic director Barry Alvarez and decided the semester break would be an appropriate time to step down.

    He could do all the recruiting and preseason practice work but coaching the B10 season was too much to ask? Yet he couldn’t retire immediately and let someone else be the interim either? If he just retired at the end of last year, then the job would have to be posted and his assistant would have a much smaller chance at the job. By forcing an interim hire, he gets his hand picked guy 20+ games of an audition with Ryan having laid the entire foundation.

    Like

    • @Brian – Eh, I’m not that bothered by it. Bo Ryan built up an unusually large amount of capital during his time at Wisconsin. If Bo made his decision clear after Gard’s death, then what more can the university reasonably ask for? Wisconsin basketball has turned into a perennial contender with 18,000 seats sold out every night under Ryan at a school and location where that sport doesn’t have any natural strength in terms of tradition or recruiting. Also, Barry Alvarez is pretty much the last guy that can say much about preserving a legacy at a school after retiring as a coach.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Frank the Tank,

        “If Bo made his decision clear after Gard’s death, then what more can the university reasonably ask for?”

        Screw Alvarez and the school. It’s a jerk move from Ryan to do this to them, and I assume Alvarez responds in kind by demoting Gard ASAP after the season ends, but they don’t get my sympathy. They can still hire whomever they choose longterm.

        I don’t like it for the players. He announced over the summer he would retire after the season. Freshmen thought they’d play for Ryan this season and seniors thought they’d finish their careers under him. Considering what a prick he was about Jarrod Ulthoff transferring from WI, it stinks to see him do this although it isn’t surprising.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          He was a prick to Ulthoff, but why is this a jerk move?

          Is anyone in Madison upset by the promotion of Gard? Alvarez? The players? Anyone else at the school? If not, why do you care, Brian? It’s not even your school.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “He was a prick to Ulthoff, but why is this a jerk move?”

            Because he lied to his players about coaching them this season when he only returned to get his guy a shot at the job? Because he quit midseason for no pressing reason but would throw a complete fit if one of his players decided to quit in midseason for no pressing reason? Because he’s bailing out during his worst season ever despite all the coach’s talk about overcoming adversity and sticking together as a team that the players have to hear?

            “Is anyone in Madison upset by the promotion of Gard? Alvarez?”

            Yes, by all accounts Alvarez is.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/109736/big-thought-bo-ryan-edition-prepare-for-three-fascinating-months-in-madison

            Simply put: Ryan wants to turn his program over to longtime assistant Greg Gard. He has expressed this desire privately, publicly and frequently. Alvarez, by all accounts, has remained unconvinced. In the AD’s view, as Jeff Goodman writes today, “feels as though this program — one that is coming off back-to-back Final Four appearances — has elevated itself enough to land a high-profile coach. Someone like Virginia’s Tony Bennett.”

            By leaving now, Ryan has made it impossible for Alvarez to do anything but give his interim head coach an extended audition, an audition Gard was unlikely to get under any other circumstances. Per ESPN Wisconsin’s Zach Heilprin, Ryan was willing to step aside before this season if Gard would get the job. When Alvarez “scoffed at just handing the keys of a program coming off back-to-back Final Fours to a guy who had never been a head coach before,” the man who tripled Wisconsin’s all-time NCAA tournament appearances from seven to 21 (in 14 seasons!) had no choice but to wait until Alvarez would have no choice. For Gard to get a chance, this was the way to do it.

            “The players?”

            Were all surprised by the announcement, with some indicating they assumed it was for a health reason. Since they have to play for Gard this season at least, nobody is going to come out and say anything negative directly even if they do dislike the choice. We may find out more in the offseason if players transfer. My guess is that they mostly like him (assistants are often pretty popular with the payers).

            “If not, why do you care, Brian? It’s not even your school.”

            Oh, I forgot that I’m not allowed to have opinions about anything outside of OSU. Hypocrisy from coaches is something I can only comment on if it happens at OSU.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            Gard’s father was battling Cancer last summer and died in October. Ryan wanted to retire back in April but Alvarez wanted him to think about more. When he announced in June that he would coach for another year they didn’t think Gard’s dad would necessarily die in October.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            He has to quit midseason because the man died early? Don’t agree to coach for another season if you don’t mean it. The players deserve to know who their coach will be.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            What is comes down to is whether you want Ryan or Alvarez to decide who the next coach (at least in the short term) should be. If I was a Wisconsin fan, for basketball, I would trust Ryan more.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “What is comes down to is whether you want Ryan or Alvarez to decide who the next coach (at least in the short term) should be. If I was a Wisconsin fan, for basketball, I would trust Ryan more.”

            What expertise does Ryan have in hiring head coaches exactly? He wants his protege to get the job but the guy has zero head coach experience. The history of first time head coaches at major programs is very hit or miss. So is the success of coaches handpicked by their predecessor. Not every great assistant is also a great head coach. A no-name coach could also potentially undermine recruiting compared to hiring a known commodity. Besides, perhaps Alvarez wants to see a different style of hoops now that WI is a big enough name to recruit decent players. He’s the AD. It’s his job to make that call. And at least he has the benefit of the experience of having hired several head coaches before.

            I’m not sure forcing Alvarez to hire his protege as the interim coach is going to really help the guy either. It adds ill will into the scenario. Seeing how a guy does coaching for 2/3 of a season is very different from seeing the results of him running a program for several years anyway. If Bo really wanted this guy to replace him, he should have pushed him to take a HC job several years ago to build his resume.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Basketball and football are 2 different sports. I still remember the Schembechler era at the Tigers. It was hilarious. He filled their farm system full of guys who were athletic and would be spectacular on the football field. The Tigers stunk.

            And changing a style that has been successful is one of the most bone-headed moves an administrator can make. Peterson did that at Nebraska. UNL still hasn’t recovered.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            says:
            December 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

            Basketball and football are 2 different sports. I still remember the Schembechler era at the Tigers. It was hilarious. He filled their farm system full of guys who were athletic and would be spectacular on the football field. The Tigers stunk.

            “And changing a style that has been successful is one of the most bone-headed moves an administrator can make. Peterson did that at Nebraska. UNL still hasn’t recovered.”

            Many teams used to run the wishbone or an option attack and most survived the transition – OU, OSU, etc. The key is that certain styles limit who you can recruit, so a program that has elevated its status might wan to consider a change to allow it to pursue the better athletes that will now listen to their pitch. I’m not saying Alvarez wants to do that, but he might. If nothing else there was talk of hiring Bennett from UVA who is more proven than a career assistant.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “The key is that certain styles limit who you can recruit, so a program that has elevated its status might wan to consider a change to allow it to pursue the better athletes that will now listen to their pitch. I’m not saying Alvarez wants to do that, but he might.”

            The key is winning games and titles, not winning recruiting season and getting better athletes.

            Bo Ryan’s time-killing packline style and the recruits he got playing that style got Wisconsin to the Final Four both of the last 2 years. Pretty tough to top that, unless you get Calipari (and no, I think there is zero chance of Wisconsin being able to get Cal or Self/Coach K/Izzo, etc.)

            If they do make a switch in style, I think it will be monumental mistake akin to Peterson abandoning the option & ground-based offense for a West Coast offense at UNL. In 34 of the last 35 years that they relied on an option and I-formation run-heavy offense under Devaney/Osborne/Solich, Nebraska never had more than 4 losses in a season (and won 5 national titles). Only 1 year with 4 losses. Pretty much never in those years did Nebraska have among the top recruiting classes.

            Since replacing Solich with Callahan, Nebraska has _never_ had a year with less than 4 losses (compare winning percentages instead and the story still remains the same).

            Just like Nebraska football is unlike OSU/OU/Texas football (who can rely on superior athletes to win with a more conventional scheme because they have access to enough top athletes), Wisconsin basketball is not UK/KU/Duke basketball, so adopting a more conventional scheme to chase better athletes is a sure-fire route to disaster and about as bone-headed a move as you may make if you are Wisconsin.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I hate to see another prominent coach quit in midseason.

      I think most coach retirements, regardless of timing, are contradictions of previous promises to coach longer. No coach could recruit if he stated honestly that he expected to be gone in a year.

      These guys would throw a fit if one of their players did the same thing.

      I am not sure what “the same thing” is, as applied to a player, since 20-year-olds don’t retire to pave the way for a hand-picked successor. Barring injury, college players generally don’t retire unless they aren’t playing. Coaches don’t usually throw fits in such cases.

      Coaches have a lot more options than players, because there are fewer restrictions on their movements. It is certainly common for coaches to leave, after having assured players that they were staying. Michigan’s DJ Durkin was obviously negotiating with Maryland while preparing his team for the Ohio State game. Might the distraction have contributed to Michigan’s defense playing its worst game of the year? Perhaps.

      If the rules allowed players to move as freely as coaches, I am sure they would.

      Like

      • I guess that I have no real issue with Bo Ryan’s actions here. He had already made it known that he was going to retire before this year. Why is this leaving Wisconsin in any different of a position than Steve Spurrier left South Carolina? Either Wisconsin keeps his assistant on or it’s an open job after this year (which is exactly what would have happened with Ryan staying the full year, anyway).

        Now, by the same token, Barry Alvarez has no obligation to keep Ryan’s old assistant permanently. He could very well be correct that Wisconsin can get a higher profile replacement. Of course, Alvarez has lost two football coaches in the last 3 years to athletic departments with a lot less success and lower revenue, so he has no reason to be cocky in this process.

        Both Ryan and Alvarez have valid interests. I just don’t see one having some type of moral high ground over the other.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Frank the Tank,

          “Why is this leaving Wisconsin in any different of a position than Steve Spurrier left South Carolina?”

          It isn’t, which is why I complained about both (“I hate to see another prominent coach quit in midseason.”). It might be less offensive to me if they didn’t both jump ship during bad seasons.

          “Either Wisconsin keeps his assistant on or it’s an open job after this year (which is exactly what would have happened with Ryan staying the full year, anyway).”

          I also said my issue is with how the players are treated, not the school. Ryan’s motivations are worse since he did this partially just to mess with an AD who wouldn’t kowtow to his demands to pick his successor.

          “Both Ryan and Alvarez have valid interests. I just don’t see one having some type of moral high ground over the other.”

          Since Alvarez didn’t do anything, I think he gets the high ground by default since Ryan quit in part to force his assistant on Alvarez.

          Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Players do retire on occasion (academics, health, other interest), or leave to play elsewhere. 5th year grad transfers, move down a division, or sit a year and play D1 elsewhere. aTm is short a couple talented QB’s currently. U of Nike just got their second grad transfer QB in as many years.

        It is a bit disruptive when a coach leaves mid season, but life throws occasional change ups. Pretend college sports are an educational experience and learn lessons in dealing with adversity.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “I think most coach retirements, regardless of timing, are contradictions of previous promises to coach longer. No coach could recruit if he stated honestly that he expected to be gone in a year.”

        That’s a little different from saying in the summer you plan to coach one final year when you know all along you intend to quit midseason.

        “I am not sure what “the same thing” is, as applied to a player,”

        Quitting midseason to focus on something else (academics, their girlfriend, whatever) would be the most direct parallel.

        “Barring injury, college players generally don’t retire unless they aren’t playing. Coaches don’t usually throw fits in such cases.”

        Let’s take transferring as a player equivalent. Look at how some coaches, including Ryan, react – barring long lists of schools as possible transfer sites, refusing to release players from their scholarships or even badmouthing the player.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          That’s a little different from saying in the summer you plan to coach one final year when you know all along you intend to quit midseason.

          I think it’s pretty common for coaches to say, “I’m going to be here,” when the coach knows he is very seriously considering not being there. We could talk about the culture that produces this behavior, but it’s practically universal.

          Quitting midseason to focus on something else (academics, their girlfriend, whatever) would be the most direct parallel.

          Usually, the quitting player is a minimal contributor or non-contributor. The coach doesn’t usually throw a fit in such cases. In fact, if the player is not a senior, the coach might be happy to have the scholarship back.

          Let’s take transferring as a player equivalent. Look at how some coaches, including Ryan, react – barring long lists of schools as possible transfer sites, refusing to release players from their scholarships or even badmouthing the player.

          Yeah, and most of those same coaches have at some point in their careers run out on a contract, or would again, when a better deal at another school comes along. Most, I think, impose minimal transfer restrictions (future opponents) or none at all, but a few do behave spitefully. I can’t see any good defense for that behavior, nor any good reason for the rule granting them the power to do so.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I think it’s pretty common for coaches to say, “I’m going to be here,” when the coach knows he is very seriously considering not being there.”

            For guys taking better jobs, sure. Not for guys saying I’m going to retire at the end of next season when they fully intend to quit midseason.

            “Yeah, and most of those same coaches have at some point in their careers run out on a contract, or would again, when a better deal at another school comes along. Most, I think, impose minimal transfer restrictions (future opponents) or none at all, but a few do behave spitefully. I can’t see any good defense for that behavior, nor any good reason for the rule granting them the power to do so.”

            My point is that Ryan is one of those coaches that has screwed players, so I think it’s fair to complain about him quitting on his team.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Coaches may be able to influence, but it’s the school (AD) that may or may not grant, restrict, or deny releases to students.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            That may be the letter of the law, but it is not true in practice. Look at the Ryan/Uthoff history. Look at Kingsbury/Mayfield. The schools are wrong to not overrule them, but coaches get their way. Even the faculty boards don’t overturn the decisions of the coaches.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Zalesky had to fight hard to get Iowa to honor his promise to Steven Mocco that if he signed and after a couple years wanted to transfer, he would be released. Mocco wound up at OkSU and with the team title, which probably would have been Iowa’s had he stayed. Couple years later Bowlsby forced to fire Zalesky, which he does and then leaves for Stanford.

            I know of several cases where wrestlers wanted to follow coach. Those still with RS were released. Those who had burned it weren’t, leaving them to sacrifice a year or stay. One case wrestler only had one year left.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          “Quitting midseason to focus on something else (academics, their girlfriend, whatever) would be the most direct parallel.”

          At least in Northwestern football, if a player wants to go another direction and retire from football for whatever reason, the coaches have nothing but good things to say and thank him for his contributions. They certainly don’t throw a hissy fit like you’re doing. In fact, if it’s for medical reasons, they still try to make the kid a part of the team.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            1. Medical reasons wouldn’t be quitting.
            2. We were only discussing quitting during the season, not between seasons.
            3. Yes, making a comment on a topical discussion site is clearly throwing a hissy fit.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Venric Mark transferred from NU a few days before the first game last year. Relations remained amicable with the coaching staff and he has nothing but good things to say about the program (and came back to finish his degree). Coaching staff never slagged him either.

            Most people aren’t as bitter and mean as you, you know, Brian.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14399087/byu-cougars-close-agreement-kalani-sitake-become-next-head-coach

      Sources say BYU will hire the OrSU defensive coordinator, Kalani Sitake.

      Sitake, 40, played four years at BYU as a fullback and graduated in 2000. He spent the past year as Oregon State’s defensive coordinator after serving as an assistant at Utah from 2005 to 2014.

      Oregon State struggled defensively this season under Sitake, ranking 116th out of 128 FBS teams in total defense.

      Not really the resume you’d hope for if you’re BYU.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Who else do you want them to get?

        Keep in mind that he has to be a Mormon.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          They wanted a successful head coach based on their attempts at Wittingham and Niumatalolo. Settling for a guy with a few years of DC experience is clearly not the resume they’d hoped for. It doesn’t mean it won’t work out.

          As for other options, it’s not my job to know people’s religion. There are lots of former BYU players and assistant coaches out there, but they aren’t all LDS.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Have they ever hired a head coach before? I read they had not.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Evidently the head coach of BYU has to be Mormon.

            So with that criteria, who else do you think would have been better who BYU had a shot at?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And all twelve top church leaders (apostles?) spread around the world have to unanimously approve. If one dissent they have a whole new discussion before a re vote. Primary focus is not on X’s and O’s, or defensive philosophy…

            Like

  59. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14390558/quarterback-kyler-murray-transferring-texas-aggies

    What’s going on at TAMU? 2 starting QBs have decided to transfer out in the past week or so. Sumlin has gone 11-2, 9-4, 8-5 and 8-4 so far. Is he under pressure?

    Uncertainty with the direction of Texas A&M’s offense, the future of the offensive coaching staff, trust issues between the quarterbacks and coaches and how the quarterbacks were utilized were among the concerns that led to both Murray’s and Allen’s transfers, sources indicated to ESPN.com. The Aggies had their worst offensive season statistically since coach Kevin Sumlin’s debut in College Station in 2012, ranking 48th nationally in yards per game (423), 63rd in yards per play (5.64), 69th in scoring (28.3 points per game), 81st in yards per pass attempt (6.46) and 97th in red zone efficiency (54.9 percent).

    No decisions have been made regarding the future of offensive coordinator Jake Spavital — who was the primary recruiter for both Allen and Murray — or any of the other offensive coaches, Sumlin said Wednesday. Sumlin indicated that no decisions will be made until after the Aggies’ game against Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.

    This could be an opportunity for UT to get back on top in the state.

    Like

  60. Nostradamus says:

    Minnesota loses to Texas, but Nebraska defeats Kansas. Texas vs. Nebraska in Omaha Saturday for the NCAA volleyball title.

    Like

  61. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/12/18/ryan-cubit-illinois-offensive-coordinator

    Bill Cubit has promoted his son to OC for Illinois but Bill will still call the plays. Iowa went through this recently with Brian Ferentz – does Illinois have a nepotism policy?

    Like

  62. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25418087/college-football-attendance-drops-for-fifth-straight-year-but-at-slower-rate

    CFB attendance was down again, but not by much.

    Among the top 25 attendance leaders, the biggest declines were experienced by UCLA (13 percent), Florida State (11 percent), LSU (8 percent) and Iowa (6 percent). Before the Hawkeyes went 12-0 in the regular season, they lost many season ticket-holders who were disappointed with the team’s performance in previous years.

    The biggest increases among Power Five schools: Pittsburgh (17 percent), Virginia (10 percent), Minnesota (9 percent), Iowa State (8 percent), Kentucky (6 percent), Indiana (6 percent) and Purdue (6 percent). Pittsburgh and Virginia benefitted by each playing a home game against Notre Dame.

    Big Ten: Average attendance was 65,998, down from 66,939 in 2014 and 70,431 in 2013 (prior to Rutgers and Maryland joining the conference). Nine of the 14 Big Ten schools saw smaller crowds this year, including a 14-percent decline by Northwestern, which went 10-2.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I’d like to see the numbers adjusted for the new members of I-A. I know the trend would be the same, but adding lots of schools with small stadiums obviously hurts the per game numbers. In addition, I’d like to see the neutral site game attendance included. That’s become a significant number of games for big schools.

      Stadium capacity for the past decade’s additions:
      Charlotte – 15,300
      UMass – 17,000
      FIU – 20,000
      ODU – 20,118
      WKU – 22,113
      App St – 24,050
      GA So – 25,000
      FAU – 29,419
      TX St – 30,000
      So AL – 40,646
      UTSA – 65,000 (Alamodome)
      GA St – 71,228 (GA Dome)

      How attendance doing for the longterm members of I-A? That seems more relevant as a measure. Or perhaps look at attendance in terms of capacity filled.

      Like

    • Duffman says:

      Did the South Carolina game count in LSU’s numbers?

      Because of the weather moving the game to LSU the numbers were terrible by LSU standards. I think all the regular scheduled LSU games were over 100K so being down almost 10% seems pretty impossible unless they are counting the South Carolina game or somehow factoring in the cancelled game with McNeese State.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The NCAA did count that game for LSU. They average 102,004 in 6 games without it and 93,440 with it due to only getting 42,058 for that game.

        Like

  63. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25417211/inside-college-sports-sec-big-ten-dominate-100m-revenue-club

    Some interesting numbers:

    In recent court filings, the NCAA said 25 percent of responding FBS schools to a survey have awarded multiyear scholarships to incoming football players since 2012, and just 6 percent by FCS schools. At schools that generally offer multiyear scholarships, only between 8 percent and 11 percent of FBS football players received multiyear scholarships. The NCAA cited an expert for Rock, Daniel Rascher, who projected that about 15 percent of all possible FBS football scholarships in 2016-17 will be for multiple years.

    Like

  64. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/128667/big-ten-bowl-season-has-never-been-bigger-than-right-now

    Is this the best B10 bowl season ever?

    Pros:
    * The B10 has teams in the CFP, Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.
    * B10 teams face a lot of major brands – ND, AL, UF, TN, UGA, USC, UCLA, Stanford (also face Duke and CMU).
    * 10 B10 teams made bowls.
    * No games before 12/26 and none after 1/2 unless MSU makes the NCG.

    Cons:
    * Still have 3 games at once on 1/1 (12, 1 and 1 starts) but no other games overlap.
    * The B10 champion isn’t in the Rose Bowl
    * 2 5-7 teams made bowls (not a con for everyone)
    * The CFP semifinal for the B10 is on 12/31
    * The B10 is predicted to go 4-6 by Vegas lines while the SEC goes 9-1 and the P12 8-2. The B10 is expected to go 1-3 vs the SEC and 0-3 vs the P12.

    Like

    • @ccrider55 – I’ve got my Star Wars tickets for Sunday with the wife and kids. My wife is only going to humor me, but my son and I are pumped beyond relief, especially with the positive reviews. I’m on a self-enforced social media embargo until then in order to avoid all spoilers.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      The expectations are for Episode VII to break all the box office records. Of course, part of that is due to the ever-increasing prices of tickets.

      Like

  65. Nostradamus says:

    Nebraska claims the NCAA Volleyball national championship.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Good day for B10 sports in general.

      If it wasn’t for PU losing to Butler, the B10 would have had a clean sweep of all the men’s basketball games (including OSU’s huge upset of UK).

      Like

  66. bullet says:

    I guess Chewy could be an Illinois fan. He always seems to be in the middle of chaos. I don’t agree with you on the 3rd of the trilogies. I thought those were the weak links. Other than that I agree with your order. I’d put Empire 4th and Sith 7th.

    Star Wars IS back, but there were a couple things that bothered me. ***This isn’t a spoiler***, but nobody asks the obvious questions. 1) Who is she? and 2) Why is there a map?

    Harrison Ford did look like a 72-73 year old who had just broken his leg in 2 places. I think his action film days are over.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Correction-Jedi was the 3rd of the trilogy-so I agree with them as #4, but I would put Empire 2nd or 3rd instead of 1st.

      Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I thought he filmed his scenes BEFORE the crash. He would look even worse if it was afterwards. Luke looks like a love child of Sean Payton and Rob Ryan. I expected Hamill to be the old wizened one.

      Like

  67. bullet says:

    Rather interesting that the newbies have done well. Appalachian St. and Western Kentucky are the only two loss teams outside of the AAC and P5. Georgia Southern has done well. Meanwhile ULL, ULM, Troy St. in the Sun Belt and some of the longer term FBS schools in CUSA lag in the standings. Will they continue to do well or will they fade when they can’t use transfers and don’t have the big success they had in FCS?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Just like with every other program, it depends on recruiting and how well they’re able to replace coaches after they’re hired away after several years of success.

      App State’s coach wasn’t a hot candidate this year after turning a 1-5 2014 start into a 6-0 finish, followed by an 11-2 season this year. It’s only a matter of time, though, barring a dramatic reversal of fortune. App can only afford so much, and Satterfield will be in demand if he continues to succeed. The key, as with most other programs, will be hiring the next diamond in the rough.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s an encouraging development, but I want to see how reusable things really turn out to be. How many times can you reuse that first stage and what are the rehab costs between uses?

      Blue Origin did a lesser version of the same thing a month ago, so it’s nice to see two different groups accomplish this. That bodes well.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        It’s an encouraging development, but I want to see how reusable things really turn out to be. How many times can you reuse that first stage and what are the rehab costs between uses?

        Even Elon Musk has admitted that he is not sure when one of these will be re-used in an actual mission. It should save some money (against the base case of a throw-away rocket), but is it worth it if a client’s payload goes up in smoke?

        It’s worth noting that the Space Shuttle program originally had a design objective that the orbiters would be ready for re-use after about 2 weeks. In fact, it generally took months — one of the many reasons why the Shuttle never achieved its cost targets.

        Like

  68. ccrider55 says:

    I used the 50M figure because no one knows the refurbishing cost. Maybe a total tear down, or maybe “check the oil and fill her up.” Even only having a single reuse still cuts launch vehicle booster costs nearly in half. We may not get a sense of reuse time/cost from this one. Read where Musk may museum piece this booster.

    Bezos’ accomplishment was great, but in an experimental setting. SpaceX’s Grasshopper did a number of proof of concept takeoff and vertical landings several years ago, but to nowhere as high an altitude. Yesterday was an actual mission (with a fifteen storie tall booster!).

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Yep, that’s why I called it a lesser version. Space X did a real mission while Blue Origins did a suborbital flight. Long term I think those two would be better off combining rather than fighting each other plus Orbital, Boeing and Lockheed.

      Like

  69. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Forbes ranks the top 20 most valuable football teams.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2015/12/22/college-footballs-most-valuable-teams-2015-texas-notre-dame-and-tennessee/

    By conference:

    SEC (9): #3 Tennessee, #4 LSU, #6 Georgia, #8 Alabama, #10 Auburn, #12 Arkansas, #15 Florida, #16 Texas A&M, #18 South Carolina

    B1G (4): #5 Michigan, #7 Ohio State, #11 Penn State, #19 Mich State

    Pac-12 (3): #13 Washington, #14 Oregon, #20 USC

    Big-12 (2): #1 Texas, #9 Oklahoma

    Ind: #2 Notre Dame

    ACC: #17 Florida State

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Tennessee?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Their formula is based heavily on profit margin and doesn’t correct for conference members splitting a very big check equally (or close to it) despite some programs doing more to earn that money for the conference than others.

        The Volunteers have been far from successful on the field in their three seasons under Butch Jones, posting just 20 wins and beating only two ranked teams.

        Yet, as we’ll get into below, our valuation methodology relies heavily on team earnings directed toward academics and other athletic programs. And while most SEC teams saw a sizable boost in revenue this year, none were as good as Tennessee at maximizing their bottom line and filling their athletic department’s coffers (only Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State spent less than the Vols). The Volunteers had a profit margin of 74% of revenue last year, second only to Texas. Just seven other teams in the nation earned more than 60% of revenue.

        The Volunteers have been far from successful on the field in their three seasons under Butch Jones, posting just 20 wins and beating only two ranked teams.

        Yet, as we’ll get into below, our valuation methodology relies heavily on team earnings directed toward academics and other athletic programs. And while most SEC teams saw a sizable boost in revenue this year, none were as good as Tennessee at maximizing their bottom line and filling their athletic department’s coffers (only Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State spent less than the Vols). The Volunteers had a profit margin of 74% of revenue last year, second only to Texas. Just seven other teams in the nation earned more than 60% of revenue.

        Like

    • John S says:

      Which schools are currently considered true kings? Some are obvious: USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, Florida. How about Georgia? Clemson? Tennessee? Is Nebraska still a king? Who is now but perhaps won’t be in 20 years? Could Oregon or VT ever reach that level? Washington? Miami?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I had a list of tiers of schools by most likely to win the national title 2 years ago. I’ll revisit that in detail, but this is how I see it now:
        Super-kings (great money, brand, and recruiting grounds): Texas, UF, ‘Bama, OSU, LSU, UGa, USC, FSU
        Kings (great money and brand; near great recruiting but still need to win a lot of OOS recruiting battles): PSU, OU, UMich, ND, Tennessee
        Low King/High Prince: UNL, Miami, A&M, UCLA
        Auburn and Clemson are between that tier and the regular princes.
        Oregon, VT (and MSU and Wisconsin and about 6-8 others) are princes.
        UDub (and Iowa) are between the princes and the hoi polloi.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        John S,

        “Which schools are currently considered true kings?”

        Everyone’s list is a little different.

        “Some are obvious: USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, Florida.”

        I’d say that list is too inclusive (NE – not anymore, LSU – not quite).

        “How about Georgia? Clemson? Tennessee? Is Nebraska still a king?”

        UGA and Clemson haven’t sustained elite status for prolonged periods yet. TN was on the way to kingdom until they dropped Fulmer. NE’s past 20 years has also dropped them down a level to me.

        “Who is now but perhaps won’t be in 20 years?”

        It depends who you include in the list. A bad enough 20 years can drop almost anyone off the list (ND is seemingly immune). Will FSU sustain success or fall off post-Bowden? PSU could also run that risk post-Paterno.

        “Could Oregon or VT ever reach that level? Washington? Miami?”

        OR or VT could get there if they win some titles, but VT will have to prove it’s more than Beamer. OR will have to show prolonged elite success post-Kelly. UW was closer 20 years ago than they are now. Miami used to be on the list for many people and could get there again.

        Like

  70. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I can’t believe we missed this article over the Summer regarding most valuable sports conferences.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2015/07/20/the-sec-is-finally-the-most-valuable-conference-in-college-sports/

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Notably, the B10 is second and the only P5 conference that could still increase its revenues substantially in the short-term (unless you think that the ACC will start its own network and it will be as successful as the SECN and BTN rather than the PTN). A conservative $10M year-over-year bump would put the B10 in a tier with the SEC (actually slightly above the SEC) and above everyone else. That $44.5M projection would blow everyone away. Delany was saying $50M/year in TV payout, though who knows if he’s talking about total TV payout or for the tier 1 deal and average payout or what.

      Also not sure if that chart is showing 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 figures for the B10. Purdue received $32M in conference distributions in 2014-2015 and $27M in conference distributions in 2013-2014

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They only count 3 revenue streams for this – NCAA tournament money (B10 > SEC), bowl/CFP money (SEC got an extra $2M per team from the Orange, otherwise B10 ~ SEC) and conference TV deals (SEC > B10 – for now at least). I don’t know if BTN profit sharing counts since that comes from owning the network, not from the rights contract. There are presumably some other revenue streams that aren’t counted as well.

        They also don’t factor in money the conference keeps for itself, just dividing the total by the number of teams. Their total should be higher than what the conference actually pays out based on those 3 revenue streams.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Though in their chart (which purportedly are their estimates for 2014-2015), Forbes says B10 schools got something like $27M on average.

          The B10 does engage in ticket revenue sharing, but that doesn’t amount to much over $1M for PU (net).

          The B10 does have the football CCG and basketball tourney ticket revenue. BTN profit from the profit-sharing is now something like $2M/school, I think (though this article says $1M: http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/18/big-ten-revenue-shares-jump-to-32-million-per-school/).

          But yeah, the B10 central office has to be funded somehow. I don’t think they get one share like the SEC central office does, but there has to be some money going there.

          So I still don’t know how to reconcile Forbes numbers with the $32M that PU actually got from the B10 in 2014-2015.

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            The conference takes an equal share of the bowl revenue per published reports, but that in-itself isn’t enough fund it.

            And yes his numbers are off from what Big Ten schools actually reported.

            Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Note the tail end of the article Alan linked to: “Maryland and Rutgers (and Nebraska) are not eligible for full shares of the Big Ten revenue pie.

          Nebraska is scheduled to receive its first full revenue share in 2018. Maryland and Rutgers will be eligible for a full share in 2021.”

          So $32m to Purdue, minus whatever income Forbes is missing, would be higher than an average share, as you have 11 full shares, a 12th almost full share and two smaller shares.

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            Maryland and Rutgers are getting more money up front (essentially full shares) that they’ll back pay around the time the new tv contract kicks in. Nebraska gets a full share in what most people would call the 2017 season (2017-2018 academic year) not 2018.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Maryland is.
            Rutgers not so much.

            UMD got an interest-free loan, essentially, but the “buy-in” is suppose to be about equal for all 3 schools.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “UMD got an interest-free loan, essentially, but the “buy-in” is suppose to be about equal for all 3 schools.”

            And being a loan, as far as cash flow goes, it seems like it likely be coming out of the conference’s retained earnings, but as far as a revenue share, its an advance on future distributions, not a share of current year income.

            If Forbes is missing $3m in revenues / school, then the balance for Purdue being ~$2m higher than the simple 14 school average seems like it’s in the realm of the possible.

            So, could Forbes be missing $3m/school revenues ($42m)? I dunno. If they focused on the main media contracts and overlooked BTN revenues (there is both a license and a profit share component), if there is any Big Ten merch in addition to individual school merch? Maybe … a million dollars here, and a million dollars there, and pretty soon you are talking real money.{*}

            {* To paraphrase … it’s “billion” in the original, which is from the Halls of Congress.}

            Like

  71. ccrider55 says:

    Where is the incentive to tackle correctly when replay won’t correct an egregious targeting call. May as well hit high and hard and take your chances that they can’t call all of them (theory of holding or subtle pass interference).

    Just get rid of replay! It doesn’t even get the most important safety issue call correct…

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Where is the incentive to tackle correctly when replay won’t correct an egregious targeting call. May as well hit high and hard and take your chances that they can’t call all of them (theory of holding or subtle pass interference).

      Just get rid of replay! It doesn’t even get the most important safety issue call correct…

      Not sure which game you were watching…but replay cannot impose a targeting penalty that lthe field officials failed to notice. It’s like every other penalty: the booth can’t throw a flag.

      The replay official can “pick up” a targeting flag, if he deems the call invalid. I believe it’s the only penalty that can be negated on review. (If you think games are too slow now, just imagine how they’d drag on if the booth could review ordinary penalties.)

      I think there’s a pretty strong incentive to avoid head-to-head tackles. The rule states that, when in doubt, it’s targeting. On the whole, I think I’ve seen borderline targeting calls imposed more often than blatant targeting calls missed—though both happen.

      All players know that there is a chance that illegal conduct won’t get called. But I’ve got to think that this rule has altered conduct to some extent, given the severity of the penalty if it IS called. No one wants to be ejected.

      I feel reasonably sure the targeting rule will be re-evaluated over the next year or two. All officiating is subject to human error, but targeting enforcement has been far too inconsistent. I doubt they’d drop the rule entirely, but it needs to be clarified somehow.

      Like

    • greg says:

      The Nebraska guy initiated contact facemask to facemask, so I don’t find the call egregious. He had a 10 yard run to line up the guy, and came in negligently high.

      I do think they need to drop the automatic ejection for targeting. I don’t like adding too much subjectivity to the rules, but I’d like the refs to have the option of ejecting for egregious targeting.

      Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          That’s the one. He had head up (no crown hit), he did not launch to create high impact, he moved face over shoulder (face to face contact is not dangerous) and there was incidental helmet contact of the kind helmets were designed for, and he wrapped up and ran through to tackle. I can somewhat forgive the on field game speed flag. But that is my point, why have replay if nearly everyone but the replay ref sees the effort made to not just deliver a ball separating impact, but make a chest to chest wrap up tackle. And he didn’t even just say the call stands but said confirmed!

          OU/Oregon onsides kick review?

          Like

          • greg says:

            “And he didn’t even just say the call stands but said confirmed!”

            Maybe, just maybe, two trained professionals understand the rule much more precisely than you do.

            http://www.afca.com/article/article.php?id=2342

            Defenseless player—a player not in position to defend himself.
            A receiver attempting to catch a pass, or one who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.

            No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 2-27-14)

            HINTS FOR PLAYERS
            Lower your target–don’t go for the head or neck area with anything

            Initiating contact to the head or neck area with the helmet is a foul. Facemask to facemask is initiating contact to the head with the helmet.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The tackle was shoulder to chest, head up and to the side. The wrap up was around the upper arms below the shoulder pads. Helmets had incidental contact – no more than what old school leather helmets would have easily protected. It was a text book how not to target. I guess he could have lowered his head (and more likely be using the crown) in order to deliver a ball separating hit…but what if defenders first step isn’t foreword? Or he ducks as he turns upfield (crown hit)?

            Look, I had no real vested interest in the game outcome. It just seems a kid didn’t just get flagged but got ejected while intentionally not delivering anything close to the blow that until the last couple years would have been expected (and that I’m sure he has done many times in the past).
            Guess we need to use the old grade school flags on the hips.

            Like

  72. Richard says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/why-are-the-playoff-semifinals-on-new-year-s-eve-again-053757483-ncaaf.html

    Not sure how it all went down, but at this point, I agree with Wetzel. Holding the semifinals on NYE (when the Rose and Sugar aren’t semifinals) rather than the first Saturday of the year is borderline asinine.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Caveat: Unless NYE falls on a Saturday (and maybe Friday as well), in which case NYE would be fine.

      The latest the semifinals would go would still be the 5th.

      Like

      • Penn State Danny says:

        Well written article about the upcoming meetings that will affect Big 12 Expansion.

        http://www.campusrush.com/big-12-conference-questions-future-expansion-1528668401.html

        IF things don’t fall their way during the meetings and they decide to invite the 2 front runners of BYU and Cincy, who replaces the Bearcats in the AAC? Army??

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          IF things don’t fall their way during the meetings and they decide to invite the 2 front runners of BYU and Cincy, who replaces the Bearcats in the AAC? Army??

          I’m sure the AAC would love to have Army. But the Cadets have resisted joining a conference because they are by far the weakest of the three academies. As an independent, they are able to control their schedule—and even then, they lose big.

          (Army hasn’t won the Commander in Chief’s Trophy since 1996; since then, they’re 2-17 vs. Air Force and 2-17 vs. Navy. Even with a soft schedule, they went just 2-10 this year, including a loss to Fordham. Their only FBS win was over 1-11 Eastern Michigan.)

          If they can’t get Army, I’m sure the AAC would follow their tried-and-true strategy of replenishing from the leagues below them. They’d probably consider the likes of Western Kentucky, Southern Miss., Marshall, or the newly independent UMass.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Penn State Danny,

          “Well written article about the upcoming meetings that will affect Big 12 Expansion.”

          Right now, it appears the Big Ten and SEC would vote against the Big 12’s initial proposal (before the Big Ten amendment), while the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC would probably vote for it. (Considering how important this issue is to the Big 12’s future, there has been surprisingly little creative thought behind it). The support for Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany’s amendment isn’t as clear, although the Pac-12 would likely be in favor of it to promote conformity.

          The Power Five votes count for twice as much as the Group of Five’s, but the smaller leagues could ultimately decide whether the legislation and amendment are passed.

          Here’s the prevailing thought around the Big 12: If its legislation proposal gets shot down, there’s a roughly 70% chance the league will expand during the next year or two in order to get a title game. If the legislation passes, there’s less than a 50% chance of imminent change in the form of the Big 12 adding new members. There are many other variables in play, but this is arguably the biggest.

          That’s news to me about the SEC voting no on the original CCG proposal.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Lot of truth in this.

      Its their arrogance. Its that same mentality that got them in such trouble with all these lawsuits. It would be good if their ratings bomb.

      Its also not real good for the NYD games. It will tend to reduce interest with the playoff already having happened. It would be like having the warmup band perform after the main attraction.

      Like

      • Ross says:

        Though the title game is still to come, as it was in the BCS era, so I am not sure it will have that dramatic an effect upon the NYD games.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        They thought the BCS games’ ratings would go up, if they were spread out over several weeknight evenings after New Year’s Day. We all know that flopped, so now they’re trying something else.

        I don’t root for other people to fail, but I agree with Wetzel that this does not seem to be the best idea.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I guess concentrating the games that are now on NYE on a Saturday is too much out of the box to ask from people.

          Granted, you have to see when the NFL wildcard round falls, but the Saturday of the last NFL regular season weekend is always open.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          And here’s the thing:

          They’d already tried having a major bowl game on NYE (back in the Bowl Alliance days), and the ratings were as bad or worse than the BCS bowls held after NYD.

          In fact, from 2002-2003 to 2010-2011, in 6 out of those 9 years, the bowl with the worst TV ratings was the non-Rose NYD bowl and in none of those years did the non-Rose NYD bowl have the top ratings of BCS bowls, which means that holding bowls after NYD actually isn’t so bad, considering that none of them are the Rose Bowl.

          And last year, just as we could have all predicted, the NYE bowls got horrible ratings. Has any major bowl on the level of the BCS bowls ever drawn as low as a 3.4 before?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I fully agree that the NY6 schedule this year was idiotic. The move to 1/2 was obvious but CFB has a big ego and thinks it can change behavior in the future. Maybe they’re right in the long run since people used to worry weeknight games wouldn’t work even for the NFL. In the short term they are going to suffer before people adjust to watching CFB on NYE.

            “And last year, just as we could have all predicted, the NYE bowls got horrible ratings. Has any major bowl on the level of the BCS bowls ever drawn as low as a 3.4 before?”

            If it counts, the 2004 Cotton Bowl drew a 2.6. 2007 pulled a 3.5. 2005 and 2006 drew 3.7s. None of those were BCS games, obviously, but the Cotton was a major name.

            The 2011 Citrus Bowl drew a 2.9. The 2010 drew a 3.7.

            The worst BCS numbers that I have plus the lowest number for each game:
            2011 Orange – 4.6 (WV vs Clemson)
            2008 Orange – 5.4 (VT vs UC)
            2012 Orange – 6.1 (FSU vs NIU)
            2011 Sugar – 6.1 (VT vs MI)
            2012 Sugar – 6.2 (UF vs UL)
            2010 Fiesta – 6.2 (OU vs UConn)
            2009 Orange – 6.8 (IA vs GT)
            2010 Orange – 6.8 (Stanford vs VT)
            2004 Orange – 7.0 (UL vs WF)
            2007 Sugar – 7.0 (UGA vs HI)

            2012 Rose – 9.4 (Stanford vs WI)

            2011 NCG – 14 (AL vs LSU)

            Like

          • @Brian – Here’s the thing for me: I just don’t believe that adjustment that the powers that be is hoping is ever coming. There is no conditioning of people to start staying home to watch football on the biggest going out evening of the year (or even for those staying home to not watch the coverage from Times Square). The NFL showing games on weeknights was simply a matter of having people turn the channel on a night that they’re already home, anyway. The thought of people en masse changing their New Year’s Eve plans to watch college football has always been insane. (And when I say “people”, I mean the casual viewers that ESPN is paying billions of dollars for as opposed to the hard core college football fan.)

            Just using me as an anecdote, I always have people over on New Year’s Eve with our kids. I’m a college football blogger that loves college football, and even with the games on the TV, I probably actually watched around 20 minutes of any of the games. I’d occasionally look up if there was a big play, but otherwise, New Year’s Eve is inherently a night for socializing. And I was one of the people that even bothered to turn on the games!

            There’s already a day that everyone in America is conditioned to watch college football: it’s called New Year’s Day. The more I think about the scheduling, I get more and more agitated about the ability of college football’s leaders to see even the most basic issues.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “Here’s the thing for me: I just don’t believe that adjustment that the powers that be is hoping is ever coming.”

            I don’t either, but maybe the media “experts” told them it would work.

            “There is no conditioning of people to start staying home to watch football on the biggest going out evening of the year (or even for those staying home to not watch the coverage from Times Square).”

            I think a lot of people could be conditioned to leave a TV tuned to the semis during a party (fall weddings usually manage it for the reception).

            “The thought of people en masse changing their New Year’s Eve plans to watch college football has always been insane.”

            For younger people, maybe. There are millions of older people with little to no interest in fancy NYD parties (where a TV isn’t available) or Ryan Seacrest’s ball drop coverage.

            “Just using me as an anecdote, I always have people over on New Year’s Eve with our kids. I’m a college football blogger that loves college football, and even with the games on the TV, I probably actually watched around 20 minutes of any of the games. I’d occasionally look up if there was a big play, but otherwise, New Year’s Eve is inherently a night for socializing. And I was one of the people that even bothered to turn on the games!”

            But you count in the ratings which is all they need.

            “The more I think about the scheduling, I get more and more agitated about the ability of college football’s leaders to see even the most basic issues.”

            The ego that led to this decision is the same one that led to the BTN. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they aren’t. Only time will tell on this one.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Selling ads is what ultimately drives this model, and a few glances here and there isn’t going to do as good a job for marketing and sales.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            They have no way of knowing how intently someone is watching. Besides, maybe the semis will become like the Super Bowl and the ads will become the focus for many viewers.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Very unlikely, considering that they haven’t yet.
            Companies aren’t going to invest in more scintillating ads for a smaller audience.

            Like

  73. Hawkeye says:

    B1G still needs to add two schools…should have taken Mizzou …grab Kansas and UNC and quit scheduling the Irish in all sports!

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Gordon Gee was right. Kansas and Missouri are the only schools that meet B1G’s criteria. I’m not sure either is available, even if the GORs and other entanglements lapse. No east coast school, especially southern schools like UNC, are acceptable.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      B1G still needs to add two schools…should have taken Mizzou …grab Kansas and UNC and quit scheduling the Irish in all sports!

      In what way do they need two schools? They’d go to 16 for the right opportunity, but need? I’m not even sure they needed 14. Anyhow, Kansas and UNC won’t be available for another 10 years, or so.

      The decision to pass on Mizzou will be debated for years. Obviously, #16 would have had to be Rutgers, so it comes down to whether Mizzou > Maryland, given the criteria that university presidents care about.

      As far as I can tell, NO university president has the animosity for Notre Dame that some of the opposing fans do. To the contrary, schools generally like scheduling Notre Dame. Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, and Ohio State, all have future football dates with the Irish, and apparently Michigan is open to reviving their series if the logistics can be worked out.

      Gordon Gee was right. Kansas and Missouri are the only schools that meet B1G’s criteria. I’m not sure either is available, even if the GORs and other entanglements lapse. No east coast school, especially southern schools like UNC, are acceptable.

      Did Gee ever say that those were the only schools that met the B1G’s criteria? I don’t recall him ever saying precisely that. UNC is “unacceptable”? Now, that’s a laugh.

      Missouri has no GOR or other entanglement with the SEC. They could leave tomorrow. The likelihood of that is only slightly less than me being the next King of England.

      Once the Big XII GOR expires, I think Kansas would accept a Big Ten invite in a heartbeat, though I doubt it is forthcoming, unless a bigger fish comes along for the ride.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        PU, MSU, NW and MI all have rivalries/history with ND. OSU has only played 4 regular season games with ND, 2 in the 30s and 2 in the 90s and I doubt we’d be playing them even now if our AD wasn’t an alum.

        Like

  74. Richard says:

    Frank:

    Been following your Twitter exchanges.

    Agree that the SEC and B10 would take Duke in a heartbeat.
    Disagree that the Dookies can deliver NC for cable by themselves, though.

    They very much are like the basketball version of ND, so great for national TV (in so far as bball can be great) but not for delivering a state).

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      You’re probably right that Duke can’t deliver the state of NC by themselves. Historically, their football brand value is in the same class as that of Indiana or Kentucky: very close to the bottom of the Power Five.

      Anyhow, if Duke leaves the ACC (however unlikely that may be), they’re almost certainly bringing friends with them. So the question will be not the value of Duke alone, but the value of Duke plus whoever else comes along for the ride.

      Personally, I see Duke in the Big Ten only if it’s part of a quartet of schools that also includes UVA and UNC, with GT as the most likely fourth school (but others are possible).

      Like

    • tiger says:

      Duke delivers the state of North Carolina. Duke basketball is so important to them that they pony up for it. Duke is one of the few universities where their basketball is so valuable that it more than makes up for any football shortcomings.

      That said, Duke and North Carolina are bound for the SEC if alumni and fans have a say. North Carolina is still very southern in culture and have more ties to the SEC (South Carolina rivalry, formerly in Southern conference). Plus I see IF they move anywhere, they’ll move together as a package deal.

      State of Virginia however I sense more interest from them in joining a ‘Midwest’ conference. I have family in Northern Virginia and it’s turning into more and more of a ‘northern’ state.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Duke delivers the state of North Carolina. Duke basketball is so important to them that they pony up for it. Duke is one of the few universities where their basketball is so valuable that it more than makes up for any football shortcomings.

        Just as a corrective to that…Duke’s football bowl game against Indiana had higher TV ratings than Duke’s most recent basketball game vs. UNC.

        So no….I still disagree….valuable as Duke basketball is, a conference needs more than that. And of course, they’d get more: Duke isn’t going to leave the ACC without at least one partner.

        Like

        • tiger says:

          1. It was a bowl game, not a regular season match-up.
          2. Two, it was a primetime 3:30pm Saturday time slot. People were going to be watching regardless of who was playing and there was little competition in the time slot.
          3. It was a very close game, going back-and-forth and an overtime.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          But Marc, you aren’t allowing for the drawing power of Hoosier football. Their brands draws tens of fans.

          Like

  75. Matthew says:

    Frank, I also saw the twitter posts. Would the Big10 try and do any additions before the new contracts are negotiated?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      How would that even happen with GORs everywhere?

      Like

    • tiger says:

      If the B1G intends to expand, it’ll certainly be in every media contract they sign.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        If the B1G intends to expand, it’ll certainly be in every media contract they sign.

        I think it’s standard in every media contract, and has been for a long time, that the deal is subject to a look-in if the composition of the conference changes. The presence of such a clause would tell you nothing about their intentions.

        Like

  76. ccrider55 says:

    Just need to complain a bit.

    How neat – the arguably best (Pac vs B1G) bowl game today starts at 10:30pm eastern time.

    Isn’t the Cotton usually mid day and the Orange evening? Why is swapping those required? Because it’s not NYD?

    Like

    • @ccrider55 – I’m pretty sure that the Cotton Bowl is at night this year because ESPN wants that matchup (Big Ten vs. SEC) in prime time. The New Years Eve time slots are flexible, whereas the Rose Bowl (afternoon) and Sugar Bowl (prime time) are locked in on New Years Day.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Yeah, I guessed that. But my point was that not just date and participants have been sacrificed to the invitational tournament…err, playoff semi’s. How often has the Orange not been the evening game? It’s like they are intentionally trying to damage the bowl brand and make it merely a qualifier in identity.

        We may be on our way to recreating basketball where only March Madness has huge value. Mistake, in my opinion.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Other than the Rose, most of the the other bowls don’t have much brand equity now anyway.

          The Rose is the only bowl now that large numbers of people will watch even if there are mediocre teams in it (so long as it’s a traditional B10-Pac matchup).