635967486358402506-dfp-0817-buzz-cp-jp-1-1-pr4tarum-l272783479

It has been a couple of days since the news broke from Sports Business Daily that Fox is poised to enter into a deal with the Big Ten for 50% of the packages that are currently on ABC/ESPN (football and basketball) and CBS (basketball)… for up to $250 million per year for 6 years. Once again, this is just for half of the Big Ten rights that are up for grabs, which would provide for 25 football games and 50 basketball games on over-the-air broadcast Fox (“Big Fox”) and FS1. As observers such as Matt Sarzyniak have noted (who has a great post on the overall dynamics of the Big Ten deal), that amount is approximately the amount that the Pac-12 receives for its entire non-Pac-12 network package. In effect, we’re about to enter into a world where Rutgers and Northwestern are going to earn significantly more TV money than Florida State, Oklahoma, USC and even Alabama and Notre Dame. The Big Ten schools were already ahead before through its creation of the BTN (which everyone should remember how bold and risky that move was a decade ago compared to taking guaranteed money from ESPN), but the gap is going to be blown through the roof if the conference ends up with around $500 million per year for its TV rights without even taking into account the BTN portion. I have had plenty of critiques of Jim Delany and the Big Ten leadership over the years, but their management of TV and media properties has been pitch perfect for the past ten years and far beyond the capabilities (both quantitative and qualitative) of the other power conferences.

Some further thoughts:

  • I have seen a lot of scuttlebutt online that this indicates that the Big Ten might be leaving ESPN entirely, but personally don’t believe that for a second. For several years, I’ve been predicting that Fox and ESPN will ultimately split the Big Ten’s rights going forward and that is still the most likely outcome. ESPN reportedly “lowballed” the Big Ten in its initial offer, yet that is not necessarily outcome determinative since ESPN did the same thing ten years ago (which eventually spurred the creation of the Big Ten Network) and the parties still eventually got a deal done. It would have been difficult for ESPN to unilaterally come in with a massive offer several weeks ago with the continued cost-cutting throughout its organization and the possibility that this might be the time when the sports rights bubble (to the extent that there actually is a bubble) is going to pop. Essentially, ESPN bet that there wouldn’t be anyone willing to pay the Big Ten’s high asking price (just as it bet that the BTN wouldn’t be successful)… and it looks like they’re going to lose that bet badly.That being said, I’ve written many times before that ESPN’s supposed financial woes are being completely misinterpreted by many sports fans. The reason why so many Disney investors are spooked by any cord cutting and ESPN subscriber losses is because ESPN is, by far, the most profitable media and entertainment entity in the entire world. Note that I said “media and entertainment entity” – this is not just about sports networks. Let’s put it this way: ESPN currently delivers monthly subscriber revenue to Disney that is the equivalent to the domestic gross of Star Wars: The Force Awakens every single month guaranteed… and before they sell a single ad. Disney has relied upon ESPN to deliver monopoly drug dealer profits for years to prop up their entire business. Now, ESPN is “only” making oligopoly drug dealer profits.

    All of this is to say that ESPN still makes a ton of money that is far, far, far beyond what Fox, NBC, CBS, Turner or any other entity with sports interests could ever dream of. Even in cost-cutting mode, ESPN still needs to invest in core properties in the same way that the rest of the cost-cutting Disney organization will authorize massive budgets for Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and Disney Princess movies. ESPN leadership can now go back to their overlords at Disney and say, “Look – we tried to get the Big Ten on the cheap and that clearly isn’t going to happen. We have now already let Fox into the door to becoming a top tier sports network competitor and we can’t let someone else, especially NBC/Comcast, to get even more traction on top of them. We need to the funds to pay up here.” Anyone that thinks that ESPN can just plug in more SEC or ACC games into its lineup is fooling themselves. The Big Ten provides a massive lineup of football games in the best time slots on ABC and ESPN and have consistently garnered the best ratings of any of the conferences next to the SEC. The people at ESPN aren’t dumb – they know the difference between a short-term administrative cost cut and a long-term investment in their core product… and the Big Ten has been a huge part of their core product since almost the beginning of the network.

  • By the same token, let’s not pretend that the Big Ten wants to get away from ESPN. I have seen some Big Ten fans profess a desire to leave ESPN entirely, but that would be as short-sighted for the conference as it would be short-sighted for ESPN to let the Big Ten go completely. The fact of the matter is that if you were to show the exact same game on ESPN versus FS1, the viewership on ESPN would be magnitudes higher. We have already seen a track record of Major League Baseball, Big 12 and Pac-12 games where similar games on ESPN crush the ratings on FS1. There has to be great concern that the notion that “fans will just find the channel if they want to watch a particular game” isn’t necessarily completely true. ESPN is, and will be for the foreseeable future because the stranglehold that they have on sports rights overall, the “default channel” for sports fans. Just walk into any sports bar across the country and, outside of NFL Sundays, the vast majority of TVs are going to be tuned into the ESPN mothership. A game that is shown on ESPN literally gets a ratings bump, whereas that same game on FS1 gets a ratings discount.This greatly matters to the Big Ten, which is trying to position its TV deals in the same way that the NFL has over the past few years. Money certainly matters, but long-term money (the proverbial golden goose) is directly correlated with exposure… and no one can provide exposure like ESPN. Indeed, even with the increase in cord cutting and falling numbers of subscribers, every single other media company in the United States would kill to have ESPN. We have already established that they have the top-rated and most profitable TV network, but it goes beyond just that aspect. Who has the #1 sports news website? ESPN. Who has the #1 sports radio network? ESPN. Who has the #1 sports mobile app? ESPN. Who has the #1 streaming sports network? ESPN. Who has the #1 sports podcast network? ESPN.

    That is what a lot of Big Ten fans that care too much about supposed “SEC bias” on ESPN are missing: there is simply no replication for the multi-platform 27/7 exposure that ESPN provides.* Many other companies have tried to apply the ESPN playbook for years and years (see the CBS and Fox efforts to build their own sports websites and radio networks with only a fraction of the audience of ESPN) and have failed. When a Big Ten game is on ESPN, it gets promoted on (a) Mike and Mike on TV, radio, streaming audio and podcasts simultaneously, (b) SportsCenter on multiple networks several times per day, (c) ads on ESPN’s websites and mobile apps, (d) countless other TV, radio shows and podcasts for an entire week, including the all-important College GameDay for college football fans. Other than Inside the NBA on TNT (which is powered by the on-air brilliance of Charles Barkley, there is not a single cable TV platform in any sport that has anywhere close to the audience that ESPN has for even one of its minor shows, much less SportsCenter, GameDay or Mike and Mike.

    (* Note that it isn’t an accident that ESPN is a master of corporate synergy considering that it is owned by Disney, whose entire existence is based on leveraging its brand across countless platforms. I have never heard of someone that likes Universal Studios, the Jurassic Park movies and NBC call themselves a “Comcast Fan” or a fan of Fox shows and movies call themselves a “Fox Fan” (which is distinct from a Fox News Fan that is an entirely different breed), but you will find millions of Disney fans that travel to Disney parks, watch Disney movies and TV shows and buy Disney merchandise with the Disney branding being a the predominant factor. My sister is a prime example of a Disneyphile. Disney and ESPN simply are masters at synergy via corporate culture that can’t really be replicated even if you followed the exact same playbook elsewhere… and believe me when I say that every one of their competitors have tried.)

    At the end of the day, the Big Ten still needs the exposure that only ESPN can uniquely offer. It’s instructive that out of the 4 major pro sports leagues and 5 power college conferences, the only one that doesn’t have a presence on ESPN is the NHL (which has by far the most limited fan base of that group). Just because the Big Ten could theoretically live without ESPN doesn’t mean that it actually wants to do so at all. That’s why I believe that time will heal wounds due to mutual interests and a deal will get done between the Big Ten and ESPN for the other half of the TV rights that are currently in play. The Big Ten won’t take a lowball amount from ESPN, but I think they know well enough to provide a bit more leeway for ESPN’s bid in acknowledgment of their superior platforms for overall exposure compared to Fox. Both the Big Ten and ESPN need each other here.

  • In looking at the imminent Fox deal with the Big Ten, this seems to be set up to put a weekly football game on both Big Fox and FS1. This will end up being quite a boon for Fox’s college football game inventory quality. From a personal standpoint, I just hope that it improves that actual college football game production quality, which I have found lacking compared to ABC/ESPN and CBS. (I think that NBC’s Notre Dame productions have quality visuals, but the commentary is the college football equivalent of listening to Hawk Harrelson’s calls of White Sox games.) Regardless, if this means that most or all of the games that would have ended up on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS are on Big Fox and FS1, then that’s an upgrade in terms of viewership exposure as long as the Big Ten keeps its presence on ABC and the ESPN mothership.Further to what I’ve stated before, I don’t think Fox is as flush with funds as much as ESPN (because absolutely no one is as flush with funds as ESPN), but Fox certainly has a lot more incentive to make a bold move with it being in the upstart position. In particular, FS1 has had a rocky history in its short life. On paper, FS1 has the best sports rights outside of ESPN on paper with MLB, Big 12, Pac-12, Big East, NASCAR, Champions League, FIFA (World Cup), UFC and USGA (U.S. Open) properties, but it doesn’t seem to have a cohesive brand even compared to NBCSN (which seems to have become the yuppie/hipster sports network largely relying upon the NHL, English Premier League and Olympics), much less ESPN. At the very least, the Big Ten may push Fox over-the-top in terms of being a legit college sports destination that it hasn’t quite been up to this point.

    Realistically, Fox can never achieve the synergy that ESPN can provide, but there are strong potential cross-promotional opportunities between Fox’s over-the-air NFL package and the new Big Ten coverage along with the clear connection between BTN (which is 51% owned by Fox) and the rest of the Fox organization. The NFL broadcasts on Fox are by far the strongest on the network (which ought to be the case since they are also by far the largest ratings drivers for Fox), so let’s hope that the Big Ten can receive at least comparable quality in terms of treatment.

  • The reported 6-year timeframe of the Fox deal is unusual compared to the much longer-term deals that the other power conferences have signed. In fact, the Big Ten will end up back at the negotiating table before any of the other power conferences once again. On the one hand, this presents some risk to the Big Ten since they are not locking in today’s high rights fees into the late-2020s or even 2030s. On the other hand, every time that the Big Ten has bet on itself, it has ended up succeeding, whether it was with the formation of the BTN or taking its rights to the open market in a period of uncertainty for sports programming values with decreasing cable subscriptions. By the same token, Fox may be hedging on cable subscriber fee uncertainty itself, as Dennis Dodd had suggested.In any event, the short length of the TV deal means that conference realignment talk might cool down in the immediate term, but will pick up a huge amount of steam in the next 5 years. Whether it’s a coincidence or not (and I tend to think “not”), the end of the 6-year deal term in 2023 is shortly before the expiration of the Big 12’s grant of rights agreement in 2025, which makes any possible damages for a Big 12 defector to be much lower and/or negligible compared to a Big Ten windfall. The same usual suspects of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as Big Ten candidates. It will also be interesting to see how schools in other conferences (particularly the ACC) are going to adjust to an environment where each Big Ten school could be receiving nearly $60 million per year in media revenue starting in 2017 (as estimated by Awful Announcing), which would lap the SEC’s revenue (much less any of the other power conferences). A few million dollars per year difference in TV revenue may not have been enough to sway the most valuable schools (e.g. Texas, North Carolina, etc.) to switch conferences, but when we’re looking at an eight figure annual gap, it could change the dynamic quite a bit.

The announcement by Jim Delany at the end of 2009 that the Big Ten was exploring expansion was leading to this moment of a new TV contract. Nebraska added a national name brand for football, while Rutgers and Maryland added two massive media markets based on the East Coast. This isn’t the end, though. I still believe that ESPN is going to end up with the other half of the rights. It will be interesting to see what happens with the CBS basketball package (which hasn’t been talked about as much) since that provided great exposure and time slots for the Big Ten (such as the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game leading into the NCAA Tournament Selection Show) even if the contract value itself pales in comparison with football. Digital rights are going to be a much more significant factor in this new contract compared to 10 years ago, while some second tier sports such as hockey, baseball and lacrosse could end up seeing more telecasts beyond the BTN with multiple other networks. The Big Ten’s new Fox deal is a great start and it’s a sign of great things once we get the final overall media rights picture for the conference.

(Image from Detroit Free Press)

Advertisements
Comments
  1. greg says:

    B1G #1

    Like

  2. largeR says:

    deux

    Like

  3. Great, this may give the Illini almost enough money to pay all their lawsuits…

    Like

  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX TIGERS!

    Like

  5. The 6 year window is a brilliant move to set themselves up for conference expansion. A couple years of watching B1G schools make tens of millions more TV revenue might even get some of the folks at Texas and Notre Dame thinking about their position.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      With these $s, its hard to imagine expansion being easy for the B1G. There aren’t many schools that could justify these numbers.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Bullet: They aren’t looking for anything but prime targets, however that is defined. Lots of people didn’t see the value of Rutgers/Maryland but they certainly contributed, it would seem. I remember one article post Pac 12 media deal where Scott (I believe) was asked what the ill fated P16 might have generated. He responded close to 5B 12 year deal. These B1G numbers are great, but not out of line when compared to what a 2011 P16 deal might have been. Inflation and demand marche on, and live sports remain DVR proof.

        Like

  6. TOM says:

    I’ve got to believe that the SEC won’t sit back and wait for Delany to make another big move. Does Slive make a preemptive strike and strategically invite more schools just to keep the B1G out of the South?

    Like

  7. SlartyBartFast says:

    On the plus side, new FtT content.

    On the bad side, his Purpleness is no longer with us.

    Like

  8. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Let the calls of pay for play grow ever louder.

    Like

    • @Michael in Raleigh – It’s inevitable (and IMHO, justifiable).

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Any more justifiable than when an Ivy (Harvard?) was making more off football then their med school cost? Granted it was a long time ago, but a principle shouldn’t change because price tags changes. Especially when it is the same demand, just being satisfied through a new (TV decades ago), growing capacity (digital broadcast and cable), and changing (multiple viewing platforms and Internet).

        If an athletic department, or parts of it, cease to be a part of the educational experience (become defacto pro) alumni will over time have no more association with the team(s) than they do with their favorite/local pro teams. Lots of people donating millions for those pro teams to start/support a school?

        Like

        • TOM says:

          “alumni will over time have no more association with the team(s) than they do with their favorite/local pro teams.”

          Well said. While I follow college football as much as I used to…I don’t love it as much. And I feel like I could turn it off someday, if it just feels like my school sponsors a minor league team with a bunch of players and coaches that couldn’t care less about who they play for.

          Like

        • @ccrider55 – I’ve written about this a few times before, but my very strong feeling is that the vast majority of alumni don’t care. I know enough that we have an underground economy in college sports where alumni are actually pretty explicitly paying players and/or providing benefits (e.g. finding the parents of top recruits new jobs) to attend their favorite schools. Frankly, the amount of shady underhanded practices that alums are willing to justify or look away from as long as their schools win is already pretty astounding. We (college sports fans) really have very little to be sanctimonious about here. Paying players simply removes the hypocritical pretense that it already isn’t occurring in the first place (and it IS occurring EVERYWHERE – no Division I school is immune, especially in the power conference ranks). Now, I’m sure there’s a subset of fans that will say that they won’t ever watch another game, but (a) I generally don’t believe them because we hear that all the time about a whole host of issues where “I’ll never watch X again if Y ever happens” and no one EVER follows through and (b) even if they did follow through, there are so many other sports fans who seriously do not care whatsoever (and if anything are waaaaaay more disgusted by the hypocrisy of the NCAA and college leaders on this issue) that such group won’t matter in the scheme of things.

          I’ve never been shy about stating that schools should be free to make as much money as they want in college sports. I don’t find it bad or evil – I’m a pure free market capitalist in that regard. By the same token, though, the NCAA has placed an artificial cap on wages (AKA $0), which is so blatantly in violation of labor and antitrust laws that the organization knows full well that they’re going to get screwed if there’s more litigation. It’s the fault of the NCAA and schools to not get out ahead of this issue with their “all or nothing stance”. Maybe the Olympic compensation model (where athletes could earn endorsement money) might placate people if it ever gets instituted, so we’ll see. My view is that the more money the better and everyone should be compensated as they would be in the free market. You could argue that non-revenue athletes might be “overpaid” (in that the value of their scholarships exceed the revenue they’re bringing in to the university), but power conference football and basketball players are underpaid by that standard as a general rule. The Olympic compensation model might be a way to address that insofar it’s a system where such football and basketball players are the ones that will likely receive the benefits as determined by the marketplace.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            If you want free market then get out of schools, off state property, don’t use state backed bonds, school backed leverage to build, power, staff, market and fill stadiums and arenas. Try to get a media contract without the school and its history. Start from scratch and build what you like.

            The market is/has spoken. There are alternative professional opportunities in the primary sports, but the “customer” (the players) are buying the college route as the better bargain and preparation in most cases. The schools are not responsible for what rules, limitations, or opportunities some other organizations offer. They are responsible to themselves.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            I disagree with most of what you said, but it’s a discussion that just goes in circles as nobody ever changes their opinion.

            “Now, I’m sure there’s a subset of fans that will say that they won’t ever watch another game,”

            I’m part of that subset. The day those guys are on salary instead of scholarship, I won’t watch it.

            “but (a) I generally don’t believe them because we hear that all the time about a whole host of issues where “I’ll never watch X again if Y ever happens” and no one EVER follows through”

            Don’t generalize to that extreme. I cut the chord to avoid paying for the SECN (like I said I would). I haven’t watched a non-OSU CFP game (like I said I wouldn’t). I know I’m a small minority, but some people do mean it.

            More importantly, I think you underestimate how much amateurism means to a lot of alumni CFB fans. The cost of tickets has gone through the roof. A free market and paid players would likely remove the tax deduction available for donations to the AD. This will drive a lot of people to stay home and cost schools millions in donations. As the teams separate from the schools, a lot of schools will see an opportunity to drop a ton of Title IX required expenses because football is no longer affiliated with the schools. Then you’ll have NFL-lite football out there on its own.

            “and (b) even if they did follow through, there are so many other sports fans who seriously do not care whatsoever”

            Sure there are. But they’re either already CFB fans or never will be because the NFL is better. You won’t gain any fans by paying players, but you will lose some.

            “(and if anything are waaaaaay more disgusted by the hypocrisy of the NCAA and college leaders on this issue)”

            Are any of those people likely to start liking the sport once it becomes NFL-lite?

            “that such group won’t matter in the scheme of things.”

            To the media companies, no. To the schools? That’s a very different question. If just a handful of megadonors at each school care, it’s a big deal.

            Like

          • pioneerlion says:

            Interesting point of view, but I completely disagree with paying athletes. Nor do I agree that its an eventuality.

            Like

    • TOM says:

      Yep. I don’t blame the athletes…but it doesn’t mean it won’t eventually feel like nothing more (instead of mostly) than the minor leagues and big business. And then I have the option to tune out. Ah the good ol days…

      Like

  9. Gaylen says:

    Frank, why does everyone say the 25 games is for half of the inventory. With 63 conference games and another 20+ OOC games. Aren’t there really 75 games they could sell? Or does the BTN get a guaranteed number each year?

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      BTN was essentially its own carved out package of rights i.e. games. Those games aren’t touchable here. What the Big Ten is attempting to sell is the rights ESPN currently holds for one more season.

      Like

  10. nickp91 says:

    Big Ten to Fox is huge for the Big East

    Like

  11. bullet says:

    Not going to be hard for ESPN to fill those slots if they still get the other half of the deal. B1G typically has ESPN and ESPN2 in the early slot. ESPN has a bunch of ACC inventory syndicated. The mid day slot is usually a 3 way regional ABC game with B1G usually getting mirror coverage on ESPN in the other areas. Just have the other two games fully national (instead of 2/3). That’s 14 games right there. 1 early slot replacing Purdue-Iowa isn’t hard to replace.

    Like

  12. Kevin says:

    I suspect we will see an announcement within the next 60 days on the second rights fees.

    Like

  13. morganwick says:

    Do you think Fox will just get the games currently on ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS, or will some of those games go to ESPN to replace ABC and ESPN games going to Fox? If it’s the former, I can’t imagine Fox would be happy if it turns out they probably pay more than ESPN to get a clearly lower-tier package of games.

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      Fox isn’t paying $250 million for ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN News games.

      Like

    • David Brown says:

      .This is usually the way it works now. ESPN gets a prime time Game ( usually SEC), ABC gets Notre Dame ( road), and Late ESPN and ( or) ESPN 2 gets Pac-12 and ( or) Mountain West. ESPN 2 usually gets Penn State @ 3:30PM, and the others are divided up. Fox gets a lot of Big XII Games and not so many Pac-12. Keep in mind, the B10 in going to 9 Conference Games, so there will be plenty for Fox as well,as for ESPN.
      I wonder if they try and add a permanent crossover game ( such as Penn State/ Nebraska) for Fox and ESPN to help with the Ratings?. I suspect that Michigan/Ohio State will be divided up three times each, and the same for Penn State White Out Night ( Michigan or Ohio State).

      Like

      • Richard says:

        They already have the cross-overs.

        Over the next 6 years, OSU-UNL, UMich-UW, and PSU-Iowa are every year.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          “The reported 6-year timeframe of the Fox deal is unusual …”
          “Over the next 6 years, OSU-UNL, UMich-UW, and PSU-Iowa are every year.”

          Huh, what a coincidence.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, but those crossovers start in 2016 and the TV deal in 2017. In 2022 the pairings will rotate. If Fox just liked the parity-based scheduling they could have gone for 11 or 17 years.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Assuming that the impetus for the six years came entirely from Fox.

            If the impetus came in whole or in part from the Big Ten, that timing allows the Big Ten to fiddle around with the schedule starting in the last year of the Fox contract to polish things up for the contract to come.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Assuming that the impetus for the six years came entirely from Fox.”

            Which is a big assumption. I’m not assuming that until I see some evidence one way or the other.

            “If the impetus came in whole or in part from the Big Ten, that timing allows the Big Ten to fiddle around with the schedule starting in the last year of the Fox contract to polish things up for the contract to come.”

            What fiddling would they want to do? Drop back to 8 games? Almost any other change they could make during a TV deal with no consequences.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Any changes which boost TV value made in the middle of a contract would only help if they primarily help BTN revenues.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Any changes which boost TV value made in the middle of a contract would only help if they primarily help BTN revenues.”

            What changes could they make to boost TV value? They’re already playing more brand-brand games than an equal distribution would generate. They aren’t going to 10 games. They don’t seem to have any interest in adding weeknight games. What type of changes are you thinking of?

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Also, in terms of ratings, the 3 biggest B10 games now are UMich-OSU, UMich-MSU, and OSU-MSU.

        PSU has to challenge for the conference title again to break in to that club.

        Like

        • David Brown says:

          Where did you read that about the crossovers? I am probably the biggest Nitt fan posting here, and we could win 5 National Championships in a row, and we are not equalling Ohio State/ Michigan, Michigan/ Michigan State or even Wisconsin/ Minnesota. But why Iowa/ Penn State and Michigan/ Wisconsin? Minnesota ( Old Oaken Bucket) is bigger ( as is Penn State / Nebraska).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s based on the future schedules already released (2016-2019) plus Delany’s comments a couple of years ago about parity-based scheduling. Richard figured out the plan and posted it here several years ago.

            The B10 split teams into 3 tiers after making divisions:
            Tier 1 – NE, WI, IA and OSU, MI, PSU
            Tier 2 – MN, NW, IL and MSU, UMD, RU
            Tier 3 – PU and IN

            Crossover schedules for Tier 1 teams:
            Game 1 = locked Tier 1 team for 6 years (then it rotates to the next Tier 1 team)
            Game 2 = rotation of Tier 2 teams
            Game 3 = rotation of the other 2 Tier 1 teams and the Tier 3 team

            Crossover schedules for Tier 2 teams:
            Game 1 = locked Tier 2 team for 6 years (then it rotates to the next Tier 2 team)
            Game 2 = rotation of Tier 1 teams
            Game 3 = rotation of the other 2 Tier 2 teams and the Tier 3 team

            Crossover schedules for Tier 3 teams:
            Game 1 = locked Tier 3 team
            Game 2 = rotation of Tier 1 teams
            Game 3 = rotation of Tier 2 teams

            Result:
            Tier 1 teams play the other Tier 1 teams 10 times in 18 years and everyone else 6 times
            Tier 2 teams play the other Tier 2 teams 10 times in 18 years and everyone else 6 times
            Tier 3 teams play the other Tier 3 team 18 times in 18 years and everyone else 6 times

            3 * 18 = 54 crossover games
            54 = 3 * 10 + 4 * 6 (Tiers 1 & 2)
            54 = 1 * 18 + 6 * 6 (Tier 3)

            The initial starting pairs:
            NE/OSU, WI/MI, IA/PSU, MN/UMD , NW/MSU , IL/RU

            If fully carried out, the plan would switch after the 18 years outlined above and lock Tier 1 vs Tier 2 teams to balance out the schedule over the entire 36 year cycle. However, it makes no financial sense to ever do that. Besides, it’s hard enough to believe this plan will last for 18 years. Either the B10 will expand or the season will change length or something else will happen.

            Like

  14. Hawkeyes24 says:

    FSU and GA Tech to B1G, buckle up as expansion is coming soon

    Like

    • TOM says:

      Where you hearing this Hawkeye? It would certainly be a smart strategic move. It would pretty much leave UVA/UNC with no other options. And we all know that Delany wants UNC.

      Like

    • transic_nyc says:

      I don’t think they’ll expand that far south. What I could see is something akin to a P3+1 (the +1 would be the best of what’s left after the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 get programs; also to lessen the chance of lawsuits). This is just a brainstorm (don’t get mad if you don’t like it):

      Big Ten: KS, MO, NE, IA, WI, MN, IL, NU, PU, IN, ND, MSU, UM, OSU, PSU, RU, MD, VA, NC, DU

      SEC: TAMU, AR, LSU, MSU, MS, VU, TN, KY, AL, AU, GT, GA, SC, FSU, UF, Clem

      PAC: WSU, UW, OSU, UO, Stan, Cal, USC, UCLA, AZ, ASU, UU, CO, TT, UT, OU, OK St, KS St., IA St.

      New Conf: BC, SU, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, VT, NCST, WF, USF, Miami, WVU, Cinci (maybe add TCU, Baylor, UCF and/or Houston to the mix)

      Like

      • TOM says:

        I hear where you’re coming from transic and your conferences certainly make great geographic/cultural/rivalry sense. So it probably won’t work out that way! I think the biggest hurdle there would be getting UVA/UNC to say goodbye to the South. And if the B1G truly isn’t interested in running a pipeline into the deep south…then there’s not much motivation/votes for the SEC to pick up redundant schools (FSU, Clemson, GT). Again, I do like your idea. I just don’t see it happening.

        Like

    • movietime blues says:

      I don’t think they’ll expand that far south. What I could see is something akin to a P3+1 (the +1 would be the best of what’s left after the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 get programs; also to lessen the chance of lawsuits). This is just a brainstorm (don’t get mad if you don’t like it):

      Big Ten: KS, MO, NE, IA, WI, MN, IL, NU, PU, IN, ND, MSU, UM, OSU, PSU, RU, MD, VA, NC, DU

      SEC: TAMU, AR, LSU, MSU, MS, VU, TN, KY, AL, AU, GT, GA, SC, FSU, UF, Clem

      PAC: WSU, UW, OSU, UO, Stan, Cal, USC, UCLA, AZ, ASU, UU, CO, TT, UT, OU, OK St, KS St., IA St.

      New Conf: BC, SU, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, VT, NCST, WF, USF, Miami, WVU, Cinci (maybe add TCU, Baylor, UCF and/or Houston to the mix)

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        Why in the World would the Pac Conference want Iowa State and Kansas State? You would be better of with Baylor or Boise then those two.I do not see UNC in the B10 either ( basically I see them as Texas lite. Happy to be ACC King). I have little doubt the B10 wants Notre Dame, and Texas ( or UNC), Would be happy with Oklahoma and Kansas is the fall back School. If they only get one of ND, OU, and UT ( UVA would be the School with UNC), I said before that an expanded Pac ( with UT, TTech, OSU and OU) would be the nightmare scenario for the B10. Why? It would take 2 of those Schools off the Market. If you look at this as musical chairs you know the B10 only has two openings left. You do not want to be stuck in a worse Conference, and Conferences do not want to take steps back. Ex: Since ND joined the B10 ( for hockey), maybe the ACC worries they will move when Land Grants are over, and offers UT a similar deal? Also if UT thinks OU will not stay with them ( Big XII or Pac) maybe they might take it? By the way if Bevo wants the Big 10 NOW Delaney would take it. But that is not happening. I still think it will be OU and Kansas.

        Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      I have my doubts about that. In the end, I think it will OU and Texas. Maybe they bring a friend or two like Kansas.

      Expansion without a football brand doesn’t make much sense financially at this point. Adding FSU would constitute as a football brand, but the Big 10 would have to add 3-4 schools (UVA, GT, UNC, and probably Duke) just to make it make sense geographically. That’s a huge expansion.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        Delany bleeds Carolina blue so you know UNC is a target…and so I’d expect the B1G to lean in the Southeast direction. And justifiable given all of the upsides…the population growth, the talent pool, and a lot of B1G alumni being in that part of the country. I’d imagine that if the B1G has interest from UVA/UNC/GT/FSU (and had to take all of them to make it happen)…it will happen. But I’m just not seeing any evidence yet aside from tweets and posts. But there’s a lot of it.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          There is a lot to like about adding those schools, but I don’t see the financial incentive. Football drives revenue. Basketball does bring value but now it is bringing in enough value to not only pay for oneself but increase the payout for 14 other schools. And looking at the prospective payout from the new contract, you are talking a ton of money.

          UNC and the likely addition of Duke, probably pay for themselves. Florida State being a good football brand adds value, but what about UVA and GT? If the cable subscription model was a solid revenue stream long term, than maybe I could see it but with cord cutters possibly taking a chunk out of subcription fees, I don’t think those schools would be revenue generators for the other 14 (which would ballon up to 16 if UNC and FSU was added).

          Each additional member of the Big 10 has to bring more money than the previous addition because they then have to make enough to add value to more schools. Outside of big brands in football, and to a lesser extent basketball, I just don’t see the financial incentive for many other schools.

          Like

          • TOM says:

            Very fair points PSU. But I get the sense that the B1G also has a keen eye on the horizon…and might feel that if it doesn’t land big fish from big (and growing, recruit-rich) ponds now…the long-term trend may not be good. Just a thought.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “but with cord cutters possibly taking a chunk out of subcription fees, I don’t think those schools would be revenue generators for the other 14 (which would ballon up to 16 if UNC and FSU was added). ”

            That assumes that UNC and FSU would be available on their own. If one were to assume the opposite, that getting UNC and FSU would require it being a package deal including two other schools in the right part of the country, then the value of UNC and of FSU would be part of the value of the combined package of four schools.

            Like

          • pioneerlion says:

            I have to agree that GT doesn’t justify the financial move, unless they are a regional play for Atlanta similar to Rutgers in NY/NJ area. UGA is the big dog, literally and figuratively though in the Atlanta area and the state, so why bring a 2nd fiddle in? The big already has a big DMV presence (MD, PSU, and other big alums), so UVA doesn’t IMHO move the needle financially or regionally. UNC though, is the big dog in NC, and by far the best fit for financial and regional expansion, and is close enough geographically to PSU and MD to create local rivalries in football, BBall, and lacrosse. One of the barriers is that UNC sports fans and ADept appear to have an identify with Tar Heel BBall similar to Notre Dame football, and their passion to the ACC is greater than UMD’s was, hence the financial gain to move to the big would have to be greater than UMD’s. I could see Duke coming along as a partner school in the new big. Hopefully the big doesn’t have a “NC State” problem, similar to the “Tech”/Baylor/A&M/other former SWC Texas schools that demanded a place in the big in order to allow Texas to move.

            I will say that in time the big MUST expand south, if only for recruiting expansion as HS football talent and programs continue to be stagnant or decline in the north east and mid west.

            Like

  15. Richard says:

    $500M/year or $35M/school annually was just about what I predicted
    My prediction for the other half of the rights are that the WWL will pony up $125M/year for half of the other half but first pick on football for that half. So 13 games (or about 1 per week). Also the leftover basketball in that half. The WWL still gets a sweeter deal because they get the first pick of half the B10 football games (basically, they’ll be choosing first or second from the B10 slate every week), which the B10 is fine with because they want the WWL to hype their top games.

    CBS pays $25M/year for first pick of half of that half of basketball games.

    The B10 would have $400M in the bank + the BTN money and still 12 football games left to play with. They could sell those in another contract (some network may be desperate enough to pony up $100M for them). Or they can keep them in their back pocket and subcontract it out every year to the highest bidder (including online, etc.)

    Like

  16. Carl says:

    Saquon

    Like

  17. Carl says:

    http://app.fanly.me/article/RhRXdAALMj

    OMG, did you see this? Finebaum is a JoeBot! What a rube. Does he sleep with a cardboard cutout of Joe???

    (video) Finebaum: Penn State should put Paterno statue back up
    http://app.fanly.me/article/RhRXdAALMj

    (Sorry, Scarlet, couldn’t resist. 😉

    I’m not sure whether the statue will ever return to Beaver Stadium, but the lawsuits will be epic.

    Like

  18. Rick says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  19. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  20. movietime blues says:

    Pretty good rundown of the news. I think NBC and ESPN will split the second half.

    Like

    • Qbuckeye says:

      This is a great possibility. I read somewhere and can’t find it this morning that B1G wants to sell the primetime games as a separate package. So the remaining games could go for more than what Fox paid.

      My uneducated guess, NBC and ESPN each pony up $150-175 million each with one getting just the primetime games. My guess that will be NBC. ESPN will get more games but not the best. Filler games for ESPN2, ESPNU.

      Like

  21. urbanleftbehind says:

    NYE should only be reserved for the Cotton and the Fiesta (or a Bowl in an EST location where a Pac-10 team has been assigned) because of the historical preference for teams who are situated in the Central Time, Mountain and Pacific Time zones and also the fact that ticket-buyers may believe there’s a chance to make it home before the champagne pops.

    Like

  22. urbanleftbehind says:

    The Hawk – NBC Notre Dame announcing team analogy was a bit harsh (for NBC) – but I wonder if they will apply the Notre-Dame rival/skeptic rule (Haden, Flutie) to their potential Big Ten football broadcasts. Could also be a good landing spot for David Diehl, who seems a bit stiff on his CBS NFL gigs.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I felt the NBC Notre Dame announcing analogy perhaps a bit harsh, but I know what Frank was driving at: you always feel like you’re listening to the home team announcers. That’s also the case when you listen to any BTN broadcast.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        With regard to the BTN broadcasts, do you mean homers for the greater B16 or homers for the home team in the particular game being broadcast? I think it would be “part of the deal” if it was the former.

        NBC/ND is a unique situation as they are not pushing a league (CBS-SEC) or a larger group of conferences (CFA v. Big10-Pac10 on alternating ABC/CBS in the 1980s), but a single team, and thus I would expect some magnitude of homerism, although I woudnt mind seeing/hearing an analyst who was an alum of ND who was forthright in his criticism of the teams effort (Bob Kuchenburg would have been ideal, but might be too un-PC for these times, acting like I would expect a Gary,IN “refugee” to act).

        Like

      • Kevin says:

        BTN doesn’t really have the same “homerism” that NBC has for ND games unless maybe it is a non-conference “Buy” game against a weak opponent. The NBC ND broadcast offers excellent visual production quality but their sound production is lacking. Watching the ND games is like watching a golf match. Beautiful pictures but the broadcast provides very little atmosphere. Part of that is the personality of the broadcast team.

        Like

  23. Brian says:

    https://twitter.com/bluevodreal

    This is what Bluevod has to say lately:

    4/17:
    I know first hand FSU is leading talks and lawyers have cleared that GOR for ACC is unforceable. Could be first Domino.

    4/19:
    Rumors starting to come out but all are guessing schools. They have done great job of keeping quiet. fsu,nc,gt,nc still front. ND? inplay

    Why quiet? ACC and none of the network want this public now. No advantage even the Big10 needs it quiet for now.

    50/50 prediction for expansion now 60/40 and picking up steam.

    4/20:
    ESPN will get the Lion’s share on the second half.35 Million per school without BTN. Makes sense why other’s want in

    4/22:
    So far my Fox and ESPN contact have been spot on. Let’s now see the second half deal.

    Like

    • TOM says:

      I get the sense that he’s honestly relaying what he’s hearing (and not just making stuff up)…but it’s impossible to know if his sources are really “in the know” on this topic. And I’m sure there is a lot of gamesmanship going on up the ranks (“let’s let this leak out to create some perceived instability”).

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Flugaur source just as sure it’s OU and KU first, but not until gor’s near expiration and this new deal nears going to market again.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        He doesn’t seem to recognize that the ACC GOR may not hold water any longer. It has language about a future ACC Network that obviously hasn’t transpired since it was signed. So that may not stand in the way of any defections. Aside from that, I wonder where he’s hearing that OU and KU are in serious talks? I’m really starting to wonder if this is all a wonderful strategy by Delany & Co to distabilize things.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          The source people seem to forget, or dismiss saying “things change”, is the B1G CEO’s through Delany (some time ago) when he indicated academics (read: AAU) would be a requirement in any future expansion. Ergo no FSU, no OU, etc.

          Like

      • TOM says:

        I also see that Flugaur mentioned UVA/UNC and VT. I’ve never heard VT mentioned anywhere as a likely B1G candidate. So I’m wondering about his sources.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I haven’t it from sources either, but I’ve proposed them as a way to keep the SEC out of the B10 footprint (UVA + VT and draw a hard border) if UNC doesn’t want in but UVA is interested.

          Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        On a slightly different level of conference affiliation, the same Flugaur source says ASU hockey is not BTHC bound. WCHA believes ASU has chosen them.

        Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          I hadn’t realized ASU hockey was actually in demand. I wonder if members are going to get travel subsidies like they currently do when traveling to the Alaska schools.

          Like

          • @Scarlet_Lutefisk – ASU hockey is *definitely* in demand. This isn’t anything close to an Alaska-like anchor. A power school in an attractive market is worth oodles more to university presidents than a hockey power like North Dakota. Also, don’t make the mistake of using distance as being equal to travel costs. It can be a heck of a lot cheaper to fly from Detroit or Columbus to the major airport hub of Phoneix than limited flight airports in places like North Dakota. ASU hockey is big-time valuable on conference realignment metrics. Remember to think like a university president.

            Like

        • David Brown says:

          I am located near ASU Ground Zero (Mesa, AZ right by Tempe), and there is NOTHING about where the Sun Devils will be playing.That said, I still think the BEST possible option will be a Current B10 School adding Hockey (Like before I am thinking Iowa or Nebraska). The truth is with the exception of my Nittany Lions, the School I follow the most is ASU, and I do not see where they benefit the B10 enough. Both Associate Members (Johns Hopkins and (soon to be) Notre Dame), bring a lot more to the table then does ASU. Both are within the footprint of the B10,, strong Academics, in the case of Johns Hopkins (if they join the CIC their Research $$$$$ will help), Having Notre Dame for Hockey can work as a “Trial Balloon” and maybe it can lead to All Sports in the Big 10. Once we know who gets Part 2 of the TV Contract (ESPN, Comcast/NBC (or both)), then the answer to who is Team # 8 (if anyone) will be determined. My gut says Iowa.Why? I did a Google Search and note this: A new arena and athlete training center are part of a project that Coralville hopes to build in the Iowa River Landing (IRL), a 180-acre mixed-use development located on Interstate 80 at Exit 242 (1st Avenue).

          Like

  24. Brian says:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-ncaa-isnt-going-broke-no-matter-how-much-you-hear-it/

    College sports aren’t ever going bankrupt despite the cries of doom and gloom. Revenues are climbing just as fast as expenses and always have.

    Like

  25. Jersey Bernie says:

    It is fascinating to me how quickly the economics of expansion has changed. Just a couple of years ago, if Maryland and Rutgers each could bring to the conference $30 million, that probably would have been enough. Between them, they cemented the mid-Atlantic from DC to NYC. Lot’s of B1G alumni, no room for the ACC (or B1G 12?) to take back that territory. Perhaps a largely defensive move that looked to Delaney as though it would also work financially over the long run.

    While I do not think that any of us know for sure, but is certainly seems that RU and UMd were a financial home run, without waiting for the long run. From a posting made here a few days ago, the NYC TV market includes 6% of the TV homes in the entire country. That does not include Rutgers coverage in South Jersey which is in the Phila TV market. I think that Baltimore and DC were another 3% of TV homes. Combined, those two schools are in markets with in excess of 10% of all of the TV households in the entire county.

    Now each B1G school is looking at $50 million plus within a few years. For a new member, the need to bring in more than $50 million is going to be a tough haul. ND and Texas could probably do it as part of the B1G, but what other schools?

    The next B1G expansion, if there is one, will need to be based on more than pure numbers. (The numbers have already been provided by RU and UM).

    Georgia Tech – fine school – but far and away the number 2 school in GA. FSU, super football power (not AAU), but will they get the B1G network onto TV’s all over Florida? UF might do that. I do not know about FSU.

    NC and UVa would not earn $50 million, but are so significant to B1G that financial concessions would likely be made by the B1G to those two.

    OU and Kansas. Offer many things, but not likely to be worth anywhere close to $50 million. Is OU worth a major financial concession? Is KU?

    What other schools could even begin to approach $50 million in value?

    If there ever was a chance at the B1G looking at UConn, Iowa State, Syracuse, Pitt, etc., this $50 million is the final nail in the coffin.

    Like

    • TOM says:

      “but will they (FSU) get the B1G network onto TV’s all over Florida?”

      Good question. It’s a big pond…but I’d think the the demand between FSU and a lot of B1G alumni would probably do it. I’m sure the decision-makers have evaluated this…and it’s a key factor in the decision. My guess is that if the B1G is pushing all the way down to GA (GT)…it won’t stop there. If they happen to focus westward instead (OU, KU)…then FSU isn’t on the table.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        How satisfied is Vanderbilt within the SEC? In tandem with GT, FSU and perhaps VA, it could allay the administrators concerns about barely-AAU FSU and provide some planks on the bridge between Ohio and Georgia. I could see them clinging to their SEC membership like a lifeboat, but the Big10 could provide a break-even financial situation with higher prestige. They could have a full stadium with fans of other Big schools seeking the Nashvegas experience. If UNC’s price is too high and it insists on Duke or even NC State coming along, Vandy might make sense.

        Like

        • TOM says:

          I’m sure Vandy would entertain the B1G’s courtship far more than any other SEC school. But I just don’t see it being on Delany’s wish list. Too few spots left on the stringer and too many big fish still out there. That’s creative thinking though.

          Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          You’re not going to fill a stadium any better than the sec does. Vandy stays an academic king of an athletic power conference.

          Like

    • Kevin says:

      I don’t think you necessarily want to look at the incremental value for each school addition. It’s really the economic law of scarcity. The fewer the conferences and “target rich” schools the greater bargaining leverage the conferences have with the TV networks. NCAA distributions are based on units earned so Kansas would bring a lot to the table from that perspective. The more schools also increases the more bowl opportunities. I could see a scenario where the B1G gets full cut from the Orange bowl for example squeezing out the ACC or others. You could also see a different distribution model for the Playoff. Obviously the Rose is divided 50/50 between the B1G and the PAC but the B1G can have a strong secondary bowl relationship with the Orange etc… where the PAC does not.

      And then of course is BTN. Each school/state addition would hopefully be incremental to the current payout of $8-10 Million / school. That is not very difficult. Essentially each state that is added almost all falls to the bottom line for the network after considering broadcasting/production costs for the schools games/programming.

      Bottom line is the incremental value for each addition isn’t necessarily the value the additional school generates but rather the aggregate increased value of each legacy school plus the new additions.

      Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Florida is full of retired people from B1G states. It should be a profitable B1G market.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Jersey Bernie,

      “It is fascinating to me how quickly the economics of expansion has changed. Just a couple of years ago, if Maryland and Rutgers each could bring to the conference $30 million, that probably would have been enough.”

      It’s always been that way, though. This is why expansion tends to happen near the end of TV deals. The deal was about to make a big jump no matter what, so add the new guy at the lower value which is easier to provide. If the B10 had just signed a new TV deal in 2012 are you sure RU and UMD are members now? The money wouldn’t be the same as this offer but it would’ve been a sizable jump from where we were.

      “While I do not think that any of us know for sure, but is certainly seems that RU and UMd were a financial home run, without waiting for the long run.”

      It’s hard to say how much of the jump was due to the new additions since the B10 was already projecting a big increase with this deal. They certainly didn’t hurt it and presumably boosted it some. The proposed deal is higher than the B10 was projecting. Was that conservatism on their part (didn’t want to make a promise they couldn’t keep) or did RU and UMD bring more value than expected? I doubt we’ll ever find out.

      “Now each B1G school is looking at $50 million plus within a few years. For a new member, the need to bring in more than $50 million is going to be a tough haul. ND and Texas could probably do it as part of the B1G, but what other schools?”

      What you have to remember is that the value of the B10 is increased by new additions in non-linear ways. UNC would add a lot of TV homes, a MBB blue blood and another great research university. UVA adds less but there is a lot of synergy with them, UMD and UNC. There are also non-financial issues to consider like recruiting future students. And if the P5 becomes the P4, how much extra power and value does the B10 get?

      “FSU, super football power (not AAU), but will they get the B1G network onto TV’s all over Florida? UF might do that. I do not know about FSU.”

      Yes FSU would get statewide coverage. It might not be at quite as high a rate in some areas but FSU fans are numerous and spread out all over the state.

      “What other schools could even begin to approach $50 million in value?”

      I think you hit all the most likely candidates except for Duke. It’s still presidents making these decisions, so Duke, UNC and UVA have more value than they do on paper for the AD. On the other hand, you may underestimate OU and KU. OU is a major CFB brand which turns into TV revenue. They also could provide a bridge to UT which would make OU highly valuable. KU is in a similar position but with lesser inherent value since their strength is MBB instead of CFB. Still, if they’re the bridge to UT they would have tons of value.

      “If there ever was a chance at the B1G looking at UConn, Iowa State, Syracuse, Pitt, etc., this $50 million is the final nail in the coffin.”

      There never really was much of a chance for these schools.

      Based on the value equation, the B10 is coming down to very few acceptable expansion candidates (only talking full members):

      ND & someone
      UT & someone
      ND & someones
      UT & someones
      UVA & UNC
      UVA & UNC & someones
      UVA & UNC & GT & someone
      maybe OU & KU

      List of potential someones – GT, FSU, OU, KU

      Like

      • TOM says:

        That wish list looks pretty spot-on (i’m a little less sure about OU/KU). I do keep wondering what the SEC is up to right now. It’s almost like they’ve been forgotten. And that’s dangerous.

        Like

  26. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2016/04/21/college-football-college-basketball-scheduling/83350976/

    The future of college scheduling is package deals – to get the paycheck football game you also agree to some games in other sports (usually MBB).

    Like

  27. z33k says:

    Haven’t been around in a while, good to see everyone’s still checks in around here; I came by to comment on the first half of the new TV deal:

    I think the most important aspect is the 6 year timeframe in terms of what it means for expansion.

    The Big Ten will likely explore expansion to 16 (or 18) around the time that the next TV deal is signed. The 6 year time frame makes me feel almost certain that we will see an announcement that the Big Ten is exploring expansion opportunities in 2022-2023 given that the other conference (namely ACC/Big 12) will likely be arriving at the end of their GOR periods.

    Important note here: Big 12 GOR ends in mid-2025, ACC GOR ends in mid-2027 (assuming they aren’t extended before they are near expiration).

    My hunch is that the Big Ten will explore its next expansion round around 2022-2023 (presumably the Big Ten will sign a new TV contract in 2022 covering 2023-2029ish).

    Thus, the Big Ten will be armed with another short contract signed in 2021 that is far beyond what the Big 12 and ACC are paying their individual members. At that point, if the gap is something like $40m+ per school per year; I think any school would have to listen to that kind of money.

    That’s the kind of money that might shake loose UVa/UNC/FSU/Oklahoma/etc. for example. Either way, I think the years to focus on are around 2022-2023 and what that would mean in terms of expansion to 16-18 or further.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      z33k,

      “I think the most important aspect is the 6 year timeframe in terms of what it means for expansion.”

      I agree that is significant, but it raises several questions for me.

      1. Who wanted the 6 years, Fox or the B10?

      2. Why 6 and not 8 (when the B12 GoR expires) or 10 (when the ACC GoR expires)? 2023 is earlier than ideal for expansion. You’d rather add new schools just before the deal ends and that would be easier when the GoRs end rather than having to get schools to leave early.

      3. Was there something other than expansion driving the choice of 6 years if the B10 chose it? Did they want to be first in line rather than last next time? Do they expect media changes in the near future? Do they think certain other bidders would be available then?

      4. If the B10 chose 6 years, was it so they could get another 6 years next and then be on the market in 2029, not long after the ACC GoR expires?

      “Thus, the Big Ten will be armed with another short contract signed in 2021 that is far beyond what the Big 12 and ACC are paying their individual members. At that point, if the gap is something like $40m+ per school per year; I think any school would have to listen to that kind of money.”

      I don’t think the gap will get that big that quickly. Certainly not to the B12.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Its right before the Pac 12 deal expires. Who could add that type of value besides Texas and Notre Dame? USC.

        B1G absorbs the most valuable members of the Pac in a western wing? USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, UW, Colorado?

        OU/KU makes no sense. Try to do the divisions. And neither feeds the BTN sufficiently. Not enough people in those states. OU doesn’t satisfy the AAU preference.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          And really, you should think like a university president. And remember that Delany will almost certainly be retired before then.

          Do university presidents want to control the world? Or do they want to be on top of the world without a lot of company, 14 schools making more than anyone else? Why would they want to bring a bunch of others up there with them?

          They are likely to be fat and happy and have no desire to see each other less by expanding.

          This deal kills expansion for the Big 10. They have no need and probably will have no appetite. In any event the schools who could sufficiently sate their hunger:
          Notre Dame (don’t need the money)
          Texas (don’t need the money)
          Stanford (has more money than anyone)
          Florida (no way they leave the SEC for a yankee conference)

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “And really, you should think like a university president.”

            Okay. How does that help explain the choice of 6 years over other time frames?

            “And remember that Delany will almost certainly be retired before then.”

            He’s 67 now I believe. He could easily still be around in 6 years.

            “Do university presidents want to control the world?”

            I don’t know. maybe.

            “Or do they want to be on top of the world without a lot of company, 14 schools making more than anyone else?”

            14 isn’t a magic number.

            “Why would they want to bring a bunch of others up there with them?”

            Is 2 “a bunch”? Is 4?

            “They are likely to be fat and happy and have no desire to see each other less by expanding.”

            Or they still worry about the demographics for the future students and want to expand more. Or they worry about limited state funding and want to increase the money available from athletics. Or they worry about the NCAA losing lawsuits and schools having to pay out a bunch of extra money, thus needing greater revenue.

            “This deal kills expansion for the Big 10.”

            I don’t think it kills it out of hand, it just restricts the acceptable additions even further.

            “In any event the schools who could sufficiently sate their hunger:

            Notre Dame (don’t need the money)
            Texas (don’t need the money)
            Stanford (has more money than anyone)
            Florida (no way they leave the SEC for a yankee conference)”

            I agree UF and Stanford aren’t coming. I don’t think they were ever targets, either. ND doesn’t need the money but that doesn’t mean they might not want it in the future. If the B10 expands sufficiently, ND can get the eastern exposure they want with less travel for Olympic sports and more money. Likewise, UT doesn’t need the money but they might want it.

            Schools you neglected:
            VA + NC = 18.4M people (about the same as NY) -> UVA + UNC has real value
            GA = 10.2M people -> GT has value as a partner

            Like

          • z33k says:

            The fact that the term is so short makes me at least consider the notion of Delany staying on another 6 years. It might seem ridiculous, but Slive retired at 74…, that’s the age that Delany would be at around 2022…

            I think Delany setting in a short contract term makes it more likely that he just stays on through the next expansion round.

            Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “OU/KU makes no sense. Try to do the divisions. And neither feeds the BTN sufficiently. Not enough people in those states. OU doesn’t satisfy the AAU preference.”

          -Why do you think the divisions would be difficult? Purdue goes East. Done.

          Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Bullet:

          “Its right before the Pac 12 deal expires. Who could add that type of value besides Texas and Notre Dame? USC.”

          Riight…
          Trojans don’t wrestle. DQed

          “B1G absorbs the most valuable members of the Pac in a western wing? USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, UW, Colorado?”

          Let’s see, maybe we’d like to destroy the Rose Bowl and hook up with the WAC…they don’t play FB…the MWC then, for the premier bowl matchup. Sweet.
          I thought you said colorado wasn’t worthy of dysfunctional B12. Now they are B1G value?

          “OU/KU makes no sense.”
          KU makes BB sense. Restoring OU/UNL rivalry while ending RRR makes national viewership sense. But no, I just don’t see the B1G that disruptive.
          “Try to do the divisions.” That is just a bit more scheduling adjustments considering how much change has already happened.
          “And neither feeds the BTN sufficiently. Not enough people in those states.” Might breach threshold to make BTN a universal basic tier channel nation wide on all providers?
          “OU doesn’t satisfy the AAU preference.” No, it doesn’t. But when have little things like stated requirements stood in the way of fanatical fan fantasy?

          Like

          • Tiger says:

            B1G championship game would be the Rose Bowl. LOL. I think any Big Ten expansion is going to be contiguous to the foot print and no sooner than the next media deal.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Restoring OU/UNL rivalry while ending RRR makes national viewership sense. But no, I just don’t see the B1G that disruptive.

            The RRR was a non-conference game for decades. It could be again.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            “The RRR was a non-conference game for decades. It could be again.”

            True. But would it? UT isn’t scheduling Aggies.
            Perhaps I should have said reduced the prominence of RRR by emphasizing OU/Neb (thanksgiving day game?).

            Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Its right before the Pac 12 deal expires. Who could add that type of value besides Texas and Notre Dame? USC.”

          If the P12 was the reason, it would more likely be because Fox could then free up more space for B10 games than because the B10 wanted to expand to CA.

          “B1G absorbs the most valuable members of the Pac in a western wing? USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, UW, Colorado?”

          CO doesn’t have much value as I recall from them leaving the B12. I’d guess OR is more valuable from an athletic standpoint. Better yet, just take the CA 4 as a western pod.

          I just don’t see any way traveling all the Olympic sports would make sense, though.

          “OU/KU makes no sense. Try to do the divisions.”

          Easy:
          West = OU, NE, WI, IA, MN, KU, NW, IL
          East = OSU, MI, PSU, MSU, PU, IN, RU, UMD

          They’re better than the current ones with no need for locked games and better balance.

          “And neither feeds the BTN sufficiently. Not enough people in those states. OU doesn’t satisfy the AAU preference.”

          OU adds the same way NE did, via national brand and big games. It boosts ratings and that leads to revenue. KS and OK combine for 6.8M people (more than IN), plus OU leads to fans in TX as well. And KU adds significant MBB value and MBB fans nationally.

          I’m not saying I’d add them, but the case can be made for them.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m just throwing CU in there from the Pac as they fit in a 5 team quad. Oregon doesn’t.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I’m just throwing CU in there from the Pac as they fit in a 5 team quad. Oregon doesn’t.”

            You listed 6 schools, so I assumed you were doing 6/4/4/6 pods. If you’re doing pods of 5, how do both CU and UW fit?

            Ignoring pods, how does CO fit better than OR? OR is a major rival of UW and near enough to be a travel partner. CO is all by itself geographically.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            West-USC/UCLA/Cal/Stanford/UW
            Central-Colorado/UNL/IA/MN/WI
            North-IL/NW/UM/MSU/OSU
            East-IU/PU/PSU/MD/RU

            4 5 school quads that could be rotated, 2 years West Central and North East, 2 years East Central and North West, 2 years North Central and Coast to Coast.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Why would the Big Ten go that far West though? Southeast or Southwest expansion are the only realistic possibilities.

            Nobody wants to try to create the NFL or some sort of cross-country league here… that was only on the table if the Big Ten stayed at 12 and had a scheduling alliance with the Pac-12.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Okay, I was thinking fit in terms of the school fitting the B10, not how you could make pods.

            “West-USC/UCLA/Cal/Stanford/UW
            Central-Colorado/UNL/IA/MN/WI
            North-IL/NW/UM/MSU/OSU
            East-IU/PU/PSU/MD/RU

            4 5 school quads that could be rotated, 2 years West Central and North East, 2 years East Central and North West, 2 years North Central and Coast to Coast.”

            The East is pretty weak in that setup while the North is loaded. Potentially the West could be a killer, too. It also the same as eliminating divisions and locking 4 games and rotating the other 5 but with some of the wrong games locked. You might as well drop divisions at that point.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “Why would the Big Ten go that far West though?”

            They wouldn’t.

            “Southeast or Southwest expansion are the only realistic possibilities.”

            bullet knows that. He finds it silly when people talk about UT joining the B10, so he extends the silliness.

            Like

      • z33k says:

        Those are all terrific questions:

        1. I think it’s worth noting that Fox may have been the side pushing for the short time-frame as a way of seeing what the ratings value is there as well as seeing the value of the contract.

        But in some sense, it could have been both sides willing to consider a short-term contract. I don’t think it’s necessarily exclusive. When the Big Ten and Fox got to years, they must have looked at the other conferences and where they are; we know those years by heart, certainly Delany and Fox (which has the Big 12 deal as well) do too.

        2. As far as the GORs go, I actually think 6 is near ideal; 8 might be too close to expiration of the other conferences’ TV deals. In some sense, if the Big Ten signs another 6 year deal quickly, then it can focus on expansion and pluck schools away before the other conferences have new TV deals in hand. I think that’s an advantage in terms of getting the next TV deal out of the way; then the other conferences like ACC/Big 12 will be under the cloud of expansion questions as they try to get to the last years of their contracts…

        I think it will look like Nebraska leaving the Big 12…, as in that happened before the Big 12 got into negotiations for their TV deal.

        3. Delany is a risk-taker in some sense as we’ve seen, but I honestly think expansion is the only obvious pro-short term contractual reason for the Big Ten. I think it’s too risky given decreases in cable TV subscriptions across the country to go to a shorter term otherwise; cable subscription decreases will eventually eat at BTN; it’s hard to see the value being recouped otherwise even with streaming. Maybe Delany sees something else there (he is more of a media guy than I’ll ever be), but I don’t see it.

        4. I think the 6 year term basically shortens the game and makes it more easily to work expansion into the fold; i.e. once you expand, you know the next contract revaluation will be coming up soon. Shorter terms are generally pro-expansion in that sense. I think there’s a ton of advantages if the Big Ten goes for a quick “re up” on the 6 year contracts and then shifts to expansion before the other conferences even get to their next deal. At that point if Big Ten schools are earning $60+m per year in 2023-, then how do the current old deals look offering <$30m per year…?

        Like

  28. drwillini says:

    This pretty much signals that the big ten is thinking of near term expansion, and there are only a limited number of schools that add enough value to justify inclusion. For this deal to be short term feelers must have already been positively received. In my opinion in four years the BIG will take two of:
    Texas
    Notre Dame
    Florida
    UNC

    BIG is in a position to be very selective here. In 6 years BTN revenue will be dominant. And no other conference will have anything like it.

    My guess: ND and UNC. My hope: Florida and Texas. They are more culturally compatible. UF is a BIG school in all but geography.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I also could see the SEC “multiplying by dividing” into 2 explicit 10 to 12 team conferences. The current east division adding the higher profile ACC teams in same states and NC/VA. The current west adding Utx, ok, 1 to 3 other teams, getting Mizzou in exchange for another west team. This could the answer to a southern incursion along I.75 +2 by the B1G.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        urbanleftbehind,

        “I also could see the SEC “multiplying by dividing” into 2 explicit 10 to 12 team conferences.”

        I’d think they’d want 2 conferences of 9 so they can stick with 8 conference games and still have 2 CCGs.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Brian, isn’t it supposed to be equal sized divisions for a CCG, under the new rule? 10 or 12 apiece would allow a CCG out of a division round robin and half or more cross division under 8 conference games.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Brian, isn’t it supposed to be equal sized divisions for a CCG, under the new rule?”

            Yes, but we’re talking about the SEC becoming a league of 2 separate conferences. It’d be like the NFL having the AFC and NFC but without having a Super Bowl (SEC championship game) because that would make them 1 conference. Instead they’d probably stage that SECCG as a bowl for the best teams not to be in the CFP/NY6.

            “10 or 12 apiece would allow a CCG out of a division round robin and half or more cross division under 8 conference games.”

            9 would let each half act like the B12 but with only 8 conference games so they can still schedule all their usual cupcakes.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, I get that now … using the play a conference round robin and top two playoff alternative of the current rule. I’ve re-read the NCAA press release on the rules change, which is clearer than the news account I had googled up previously.

            I don’t quite see how the league split would work out. For the Vols, they’d want to be in the one with Bama and the Gators. For Bama, they’d want to be in the one with Auburn. Who do the Gators want to be with … and does the chain stop before 9 schools or does it keep going?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “I don’t quite see how the league split would work out. For the Vols, they’d want to be in the one with Bama and the Gators. For Bama, they’d want to be in the one with Auburn. Who do the Gators want to be with … and does the chain stop before 9 schools or does it keep going?”

            They can use an OOC game to maintain any rivalry that’s lost in the split. What better way to keep the money in the family than play all your major OOC games against the other half of your own league?

            Like

    • Richard says:

      UF is so not a B10 school. Very much an SEC school.

      UNC will also require a lot of their friends (UVa/Duke/NCSU) to come.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        Correct. I think some folks only look at it from their vantagepoint and don’t realize that some of these schools aren’t going to just leave the South to join what they perceive as a MW/Northern conference just for what they see as a nice short-term tv deal. No way UNC is the only B1G school from its region of the country. Heels wouldn’t be remotely comfortable doing that. “We’re going to be playing where?”

        Like

      • David Brown says:

        I agree 100% The Gators are going no where. The SEC is an outstanding Conference. Do not forget some of the rivalry games they play ( especially Georgia). I also think North Carolina is a no go. They do not want to be the Southern Outpost of the Big 10. Florida State both factors apply: In their case it is not playing Miami ( and Florida in a Non Conference Game) plus not wanting to be a B10 Southern Outpost. The most realistic teams are the ones I have mentioned: Oklahoma and Kansas ( if they could get Texas and ( or) Notre Dame they would ( I would say ND is more likely than UT)). One thing that is certain is the B10 Schools will have a whole lot of money. What you would like to see is because of it, some of the lesser Schools of the B10 get better ( Illinois comes to mind), I also would like to see more Schools add Hockey ( Iowa and ( or) Nebraska?). I know that is the plan @ Rutgers and Penn State. I hope others take advantage of this opportunity?

        Like

    • TOM says:

      uf fans would start lighting torches. It’s not remotely a b1g school on quite a few levels. I take it you’ve never spent much time in the south. it’s a fine school but the idea that uf is interested is leaving the SEC…is absurd.

      Like

    • Nemo says:

      According to @Bluevod an hour ago, the FOX deal may contain contingencies for “new entries.” Is he implying more $$ if a select Uni (or more) follow and join the Conference?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        He’s probably referring to standard clauses that adjust the deal if the membership changes (automatic pro rata bump with a chance to discuss a bump per team based on the addition).

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Yes, exactly. It’s a standard clause. People for some reason think it’s “news” because @Bluevod says it, which he’s just stating the obvious.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      drwillini,

      “For this deal to be short term feelers must have already been positively received.”

      That assumes the B10 chose to only do 6 years. What if Fox only offered 6 years?

      “In my opinion in four years the BIG will take two of:
      Texas
      Notre Dame
      Florida
      UNC”

      There is literally zero chance of UF ever leaving the SEC.

      “In 6 years BTN revenue will be dominant. And no other conference will have anything like it.”

      I think the SECN will be very much like it. They already charge a lot more per household in their footprint.

      “My guess: ND and UNC. My hope: Florida and Texas. They are more culturally compatible. UF is a BIG school in all but geography.”

      I see how you think ND is too different in terms of academic culture and being independent for so long. UNC and UT are very similar in my mind in terms of their difference from the B10. UF may be more B10 than FSU, but they are so southern it’s laughable to suggest they’d leave the SEC.

      Like

      • bob sykes says:

        I actually agree with this. My main point is that there are likely no viable candidates for the B1G, and it might stay at 14 teams for the next 100 years.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It’s probably semantics, but it really comes down to what you consider “viable.”

          Single schools that would clearly interest the B10 and aren’t in the SEC:
          UT, ND

          Pairs that would interest the B10:
          UVA & UNC
          maybe OU & KU (I don’t think so, but many do)

          Possible interest from B10 if others also came:
          GT, FSU

          Schools listed above that want to join the B10:
          OU & KU (they’d probably prefer to stay in a healthy B12, though)

          Schools that might be convinced by money:
          UVA, UNC, GT, FSU

          Those schools combine for $37M in subsidies to their ADs with a minimum of $7.1M at FSU.

          Schools that would need other events to change their current stance:
          UT, ND

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I actually agree with this. My main point is that there are likely no viable candidates for the B1G, and it might stay at 14 teams for the next 100 years.

          No conference has ever kept the same membership for 100 years, or even 50 years.

          Like

  29. Eric says:

    Only mistake in all of this in my opinion is the short time frame. That opinion goes beyond sports though into larger questions. I’ll be very surprised (to put it midly) if the next deal is as good as this one.

    That said, this is an amazing start to the negotiations and agree ESPN (like them or hate them) makes most sense for the other side.

    Like

    • Tiger says:

      Television model as we know it, is changing. Maybe the networks were very reluctant to make a long-term commitment unless at a very reduced per year cost; B1G might’ve wanted a very short term deal just before a couple conferences GOR’s expire.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Eric,

      “Only mistake in all of this in my opinion is the short time frame.”

      That assumes the B10 chose the time frame. What if that’s all that Fox offered?

      “I’ll be very surprised (to put it midly) if the next deal is as good as this one.”

      And many/most said this deal would underperform the B10’s projections since the sports bubble was bursting. The naysayers have been wrong every time they claimed media revenue wouldn’t keep growing. Based on ratings, CFB is still undervalued compared to the NFL according to experts.

      Like

  30. ccrider55 says:

    “Television model as we know it, is changing.”

    As long as live sports are basically DVR proof it really doesn’t matter what form distribution takes. Content is king, especially content that demands live access.

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      I know that this is all a fantasy world, but even in a fantasy, U Florida is not going anywhere. The Gators could probably live without the Miami game, but the only way that UF would change conferences would be if Georgia, Alabama, LSU and maybe of couple of others came with them. In other words, never could happen. The thing more certain than UF in the SEC is the annual UF-FSU game which is mandated by the Florida legislature and will not go away.

      If someone from UF even whispered the desire to leave the SEC, there would riots in the streets of Gainsville and in the legislative halls of Tallahassee.

      While money to the B1G may be many millions more than the PAC 12, ACC and Big 12, the SEC will be right there.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Jersey Bernie,

        “I know that this is all a fantasy world, but even in a fantasy, U Florida is not going anywhere.”

        Agreed.

        “The Gators could probably live without the Miami game, but the only way that UF would change conferences would be if Georgia, Alabama, LSU and maybe of couple of others came with them. ”

        Miami means nothing to UF. They’ve played twice in the past 10 seasons. FSU is their OOC rivalry game. As for SEC foes, UF’s ties are to UGA, AU, LSU and maybe TN. The other eastern teams stink (UK, Vandy) or are new (MO, SC). The SEC never played each other a lot historically so UF has only played AL 32 times total in the regular season.

        “While money to the B1G may be many millions more than the PAC 12, ACC and Big 12, the SEC will be right there.”

        Agreed. As long as football is king, the SEC will be just fine.

        Like

      • TOM says:

        Yeah, anytime I see uf to b1g mentioned…i know we’ve sailed the conference expansion ship into the twilight zone.

        Like

        • Agree with those that think the prospect of Florida going to the Big Ten is crazy. Yes, it’s an AAU flagship school that delivers massive TV markets. However, UF is sort of like when you see a house that looks perfect on Zillow, but then when you actually visit it and walk around the neighborhood, you realize that you’ll never fit in. Florida is an SEC school through and through to its core.

          Liked by 1 person

          • z33k says:

            Yeah, FSU is far, far more likely to be willing to switch conferences into the Big Ten than UF. I can say that as a certainty being down here and having been around movers/shakers in both schools.

            Like

      • TOM says:

        “The Gators could probably live without the Miami game”

        UF cancelled the Miami series after the ’87 season…the gators were tired of losing more often than not to the Canes at that point. They’ve only played 4 times since as regular season games. Plus two bowl games. The gators only winning a single game against UM going back to the mid-80’s. So the series likely won’t ever be renewed. No upside for uf…and a heckuva lot of (proven) downside.

        Like

  31. TOM says:

    bluevod (who seems to be driving a lot of the latest expansion chatter) is now saying even more firmly that FSU is likely #15 and the B1G domino. For what it’s worth…

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Does Bluevod have a track record of knowing what university presidents are thinking about expansion? He does have an inside track to Michigan athletics, and has demonstrated it repeatedly, but that doesn’t mean he knows squat about expansion.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I think he’s just someone who repeats rumors he hears from his sources (in the MI AD and elsewhere).

        Like

      • Ross says:

        Most Michigan fans would not agree he has demonstrated an inside track to Michigan athletics. He spews vague statements, or, as Brian noted, rumors that already exist. I wouldn’t put an ounce of faith in his statements.

        Like

  32. Brian says:

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/04/florida-gators-nfl-draft-busts-schools

    Where do NFL busts come from?

    1. UF
    2. PSU
    3. OkSU
    4. FSU
    5. UNC
    6. WI

    All had over 40% of their 1st round picks become busts, with UF over 50%.

    Safest choices:

    1. Miami
    2. TN
    3. OU
    4. OSU
    5. AL
    6. USC

    All were under 30% with Miami (15%) the only one below 20%.

    The overall bust rate was 32.7% just for reference.

    A couple lessons to take away from this: Teams shouldn’t write off a player who went to a small school, avoid players from Florida colleges located outside of Miami and do not draft Penn State pass rushers — we’re looking at you, Carl Nassib.

    Like

    • unproductive says:

      If FSU looked to be heading to the BIG, do you think that the SEC would step in and make a pre-emptive offer to FSU? My guess is that FSU would much rather be in the SEC than the BIG and that FSU should be able to add to the SEC bottom line, especially with the CBS contract expiring in the near future.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        It probably completely depends on who else would be joining FSU from the ACC. If UVA/UNC/GT are also going…I think it would very much sway a lot of folks in the B1G direction. I do agree that the vast majority of FSU supporters wouldn’t just want to be stuck out in left (south) fields on an island. That would be awkward (similar to WVU in B12). I do agree that if this all turns out to be real…the SEC will be wise to try to lock the B1G out of the south (and certainly out of FL).

        Like

      • Brian says:

        unproductive,

        “If FSU looked to be heading to the BIG, do you think that the SEC would step in and make a pre-emptive offer to FSU?”

        Not quite. I’m not sure the SEC really wants FSU so I think they’d prefer to make a counteroffer if and when the B10 has already made an offer. Then the SEC would decide if it’s worth it to them to accept FSU.

        “My guess is that FSU would much rather be in the SEC than the BIG and that FSU should be able to add to the SEC bottom line, especially with the CBS contract expiring in the near future.”

        I think the fans would definitely prefer the SEC. I think the faculty would prefer the B10. I think the AD would prefer the SEC to reduce travel, but if enough ACC teams came along that could change. Overall I think FSU would prefer the SEC if all else (money) was equal or close enough.

        Now, whether FSU would make them money is a different question. I don’t think adding FSU impacts the CBS deal much. It’s already a top game every week and the state of FL already watches it, so FSU doesn’t add much there (TAMU didn’t add much value either and they’re in a new state). FSU also doesn’t do much for the SECN. I think they’re biggest impact would be on the ESPN deal. The part you skipped is who would be #16 for the SEC. That’s an important part of whether FSU makes money for them.

        Like

        • TOM says:

          Brian,

          I’d guess that the majority of casual FSU fans would prefer the SEC too. But they won’t call the shot. Either will the alumni, the AD, the FSU Board of Trustees, or an influential booster. If FSU Prez Thrasher (former State of Fla congressman and FSU alumnus) wants to go to the B1G…I’d bet on him to make it happen. He’s 72, has seen it all, and wants to leave a legacy. And isn’t worried about ruffling feathers or his next job.

          I love FSU AND the B1G (for a variety of reasons)…so I personally hope this pipe dream happens (along with UVA/UNC/GT)…if the ACC can no longer compete with the big boy conferences ($$$).

          I’d much rather see the B1G move southward than the SEC lock it all down (and become King). The stakes are higher than ever if the dominoes indeed do fall.

          Like

  33. z33k says:

    One quick thing to consider: both Fox and Big Ten know all of the terms of the other conferences in terms of contract years/GOR expiration/etc. I think the 6 year term was something both sides wanted. That’s just my hunch of course, but I think the shorter contract works out best for both sides.

    The Big Ten can go all in on expansion after signing a short-term extension (another 6 year deal) around 2022 with $60m+ per year going to each school, and Fox will gain if the Big Ten adds schools and increases the value of the property. Fox will basically be just shifting money around if a Big 12 school joins the Big Ten around 2023-2024, and it will be gaining value if it gets ACC schools…

    Ask yourself this question: if you’re Fox, would you prefer to pay Oklahoma/Kansas each $30m per year in the Big Ten or $15-20m per year in the Big 12 (for that half of the contract)? Etc. And if those two schools shift, all of a sudden, you don’t have to pay anywhere near as much to the Big 12 when it gets re upped… you’re basically just shifting money around from the other Big 12 members to OU/Kansas…

    (Just using those 2 as an example above).

    I just think the expansion possibilities are way too obvious with this timeline, and I think both sides know it and were aiming for that.

    Like

  34. TOM says:

    “The Big Ten can go all in on expansion after signing a short-term extension (another 6 year deal) around 2022”

    That’s very possible. The big risk being that the SEC has time to swoop and protect its turf. If the SEC is able to add just a couple more key schools/real estate,,,they’re probably king of the hill for decades to come (including the long-term TV contracts). Whether that be UNC/UVA (with possibly FSU/GT) and/or UTx/OU.

    I hope the B1G isn’t about to get blind-sided by the SEC. They’ve been suspiciously quiet…

    Like

    • z33k says:

      I don’t really think the SEC is in a position to be the first mover; typically the SEC has been more reactive to Big Ten moves (I’m thinking about Penn State and Nebraska specifically and then SEC reacting in moves to 12 and 13-14 as a result of those Big Ten moves).

      I think the same situation will play out in some respect…

      The SEC will watch what the Big Ten does in early 2020s; if Big Ten moves to 16, I think SEC will follow if the right schools are there.

      Note: I think with limited exceptions, Big Ten has to be first mover on ACC to shake those schools loose.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        I don’t think Nebraska or Penn State (certainly not in 1990) were ever hot targets for the SEC. They like big markets…and a contiguous footprint. If they ever get the sense that the B1G has serious designs on the southeast…I’d expect them to lock it down. Or at least try. The B1G was no threat to them whatsoever until very recently.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          TOM,

          “I don’t think Nebraska or Penn State (certainly not in 1990) were ever hot targets for the SEC.”

          Agreed. But I think his point was that the B10 going to 11 with PSU was the move that led to the SEC adding AR and SC. Then the B10 finally went to 12 with NE and the SEC quickly added TAMU and MO.

          One can argue that those moves were not cause and effect but inevitable moves for the SEC because:

          1. The era of independents was ending (SC)
          2. The SWC was doomed by years of scandal (AR)
          3. Only a fool ignores a great opportunity (TAMU & MO)

          But many people have said the B10 really drove both rounds of expansion.

          “They like big markets”

          They do? AR, LA, MS, AL, TN and KY are big markets?

          “and a contiguous footprint.”

          Who doesn’t? But I think they’d be willing to skip a state if a much better opportunity existed in the next state.

          “If they ever get the sense that the B1G has serious designs on the southeast…I’d expect them to lock it down. Or at least try.”

          They don’t care what the B10 has designs on. It’s when they get the sense that southern schools are willing to listen to the B10 that they’ll consider being more active. The problem is that blocking the B10 would force them to take schools they don’t really want. I think they’d rather let the B10 in while the SEC still dominates the state anyway (GT in GA, maybe FSU in FL). As for ACC and B12 territory, I think everyone will be sniffing around as the GoRs end.

          “The B1G was no threat to them whatsoever until very recently.”

          The B10 isn’t a threat to them anyway. The SEC is never going to fail.

          Like

          • TOM says:

            I was referring to the B1G getting Nebraska (not a big market)….and PSU (not being contiguous by a long-shot). I misunderstood the original poster’s comment (taking it that somehow the SEC was interested in those schools). My mistake.

            Obviously every conference has some small market teams. Not can or (probably) should be done about programs that have been with conferences for decades….centuries!

            Like

  35. Tiger says:

    Not that I’m buying into BlueVod but fun to consider and talk about. How interested do you think FSU would be in the B1G? Are they truly interested in the B1G, are they a good fit, does the B1G really want them?

    When FSU was negotiating with the Big XII their supposedly their was talk they required multiple partners to leave; e.g. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami to Big XII…

    What will the SEC do when they sniff the B1G potentially invading one of their states; Florida (FSU) or potentially Georgia (GT)? Does the SEC decide FSU is too valuable enough to not offer?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Tiger,

      “Not that I’m buying into BlueVod but fun to consider and talk about.”

      I think we are all in that same boat (except those that hate when we talk about this stuff).

      “How interested do you think FSU would be in the B1G?”

      The fans or the school? The school is interested, the fans not very much (except for the $$$).

      My guess at their preferences:
      1. ACC with comparable money to B10/SEC
      2. ACC only lagging B10/SEC by about $10M/year
      3a. SEC – more from the athletic side
      3b. B10 – more from the academic side
      4. ACC with comparable money to B12
      5. B12
      6. ACC with money lagging everyone

      FSU wants to join the AAU and getting into the B10 and CIC would help them with that. Travel would be bad, but it would also be a problem in the B12 and they supposedly considered that. Especially if several other ACC schools came along, travel might be less of an issue (and UMD got a travel subsidy so FSU might, too).

      “are they a good fit,”

      They are a big state school with decent academics and research. On the other hand they’re very southern, they emphasize different sports, they aren’t AAU and they’re over 800 miles from any current B10 school.

      “does the B1G really want them?”

      Nobody knows. I don’t think they’re high on our list due to their academics and location but others think the B10 would be fools not to take them.

      “When FSU was negotiating with the Big XII their supposedly their was talk they required multiple partners to leave; e.g. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami to Big XII…”

      They wanted some shorter travel and we’re using their leverage. They’d ask the same type of thing of the B10 but presumably some different schools.

      “What will the SEC do when they sniff the B1G potentially invading one of their states; Florida (FSU) or potentially Georgia (GT)? Does the SEC decide FSU is too valuable enough to not offer?”

      I think the SEC would let GT go and not care. UGA owns the state and GT wouldn’t get BTN on statewide. It might not even get on in Atlanta (Comcast).

      FSU would be riskier for them to let go, but I’m not sure FSU makes money for the SEC so they might not have a good choice.

      Like

      • Tiger says:

        Thanks for the responses, most what I expected and very interesting to hear an actual Seminole fan’s perspective. My perspective from afar is their fanbase is pretty split in regards to be anti-SEC (more vocal minority?) vs pro-SEC and where their allegiances lean.

        The question of whether the SEC would have interest in Florida State was arguably the one I was most interested in. [agree they’d have no interest in GT.]

        We do know the B1G wants to move more to the south, but how far south do they want? Confident Virginia and North Carolina are highly desired targets by the B1G, debatable on whether they’d be interested in Georgia Tech, Florida State, or Oklahoma…

        From a B1G perspective, adding Virginia, North Carolina and even Georgia Tech really interest me. I’m on the fence with Florida State as I haven’t seriously put much thought, research into them fitting in as B1G members as the possibility has always been pretty far fetched to me and glad to hear others opinions who might’ve.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Tiger,

          “We do know the B1G wants to move more to the south, but how far south do they want? Confident Virginia and North Carolina are highly desired targets by the B1G, debatable on whether they’d be interested in Georgia Tech, Florida State, or Oklahoma…”

          GT is geographically southern but that’s about it. Atlanta is mostly transplants and many are from the mid-Atlantic or North. It’s similar to Duke in that fashion, but not as northern as Duke is. Also remember that Atlanta is only 1/3 of the way into GA and just a 250 mile drive from Charlotte. It’s actually farther north than Myrtle Beach, SC (basically the same as the NC/SC border at the coast). In other words, it’s not much of a stretch if UNC is on board.

          Like

        • TOM says:

          “The question of whether the SEC would have interest in Florida State was arguably the one I was most interested in.”

          I can’t imagine the SEC being comfortable with a FSU-B1G partnership in a state that doesn’t take a backseat to anyone holistically in population/growth/recruits. And in a state with an ever-increasing load of B1G fans/alumni. Check that…the SEC wouldn’t just be uncomfortable with the idea…it would probably cause an emergency session. “Live from Tallahassee…FSU-Ohio State in a a Big Ten cross-division Top 5 battle!”

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “…“Live from Tallahassee…FSU-Ohio State in a a Big Ten cross-division Top 5 battle!”…”

            make that … “Live from Tallahassee…FSU-Ohio State in a a Big Ten battle for Eastern Division dominance!”

            … which is why I am quite ambivalent about ACC four-pack scenarios. Not a whole lot of “Old Big Ten” in the likely Big Ten East, and I’d think a better than 50:50 chance the Buckeyes would be in there with a bunch of newbies.

            Like

          • TOM says:

            I hear you. I’d feel the same way if I was a king-of-the-hill B1G team. I really don’t see any of this happening.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “make that … “Live from Tallahassee…FSU-Ohio State in a a Big Ten battle for Eastern Division dominance!”

            … which is why I am quite ambivalent about ACC four-pack scenarios. Not a whole lot of “Old Big Ten” in the likely Big Ten East, and I’d think a better than 50:50 chance the Buckeyes would be in there with a bunch of newbies.”

            Which is why I think they’d drop divisions and schedule as one big conference instead (I think they could get the rule changed to allow it).

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Which is why I think they’d drop divisions and schedule as one big conference instead (I think they could get the rule changed to allow it).”

            That would be my hope, but I’m not going to bank on it.

            Like

      • BoilerTex says:

        Brian, curious about your point that GT wouldn’t bring Comcast in ATL. I know you’re down there…GT is a smallish sized school but I thought it had a decent – and definitely affluent – alumni base in the Atlanta metro area. If they can’t deliver even ATL Comcast, they’re a non-starter.

        I’ve always been bullish on GT. A great academic school in a major market and I would love to see a rivalry develop with Purdue.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          BoilerTex,

          “Brian, curious about your point that GT wouldn’t bring Comcast in ATL. I know you’re down there…GT is a smallish sized school but I thought it had a decent – and definitely affluent – alumni base in the Atlanta metro area. If they can’t deliver even ATL Comcast, they’re a non-starter.”

          I say that for a few reasons:
          1. GT has fewer than 50k alumni in the Atlanta area in a metro area of 5.5M (61k alumni in all of GA).
          2. GT has a lot fewer unaffiliated fans than UGA in Atlanta (5:1 or worse).
          3. A lot of other SEC schools have large fan bases in Atlanta, some larger than GT’s. Based on Facebook likes, GT is at best 4th behind UGA, AL and Auburn (the data only shows the top 3).
          4. Comcast is known to be a tough negotiator over sports networks. They made it hard to get BTN on in Philly despite all the PSU alumni there (this was before RU was added).

          With that many SEC fans (plus a lot of ACC fans as FSU isn’t too far away), I’d expect a lot of pushback from people not wanting to pay more for BTN. They’d probably reach a compromise at a lesser rate than elsewhere to make sure it was on. Other parts of Atlanta have Cox but those tend to be more suburban and less GT-friendly I think.

          “I’ve always been bullish on GT. A great academic school in a major market and I would love to see a rivalry develop with Purdue.”

          This is all just my opinion. Maybe bullet disagrees. I could be underestimating the power of the BTN negotiators.

          Like

          • BoilerTex says:

            Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian: I would think that GTech has stronger relative support in the Atlanta suburbs than in Atlanta itself.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Brian: I would think that GTech has stronger relative support in the Atlanta suburbs than in Atlanta itself.”

            In a few of them, yes, but not overall. And Charter (I said Cox but meant Charter) tends to be in less affluent suburbs, and those areas have a lot of unaffiliated fans that heavily lean UGA based on recent success.

            Like

  36. TOM says:

    Brian,

    I’m just a lone FSU grad (so take the rather small sampling pool for what it’s worth):

    My preferences would be:

    1. The ACC not only survives but thrives! It adds UTx and UND becomes a full time member. This is where we’re getting into fantasy land.
    2. B1G. With UVA/UNC/GT. A lot of reasons why this is where my heart lies. I might even (due to my personal bias) put this into the #1 slot after further thought.
    3. SEC.
    4. Nothing else.

    Like

  37. TOM says:

    “When FSU was negotiating with the Big XII their supposedly their was talk they required multiple partners to leave; e.g. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami to Big XII…”

    I’ve never heard that FSU ever had any real intention of joining the B12. At most, I got the sense there was some gamesmanship going on. FSU pushing back on Tobacco Road stuff. I can tell you that the vast majority of Noles who I know were not excited about the idea…beyond having UTx and OU on the schedule. Anyone who really thought about the long-term impact wasn’t very comfortable with it. I’m very very very glad it didn’t happen.

    Like

    • z33k says:

      There was a lot of gamesmanship going on around 2010-2013 in terms of players trying to negotiate better outcomes for themselves in their conference situations. That’s especially true of the “king”-type schools that have more control over their future conference affiliation than most.

      Texas, FSU, Oklahoma, etc. are schools that have that kind of leverage.

      The public inklings were that there were all sorts of Big 12/ACC maneuvers being discussed behind the scenes: i.e. Texas getting a “ND-like” package to go independent in football with rest of sports in ACC or joining the ACC with a group; there was also the FSU to the Big 12 discussion with FSU bringing along a group of ACC schools.

      The thing is, everything that gets discussed publicly is also on the minds of the big money types and the “important people” associated with the “king”-type programs.

      Still, I think Brian makes a good point above that FSU is happy with the ACC as long as the money differences don’t get too large.

      If we’re sitting here in 5-6 years and the ACC schools are taking in $30m less than Big Ten schools, I do think there will be a problem.

      Is that enough to create some kind of scenario where FSU can bring a bunch of schools to another conference? None of us know that for sure, but there are all sorts of possibilities.

      For what it’s worth, if FSU does leave the ACC, that would basically create a huge hole in the ACC’s football situation given just how many major ACC TV games have involved FSU in the past. Replacing that inventory is not really possible, it’d be a huge hole in the ACC’s football value…

      Like

  38. TOM says:

    Now Mr. blue is straight-up saying it’s a go for FSU to B1G (though he perhaps left himself a little wiggle-room if it doesn’t happen. But pretty tough to walk this one back…

    Like

  39. TOM says:

    Mr. blue is now either breaking the biggest expansion story in history or just “jumped the shark”. Gotta love it. It’s entertaining at least. Also looks like he’s giving it precisely a “65% chance” ha

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      I love predictions. I have shoveled 6″ of partly cloudy off my sidewalk more than once.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Did “Bluevod” tell his followers about the FOX deal news before anyone else? If he is indeed connected as he says, the specifics of that deal should have been posted before the SBJ reported it.

        Like

        • TOM says:

          He seemed to know that there were talks going on of some kind…but nothing specific enough to show that he has a source that’s very close to the situation. And he certainly didn’t relay any hard numbers of what the Fox contract was going to be worth before SBJ did. Most of his stuff was all over the board on expansion…primarily ACC teams. And it’s still pretty much crickets everywhere else.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            @TOM – Well everyone knew that talks were going on since they announced they were accepting bids. I would think if someone was truly an insider they would drop advance knowledge about the FOX deal.

            Like

    • z33k says:

      Heh, that’s jumping the shark quite a bit…

      If this does go down, here’s how it would look:

      Big Ten signs deals for roughly $425-450m per year average over next 6 years (through 2023) with Fox/ESPN/CBS combination…

      Big Ten re-ups those deals in 2022 for around $550-600m per year over another 6 year deal covering 2023-2029; which means something like $60m per year including BTN money.

      Big Ten announces exploring expansion possibilities: Big Ten adds OU/Kansas around 2024, Big Ten adds FSU/Ga Tech around 2025-2026, Big Ten adds UVA/NC around 2026-2027.

      Fox ups Big Ten TV deal and BTN deals (theirs portion) to $700m per year (so aggregate is $900m per year) in 2027 and extends both to 13 year term (ending around 2040). Big Ten’s other deal gets renewed in 2029 for 11 years at around $500m per year average.

      That’s the timeline that a OU/Kansas/FSU/Ga Tech/UVa/UNC kind of expansion would look like… (or any other expansion) along with some aggressive money projections.

      There is no quick and easy solution here; this will be a drawn out situation involving multiple contract agreements and 2-3 expansion episodes over a 5 year period.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        z33k,

        “That’s the timeline that a OU/Kansas/FSU/Ga Tech/UVa/UNC kind of expansion would look like… (or any other expansion) along with some aggressive money projections.

        There is no quick and easy solution here; this will be a drawn out situation involving multiple contract agreements and 2-3 expansion episodes over a 5 year period.”

        The only counter to that is the claim that GoRs might not be as binding as people think. The ACC GoR is supposedly dependent on the ACCN being formed by ESPN and the rumors say that ESPN has chosen not to do it. That would make ACC teams available much sooner. And if GoRs are as weak as some say, then the B12 teams are available too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • z33k says:

          That’s a good point re: GOR, but does the Big Ten want to test their weaknesses? I don’t think the Big Ten thinks it’ll ever be at risk of poaching, but if it does extend deep into other regions (Southeast/Southwest), I don’t know that it wants to blow up the GOR paradigm…

          But yeah, that’s really the only way that we’d see earlier movement.

          Like

    • David Brown says:

      I remember many years when the National Enquirer made 100 predictions. Do you know how many they got right? Zero. I wonder if Bluevod can beat that number? These predictions are straight out of the National Enquirer. Does anyone want a 20 team B10? Minnesota never playing Michigan or Illinois never playing Ohio State? I do not see or want that happening

      Like

      • z33k says:

        Well, it depends on what it looks like, but yes when we start talking about 18-20 team setups, it’s impossible to imagine without 4/5 team divisions/pods in the setup, and probably only around 5-6 locked games at maximum with other 3-4 rotating for football.

        The thing is, as we see cable markets changing as a result of millennial viewing habits and cord cutting generally; I do think college sports are headed for a major shakeup/shakeout in the next 20 years that will result in a rationalization of the conferences.

        What does that look like? To me, I think it means that there will be consolidation towards the 3 stable platforms (Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12) with a “best of the rest” emerging out of the ACC or Big 12.

        College sports aren’t immune to the market changes going on in television; in some sense, the ever escalating costs and $ involved will make it so that the sport is rationalized… like how the major professional sports are into dominant/monopoly type leagues.

        It will look a lot more like European soccer but regionally, I don’t think it’s a given that the current setups is the long-term equilibrium.

        Generally, if you’re a major conference or you’re ESPN or FOX or CBS; you want the “kings” of the sport to be together in fewer leagues.

        Shifting the money towards higher rated leagues is a better outcome in a world where television viewing habits are changing so rapidly and TV viewing is becoming ever more fragmented because of how many options people have on weekends.

        Like

        • David Brown says:

          The NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL have had this set up for years. But things are quite different in College Sports. If a City cannot ( or will not) support its team they have the option to move. That
          Option does not apply to say Wake Forest. For that reason, the Demon Deacons are likely not going out of the sports business despite the fact they suck at football, are medocre in basketball, and have bad facilities? What about Schools That excel in basketball and are awful in football ( Kansas, Kentucky and Indiana come to mind). That is unless Conferences decide to throw Schools out for poor performance ( Temple years ago), or Conferences go out of business like the old Southwest Conference. Since that happened only One Power Five Conference member that lost its status regained it ( TCU). If the B10 can add Oklahoma and either Notre Dame or Kansas and stop there, that 16 team Conference ( in my opinion) would be ideal. We do not need 20 Schools in the B10.

          Like

          • z33k says:

            I understand everything you’re saying, but what I mean by all of this is that “relegation” in college sports does occur when schools are left behind in leagues that lose value…

            We saw this happen with the old Big East (now AAC); we saw it happen with the old SWC (worth noting that TCU managed to overcome this and reach the Power 5 again but look at where SMU, Rice, and Houston are now).

            Schools like SMU and Rice were major college sports schools for 80 years… until they weren’t after the mid-90s realignment.

            This is a part of the sport, and there’s no reason to believe that the tectonic plates have permanently stalled.

            The main reason for that is because college sports viewing is likely to become ever more fragmented in the future. If you look into the the future in 20 or 30 years, there will be so many options at anyone’s fingertips whether mobile or streaming with far more options than are available now.

            What this means is, in order to generate the same type and value of viewership, the schools that have drawing power will likely need to be put together in tighter configurations.

            Cable cord cutting will likely plateau at some point with some equilibrium that would be reached presumably, but the net effect will be that to generate the same type of viewership, we’ll need more of the big brands together in fewer conferences.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Also for what it’s worth, I do think 16 is enough for the Big Ten if Delany and co. really want to push another expansion. I agree that 20 is just not really that enticing at the moment as an alum/fan.

            But I can see why 20 would be floating around the minds of the Big Ten presidents…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “We saw this happen with the old Big East (now AAC); we saw it happen with the old SWC (worth noting that TCU managed to overcome this and reach the Power 5 again but look at where SMU, Rice, and Houston are now).

            Schools like SMU and Rice were major college sports schools for 80 years… until they weren’t after the mid-90s realignment.”

            SMU is a special case since they cheated worse than any other school ever and got caught and got the harshest penalty ever. They were unlikely to regain their position of prominence regardless of what other realignment took place as rightly no other schools wanted to be associated with them.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          z33k,

          “Well, it depends on what it looks like, but yes when we start talking about 18-20 team setups, it’s impossible to imagine without 4/5 team divisions/pods in the setup, and probably only around 5-6 locked games at maximum with other 3-4 rotating for football.”

          I disagree. The best way to do that for the B10 would be to treat it as one big conference and lock several games per school. That may form self-contained pods for some schools, but others would overlap.

          20 teams:
          9 games = 3 * 100% + 16 * 38%
          9 games = 4 * 100% + 15 * 33%
          9 games = 5 * 100% + 14 * 29%

          18 teams:
          9 games = 3 * 100% + 14 * 43%
          9 games = 4 * 100% + 13 * 38%
          9 games = 5 * 100% + 12 * 33%

          “The thing is, as we see cable markets changing as a result of millennial viewing habits and cord cutting generally; I do think college sports are headed for a major shakeup/shakeout in the next 20 years that will result in a rationalization of the conferences.”

          Nothing is business ends up rational unless it’s all under one umbrella. Until there is 1 person (or small group) in charge of CFB, conferences won’t make sense from a fan perspective.

          “College sports aren’t immune to the market changes going on in television; in some sense, the ever escalating costs and $ involved will make it so that the sport is rationalized… like how the major professional sports are into dominant/monopoly type leagues.”

          I think they are largely immune. Someone is still going to pay them for the games even if the model changes. The big change would be if media companies found a way to make ads unavoidable in regular TV. That might kill the sports value.

          The major sports started as 2 main leagues that eventually merged. CFB already is one group under the NCAA, and also is a lot of separate groups. As long as schools control the teams you can’t look at this like a pro sports league. Presidents have bigger concerns than team owners do.

          “Generally, if you’re a major conference or you’re ESPN or FOX or CBS; you want the “kings” of the sport to be together in fewer leagues.”

          No, TV likes them spread out so they can pay less.

          Like

          • z33k says:

            Brian I don’t think it’s that simple though; if you look at the aggregate picture; when a major school shifts, the conference that it leaves does lose overall value.

            It’s hard to measure in the grand scheme because old contracts near expiration have always been heavily undervalued in the past, but I’d imagine the Big 12 for example, is getting at least $5-10m+ extra per school per year if they still had their “original 12 team” format.

            That’s the part where rationalization is; that money is shifted elsewhere in the landscape.

            Or the total decimation of the Big East, that money was all shifted elsewhere. It’s hard to figure out the exact numbers just because we’re talking apples and oranges when you have expired contracts being re-upped into much higher paying contracts 10-15 years later in these cases.

            The other point I’d make is that a more centralized/rationalized college sports world would also probably feature more highly rated games and more concentration of those games into fewer contracts spread around…, in short I think it’s a win-win in some sense: more centralized money and specific leagues drawing much higher ratings on average than otherwise.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “Brian I don’t think it’s that simple though; if you look at the aggregate picture; when a major school shifts, the conference that it leaves does lose overall value.”

            That’s ignoring that the AD is a small part of the bigger picture which is the university. It might make great financial sense to group the top 50 FB programs as tightly as possible, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for other sports or the universities overall. And maximizing AD profit isn’t the #1 goal for most presidents.

            “The other point I’d make is that a more centralized/rationalized college sports world would also probably feature more highly rated games and more concentration of those games into fewer contracts spread around…,”

            That’s the NFL. Part of what separates CFB is the diversity of program levels and the regional nature of most games. Fans of the top programs expect to win over 75% of their games every year. NFL fans might be content with 10-6 and making the postseason but CFB fans won’t donate millions to go 7-5. And CFB fans certainly won’t except 8-4 conference champions. CFB fans like to see big intersectional OOC games, but they also like the traditional conference season. And schools aren’t going to chase TV money if it alienates the alumni from donating in the future (especially if it hurts the academic donations).

            “in short I think it’s a win-win in some sense: more centralized money and specific leagues drawing much higher ratings on average than otherwise.”

            This is just like fans explaining why CFB will end up in a 4 x 16 arrangement. It may make perfect sense in your head but I’m seeing the motivation for the school presidents to do it.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Re: the point about wins and losses…, would that really change though in terms of expectations?

            Most configurations for 16/18/20 include up to 2 kings being added with 4 non-kings. In some sense, unless the next move is Texas with OU and ND, I don’t think the expectations for wins/losses for the top programs has to change.

            If you’re talking about OU/Kansas or FSU/Ga Tech, it doesn’t. And the other schools to round it out would be UNC/UVa/Duke.

            I think a 16/18/20 team configuration can handily support up to 6-7 10+ win teams annually assuming the kings regularly play 3-4ish kings max in a year.

            The current Big Ten East is probably as rough a configuration as possible with Michigan State performing beyond its recent historical peaks combined with Meyer/Harbaugh at OSU/Michigan.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “Re: the point about wins and losses…, would that really change though in terms of expectations?”

            It would have to. If you’re grouping the top programs as tightly as possible to maximize TV money, part of that is dropping the weaker programs. No more IL, PU, IN, RU, … games for B10 schools. No more OOC cupcakes, either. More games against tougher teams means more losses. 3 conferences of 16 (or 4 of 12 ) is 48 teams.

            Top 50 programs by W% the last 15 seasons (just the B10):
            OSU, WI, NE, IA, MI, PSU, MSU (all top 30)

            Near misses: 56. UMD, 60. NW, 62, RU

            I’m not claiming W% is the best way to pick the schools, it’s just an easy objective metric.

            The point is you’re looking at a lot more losses for teams that are used to higher W%.

            “Most configurations for 16/18/20 include up to 2 kings being added with 4 non-kings.”

            Just doing that doesn’t really count as rationalization of CFB to me. Rationalization to maximize TV money would have to go much farther than that.

            “I think a 16/18/20 team configuration can handily support up to 6-7 10+ win teams annually assuming the kings regularly play 3-4ish kings max in a year.”

            The SEC has been good at cranking out 10 win teams due to a very low upset rate in SEC games. That said, let’s look at their 10 win teams:

            14 teams:
            2015 – 4
            2014 – 4
            2013 – 5
            2012 – 6
            Average = 4.75 (33.9%)

            12 teams:
            2011 – 5
            2010 – 4
            2009 – 2
            2008 – 3
            2007 – 3
            2006 – 4
            2005 – 3
            2004 – 3
            2003 – 4
            2002 – 2
            Average = 3.3 (27.5%)

            Average % = 29.3%

            29.3% of 16, 18, 20 = 4.7, 5.3, 5.9

            Other 14 team conferences:
            ACC:
            2015 – 3
            2014 – 3
            2013 – 3

            B10:
            2015 – 6
            2014 – 3

            Average = 3.6 (25.7%)

            25.7% of 16, 18, 20 = 4.1, 4.6, 5.1

            Overall average for 14 teams = 4.1
            Overall average = 28.4%

            The point of all the math is to show that 5-6 10 win teams seems the most likely result of going to 20. So which fans are going to accept not getting there as frequently anymore out of OSU, MI, NE, PSU, OU, ND, UT, MSU, WI and IA? And it gets worse if other programs start sneaking in some 10 win seasons on occasion. Going 9-3 repeatedly at many of those schools gets you fired.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            I just want to note that I don’t believe the Big Ten, SEC, or Pac-12 would ever drop members (neither would the Big 12 or ACC), so in some sense schools like Northwestern and Vanderbilt should be able to maintain their status indefinitely.

            I mean that schools left in the ACC or Big 12 will have their status lowered if/when Texas/OU/FSU/UNC/etc change conferences.

            For the reasons we’ve both stated, I think even if the college sports are rationalized, I think the minimum number of seats at the table for “big payouts” is something like 48-52.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Lowered to AAC or MWC?

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Somewhere in-between…, I think the future of the Power 5 is more like a top 2, middle 1, bottom 2 followed by the Group of 5…; the remainders in the Big 12/ACC (or some combination thereof) will be better off than the AAC or MWC probably but not that close to the Pac-12 probably.

            I could easily see it working out like something like this:

            B1G-16/18 earning $60m per school per year in mid-2020s, SEC-16 earning $50m per school per year (depending on whether renegotiate).

            Then Pac-12 follows with around $30m per school per year (possibly up to $40m if they get to Pac-14/16 with right schools in central time zone).

            Then ACC/Big 12 remnants at around $15-20m per school per year in the right configuration.

            This is all assuming that at least one national brand leaves each of the ACC and Big 12.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “I just want to note that I don’t believe the Big Ten, SEC, or Pac-12 would ever drop members (neither would the Big 12 or ACC), so in some sense schools like Northwestern and Vanderbilt should be able to maintain their status indefinitely.”

            I agree that won’t happen, which is why “rationalization” doesn’t make sense to me. The most rational thing to do if you’re trying to maximize the money would be to drop the least valuable programs in each conference and regroup the rest into 3 or 4 conferences. If all you mean by rationalization is further expansion, I don’t think that really qualifies as rationalization.

            Like

      • rich2 says:

        I knew that there would be a lot of discussion about money and expansion. Thank you David for injecting a bit of sanity.

        1. B20 or B24 is not a “conference” in any sense. It is simply a way to more efficiently negotiate tv rights. What is the goal of expansion — to enable conference schools to better conform to the needs of television and cable providers? If so, why? Increase revenue, spend more on new facilities, salaries and operating expenses and contribute a tiny percentage of revenue generated for any other academic activity? Is all of this being done to net $10 to 15 million? For example, IU has 600,000 living alums — 15% donate. Donate $25 a year as an alternative to all of this stuff (and no one suffers from CTE from school-sponsored activities) — or is this just a discussion of fans who want to be entertained?

        2. FSU? Forget about research prowess — 25% of the entering undergraduate class at FSU reports a 24 or lower ACT. This is IUPUI territory. These scores are more rigorous than Wayne State (ACT = 21) or Roosevelt University so I guess you find FSU acceptable? Why do you guys “hate” the Big 10?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          rich2,

          “1. B20 or B24 is not a “conference” in any sense.”

          Of course it is, and in many senses.

          “It is simply a way to more efficiently negotiate tv rights.”

          No, it also makes scheduling easier than being independent.

          “What is the goal of expansion — to enable conference schools to better conform to the needs of television and cable providers? If so, why? Increase revenue, spend more on new facilities, salaries and operating expenses and contribute a tiny percentage of revenue generated for any other academic activity? Is all of this being done to net $10 to 15 million?”

          Forgive us for not all coming from rich private schools with multi-billion dollar endowments and huge brand names that can afford to leave money on the table. If state schools can reduce the burden on the students and taxpayers to support the AD, they have to consider it.

          “For example, IU has 600,000 living alums — 15% donate. Donate $25 a year as an alternative to all of this stuff (and no one suffers from CTE from school-sponsored activities)”

          I’m sure IU will drop football right after ND does.

          “or is this just a discussion of fans who want to be entertained?”

          ??? Of course it is. Discussing highly unlikely expansion scenarios is one way we entertain ourselves around here. You’ve been around here long enough to know that.

          “2. FSU? Forget about research prowess — 25% of the entering undergraduate class at FSU reports a 24 or lower ACT. This is IUPUI territory. These scores are more rigorous than Wayne State (ACT = 21) or Roosevelt University so I guess you find FSU acceptable? Why do you guys “hate” the Big 10?”

          Why do you care?

          Like

          • z33k says:

            @rich2, Brian

            I think it’s important to note that the changes in TV viewing habits, sports/stadium attendance (at the non-big name brands especially), as well as Big Ten states’ populations all play a role in this…

            The Big Ten has certainly been in a great spot historically, but we all know where the population growth in the US is (barely non-negative across most of the footprint), and we all know what US migration patterns look like. Sure those things could reverse in a few decades, but we’re talking about patterns that have persisted for decades now and appear to be strong enough to persist at least the next few as well.

            Delany and the Presidents look 25-50 years down the road when making expansion decisions. They aren’t making these decisions just for the present, but they’re making the decisions to both secure the Big Ten financially now and in the future.

            Money makes the world go ’round, we all know that; given how important the finances are to running ADs, if they spot opportunities to further secure the Big Ten schools’ financial positions, they’ll make those moves.

            That’s the reason we’re at a 14 team Big Ten, and it’s the reason there will likely be serious consideration of 16+ size configurations.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      In a later tweet, Bluevod said: “No deal is done but I would raise to 65% chance on latest info.”

      This is brilliant! If it all happens, he can say, “I told you so.” If nothing happens, he can say, “I told you it wasn’t a done deal.”

      If it sorta/kinda happens (e.g., a few schools, but not all), he can take credit for being at least directionally correct.

      In other words, he can claim to have been right, regardless of what goes down. For his next profession, he should write horoscopes.

      Like

  40. TOM says:

    I’m becoming increasingly skeptical of the latest round of expansion rumors.

    Like

    • z33k says:

      These things come out of the blue, but the important thing to note is that the timeline matters:
      Anybody who understand that (with respect to GORs, TV contracts, etc.) would be shocked if there’s conference realignment in the Power 5 in the next 5 years.

      The earliest probable year for expansion noise is around 2022 at the very earliest.

      The years that we would likely see teams move are around 2025 (Big 12) and 2027 (ACC); possibly a bit earlier than those years specifically (I could see moves made as early as 2023, but it’s difficult to see movement earlier).

      As a statistician, here’s how I’d place the odds on Big Ten expansion specifically:

      2016-2021: odds of expansion are around 5% over that time frame. It could happen but it’d be out of the blue.

      2022-2026: odds of expansion probably rise to around 30-35% over that time frame. I still think it’s not the baseline scenario, but it could become the baseline scenario as we get closer to those dates and as we get more information on the Big Ten’s TV deal and what the money differences between the Big Ten/SEC and ACC/Big 12 look like in those years…

      I’m not yet comfortable saying “the Big Ten will expand to 16+ for certain by 2027”, but given what the first half of the TV deal looks like, I could get there if the whole TV deal is around an average of $425-450m across the 6 years…

      Like

      • TOM says:

        Thanks for the info. With respect to the ACC GOR, I haven’t read the contract, but understand that it’s not exactly iron-clad due to the failure to launch the ACC Network. No idea if that’s true…and I’m no attorney…but that has been a hot topic long before this latest expansion rumor.

        Like

        • z33k says:

          Yeah, any of the lawyers on this blog will tell you that something like this is likely to be negotiated and settled outside the courtroom in the case of schools leaving; lawsuits would likely be filed, but these kinds of situations are almost always settled. Even Maryland leaving the ACC was settled, and we all know how bitter that situation was.

          As far as “breaking” GORs goes, my hunch is that if a school does move, it would be announced within 2-3 years of the GOR ending (2025 Big 12 GOR ends, 2027 ACC GOR ends) so that the exit fee would be negotiated based on the value of the school over those years of TV rights.

          I’m one of those who are skeptical that any school would ever face a situation where they weren’t on TV for a year or longer; I find it hard to believe that would happen.

          And yeah, there’s all sorts of rumors about the ACC Network and whether there’s some kind of $2m extra fee per school, etc.; I don’t actually know what’s true there so I’m not versed on that.

          Like

  41. TOM says:

    http://hawkeyenation.com/2016/hn-podcast-b1g-tv-deal-expansion-talk

    This was a pretty good listen. Especially the parts related to population growth related to the B1G’s long-term prospects.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      One of those characters on the pod cast was obsessed with median age demographics. The “younger” states tend to be lower tax states with higher job growth. Also states which observe high immigration rates. The median age also doesn’t factor that in certain parts of the country the populous is living longer. Plus you also have the boomerang impact of 20 somethings moving away but then returning to start a family. I think weather has a much smaller impact on net migration trends then available job opportunities.

      I tend to agree with their analysis about Fox using the B1G to launch credibility to their network. They believe there is a 6 year window to prove FS1 has staying power to compete. Would think the B1G would absorb some risk if FS1 doesn’t show enough growth.

      Like

      • TOM says:

        Does the B1G have enough national appeal (really any conference at this point) to take on such a tall order? It’s still a very regional conference, even with the recent adds (that aren’t exactly monster brands).

        Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          Tom, this may not be a direct response to your comment, since I have not heard (and will not hear) a 40 minute podcast. The two recent adds -RU and MD – are the only P5 schools from Northern Virginia to more than one hundred miles (in any direction) beyond NYC. There is one G5 school in the area and that is Temple in Philly. No one has ever mentioned Temple as a likely P5 addition to any conference. That “small” UMd and RU geographic area covers more than 10% of the TV households in the entire country with just two teams. They are not monster brands, but they are the only football schools in monster locations.

          MD has also opened a potential geographic bridge to UVa and UNC.

          The movement of MD from the ACC to the B1G and addition of RU has sort of stranded three ACC schools (Pitt, Cuse and BC) in the northeast. BC and Cuse have both really struggled in football for some time now. Time will tell if the same football fate awaits Pitt. UConn is the only remaining northeastern school and their football is totally collapsing in the AAC.

          Yes, Pitt and Cuse are still basketball brands, which makes the ACC happy, but does not drive huge economic value.

          It looks as though Delany knew what he was doing, even with less than monster brands.

          Like

          • TOM says:

            That was no slight by the way (the B1G still being largely regional…it’s more national that most). I just meant it terms of the premise that the B1G is poised to make Fox Sports a true force that will be able to go toe to toe with ESPN. Again, because of the B1G. Seems pretty optimistic until/unless the B1G becomes a juggernaut (adds elite ACC schools, UTx, UND).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            TOM,

            Fox has a lot of sports rights beyond the B10. The question is if adding B10 games will help drive more consistent viewing of Fox and FS1. It’ll lag ESPN for a while no matter what, but at some point you’d think it has to reach a tipping point where Fox has enough things of interest to drive it into closer competition with ESPN. Very few businesses can maintain a virtual monopoly for as long as ESPN has.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, a key value question for FS1 is how well the different Big Ten schools complement their existing regional strengths … well, for Fox OTA as well, but it’s more critical for FS1, which is looking to grow its mindshare, to step up from clustering with ESPN2 (though possibly above it), to clustering with ESPN Mothership (even if trailing behind it).

            Like

  42. ccrider55 says:

    UNC has received amended notice of allegations bet hasn’t released it yet.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/unc/article73736122.html

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Supposedly they have released it now.

      UNC on Monday confirmed receipt of the amended Notice of Allegations (NOA), which again details the results of the NCAA’s investigation into a scheme of paper classes that benefited athletes in disproportionate numbers. Hours later, the university released the amended NOA.

      The foremost question during an eight-month wait for the amended NOA was how it would differ from the original NOA that UNC received nearly a year ago, last May. The answer: The amended NOA doesn’t differ drastically.

      UNC still faces charges of five Level I violations – the most serious the NCAA Enforcement Staff can accuse an institution of committing. The five charges outlined in the amended NOA are nearly identical to those outlined in the first NOA.

      The five charges outlined in the amended NOA are as follows:

      1. Jan Boxill, the former women’s basketball academic counselor, providing extra benefits.

      2. Debby Crowder, the former African- and Afro-American Studies Department administrative assistant, committing unethical conduct.

      3. Julius Nyang’oro, the former chairman of the AFAM Department, committing unethical conduct.

      4. A failure to monitor the ASPSA (academic support for athletes) and AFAM departments.

      5. And a lack of institutional control.

      One of the key differences between the amended NOA and the original is that in the original UNC faced a broad charge of impermissible benefits associated with the suspect AFAM courses that are at the heart of the case. That charge is not included in the amended NOA.

      Another difference is that football and men’s basketball aren’t named in the amended NOA. Those sports were included in the original NOA, though people associated with them – coaches, members of the support staff – were not charged with wrongdoing.

      It was unclear on Monday whether the amended NOA cited additional individuals for wrongdoing, or whether it expanded the scope of the case to include academic fraud. Another key question is whether the amended NOA charges UNC for using ineligible athletes in competition.

      That was one of the main questions surrounding the arrival of the first NOA: whether the athletes who received the impermissible benefits described in the document were therefore made ineligible by the receipt of those alleged benefits.

      If UNC is found to have used ineligible athletes in competition, it would increase the likelihood that the university is forced to vacate past victories and championships. One of the central questions of the case has been whether UNC will be forced to vacate men’s basketball national championships.

      Ten members of UNC’s 2005 national championship team, for instance, majored in AFAM. By the 2008-09 academic year, when UNC won its second national championship under coach Roy Williams, men’s basketball players’ enrollments in the suspect AFAM classes had declined considerably.

      Even so, under Williams men’s basketball players accounted for 167 enrollments in the suspect AFAM classes that are at the heart of the case. Those classes began in 1993, according to Kenneth Wainstein’s independent investigation, and ended in 2011.

      The NCAA has used the same timeframe for its investigation. The act of being enrolled in one of the suspect courses, though, did not constitute a violation, according to the first NOA.

      How much the amended NOA differs is now a primary question in the case.

      Like

  43. loki_the_bubba says:

    More rumors about UTEP to the MWC. This time without Rice.

    http://krod.com/rumors-flying-that-utep-could-move-to-mountain-west-conference/

    Like

    • Brian says:

      NMSU certainly hopes the rumors are true (and that they can replace UTEP in CUSA).

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Loki:

      I didn’t see anything excluding possiblity of Rice moving too. Is Hawaii getting booted (which would make the Owls the 13th).

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        There was a Dodd article from December 2015 that talked about the UTEP Miners and the MWC, I wonder if that is where that came from? If it was my choice I would prefer Rice to UTEP for obvious reasons ( Academics, the Houston Market and a better football program). If I could get the Houston Cougars that would be better then UTEP as well.

        Like

  44. Nostradamus says:

    Tirico leaving ESPN for NBC is a potentially interesting development.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Tweeted by Clay Travis earlier today: “Told Brad Nessler will leave ESPN and do NFL for CBS, until he takes over SEC for Uncle Verne.”

      Tirico and Nessler are two of the best at ESPN.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Told Brad Nessler will leave ESPN and do NFL for CBS, until he takes over SEC for Uncle Verne

        Sean McDonough is rumored to take over for Tirico on ESPN’s NFL package, which will leave college football with mostly second tier announcers.

        Like

    • David Brown says:

      The probability is Tirico will replace Michaels and ( or) Costas. But if Nestler leaves as well, you wonder of ESPN will actually pass on the Big 10 Package, and allow Comcast/NBC to pick it up? You could make an argument that since the Fox package is only 6 years, you wait to see what the Market is then? Why? 1: Many of the other Sports contracts ( MLB PAC and others) will expire. 2: ESPN can show more ACC Big XII, PAC and SEC Games instead? 3: You do not know when and if the bubble will burst? 4: Disney Stock not doing well.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Skip Bayless is out too according to reports. ESPN really is slashing spending on personnel.

      Like

  45. cutter says:

    From Awful Announcing via Sports Business Journal (http://awfulannouncing.com/2016/with-fox-reportedly-in-with-big-ten-what-will-happen-to-espn.html)

    WITH FOX REPORTEDLY IN WITH BIG TEN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ESPN?
    Posted by Ken Fang on Apr 25, 2016 10:45

    As was reported last week, Fox is close to landing a media rights deal with the Big Ten. A conference source has told Awful Announcing that the could be finalized as early as this week.

    With Fox in a pre-existing relationship with the conference as it operates and owns 51% of the Big Ten Network, it’s not surprising that it was able to sign what could amount to be one-half of the league’s media rights.

    What is surprising is that ESPN which holds the football rights and a good portion of the basketball rights through the 2016-17 season, in essence gave a low bid to retain its portion of the deal. According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Michael Smith, ESPN’s bid was well below Fox’s and could be a sign that the Worldwide Leader is going to be more cost-conscious. And while ESPN is talking about bidding on a second package of Big Ten rights, it’s thought that it may not be competitive with the networks which are interested in picking up the conference.

    And if ESPN gets shut out of the Big Ten which would be shocking, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be getting out of college sports. It’s still committed long-term to the SEC and College Football Playoff, plus there are coaches who want to be on ESPN to help recruiting (see the Big East on Fox).

    But if ESPN won’t go above and beyond for the Big Ten, who could take its place? CBS/Turner and NBC are at the table. With CBS/Turner, it means that they could partner with Turner taking a Thursday night football game while CBS could have a Saturday football window leading into the SEC or perhaps even an occasional prime time game. And they could also divide basketball games giving Turner some much needed inventory leading into the NCAA Tournament.

    NBC which was shut out of the BCS conferences now has an opportunity to get in with the Big Ten. It certainly has some open windows during college football season, but according to SBJ, the Peacock prefers exclusive windows and the Big Ten would mean sharing rights with Fox/Big Ten Network and compete with other conferences at the same time.

    So the Big Ten certainly has some options, but if goes without ESPN, it may find itself going into uncharted waters without its high visibility. But the Big Ten can counter that this particular set of rights is a six-year deal and if the ratings are low, it can return to ESPN once the deal expires. Plus, the Big Ten knows that it will have plenty of suitors again after the 2023 academic year and we’ll go through this speculation anew.

    END OF ARTICLE

    The collective wisdom on this blog feels that the Big Ten will still maintain its relationship with ESPN because of its ratings and ability to promote the conference with its on air pre-game shows and daily sports newscasts. That said, what would the ramifications be if the other large part of the B1G’s football and men’s basketball rights were to end up not with ABC/ESPN, but on CBS/Turner or NBC (and I assume, NBCSN)?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      It would mean a different set of buttons on the remote would show more wear?

      Like

      • cutter says:

        I do agree that it would mean the buttons on my remote control would show different wear as well. But would a change in stations mean, for example, a change in viewing habits? For those who Big Ten fans who watch ESPN’s College Gameday, would they opt out and go to FS1 or whatever the coverage is on NBC or CBS/Turner? Since I don’t watch those shows, it’s a no impact situation for me. Would not having the Big Ten on ABC/ESPN change their coverage of the conference? How, if at all, does that effect recruiting?

        Since NBC has the rights to the Notre Dame home football games, how do they handle the time slots for the additional Big Ten games? Does ND have to “give” in terms of time slots to accommodate the B1G on Saturday afternoons or vice versa?

        We’ll see what happens in due course, but between this and the conference expansion discussion, the offseason is pretty interesting. I saw the Bluevod twitter post above about the six potential members joining the B1G. If the conference went with a two division model, east-west setup, then it might look something like this:

        B1G West – Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State

        B1G East – Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State

        Brian laid out the different scenarios above. My preference would be eleven conference games (nine against your division, two against teams in other division, one home-and-home non-conference). That would allow Oklahoma and Notre Dame to play Texas and USC, respectively and at least allow the teams in the two divisions to play one another once in a five year period.

        If you went to five 4-team pods that rotate annually, I imagine they might go something like this based on geography, rivalries and relationships, i.e., Pod D being all former ACC members:

        Pod A – Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
        Pod B – Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana, Rutgers
        Pod C – Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
        Pod D – Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State

        Each team would play the four teams in their pod annually, five from the other pod that rotates annually and three non-conference games. The teams in the 20-team conference would play one another at least once every three seasons and having those three OOC games gives each program a level of scheduling flexibility they might necessarily have in the two 10-team division scenario.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          cutter,

          “I saw the Bluevod twitter post above about the six potential members joining the B1G. If the conference went with a two division model, east-west setup, then it might look something like this:

          B1G West – Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State

          B1G East – Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State”

          So we basically kick IN, PU and PSU out of the B10? That seems harsh for IN and PU. The divisions also seem highly unbalanced with OSU, MI, NE, OU, MSU, WI and IA all on one side versus ND, PSU and FSU.

          “My preference would be eleven conference games (nine against your division, two against teams in other division, one home-and-home non-conference). That would allow Oklahoma and Notre Dame to play Texas and USC, respectively and at least allow the teams in the two divisions to play one another once in a five year period.”

          I just don’t see anyway the schools approve 11 games. I don’t think 10 would be approved. Several of those schools have a locked OOC rivalry they have to keep (FSU, GT, UNC, UVA, IA, ND x2). In addition, the need for 7 home games to fund the AD hasn’t gone completely away.

          “If you went to five 4-team pods that rotate annually, I imagine they might go something like this based on geography, rivalries and relationships, i.e., Pod D being all former ACC members:

          Pod A – Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
          Pod B – Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana, Rutgers
          Pod C – Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
          Pod D – Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State”

          Pod C is the pod of death with Pod A not far behind. I pity MN in that alignment. The CCG would be pointless when A and C are paired, too.

          “Each team would play the four teams in their pod annually, five from the other pod that rotates annually and three non-conference games. The teams in the 20-team conference would play one another at least once every three seasons and having those three OOC games gives each program a level of scheduling flexibility they might necessarily have in the two 10-team division scenario.”

          This is why I think you drop divisions entirely and just do 4 locked games with 5 rotating (play everyone once every 3 years). It maintains rivalries better than pods but otherwise gets the same results.

          Like

    • David Brown says:

      As far as Comcast/ NBC is concerned, The NFL is shared ( Thursday Nights for example), so is the PGA Tour. So NCC will share of necessary. The big question is will ESPN try and lowball the B10 and if so, by how much?We know Delaney will not give in he did it twice before to Disney/ESPN.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      cutter,

      “WITH FOX REPORTEDLY IN WITH BIG TEN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ESPN?
      Posted by Ken Fang on Apr 25, 2016 10:45

      But if ESPN won’t go above and beyond for the Big Ten, who could take its place? CBS/Turner and NBC are at the table. With CBS/Turner, it means that they could partner with Turner taking a Thursday night football game while CBS could have a Saturday football window leading into the SEC or perhaps even an occasional prime time game. And they could also divide basketball games giving Turner some much needed inventory leading into the NCAA Tournament.”

      There is zero chance the B10 is looking to add Thursday night football games. The B10 has fought against weeknight games for decades, and now the NFL is dominating that night.

      “The collective wisdom on this blog feels that the Big Ten will still maintain its relationship with ESPN because of its ratings and ability to promote the conference with its on air pre-game shows and daily sports newscasts. That said, what would the ramifications be if the other large part of the B1G’s football and men’s basketball rights were to end up not with ABC/ESPN, but on CBS/Turner or NBC (and I assume, NBCSN)?”

      It would really hurt the ratings for the B10, but it would also hurt ESPN. Lots of B10 fans already feel that ESPN is anti-B10. Giving a lowball bid again and then not covering the B10 as much once they don’t have B10 rights would just reinforce that opinion and lead to more B10 fans not watching ESPN.

      Like

  46. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://variety.com/2015/biz/news/cord-cutting-19-young-adults-24-pew-research-center-1201666723/

    Of Note: ” Some 19% of adults in the 18 to 29 age range have become cord cutters, dropping cable or satellite TV service, while another 16% have never had a traditional subscription TV package.”

    If I can add correctly, that is 35% of 18-29 year olds without cable (that is, without ESPiN).

    Like

  47. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.twice.com/news/statistics/cord-cutting-second-screen-activity-continue-rise-cta/60288

    of note:

    “A total of 88 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 34) engage in second-screen behaviors when watching TV, CTA found. Seventy-one percent engage with social media while watching video content. That’s 40 percentage points higher than adults 35 and older. Also, 70 percent of millennials watch content on another device during TV commercials, a rate that is 32 percentage points higher than adults 35 and older.”

    Note that last sentence. (I could not figure out how to bold font it).

    Like

    • Brian says:

      “Note that last sentence. (I could not figure out how to bold font it).”

      Use basic HTML. I’ll have to type it out here, but it should be understandable. Things inside quotation marks are me spelling out the character because it won’t show up if I type it. Also, ignore the extra spaces before or after ” but it makes it more legible here.

      “less than sign” b “greater than sign” Note that last sentence “less than sign” /b “greater than sign”

      Like this: Note that last sentence

      Like

  48. BuckeyeBeau says:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160120/06340233384/espn-pretends-it-saw-cord-cutting-coming-says-departing-subscribers-old-poor-anyway.shtml

    I found this amusing. Quite a number of articles on this website discussing cord-cutting, how the statistics are “massaged” by Neilsen, etc.

    Like

  49. BuckeyeBeau says:

    cord cutting in Canada. 25% are now cord-cutters or cord-nevers.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/04/08/cord-cutting-canada-tv_n_9644652.html

    Yeah, yeah, I know … who cares about Canada …..

    of note: “Additionally, Rogers recently launched Sportsnet Now, a streaming service for live sports — something that has been lacking in the streaming world so far, along with live broadcast news.”

    Like

    • z33k says:

      There are 2 major issues regarding cord cutting: 1) where/when does it stabilize, and 2) what do the alternative financial arrangements look like for media companies and sports leagues/conferences.

      Those 2 issues are what everyone (every media company, communications company, conference, professional league) needs the answers to…

      I’ll make some points here: It’s worth noting here that there are still 2 million people paying for AOL dialup, and cable is not likely to reach that kind of problematic point (the reason for stating that is that habits are sticky, particularly for older generations of people, even when things go obsolete).

      1) Pay TV has decreased from around 87% of households at the peak in 2010 to around 83% by late 2015. That’s where the decrease of 7 million from 99 million ESPN subscribers to 92 million has occurred.

      2) Where do those numbers stabilize and possibly begin to grow again (in terms of millions of households/subcribers); I think at worst Pay TV will probably stabilize around 60-65% and ESPN subscriber numbers should stabilize around 70-75 million before starting to grow again with population growth. Of course, this will depend on what alternative streaming arrangements exist in the future, subscriber numbers can change dramatically based on that.

      3) The biggest worry is that over time millennial households will be replacing boomer households with lower cable rates; that means that even population growth may not really suffice to stabilize the numbers.

      4) What does this mean for alternative financial arrangements: It seems very difficult to recreate the financial power that the cable/Pay TV bundle provides. Non-sports viewers have effectively been underwriting the massive costs of sports contracts, and it’s hard to see how that gets replaced.

      5) Just as an example, look at that “56% would drop ESPN to save $8” number; are there enough among the remaining 44% willing to pay $20-25 just to keep the ESPN gravy train going for sports leagues? That’s really what all of this comes down to in some sense. The question may not be as directly posited though because we still live in a “bundle era” and the proxy for that question has become cord cutting as well as streaming packages like Sling, so the answer may never be so clear cut. In some sense streaming bundles will likely replace cable bundles for large numbers of millennials, but again the financial differences are what would matter there.

      6) What does all of this mean for the Big Ten (or other conferences)? I think it means that we have to watch carefully what happens to BTN, SECN, Pac-12N, LHN, and their subscriber rates as well as how the ESPN financials stabilize. I also think that changes in terms of financials does mean that there is likely to be more conference realignment to further strengthen the TV packages that the leagues can offer.

      7) By 2020, we’re likely to see the entire Big Ten and SEC earning over $100m per school in terms of annual revenue with some schools approaching and exceeding $200m…; the money from TV packages continues to become an ever larger part of the budget and any change in the projections of TV money could cause problems in the system.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Very interesting points. I am curious about your #7. How do you see the SEC and B1G getting to $100m each school and who/wow!/WTH is getting $200m a year? LOL

        Anyway, one reason I linked the article about Canada was because of the reference to the all-sports streaming service. If that works in Canada, you might see efforts to get that afloat here.

        I think you are right that what we are really talking about is stabilizing. Millennials are shifting how content is watched/purchased, but that doesn’t mean the extinction of cable. Just a new equilibrium between the various options.

        I also think that the creation of so many sports and conference specific channels will help insulate the sports channels from the streaming trend. MLB, NFL, SEC, B1G, etc., all now have a built-in incentive to keep something like cable alive and viable. To create an all-sports streaming option, you need to have all the sports. But most of the sports would not (now) agree to allow streaming because it would damage the revenue streams now coming from cable.

        If there is ever any sort of all-sports streaming (like Netflix for movies), it wills till get tied to the need for cable.

        Like

        • z33k says:

          I meant every school would be above $100m in budget/revenue at AD level in those two conferences with ever larger portions coming from TV rights (irreplaceable at this point).
          Ohio State and Michigan should each have over $200m in annual AD budget by 2020.

          I agree with your other points; I think as much as we view the conferences as rivals or sports leagues as rivals; ALL conferences/leagues have an incentive to see the cable gravy train at least continuing to function… even if parts of the overall financial picture start to include other options like streaming bundles/packages.

          Like

  50. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://www.leichtmanresearch.com/research/notes03_2016.pdf

    Here is some research from 1Q 2016. Not sure how any of it applies/impacts the B1G’s TV deals, but I found it, so I am posting it. 🙂

    Like

  51. BuckeyeBeau says:

    G’morning.

    I’d like to offer a jumble of alternative thoughts on how/why ESPN might want to “take a pass” on the B1G media rights.

    FtT said in his article about Star Wars and the B1G that ESPN would still want the B1G tv rights because, essentially, “premium content is king” and the B1G provides premium content.

    But what if ESPN doesn’t see it that way? Maybe ESPN sees the B1G as, not Star Wars, but maybe like the Indiana Jones franchise. Popular, but not over-the-top popular and not quite so popular with the younger demographic.

    That is thought one.

    Now add another thought.

    What if cord-cutting is a regional phenomenon? I started researching this morning with the question: where is cord cutting occurring? The best I could do was the link above which I’ll repost here:

    http://nocable.org/learn/cable-tv-cord-cutting-statistics

    According to that very meager information, cord-cutting is more prevalent in B1G country. (Maybe. But ESPN has the numbers. They know where they have lost subscribers.)

    Suppose, for a minute, that the cord-cutting is significantly more prevalent in B1G areas. If true, then a very reasonable business model would be to put your effort into the regions where you are getting your best returns and the least threat from cord-cutting (SEC and ACC regions). If cord-cutting accelerates, let the BTN and FOX take the full brunt of the revenue loss.

    Another thought. If you (ESPN) spend all your money on the B1G rights, you might not have enough money to re-up your other sports properties when they come up for renewal in 2022-24 (such as MLB).

    Another thought: with the fast rise of streaming services and the market-entry of so many new options (e.g., Playstation Vue), this is a risky environment. It is tough to predict what is going to succeed and what will fail. Maybe a cautious wait-and-see attitude is better in 2016-17?

    Another thought: maybe NOT getting the B1G tv package is actually better for your (ESPN) bottom line. These questions: how much money will ESPN lose (or not make) if they pass on the B1G’s tv package? None? Very little? Given bundling and given that BTN and FS1 are sports tier channels, how many subscribers are deleting/shaving ESPN? If none or few, ESPN still gets its carriage fees, makes about the same money but doesn’t have to pay for the B1G rights. Slightly different question: does ESPN lose less money (assuming they lose any) than they have to pay to get the B1G tv rights? In other words, NOT getting the B1G tv package might enhance the bottom line or be profit-neutral.

    Another thought: now that we all know the deal is only six years, ESPN might see the risk level as “acceptable” to allow themselves to be out-bid for the B1G tv rights.

    Not sure what to do with all of these thoughts.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      If ESPN gets poor ratings in the large B1G media markets their subscription rate leverage would drop significantly. They are going to need content to generate ratings and putting more ACC games on during the 11AM window is not going to cut for the B1G media markets. In fact I could see ESPN’s 11AM window dramatically suffer.

      Like

    • z33k says:

      I think the problem with your analysis is that there is a reversion effect built in:

      Big Ten states on average have historically had much higher rates of cable penetration (up to 85-99% at the peak) than the average state, whereas a lot of rural states with less population centers (South and West) have much lower plateaus from which to fall (i.e. more states where cable penetration has never reached 85%).

      Cable/Pay TV are bound to fall farther in states that had more cable penetration to begin with (i.e. the Northeast states, the coastal states/population center states).

      As far as ESPN goes, ESPN has spent so much on sports packages that the loss of subscribers is really pinching at them even as they remain enormously profitable. They’re looking more at 10-15 years down the road. There isn’t a conference or league (except maybe the NFL) that is “essential” to ESPN for content, but realistically, even ESPN can’t afford to just throw money at everyone.

      ESPN might lose a bit if they don’t take the Big Ten given that the Big Ten has been a cheap/profitable contract for the past 10 years especially with most T1 rights going at $100m per year, but even at $150-175m for 15-20 football games and 30 basketball games, it’s still probably a profitable deal, just nowhere near the situation they’ve had in the recent past. But that’s the case for any severely undervalued deal (i.e. like Steph Curry on the Warriors only earning $12m per year).

      Like

    • Craig Z says:

      “Another thought: now that we all know the deal is only six years, ESPN might see the risk level as “acceptable” to allow themselves to be out-bid for the B1G tv rights.”

      The ratings will be lower on Fox so maybe ESPN thinks they can get the Big Ten for a lower offer at the end of the six years.

      Like

  52. Kevin says:

    Good article and follow-up from John Ourand and Sport Business Daily.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2016/04/25/Media/Big-Ten.aspx

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Some highlights:

      Word is that ESPN already has set up meetings to bid on what remains of the Big Ten’s rights. But if ESPN’s bid wasn’t competitive for the first package, we’re skeptical that it will be competitive on the second one.

      That’s a huge assumption. I think they were less interested in having all the rights this time. Let Fox overpay for the first half and then come back with fewer competitors for the second half and hope to get a better price.

      ESPN’s noncompetitive bid was an attempt by the network to “skim the cream” from the top of the package and try to create a smaller package with the best games, one source said. ESPN will continue to negotiate with the conference for the second package.

      This makes a lot of sense. ESPN has so many commitments that they wanted to give themselves more flexibility to keep people happy. They wanted a small package of the best games but the B10 wanted to split the best games into both halves of the deal instead of having a deal like the SEC where CBS gets the best stuff and ESPN gets the rest.

      The big question is: What other networks are serious about doing a deal?

      NBC Sports Group has been at the Big Ten table, and it has open broadcast windows that the Big Ten likes. But a Big Ten deal does not fit with NBC’s programming strategy. With the Olympics, NHL, EPL, Notre Dame and second half of the NASCAR season, NBC diligently has followed a strategy of cutting programming deals where it can carry a sport exclusively. Even “Sunday Night Football” fills an exclusive window for NBC. With the Big Ten, however, it would be sharing rights with Fox and the Big Ten Network, and its windows almost certainly would compete with other college sports programming.

      CBS and Turner make an intriguing combination. The two have partnered on the NCAA tournament, and could team up again on the Big Ten. CBS would like to keep its basketball schedule and could add a Saturday Big Ten football game on either side of its weekly SEC game to create a compelling doubleheader. Turner could use a Thursday night Big Ten game early in the fall to lead into its “NBA on TNT” Thursday night games. Turner also could use Big Ten basketball games as a lead-up to its NCAA tournament coverage.

      I’d hate to see MBB get buried on Turner (I don’t think people will think to look there for a game during the season). Football on CBS would be interesting as it would force them to have more neutral coverage and announcers.

      Then there’s Fox, which also will be interested in testing the waters on the second package, but only at the right price.

      It’s hard to believe they have the money and windows for all the rights.

      ■ Why did the Big Ten do such a short deal?

      When conference media deals expire:
      Conference Year
      Big Ten 2022-23
      Pac-12 2023-24
      Big 12 2024-25
      ACC 2026-27
      SEC 2033-34

      Media negotiations typically come down to timing and leverage, and the Big Ten’s six-year deal with Fox is no different. The length of the deal means that the Big Ten will see a sizable increase now, while leaving it in position to take another bite from the apple when this deal expires in 2022-23. The Big Ten, by bucking the trend of doing long-term deals that go out anywhere from 12 to 20 years, will be able to go back to the table before any of its conference brethren. In the most recent cycle of contract renewals, the Big Ten went last, which originally was thought to be an advantage. The other leagues theoretically would complete their deals, and the Big Ten would come in and obliterate them all. Sources tell us that the first half of the Big Ten package will fetch around $250 million annually from Fox. The second half of the negotiations will determine if this theory was right or wrong.

      So does that mean they try for another 6-year deal after this one so they can start the next round in 2029?

      If there’s a sports rights bubble that’s going to burst, it’s not going to happen until the 2020s when many of the big sports rights deals expire.

      ■ Should ESPN’s commitment to college sports be questioned?

      No. ESPN still is the most important network to college sports given the network’s ownership of ESPNU and SEC Network. ESPN carries the College Football Playoff and 95 percent of bowl games. It owns college bowl games, kickoff classic games and preseason basketball tournaments, not to mention its longtime deals with just about every conference out there. But … this deal solidifies Fox’s position in the college sports world and certainly narrows the gap between the two. In addition to its 51 percent stake in BTN, Fox has deals with the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences, and its college multimedia rights business has taken off.

      What remains to be seen is if this can push FS1 onto the same level as ESPN for ratings rather than being more like ESPN2.

      ■ Will coaches freak out if their games aren’t on ESPN?

      Yes, and so will administrators throughout the conference. … One senior official at a Big Ten school said his peers “were scared to death” at the prospect of not having games on ESPN, which could eat into their recruiting.

      Which is why it’s worth it to take less money if that’s what it takes to get ESPN to buy the other half (or a subset of the other half).

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        I cannot stand ESPN and have not for years. There is only one sport they do best and that is College Football. Guys like Mike Tirico and Brad Nestler are solid professionals. But they are the exception. The Chris Berman’s and Stephen A. Smith’s are unwatchable and they are not the only ones. Not to mention their not so hidden agenda, featuring stuff like the stupid ESPY’s that they promote like Oscars. There was a reason why it used to be called Everything Sox And Pats Network. Since they went Hollywood they are even worse. I am a Yankees, Steelers and Islanders ( and of course, Nittany Lion fan), so my teams are either automatically disliked ( Yankees and Steelers) , ignored for the WNBA or X-Games that no one cares about in the case of the Islanders, or seem to be ( Penn State) for The likes of Vanderbilt/ Kentucky Football. Guess what? I live without ESPN. BTN, MLB Tonight, NHL Tonight, and NFL Network work very well for me. I would prefer CBS/ Turner or even Comcast/ NBC for my Nittany Lion Games, anyway.

        Like

        • I understand this from a fan’s perspective, but the last paragraph of today’s Sports Business Daily update on the Big Ten negotiations is a critically instructive one: the actual athletic administrators and coaches would literally lose their s**t if they were off of ESPN completely. They want NO part of that. Whether we like it or not, when it comes to the channel that recruits (both football and basketball) care about, there’s only ESPN and everything else is second tier. They dream of being on SportsCenter and College GameDay along with putting on their signing day hats on ESPNU… and they couldn’t even name the counterparts on FS1 or NBCSN.

          We need to separate the sports pundit culture at ESPN (which I agree can be nauseating at a lot of levels) from what actually matters to any league that is on ESPN: which network provides the best exposure to the largest TV audience possible and will keep the talent coming in (AKA the elite recruits). As I’ve noted, ESPN has an entire ecosystem built around TV, radio, web, podcasts and mobile that no one has been able to replicate (and it isn’t for a lack of their competitors trying). The Big Ten needs to balance exerting the power that it has as an important property (which it definitely is here) with not getting too big for its britches (as you see what happened to the NHL and how absolutely no other widely watched pro or college league has dared to not have an ESPN presence in today’s environment, including the mighty NFL). I think the Big Ten will end up getting the money they want AND the exposure on ESPN, which is still critical.

          Like

          • z33k says:

            Easiest way to solve this is to basically further split that half so that ESPN gets around 33-40% of the overall package with CBS taking the remainder of that half…

            Something like $140-150m per year for 20 football games and 20 basketball games has to be doable here. CBS can pay like $25-30m per year, and FOX will get the rest for $250m per year (including CCG).

            Something like that is a straight up winner and ESPN doesn’t significantly increase what it’s paying from now.

            Like

          • greg says:

            “the actual athletic administrators and coaches would literally lose their s**t if they were off of ESPN completely. ”

            ESPN knows this, which is why they low-balled on the first half. Why overbid? They know the B1G needs to come to them for the second half. Let Fox set the bar high on the first half, ESPN knows they are landing the second half.

            Who else is left? NBC? Turner?!?! The second half HAS to be on ESPN. And they can’t sell the top tier to CBS, you want ESPN/ABC televising big games and hyping them up. If you sell the top tier to CBS, ESPN is left with a whole lot of mid-tier and bottom-tier games that they won’t bother talking about, or talk about how boring they are. Fox is certainly getting some assurances at top-tier games themselves.

            The remaining half will end up on ESPN.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            Delany has gambled with exposure moving a lot of inventory to BTN in the past. I think he cares more about the money than the ESPN exposure We will see how this shakes out but I think B1G presidents care more about the money. In the SEC the coaches would have a bigger say and would take less money for the exposure.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I must be in a minority, but my opinion is you don’t just show up and win because of the name on the jersey (in this, the corporate logo). A little bit of a discount (emphasis on little), maybe, because of historical performance, but you gotta at least compete. Content is king. If B1G fans can find BTN they will find FS1, NBC, CBS or whoever just as easily as ESPNU or ESPNews or the Duce. It is ESPN that would be losing the largest college sports fan base.

            PS: how many kids would really choose a college based on which among the major broadcast and cable channels shows them? And coaches are prone to paranoia regarding recruiting perceived disadvantage.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            @ccrider55 – I tend to agree with your view. I don’t believe College Game Day would ignore B1G schools. If their goal is to have a national audience they are going to need to discuss all schools and not just the schools they have the rights to. They are certainly going to promote the game of the week on ABC etc.. but as we have seen in the past that doesn’t always equate to ratings. That is usually driven by the rankings and the fanbases of the schools. If most of the top match ups are on Big Fox or OTA NBC exposure will not be a problem. The regional matchups on FS1 that were previously shown on ESPN 2 or ESPNU will have little impact.

            Like

          • Most of us here are pretty core Big Ten or college football fans in general, so I think there’s a significant underestimation about how much the ESPN exposure *specifically* helps games. Look at the ratings last year:

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

            Week 1 is a prime example. FS1 actually had a coup of being able to show Jim Harbaugh’s first game as coach at Michigan, which was the biggest story of the offseason. Fox promoted the heck out of that game with ads on every single available outlet that reaches sports fans. Yet, when the ratings came in, it lost to an inferior North Carolina-South Carolina game on ESPN and only *tied* the TCU-Minnesota game that was later on ESPN in the overall rating. We’re talking about a low profile *Big Ten* team in a worse time slot on ESPN getting the same rating as a king of the Big Ten with the debut of a coach who was the biggest offseason story in college football on FS1. That’s simply a *massive* red flag to me.

            Looking further, out of the 13 regular season weeks last year (not including championship game week), ESPN had at least *two* games with a higher rating than *over-the-air* Fox 9 times (plus one other week where ESPN had one game with a higher rating than over-the-air Fox). Meanwhile, ESPN2 had at least one higher rated game than the best-rated FS1 game every single week of the year! Even ESPNU and ESPNEWS games beat FS1 games in the ratings more often than not.

            I’m actually shocked by how little some Big Ten fans seem to be worried about this (as if they are being blinded by what they personally don’t like about ESPN and can’t see the bigger picture). The Fox ratings haven’t just been bad – they have been horrible and it’s not just about the matchups. As evidenced by the Michigan-Utah game ratings along with ratings for high profile events like the MLB playoffs, the same game on FS1 is going to get a significantly lower rating compared to it being shown on ESPN. Big Ten fans honestly *should* be much more worried than they are – we are a strong conference, but not teflon-proof to the greater dynamics of the media industry and overall viewership patterns.

            It’s one thing if we have a mix of games on ABC/ESPN and Fox/FS1 (while removing the ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU games). I’d call that an overall upgrade for exposure. However, if we’re leaving ABC/ESPN completely and just be on Fox/FS1 (or have the second half taken by NBC/NBCSN), then that’s a big-time downgrade and it will absolutely be used against us in recruiting. Is it always going to be outcome determinative for every recruit? No. However, I honestly think a “Big Ten isn’t ESPN” argument is going to weigh more heavily on the minds of recruits than a “Big Ten has cold weather” argument. Whether we think it should or not, it absolutely matters to recruits that want to build their own personal brands. If every school loses a 5-star here or a 4-star there because of TV exposure concerns, then that builds up over time. People can argue that this is all speculation, but the ratings data that I’ve linked to above is straight quantitative data.

            The only possible combo that could somewhat mitigate a complete lack of presence on ESPN is if there is some type of CBS/Turner proposal (*not* CBSSN). Turner has a legit cable platform with a proven track record of garnering high cable ratings for sports via the NBA and NCAA Tournament, while CBS leveraging the SEC and Big Ten together can be a powerful college football combo that can push back on ABC for over-the-air dominance. I still don’t think that is as strong as the multi-platform industrial sports complex that ESPN has in its arsenal, but it’s a much better fighting chance compared to putting all of the eggs in to the baskets of Fox/FS1 and/or NBC/NBCSN.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            I think the ratings for the Mich/Utah game were muted to a certain extent as most B1G fans are not yet familiar with FS1. That would change over time. Plus neither school was ranked.

            I think putting football games on Turner would be a disaster. I don’t think there is much crossover between NBA fans and college sports fans. Also, their production quality is terrible. Watching any of the MLB playoffs vs. FOX is like night and day.

            Count me in the camp of not being overly concerned about exposure provided that there are plenty of National games on Big FOX and NBC.

            Like

          • @Kevin – This is just my personal preference, but I think Turner’s production quality is pretty high (although I’d say that it is better for NBA games compared to MLB). I don’t think that we can say that there isn’t much crossover between NBA fans and college sports fans – if anything, the college sports leagues want more of the NBA’s young and growing demographics very badly because the future is dependent upon them. What other sport has better crossover with college sports besides the NFL (which inherently crosses over with virtually all other sports since it has huge and broad across-the-board viewership)? Turner has MLB and the NBA. The NHL has a much smaller overall audience. Also, the carriage and ratings for both TNT and TBS are significantly higher than FS1 and NBCSN. You’re going to find TNT and TBS in your average run-of-the-mill hotel room along with ESPN (which is my eyeball standard as to whether a channel has truly broad carriage and viewership), whereas FS1 and NBCSN are much more hit or miss.

            Like I’ve said, I don’t think Turner would be better than ESPN in terms of exposure. However, I believe Turner compares favorably to FS1 and NBCSN (especially if it’s combined with over-the-air coast-to-coast CBS coverage).

            Like

          • Also, as I noted in my post, there is a grand total of one non-ESPN cable sports show that has *any* real audience: Inside the NBA on TNT. There might be lots more hours of shoulder programming on FS1 and NBCSN, but no one watches it. Whether we credit the presence of Charles Barkley to the success of Inside the NBA, it shows (a) Turner has at least the ability to create a broadly-watched sports program besides the games themselves and (b) just how hard it is for a non-ESPN sports program to break through.

            Like

          • David Brown says:

            I certainly hope you are correct that the Big 10 ends up with BOTH exposure and dollars. I just wonder if ESPN has gotten so arrogant that they are to quote Clint Eastwood “A legend is his mind” and they forget the SPORTS part of ESPN in favor of the ENTERTAINMENT part ( see Sports center in LA as an example of this)? Letting people like Mike Tirico go to a competitor, and acting like they can just plug someone in his place, makes me wonder if they believe that they can simply plug in any game ( ACC, Big XII, PAC-12 and especially SEC ) instead of B10, and people will turn in just because it is ESPN? Jim Delaney is one person who is willing to think outside the box and stand up to them ( going back to when BTN was created), and if he feels ESPN/Disney wants to undervalue the Conference, he will not hesitate to go to a competitor. Guess what? Wherever the Nittany Lions are ( I will find them( same for millions of other fans, which is no different then getting Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings and NHL Center Ice to see the teams and games we want instead of relying on ESPN)).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            ESPN absolutely promotes the product they have to offer. Big 10 wouldn’t get ignored, but would get significantly less coverage if they weren’t on ESPN. Its amusing to hear B1G fans complain about ESPN bias against their conference when nothing could be further from the truth.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I must be in a minority, but my opinion is you don’t just show up and win because of the name on the jersey (in this, the corporate logo).”

            Frankly, the big guys often win just this way in business because they present lower risk.

            “A little bit of a discount (emphasis on little), maybe, because of historical performance, but you gotta at least compete. Content is king. If B1G fans can find BTN they will find FS1, NBC, CBS or whoever just as easily as ESPNU or ESPNews or the Duce. It is ESPN that would be losing the largest college sports fan base.”

            Hard core fans will find those games, but casual fans default to ESPN and will watch whatever they have on (or a broadcast network). Most people have no idea what channel number FS1 is on their package.

            “PS: how many kids would really choose a college based on which among the major broadcast and cable channels shows them? And coaches are prone to paranoia regarding recruiting perceived disadvantage.”

            You mean the same kids that will pick schools for their cool uniforms and the frequent use of alternative uniforms? You don’t think they could be swayed by who is being shown on ESPN? Most recruits aren’t even big CFB fans until they start getting recruited. All they know is ESPN for sports.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “Frankly, the big guys often win just this way in business because they present lower risk.”

            Their bid on the first half wasn’t accepted. What I’m saying is if the second half bid isn’t any better, and there are better bids from others, ESPN shouldn’t be rewarded (and basically colluded with) for having a pseudo monopoly – with discounts.

            “but casual fans default to ESPN and will watch whatever they have on…”

            1: are we catering to soccer mom, and bored looking for anything to watch guy so much to not take a superior bid?
            2: they have had some part of every major conference so watching them in the past is not the same as a situation where a major segment is not there.

            “You mean the same kids that will pick schools for their cool uniforms and the frequent use of alternative uniforms?”

            Alabama, PSU, OU, UT, USC etc. have multiple bizarre uni’s?

            “You don’t think they could be swayed by who is being shown on ESPN?”

            1: There is still a scholarship limit. There aren’t a bunch unused that a kid can just on a whim decide on a destination.
            2: again, if ESPN carries everyone it’s “the” channel destination. If not, it’s an important channel – but no longer the sole destination.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “ESPN absolutely promotes the product they have to offer. Big 10 wouldn’t get ignored, but would get significantly less coverage if they weren’t on ESPN.”

            Very much so. And remember, ESPN can only show limited highlights from games on other networks. They always provide more game coverage of games shown on their own networks.

            “Its amusing to hear B1G fans complain about ESPN bias against their conference when nothing could be further from the truth.”

            No, you’re thinking about coverage versus being ignored. Nobody would deny that ESPN covered the B10 a lot. The complaints are about what all their talking heads actually say about the B10, which was mostly negative for most of a decade. Some of the negativity was deserved, but the rest was ESPN full jumping on the ESPN bandwagon and mocking everyone else as lesser. And even neutral media analysts say that people like Mark May were blatantly anti-OSU and anti-B10 well beyond any facts to support their opinions.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Their bid on the first half wasn’t accepted. What I’m saying is if the second half bid isn’t any better, and there are better bids from others, ESPN shouldn’t be rewarded (and basically colluded with) for having a pseudo monopoly – with discounts.”

            But you’re assuming all else is equal. We’re saying that it isn’t equal because ESPN provides benefits in terms of exposure that the other networks can’t match. The question is how much those benefits are worth.

            “1: are we catering to soccer mom, and bored looking for anything to watch guy so much to not take a superior bid?”

            There are a lot more casual fans than serious fans, and serious fans will find you anywhere while casual fans won’t. So yes, you have to cater to casual fans.

            “2: they have had some part of every major conference so watching them in the past is not the same as a situation where a major segment is not there.”

            That all depends on how major the neutral fans consider the B10 to be, doesn’t it? It’s huge to us but most southerners couldn’t care less. Nobody outside the midwest cares about half of the B10 teams.

            “Alabama, PSU, OU, UT, USC etc. have multiple bizarre uni’s?”

            OSU does solely because of recruiting. UT wore alternate uniforms last year and the players have been asking for more. OU has alternate uniforms. USC is looking at wearing one this year. Very few schools have avoided the plague that is alternate uniforms. And they all say they do it for recruiting because the kids get really excited about them.

            “1: There is still a scholarship limit. There aren’t a bunch unused that a kid can just on a whim decide on a destination.”

            No, but it can mean more of the better players go to ESPN teams (SEC especially). The B10 has enough problems recruiting without handing an edge to the southern schools.

            “2: again, if ESPN carries everyone it’s “the” channel destination. If not, it’s an important channel – but no longer the sole destination.”

            Or the ones that aren’t on it are out of sight, out of mind to most fans. My guess is ESPN remains “the” sports channel for quite a while so the B10 would be taking a huge risk by leaving them.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            I’m not saying some consideration, in moderation , isn’t war rented. It’s just too many seem to be saying we have to bow to the Mighty Mouse. It can’t be a low ball offer..

            “…so the B10 would be taking a huge risk by leaving them.”

            As was done to an extent to form the BTN?

            Like

          • @ccrider55 – I agree that the Big Ten shouldn’t accept a lowball offer, but I could certainly see providing a haircut financially and/or better picks compared to Fox in recognition of the additional benefits from ESPN. At the end of the day, ESPN is going to be “the” sports channel for a very long time. It has the NFL, NBA, MLB and the 4 other power conferences into the next decade. That position is pretty much intractable with or without the Big Ten. The BTN was certainly a risk, but those were ultimately about games that were being shown on ESPN Plus syndication. We’re now talking about the exposure for the cream of the crop of the Big Ten’s games for both football and basketball – it’s a much different type of risk. Widespread viewership matters much more here, whereas the BTN was focused on monetizing what the Big Ten believed to be underpaid second and third tier games. There’s a reason why ESPN is getting paid nearly $7 per subscriber per month – it is the single biggest driver of age 18-49 male viewers on all of television (both OTA and cable), and that is the single most valuable demographic group for advertisers. That revenue might go down due to cord cutting and shaving, but ESPN’s relative place in the sports network hierarchy is still dominant without the Big Ten.

            Now, there is some long-term risk for ESPN here. They’ve let the fox into the henhouse (pun intended) if FS1 truly becomes a legit competitor (even if it can’t realistically overtake ESPN if only because of the presence of the NFL) and probably aren’t keen on watching NBCSN (AKA Comcast, which is a big-time threat to ESPN in terms of hammering them on cable subscriber fees) get more traction, either. At the end of the day, though, the risk is more on the Big Ten side than the ESPN side. Being able to monetize Illinois vs. Purdue on BTN was taking a game that was underpaid and underexposed and giving it a national platform that wasn’t there before. In contrast, Michigan vs. Ohio State on any channel other than ABC or the top basketball game of the week in any slot outside of Super Tuesday prime time on ESPN is a clear reduction in the potential audience. That’s the main difference from my perspective.

            I’ve said in my earliest conference realignment posts that “Average Joe Sports Fan” is the target, NOT the hardcore Big Ten fan that will follow their team to obscure channels. ESPN is still the #1 province of “Average Joe Sports Fan” and that won’t change with its NFL, NBA, MLB and other power conference coverage. I don’t have a problem with having part of the package on Fox properties, but firmly believe leaving ESPN entirely would be a long-term mistake for the Big Ten. That being said, I don’t believe that it will come to that – ESPN (even in cost-cutting mode) still has the resources to make the best bid by far. They have a history of underbidding in the beginning of negotiations and then still getting a deal in the end.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frank:

            Understand and basically agree. I guess my concern is with the seeming circular logic trap. Can’t go without unless they are no longer primary sports channel, which the will remain unless/until several important entities go elsewhere, which they can’t do because of the need to be on primary channel, which they will remain unless/until…

            There is probably a number that would be worth the risk, but I doubt most coaches would agree initially.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I’m not saying some consideration, in moderation , isn’t war rented. It’s just too many seem to be saying we have to bow to the Mighty Mouse. It can’t be a low ball offer.”

            It can’t be a terrible offer, no, but the B10 might have to live with a decent sized discount. After all, ESPN offers something the others don’t so there is more value to their bid than just the $$$.

            “As was done to an extent to form the BTN?”

            Yes, except this time around we’re talking about major games. BTN offers a bunch of other advantages that leads me to believe they were going to form something like it no matter what. But the third tier games BTN gets aren’t the ones that would hurt B10 exposure. The games left to bid on now include half of the good stuff and we don’t want that all buried.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Understand and basically agree. I guess my concern is with the seeming circular logic trap. Can’t go without unless they are no longer primary sports channel, which the will remain unless/until several important entities go elsewhere, which they can’t do because of the need to be on primary channel, which they will remain unless/until…”

            That’s the way monopolies work. That was the computer industry for a very long time for example. I think what it would take is the NFL leaving and sending their stuff elsewhere. That would hammer ESPN’s leverage. The NFL can afford to take a risk that nobody else can.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “That’s the way monopolies work.”

            Not all monopolies … but yes, some do. Microsoft’s monopoly position in a number of markets rest on “we use it because everyone else uses it” logic.

            In computers, Microsoft’s use of its monopoly position in some markets to gain a monopoly position in other markets was only really stymied by Apple coming up with a pocket computer that also made phone calls.

            Now, whether ESPN is a monopoly or the market leader in an oligopoly is a wonderful invitation for an argument over semantics, but I expect that the analogy to draw here is that more than a few expect that where ESPN’s dominant position in the market is most vulnerable to suffering a sharp drop rather than an incremental change is in the shift to streaming.

            Now, ESPN seems to see the same threat, and is doing its level best to head off the threat, but Microsoft looked like a possible player in the “smartphone” computer operating system market until it finally got swamped by Apple and Google.

            Like

        • TOM says:

          Sounds like ESPN is just tightening the belt another notch. Letting some talented but long-of-tooth announcers go (who no doubt command big compensation packages) probably won’t have any impact on the network’s long-term fortunes. And it frees up payroll to invest in other talent that can reach younger viewers. In regards to the conference contract/expansion game…ESPN is probably willing to play hard-ball with the B1G. They know the B1G would be taking a big risk by completely severing ties and doesn’t want to go down that path. And ESPN is probably willing to take the chance of being “all in” with other conferences that are in much faster growing markets. Push the SEC to lock down the south and become THE conference for the long haul…and ESPN will be sitting pretty. I’m sure there’s a lot of “strategery” going on right now. I wouldn’t write ESPN (Disney) off just yet.

          Like

  53. Kevin says:

    We have all contemplated the rationale for the B1G to agree to a 6 year deal with Fox. I don’t know if it is coincidence but the new members to the conference have also had a similar 6 year buy in period. Likely just a coincidence but just a thought.

    Like

  54. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2016/04/25/ncaa-satellite-camp-ban-us-department-of-justice-inquiry-college-football/83506978/

    The DOJ is looking into the satellite camp ban.

    The DOJ’s interest, according to one of the people who spoke to USA TODAY Sports, is based on whether an NCAA ban of satellite camps — a term used to describe off-campus coaching clinics attended by prospective student-athletes — could jeopardize or lessen opportunities for youth players to be seen or have access to college football coaches.

    Listen to the rest of the country, NCAA. Undo this ban before you have yet another major lawsuit/legal issue on your hands.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      If the two conference reps that didn’t vote as directed actually did, this would be moot. Gotta believe the presidents will reverse.

      Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/04/25/emu-faculty-students-drop-out-division-football/83493156/

    EMU’s faculty and student government want to drop D-I football. The BoR says it has no plans to do so. You can read the full 30 page report at the site.

    Eastern Michigan University should drop out of Division I football and find a different league for its other sports, all in order to save students money, a new report issued by the university’s faculty and students says.

    “Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,” faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. “It is a losing proposition — always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.

    Getting rid of Division I football is a moral imperative – it will save students money and lower student debt, the report said. The report also found that each student paid $917 out of pocket to support athletics at Eastern. “Should the university be saddling students with unnecessary debt for athletics programs that added little to no value to their education?” the report says.

    “The option of EMU dropping sports completely is not one that we support,” the report says. “Though athletics is a significant drain on resources, and increases tuition for students and their families, the loss of tuition revenue from students in the non-revenue sports could hurt EMU financially, and moves us away from important values of teamwork, discipline, and community.

    “Eastern Michigan should drop Division I football, and join the Horizon League, where football is not required,” the report says. “Alternatively, EMU can still play football, but at the Division II or Division III (non-scholarship) level within the Horizon League, which would save even more resources. The advantage of joining the Horizon League is EMU athletes could still compete at the Division I level in Olympic and other non-revenue sports, but spend much less.”

    “… there is no active plan among the Board of Regents to specifically evaluate football. On an overall level, the Board has high regard for our current football program, its outstanding coach and its success going forward. We expect to have a great season in 2016,” he said last week in a statement.

    But while the university is looking carefully at its spending in all areas, there are no plans nor discussions ongoing about cutting that subsidy Morris told the Free Press last week. However, another board member – Jim Stapleton – said he believes there needs to be serious discussions about cutting sports.

    The statement noted that athletics spending represents less than 8% of the current budget. Athletes make up less than 3% of the student body.

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Alternatively, EMU can still play football, but at the Division II or Division III (non-scholarship) level within the Horizon League, which would save even more resources.”

      An innovative! solution!

      Of course, against current NCAA rules, which require you to play Football in Division I if you are play Football and are a Division 1 member … which may be why nobody else has been pursuing this innovative! solution.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        There are only a few Horizon members that play only club football (Green Bay, Milwaukee, Wright State). EMU should put feelers out on the Missouri Valley Conference’s interest. MVC might want a Michigan presence and MVC also gives the option to Eastern if they want to continue as an FCS football program or not have it (like Bradley, Wichita State).

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Except EMU doesn’t have any intention of dropping down from FBS football and leaving the MAC, so sending out feelers to the MVC would be a bit of a waste of time at present.

          Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      If the B1G and SEC schools are receiving $30 million plus per team (may very much plus), the other P5 conferences are receiving a minimum of $15 million per team, how long can G5 football teams compete at less than $5 million? How long can Cincinnati survive in Ohio with ten percent of the revenue of Ohio State? How long can UConn subsidize its sports to the extent of nearly $30 million per year? http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/16/uconn-ranked-third-for-sports-subsidies/

      Note that in the article RU sports subsidy was even more, but RU won the realignment lottery and UConn lost.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The Big 12 and ACC both distributed around $25 million + last year and that doesn’t include the Big 12’s Tier III. Not sure what Pac 12 did, but it had to be over $20 million. So the gap from any P5 to G5 is very big and growing.

        Like

      • z33k says:

        Yeah, the TV money (once Rutgers is fully vested in a few years) will basically be able to replace all/most of Rutgers’ subsidies.

        I’m assuming Rutgers will be getting around $45-50m in its first year fully vested around 2021…, at that point, we’ll hopefully see most of the subsidies eliminated.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Jersey Bernie,

        “If the B1G and SEC schools are receiving $30 million plus per team (may very much plus), the other P5 conferences are receiving a minimum of $15 million per team, how long can G5 football teams compete at less than $5 million? How long can Cincinnati survive in Ohio with ten percent of the revenue of Ohio State?”

        That’s only conference payout money. You should look at total revenue for the AD. It’s still a big gap, but the ratio isn’t as bad.

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

        1. TAMU $193M
        3. OSU $167M

        48. UConn $72M (top G5 school)
        53. WSU $54M (bottom P5 school)
        54. UC $53M (2nd G5 school)

        The gap is large, but UC is making 32% of the revenue of OSU. Also, UC has a lot lower expenses (fewer sports, fewer athletes, fewer and smaller facilities, etc).

        “How long can UConn subsidize its sports to the extent of nearly $30 million per year?”

        As long as students are willing to pay for it. UC does the same thing ($23M). Very few schools have no subsidy (12 of 231). 30 schools have over $20M in subsidies. But ASU has over $19M as a longtime member of the P12 (40th largest subsidy). CO is over $12M (I’m ignoring RU and UMD because they are in a transition period financially). AZ and Utah are just under $9M. WI is just under $8M and is the beginning of a bunch of P5 schools in the single-digit millions. There are G5 schools all the way down to #213 of 231 with only a $1.7M subsidy, but that was 32% of their revenue. P5 schools are mostly under 12% subsidy with only 6 higher (topped by RU at 33%). No G5 school is below 25% and the max is 91%.

        The key is how important are athletics to the school. The sense of community for students, the free advertising to students in other places, the ability to bring alumni back to campus for fundraising pitches, it all matters.

        Like

    • David Brown says:

      Despite being from NY I always disliked the Times and among the reasons were a diminished amount of sports coverage. It was ballet over Yankees. So what they say about sports should be taken with a grain of salt. The conclusion that the Big 10 took Rutgers ( which is hardly the worst College Program in America), because of AAU is not true, it’s the New York Television Market. Rutgers is within that footprint and The Huskies are not it’s that simple. Look at The new Fox Contract and BTN with Cablevision, and you see why Rutgers was the better option.

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        David Brown. I agree with you completely regarding the Times. I bought the times 7 days a week for 30 plus years. If I was traveling, I found a store in Florida, CA, wherever and bought the times. As of now, I have not purchased a single issue of the NY Times in about 10 years. Sports is a very low priority at the NY Times. The AAU comment is partially correct, but clearly the B1G was looking for the NY TV market, not the Hartford, CT market. RU also covers part of the Philly TV market in South Jersey.

        Like

        • Interesting – I live in Chicago and actually read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal more than the local Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times these days. The Times and Journal are probably the only two newspapers that haven’t completely gutted their news-gathering operations. The Chicago Tribune, in particular, was a great and legit national paper back in the day, but it’s a shell of former self now. Granted, I don’t really pay any attention to the Times sports section at all – I only read it for political/world/culture news. Honestly, I’m obtaining most of my sports news from Twitter (both Tweets and links from specific people that I follow) compared to any other source today.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I was curious about something and looked up Sunday circulation. NYT was first. LA Times was well behind. Houston Chronicle was right behind LA Times, not the Tribune, which was #6.

            Like

      • z33k says:

        To be fair to the NYT, they put a more general business/sports reporter on that assignment, so it is what it is.

        But yes, anyone that’s paid attention to Big Ten expansion can tell you why Rutgers was the most obvious (available) school to pair with Maryland.

        Location of the school and alumni/fans. There isn’t another school with close to that many alumni/fans concentrated in the NYC market (with a large portion in the Philly market as well).

        The AAU side of things is important, but I’m not quite sure it’s as essential as many make it out to be.

        I think it’s fairly obvious that the next pair of schools invited into the Big Ten will likely include a non-AAU (Oklahoma or FSU) whenever the next expansion is. Just looking at the ACC and Big 12, those are the two most obvious “next Penn State/Nebraska”-type candidates to build an expansion round around…

        Of course, the 2nd school in the next round will probably be AAU as a way of balancing that (KU or Ga Tech or UVa).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Disagree.

          The B10 members want to add schools that make it better for them. RU and UMD are AAU and brought footprint, recruiting grounds, etc.
          UNL brought die-hard fans but still was unlikely to win the B10 title often.

          FSU and OU are kings, but non-AAU and threaten OSU and UMich dominance.

          The next round will have some combination of ND, Texas, the UNC family (+UVa, Duke), and GTech.

          Like

          • z33k says:

            If the Big Ten is the initiator in the next round of expansion (around 2023-2027), why would ND, Texas, or UNC be a first mover?

            I think FSU or OU has a much higher chance of being willing to consider a move just as Nebraska was.

            ND, Texas, and UNC are nice to contemplate as they were in 2010 at the top of the list, but I still think they’re just stalking horses for the schools that are more willing to move.

            Of course, who knows what Texas would do if OU actually thinks about leaving…, but I think UNC holds tightly onto the ACC as long as it can given just how many schools are its peers around it.

            The only way I see UNC moving is if FSU bolts and then the Big Ten invites 4 more after that but it could still end up like Texas staying in the Big 12 (i.e. spurning the Pac-16)…

            Like

          • TOM says:

            I agree with z33k. The B1G isn’t going to land UTx or UNC as lone or relative outposts. They’ll need serious motivation. You need to look at it from their perspective. “We’re going to be playing where??” If the answer to Texas is “well OU is joining too…and of course we’ve already got Nebraska…” then it might work. If the answer to UNC is “FSU and/or GT and/or UVA are joining too…and we’ve already got Maryland…” then it might work. But if you think that UT and/or UNC are going to jump on board way and be stuck way out in left field(s)…I’d absolutely bet that they don’t.

            Like

          • TOM says:

            PS I’d be shocked if the B1G adds UVA/Duke/GT/UNC as the southern group. That’s a lot of historically mediocre/bad football and a lot of redundant TV turf. That would probably be financial subtraction by addition in terms of the per team payout.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            If there’s one truism to realignment, it’s that money is a great motivator. The Big Ten is looking at a potential television deal that pays its fully vested members around $44M to $45M in revenue starting 2017/8. Add in the revenue from the college football playoffs/postseason, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and other sources and we’re looking at a low $50M figure.

            Any new school to join the conference would have to get fully vested–Rutgers and Maryland are looking at getting there after their first six years in the conference and Nebraska will obtain that status in 2018. That might prove to be a deterrent to a school looking to go to the Big Ten (depending on the projected revenue flow) or it might be an incentive to make the move now and be in a fully vested position when the B1G comes up for its next contract following this one.

            In June 2015, the ACC announced it had made $302.3M in revenue and it distributed 90% of it to its membership. The conference had a big jump in television dollars plus the new college football playoff format added to the conference’s coffers. ACC distributions to its full time members varied from school to school, with a low of $17.9M to Wake Forest and a high of $20.2M to Duke and FSU. Notre Dame received $4.9M. See http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/12/accs-record-revenue-surpasses-300-million/

            Right now, the prospects for another big jump in the conference’s revenue stream don’t appear to be that great. There seems to be little opportunity to create an ACC Network using the models of the Big Ten, SEC or Pac 12. The CFB playoffs might expand to eight teams, but that lifts all the conferences revenue wise. There also don’t appear to be any major expansion targets available to the ACC at this time either.

            Potentially, if the Big Ten deal does get the conference to the $50M mark per fully vested school in a few years and the ACC teams are looking at roughly half that (I assume they have escalator clauses that will raise their paydays), then you can see a power reason right there to make the move (which is one of the reasons why Rutgers and Maryland did it).

            The Big 12 schools are in a somewhat similar boat. Unless the Longhorn Network is rolled into a Big XII Network, they won’t have a conference wise network either. A handful of schools in the Big XII do package their third tier rights for extra income though (from $7M to $10M per school). The conference also most recently distributed $252M to its members with the amounts ranging from $27M to $23M for the eight fully vested schools (average $25.3M for all the schools, including partially vested TCU and West Virginia). That was announced in May 2015.

            Will the Big XII expand to twelve teams and/or have a conference championship game? I imagine those questions and the bottom line for those decisions are being looked at now (not to mention how it helps or hurts getting into the four-team CFB playoff). If the conference does expand, does that help or hurt the money numbers for the conference? I think most of the membership in the Big XII thinks the latter.

            So if you’re Oklahoma or Kansas and a chance to join the Big Ten comes along in the near future, do you make the leap? Conference distribution wise, OU probably makes about the same as all the fully vested Big Ten schools right now, but a large gap begins emerging in just a couple of years.

            These individuals schools obviously have to look at their athletic department budgets and priorities. If the university is using general funds or student fees to support the its AD, is that an issue for tax payers or the state government or the students themselves? Also, if you want to compete with programs in the Big Ten and SEC, what sort of resources do you need to have in hand to do it? Will the donors and other stakeholders be in favor or against such a move? Lots of questions there.

            I can see why some schools might find a move to the Big Ten attractive–either from the academic (where research dollars are a big par of the budget) or the athletic side. Virginia, for example, requires large student fees and donor participation to pay for the athletic department. UNC is a barely breakeven athletic department operation. FSU had to have an across the board 2% budget cut within the AD to pay for extra student athlete benefits that the NCAA recently allowed (expanded training table, etc.)

            Schools like Texas and Notre Dame don’t have those sorts of problems. If the Big XII were to lose some more members, then Texas could go to the Pac 12 or the Big XII would add some more to replace the losses while UT cashes its checks from the Longhorn Network. The ACC doesn’t really provide ND much money, but as long as the Irish can keep their non-football teams there and get late season ACC football games on their schedule, then they’ll be fine as well.

            We’ll see what happens when the Big Ten television contracts are finalized. But let’s say a school like Virginia could join the Big Ten tomorrow, get as much money from the B1G as a partially vested member as they currently do from the ACC, then be in a position to be a fully vested conference member when the Big Ten renegotiates its contract again six years down the line. Do you think UVa in an expanded B1G would get more money in 2023 or 2024 than it would if it stayed in the ACC (which renegotiates its deal in 2026/7)? That’s the multi-million dollar question these university presidents and athletic directors have to ask themselves (along with what sort of challenge they can make against the grant of rights agreement they signed).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            If UNC is told by the B10 “we will take you +UVa+Duke+GTech or FSU”, UNC will jump.

            I think folks are too football-focused. FSU and OU are kings in football (but still not superkings like ND, Texas or some SEC and B10 schools), but by all metrics other than football, UNC, UVa, Duke, and GTech add more to the B10 than OU or FSU do.

            Other sports may rise up in popularity and replace football. If so, taking a school solely for the football when they are lacking in other aspects would look foolhardy.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            TOM, cutter

            Yeah, I agree with what both of you are saying.

            I just don’t think there’s any incentive for Texas or ND to consider moving; even if everything collapses around them; I think they can keep deals like ND’s ACC deal (or make one in the case of Texas) and still have a reasonable degree of power/independence in terms of not joining another conference and just being “another” major school.

            Oklahoma has publicly griped (and private agitation has leaked) about the Big 12’s lack of a network situation, and a much larger Big Ten contract will exacerbate that.

            Ditto for FSU: FSU has made it well known that the ACC needs to keep up with the Big Ten and SEC in terms of TV money for them to be happy.

            If the Big Ten’s contract really does escalate as projected (and there’s no ACC or Big 12 network in a few years), I do think we’ll see serious consideration of either FSU or Oklahoma leaving their conference with a partner.

            Like

          • TOM says:

            Richard,

            You’re missing that FSU and OU (to a slightly lesser degree) are eyes-on-TV’s Super Kings…and have been so for decades. Throw in elite recruiting grounds (Fla) and strategic reasons (landing other schools like UTx, UNC/UVA, etc)…and they’re at the top of the wish list. AAU is secondary. The stakes are sky-high and the wrong decisions now will have huge implications in the coming decades for the B1G.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Tom;

            You’re missing the statement several years ago by Delany that academics would be a primary concern in any future consideration of expansion.

            From a purely athletic standpoint, as many have said, it’s a mistake to eliminate certain teams/schools. But it’s the CEO’s of elite educational institutions that make the decisions.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The football fan in me salivates at the thought of adding FSU and OU, but I know that the other factors will matter to a large degree.

            For the B10, stuff like AAU status matters.
            Given the choice, the B10 presidents would rather match the Ivy League in academics (which, granted, isn’t going to happen when you look at the middle or the bottom) than the SEC in football.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            TOM,

            “You’re missing that FSU and OU (to a slightly lesser degree) are eyes-on-TV’s Super Kings…and have been so for decades.”

            No, he’s well aware of that.

            “Throw in elite recruiting grounds (Fla) and strategic reasons (landing other schools like UTx, UNC/UVA, etc)…and they’re at the top of the wish list.”

            For unaffiliated fans, sure. For alumni, maybe. For the presidents of the B10 universities? No.

            “AAU is secondary.”

            AAU status is just shorthand for top level academics. ND will never be AAU but their academics are more than good enough to fit in the B10. Other schools aren’t AAU and don’t have elite academics. B10 presidents care who they are affiliated with more than fans just can understand.

            “The stakes are sky-high and the wrong decisions now will have huge implications in the coming decades for the B1G.”

            That cuts both ways. What if the FB programs die off at FSU and OU? Then what do they bring to the table but subpar academics? What if football stops being the cash cow that it is now?

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Brian, Richard

            Those are fair points. If the Big Ten insists on AAU, then we’ll stay at 14 unless something dramatically shifts.

            My hunch is that if we do expand, it’ll be because FSU or Oklahoma tries to bolt. Perhaps the Big Ten will pass if it’s OU and a Pac-14 with OU/KU (or some other pair) comes to pass.

            But if it’s FSU, that’s really where it gets more interesting to me; I think the Big Ten presidents at least would consider FSU+Ga Tech.

            It’s worth noting that Ga Tech has $230m in AD debt that takes around $13m+ of their budget away every year.

            So perhaps they would be amenable to considering that.

            If a FSU/Ga Tech pair is on the table then perhaps a grab can be made at UVa as well to go along with them, etc. to beef up the package.

            Regardless, I still don’t think the odds of Big Ten expansion in the 2020s are above 30-35%, so it’s certainly not a given even though expansion discussions always have that kind of feeling.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            None of you are asking the basic question. Do the B1G presidents want to be 16 or 18 or 20? If the answer to 18 or 20 is no then #15 and #16 will be very selective. They waited a long time for #12.

            Like

          • Ross says:

            Some earlier discussion of what the B1G is looking for in potential future partners, in terms of academics, athletics, geography, etc. got me thinking: what would a national conference of the top academic schools in each P5 conference look like? I obviously don’t think each conference would have the same number, but I imagine it would look something like this:

            USC, Stanford, UCLA, Cal, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Vandy, Florida, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, and Notre Dame. Gives you 15, maybe include A&M to get to 16.

            Pretty impressive list for all sports.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I think they will be just as selective considering any addition. As you said they waited (perhaps on ND?) a long time for #12. I doubt they are trying to fill an arbitrary number in an artificial time frame.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            bullet that’s a great question but #13-14 came very quickly after Nebraska for a reason: the paradigm shift that has occurred in college sports and cable/TV since the last contract was signed due to BTN (and SECN, Pac-12N, LHN) etc. in some ways forced the hand of the Big Ten presidents.

            It’s worth noting that historically the Big Ten could just sit around and rely on its historical advantages (being positioned in the “dominant” region of the country for manufacturing/population through the 1980s), but given demographics (stagnant population in Big Ten while other regions grow rapidly) and media/technology advancements: the pace of changes over past 15 years and next 15 years means that the Big Ten might need to get to the “endgame” sooner rather than later.

            It’s hard to just “sit still” when you consider the changes that millennials are bringing to TV/media markets; that’s why the big media companies are changing at a rapid pace. When you think about just how quickly companies like Google and Facebook have come to gain huge chunks of advertising market share, it makes you realize just how fragile future endeavors can be (thinking about how fast the shift has occurred from PCs to mobile; PCs have had a shorter shelf life as a dominant technology than TVs did)…

            That’s partially why I think odds of Big Ten expansion in the 2020s is reasonably high (I’d put it at 30-35%).

            Do I think the Big Ten presidents have seen 16-20 team configurations? Yes. But it comes down to whether the presidents think they need to pull the trigger on such things as well as whether they think its in the schools’ as well as conference’s best interest.

            Needless to say, a lot of this is about considering the strengths and weaknesses of the Big Ten’s position in 20 or 30 years.

            I still think it needs work. Only the SEC (and Pac-12) can sit still in my opinion. Pac-12 might be a disaster #3 for a while but it’s by far the dominant player in the western timezones and its relative position won’t weaken.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Er, I meant Pac-12 would be distant #3, no idea how disaster got in there…

            Like

          • TOM says:

            “AAU status is just shorthand for top level academics. ND will never be AAU but their academics are more than good enough to fit in the B10. Other schools aren’t AAU and don’t have elite academics.”

            I hear what you’re saying. And my very limited (but very real) direct experience with attending both a non-AAU (FSU) and an AAU (Michigan State) probably clouds my judgement. By that…I noted no appreciable difference. In fact, the level of competition (and quality of the undergrad courses and professors) in FSU’s biology department were better than in MSU’s zoology department (the equivalent department at the time). This was back in the 90’s so things may have changed. I also suspect that MSU’s agricultural related departments generate a lot of research dollars…which certainly helps with AAU admission. Anyway…you’re either in the AAU or you’re not (and have the accompanying research $ to justify it)…so there’s certainly something to it. I do not dispute the fact that schools like UVA, Mich, NW, etc…are on a different level…

            On another note…the ACC better be throwing the kitchen sink at UTx, OU and Notre Dame. Perhaps ESPN/Disney is more motivated than ever to make something work.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “None of you are asking the basic question. Do the B1G presidents want to be 16 or 18 or 20? If the answer to 18 or 20 is no then #15 and #16 will be very selective. They waited a long time for #12.”

            We asked the question earlier. The general consensus was that they probably don’t want 20. I’m not sure if they even want 16. But it’s a question we can’t answer with any certainty so after giving our guesses, we tend to move past it. If the answer is no, then expansion talk stops and we have nothing to do here.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Ross,

            “Some earlier discussion of what the B1G is looking for in potential future partners, in terms of academics, athletics, geography, etc. got me thinking: what would a national conference of the top academic schools in each P5 conference look like?”

            How you define “top academic schools” can really vary.

            “USC, Stanford, UCLA, Cal, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Vandy, Florida, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, and Notre Dame. Gives you 15, maybe include A&M to get to 16.”

            Your list broken down by conference:

            ACC – North Carolina, Duke, Virginia
            B10 – Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern
            B12 – Texas
            P12 – USC, Stanford, UCLA, Cal
            SEC – Vandy, Florida, Missouri, TAMU
            Ind – Notre Dame

            1. TAMU is a better school than MO, so you have to include them if you are going to include MO.
            2. Are you sure we should include UNC right after their academic scandal (I’m kidding, mostly)?
            3. Based on the Times HER rankings:
            Top 16: Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Duke, MI, NW, UW, IL, GT, UT, WI, UNC, MN, USC, PSU, Pitt
            Next in line: Vandy, OSU, MSU, ND, PU, UMD, UF, RU, CO

            4. From USN&WR:
            Top 16: Stanford, Duke, NW, Vandy, ND, Cal, UCLA, USC, UVA, WF, MI, BC, UNC, GT, IL, WI
            Next in line: PSU, UF, Miami, OSU, UT, UW, UMD, Clemson, PU, SU, UGA

            %. By combining the lists:
            Top 16 on both lists (11): Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Duke, MI, NW, IL, GT, WI, UNC, USC
            Top 16 on 1, NiL on the other (5): UW, UT, PSU, Vandy, ND
            2 NiL: OSU, PU, UMD, UF
            1 Top 16: MN, Pitt, UVA, WF, BC
            1 NiL: MSU, RU, CO, Miami, Clemson, SU, UGA

            Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Despite being from NY I always disliked the Times and among the reasons were a diminished amount of sports coverage. It was ballet over Yankees. So what they say about sports should be taken with a grain of salt. The conclusion that the Big 10 took Rutgers ( which is hardly the worst College Program in America), because of AAU is not true, it’s the New York Television Market. Rutgers is within that footprint and The Huskies are not it’s that simple. Look at The new Fox Contract and BTN with Cablevision, and you see why Rutgers was the better option.

        In the modern expansion era, every school the Big Ten accepted — or, to the best of our knowledge, even considered — was in the AAU at the time, except for Notre Dame. UConn is no Notre Dame.

        I think it’s pretty clear that any non-AAU school would face an enormous, and possibly insurmountable, hurdle to get into the Big Ten, unless that school was an absolute home run in every other way, as ND is, and UConn is not.

        In that sense, I don’t find the article inaccurate at all.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Jersey Bernie,

      “The New York Times on UConn’s problems”

      It’s unfortunate that a NYT writer didn’t do more research since he’s writing about the NYC media market. His own paper published Nate Silver’s piece a few years ago estimating the number of fans of various schools in NYC, with RU over 600k and UConn at 150k. UConn likes to claim they bring the NYC market but I’ve never seen any evidence to support that. Then add in RU ties in Philadelphia which work well with all the PSU fans in the area. Plus NJ is a much more populous state (important for the BTN). On top of all that is RU being AAU while UConn isn’t. The only advantage UConn has is the quality of the athletics programs but they aren’t good enough in football for that to matter.

      To me the article smacked of UConn feeling entitled to be in the P5 despite not doing anything to earn it outside of basketball.

      “And a column from the Hartford Courant”

      This was even more about UConn entitlement.

      This is a columnist’s mission statement as much as a New Year’s resolution: Document exactly why the University of Connecticut has not gained membership in one of the Power Five conferences. Determine exactly what it would take to gain membership in one of the Power Five conferences.

      And those who have kept UConn out? The hard questions will be in the email.

      A state university that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in athletics and has won four national titles in the two major sports since 1999 — Florida with two in football and two in basketball is the only other — should not be looking in from the outside. No way.

      Why mention the two major sports when you’ve done nothing but stink in the one of them that actually matters for expansion?

      It’s a university, not just a sports program. Improve the school and you’d be more attractive to P5 conferences. Improve the football program and you’d be more attractive. Move from the middle of nowhere Connecticut to a larger market and you’d be more attractive. Don’t be hated by several members of a P5 conference because you sued them over sour grapes when they joined the P5 and you’d be more attractive. Have more fans and you’d be more attractive. All of this is obvious stuff. Then you need a conference to have an opening that needs filling since UConn will never be a #15.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well if UConn had bitten the bullet and moved up in 1991 to the Big East, they might be in a P5. But they have been in the top level of football only a dozen years, and that was mostly by classification only, not by performance.

        Like

  56. Mike says:

    Idaho to FCS. Not surprising, but I thought they would hold out longer.

    http://footballscoop.com/news/source-idaho-to-drop-to-fcs/

    Like

  57. Richard says:

    As I stated above, I think the B10 will endeavor to get ESPN to take half the non-Fox side of the TV package for $125M. So 12.5 football games and 25 basketball games, but they may be able to entice ESPN with the first pick of football games in that half and the CCG half the time. So each week, essentially, ESPN would have first or second pick of the B10 football games. I had originally said CBS with first pick of basketball games in the non-Fox half for $25M, but I’m going to amend that up to $50M.

    Which means that there would be 13 second-tier football games that the B10 would try to get for $75M.
    CBS _may_ spring for that, but once they have ESPN signed on, the B10 may be willing to farm that out to the highest bidder.

    What you could see happen is
    1. Fox getting to pick the primetime games before the season starts (6 on Fox, 6 on FS1, no more than 4 appearances by any one team).
    2. ESPN getting the top pick of the day games each week to be shown in the afternoon.
    3. CBS and Fox splitting up the 3rd and 4th picks every week with CBS showing their B10 game before their SEC game in the .morning.

    UMich-OSU special, excluded from all this, and split between Fox, ABC, and CBS somehow.

    Like

    • cutter says:

      You’re looking at three different network entities vying for top games to put in the evening prime time broadcast or in an important afternoon slot from the Big Ten. The conference will have to be very schedule conscious in order to “feed the beast” with three or four major conference football games each week in order to do it.

      I suppose it’s possible seeing that the B1G is going to a nine-game conference schedule and that we’ll start seeing parity based inter-division scheduling. Adding a couple of programs like Oklahoma or Florida State (or Notre Dame) wouldn’t hurt either. An Oklahoma-Ohio State or Penn State-Florida State (or Michigan-Notre Dame) game on the conference schedule would sure help. 🙂

      Like

    • David Brown says:

      The problem with this is are two fold. 1: Fox wants to show other games ( other then Big 10( USC playing UCLA, Oregon, ASU, Stanford and Notre Dame ( home) comes to mind). 2: Not all Big 10 teams like late games. Penn State ( I suspect that at least 7 games are 3:30 or later starts in 2016), Rutgers, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska are teams that will play them. But you rarely see Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, Illnois play 3:30 or later games (especially at home):

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        For Purdue, Indiana and Illinois, that is as likely to be about demand to have them play in the 3:30pm slot as it is about their interest in playing it. It could be that only MSU is a direct read on the school’s reluctance to play them.

        Like

        • David Browne says:

          That may be true, but BTN can show Schools like Indiana or Purdue @3:30 or later if they would not object. Not to Mention Minnesota Football generally IS on BTN and which DOES play later games and is not exactly Ohio State either. In addition, Penn State has not been great the past several years, but I notice they and Mississippi State seem to end up on ESPN 2 one right after the other at least a couple of times a year. I can tell you Beaver Stadium ( at State College, PA) is no bargain getting out of at Night after dark ( especially late in the Season when bad weather occurs and if there are 100,000 or more people at the game). But Penn State still plays more Home Games @ 3:30 ( or later) then early kickoffs. Generally speaking they play Ohio State ( or Michigan) as a White Out ( Night Game ) @ home, I believe Temple will be a Night Game ( Stripe Out ( this is new but will be an Annual Event ( like next year when Pitt comes to State College)), Rutgers ( I suspect BTN like two years ago) and Michigan ( this year) will likely be Road Night Games. I am interested to see the Schedule when it comes out.

          Like

          • It always bemused me how much Ohio State and Michigan fans seem to prefer to earlier start times. As a fan in the Central Time Zone, I absolutely hate the 11 am CT start times when you’re actually attending games. It was definitely brutal waking up for those games in college when I was invariably always up late on Friday night. For me, 2:30 pm CT is the perfect start time for a game (both in person and as a TV viewer). As David Brown noted, the BTN actually provides some much needed flexibility on that front where schools like Illinois can play later even if they’re not on ABC.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “It always bemused me how much Ohio State and Michigan fans seem to prefer to earlier start times.”

            1. How many times have you tried getting home from a 100,000+ seat stadium in a major city after a game ends at/near midnight (picture 2 Bears games letting out at once)? It’s just as bad when it let’s out at 7:30 since every restaurant is already busy and there is more traffic out and about. The night games mean a higher percentage of drunk drivers, the late afternoon game mean s more traffic and inconvenience.

            2. Football is meant to be played under the sun.

            “As a fan in the Central Time Zone, I absolutely hate the 11 am CT start times when you’re actually attending games. It was definitely brutal waking up for those games in college when I was invariably always up late on Friday night.”

            I never had a problem getting up for a noon game and I worked Friday nights until well after midnight. You don’t see OSU or MI fans asking for pre-noon starts, though. I could see where 11am would stink.

            “For me, 2:30 pm CT is the perfect start time for a game (both in person and as a TV viewer).”

            The old days had it just right with games generally starting at 1:30pm. Even in November the sun was still up when the game ended but sleeping in wasn’t a problem either.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            11AM games suck for those of us in the Central time zone. They are great for TV because the games start early and not much waiting around but attending and leaving the house at 6 or 7AM to travel 2-3 hours and get some tailgating in really blows.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Kevin,

            “11AM games suck for those of us in the Central time zone.”

            Move to a better time zone? Like I said, I can see where morning starts would be hard but noon is a good thing. You can get home in time for prime time games.

            “They are great for TV because the games start early and not much waiting around but attending and leaving the house at 6 or 7AM to travel 2-3 hours and get some tailgating in really blows.”

            You could always get a motel room closer to the stadium. Or don’t tailgate. I’ve never been big on tailgating as a necessary part of watching a game. I do more of it when watching games at a friend’s house than when I go to actual games. There are too many better things to do when you’re at the game (tour campus, pre-game activities, etc). I can drink and eat any day.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Faculty groups always do this and are almost universally ignored.

      Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Mike. At Rutgers, there is a Group of 1000, under the leadership of an Econ Prof named Killingsworth, still thinks RU should eliminate football, even being in the B1G. They just hate athletics, particularly football

      Like

  58. Brian says:

    http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/4/27/11517760/nfl-draft-worst-ncaa-football-teams

    Another look at who produces the best and worst 1st round picks, based on data since 1990 for P5 schools with at least 12 1st round picks. Only 25 schools had that many picks. The data for the all P5 schools is included at the bottom (ISU hasn’t had a 1st rounder since the 70s).

    Worst:
    1. NE
    2. CO
    3. PSU
    4. WI
    5. TAMU
    6t. MI

    Best:
    1. OU
    2. AU
    3. Miam
    4. Cal
    5. BC
    8. OSU

    Like

  59. ccrider55 says:

    “Idaho’s fate seems to have been sealed when NCAA legislation passed allowing schools to stage championship games with only 10 teams.”

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/ncaaf/writer/dennis-dodd/25568947/idaho-will-become-first-team-to-drop-from-fbs-to-fcs-in-2018

    Imagine the possibilities if the “how ever you want” CCG deregulation had been adopted.

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      Idaho was not the first School to leave Division One Football (University Of Chicago anyone?), nor will they be the last. I do think the discrepancy between the Elite schools ( Power 5 as well as Notre Dame, BYU ( and Big East basketball)), the Middle two ( AAC and Mountain West), and the bottom feeders will increase ( check out the new Conference USA TV Contract). Although there will be a few Schools that potentially can move up to a higher level ( Rice to the Mountain West comes to mind, because they offer great Academics the Houston Market and good baseball). However, if I am a School like North Texas, UMass or Mew Mexico State maybe it does make sense to drop down or give up football if I have no chance ( or hope) to compete?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I heard someone today making the argument that more schools like that should try being an independent. Play anyone anywhere like FSU and USM and others used to do. Rake in several large paychecks for losing at a big boy and cut the financial losses for your program.

        Like

        • TOM says:

          FSU won far more often than not in the glory days of the “anyone, anywhere” indy era under Bowden. The problem in this era…if you start getting good…the big boys won’t schedule you or bring you into their conference!

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, but they started out as a terrible program. They were 3-8 the year before Bowden was hired and 1-21 combined in the 2 years before that. Before that they were a 6 win sort of team, but nothing special.

            The other thing to remember is that FSU used to only have 5 home games. Then it became 6 as they started winning more.

            You are 100% correct that a lot of teams duck quality OOC games, but the CFP and mandatory P5 OOC games are changing that. A quality independent that gets counted as a P5 equivalent (like BYU) can get a lot of games now.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Imagine the possibilities if the “how ever you want” CCG deregulation had been adopted.

      You mean, if there were a free market—the way every other industry works? That would be horrible.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        The only industrys (coming imediately to my mind) that don’t operate within a regulated system is the illicit sex and drug trade. Let’s emulate them…

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Yes, it’s true that most industries are regulated in some sense. But usually, the reason for regulation is not the reason you gave, i.e., to keep afloat a marginal participant in an “industry” (FBS football) that has 125-odd other participants.

          It sucks to be you, if you’re an Idaho fan who loved seeing your beloved Vandals in FBS. But preserving Idaho as a viable FBS program is not why the regulation existed, or should exist.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Great empathy.
            And the B12 may not even hold a CCG.
            Sorry Idaho, and probably NMSU. You turn from asset to liability at the whim of the I want my cake and eat it too crowd, even when they only get part of the cake.
            Yeah, we were asked “what’s the harm?” Now it’s: “too bad, don’t care.”

            Like

          • z33k says:

            ccrider55

            I think everyone had more empathy in the 00s when everything TV-related seemed like it’d go upwards forever.

            I think we’re seeing reality set in as far as these things go…

            The only schools that are “safe” for the future are the Big Ten/SEC/Pac-12 schools + Texas/OU/ND/FSU/UNC/UVa along with possibly a handful of others (maybe KU/Ga Tech/Miami/Va Tech)…

            That’s around 46-50 schools give or take. Everyone else is at the mercy of TV/cable money and millennial viewing habits as media contracts evolve in the future.

            It’s a harsh view, but it’s the basic reality in terms of the future of live sports where actual eyeballs on games will become a requirement for high values unlike the past where bundles ensured all boats rose indefinitely.

            Also, none of us really knows what the future looks like? i.e. What does VR mean for live sports? Is the future people watching games with VR as if they’re there in the stands or on the ground?

            The only thing I’m certain of is that college sports are being “rationalized” by those outside forces in a way that shifts the money towards the “revenue producers” that bring in the eyeballs…

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Z33k:

            You may have missed the last couple years of disagreement between Marc’s laze faire attitude regarding regulation of CCGs and a concern that a regulation may serve more than one purpose. He said it (how a conference decides a champ) is nobody else’s business. The counter was they could always do that, but not in an extra exempt game without satisfying the requirements to allow it. It was relaxed to allow less than 12 team conferences, but kept RR and division champs meet req. (I think I’m being fair in this rehash…Marc?)

            The result? No CCG in B12 (yet). And no conference affiliation for Idaho or NMSU (they’ve been made redundant). A rule changed – no one instituted a game to take advantage, but two are losing conference affiliation directly because they’re no longer for that conferences CCG. These are a couple of the kind of unintended consequences Delany spoke of.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Okay those are fair points. And yes, admittedly I am a step out of this since I’m picking up from a couple years back.

            Like

  60. ccrider55 says:

    Satellite camp ban recended.

    http://amp.usatoday.com/story/83616450/

    People are making this a bit too dramatic. They effectively are enacting the intended result that would have already been had a couple reps voted as directed by their conferences three weeks ago.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Because it was overturned, the ACC has lifted their conference rule prohibiting their coaches from participating in satellite camps more than 50 miles from their campus. That leaves just the SEC with such a rule and I expect them to lift it soon as well.

      The good part is that the Board of Directors told the D-I Council to sit down and looking at all things recruiting before making new rules. This is exactly what the B10 and others had been advocating – a holistic approach to fixing recruiting rules.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2016/04/28/sec-allow-coaches-satellite-camps-greg-sankey-statement/83660154/

        And there it is. The SEC has lifted their ban on satellite camps.

        “While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts.

        “We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.

        Conveniently they forget to mention the weather advantage the current calendar gives them, let alone being closer to the recruits.

        Like

        • Tiger says:

          Sooooo, the ACC and SEC aren’t opposed to satellite camps now?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            They are, but they are even more opposed to letting everyone else have them but restricting their own coaches.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            They are [opposed to the camps], but they are even more opposed to letting everyone else have them but restricting their own coaches.

            It is entirely possible that once the SEC and ACC coaches start attending such camps, they’ll no longer be so eager to ban them.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “It is entirely possible that once the SEC and ACC coaches start attending such camps, they’ll no longer be so eager to ban them.”

            It’s possible, but I highly doubt it. It would be more of SEC coaches poaching from each other, so a lot more work for no net change really. The P5s the benefit are the schools outside of great recruiting areas, so mostly northern schools and/or schools in small states. That’s half of the B12, a few in the ACC, P12 and SEC plus most of the B10.

            Like

  61. ccrider55 says:

    And up in the NW corner of the US sports world, the Mariners return to local ownership.

    http://m.mariners.mlb.com/news/article/174893796/

    A $1.4B valuation for the franchise and properties.

    Like

  62. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/15420427/oakland-raiders-owner-mark-davis-says-wants-move-team-las-vegas

    Mark Davis wants to move the Raiders to Las Vegas in 3 years and is willing to spend $500M to help pay for the stadium. I think the NFL’s anti-gambling stance is softening a little since they are so interested in London that the hypocrisy is quite apparent. The NFL is clearly looking to move a team to London in the next decade so there is no good reason to bar Las Vegas from having a team.

    Like

  63. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/132634/first-round-or-not-b1gs-2016-class-of-qbs-still-historic

    It’s been 21 years since the B10 had a QB drafted in the first round. Will the streak continue? Probably. But this may be the best QB draft class the B10 has ever had with as many as 5 QBs getting drafted and several having the potential to be starters (Cook, Hackenberg, Jones?). The B10 record is 4 QBs drafted (only twice), but add in Sudfield and then a wildcard like Rudock and the B120 could hit 5.

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      I have been listening to some NFL draft guru’s on the Mike Francesa show on WFAN in NY. Boy did they have bad things to say about James Franklin at PSU, with regard to Hackenberg. They did not come out and say it, but they sure implied that Franklin may have cost Hackenberg millions by his misuse of the QB. The implication was that Hackenberg should have been a high first round choice, but will be a low first round in a best case and could slip as far as the third round.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yes, a lot of people look at what he did under O’Brien and think he would’ve improved from there with quality coaching. But he got moved into a bubble-screen offense with no OL and had no chance to showcase his skills. The question now is if he can be fixed by a good coach or if he’s shell-shocked and will never return to his earlier form.

        Like

  64. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/132628/what-b1g-players-could-be-first-round-nfl-selections-in-2017

    ESPN lists 7 potential first rounders from the B10 in the 2017 draft (2 OSU, 2 MI, 1 each from MSU, IN, IA).

    Like

  65. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/15412486/does-college-football-need-commissioner

    Does CFB need a commissioner? ESPN presents both sides as well as some potential candidates, but I don’t see anyway you could ever have one. The opportunity for bias and endless accusations of bias would make it an impossible job.

    Like

    • z33k says:

      Given the conference commissioners, I find it difficult to believe that another layer of bureaucracy would be introduced, especially one that would only fractionally represent each conference. Giving anyone that kind of power is asking for problems in college sports especially when the conferences themselves are competitors on many major issues (such as the camp ban).

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Commisioners are employees of the chancellors and presidents. That’s where the power is, and who would need to decide on a new governance structure.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think the problem is that they gave themselves autonomy but haven’t really put together the system to make that work effectively. I think they need some permanent staff to do research and present information to the relevant people in the conferences on various issues so they can make informed, intelligent votes. Players, coaches, ADs, and faculty reps all need to give input to avoid mistakes like the satellite camp ban. Take the time to do things right but don’t wait for next year’s annual meeting to have every discussion. They should spend at least as much time as the CFP committee does on the playoff each week.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          They already have a “playoff commissioner” and he’s a joke. He makes politicians look like they live in a spin free zone and are paragons of honesty.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            ???

            You expected all roses and lilacs from a beauty contest system overlayed with an image of competition based selection?

            Like

  66. greg says:

    Brett McMurphy tweets supposed BTN night games.

    Brett McMurphy ‏@McMurphyESPN 6 hours ago

    @BigTenNetwork primetime: 9-1 Oregon St at Minnesota; 9-3 Fresno St at Nebraska; 9-10 UNC at Illinois, ISU at Iowa; 9-17 Duke at N’western

    Like

  67. Brian says:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/its-hard-to-tell-how-good-nfl-teams-are-at-the-draft/

    538 examines how good the NFL is at drafting and concludes that it’s hard to tell.

    Like

  68. ccrider55 says:

    In a piece where Wilner (not so) subtly takes shots at Larry Scott and tries to give a bit of hope to those who’d like him gone, he does a good job of explaining why it just won’t happen because a group (fans, or even within the schools ath depts) want it. In so doing he explains why what seems to fans an obvious move (OU or FSU) is anything but to the only ones that matter.

    “Now, when it comes to understanding what happens on the front lines of collegiate athletics – on the fields of play, on the recruit trails, at booster events and at infinite points of fan engagement — there are three types of chancellors/presidents

    Those who know nothing.
    Those who know almost nothing.
    Those who don’t care.
    After all, the CEOs are running billion-dollar universities, of which athletics is but one facet. The core group of CEOs responsible for hiring Scott saw that the league was $3 billion richer and turned to other matters.”

    Like

    • z33k says:

      While that is certainly true, there are also ADs whose business it is to follow those kinds of developments closely as well as the college commisioner himself.

      I understand the “think like a college president” is the most important part of the “will a conference expand? question”, but I think that’s a far later step in the game (i.e. closer to when the invites are handed out than when the conference starts looking at expansion).

      For example, if the Big Ten is looking at expansion (I’m talking in a modern sense like Maryland/Rutgers, not the haphazard Penn State addition which was chaotic in the past), to me that starts first with Delany surveying the landscape with Silverman and looking at where TV money is going as well as the structure of media markets generally.

      Then they bring that to the presidents and ADs but I think a large part of the basis for expansion is driven by the commissioners themselves looking at the landscape. That doesn’t mean they have total control over the process, but at least in the “setting up the expansion process” phase of discussions I believe they pretty much direct that in the modern day (Nebraska/Maryland/Rutgers additions).

      These things take a while though to develop; a full expansion process probably takes around 4-5 full years to occur from the conference looking, doing its diligence, poking around at who’s available, etc.

      As in all things, Delany is a media-savvy guy (as obviously is Silverman), I think they both are following developments in media/TV very closely; every development with Disney/ESPN’s prospects etc.

      It isn’t lost on media people that cable markets are being shunned (in terms of network value to media companies); that’s why we’re seeing so many media companies looking at alternate routes (i.e. Comcast plowing money into its theme parks, looking at Dreamworks, Verizon looking at ways to become a digital media/ad company with AOL and possibly Yahoo, etc.).

      Just look at the prospects of Viacom versus its brother CBS; Viacom (with all its cable properties) is struggling mightily whereas CBS has been much stronger over the past 5 years.

      Now, that’s the broader landscape of media generally, how it impacts conferences and sports TV contracts is obviously what Delany/Silverman et al. will follow extremely closely.

      This 6 year contract that the Big Ten is looking at means that the Big Ten has to immediately start looking at the next one (which will again be signed around 2022); that means the Big Ten is paying especially close attention to that side of the equation.

      Look at the ACC as well, while Wilner points out that the Pac-12 could just “set it and forget it” with their media deal (as could the SEC with its deal going into the 2030s); the ACC has this giant questionmark about whether it will create an ACC Network with ESPN that has been an ongoing issue/debate.

      Some of the ACC beat writers have been focused relentless on that question when they talk to AD and other conference officials.

      Yes, this doesn’t quite reach the level of presidents who have far more important concerns than the $50-200m AD at most of these institutions which are multi-billion dollar enterprises, but there are definitely people that are focused on it closely.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “…if the Big Ten is looking at expansion (I’m talking in a modern sense like Maryland/Rutgers…”

        When the PSU add was being explored (poorly handled, but not haphazardly selected) Rutgers was high on the list of requirements the CEO’s had set, and remained high through decades.

        Diligence and poking around is an ongoing, never ending affair. What I’m saying is the ADs and commish do the work within/following the guidance/parameters of the CEOs. The ADs may be informed, or they may not be, or they may be set up to be disinformation sources. The commish answers only to the cop/c.

        Like

        • z33k says:

          Sure, that’s why when I think about expansion, I think about what the odds of expansion are in any given year.

          Until the 2020s, expansion is unlikely (because of GORs, TV contracts, etc.); but once we get to around 2021-2024; the probability will start to rise dramatically.

          It’s all a question of where Delany (if he’s still in charge for one last expansion/TV contract), Silverman, the presidents, see things going.

          If they look out on the TV/media landscape and see a potential for long-term erosion in the Big Ten’s position (whether due to demographics, cable/cord cutting, millennial TV habits, replacement revenue sources (for declining subs not appearing as fast), technological changes), then they’ll have to determine whether expansion is worth considering and whether anyone’s available that fits the bill.

          That’s the point at which the Big Ten presidents really enter the discussion, if Delany thinks something needs to be done to secure the next 100 years for the Big Ten…

          Admittedly, the next Maryland/Rutgers combo is UVa/UNC but those are unlikely to happen as 15-16 unless FSU bolts first and causes severe stress in the valuation of the ACC’s TV rights.

          At that point, Delany has to go to the presidents to ask them what they’re looking for; if they want to consider 18-20 team models or not (i.e. take 2 more as preparation for another 2-4 or whether 16 is final for that round); whether FSU or OU is worth looking at for #15 (this is where the AAU discussion will happen, whether it’s enough for one of those with multiple AAU to be satisfactory, etc.).

          That’s really when things get interesting I suppose.

          Still, I’d put the odds of expansion fairly low until the 2020s; the odds probably rise to around 30-35% at that point (again there’s no obvious expansion so I don’t think it’s more likely than not, but I do think there are some weaknesses in the Big Ten’s long-term position that possibly still need addressing – admittedly though those are only solved by taking 2+ teams in the Southeast or Texas, so that’s something else to consider).

          I understand why Wilner writes his points, but that’s really a shallow way of looking at it (in my opinion).

          When you dig deeper at the changes in media that are ongoing and you look at contract timing etc., you can find some “clarity” that lead you to certain scenarios that lead to plausible expansion episodes.

          Obviously, 95+% of fans don’t do that, but I don’t think most of the regulars fall into that case. Most of us watch the metrics carefully (money, contracts, media landscape numbers, motivations, etc.). Most fans just think “oh it’d be cool to have X in the conference because they’re good at football or X is a big name” or whatever. Wilner’s basically addressing a strawman in some sense because we all know that expansion typically occurs in specific windows (years when the tectonic plates of college sports are shifting).

          Like

          • z33k says:

            One final thing:

            I think two of the biggest factors that we haven’t quite seen yet but will be revealed this year are 1) what happens with the ACC Network (and the corresponding agreements between the ACC and ESPN regarding that) as well as 2) the specific $ amounts on the Big Ten contracts going through 2023.

            Once we know those, I think we’ll know whether expansion/realignment are more likely than not. If the ACC Network doesn’t happen and ESPN really can’t come with a way to adequately compensate the ACC schools along with a Big Ten contract around $425-450m average; I think I would feel comfortable favoring at least even odds of expansion in the 2020s for the Big Ten (and probably SEC as well).

            Like

    • Brian says:

      ccrider55,

      “In a piece where Wilner (not so) subtly takes shots at Larry Scott and tries to give a bit of hope to those who’d like him gone, he does a good job of explaining why it just won’t happen because a group (fans, or even within the schools ath depts) want it. In so doing he explains why what seems to fans an obvious move (OU or FSU) is anything but to the only ones that matter.”

      Link: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2016/04/28/pac-12-larry-scotts-future-guerrero-incident-changing-dynamics-ceos/

      Okay, now let’s move to bigger topics and issues – namely, the state of the conference under Scott’s leadership.

      If you’re looking for the Hotline to call for Scott’s head, this will disappoint. The goal, as always in this space, is to inform the public discourse with context and measured praise and/or criticism.

      And if you’re frustrated with the state of the Pac-12 Networks … if you’re irate over the lack of a deal with DirecTV … if you’re perplexed by the focus on China … if you’re aghast at the comments about Guerrero … and if you’re wondering when the Pac-12 will announce that Scott is being replaced as commissioner — well, you’ll be waiting a long, long time.

      It doesn’t work that way. Short of a major legal or ethical breach, conferences don’t cast aside commissioners. Even if Scott’s job were in immediate jeopardy, which it’s not, the situation would be handled in a graceful, subtle manner. (More on that in a few minutes.)

      Then came your quote.

      Then
      But here’s the thing: The athletic directors – there aren’t dummies.

      Many of them are super sharp, have deep institutional knowledge and understand what’s happening on the front lines.

      As Scott, who had no background in college sports, continued to run the conference like a pro league and deal directly with the CEOs for approval when needed … as the Pac-12 Networks flagged … as the backlash mounted against night football games … as the conference cast a perplexing eye toward Asia … as other conference caught up and surpassed the Pac-12 in media revenue … as all that unfolded, the frustration on the front lines, with fans and athletic department personnel across the campuses, mounted.

      If those were the only issues, the dynamic deep within the league might remain as it was – wholly unchanged from the early days of Scott’s rubber-stamping tenure.

      But something else has changed, folks: The CEOs have changed.

      Of the 10 who hired Scott, only three remain.

      Many of the other CEOs, multiple sources said, are either reasonably happy with the state of the league, or indifferent. The Tier 1 money is flowing, the conference has its own media company, and the reports from Scott indicate all is well.

      But while the group isn’t clamoring for immediate change, there’s a trace of skepticism in some of the halls of power.

      The CEOs appointed in the past few years – and that’s seven of them, including the two yet to begin their appointments – are not tied to Scott as their predecessors were.

      They have come on board at a time of growing frustration with the Pac-12 Networks and the number of night games, and they are made aware of the issues by athletic department personnel that itself is frustrated and deals weekly with frustrated fans and donors.

      The pivot point, in my estimation, came in early September, when Scott was furiously attempting to cut a deal for Pac-12 Networks carriage on DirecTV. The window he had waited for – AT&T’s purchase of the satellite carrier — had seemingly created an opportunity to jump-start the negotiations and reach an agreement. Scott cut the best deal he could and took it to the CEOs …

      And it was rejected by an 11-0 vote, with one abstention (Washington State).

      The article goes on to say that Scott isn’t a college sports lifer so if hasn’t already started to look around for his next job, expect him to do so soon. He only has 2 years left on his current contract.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Wilner seemed to have a sudden falling out with the Pac offices and Scott around the time he was giving solid assurances of OU/OkSU going to the Pac…and then that imploded.
        The Gurrero thing is a drum beat for him. Scott answered a question about the PAC voting no on satellite camps. If he doesn’t answer, or is obscure, is Wilner likely to be happy? No. He’s just driving emotion to elicit readers, and would harp on lack of response, and lay responsibility for the unauthorized vote on him.
        He lays out the reasons Scott is secure, and then suggests he isn’t. How on earth is the reach to China and Asia a problem that needs to slow/stop? An additional couple hundred international students (who less than 25% receive US based scholarships) per school is worth considerably more than the hoped for DTV deal. Add that every year and how’s that pencil out? Where do the CEO’s concerns lie?

        I was just using Wilner’s description of how CEO’s take fan concerns over their employee’s performance into account (they don’t) and transposing that to their taking fan concerns over expansion (or not) into account (again, they don’t).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          ccrider55,

          “He lays out the reasons Scott is secure, and then suggests he isn’t.”

          Well, I think he’d argue that he explained why Scott wouldn’t get fired but pointed out reasons why he might not get a raise (and thus would be likely to go elsewhere). He also pointed out that Scott probably isn’t a Delany or Slive who wants to be commissioner in college his whole career.

          “How on earth is the reach to China and Asia a problem that needs to slow/stop? An additional couple hundred international students (who less than 25% receive US based scholarships) per school is worth considerably more than the hoped for DTV deal. Add that every year and how’s that pencil out? Where do the CEO’s concerns lie?”

          My guess is Wilner is just presenting the concerns he’s hears from fans all the time. Maybe the fans feel like the China push is distracting Scott from bigger issues at home.

          “I was just using Wilner’s description of how CEO’s take fan concerns over their employee’s performance into account (they don’t) and transposing that to their taking fan concerns over expansion (or not) into account (again, they don’t).”

          I know. I just used your comment as a starting point to post the link and then looked at the rest of the article. Those of us not in the west don’t realize how upset the P12 fans are about their various TV issues.

          Like

          • z33k says:

            Something similar is going on in the ACC (not to the extent of the Pac-12 fan issues but close); Va Tech’s AD had to respond to a set of posts misinterpreting a private speech he gave recently:

            http://www.dailypress.com/sports/teel-blog/dp-teel-time-babcock-acc-channel-clarity-post.html

            Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            From your first link:
            “I said that I hoped we would have some kind of clarity, one way or the other, by the end of the calendar year,” Babcock told me Tuesday evening via phone, “and we’d likely get an update at our meetings in May. That was it. I’m quite sure that’s what I said. I’m always very careful about what I say on the (subject).”

            From the second:
            Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider earlier this week the ACC is paying close attention to what is happening with the other Power 5 Conferences and there is a sense of urgency by the conference going forward in terms of where it is in its discussions with ESPN and a possible plan to start an ACC Network.

            It’s like it would kill everyone in the ACC to give honest and open answers about the ACCN. Do they have a deadline to make some sort of decision? If so, when is it? If not, why not?

            Then some relevant Q&A:

            Does the ACC worry about falling behind the Big Ten or the SEC in rights fees because it has not started its own network, yet?

            Radakovich: “We do. There is no question. That is why the urgency of moving forward with this network is top of (our) mind each and every day.

            “The ACC has had its best two years in competitive national rankings than it has had in a lot of years. Football, basketball … There are some really good things going on in this league. The real question is, without some additional revenue, can we sustain it. That’s where the urgency is.

            “Do we have to be where the Big Ten is? I don’t know if we will ever get there. If that is an aspiration, then it could be an aspiration that we chase forever. Do we need to get to where the SEC is? They have been ahead of us right now. How do we get in the game? That is what we need to be able to do as a league is get in the game and that is what this network will allow us to do.

            “It’s clear they’re bringing in more revenue than we are and we have to be able to help mitigate that at some point and time, and the network is a way to do that.”

            Interesting to see him view the B10’s revenue as a potentially unattainable goal. It’s also important that they’;re wondering if they can stay competitive without catching up somewhat in revenue.

            Does ESPN have a deadline when it comes to creating an ACC Network?

            “I hope at (the spring meetings) we get a really good update from the league as to where we are. I know there is a lot of work going on within the league office and our consultant is actually handling the negotiations. I know with Commissioner Swofford that is the first thing he thinks about every time he walks into the office.

            “What we have to understand is if we get a network, this is not only revenue coming to the Atlantic Coast Conference, but is also a revenue producer for (ESPN). So as they look to expand their opportunities of revenue, this is a pretty good way to do it. We have a lot impetus on both sides to be able to get this done.

            “I think the one reason why it has been kind of pushed back a little bit, and I think you guys have heard this before is the distribution channels and the ability for ESPN to get on the Comcast, the Time Warner and the DirecTV. Those are really done during their contract negotiation periods or renewals with those cable providers and those start to happen in 2018, ‘19 and ‘20.

            That sounds like excuses for several more years of delay. ESPN must love that the ACC is buying that.

            With the changing landscape in television and the different ways people watch television now, how have those things slowed down the process of getting an ACC Network?

            Radakovich: “Our partner is ESPN. They own our rights through 2026-’27 in our current agreement. They are a really good partner to have because, ….

            “I will put my bet on the really smart people on ESPN to understand how to monetize live sports television because it is not a weekly serial sitcom or something else that it is easily DVR and watched at another point in time or movie. Live sports are really a unique situation as it relates to television. They are at the forefront of owning rights and being able to create those types of monetization of those rights.

            “How are we going to gather it in five years? I have no idea. But will it be paid for? Probably, in some way shape or form.

            “It goes a little beyond the cord cutting. You can cut the cord, but you better have some type of line that brings the information to you. Even in your own house with WiFi, you have to able to have something to bring that in. Then the idea of paying for that particular bundle of service, it moves away from your cable operator and into another way to consume that information.

            “We are putting our dollars on the ESPN horse in this race, knowing they have motivation to go out and monetize this right they have already purchased.”

            And that’s what most of us have been saying. People may cut the cord but sports will still be paid for somehow. Maybe ESPN starts costing $25/month in a streaming world a la carte, less if you bundle in some other Disney channels, but they’ll find a way to get paid.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Regarding … “We are putting our dollars on the ESPN horse in this race, knowing they have motivation to go out and monetize this right they have already purchased.”

            There is never a guarantee that the incumbent dominant oligopolist will hold that spot after a major technological / institutional shift. However, they are still the most likely to … because when it is not the incumbent, who it actually ends up being normally being a surprise.

            Even if it were only 40% likely that ESPN will end up being the best monetizer (sic) of sports programming after the shift has settled out, they are still likely to be the best bet, because the other 60% contains a bunch of obvious picks at even worse odds … and the surprise.

            Except when it’s “the surprise”, we at best find out in the midst of their meteoric rise, and most often find out after the fact what were the markers for their success.

            While it’s a shot in the dark, my gut feeling is that ESPN is not merely “the shortest odds available,” but is better than a 50:50 shot to end up on the other side of the transition as still the dominant sports programming monetizer in the business.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      He is only talking about Pac 12 CEOs. Big 12 and SEC usually know.

      Like

    • z33k says:

      I didn’t even realize Sun Belt was at $100k, and yes the Group of 5 numbers are a stark reminder of just how stratified D1 sports are nowadays.

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      A quick back of the envelope calculation shows that if we make up a $500k shortfall per year from the endowment we could possibly run out of money in 11,000 years.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Or interest rates will rise a half point and Rice will be flush forever. First world problems.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        From your article:

        “Televised college sports revenue is largely sucked up the Power 5 leagues. In the case of the ACC, the league paid enormous sums in TV rights fees to both Virginia Tech ($19.3 million) and Virginia ($15.4 million) in 2014-2015.

        The so-called Group of Five mid-major conferences make far less. The American Athletic Conference pays about $2 million per school in TV revenue and the Mountain West about $1.64 million. The Mid-American Conference, which pays about $670,000 per school, could move ahead of Conference USA. The Sun Belt Conference receives about $100,000 per school, although that payout will increase with Idaho and New Mexico State leaving the league in 2017.”

        Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          Bringing us back to the question of how football teams like U Cincinnati and U Conn can survive over the intermediate period. Last year at least, the AAC was clearly the best G5 conference. I guess that several AAC schools will hold on and hope for a P5 lifeline.

          Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          For the CUSA, those left behind as the Old Big East morphed into Turbo-CUSA got a downgrade, those replaced from the Sunbelt as CUSA morphed into the Turbo-Sunbelt got a smaller pay increase than they expected when they moved up, and those left behind in the old Sunbelt are basically treading water.

          And of course all FCS call-ups are reminding themselves that all of this talk of G5 “TV money” is ingnoring the CFP money, which exaggerates most of the disproportionality between the TV money that the G5 conferences receive. If (AFAIU) each conferences gets $1m/school capped at $10m (used to be capped at $12m, but they put more money into the third tier), that would put the AAC at about $2.9m/school, the MWC at about $2.5m/school, the MAC at about $1.5m/school, CUSA at about $1.2m/school and the SBC at $1.1m/school.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      And thus why G5 teams play paycheck games.. It’s a sad reality but casual fans only watch big names, so that’s who TV pays.

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        Brian, you nailed it when a G5 team can make more in one paycheck game than they earn from TV for the season. Ouch.

        Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          But with moves by the P5 conferences to increase the number of conference games within the framework of the 12 game regular season schedule, the number of available “paycheck” games will decrease?

          G5s holding on only works if the P5 remains a 5 conference operation. With P4s at 20 each, maybe there’s a chance for the wheat of the AAC and MWC to push through. I think its more likely you see a P4 at 16 with some unfortunate drops. Thats why I think on the basketball side, the Big East is better off not expanding until they gauge whether or not its possible Wake, Syracuse and Boston College through in the towel on FBS football (not dropping but maybe going into FCS ala Georgetown, Villanova, and St Johns).

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            The drop in the number of G5 guarantee games by the Big Ten in going to a 9 game conference schedule is quite small. In part, that is because at the same time the Big Ten AD’s agreed to stop scheduling FCS games, which a majority of the Big Ten had been scheduling on a regular basis. In part, that is because the 9 game conference schedule leaves much less leeway to sign 2-1’s and 3-1’s with G5 schools, and so converts some previous Home and Away contracts (many unbalanced) into additional demand for G5 guarantee games. For instance, the MSU initiative to schedule 3-1’s with each of the Michigan directionals in the MAC is now no longer likely to be repeated for a second round.

            Like

  69. ccrider55 says:

    Todd McShay’s concern is Tunsil learning not to throw coach under bus? No concern over coaches paying players? Oh yeah, ESecPN network protection.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      To be fair, McShay views it from the NFL point of view where players get paid. Only college fans see this as a big deal, and many of them are misguided enough to think it isn’t a big deal (or even not a problem at all).

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Apparently the NFL or ESPN handlers thought enough of it to cut Tunsil’s question session and hustle him off the platform.

        To be fair, McShay (and all of us) were caught by surprise and simply didn’t know how he should address it in a NFL draft show/forum. Even a friends jr high FB playing son recognized that was something really unusual.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          ccrider55,

          “Apparently the NFL or ESPN handlers thought enough of it to cut Tunsil’s question session and hustle him off the platform.”

          Of course they don’t want to have negativity during draft coverage.

          “To be fair, McShay (and all of us) were caught by surprise and simply didn’t know how he should address it in a NFL draft show/forum. Even a friends jr high FB playing son recognized that was something really unusual.”

          Yes, and you’re right that ESPN is falling all over themselves to protect Tunsil. I found 3 links on their home page about Tunsil. Two are news stories that don’t bother to question any of Tunsil’s claims (how old the video was, that both of his accounts were hacked). The third literally calls for people to root for Tunsil because he was treated so badly.

          http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/15425255/root-laremy-tunsil-miami-dolphins-handled-bong-video-twitter-instagram-grown-nfl-draft-2016

          Tab title – Root for Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss
          Headline – Laremy Tunsil didn’t deserve draft-night humiliation

          And let’s remember, Tunsil only dropped to #13 and the modern NFL has contract slotting with restricted pay for rookie contracts. Last year an OT also went at #13. He got $11.4M guaranteed over 4 years with $6.55M as a signing bonus. This year the top tackle went at #6 and the Ravens claimed they had their guy rated higher then Tunsil coming in so the leaks didn’t matter. The only other OT went at #8. Last year’s #8 got $14.5M over 4 years with $8.8M in signing bonus. So yes Tunsil probably lost a little money last night, but the teams knew about the underlying issues before so maybe that’s why 2 teams chose other OT’s first.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            And today the Dolphins claim that Tunsil had an “allergic reaction” so he can’t make the previously scheduled press conference to introduce their 1st round pick.

            Like

  70. Brian says:

    Draft notes:

    I feel bad for Myles Jack who dropped out of the 1st round over a knee injury that everyone says he should completely heal from. Several AL players dropped, but admitted cheater Tunsil only dropped a few places. Good to see character is still so important to the NCAA.

    1st Round by conference:
    SEC – 8
    B10 – 6
    ACC, P12 – 4
    B12 – 3
    Ind, AAC – 2
    CUSA, I-AA – 1

    Pretty good 1st round for the B10 and OSU.

    4 top 10 picks (3 for OSU – new school record)
    6 top 20 picks (5 for OSU – new school record)
    6 1st round picks (5 for OSU – ties school record)

    I’d hoped OSU could get 6 picks with either Bell or Thomas also going, but teams made other choices and they were both borderline 1st rounders. OSU should have a large number of guys drafted tomorrow as well (5+). Hopefully the rest of the B10 does well, too.

    Still no 1st round QB, though. Maybe next year, but I doubt it. OSU’s Barrett probably won’t leave early and isn’t a prototypical NFL QB anyway. MI, MSU, PSU and IN have new QBs. RU and UMD are rebuilding. In the West, many QBs return but I don’t see any potential 1st rounders (Beatherd? Lunt? Leidner? Armstrong?).

    Like

  71. TOM says:

    z33k posted this in a reply further up the chain… http://theclemsoninsider.com/2016/04/28/acc-network-picking-up-steam/

    It makes me wonder if ESPN and the ACC are up to something.

    Like

    • z33k says:

      There’s 2 alternatives for the ACC/ESPN:

      1) Attempt a full ACC Network (like the Big Ten Network/SEC Network) and hope to build it up to 40+ million subscribers at around a $0.20+ monthly rate…; but I don’t know how willing ESPN is to risk throwing that on top of how hard they’re fighting for every penny for their current cable lineup in their upcoming cable contract negotiations. An ACC Network like that could work (especially in states like NC, VA, SC, and perhaps FL) and might generate something like $3-4m per ACC school…

      As time goes on, I’m suspecting that ESPN has become extremely hesitant to attempt this given the current cable dynamics as well as cost cutting at ESPN.

      2) Attempt something like an “OTT Digital Network” (WWE and MLB are most well known for this)…; something like a subscription service for $7.99-$9.99 per month (or a $99 annual offering) for most of their events and hope to build it to something like several hundred thousand subscribers. Something like that could generate $2-3 million per school if it builds up over time. It’s probably less risky in the sense that there wouldn’t huge network overhead built in as in the case of the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12.

      Eventually, I expect to see separate OTT offerings to non-subscribers of the Big Ten/SEC/Pac-12, but that’s probably after we see cable cutting advance another few years at least. The ACC could be first in front to experiment with something like that though.

      Like

      • z33k says:

        Well there’s always a 3rd alternative: do nothing and just give the ACC schools a small bump in yearly TV money around $2 million per school, but I don’t think that’ll satisfy anyone in the ACC.

        Like

      • Kevin says:

        I have often thought that with all of the conference networks and the emergence of Fox is there really a reason to retain ESPNU? Could that channel be converted to the ACC network? Not sure ESPNU can justify its existence to broadcast MWC or MAC games. Over time I am struggling to believe ESPNU can survive.

        Like

        • z33k says:

          I’d imagine any attempt to materially change a network would trigger provisions for renegotiation of cable deals, so I’m not sure that’d be such a great thing, but it’s a distinct possibility.

          ESPN News is probably a more likely choice if something like that were to happen.

          But still, given what ESPN is dealing with in terms of its dramatically increased payouts (NFL, NBA, CFP, etc.) as well as cord cutting; I’m skeptical ESPN wants to take on the risk of an ACC Network at this time.

          http://awfulannouncing.com/2015/acc-network-launch-pushed-back-further-at-espns-request.html

          Even just 6 months ago, ESPN told Ga Tech’s president that they wanted a delay,

          ‘According to Georgia Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), ESPN — which has been in talks with the ACC to partner up on a conference network — asked to delay plans so that further preparations could be made.

          “(ESPN) had come back and said that in some of the other instances where (conference) networks have started, they lost considerable amounts of money in the first couple of years,” Peterson said at a quarterly board meeting for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. “What they’d like to do is delay the start for a couple years and do the necessary preparation.”’

          Nothing has changed for the positive for ESPN since then…

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Kevin,

          “I have often thought that with all of the conference networks and the emergence of Fox is there really a reason to retain ESPNU? Could that channel be converted to the ACC network? Not sure ESPNU can justify its existence to broadcast MWC or MAC games. Over time I am struggling to believe ESPNU can survive.”

          ESPN can’t fulfill all of its contractual obligations without ESPNU available to show games. They put G5 games and lesser sports on ESPNU all the time. ESPN would have to move those to a more expensive channel if ESPNU disappeared and there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to show all the games they have contracted to show if you remove a network from their roster.

          Like

      • TOM says:

        If I’m Swoffard and the ACC brass…I’m swinging for the fence. And the timing couldn’t be better (strategically, not financially) to get ESPN’s attention. It’s a long-shot for them perhaps….but they should fight for every possible elite expansion option to sweeten the TV deal pot. How bad would ESPN love to effectively lock down the entire south between the SEC and ACC?

        Like

        • z33k says:

          I’m sure ESPN would more easily be on board if it was 3-4 years ago.

          Right now though, ESPN is dealing with the combined effect of several billion dollars in higher outlays (NFL, NBA, CFP, etc.) as well as several billion dollars less in revenue (cord cutting) and all that goes with that (cost cutting, allowing talent to walk, low-balling the Big Ten).

          If ESPN’s low-balling of the Big Ten was what they really thought Big Ten rights are worth in an era of cost cutting, then I don’t think they would move forward easily on these things.

          Pledging a lot of resources to any new network is going to be a sore subject at ESPN when you consider the current downsizing at ESPN.

          Like

          • TOM says:

            Yep I get that. It’s why i mentioned that it may be strategically good timing…but NOT financially (which is usually more important). There is an increasingly clear line drawn in the sand between conferences and their TV partners…and the competition is coming after ESPN hard. Do they fight back or just keep cutting costs?

            Like

  72. Brian says:

    Via Frank’s tweets:

    http://www.uscho.com/2016/04/29/nchc-set-to-vote-on-adding-arizona-state-sources-say/

    Sources say the NCHC will vote on adding ASU hockey as their 9th member in early May. If not, then the WCHA is seen as their landing spot since the B10 said a few days ago it was not interested in adding ASU.

    So does the B10 stay at 7 members or do they seek #8? My guess is they stick to 7 for a while and see what happens while keeping their eyes out for a potential #8, preferably from inside the current membership.

    Like

    • z33k says:

      Well, Nebraska is the only reasonable #8 barring a $100 million windfall hitting another school for hockey specifically.

      They have the ice facilities (convertable main arena + potential practice ice arena), so it’s really just a matter of Title IX and making the scholarship endowment work ($20-25m would probably cover that).

      They’re the ones that are reasonable for an inside #8. I hope it happens inside if possible; not really sure anyone outside the Big Ten fits if Arizona State is not happening.

      Like

  73. Brian says:

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2016/04/the_big_ten_could_be_nearing_a.html

    A look at the B10’s potential Fox TV deal.

    Now let’s ask another question: What channel is FOX Sports 1 on? Oh, you don’t know? Don’t beat yourself up.

    Most people don’t really know the answer to that question off the top of their heads. And that may start being a problem for the Big Ten.

    Reports surfaced this week that the Big Ten could be on the verge of closing a $250 million dollar deal with FOX Sports for half of its broadcasting rights, according to the Sports Business Journal, which could jeopardize those noon Big Ten games on America’s favorite network. There’s still a chance that ESPN could bid for the second half of the remaining Big Ten rights, but, according to the SBJ, the network’s initial bid was not comparable to the one put forth by FOX.

    • The Ohio State impact: If ESPN eventually bids and retains the Big Ten deal, its biggest motivating factor will probably be to have Ohio State and Michigan games. Everyone wants to watch those teams, so it shouldn’t be particularly concerning from a recruiting standpoint if you’re a Buckeye fan.

    • If the game is big enough, you’ll find it: FOX, which owns roughly half of the Big Ten Network, has had the rights to the Big Ten Championship Game since the conference rolled one out a few years ago. Everyone found it because everyone wanted to watch it. But, if you’re anything like most people, you had to look up what channel it was on.

    Really? People didn’t know what channel Fox was? FS1 I understand not knowing, but Fox?

    • The problem is for teams like Northwestern: People are clearly going to be less motivated to find the Illinois-Iowa game on FOX Sports on Saturday mornings when they wake up. Everyone has a similar ritual: Watch College Game Day, then roll into the noon games to get football-packed day started.

    • So it hurts smaller Big Ten programs: …

    But Illinois and Northwestern? Of course that program wants to sell TV, and saying ESPN — and actually being viewed by random college football fans on Saturday mornings — is much more valuable than being on the channel that’s sometimes complicated to find.

    • Could something other than money be a factor? The NHL was once on ESPN, and some would say that the NHL is now less popular because it’s not. ESPN is still clearly the most influential network when it comes to college football, so does the Big Ten lose something in the chase for money by going to a secondary network. Money is clearly the name of the game, there’s no argument there, but exposure is huge.

    It’s not great analysis, but I think he’s basically right that this is a bigger issue for the smaller brands in the B10 than for the kings.

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Do we really believe that a high school player will not go to Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, etc., because their game will be on BTN or FS1, not ESPN? If the kid is a star and is worried about maximum TV, then he should be recruited by and go to one of the kings.

      If you are a high 4 star player and you are being recruited by Ohio State or Michigan, do you go there as opposed to Iowa or Indiana because of ESPN exposure, or for other reasons? If you are not a super star, then are you in a position to worry about that TV distinction?

      While I certainly understand the issue that losing ESPN loses fan exposure and perhaps long term popularity, will it really effect recruits?

      As someone who is old enough to be the grandfather of a high school senior, maybe I am too far away to really understand the mind of an 18 year old. (My oldest grandchild is in 4th grade, so he does not count for this)

      If you are a Texas high school star, what could be better than the LHN? As far as I know, that has not really helped the Longhorns recruit that much.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Jersey Bernie,

        “Do we really believe that a high school player will not go to Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, etc., because their game will be on BTN or FS1, not ESPN?”

        Yes, I fully believe some of these recruits are that petty/shallow/shortsighted/whatever. They make decisions for silly reasons (they’re 18). They later admit that things like uniforms and recruiting parties swayed their decisions. Why wouldn’t being on ESPN be yet another silly factor that might sway some of them?

        “If the kid is a star and is worried about maximum TV, then he should be recruited by and go to one of the kings.”

        Some stars want to go to the schools you listed, either for the academics or the location or a coach they like. But if they think it might hurt their exposure and thus their NFL chances (they all think they’re going to the NFL), they won’t do it. And perception is as bad as reality, so just thinking it’ll hurt is enough. It doesn’t have to actually hurt them.

        Like

        • David Browne says:

          Here is the problem with that argument : Except for when they play Notre Dame when is Purdue NOT on BTN. The only reasons why four and five star kids would go there is if they are going to Study Engineering ( and Stanford and Cal are not only rated higher but have better football teams). Stanford # 2 Cal # 3. By the way, Illinois is # 5 and Michigan # 7 Both ahead of Purdue # 11. Or if they want to stay local ( and Notre Dame is still in Indiana). Even Penn State NOT noted for Engineering is # 19. If kids are looking at the NFL and as a Penn State fan I hate to say this they are looking at places like Ohio State and Michigan. Especially OSU after 5 out of the first 20 picks played in Columbus.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            David Browne,

            “Here is the problem with that argument : Except for when they play Notre Dame when is Purdue NOT on BTN.”

            From 2015:
            PU/IA – ESPN2
            PU/NE – ESPNU
            PU/MN – ESPNU
            PU/MSU – ESPN2
            PU/VT – ESPNU
            PU/IN St – ESPNN
            PU/Marshall – FS1

            From 2014:
            PU/NW – ESPNU
            PU/WI – ESPNU
            PU/NE – ABC (regional)
            PU/MSU – ABC (regional)
            PU/IL – ESPN2
            PU/ND – NBC
            PU/CMU – ESPNN
            PU/WMU – ESPNU

            “The only reasons why four and five star kids would go there is if they are going to Study Engineering … Or if they want to stay local ( and Notre Dame is still in Indiana). Even Penn State NOT noted for Engineering is # 19.”

            Who said it only impacts 4 and 5* kids? Others may be less worried about the NFL but they still care about all their friends seeing them on SportsCenter.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        I think it will affect them indirectly. If you are watching random programs, you are more likely to be watching random ones on ESPN than FS1. That means, throughout high school, you might have greater exposure to smaller/middle programs on ESPN than FS1, which helps them become more desirable later.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        If you are a Texas high school star, what could be better than the LHN? As far as I know, that has not really helped the Longhorns recruit that much.

        The LHN is five years old, and so far it has not been very successful. ESPN has been the worldwide sports leader for decades, and it is on basic cable almost everywhere.

        As Frank said upthread, “ESPN has an entire ecosystem built around TV, radio, web, podcasts and mobile that no one has been able to replicate (and it isn’t for a lack of their competitors trying).” LHN has not achieved anything remotely like that.

        ESPN has been doing it since long before these recruits were born. If they followed sports on TV (which it is likely they did), they were watching ESPN. Their perception of ESPN as the worldwide leader was probably imprinted on them before they played their first snap of touch football.

        Like

  74. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/132669/nfl-draft-conjures-question-how-did-ohio-state-not-win-the-2015-national-title

    Following OSU having 5 1st round picks with 5 more expected to go tonight and another 5 on Saturday, the question naturally becomes: what kept OSU from winning the national title this year (or at least playing for it)?

    That’s just scratching the surface of everything they accomplished over the last three or four seasons, though Thursday night did once again stir up one lingering question: How exactly did the Buckeyes fail to repeat in 2015?

    Those players didn’t control everything that happened and there is certainly nothing at all to be ashamed about after going 12-1, finishing No. 4 in the country and winning the Fiesta Bowl to cap a career. But for every player drafted in the first round, here’s a look back at just how Ohio State’s bid to go back to back came up short.

    “1. An all-time fluky finish”

    If MI just successfully punts that ball, OSU wins the East and plays Iowa in the CCG.

    “2. A leg infection”

    Ezekiel Elliott was hospitalized for several days during the week before the MSU game. If he’s healthy he gets more than 12 carries and maybe that game ends differently.

    “3. A preseason injury”

    OSU had to replace Devin Smith with a new deep threat, and the coaches were thrilled about Noah Brown until he broke his leg about a week before the opener. Brown’s speed was one of the reasons Jones won the starting job and then suddenly he had nobody to hit deep.

    “4. A change in the press box”

    Tim Beck is no Tom Herman, especially not in his first year with OSU. OSU’s offense was helped tremendously when Ed Warriner also went into the press box to help call plays, but that didn’t happen until after the MSU game unfortunately.

    “5. A burden of expectations”

    Heavy is the head that wears the crown. But I think it was the inconsistent play that made the expectations seem so heavy. They’d score 50+ against a bad team but allow 28, or they only score in the 20s but hold the other team to less. They couldn’t put the pieces together and that made everyone talk more about what was wrong.

    These weren’t the only reasons, and I’d lump several of them under bad luck. It does take luck to win a title and OSU had more than their fair share in 2014. It went the other way in 2015. But 2015 will be one of those seasons that OSU fans regret for a long time, much like many of the Cooper years when so much talent got wasted by losses to MI.

    Like

  75. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/15429358/iowa-hawkeyes-rehire-kirk-ferentz-son-law-tyler-barnes-staff-position

    Iowa has rehired the son-in-law of football coach Kirk Ferentz to a staff position, three years after he departed following questions of nepotism.

    Iowa announced Friday that Tyler Barnes would be the team’s new director of recruiting. Barnes, 30, had been working as an assistant at Vanderbilt since 2013.

    Barnes was hired in 2012 to work as an entry-level assistant for the Hawkeyes when he was dating Ferentz’s daughter, Joanne.

    Ferentz pushed to extend Barnes’ temporary position for a second year without disclosing to athletic director Gary Barta or others that Barnes was his future son-in-law. That avoided a public search for the position.

    The university later moved the supervision of Barnes outside the football program, and he left Iowa for Vanderbilt months later.

    Ferentz’s son, Brian, also is an assistant.

    Does Ferentz only interview people at family gatherings? And why does Iowa let him keep hiring relatives and make supervision a hassle for themselves?

    Like

  76. Brian says:

    Round 2 notes:

    22 defensive players taken, the most ever in round 2

    Things are still going well for the B10.

    By conference (2nd round/total):
    SEC – 8/16
    B10 – 7/13 (2 OSU, 2 PSU, IL, IN, UMD)
    ACC – 6/10
    B12 – 4/7
    P12 – 2/6
    Ind – 2/4
    Other – 3/7

    Most players per school so far:
    OSU – 7
    AL – 6
    ND – 5

    The first B10 QB off the board is Hackenberg at #51.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      And round 3 is done:

      More good news for the B10 except for Connor Cook fans. Lots of MSU fans downplayed the talk about off the field concerns with him but 6 QBs have gone and he’s still on the board. It looks like the NFL agrees with his MSU teammates who didn’t make him a captain.

      http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000658122/article/ohio-state-sets-record-with-10-picks-in-drafts-first-three-rounds

      OSU set an NFL record with 10 players taken in the first 3 rounds (old record was 8).

      By conference (3rd round/total):
      B10 – 10/23 (3 OSU, 2 NE, MSU, MI, UMD, PSU, RU)
      SEC – 6/22
      ACC – 4/14
      P12 – 4/10
      B12 – 2/9
      Ind – 3/7
      Other – 6/13

      Most players per school so far:
      OSU – 10
      AL – 7
      ND – 6

      The Browns and Ravens have 9 picks combined in the 4th round. There are a lot of big name QBs still out there (Connor Cook, Cardale Jones, Nate Sudfield, Kevin Hogan, Dak Prescott, Brandon Allen) so expect a run on them.

      Like

  77. Brian says:

    Rounds 4 & 5:

    Round 4 was good for the B10, but not round 5. Overall things are still going well, though.

    Round 4 by conference:
    ACC – 3
    B10 – 9 (includes 2 QBs – Cook and Jones)
    B12 – 5
    P12 – 2
    SEC – 9
    AAC – 3
    CUSA – 2
    Ind – 1
    Other – 7

    Round 5 by conference:
    ACC – 1
    B10 – 2
    B12 – 6
    P12 – 7
    SEC – 7
    MAC – 2
    SB – 2
    Ind – 0
    Other – 8

    Total by conference:
    SEC – 38
    B10 – 34
    B12 – 20
    P12 – 19
    ACC – 18
    AAC – 6
    Ind – 8
    MWC – 7
    Other – 25

    By school:
    OSU – 12
    AL, ND – 7
    Clemson, UF – 5

    Like

    • Brian says:

      OSU notes:

      12 players drafted in 4 rounds is another new NFL record

      OSU has had at least 1 person taken from every position group (OL, TE, WR, RB, QB, DE, DT, LB, CB, S)

      The 5th round was the first round without an OSU player selected

      15 of OSU’s 22 starters in the 2014 NCG have been drafted. There’s 1 more with a chance today and 2 more still start on the OL.

      And EKU’s Noah Spence should’ve been in this group of OSU players. And Duke’s Jeremy Cash.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Round 6 by conference:
      ACC – 3
      B10 – 10 (2 QBs)
      B12 – 6
      P12 – 4
      SEC – 8
      Ind – 0
      Other – 15

      By school:
      OSU – 12
      AL, ND – 7
      UF – 6
      Clemson, PSU – 5

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Round 7 by conference:
        P12 – 9
        ACC, SEC – 5
        B10, CUSA – 3
        B12 – 0
        Ind – 0
        Other – 7

        Totals by conference:
        SEC – 51
        B10 – 47
        P12 – 32
        ACC, B12 – 26
        Other – 25
        AAC, CUSA – 10
        MWC – 9
        Ind – 8
        MAC – 6
        SB – 3

        Average picks per school:
        SEC – 3.64
        B10 – 3.36
        P12 – 2.67
        B12 – 2.60
        ACC – 1.86

        The 51 picks is the third-most for the SEC in the last nine drafts. In 2013, the SEC had 63 players selected in the draft.

        http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25573383/ohio-state-wins-tennessee-loses-among-teams-with-most-2016-nfl-draft-picks

        Totals by school:
        12 – OSU
        9 – Clemson
        8 – UCLA
        7 – AL, UF, ND
        6 – Baylor

        B10:
        5 – MSU, PSU
        4 – NE
        3 – IL, IN, UMD, MI
        2 – MN, NW, WI
        1 – IA, PU, RU

        The full list is at the link.

        OSU had 1 player drop lock a rock into UDFA status after being graded a 5th rounder. I haven’t heard any rumors about why yet. We had another player rated as a 7th rounder that also went UDFA. If those 2, or the other OL who went UDFA, had gotten drafted OSU could’ve tied the recent NFL and school record with 14 picks in 1 draft.

        So where are the 2017 mock drafts? Who are the QBs, LTs and DEs rumored to go 1st next year?

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Brian,

          Thanks for keeping tabs. My brother and I were betting SEC v BIG with this particular draft.

          I won the bet (not a hard one to make based on recent history & mock publications), but great draft for the BIG.

          I don’t know if you’ve seen the below link, & I have not scrutinized the numbers. Thus, I don’t know if these stats are based on current membership with inherited numbers. Sure enough, the BIG gained on the ACC & OSU has obviously moved up the list while creating greater distance w/the schools behind them.

          http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2016-04-28/nfl-draft-colleges-conferences-most-represented-last-10-years

          PS Everyone, time will tell but Md & Rutgers, due to in-state talent & fresh coaching hires, as well as the stability of the BIG – looking good on the recruiting trail for 2017. Recruiting and culture change should never be overlooked & history moves forward. We shall see.

          –Gfunk (still mourning Prince here in the Purple State)

          Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “I won the bet (not a hard one to make based on recent history & mock publications), but great draft for the BIG.”

            Yes, I was amazed we kept it so close. Obviously a ridiculous draft by OSU helped, but in the future MI and PSU should get their numbers back up. A few other schools were down from the norm as well.

            “I don’t know if you’ve seen the below link, & I have not scrutinized the numbers. Thus, I don’t know if these stats are based on current membership with inherited numbers. Sure enough, the BIG gained on the ACC & OSU has obviously moved up the list while creating greater distance w/the schools behind them.”

            I have no idea how they reached those numbers and don’t feel like doing to the work to find out. But it’s easy enough to update with the 2016 numbers:

            By conference since 2005:
            SEC – 570
            ACC – 475
            B10 – 465
            P12 – 413
            B12 – 284

            But those numbers aren’t really meaningful. The best would be per school averages while they were members of that conference.

            By school since 2005:
            USC – 78
            LSU – 72
            OSU – 69 (was #7)
            FSU – 67
            OU – 67
            AL – 67
            UGA – 65
            UF – 62
            Miami – 55
            Clemson – 55

            Like

  78. bullet says:

    Thought some of you might find this “branding and culture” analysis interesting. It focuses on the Big 12, but talks about the strengths of the various conferences.

    http://big12fanatics.com/expansion-project-brand-culture-pt-2-numbers/

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      The first part of this analysis also has some interesting thoughts about UVa and UNC as possible B1G schools. The analysis pretty much says it will never happen. http://big12fanatics.com/expansion-project-brand-culture/

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Jersey Bernie,

        “The first part of this analysis also has some interesting thoughts about UVa and UNC as possible B1G schools. The analysis pretty much says it will never happen.”

        I’d counter that the author basically is repeating the opinion of his one source from UVA. Like most states, VA varies greatly from west to east and north to south and from rural to urban. Saying the DC suburbs and the rest of northern VA don’t have anything in common with the B10 now is silly since it borders on MD and is home to tens of thousands of B10 alumni. He talks about VA being in the Tidewater, but that is only a portion of each state. The Hampton Roads area is in it (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News) but it still only makes up 20-25% of the state’s population.

        I’d say about half of VA’s population is Southern (Piedmont and Tidewater areas). As you get into the mountains it becomes more Appalachian than Southern, and clearly that fits with parts of MD, PA and OH just like NoVA fits with MD and PA. My point is that the school is more Southern than the state is anymore. UVA is very much an ACC school but the ACC isn’t as Southern as it used to be.

        As for finances, UVA had a $13.56M subsidy for athletics last year (almost 15% of budget and about $900 per undergrad). Historically only UMD got more money in student fees in the ACC than UVA. The year before, UVA lost $3.7M on athletics. In other words, UVA is pushing the limits of what they can afford.

        None of this is to say that UVA to the B10 is an obvious move or likely to happen any time soon and I’ve never been a fan of expansion. But people who don’t want UVA to leave the ACC are predisposed to exaggerate the differences in order to make the choice seem worse. These same people say UMD made a terrible mistake because they also don’t fit the B10, but a lot fewer UMD fans are saying that now and they haven’t even gotten a full B10 paycheck yet. I think UVA fans could have a similar reaction.

        Like

        • z33k says:

          I was going to write everything you said, so obviously I don’t need to repeat anything you wrote.

          The only thing I’ll add is that UVa is a school in transition like UNC or Duke or many of the other “Southern” schools that have really become huge magnets for “coastal” students from the North (or areas similar to the North) as national recruiting of students blossomed in the 90s onward for top schools generally…

          It’s very hard to judge the schools solely based on the opinions of likely older boosters who remember a UVa that was very different from what it is now… (but in a modern sense, those boosters still hold a lot of sway).

          The one thing that’s more unique about UVa that probably won’t change is how closely tied its identity in the ACC probably is to UNC/Duke et al. compared to UMd where (at least from the fans) we heard a lot more push-back against the “Tobacco Road” cabal.

          That one difference is fairly important though, and it’s why I think most of us believe a school like FSU would have to do something first to shake the foundation of the ACC before UVa would consider a change…

          But you bring up the money situation, and that’s always something to keep an eye on; when a school experiences huge athletic subsidies, that’s generally a situation that may eventually require rectifying… as is Ga. Tech’s debt situation (eating up around $13-14 million per year of its budget for debt payments on a debt over $200m for facilities build).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            z33k,

            “The only thing I’ll add is that UVa is a school in transition like UNC or Duke or many of the other “Southern” schools that have really become huge magnets for “coastal” students from the North (or areas similar to the North) as national recruiting of students blossomed in the 90s onward for top schools generally…”

            I did a quick check.

            https://avillage.web.virginia.edu/iaas/instreports/studat/dd/enrl_state.htm

            UVA students in 2014:
            VA – 58.2%
            B10 footprint and the northeast – 18.3%
            SEC footprint + OK – 9.6%
            West + Plains – 4.6%
            Other – 9.2%

            1990:
            VA – 59.2%
            B10 footprint and the northeast – 23.6%
            SEC footprint + OK – 9.9%
            West + Plains – 3.1%
            Other – 4.2%

            UVA has had a lot of northern/midwest in it for a long time. That’s dropped slightly as it’s gotten more foreign and western students over the past 25 years.

            “The one thing that’s more unique about UVa that probably won’t change is how closely tied its identity in the ACC probably is to UNC/Duke et al. compared to UMd where (at least from the fans) we heard a lot more push-back against the “Tobacco Road” cabal.”

            UVA has very strong ties to UNC, but was also tied fairly closely to UMD. UVA does like their access to power in the ACC, though.

            “That one difference is fairly important though, and it’s why I think most of us believe a school like FSU would have to do something first to shake the foundation of the ACC before UVa would consider a change…”

            Or UNC could decide to go at the same time, which seems the most likely case for either UVA or UNC leaving. I think they are a matched pair that will go together or not at all.

            “But you bring up the money situation, and that’s always something to keep an eye on; when a school experiences huge athletic subsidies, that’s generally a situation that may eventually require rectifying… as is Ga. Tech’s debt situation (eating up around $13-14 million per year of its budget for debt payments on a debt over $200m for facilities build).”

            Yep. One thing presidents don’t like to see is the AD losing money so they have to take a lot from the academic side, especially if there is a quality organization out there happy to give them a $10M – $20M raise.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            Brian, that’s good data on UVa, I didn’t realize its prior enrollment situation was already that well attuned to the Midwest before.

            Other thing about money is: you *always* have to make an effort to try to keep up with at least the group behind the Joneses.

            Sure, a school like UVa or Ga. Tech (or Northwestern or Illinois etc.) may never actually try to pay a coach as much as say Ohio State or Alabama or Michigan, but things like pay and such typically scale across a sport so that when the bar is raised, the rest of the salaries follow. There’s no way to avoid that effect, especially in the Power 5.

            You can’t fall too far behind the “pack behind the Joneses” or you end up in a situation where the median pay scale starts moving out of your range.

            And that applies to other things like facilities too. If the top schools are spending hundreds of millions, you at least have to make some kind of effort to keep pace.

            Like

          • TOM says:

            The B1G is dreaming if it thinks it’s going to get UNC/UVA to go as a lonely southern pair to an overwhelmingly midwestern conference. Native or transplant…the decision-makers and fan bases there are not looking for reasons to plan road trips to their northwest. Not as a lonely outpost. “We’re playing where?” The only thing in common UNC would have in common with any of those schools aside from UMD (perhaps)…would be good academics. It’s crazy talk.

            Like

          • z33k says:

            TOM,

            That’s probably true, but we’re just discussing that the issues that may cause schools like FSU, OU, or Ga. Tech to at the least consider a change in affiliation are the same issues that would cause UVa or UNC to consider it as well (mainly various financial issues in terms of trying to keep up with TV pay from SEC/Big Ten/Texas type schools).

            I mean they’re not isolated from the forces that are affecting college sports even though they’re considered to be at the core of the ACC.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The B1G is dreaming if it thinks it’s going to get UNC/UVA to go as a lonely southern pair to an overwhelmingly midwestern conference. . . . It’s crazy talk.

            Where there is money to be made in college sports, it does not stay on the table indefinitely. If the revenue gap between the Big Ten and the ACC remains as large as it is now, and continues to widen, the ACC’s major programs won’t be able to ignore it forever. Sooner or later, they will have to act.

            Of course, it would most likely not be UNC/UVA moving to the Big Ten, while everything else stays the same. There’s no way the ACC can lose two founder schools, including its anchor school, without a bunch of other dominoes falling. The only question is which domino falls first.

            Again, this is assuming that the revenue gap continues to widen, as it appears will be the case.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            TOM,

            “The B1G is dreaming if it thinks it’s going to get UNC/UVA to go as a lonely southern pair to an overwhelmingly midwestern conference.”

            A lonely pair? Bit of an oxymoron, no?

            VA borders 1 B10 state and almost borders another. Including them, over 30% of the conference would be eastern. Would the B10 make for more travel? Sure.

            UVA had average distance to all ACC schools but UMD of about 350 miles. The eastern division of the B10 (assume IN goes west) would average 373 miles of actual driving distance (UNC, UMD, RU and PSU are all under 350 miles, OSU is just over 400). In other words, the East would be about the same as the whole ACC.

            “Not as a lonely outpost.”

            Two schools by definition can’t be a lonely outpost. Add in that VA borders MD and it’s just silly talk.

            ““We’re playing where?””

            I’m sure they’ve never heard of DC, NYC, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis to name a few.

            “The only thing in common UNC would have in common with any of those schools aside from UMD (perhaps)…would be good academics.”

            Yes, how important could good academics be to the presidents of major research universities? UNC would also find a fellow MBB blue blood, there’d be a solid lacrosse conference to join, there’d be a bunch of other state flagships. The schools would have plenty in common, it’s the fans that would worry more.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Just adding to what Brian said: UVA and UNC are already traveling to the likes of Chestnut Hill, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and South Bend. Miami is a fairly long distance away, and not culturally southern. Maryland is a former conference mate. Columbus is actually a shorter distance from Charlotte than Louisville.

            The travel, in other words, is not a significant issue, and could be reduced even further, depending on what happens to the rest of the ACC.

            Like

          • TOM says:

            Brian,

            You lost me at Detroit (as a selling point to UNC/UVA). I know you technically meant Ann Arbor. I doubt most of the B1G towns are very good long-term travel destinations for UNC/UVA folks. They’re not to me and I’ve been to most of them. Chicago is great. As far as the loney “pair” comment…it’s relevant when you’re talking the conference realignment game (This isn’t romance).

            I get it…the B1G just wants to annex those two schools. I just don’t see the interest being returned unless the payout disparity remains the same for decades to come. And given the ever-changing network $ game and demographic shifting southward…the B1G does sit in a potentially precarious spot. Delaney is rightfully pretty prideful at the moment….

            Like

          • Brian says:

            TOM,

            “You lost me at Detroit (as a selling point to UNC/UVA).”

            I wasn’t claiming those as a selling point, just a response to claiming UVA/UNC fans wouldn’t know where they’re playing. The B10 isn’t all small college towns.

            “I know you technically meant Ann Arbor.”

            It’s a suburb about 10 miles away from downtown, so yes I consider it basically Detroit..

            “I doubt most of the B1G towns are very good long-term travel destinations for UNC/UVA folks.”

            I neither know nor care if their fans consider B10 cities good long-term travel destinations. That is so far down the list of important considerations for expansion that it’s negligible. the fact that many of the schools are near major airports should be a selling point for people considering flying to games.

            “As far as the loney “pair” comment…it’s relevant when you’re talking the conference realignment game”

            It’s only relevant if it makes sense. How is a pair lonely, especially when a long time rival is in a neighboring state?

            “I get it…the B1G just wants to annex those two schools.”

            I don’t know that they do and I certainly don’t want to annex them. 14 is too many as it is.

            “I just don’t see the interest being returned unless the payout disparity remains the same for decades to come.”

            From fans, maybe, but you are talking about state universities choosing to give up $20M+ per year while UVA is providing another $10M+ in subsidies to the AD. As state funding declines, you don’t think a school president will start to see a use for all that extra money? Even the BoV has to take that sort of number seriously. In one decade you’re talking about turning down $400M per school. Fiduciary responsibilities anyone?

            Like

      • Wilson Roberts says:

        Ann Arbor is a small city about 40 or 50 miles from Detroit, not ” a suburb about 10 miles away from downtown”. West and north of that turns into “farmville” pretty fast.

        Like

        • TOM says:

          “state universities choosing to give up $20M+ per year”

          The assumption is that those payouts are sustainable. And what happens if B1G misses out and the SEC or ACC (it would have to “sweeten the pot”) beats them to the punch? A lot of folks are predicting that ESPN is just going to wave the white flag and surrender to Fox, Delany, etc. I bet they’re looking at very creative strategic options right now. The B1G is increasingly viewed as the big bully (a very recent thing)…and that puts it at risk of other forces lining up against it.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            TOM,

            “The assumption is that those payouts are sustainable.”

            They’re contracts. Unless you believe Fox or ESPN is going to file for bankruptcy, those payouts are guaranteed for years.

            “And what happens if B1G misses out and the SEC or ACC (it would have to “sweeten the pot”) beats them to the punch?”

            What if they do? It doesn’t change anything I’ve said, it just becomes the SEC offering them too good of a deal to turn down. I’d love to hear how the ACC is going to significantly sweeten their deal when they can’t even get their network started, but that obviously the preferred option for UVA and UNC.

            What if the gap to the B10 continues to grow? The $20M is based on 2017-2018 projections. What if the gap grows by $1M per year or more?

            “A lot of folks are predicting that ESPN is just going to wave the white flag and surrender to Fox, Delany, etc.”

            They are? I haven’t seen that. I’ve seen a lot of people expecting ESPN to get the other half of the deal but very few have predicted numbers for it.

            “I bet they’re looking at very creative strategic options right now.”

            One would hope.

            “The B1G is increasingly viewed as the big bully (a very recent thing)”

            By whom?

            “…and that puts it at risk of other forces lining up against it.”

            It’s business. Other forces have always been lined up against it.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Wilson Roberts,

          “Ann Arbor is a small city about 40 or 50 miles from Detroit, not ” a suburb about 10 miles away from downtown”.”

          Yes, that was incorrect. I should have said metro Detroit, not downtown. I was originally going to give the distance to downtown but changed my mind.

          “West and north of that turns into “farmville” pretty fast.”

          Yes, I lived in said farmville for years. Ann Arbor is still at least an exurb of Detroit because the population follows I-94 west that far.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      In a nutshell, the B10 does really well in part because of all the large schools and rabid fans. The SEC, B12 and P12 are all pretty close with varying strengths and weaknesses. The ACC lags well behind having smaller schools with smaller brands.

      Like

      • David Browne says:

        I do not put the Pac-12 in the same fan passion breath as the Big 10 or SEC. I am in Mesa, Arizona and trust me there is no crazed demand for the Pac-12 Network ( even for ASU or UA Games). The Arizona Republic during the Pac-12 Tournament was not screaming that Direct TV pick it up ( very different then Yankee Games and Comcast in New Jersey). That was Larry Scott’s mistake. If people in Mesa are not getting rid of Direct TV for Cox or Dish what makes him think people in New York will?

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I agree that the Pac-12 lags in fan engagement. But Arizona might be the worst possible case: a basketball school, in a state with a high percentage of transplants, and lacking the long history that the core “Pac-8” schools have together.

          Like

  79. Brian says:

    http://thedailycougar.com/2016/04/13/national-conference-realignment/

    On Frank’s last post I linked an article from the UH paper about hypothetical conference realignment to four conferences of 18 to make 72 total. I discussed his conferences a little, especially his choice of teams to bump up to P4 status, as well as the realities that would prevent this from happening.

    http://thedailycougar.com/2016/04/20/conference-realignment-scheduling-undergoes-overhaul/

    Part 2 looks at how his plan could change the regular season.

    1. 12 games = 8 division games + 2 crossover games (rotates annually) + 2 OOC games (1 from each of 2 of the 3 other conferences, rotates annually until all 54 are played)

    No cupcakes is good, but the lack of choice of OOC games isn’t. I’d at least arrange it as 2 conference challenges in the OOC (North vs West & North vs South for example) to add some spice.

    2. Everyone gets 6 home game and 6 road games (each group of games is split equally). He makes no mention of what happens to neutral site games. Presumably teams would play them at least 2 years in a row to give up a road and a home game (annual rivalry ones could continue as always if they want).

    The big boys are going to need a major pay raise to afford dropping a 7th home game. And why would they want to elevate a bunch of teams to their level and then split the money more fairly than they do now?

    3. Division winners (by division record only) play in the CCGs. The tiebreaker is head to head (crossovers and OOC games don’t matter for this).

    http://thedailycougar.com/2016/04/27/conference-realignment-8-team-playoffs-dilemma-autobid/

    Part 3 looks at the postseason.

    1. The CFP expands to 8 with auto-bids for the 4 champs.

    2. The committee still does rankings and chooses the next 4 best teams as at-large teams as well as seeding the field.

    Multiple teams from 1 conference can get at-large bids.

    3. The quarters are played in 4 of the NY6 bowls. The semis are played at 2 of the 4 sites that hosted quarters. The NCG is at 1 of the 2 sites that didn’t have a quarterfinal.

    I’d at least give the semis to the other 2 sites that didn’t have quarters I’d also bid out the NCG to cities that don’t host major bowls to spread the game around to new places (indoor or warm weather sites only).

    4. The committee also seeds teams for the other 2 NY6 bowls.

    Like

  80. ccrider55 says:

    Maybe UNC is the first to move, risking GOR to move ahead of loss of AAU and accreditation.

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/ncaaf/writer/dennis-dodd/25573979/uncs-academic-scandal-leaves-professors-university-in-danger

    Just kidding, sorta.
    It did make me wonder what effect an actual action like losing accreditation would have on conference membership. I’d assume remaining in good standing would be a requirement of most conferences. Wonder if it’s spelled out.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      UNC is “on probation” with the accreditation organization. This is as far as it is going, based on what is known so far. Another proverbial “shoe,” and probably several shoes, would have to drop, for them to be at any risk whatsoever of becoming unaccredited.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I agree. I was just musing, wondering how some hypothetical academic clusterf¥€k might cross conference membership requirement boundaries, if in fact there are such.

        Like

    • bob sykes says:

      They’re only on probation for now, but that in itself is a major problem. Loss of accreditation would mean that UNC students were not eligible for student loans, and UNC faculty were not eligible for federal research money. These losses would shut down the school.

      When this scandal broke, I opined that it was much more serious that the Penn State scandal, because it discredited the core activity of the school, its reason for being. Some people pooh-poohed that judgement. I’m glad to see the accrediting agency agrees.

      UNC’s main problem now is that its administration refuses to come clean and address the scandal. Their friends at NCAA are also trying to cover up its full extent. An activist, honest, NCAA would give the basketball program a death sentence a la SMU football, strip the school of its titles, enter forfeits for all the team victories during the 11 years or so the scandal operated, and demand repayment of all NCAA monies received. They should also suspend all the coaches involved.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        They’re only on probation for now, but that in itself is a major problem.

        No, it’s not. Show me what they have lost: enrollment? applications? recruits? donations? None I have heard of. The scandal itself was uncovered in 2011. Five years later, it’s priced into the stock. And the probation itself was announced almost a year ago.

        Loss of accreditation would mean that UNC students were not eligible for student loans, and UNC faculty were not eligible for federal research money. These losses would shut down the school.

        Perhaps, but as I wrote above, something much more significant than what is already known, would need to be uncovered. I won’t say that’s impossible, but it has been five years.

        When this scandal broke, I opined that it was much more serious that the Penn State scandal, because it discredited the core activity of the school, its reason for being. Some people pooh-poohed that judgement.

        It depends what you mean by “pooh-poohing that judgement.” I agree that it would undercut the core mission of the school, if it were more pervasive. But the malfeasance—disgusting as it was—was confined mainly to one department, to a handful of courses frequented by athletes. As a percentage of the number of degree programs the university offers, or as a percentage of the number of students—as a percentage of, really, anything, it was minuscule. Unacceptable, but nowhere near pervasive.

        UNC’s main problem now is that its administration refuses to come clean and address the scandal.

        Oh, really? Have you read this page?

        An activist, honest, NCAA would give the basketball program a death sentence

        Nope. To paraphrase Jerry Tarkanian, The N.C.A.A. is so mad at North Carolina, it’s going to give Cleveland State two more years of probation.

        Like

    • frug says:

      I know in the SEC, conference bylaws require all members to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, so (at least in theory) any school that lost its accreditation would automatically be suspended (if not expelled) until the accreditation was restored.

      Like

  81. greg says:

    ABC/ESPN announces the seven B1G night games for the 2016 season.

    Date Time (ET) Matchup
    Sat, Oct. 8 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. No. 3 Michigan at Rutgers
    Sat, Oct. 15 8 p.m. No. 10 Ohio State at Wisconsin
    Sat, Oct. 22 8 p.m. No. 10 Ohio State at Penn State
    Sat, Oct. 29 5:30 p.m. Northwestern at No. 10 Ohio State
    7 p.m. Nebraska at Wisconsin
    Sat, Nov. 5 8 p.m. Nebraska at No. 10 Ohio State
    Sat, Nov. 12 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. No.3 Michigan at No. 17 Iowa

    http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2016/05/espn-selects-seven-big-ten-college-football-games-for-2016-saturday-prime-time/

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Another great chance for Rutgers to be embarrassed in prime time. On the other hand, RU and Northwestern (at 5:30 pm) are the only non-football brands on prime time ABC/ESPN.

      Those Michigan tickets will be worth big bucks to scalpers at RU. Great time of year for a night game in NJ, nationwide TV, highly ranked Michigan, with several NJ star players. (Two of last three years the highest rated B1G recruit was from NJ and went to Michigan – both top three national ranking. Peppers (2014) and Gary (2016). And, in addition, Michigan got a five star NJ running back last year. Two five star players from NJ to Ann Arbor in the Class of 2016 – that s*cks for RU)

      Like

    • Brian says:

      greg,

      4 straight weeks for OSU (2 on the road then 2 at home) seems like overkill, especially with only 2 MI games (both on the road).

      Only 1 ranked vs ranked game, probably because MI @ MSU and OSU @ MSU will be at 3:30 (MI @ OSU will be at noon as always).

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        4 straight weeks for OSU (2 on the road then 2 at home) seems like overkill, especially with only 2 MI games (both on the road).

        I assume the Buckeyes’ brain trust embraces this, as I am pretty sure no one makes you play a home night game you don’t want.

        Michigan has no home night games this year, despite two obvious candidates (PSU, Wisconsin). Harbaugh and Warde Manuel, the new AD, simply decided they weren’t going to play in Ann Arbor at night. On the road, Michigan is playing the same number of night games as Ohio State: two.

        Like

        • Craig Z says:

          Urban Meyer had said bringing in recruits for night games is easier because they don’t have to get up early to fly after playing a game the night before.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Marc Shepherd,

          “I assume the Buckeyes’ brain trust embraces this, as I am pretty sure no one makes you play a home night game you don’t want.”

          The OSU preference is for 3 night games – 2 at home and 1 on the road. This is 4 in conference, plus any BTN picks up (hopefully none), plus the game at OU is likely at 8pm.

          Like

        • Ross says:

          I definitely don’t understand the decision to have no night games at home this year. I thought Wiscy would have been a great choice, especially after such a gap since the last time we played (2008 I think?)

          Like

  82. ccrider55 says:

    Surprise…

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/ncaaf/writer/dennis-dodd/25575360/big-12-learns-what-we-all-knew-12-teams-title-game-are-best-for-league

    (Will they really drop a conference game? Seems like some have soft enough schedules already.)

    In related news, kids prefer ice cream to vegetables.

    Wonder how much they wasted, err, paid to get told the obvious.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      ccrider55,

      “(Will they really drop a conference game? Seems like some have soft enough schedules already.)”

      I think that’s just the most successful scenario – 8 games + CCG. Presumably it would come with a demand to schedule better OOC if the Baylor’s of the world want to be taken seriously.

      “If we do nothing, we’ll fall behind the SEC and the Big Ten in terms of [revenue],” Bowlsby said. “We may be every bit as competitive as we are today, but we’ll fall behind financially.”

      Bowlsby previously told CBS Sports that, if the league stands pat, it will be “$20 million [per school]” behind the SEC and Big Ten in 12 years.

      I know bullet disputes the numbers, but it’s what Bowlsby said. Regardless, a CCG adds revenue so a conference worried about falling behind almost has to add one. Then the question becomes whether expanding helps financially. If so, then they could consider renegotiating their TV deal to let them drop a game. My best guess is they stay at 10 and add a CCG for now, and that requires 9 B12 games.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        And this:

        Chuck Carlton
        Chuck Carlton – Verified account ‏@ChuckCarltonDMN

        Bowlsby also said that football championship game, possible expansion and TV network issues are “almost inseparable” in Big 12 discussions.

        “Almost” is a critical word.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          The last sentence is mine.

          Like

        • David Browne says:

          I read Frank’s Tweet about this. Texas having TCU and Texas Tech block Expansion. Typical Bevo behavior ( ask Nebraska about it sometime). The truth is Texas did not care if Nebraska ( or even A&M) left, and they do not care about Oklahoma either. They know quite well that there Schools that in order to remain Power Five will do whatever UT wants. They also know they can get Notre Dame & BYU ( as well as other big schools) to play them. As long as that Longhorn Network is paying them huge $$$$ and they have alternatives like ACC or Independence they can and will do whatever they want. Would UT fans and the City of Dallas miss UT & OU? Of course. But I am sure there are many fans who miss A&M, and they are not playing them anymore.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Typical bull droppings, yes. People believe the “insiders” instead of reading them for entertainment. All the Big 12 schools vote their own interest. Its not clear that expansion doesn’t decrease dollars per school. Nobody controls other votes.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Well with the Fox deal, that $20 million or so looks real.

        Like

  83. metatron says:

    You know, for a sport as popular as college football, it amazes me how little these schools actually make. Oh sure it seems like it’s a lot of money, but that’s only because their prior contracts were terrible. Major League Baseball made $9 billion in gross revenue in 2014 alone, whereas we’re all blown away by the potential sale of $250 milllion over six years. Both organizations largely leave their members to negotiate rights deals individually (or at least conferences in the NCAA).

    You might argue that’s where the market is at, but I disagree: we’re in an era where cable subscribers, let alone viewers, are at a premium. For content that traditionally draws huge interest like sports, that only increases the value tremendously. Remember, sports are a scarce resource – you can’t make new sports content on a Hollywood back lot (and lord knows ESPN has tried).

    If the schools decided to once again negotiate en bloc (beyond conferences) and not trigger the antitrust violations outlined in NCAA v. Board of Regents, they could successfully raise their prices. It’s tricky, but it’s possible – I believe ultimately the P5 will do this, though that might not be in my lifetime.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Major League Baseball made $9 billion in gross revenue in 2014 alone, whereas we’re all blown away by the potential sale of $250 milllion over six years.

      That’s not exactly apples to apples. $250m is for a fraction of the inventory, and the bulk of it for a sport that plays only 12 games per season. It also includes none of the post-season.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      That’s 1.5 billion – 250 mil/yr over 6 years. And that’s for only partial rights, as Marc notes. Not saying there isn’t significant future increase potential but it’s not peanuts now.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, that’s kind of like comparing almonds with apples.

      That $9B is for 30 teams. Playing a 162 game season. Including media, gate, merchandise, everything.
      Meanwhile, the $250M is only for half the tier 1 TV contract.

      Like

  84. Mike says:

    Frank tweeted this out…

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/2016/05/02/what-we-know-ucs-big-12-chances/83720444/


    It’s believed seven of the 10 schools favor expansion. But Big 12 bylaws call for a super majority vote of 75 percent (so at least eight schools) to make a major change. Texas is believed to be influencing Texas Tech’s and Texas Christian’s decisions to also be reluctant to expansion.

    Texas Tech has long fallen in line with Texas. Both are public universities that have been in the same league together since 1956, when they were in the Southwest Conference. Texas and Texas Tech were founding members of the Big 12 in 1996.

    TCU is believed to be following Texas’ lead because the conference’s power broker reportedly helped the Horned Frogs get into the Big 12 four years ago.