Some reactions to the latest developments in conference realignment:
Nebraska – More than doubling your TV money, raising the academic profile of the university overall and not having the Austin bogey-man anymore in the shotgun reconciliation of the Big 12-ish? Not bad.
Big Ten – A week ago, we were wondering if Jim Delany might have gotten played by Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott and Delany protege Kevin Weiberg. As it stands now, though, the Big Ten is the only conference that is clearly stronger than before by adding one of the top 10 programs of all-time and the formation of a lucrative conference championship game. With the apparent new TV money getting thrown at the Big 12, one could only imagine the type of increase that the Big Ten is going to garner with another marquee school in the fold. Now, I do believe that it’s going to be necessary for the Big Ten to address shifting population trends in the long-term (whether it’s going to the East Coast or after some Southern-based schools), but if we stay at 12 with just Nebraska for awhile, I believe most Big Ten partisans are going to be perfectly fine with that.
Texas – I’ll be honest: I severely underestimated the need for Texas to have control as opposed to sheer money (although they go hand-in-hand). Sure, lots of Big 12 partisans have complained about the Texas control for years, but I always thought it was overstated and that the “control” really came in the form of simply TV revenue. Well, it appears that they really do love control over everything else since they just turned down a spectacular opportunity to effectively bring all of its rivals to a more stable and prestigious conference with larger markets in the Pac-10 in order to save the Big 12-ish. As I noted in the “Underrated Players in Conference Realignment” post a few weeks ago, the Longhorn Sports Network turned out to be critical. Why the heck Texas still believes that a solo sports network will be better off in the long-term compared to a share in the Big Ten Network or what would’ve been created in the Pac-10 is beyond me, but DeLoss Dodds is going to get his chance to create his baby. Regardless, Texas got what it wanted: more control over its own conference and expanded local TV rights, which translates into more revenue across-the-board. Like the Big Ten, though, this is only a temporary win for Texas. The way that the Big 12-ish got a reprieve isn’t exactly a harbinger of conference stability, so we might be going through this process again with the Longhorns in 5 years or so.
II. LOTS OF HOPE
Utah – Within the span of a couple of days, the Utes went from thinking that they’d never have a chance to move in with their Pac-10 brethren if the Pac-16 came to fruition to now being at the top of the list for a natural pairing with Utah in the new Pac-12.
III. GLAD TO BE ALIVE
Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri, Baylor – Wow, these guys were fucked up until today. Especially Mizzou, whose fans were trying to figure out the best routes to Laramie after dreaming of Ann Arbor and Madison road trips for several months. From the very beginning in the Big Ten Expansion Index post, I believed that Missouri’s role would more likely be that of a stalking horse for other schools that the Big Ten was targeting and it ended up being completely true. I know that I’ve been accused by some Missouri alums of supposedly having some type of Illini bias (which is ridiculous since Illinois would’ve been the school that could’ve benefited the most by adding Mizzou), but I honestly didn’t want to see that school or any of the others in the Big 12 North get shut out without a home. So, these schools will live on in a BCS home, yet it’s going to be an even more tenuous relationship with its fellow conference-mates for a long time.
Colorado – It got into its long-time natural home of the Pac-10 after being threatened to have it taken away by Ken Starr’s Right Wing Conspiracy. With the Big 12-ish surviving, though, CU is looking at a lone move to a conference that may not really pay more TV revenue compared to its old situation… and this is an athletic department whose checks bounce off of the ground like Super Balls. Still, if you had to bet you entire life savings on which conference would be more likely to exist 10 years from now, would you put it on the Big 12-ish or the Pac Televen? Call me crazy, but I’ll take the odds on the latter. With that being the case, this was a good long-term move for CU even if it might be a short-term hit to the budget.
Dan Beebe – The Big 12-ish commissioner gets a ton of credit for slapping together a better TV deal for theconference in such a short period of time (although it looks like he got by with a little help from his friends), but fans have a right to ask where the bloody hell was that TV deal before it lost a marquee school (Nebraska) and its largest market outside of the state of Texas (Denver). At least the @DanBeebe Twitter feed has been awesome through all of this.
IV. TO BE DETERMINED
Pac-10 – As I’ve explained before, the Pac-10 could never compete with the Big Ten and SEC financially in order to lure a school like Texas, so it leveraged its main asset of flexibility to make a massive power play to annex half of the Big 12. For the Pac-10 to have had a chance to move into the same financial tier as the Big ten and SEC, it absolutely had to throw down its best and most aggressive offer. With the gamble not working, the Pac-10 is now stuck at 11 with a decent school with a decent market in Colorado (essentially the equivalent of what Missouri was looked at by the Big Ten). It’s expected that the Pac-10 will move in on Utah as opposed to staying as the Pac Televen, but it’s clear that the West Coast league is going to be stuck in the second financial tier for the foreseeable future. I’ve got to give Larry Scott and Kevin Weiberg a ton of credit, though – they had the cajones to put it all on the line these past two weeks and pushed the timetable for realignment forward.
Big Ten Hopefuls Elsewhere – Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, maybe Maryland? The latest rumored candidates of Boston College or Georgia Tech? What the Big Ten is going to do over the next 12-18 months is still up in the air. It is clear from all of the information that I’ve seen that Texas was the #1 target for the league, so it’s going to take some time to re-assess if and where it wants to expand to next. Rutgers may still become a Big Ten member eventually, but the fact that a superconference wasn’t formed on the West Coast and Texas isn’t part of Big Ten expansion is going to slow down the timeline drastically.
General BCS Hopefuls – Schools like BYU, TCU, Memphis, East Carolina and UCF all have been harboring BCS conference dreams and were even banking on a massive fallout, but with not much of an upheaval at this time, the waiting continues. I believe that the Big 12-ish would be well-served to add BYU for sure, yet it appears the financial argument for that conference to bring in replacements is fairly weak. (Note that I love TCU yet understand that the Horned Frogs don’t bring a new market to the Big 12-ish.)
So, out all of the speculation and millions of hours of productivity lost in offices across the nation this past week refreshing Orangebloods, we have the Big Ten adding Nebraska, the Pac-10 adding Colorado and the Mountain West adding Boise State. The college sports world won’t be experiencing a massive upheaval this week, but with the Big 12-ish progressing on shaky ground (similar to the Big East after the 2003 ACC raid) and Notre Dame always out there as a paradigm-shifting free agent, the rumors will undoubtedly continue to percolate. Don’t worry about me not having things to write about for the next few weeks – I’m on every LeBron-to-the-Bulls rumor like white on rice.
(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111)
(Image from Big 12 Conference)
2,073 thoughts on “The Big 12-ish is Dead. Long Live the Big 12-ish.”
Gratuitous ego post:
Not everyone underestimated the need for control (and other factors that would work to keep the B12 together) …
add some more
On a more germane note (and perhaps lagging in subject matter):
I doubt ND will have any interest in even talking to the B10 until after the season is over.
The reason has been staring us all right in the face: Brian Kelly.
My bet is that the ND crowd is split. Swarbrick sees BCS conferences bulking up, an uncertain relationship with NBC, the possibility that the next BCS negotiations will leave ND without its special status, and the state schools becoming inexorably better. He likely thinks ND should join a conference before its negotiating power evaporates.
At the same time independence is fiercely valued by alumni, fans, students, etc. There is value in independence and ND’s special status.
My guess is that a compromise of sorts has been reached. If Brian Kelly can win, then everything changes. ND strengthens its TV appeal and its negotiating position for the BCS. If the excitement comes back, then the pressure is off. ND can stay independent. Or — it puts ND in a much stronger negotiating position if it does want to go to the B10.
If Kelly can’t turn it around — if he goes 7-6 or 8-5 with a bad bowl loss, then Swarbrick et al. may decide that its time to hitch up with a conference lest ND sinks to Harlem Globetrotters status.
ND’s administration is going to take a gamble with Brian Kelly. All you Domers out there who want independence better get out your rosary beads, you need 9-10 wins to stay out of the B10.
Can I have multiple 10-win seasons under Kelly and admission to the Big Ten? Por favor?
Agree with that sentiment. I think we are in the minority.
That’s an interesting position re: Kelly.
I tend to agree with the idea that Notre Dame will more likely than not make a somewhat final decision on whether to join the Big Ten in the coming years. The wrinkle that it might all lay on Kelly’s back would end up being fascinating.
Living in Michigan and seeing the success Kelly has had at Grand Valley & Central Michigan if this is the case ND is in good hands.
Outstanding hire by the Domers. Also leads me to believe those running the show at ND are several times smarter than those at MSU or UM.
Big 12-ish is the best you could come up with? Not Texas Ten, the Mack-Ten, Texas and “Friends”, HopkinsHorn’s Worst Nightmare, the Lone Star Conference (think about it a bit), or the SWC II?
Looking back, the worst assumptions made on this blog were the need for Texas to control its own fate (and its own state), the flexibility of the Pac-10, and the idea that Texas A&M would consider the Big Ten under any circumstances. I’m not criticizing, since these mistakes (and many more) were made in other places, but it’s good to go back and judge previous arguments. If we look at the “Template for Shooting Down Any Argument Against Texas Going to the Big Ten”, a few points are very questionable:
“3. The largest slice of the pie in the Big XII is still smaller than an equal slice of the pie in the Big Ten”
Depending on the new deal, this might not be the case.
“5. The Pac-10, with its own expansion plans, is REALLY helping the Big Ten out”
It could be argued that the Pac-10 offer gave Texas the leverage to give the ultimatum which led to Nebraska’s departure, but I wouldn’t say that they could be described as working in concert with the Big Ten in any way.
“6. Texas isn’t doing this for leverage because the Big XII can’t give anymore”
As unbelievable as it sounds, Texas has more leverage in the Big 12 today than it did before. As one of Mandel’s tweeters said, Texas has become an independent with a conference.
“7. The Big XII won’t magically sign a new TV contract that is anywhere close to what the Big Ten and SEC are receiving today”
Apparently they have. I don’t quite understand it either.
“8. The Longhorn Sports Network (which is why there isn’t a Big XII network today) is an open question mark”
Texas is willing to take on that question.
“11. Texas A&M or no Texas A&M? That is the question”
I don’t think any individual in power at A&M ever seriously considered the Big Ten. They wanted to go to the SEC, which shows what their goals are.
Also, don’t try to tell Colorado fans that they aren’t winners in this scenario. They get to join the Pac-10 and don’t get quarantined in the Turf division. They might be the most pleased group from Texas’ decision to stay put.
Texas doesn’t look at the BTN and think “I wish those guys would let me be a part of that” Texas thinks “I can do better” — even if they can’t.
That’s basic Type A personality human psychology.
Texas is the most powerful member of the B12-2 and would have had much less power in the egalitarian B10. But its power is diminished.
Could not disagree more with FTT on the B12-2 instability. Don’t you think the schools KNOW that they have had problems? Don’t you think they want to avoid another soap opera in 5 years? Don’t you think their TV partners will demand some kind of stability? It defies logic that the B12-2 won’t deal with this issue. It is likely that the schools will bind themselves more tightly together. In doing so, they take the ‘departure’ hammer out of Texas’ hands and diminish Texas’ power. Texas has played its trump.
Texas will still be the biggest dog, but its bark won’t be quite as loud.
FTT — you are pissed that Texas did not make the move to the B10 and think they are being foolish. You may very well be right. But your analysis, which to date has been pretty good (certainly far superior to the dreck on the rest of the interweb), should not deteriorate into sour grapes.
@PensfaninLAexile – Actually, I’m not pissed that Texas didn’t make the move to the Big Ten. I’m more perplexed that they didn’t take the Pac-10 deal. That seemed to have everything that Texas could possibly want with an upgraded conference. As for Big 12-2 stability, the circumstances in which it came back together look almost exactly like the Big East back in 2003 (which was on the verge of splitting until the 11th hour and almost sent Notre Dame to the Big Ten). It will be safe for a few years and I’m sure there will be harsh exit penalties (note that strong conferences keep their members via carrots as opposed to sticks), but we’ll see rumors about Big 12-ish schools leaving by the middle of this decade just as we do with the Big East today.
RE PAC-10 deal —
My guess is they were split over what to do. Any university is composed of different centers of power. It could be that there was a faction that wanted to go to the B10, maybe even one looking at the SEC, ambivalence over how a 16-team conference would work in the long haul, uncertainty over $$ payout and distribution, conference governance, etc.
In the end, the only thing they might have agreed on was that the low risk model was to fix the B12-2. Since Texas makes more $$ in athletics than anyone else (is tOSU ahead?) as a member of the B12 already, why take the chance?
In a state of confusion, end the drift, stick with the familiar.
I don’t mean to assume facts not in evidence with respect to your demeanor. Perhaps ‘exasperated’ would have been a better choice.
Personally I think TAMU said no chance in hell and had enough political power to push a move to the SEC. If the rest went to the Pac.
IMO, that scuttled the move to the Pac more than anything.
Absolutely Correct. Plus Texas could see the erosion of it’s recruiting grounds with the SEC close and Texas in California. This fact more than anything else caused the “GREAT TEXAS CHANGE OF MIND”.
Read between the lines of the Katz article: There were some powerful, let me correct myself – POWERFUL forces at work to keep the Texas 10 together…My guess is rich and influential alumni at various schools willing to push advertising dollars towards whatever network that was willing to take a chance on a Texas 10 team conference…And also give Texas the opportunity to “experiment” with their own little pet project – TLN.
But, my guess is in 3-5 years, the warts will still be there and you will have a lot of unhappy campers. And if the BTN and Big10+2 conference is thriving, the model will have been established as to how to run a league.
Let Texas play around and I think they will eventually learn what everyone associated with a sports league learns: Equals and rivals that are paid equally are critical to your own success! You can’t be a dominant force in a market and enjoy success….Unless your the Yankees.
Equals and rivals that are paid equally are critical to your own success! You can’t be a dominant force in a market and enjoy success….Unless your the Yankees.
But that is somewhat of a myth.
The B10+ and ACC distribute equally, the SEC and P10 do not. The SEC has the conference contracts paid out equally, but they allow individual schools to have their own sub-networks. That’s the model TX wanted with the P10, but the P10 said no. TX would have kept its LSN and a few games, but the big games would have still been on the P16 network with all the conference TV/cable money distributed equally. The P16 network would aim for basic cable, the LSN would be strictly for the sports tier as a compliment to, not a replacement for the P16 network.
And some of the B10 schools have public mentioned the desire for individual schools to find similar revenue sources that aren’t shared.
What are you talking about when you say that “they [the SEC] allows individual schools to have their own sub-networks”?
@M – I like Big 12-ish! Those names are pretty good, though. Others should make their own suggestions.
The big surprise for me was this new TV deal that came up all of the sudden. Jim Delany must be salivating at his next negotiation with ESPN if that P.O.S conference can garner $14-17 million per school for national TV rights. I didn’t think that the Big 12 could get that even with Nebraska and Colorado in the fold, much less losing both of them and a conference championship game.
As for Colorado, I actually was being pretty nice to them. Most of the writers I’ve seen have said that they’ve made a mistake because the new Pac-10 won’t necessarily make more than the new Big 12 while CU has tons of financial problems. Long-term, though, I’d take the Pac-10 any day over the Big 12-ish.
Seriously, Delany has to be seeing an aggregate of at least $35M per school in the Big Ten even without Texas if we just hold at 12 in the 2016 round of negotiations.
And I’d be willing to bet anything that Fox will bid it up as an added benefit just like the ACC deal ended up paying out like $3M extra per school after bidding.
The Colorado Athletic Department has been operating in the black for several years. It’s the rest of the university that is in the red.
The Big Ten -should- be sitting in the catbird seat next go-round. They should be able to get Fox and ESPN into a bidding war and could always threaten to take more content onto BTN, which by then should have proven itself a solid money-maker.
I keep saying it, but am I the only one who noticed the comment “could pay as much as 17 million by 2012”?
Maybe its just the fuzziness of the information at this time, but I smell a lot of “if” coming off that contract.
IMO, Texas, and maybe one or two other schools , are going to get close to the current SEC/BigTen numbers in a couple years. The rest I think will be closer to ACC payouts.
Meanwhile the Big/SEC just keep getting bigger.
This deal is only going to cause more trouble in about 5-10 year…
You aren’t the only one to notice. The B12 has the same contract for the next two years, although it will be higher per school now that there are two less mouths to feed (but the schools probably lose nearly a million bucks each due to the lack of a title game). Then in fall 2012, the “maybe” deal kicks in.
Agreed. Come 2020 or 2025, it’s very likely that the new Big 12 will have the same level of revenue disparity with “rich” leagues/teams as currently. I don’t think this new contract solves that, especially given its length.
Also, we just don’t know the details and it seems to me that the $17M number is probably an average over the life of the (very long) contract and will not be close to that in 2012-2015; thus, I’m not sure they are really narrowing the gap that much in the short term anyway. And that’s assuming there even is firm details — a lot of times vague promises and assurances go away once finer points of a contract get written down.
Point being, I’m pretty skeptical that this new Big 12 TV deal ends up as good as it superficially appears at this moment.
Frank, remember that Colorado wanted their road to California. Under the Pac16 they would have been relegated to a far inferior Eastern Division. The Pac16 falls through though and Colorado comes out of this with the academic and demographic progress they wanted – as well as stability, like you noted. In my book, that makes CU one of the ¨winners.¨
What happens now to the Pac 10 with regard to divisions and whatnot? Do Colorado and Utah team up with the Pacific Northwest schools? Do they do a zipper? Someone’s not going to like how they split the deal.
Once you take out the 8 million immediate hit they take for leaving…what’s left.
The Big 12, who just lost one of its three marquee teams and its second largest market, has two choices. Add two so-so teams in so-so markets to get to the conference championship game (15 million right there). Or, stay at 10 and maximize your “per school payout” but lose the 15 million from a championship game.
The PAC10, on the other hand, is about to negotiate this spring. USC’s slap on the wrist will hurt their negotiations a bit, but I’d bet they’ll make a good bit more than the Big 12 will when it renegotiates. I think Denver will pay more for PAC10 teams than they would have for BIg 12 teams. PAC10 fans aren’t rabid, but they do have a huge Cali population base they are drawing from.
And depending on how much of its product Texas keeps for itself, the Big 12 might offer less to the ESPN/FOX/whomever conglomerate and thus get a lower offer.
And last but not least, there is the stability factor. I’m of the minority that isn’t even sure the Big 12 will last two more years DESPITE this affected show of solidarity this week. The only way Colorado will lose from this is in the short-short-term…like two year financial picture.
Big 12-ish is the best you could come up with? Not Texas Ten, the Mack-Ten, Texas and “Friends”, HopkinsHorn’s Worst Nightmare, the Lone Star Conference (think about it a bit), or the SWC II?
The Big Yawn
The Longhorn Empire
The Big Texas*
I would add that OSU Pres. Gee got played by TX Pres. Powers on that “Tech problem” remark. TX had no real interest in coming to the BT, with or without Tech.
“Big 12-ish is the best you could come up with? Not Texas Ten, the Mack-Ten, Texas and “Friends”, HopkinsHorn’s Worst Nightmare, the Lone Star Conference (think about it a bit), or the SWC II? ”
Lone Star Conference is already taken. Midwestern State is a strong cycling school.
How about the Big xII. No matter who is added (if they add any), they will be the “Little 10” or “x”. UT would be one of the Big I’s. We’ll let TAMU & OU argue over who the other “Big I” is.
The last week was a wild ride if you are a fan of any of the Big 12 teams.
I’m looking forward to each team playing eachother each year in football. No more of this divisional stuff. Also– home and home in basketball in what will be the best top to bottom league in the nation.
The bigger question is who was pulling the strings on this new TV deal? Fox has a vested interest in stopping superconferences and keeping conference TV stations from forming. It allows a playoff system to develop at a later date (the tv rights could be worth super bowl levels), keeps the balance of power diluted (weaker bargaining power for colleges) and it keeps conferences from hoarding their broadcasts under an in house network (essentially forming a union– keeping control over the fruits of their labor).
Great work on this blog, Frank. Now I’m going to get some work done this week. I’m waaaay behind.
Colorado is elated, pretty much got everything they wanted out of this deal. How the revenue streams flow eventually in B12 vs.P10 comparison remains to be seen.
Nebraska got what it wanted and B10 is stronger for it.
Texas got exactly what it wanted, even more power and control. However, it’ll cost them in the long run when the power players in charge today are no longer running the show. Texas and OK will be #1 and #2 every year, and when battling it out for a BCS bid, they better hope neither has another conference loss plus played and beat some massive heavyweights in what will now be just 3 non-conference games. Strength of schedule matters when you look back and see only 1 or 2 quality wins. What’s a quality win in the UTen conference? Getting 1 BCS bid every year does cost money. I do hope it works out for them though, or they’ll be knocking on the Pac’s door soon.
The rest of the UTen schools, not sure how those fans keep it going. Even the OK fans have to wonder why they are second fiddle to UT. Even if there are some close games and different outcomes, all seems very Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals to me.
On a side note, since the topic is dying down and a lot of us will likely scatter in the coming days/weeks. Thanks Frank for hosting the discussion and it’s been a great couple of months since you first posted on the subject with your listing and put Texas at the top of your list and had Nebraska marginally edging out Missouri. That post was an eye opener, and it really helped focus the mind in terms of the possibilities and how the Big Ten was moving in the process.
I also think that the various discussion here helped to narrow us down to the assumption that Nebraska would be added as the 12th or in a move to 14 regardless of the circumstances, at least several weeks before that became common knowledge elsewhere.
And even with those whom I’ve had disagreements before in the comments, we’ve actually managed to have an intellectually stimulating discussion on a topic that too often devolves into ESPN-message-box chatter that tends to waste everyone’s time.
I guess I’ll stick around for a while as long as things remain calm, and I hope that the next time expansion rolls around (I’m looking at you Notre Dame/Maryland/Rutgers/UVA/Pitt) that you post on it because I know I’ll be back, even if it’s in 2015 in time for the 2016 contract negotiations.
@zeek – Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been fortunate to have all of these readers visit from across the country. I’m serious when I say that reading everyone’s comments is more fun for me than actually writing the blog posts. The level of the discussions have been incredible – there aren’t too many places where you can have 1000 comments to a post and pretty much all of them are truly well thought out.
I’ll have plenty of thoughts on the rest of the sports world. However, I don’t know if you can think of a topic that’s more perfect for blog speculation than conference realignment.
Just want to echo zeek and others comments Frank – Thanks for the articles and insight throughout this whole crazy realignment ordeal – you have been a great host for college sports junkies.
yep, 100% echo and agree with Zeek on this; thank you Frank for providing this wonderful platform and community.
and a big THANKS to all the various posters and commentators over the last few months. I am amazed amazed amazed at the quality of comments and the length of comments and the sheer brain power exhibited by everyone on here.
AND it has never devolved into name-calling or trolling or any other bad internet behavior.
So again, thanks to everyone. it’s been a pleasure to read everyone’s comments and I have learned soo soooo much about CFB. Oh and thanks everyone for the links and research, etc. it was/is so much fun to have people dig out articles and blog posts that I would never have found on my own.
and btw, i’m still hanging around. Delaney is not done yet, IMHO.
Well, as long as we’re gettin’ all mushy…I just want to know where my “Expansion Family” is moving to now that we aren’t going to have anything to talk about or post about….Makes me think if the ol Bud Light Commercials…..
Jeez…I love you guys!
i’m staying here;
we’ll just have to make Frank come up with new topics for discussion: Frank can do his best Dana Carvey impression (SNL comic; do I have his name right?): Topic (in woman’s NYC Jewish accent): the Big East should start it’s own cable network. Discuss!
You’re thinking of Mike Myers SNL character/skit, “Coffee Talk with Linda Richmond”.
Agreed, thanks Frank. Its been fun, see ya sometime between next June and 5 years from now. The stage is set, college football will revamp no later than the next negotiations for the BCS (or its replacement.)
10 > 12
How confident should Utah be over a Pac-12 invite? I see very few positives and quite a few negatives to the Pac-11 on a Utah invite.
The biggest positive is a CCG and a divisional split that would make scheduling easier.
But the downsides are many. One, it’s another mouth to feed, and while Salt Lake City may be a growing market, it’s still not big and they share it with BYU. Another downside is for that the non-California schools would likely get only one game a year in California and likely only every other year in SoCal. If they divide up the divisions into CA/AZ and the rest, then you run into a possible Big 12 North situation. But if you try to divide up the teams more evenly, you’re going to split up in state rivals.
Finally, how attractive is a Pac12 CCG going to be? It will have a crummy starting time for national TV, and SC is the only P12 school with national appeal right now. And SC just got hit with major sanctions that could set them back for a while.
I think you hit it on the head–the P10 took the equivalent of Mizzou on the hope they’d bring friends and now they’re stuck with this boring guy who’s never going to leave your house.
The value of a CCG should make Utah automatic, unless they think it turns into the ACCCG. But it probably won’t if it’s held in LA, which is the heart of the Pac-10 anyways. You do have a point though that the Pac-10 CCG will be compared with the Big Ten CCG and SEC CCG. In effect the Big 12 would be smart to not re-expand and just move to the old Pac-10 setup so as not to compete with CCGs.
People are suggesting a zipper kind of setup to split every grouping of 2 by state into 2 divisions.
I question the chances for a Pac-10 Championship game to succeed. Let’s say it’s in San Francisco… that’s automatically flying distance for Colorado, ASU, Az, UW, and WSU fans. If it’s in LA, it’s flying distance for UO/OSU fans instead of Az/ASU fans.
No matter where the game is held, how can the Pac-10 expect to sell tickets to those far-flung fanbases when the division titles aren’t decided until one week before the game?
Let’s not forget that one of the oft-overlooked factors in the SEC’s successful championship games is simple geography. To date, only Arkansas and LSU fans have had a drive longer than 5.5 hours to Atlanta from their campuses. (This is why I predict the ACC’s move to Charlotte will pay off greatly; central location is key.)
I’m wondering if the Pac 10 should just hold at 11 for awhile in order to assess exactly how stable the Big 12-lite is and to see if the Big 10 goes to 16 (and maybe takes Mizzou which may destablize the Big 12-lite). The reason that I say that is because UT is still the Pac 10’s only chance at going to 16, and their only chance at getting UT is to invite it’s lapdogs. So if the Pac 10 ever forsees a situation down the road where it may want to revisit going to 16 teams, then it needs as many slots has it can have available to offer UT’s lapdogs.
ooooh, I like “big 12-lite”
How about Big Twilight?
I’m thinking the same thing. Why cut off options by taking Utah (who’s inferior to most current Pac10 schools by any metric you care to look at)? The Pac11 is lukewarm about a championship game anyway.
Bamatab, but now that we know that A&M prefers the SEC, couldn’t the Pac-10 just offer UT/Tech/OU/OSU?
That’s making the assumptions that 1.) aTm would have an offer to the SEC the next time and 2.) if aTm would want to separate from UT next time. The answer to one of those questions could be no.
Agree about 10>12. While I love Nebraska in the Big Ten, I hate the idea of a conference championship game and am not convinced its better for the school teams to be in bigger conferences (even if it is beneficial to the conference itself).
it is going to be interesting to see how the Big Ten divides up into divisions (or if they do that at all). They have said that they do not want a CCG rather have everyone play their rival on the last weekend of the season (which has been moved back a week or two). Now if that is the case then there are going to be a lot of great rival games that weekend.
Michigan/Ohio State, Nebraska/Iowa, Penn State/MSU, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Indiana/Purdue, Illinois/Northwestern
Penn State vs Michigan State should never be listed under “great rivalry games.”
They are each other’s third priority rivalry at best.
yeah, and to hear it, both Neb and PSU want to have an end-of-year game.
btw, i find the whole “competing-to-be-NEB’s-new-BFF” amusing and a little worrisome. Iowa, Wiscy, and PSU are all wanting NEB as their new rival. The new girl already has the bucks fighting amongst themselves and I hope there aren’t any hard feelings when the newbie makes a choice.
If the B10 adds Michigan-UP, Wisky can have them as their rival. PSU has been clamoring for an Eastern partner, so they can’t claim the Westernmost as their “rival”. IA-NEB makes the most sense.
Geographically Iowa makes the most sense, but historically and big name game wise, Penn State edges them out imho. Even though Iowa has been a better team recently.
Penn State – Nebraska has some unsettled national championship hype going back and forth and I think would be a much bigger TV game – hence drive revenues and heartbeats. Michigan obviously fits this mode too, but they are taken.
Iowa has that Omaha back and forth since there are a lot of Iowans that work in Omaha. Outside of Omaha (which is 40% of the state population) it doesn’t resonate as much.
Having grown up in small town Nebraska, and gone to college and lived in Omaha I am OK with either.
WI is kind of an meh even though Barry is an Alum.
Yes, this PSU fan wants Nebraska every Thanksgiving for the 1994 Trophy (or McCloskey’s cleats or Steinkuhler’s prescription or whatever)
Who is saying that they don’t want a CCG? The coaches and fans?? Delaney said explicitly that there would most likely be a CCG after the Nebraska press conference. I don’t think Delaney would say that if the schools did not want a CCG.
Re Pac 10 soon Pac 12 as Big winner in spite of themselves
The biggest winner is the Pac 10 who narrowly escaped bringing in schools that don’t belong but almost accepted because the money looked good.
If the Pac 10 adds Utah with Colorado they add 2 schools who actually want into the conference; they get a conference playoff game; they get an opportunity to create a conference channel with a stable group of schools.
The Pac 10 escapes taking schools like OK and A&M who belong in the SEC by preference but are tied to the Texas 10 by politics: OK needs be with OSU; A&M choosing to be with the 3 other Texas schools.
The Pac 10 escapes taking in clones like OSU and Texas Tech.
The Pac 10 escapes the possible alienation of the AZ schools by separating them from the California schools.
By staying at 12, the Pac 10 preserves the conference as an actual conference rather than 2 parallel conferences with ironclad divisions linked by a logo.
The Pac 10 escapes from a conference where half the teams would be “gagging” at the thought of being associated with each other.
Talk about confusion: Tech, A&M, OK, OSU versus USC, UCLA, Stanford, California, U of Wash, U of Oregon:
Money isn’t everything.
Maybe there is a lesson in this with respect to the Big 10 obsession with ND.
Re Big 10 now 12 as a winner
The Big 10 made an excellent add with Nebraska; a school that wants to be part of the conference, will be a great competitor and makes possible a championship game.
agreed; my last five days (including the weekend) have been hell at work. I got home last night and just was able to hear about the BXII being “saved” but was too tired to get into details.
now, this morning, i’m just astonished. Friday morning TX et. al. were off to the PAC16 with BofR votes on Tuesday and then on Wednesday (OK and OKST).
today, the BXII-lite exists and the PAC-16 has shrunken back down to 11.
quite a turn-around.
P10 should have taken in TCU, SMU, UTEP, BYU and UAB, paired them with USC and UCLA and they could have had an all initial division.
Seriously, Colorado is very happy. They’ve been wanting in the P10 for a long time. They have more alumni in Arizona than all of the B12-2 states combined (excepting Texas). And they have a lot more alumni in CA than TX. Their economy used to be tied more to the plains and energy, but now its more tied to the Pacific Coast. In the 70s they REALLY hated Texans for buying all the ranches and driving up land prices. By the 90s they REALLY hated Californians for buying all the ranches, driving up land prices and turning all their BBQ joints into sushi bars.
Colorado is where they belong and where they want to be. Of all the players, TV money was the least important to them. As long as it was close, they wanted the P10.
Thanks Frank for your blogging. Its been a wild ride. I suspect its not yet over for the B10.
And now Nebraska ranchers really hate the Colorado ranchers who sell out for housing developments and come buy up Sandhills ranches at any price and drive up the land valuation for everyone.
Utah a done deal?
Reports have Utah and Colorado going to a Pac 12 South division w/ UCLA/USC/UA/ASU. Pac 12 North made up of Wash/WashSt/UO/OSU/Stan/Cal
That’s an interesting setup, and it’s smart to not put all the California schools in a single division.
The only problem I see is that isn’t the Pac-12 North really light on population footprint? If you split California up in two like that, South California/Arizona/Colorado/Utah should have most of the population. I guess an East/West didn’t really make sense though…
I think the best set up is to split the CA schools or else you would more than likely have a B12 N/S type situation. The South has more population w/ SoCal, Phoenix, and Denver. But the N still has a lot with NorCal, Seattle, and Niketown.
Bottom line though is that whatever division ended up with the SoCal schools was going to be percieved as the better/stronger/more desirable division. Splitting the CA schools just makes it less lopsided.
Also – going back to some comments I have made in the past concerning the Pac’s psuedo hierachy of decision makers – 3 are in the North (Stan/Cal/Wash) where 2 (albiet most powerful) are in the South. So it splits up and balances power as well as you can there as well I think.
Let me start by saying that this blog has been a blast to lurk on. As a Stanford fan and occasional Pac10 (now Pac11) homer, this question on divisional structure is very important to me.
The best attribute of this blog has been the mindset of thinking like the decision-makers in this conference realignment-palooza. I think we should do the same for this organizational quandary.
First, let’s assume that we do indeed add Utah. They make a good enough rival to Colorado and will be treated as such in our structure of paired rivals.
Second, can we identify who has the clout to influence such decisions in the conference? With only one recruiting hotbed (SoCal), everyone will want to maximize access to the same resources. If the schools all fight for their self interest, can we assume that the league office is strong enough to mediate a compromise?
Third, what rivalries are valued and to what extent? Obviously, each school has a main in-state/crosstown rival (or in the case of UU/CU, a border rivalry.) But take the case of Oregon vs. Washington. Surely they would want to protect their yearly game by being in the same division. I may be biased as a Stanford fan who grew up and lives in SoCal, but I think all four CA schools want to play each other as much as possible.
Finally, can we judge any proposed alignment not only on how well they address the above concerns, but also how they compare to the example of a successful 2-division conference (SEC) and to the less successful ones (ACC, Big XII)? I believe the SEC has succeeded because it has both balance and is divided on geographic lines. Meanwhile, the Big XII lacked balance while the ACC lacks geographic common sense.
How do the proposals stack up?
1) Every impartial outsider seems to settle on the zipper. Stanford will hate having to give up one of the LA schools. Given the UC connection between the Bears and Bruins, I guess my Cardinal goes with the Trojans. Does Cal care that we get more access to USC? Does Stanford care that Cal gets more trips to the Rose Bowl? Will the same questions be asked by other rival pairs as they are assigned to one division or the other?
2) What about geography? Surely the region left out of LA will form an effective and cohesive voting block against any proposal.
I hate to sound defeatist, but there really is no good way to organize a Pac12. It is my personal opinion that Stanford and Cal were willing to overlook the very obvious shortcomings of Texas Tech and Oklahoma State not only because they would ensure the annexation of their more desirable brethren and bring a financial windfall, but also because going to 16 schools eliminated the difficulties of organization.
Well, the Pac16 was not to be, so here we are left with a problem with no solution.
I’ve been wondering about the Pac 11 also and now that they aren’t getting Texas, besides the fact that they would get to host a championship game, do you think they really “want” to add a 12th team in the form of UTAH or do they want to wait?
Methinks they are disappointed in the Texas decision and they are going to be a little bit more liek the Big 10 with the Domers: We know who we want….And no one gets an invite until we’re ABSOLUTELY 100% sure we know what the answer is….
Just a hunch.
I don’t really know what our presidents/chancellors are thinking because I was surprised to learn that Scott had authority to pursue not only a P16 but also a P12 as he sees fit. I suppose the post-Hanson reaction is very strong. As a fan, I want us to wait on Utah. Will they really turn us down if we wait?
The problem with waiting is organizing an 11-team league. But I suppose this board is full of experts on how to do just that. I really would prefer to play at least 9 conference games and I am told that 9 is impossible with 11 teams. I would be all for an 11-team round robin, but the coaches and even many fans are tired of our relative disadvantage in playing the most conference games of the BCS leagues and don’t want to exacerbate that disadvantage.
You have the population issue by keeping the CA schools together, but scheduling works very well with CA/AZ together and a 5-2-2 schedule, 5 division opponents, 2 every year rivals, 2 rotating teams. For example, Washington and Oregon St. could get Cal and UCLA every year with USC/Stanford every other year. Washington St. and Oregon could get USC/Stanford with Cal/UCLA every other year. The Arizona schools would have CO/UT every year. The NW schools get 3 California schools every year and play in the Bay Area and Southern California 3 out of 4 years.
If you split the CA schools, their 2 other division rivalry games would be against each other. So the NW schools get into Southern California, the prime recruiting grounds, only every other year.
Historically, there would be a good balance of power as WA and CO have been the 2nd and 3rd best of the 12, though obviously not now. However the Oregon schools are good right now.
This works if they want 9 conference games every year, but you guarantee additional losses within the conference. With an 8 game conference schedule a team could play 5 in division and then one from each of the remaining pairs, and alternating every year.
Using the current proposal of splitting the NoCal schools to the northern division, Oregon would play:
The PAC10 and Big XII actually have similar issues in that they have rich recruiting grounds that really could be addressed by scheduling (south California and Texas respectively).
Assuming the PAC10 adds Utah, they might be well-advised to use a zipper splitting state of California (only), then group the rest logically by region. It would wind up looking something like this…
North – USC, Stanford, Ore, Ore St, Wash, Wash St
South – Cal, UCLA, AZ, AZ St, Col, Utah
USC-UCLA and Stanford-Cal would (of course) be protected cross-division rivalries.
If the Big XII were to go to two five-team divisions (probably isn’t happening), I think they should do something similar to the state of Texas…
Wilkinson Divison – Baylor, Texas Tech, OK, OK St, Missouri
Royal Division – Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, Kansas St, IA St
Bravo, Frank. For seven months you’ve brought the knowledge on the topic of Big Ten expansion with great insight, persuasion and wit – far beyond what can be had from conventional media. You clarified and defined a behind-the-boardroom-door drama that might be unique in the history of both American business and sport.
The many fantastic commenters drawn to your blog are a telling testament.
Thanks for the ride.
Frank, it’s been awesome to read your intelligent analysis. Thank you for the great reading.
And if you need something to blog about regarding Big Ten expansion down the line, do me a favor by explaining why Maryland/UVA/UNC/GT/etc. would NOT be good candidates for the Big Ten… I’m a big ACC fan living in BT territory, so I appreciate both leagues. I just hope that the ACC will be able to assert itself among the elite soon. The football talent has been there for years; just look at the number of NFL first-rounders in the past five years. But for long-term success, the league needs more eyeballs and more cream to rise to the top. If that can happen, there will be little reason for ACC members to look elsewhere, whether Big Ten or SEC; more winning and more viewers will mean more competitive TV revenue.
But in any case, your blog has been truly entertaining. Congrats to you for your Hawks’ long-awaited championship.
I think they are. Maryland, UVA, UNC, GT, Duke, Miami, & maybe FSU to the Big20, I say (along with ND or Rutgers or both).
Which raises an interesting point. TX and the Big Yawn staying at 10 for now could in part be a hedge on if super conferences emerge on a 20-school, rather than 16-school model.
For political reasons I think 5×16 is far more likely than 4×16, especially if eventual break away is on the table. 4×20 splits it the same way, and allows for 8 division winners to meet in the current 4 BCS bowls to start a playoff.
Dang, I should really proofread. let’s try again:
For political reasons I think 5×16 is far more likely than 4×16, especially if eventual break away is on the table. 5×16=80 schools. 4×20 splits that same 80, allowing for 8 division winners to meet in the current 4 BCS bowls to start a playoff.
(All analysis, no news here!) I agree that UNL and the Big Ten are the biggest winners- this is a clear, concise addition for both school & conference that certainly helps the bottom line; solves the problem of a CCG; and adds a marquee program that provides continuity of fit & culture. The major minus of academic average being slightly lessened is mitigated by the fact of AAU membership and potential for growth, which, like PSU, will come in time.
This is the perhaps the best possible outcome given how expansion has played out at this point- a solid add amidst much uncertainty and rumor. Imagine if the B10 had, say, last week, jumped on Missouri? The result would be no BXII deal, a 13th member, and ongoing chaos/grabbing. As it stands, the conference has a solid addition and EXACTLY as Delaney has said, will continue on the “12-18 month” timetable.
Take him at his word, folks. I’m not saying Delany is omniscient/omnipotent, but according to his press conference comments, the B10 knew it wanted UNL and acted according to their window of opportunity. Delany has pulled off the feat of making a move that is both revolutionary, progressive and conservative- no mean feat! It follows that going forward, the B10 will continue to pursue their priorities and won’t be swayed by media(dare I say internet?) hype & rash judgment. UT, while having many attractive features, proved to be too tied to regional politics & concerns and institutional control issues. As if in an elaborate pledging ritual, UT showed themselves as too personally motivated to warrant the special circumstances the league might have been prepared to offer them.
My personal belief is that ND remains the true target and that expansion efforts, though they might become quiet again, will continue towards that end. I would be very surprised if Delany/B10 makes an Armageddon-like move to FORCE ND’s hand (see Big Ten Jeff’s excellent input above). Thinking like a university president: the first moves have been made and are solid on their own merits, let a year pass and see how the changes turn out. The results may help demonstrate how ND will fit into the most mutually-beneficial partnership possible.
Texas was a nice idea that turned out to be a pipe dream, but it truly IS All About Notre Dame + The Big Ten…
On a side note – and I know Bama touched on it in the last thread – I am going to be pretty upset if the B10 jumps to 16 within the next couple of years. I mentioned that I was sitting on the fence on whether I really like the idea of the P16 w/ UT and its gang (although I liked it a lot after rumors of aTm dropping for either Utah or KS), but that being said – I definitely don’t like the idea that there were those that conspired against the conference to stop it. Will those same “unnamed” conspire against future B10 expansion (or was it them doing the conspiring)? I get the model – B10/SEC stops P16 to remain unchallenged alphas…just doesn’t sit right to stop someone then flip around and allow another.
Dog eat dog world – I get it, but still…
There might be a couple things that impact your view of this B12-lite contract.
First, it looks like it’s going to be Fox Sports Net, not the ideal power network
Second, rumor is 18-25 years. That is an awful long time to tie into a contract.
Third, per Chip Brown the contract will have provisions to “keep the schools from jumping conferences. So they are locked in together (for better or worse).”
Fourth, I can picture those ‘provisions’ (penalties), 3+ years notice to leave, forfeit 90-100% of 3+ years revenue ($45m+), no ability to leave within a certain timeframe of signing contract (say 5 years or so). Who is going to be able to pay that sort of penalty, oh wait Texas could…who else – no one.
Fifth, how funny will it be if Memphis is invited to join the B12 lite and FedEx signs up as a league sponsor at a rate of $10-17m/year?
A few thoughts…
Certainly the Big Ten is a winner here. Nebraska couldn’t be a better addition. Speaking for Wisconsin, I’m quite pleased. A very good new foe. A school that will be a great partner.
(The last two additions are Penn State and Nebraska. Not bad…)
Besides strengthening yourself, weakening the Big 12 and having your closest ally strengthen modestly (though not as much as you), and having your main competitor lose out on what was likely an addition into the lucrative Texas market, the other plus to this soap opera is that the Big Ten can see how much the networks will pony up for the next TV deal. Who’d have thought the Big Ten would see so much benefit from just adding Nebraska?
But while things will likely calm down a bit now, (and while our domer friends must be resting well tonight), I don’t think things are at all over for Big Ten expansion plans quite yet. And that means the conference turns to the east.
I know the Pac-10 has to be disappointed with all this, but Utah and Colorado are good additions academically and in terms of new markets to get them to 12. Allows for a championship game, if they wish it and a better TV deal. (In fact, with what the Big 12 just got paid, the Pac-10 will likely do reasonably well.) Additionally, while they’re likely quite disappointed that they didn’t get their prize, I think they’ve dodged a major bullet. I don’t feel they’d be strengthened at all by the schools they were about to take. And for the moment, they don’t need more teams anyway.
The remaining Big 12 schools (Iowa State and Kansas State in particular, who had zero options) must be ecstatic. But that conference is built on silt, forever susceptible to liquifaction once again with the next “seismic” conference change.
(Hope you liked the analogy; I don’t get a chance to use my geology much…)
Finally, Frank, “Cajones” means ‘drawers’. “Cojones” is balls. Though I suppose you might need big drawers if you have big balls.
(In Canada, I don’t get to use my Spanish much either.)
I agree. I think everyone’s breathing easy now, but I can’t believe its going to be over yet.
Maybe not till next year.
The Pac-10 “losing” on UT, etc. is also mitigated in that UT, OU, and A&M are staying in the Big XII, and not going to The Big Ten or SEC and creating the first superconference(s).
Big Ten and SEC may go to 16 eventually, but if they did with UT, the Pac-10 would have been staring at perhaps four BCS conferences, and three of them SuperConferences. Now, at the very least, the Big XII will also be a non-SuperConference. The Big East remains unsettled, but for the time being, it looks like there will be a minimum of 5 BCS conferences, and the Pac-10 won’t be left behind just yet.
And, frankly, I think the SEC has far better options for the next round.
BT possibles: Mo., Kan., RU, Pitt, Syr., U Conn., Md., ND
SEC: A&M, Ok., Ok. State, Mo., Va. Tech, Clemson, FSU, Miami, W. Virginia
BT would not be able to match A&M, FSU/Clemson, OK., OK St. unless ND comes on board, which remains unlikely.
If the SEC has A&M as a possibility in the “next round”, why wouldn’t the Big Ten have Texas as a possibility?
Haven’t read many of shroom’s posts, have you?
TX never came close to being in the BT. A&M was 50-50 to the SEC for a week. Tx doesn’t want in the BT, period-neither the fans nor the administration.
Why limit the Big10? You should include all the academically good ACC schools from Virginia to Miami as potential targets as well.
From the sounds of it, the Big 12 Lite will not be an option for some time… and there are thoughts that Clemson/FSU/WV/Mia are not what the SEC had in mind. for either academic or footprint issues. I think Va Tech would be a great add for the SEC.
I still cannot believe A&M did not take this golden opportunity to break away. I am sure politics was a big part of it.
I think options are about equal. Who knows what the future holds. I look forward to it. I am in the minority that loves the idea of miami/GT in the Big Ten. There are a huge amounts of Big Ten fans in Florida.
thanks for hosting this ride, Frank. With the exception of the guy early on who claimed dominance, most of the posters have been interesting in giving their views. I guess we will learn if academics and location will produce a hexadecimal conference rather than dancing with the 2 prima donnas. Maybe we can get BTN to show the Ozzie & Kenny throw down…
I think the most interesting and surprising result of all of this is the amount of money the TV networks are literally throwing at these conferences!!! There’s only so much money they can squeeze out of the advertisers. I think several big things are going to fall out of this: conferences cannot start their own TV networks while under what are today huge TV contracts, TV networks are reaching the maximum they can pay, and advertisers are going to start moving over the the BTN because the rates will be lower and the BTN is becoming larger and more attractive.
All of these things combine to make the Big Ten more money in the long run. How much more is open to debate. But the Big Ten looks to be well in front of the other conferences in the long-term financially right now. As others have said, the 2016 TV contract should be at least as much as what the ACC and Big Tex make right now. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
P.S. Thanks to FtT for his insightful blog, and to all of the commenters who have contributed so much information and analysis to the discussion.
Yes well done Frank, your twitter replies have helped me get through a pretty tough week as (primarily) a Jayhawk fan.
My dad and his whole side of the family is from Nebraska and I always rooted for UNL when I was a kid. The first Starter jacket was a big red one. But I was born here in KS and that has certainly grown into my first allegiance.
So from the beginning I was hoping UNL would go to the Big Ten but only if Kansas could land well if the whole thing went to shit.
Somehow…some way my prayers were answered and now I can root for UNL as hard as I did as a kid when I didn’t know you HAD to choose one team.
Thanks again for your great coverage and I’ll stay tuned. And Big Ten fans…I promise you your shit does stink.
oh come now, how do you know about the smell of our shit? LOL… and, personally, mine smells of sweet roses and lilacs.
hey i can smell yours through the TV every time OSU craps in a BCS game! jk:)
Can we add the Big East under “glad to be alive?”
They still exist with their best programs and no-one started the dominoes with the ACC.
The Big East is still unstable and the conference administrators have shown no inclination to do anything to fix the problem for the football schools. If anything the speculation has been on how the BB conference changes.
This is a pause in expansion and the Big East has an oh so temporary respite. With Texas off the table, the Big Ten will:
1) defer to ND’s decision time line (which must now be in the years category)
2) force ND’s decision time line by expanding in a calculated manner
3) wait for proactive moves
(a) by the SEC :: (now unlikely?)
(b) by the ACC :: (If the Big Ten is dormant, why not consider moving on attractive Big East schools?)
One constraint on the above is the question of whether the Big Ten is leaving money on the table without a further expansion now. One line of reasoning is that it doesn’t matter until the next contract negotiation. However, I think we have established that the right expansion is accretive through BTN carriage rates and advertising on increased inventory.
So, even if ND is the fish to play for, does it follow any further expansion has a negative impact on the probability of landing ND?
There is one point missed in Frank’s summing up. Delaney and the Big Ten know a great deal more about ND’s parameters for a decision. It is highly probable this information has resulted in selection of both a strategy and the alternative expansion scenarios. A critical piece of information is whether ND is gettable and what acceptable requirements are associated with that (e.g. bringing in another private smallish school). If ND is judged to be available only with seismic changes where they are looking for safe harbor, one might suppose keeping a slot open will be enough.
Absent this critical knowledge about ND — which Delaney and the Big Ten now possess — we will need to watch the Big Ten actions. Bottom line, there is nothing we have learned, apart from Texas coming off the table, that suggests the Big Ten stops here. We can infer that ND was in play (though perhaps only paired with Texas) and the analysis on this board suggests the BTN benefits in a nonlinear fashion with new inventory and footprint. Those points introduce real uncertainty for the question of a significant pause in expansion.
well put, although I’m not sure I agree.
honestly, i have doubts that the B10 presidents are seeing this in terms of B10 Network households and cable footprints. thus, expanding just to add inventory? not sure.
would agree with your comments on ND, particularly in the sense of what information was shaken loose in the last few months. the B10 has good, current-as-of-now information on what ND wants/needs to become a member of the B10. also, if FtT’s recent post about the BEast splitting into BB and Football divisions, the B10 also has lots of information on how to force ND’s hand (if such was desirable).
it will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens.
I would bet ND isn’t telling the BT a damn thing about its intentions.
yes, not anymore.
but, from all accounts, ND expressed positions on various issues (e.g., we want to join with TX, we want more OOC games, etc.)
at minimum, a lot of information/sentiment has been provided by bloggers, media and fans.
yeah, seems to me Big East goes in the TBD category.
1. Some people and some organizations are never meant to be part of anything they don’t control. I am glad that TX knows that about itself and that at least a few B10 presidents learned it about them as well. For better or for worse they need to go their own way, and good luck to them.
2. The TX subsidiary corporations (otherwise known as MO, KU, etc.) are permanently screwed. You guys are probably right that they all had to lock into a long term deal to get this done but that means that they are locked out of the chance for large revenue streams that might help them upgrade both their school and their athletic programs. Absent those upgrades they will never be attractive to another conference and are thus relegated to a life of conference subservience.
3. Having said that however I find it hard to believe that there aren’t some outs in the B12ish contracts. The thing about control freaks like TX is that they also like to control their ability to leave and surely the other schools aren’t stupid enough to let TX build in outs that don’t apply to the rest of them as well?? Surely??
4. This move cements the future ability of B10 and SEC to practically pick their new partners. No school east of the Mississippi will go the P12 nor will anyone join the TX Corporate Conference. Once the enhanced TV money starts to flow to B10 and SEC as a result of what got thrown at TX then the prestigious schools we have all discussed will have to rethink where they sit in the BE and ACC.
5. Frank, I echo all the things said about you and your work on this blog. It ain’t over till it’s over.
2. The TX subsidiary corporations (otherwise known as MO, KU, etc.) are permanently screwed. You guys are probably right that they all had to lock into a long term deal to get this done but that means that they are locked out of the chance for large revenue streams that might help them upgrade both their school and their athletic programs.
Every school just got at least a 50% pay raise. Actually closer to double for the lesser schools.
yeah, but … that’s great for the short term, but a contract lasting nearly two-decades is really a problem particularly with TX being able to do it’s own network and with TX getting unequal revenue sharing. TX (and probably OK) will continue to grow their revenue, maybe OKstate and TX Tech and A&M grow. but the remainder of the BXII will slowly starve and decline (just like now).
Late post… sorry…
This all seems like re-upping in the military. We’ll give you a nice bit of money (short-term i.e. carrot) if you commit for another 4 or 6 years… but it’s not on your terms.
Lil extra cash now… a little short term security… but…you may end up in Siberia.
As long as the penalty for leaving the Big 12-ish is only money, it will be no impediment for the Longhorns the next time they want to go looking. Every other team can be kept in place with a fairly sizable forfeiture clause.
Per a USAToday article:
“and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has said his league will make no further moves for at least six to 12 months.”
1)Anyone know where this quote came from?
2)If its true, looks like the roller coaster ride isn’t totally over yet.
Also of interest in the article:
-Texas and a few other schools get way more than the others (by $5mill in some estimates).
-The values thrown around are high per the evaluator used for that article. With overall averages coming out to around ACC payouts.
IMO, what we saw happen is Fox Sports become the defacto “Big12-ish Conference TV Channel” that is supposed to pay out just enough to get them to their next ABC/ESPN tv contract where they’ll probably get ~ACC money (since they’ll only likely want a couple games per week from that conference). All together your looking at teams like Texas making close to what Florida/Alabama make (including local content contracts) with teams like Iowa St. getting paid more like ACC members.
I simply cannot see how that is conducive to maintain a healthy conference.
Was it really Fox that bid the Big Twilight? Pac 10 can’t be happy about their “partner” pulling the rug out from under them on the P16.
IMO, Fox backed its horse as long as it could, but once it knew the Pac was out of the race (TAMU going SEC) it made its own play.
They’re still going to get the Pac Network up and on its feet. It just won’t have Texas in its footprint.
didn’t see that comment but wouldn’t be at all surprised. the turmoil in the entire conference landscape allowed the Nebraska to Big Ten portion to go with relatively little fuss and muss. Pac 10 and Big 12ish are taking all the hits……..except from Rick. Delany and company can now work with Nebraska on a smooth transition and bide their time for a bit. Given the money and egos involved and the instability in a couple of conferences it is inevitable that things heat up again in the not to distant future. Its not over. Until then we may have to humor Frank and discuss Lebron a bit.
ok, i’m game: OMG, did you see that twitter report that LeBron is going to play BB in CANADA!?
I saw JD’s PC when Neb was added. He said the BT remains on its original time schedule- re: expansion……basically that BT could now go back to the origiunal timetable….said priority #1 at present was getting Neb. integrated, but BT would monitor the expansion landscape….talked about a “pause” in the action. I certainly didn’t interpret his comments to mean that expansion was to be shut down for a # of years.
This meshes with everything PBC has said on the Northwestern board. Texas/ND has been the plan A, plan B, and plan C for quite some time. Now Delany takes a step back and sees how the Big 12 progresses and decides whether it´s time to move on from Texas. Whatever the decision, I think Delany realizes the Big 10 has to strike while the iron is hot. The Big 10 is working against a clock, so to speak, and desperately needs a footprint in Texas or the SE before the music stops.
If he decides to move on (which I think he will), the next move – maybe a year down the road – is to destabilize the ACC by taking GTech and Miami. You then look into Maryland and expect the ACC to raid the Big East. If that comes to fruition, the Big East/ND scenario Frank described in his last post could play out.
Next year, at this time, I think we see the Big 10 expand to 16 with Miami, GTech, Maryland and Notre Dame.
Good prediction. GTech & Miami make a lot of sense for the Big10. I think Maryland gets addde only if ND comes along as well.
0 for 3 there boys
Add Notre Dame to the “winner” column here.
The Fighting Irish get to remain independent, which was their goal during all of this nonsense.
nothing changed for Notre Dame. that is neither a winner or a loser. its just status quo. and if the notion is that this process is over and Notre Dame is free and clear just remember what someone said in the ‘Wizard of Oz’
“Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”
Since “Status Quo” was ND’s desired outcome, I’d consider the mere moving of CU and UNL out of the BXII to be a Big W for the Irish.
Does “No mean no” yet? Haven’t heard it yet from Swarbrick. Or did I miss something. If not, would he please put this to rest already!! Silence is not good here. Especially with the TT and OKSt opt out rumblings and the funny numbers of the new Bush League Conference.
I fear we’ll never get any more of a no from the current administration than we have so far.
@FLP_NDRox – There’s no reason for the administration to ever give a preemptive unequivocal “NEVER” statement. It would throw red meat to the alumni base, but it doesn’t behoove any school to go on the record in that manner. Enough weird s**t has happened enough over the past 2 decades in conference realignment that you have to keep your options open. In fact, in ND’s position, the perception of having options is important to its leverage (i.e. it can go to NBC and say, “We’ll just join the Big Ten to make more money if you don’t pay us X dollars”).
I concur, and you are right, it is the proper call for ND. My “fear” is mainly for myself and constantly waiting for another shoe to drop a la 1999 until the dawn of the Big Sixteen 🙂 Oh, well, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
And allow me to thank you for hosting us and being our prophet in this. I don’t plan on leaving, but I’ll probably return to lurking more and posting less. Go Big East Hoops.
That also makes them the loser……
“winner” or “loser” depends on your perspective (naturally). “winner” if you value ND independence and think that is long-term best for ND; “loser” if you think the future is in conference membership and that ND will slowly decline if they fail to sign up.
Frank, The Big XII (10) is safe….for now. Nebraska and Colorado left, not only because they feared the conference would dissolve, but also because of finances. I am still skeptical about how this new Big XII TV contract will work until the figures are released, coupled with the Longhorn Sports Network. The Big Ten struggled to get the Big Ten Network on basic cable, and the Big XII will definitely run into more hurdles because of population and coverage.
If this new TV deal doesn’t work out, I can see this same situation presenting itself a few years from now. Texas and/or Notre Dame remain the ultimate goal for the conference. I can see the Big Ten standing pat for now with 12 teams, but we will see what happens in the next round of TV contract negotiations. If the margin for the Big Ten vs the Big XII is as different as it is now, expect this seismic expansion talk to begin again.
Hawkeyes Western Division champs!
“Forget it, Frank the Tank – it’s Texas”
Thanks for the great forum and insight Frank.
Some thoughts on the birth of the Big Yawn:
With all the pushback from the BCS, networks, cable providers, NCAA, TX politicians, NCAA, outside conferences and schools, and yet to be named others, perhaps TX’s best hand was to settle temporarily. In the next 12 months the governor’s race will be over, the legislature will meet and end for the next 2 years, and Congress will become less interventionist and more predictable. Buy some time and let the heavy work preparing for the massive shift to super conference take place behind the scenes.
Next time there will be only 4 open slots in the P16. Baylor problem solved.
Next time the LSN is up and attached, now non-negotiable.
Why the heck Texas still believes that a solo sports network will be better off in the long-term compared to a share in the Big Ten Network or what would’ve been created in the Pac-10 is beyond me, but DeLoss Dodds is going to get his chance to create his baby.
Ask Florida ($10 million) and the SEC about the value of such networks. And let’s clear something up, the LSN isn’t about getting on basic, it is strictly intended for the sports tier. A few football games (cough, ISU, Baylor, cough), 20% non-athletic selling of the school, nostalgia interviews and footage, and guaranteed broadcast for all the minor sports TX wants on the air.
No good reason why that couldn’t have co-existed with a primary P16 network that would be for basic. Would have slightly reduced the cut to each P10 school, but they’d also have the chance to follow suit. Some jackass NYTimes writer blames TX greed, but what about the P10 schools’ greed? They could have had the P16 if they had compromised on allowing individual schools to have affiliated secondary networks. The SEC does, are they greedy, too?
I’m not thrilled, but I’ll wait to learn more of the facts and reasoning. And who’s to say that 12-school conferences don’t end up as the template for the playoff reformation instead of 16-school super conferences?
Link for the 10am central TX-Bill Powers press conference:
Forgot to add, we’ve learned that:
TX to the Big Tent is dead, almost surely forever. If we go to super conferences then aTm will go SEC. Geography and travel do matter and there just aren’t enough academically eligible schools nearby to package with TX. Lone outposts are unlikely for any super conference.
A conference with nearly all academic peers isn’t as powerful a draw as we thought. $ and total fit matter more. A school with the academic heft of TX thinks its reputation is solid enough that the benefits don’t outweigh the trade offs. Joining with the P10 will suffice if we go to super conferences.
It seems that the only place for Texas is the next 5+years is the big 12 or SEC. PAC and BIG are going to have networks. Those networks would be diminished with a LHN.
I know the BIG will not give any member a special deal. Goes against what the Big is.
PAC probably would do the same. Especially once network is up and running.
Looks like the SEC for Texas if they can’t keep the others in line.
good morning playoffs now
good post but just a couple of comments.
the NY Times reporter you mention was Pete Thamel. his comment was:
Source confirms that Texas asked to be able to keep own local TV and wanted “extra sweetner” financially from revenue sharing at 11th hour. I take the implication from that was some local tv was on the table and subject to the negotiation and at the 11th hour asked for an extra sweetener from revenue sharing. the above and beyond the local network appears to be the genesis of the greed comment. fwiw it is also possible that by the ’11th hour’ Texas was aware of the pending Big 12 deal and threw that in to stall negotaitions and buy time.
you say “a conference with nearly all academic peers isn’t as powerful a draw as we thought.” really? the Texas administrations seemed to be awfully interested. the athletic department and politicians were the opposition. they won. what does that say? Notre Dame is in a similar position. the administration of Notre Dame is very interested in a conference of academic peers and have been since the 90s. it is the alumni fan base who are oppossed.
I don’t think the Tx adm was “awfully interested”. I think our man Powers was blowing OSU Pres. Gee a load of shit with that “Tech problem” comment.
there were a lot of other sources over the last two weeks saying there was a split within Texas with the academic side in favor of the Big Ten but the athletic department favoring the Pac 10. that was more than the Gee’s e-mail.
Name one source other than a blogger on this blog to that effect…..
Actually, I think what we’ve seen is that “a conference with nearly all academic peers” has shown to be quite powerful. The Big Ten was the biggest and wealthiest and just became moreso. It’s also still on the prowl for more.
The only schools that have shown they don’t find it so attractive are those who have a lopsided deal on their own and would have to give up the power they’re used to. For the most part, that’s Texas and Notre Dame. And over time we’ll see how stable those schools are in their current situations.
“A school with the academic heft of TX thinks its reputation is solid enough that the benefits don’t outweigh the trade offs.”
I suspect Texas is a special case in this regard. Perhaps internally to UT academics loses to athletics, but almost certainly with respect to politics. Turning down membership in the CIC is not just about reputation.
1) if I were the BE, I would still kick out ND and split into 2 conferences. I would add Temple, UCF, ECU and Memphis to get to a championship game. This stability might help to keep Pitt, Rutgers etc. in the fold when rhe Big Ten looks to expand again.
2) No new conference will ever have a number in it.
3) I still think that after ND that the Big Ten has its eye on MD and UVA.
4) I still want to know who Frank’s avatar is. Chet Lemon? Oscar Gamble?
The ultimatum won’t happen.
Maryland and Va. won’t happen.
BT options are limited to Mo., Kansas, RU, Pitt, Syr., U Conn, GT……
…and ND if BK is a bust……
& Miami. Not sure why you think Maryland won’t happen (I understand that UVA wuold be available only if VTech goes to the SEC).
He’s a shroom. He doesn’t think.
How cute…my very own stalker.
The ACC is not the Big 12. Teams don’t leave the ACC. MD doesn’t hate UNC like Neb. hated and distrusted TX.
It’s Oscar Gamble.
It’s Procter and Gamble.
2) Now new conference will ever have a number in its name.
Someone found this yesterday and it still makes me laugh:
What I find funny about this song…is this truly is the attitude from most people in and from the State of Texas
And some of you are surprised to learn about UofTexas arrogance and need to be in control.
What I find funny about this song…is this truly is the attitude from most people in and from the State of Texas
BS. Maybe you encounter that attitude because you think in simple stereotypes.
fwiw I posted the original video. I lived in Texas for awhile and loved it. I still keep a Texas flag over my desk. The attitude does exist but I think its wrong to take it as aggressive or dismissive of others. its really just an espression of pride and self assurance. nothing wrong with that.
Except when it’s combined with ignorance, as in the case of George Bush.
“pride and self assurance” seems different on the other end. Many times it comes off as arrogant and self-inflated.
Personally I usually find it entertaining.
I often play it up to amuse foreigners.
Bush the Younger wasn’t ignorant; he was brainless; that is, without brains. Chaney was the president for 8 years.
As for Bush the Elder; maybe he was ignorant.
(on the other hand, i think we’re supposed to avoid politics on this board? so in that vein, all politicians are great, yep yep yep, that’s my story and i’m sticking to it)
Buckeye–I had no problem with George Sr….if anything, I’m a Republican…..I was referring to Jr…..and only as a reflection on TX arrogance….
BTW, thanks for posting it, great find.
I view it as 99% tongue-in-cheek, just having some fun. The writer is a Texan from OK. Some others may not realize it, but literally half of Texas are from somewhere else (one of the real secrets of our success.)
It’s all good.
That’s George W. Bush, not Jr.
He’s not the ignorant one.
FWIW: Perlman talks more about the potential penalties … Reply
this morning on KLIN. He said there technically aren’t any “exit penalties”, but there are provisions for paying liquidated damages to remaining schools who might suffer as a result of the exit. Since the Big 12 apparently now is much better off financially AFTER Nebraska left, there really are no liquidated damages for the remaining schools. Therefore his view is Nebraska should not have to pay for any liquidated damages since they don’t exist.
Asked whether a final settlement would wind up in court, Perlman just said he hopes not but we’ll have to see how it works out.
As an aside, Perlman was probably uniquely equipped as a University chancellor for the Big 12 negotiations he was in:
During his law school years, he was editor in chief of the Nebraska Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, a law honors society.
He joined the NU law faculty in 1967 after spending a year as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He served on the Nebraska law faculty until 1974 when he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia Law School. He returned to Nebraska in 1983 when he accepted the deanship of the Nebraska Law College, a post he held until 1998 when he returned to the professoriate.
His area of legal expertise lies in torts and intellectual property. He is co-author of “Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition” (5th edition, 1998) and co-reporter for the “Restatement of Unfair Competition” (1994). In February 2002, Perlman was named a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Perlman is one shart dude. He knows where neb stands on this legally.
I’m sure he’s damn smart, but he’s not exactly the life of the party. He and TO made for an interesting contrast.
Frank, let me echo what everyone is saying. I appreciate your time and effort in educating and informing us of the dynamics of expansion. Indeed, whenever someone brings up adding Oklahoma to the Big Ten I inevitably quote your statement, “Think like a university president and not a sports fan.”
Anyway, like most others, I think the Big Texas is a straw man that will be blown over in a few years. Texas may well become independent if/when some of its sycophants leave. Texs has also made it impossible for itself to be accepted into a new league regardless of the invitation. Why? Two reasons. First it has exposed itself as a diva that wants total control and that will not be acceptable in the Big Ten, Pac Ten, or SEC. Second, TLN. Having its own network will make Texas impossible to work with. If Texas had to join another conference it would have to give up TLN or roll it over into the conference network where the proceeds are shared by all.
Texas is like the kid who was the only child for ten years and then found itself with a younger sibling. It cannot bear the thought of sharing equally.
Finally, when the sycophants, A&M and OU turned down the Pac 10, those in Texas had to smile. I am reminded of the scene in “Animal House” when the new members of a fraternity were being initiated. They were on all fours with pants down being paddled. After each whack they said, “Thank you, sir. May I have another.” That is OU and A&M. The others had no choice but to re-up and Texas knows it.
Don’t kid yourself….Everyone (Big 10, SEC, Pac 10) will still want Texas 5 or even 10 years down the road. They are a lot like the Domers in that regard. Do I like it? Of course not. Would I say no if they came to the Big 10 with hat in hand? Absolutely no way on God’s green earth…If they want in, they’re in.
Even if they get the TLN off the ground, they will still be a welcome addition.
Which is also part of the problem. While the Big 10 had a nice, juicy red apple on the table, Texas knew that it’s own apple can polish up really nice.
okay, so let’s start figuring out who all of these “influential people” are.
FtT linked an article in the post which starts: “a number of influential people inside and outside of college athletics mobilized over the past week to save the Big 12 Conference, stave off the Pac-10’s move to expand to 16 schools and prevent a massive reorganization of college athletics.”
so, who do we think these people are?
NCAA folks? hmm… isn’t the current head of the NCAA the former Chancellor of Washington Univ? who else makes decisions for the NCAA? is there a BB vs. Football split among the decision makers in the NCAA? it seems the BB Tournament would have been hit hard by the dissolution of the BXII. Did Kansas BB save the BigXII?
SEC/Slive? hmm… seems doubtful
ABC network execs? some commentators on this Board have suggested the TV execs are playing a “maximize-our-inventory” game … so, if BXII dies completely, the inventory diminishes because the Kansases/Missouris of CFB go away … it’s an idea
NBC network execs? see above, but add in the ND connection.
CBS network execs? see above, but add in the SEC connection
Fox TV? hmm… didn’t they want to help build the PAC16 network? can see them killing the deal.
Anti-Fox TV players (e.g. ESPN, other networks): plausible to prevent Fox from becoming the super-power of CFB television
ESPN: how much power do they have? what do their execs want?
Politicians: For sure. you know the Kansas US Senators were in full-court press to do something. Who else? the Speaker of the House is from Cal, so she didn’t intervene… who are the power brokers for the schools that were going to be left behind? The Clintons (see below)? The Bushes?
The White House? hmm… only if significant pressure from senators and congressmen in my view… but what power/influence exerted? maybe a phone call from PoTUS is all you need?
Financial People: maybe Knight and/or Pickens didn’t really really like the BXI/Pac10 marriage? who else is “out there”
ND: who are the ND power brokers and are they well connected to TV and/or other crucial players? Did they move to help salvage the BXII to prevent that seismic shift?
Big East: some of the “players” are for sure from the Big East. BXII remaining intact lessens chances of full-fledged free-fall which increases the chances of Big East survival. consider the Big East BB locations near the nations capital and in the NYC market. maybe it’s Georgetown (and its political connections) that saved the BXII?
ACC: hmm… not sure… with tA&M being the object of affection for the SEC, surely that would have lessened any potential expansion pressure on the ACC … so ACC would let it happen? or maybe MD and VATech acted to prevent the freefall with their connections to Wash DC?
Saboteurs: maybe saboteurs from within the P10 and/or B10? Stanford changed its “mind” but couldn’t publicly renege, so they put the Clintons on the task of keeping the BXII up and running?
thoughts everyone? who are we missing?
re the Fox participation. I’ve posted this before but it makes sense for Fox. Yes they are likely to partner with the Pac 1x for a network. but that deal gives equity participation to the Pac 1x so while still profitable is less attractive than a pure rights deal. the Big 12 deal gives them the content without sacrificng equity. thats a much better deal for Fox. so by doing the Big 12 deal they get essentially the same content as with a Texas in the Pac 1x deal but giving up less equity participation.
hmm.. an interesting thought… but would that cause Fox to move behind the scenes to kill the BXIISouth-to-the-P16 deal? Seems that Fox was in a win-win so i would not see them acting to kill the deal.
but, as with all organizations, Fox is not a solitary entity. so maybe the part of FOX that gets BXII sports was at odds with the part of FOX that puts together networks like the B10 Network? so maybe part of Fox is working to help P16 network while part of Fox is working to prop up the BXII? (all working very subtly of course)
interesting to contemplate…
I think Fox’s first move was the 5 schools to Pac and creating the Pac Network.
When TAMU started pulling toward the SEC (and ABC/ESPN & CBS) and it looked like it could get away with it, Fox (through Fox Sprorts) “saved the day” by offering a de facto league network to the Big12 schools.
In the end, Fox is going to own the college football landscape west of the Missippi and (depending on where/if the BigTen expands) north of the Ohio River / mid-atlantic.
Having TAMU go to the SEC (and the networks they affiliate with) would force the Texas markets to be split and thus would be “non-nominal” for Fox.
Bingo. It wasn’t just Texas recruiting that was threatened by A&M in the SEC–it was the TV money. Texas may be the bell cow, but Fox just wouldn’t reap as much benefit out of a Texas market split between the SEC and Pac 10 as it would one devoted to the Big Whatever.
okay, as I read more about this, i’m inclined to agree and see Fox’s role here as a big one. afterall, it’s FOX that is giving all this extra money and Fox will probably still get a P12 network up and running; so double-win for Fox.
I personally think it was a group of people (probably from most (if not all) of those areas) that didn’t want college football to go to 16 team superconferences for whatever reason (and maybe they all had different reasons).
Maybe ESPN didn’t want another conference creating its own network and creating a trend (the reason that ESPN gave the SEC their record contract (well record at the time) was to prevent it from creating its own network. Maybe it didn’t really want to pay for most the Big 12-lite’s contract so they somehow convinced Fox to pick it up (this way the Pac 10 doesn’t get its own network and ESPN doesn’t have to pay for a crap conference’s contract).
Maybe The NCAA was worried that if these conference went to 16 teams that they may decide to form their own governing body and the NCAA would be regulated to the lower levels of college football.
Maybe their was a group from within the college football ranks that were worried that once all of this happened, that the US government would get involved because all of the other schools not in one of these major 16 team conferences would be getting left out.
Maybe the Big East and ACC thought that this expansion would spill into their conference (which it would’ve) and they felt that if they could stop the Pac 16, then they may not get hit as bad. Maybe the SEC decided their best scenerio was if they didn’t have to expand at all (which was their original preference). And maybe the Big 10 decided it didn’t want the Pac 16 expansion to cause the SEC to start growing its footprint and market.
Whatever it was, it was a group of people that decided that 16 team superconferences were bad for college football and put a stop to it.
interesting final thought. my first reaction was more limited to THIS particular 16 team alignment. but you make a good point; even if the B10 is still mulling expanding, going to 16 somehow seems less likely today than it did on Friday.
there is no real evidence for that feeling; but it seems some relevant and powerful people put the kabash on the P16; seems reasonable to assume those same relevant and powerful people might resist a 16 team B10.
One unanswered question is what happens to B12-1, not yet -2 next year. They will have 11. Do they skip the championship game? Do they petition the NCAA for a one year exception? Or do they rent Northern Illinois from the MAC for a year?
both Colorado and Nebraska will be playing in the Big 12 next year so not an issue.
and the Colo situation is not yet firmed-up. Colo might go as of 2011 or might go as of 2012. so your questions re the CCG apply for 2012.
In 2010, but Nebraska is leaving in 2011, Colorado in 2012.
Would be pretty funny if Nebraska wins the BXII title this year, especially if they play TX for it
Exceprts from Wetzel’s long take:
…While Scott was making what looked like an aerial victory lap in a Raytheon Hawker 800 twin-engine jet Sunday, an informal, yet influential group had formed to help stop him, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
As the Big 12’s impending death became increasingly apparent last week, a diverse group of leaders across college athletics decided to come to the league’s rescue. Athletic directors, business leaders and television executives all played a part in the league’s 11th-hour attempt to save itself from destruction.
“This is was a potential doomsday,” said one college administrator who offered the Big 12 assistance and sought anonymity for fear of backlash from the Pac-10. “This was moving too quickly. The collateral impact wasn’t being considered. [There was] a great deal of work to be done.”
Some were worried about the long-term stability of college athletics should an era of 16-team super conferences arrive. Others feared the potential wealth and competitive power of Scott’s league. Some just helped for the challenge of it.
With Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe in charge, a furious weekend of phone calls, planning sessions and analysis reports allowed the league to secure a potential television deal, a revenue sharing plan and new sales pitch that proved tempting enough to stop lynchpin Texas from jumping to the Pac-10.
The TV contract, which like some other details hasn’t been formalized, promises Texas and Oklahoma an oversized share of revenue that could reach over $20 million per year, on pace with the industry-best Big Ten. League schools are also free to start their own cable networks which could prove worth up to another $5 million annually for UT and OU, the league’s two most popular teams.
Armed with a strong position in the Big 12, Texas returned to the Pac-10 and asked for a similar deal – the right to its own network (not just part of a Pac-16 channel) and an oversized revenue share, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Larry Scott turned it down…
…For the Longhorns and Sooners, there was little doubt that the best place in terms of actual football was the Big 12. There was never a reason to leave.
They already dominate, both in terms of on-field victories and in controlling the talent-rich local recruiting turf. The two schools have combined to reach five of the last seven BCS title games. It was almost impossible for the Pac-16 to offer greener grass than that, a point that was repeatedly lobbied to each school’s administration, according to a source…
(Fear of super conferences, being left out, and withdrawal from the NCAA)…That’s what motivated so many powerful people to call the Big 12 offices in Irving, Texas and offer help…
…So the “threat” of the super conference has been stopped; at least for the time being. The underlying problem for college sports remains – these schools have spent themselves broke on huge salaries, extravagant facilities and lavish benefits such as private planes…
…Without a playoff though, this season of minor expansion is but the calm before the storm…
he lost me with ‘Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in charge’
thanks for the excerpts. looks like a good article that i’ll go read.
i find this the most interesting comment: “This was moving too quickly. The collateral impact wasn’t being considered.”
my sense was/is that the “collateral impact” was being very very considered by the P10 and B10 and the SEC. In many respects, the “collateral impact” was good for those conferences (and therefore, bad for the other conferences).
make no mistake: there is a lot of spin still going on.
hmm… an interesting factual article (not much for detail, but still interesting) until Wetzel starting pontificating and fear-mongering with comments like this:
“If Kansas basketball can almost get wiped out, so can almost any school.”
Kansas BB was never going to disappear! ugh
I like all these “could reach” and “details haven’t been finalized.”
There is no way the Big 12ish is going to get double the amount of cash from their last deal without Nebraska and Colorado. I think a lot of people are making some very outlandish projections.
I have no doubt UT is going to get their cut. TAMU and OU will get healthy raises too. But their cut is coming out of the cut of the other seven schools. Already it’s coming out that the big 3 are keeping all the exit penalties from UNL and CU.
Interesting that after Texas was given $20 million in TV money plus the chance to start its own station that would pay out another $5 million–Texas still went to the Pac-10 to try to get a better offer.
Let’s hear again how Texas’ biggest priority is saving the Big 12.
Their priority is maximizing their cash flow. They’d have dropped teh little eight in an instant if it meant more cash. For now, they stay in the new Big 12. The little eight have been placated for the present, but will fall further than ever behind Texas and Oklahoma in 5, 10 years.
In light of the sizable increases seen by the ACC and Big XII-ish TV contracts… doesn’t this take the luster off of the SEC TV contracts? The SEC may not have been passed or even fully caught up to, but the gap has been closed greatly.
Therefore, I would expect that Slive would be motivated to do everything he can to regain this competitive advantage and, perhaps more importantly, appease his ego. And the only way to do that might be to expand, and thereby re-open the TV contracts.
Even if the SEC expansion is “a couple of stand-up doubles” like Arkansas and South Carolina instead of a “home run” like Penn State, it still (presumably) gives the SEC a chance to increase their TV contract to meet the current perceived value.
Or perhaps they do some horse trading and “encourage” Vanderbilt to look at The Big Ten, so the SEC can add Va Tech and stay at 12, if that is enough to trigger a re-negotiation.
Does anyone know approx. how much the Big Ten will make in TV revenue with addition of Nebraska? The local media here in Oklahoma is spinning this like The Texas Ten came out on top of the Big Ten in this TV revenue debate. I know that is ridiculous but does anyone know any solid estimates? I am so excited about being a part of the Big Ten….I’ve always been a fan of the BIg
don’t know precise numbers. one thing to condider is that the current distribution is not the total earning power for the conference. Fox is being paid back for start up costs. If that was already a sunk cost the payout for each school would reportedly be a couple of million higher.
When the BigTen renogitaites its tv contracts it’ll have 4 (or more possibly) of the top football programs of all time with huge draws (nationally) for each. The payout for that alone should be equal to/more than the SEC contract.
Also consider that Nebraska (based on my observations of tv coverage maps in recent history) delivers not only Nebraska, but the entire great plains (even into states with BCS schools like Kansas, Idaho, etc).
Is that enough to get the BigTen on basic cable in those areas? I don’t know, but I’d think it a good possibility.
I have no idea, but I have no faith in Dan Beebe’s mystery TV contract.
Nebraska is going to help a lot, not so much by adding the NE markets, but by giving us several games a year with high ratings that advertisers will love, and causing Husker fans throughout the country to add the Sports tier or switch to DirecTV so they can see their Huskers year round.
True dat. I’m getting DirectTV installed next week for the sole purpose of accessing the BT network. Gotta study up and get my big ten game right.
Does anyone know approx. how much the Big Ten will make in TV revenue with addition of Nebraska? The local media here in Oklahoma is spinning this like The Texas Ten came out on top of the Big Ten in this TV revenue debate. I know that is ridiculous but does anyone know any solid estimates? I am so excited about being a part of the Big Ten….I’ve always obviously followed the Big 8 and Big 12 with Nebraska; but I’ve also alway admired the pagentry of the Big Ten from afar. More than thrilled to be a part of it! (Sorry for the early submit, got a little trigger happy)
never apologize for an errant click on the “submit button”; it’s always the fault of the “f-ing computer!!!” LOL
btw, what does that say when we have to “submit” to the computer!
It means you’re Iowa State, and the computer is Texas.
LOL… very good.
I would love to see a post with analysis on this. I know there was a post a month or so ago that laid out the 60/40 rule and listed the potential impact of a number of teams.
Now that we know Nebraska is joining is would be very interesting to drill down the numbers — and it could be in the form of worst case, best case and most likely case scenarios.
I really doubt that the B12 has caught the B10 in TV money. The new B12 deal doesn’t kick in until Fall 2012. So they still have two more years of making close to $10M per team. BTN revenues should continue to rise in the next two years, raising each team’s TV revenue. I’ve already read that this coming year is projected to pay each B10 school $1M more than last year.
I imagine in 2012-2013, that Texas and some other big B12 names (OU, A&M?) will be roughly on par with B10 teams. But the BTN will likely inch up each year, then in 2016, B10 will break the bank with a new ABC/ESPN deal.
and add in that this new BXII tv deal is for 18 years (nearly two decades!) and some portion of the money reportedly front-loaded.
so, in 2030, Mizzu and KS are going to be playing football with basically 2010 revenue
wow, talk about being tied in bundle: for two decades, chained to TEX with a flat revenue stream and no chance of local tv.
frankly, Mizzu and KS might as well just join the MWC and be done with it. who wants to watch the slow painful decline for 18 years.
And to compound both of your points, the Big Ten deal will be renegotiated in 2016 and 2026. That means that the Big 12-2 deal has to somehow stay current even though the Big Ten deal will probably increase by 1.5-2x twice over…
yep, MO, KS, KSstate, Iowa State are officially and permanently screwed. They get to be TX’s and OK’s conference cupcakes forever.
Baylor and TxTech may have enough political heft in TX to get some of the Univ of Texas’ money, but they are probably screwed too.
OKLA will be fine (cuz TX needs at least one legitimate “rival” that is recognized nationally).
OKST would be screwed but for Pickens.
A&M will be fine maybe? The PUF is for academics; but Aggies have enough political pull to avoid falling too far behind TX in athletic money.
Whoever said up above that the new BXII was a house built on silt could not have said it better.
Thank you all for your input!
The reaction to the Longhorn Conference from the University of Oklahoma fans, is hugely negative. It seems even more so than the Pac-16 idea which also was hugely negative.
The difference is the anger over our AD Joe Castiglione saying we would go where Texas went. While UT has size, and money, and OU’s association with them in the Big 12 has helped OU publicly admiting that OU had no say has not gone over well.
In fact, I think OU had a lot of say. We were right there with A&M. Sure UT’s final say was more important, but OU had some power.
Even the fans that didn’t like the SEC option, are now saying that maybe that would have been the best for OU to get away from Texas.
As for Frank the Tank’s article he said the Longhorn Conference would be as stable as the Pac-16. That I disagree with. The Pac-16 from OU’s stand point was terrible idea. We were NOT joining the Pac-8, but were joining a new SWC. We wouldn’t be playing in California, and really we didn’t care to be playing there. They were even saying we wouldn’t get to play in THEIR Rose Bowl!!!!
The Pac-16 was a deal for TV contracts, and the Neu-SWC division would have always been seen as 2nd class citizens, never really worthy of the likes of Stanford and Cal. We would have been…..Okies. That word by the way is not a good word. It’s like “white trash” or “N-word”. For many of you this means nothing. But when the dust bowl happened, and many from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas went west to California, we were treated like or maybe worse than we treat illegal Hispanic immigrants today. And his conference had all the warm fuzzies of those dust bowl days.
so no….the Pac-16 was not really a good option, nor did it seem like a good fit, nor did it look stable.
Does the Big 12 look stable? From an OU perspective it does. 6 of the current 10 have been playing together for over 50 years in the old Big 8. 5 of us go back to the Big 6, and to the Missouri Valley.
Will the new Big 12 be able to stay up with the SEC and the Big 10 financially over the long term? doubtful.
But what are the options? Really? homeless? Ask Iowa St, and Kansas St about their options. Big 10? they only offered to Nebraska. SEC? We’re not sure they offered anyone, even A&M. The Pac-10 who invited us to their home, but wanted us to sleep in their barn?
As an OU fan, I’m ok with the Longhorn Conference. It was the least of several bad choices.
5th paragraph should be: As for Frank the Tank’s article he said the Longhorn Conference WOULD NOT be as stable as the Pac-16. (the NOT is the whole key to everything that comes after!)
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Central Valley in California, but a lot of old white people there still speak with a distinct Okie accent.
Maybe you guys should schedule Fresno State a few times.
IMO, OK. blew it big-time by not going with A&M to the SEC. The probably could have gotten OK. St. in as well…I can’t believe the SEC would have passed on A&M and OK because of OK St…..
from what I was hearing the SEC was himming and hawwing over adding anyone. They liked the idea of adding teams in Texas…but weren’t crazy about going past 12 teams.
Rice, Wyoming, Fla Atlantic and UCLA may not cut the mustard next year UT.
Not sure Rice BYU UCLA and Central Florida is the answer in 2011
One by-product of all this is that it may have propelled Maryland into one of the “usual suspects” for the next round of Big Ten expansion, something few could have envisioned as recently as five or six weeks ago. Not that what Maryland offers as an institution to the Big Ten (and vice versa) has changed — but the perception that the university community wouldn’t be interested certainly has, if you look at Terrapin message boards. So what’s happened the past few weeks — and the consciousness raised in College Park — may make Maryland an easier pickup for the Big Ten than originally believed; the ACC isn’t the rock-solid entity it was in the ’70s or ’80s. If the next round of expansion was to 14 members, and Notre Dame still wasn’t interested (or would go in only as #15, with the right to select #16), Maryland would probably be deemed the most desirable partner to Rutgers (which now appears a lock to eventually wind up in the Big Ten).
This is a very good point re: Maryland.
Maryland/Rutgers have shot up to the top of the list. This is exactly how Nebraska became “common knowedge” as the 12th addition as the months passed and everyone talked with a presumption of Nebraska entering the conference. Eventually we could see the same thing happen to Maryland due to the way their name shot up the ranks over the past couple of weeks and entered every discussion.
whether by intention or coincidence Delany has been adept at putting the expansion issue on a steady simmer and then acting when the right opportunity bubbles up.
yeah, very true about how MD has become the fashionable mention of late…
i’m still not sold at all
I sure hope Maryland gets an invite and brings Johns Hopkins with them to the CIC. An extra billion and a half in research every year is a home run for everyone involved.
This is good news. Twelve teams is really the best number for a conference (ten is good too though) and aren’t we really better off with the domers doing their own thing? Who else are we going to complain about like that?
We still might get an 8 team playoff someday, ACC, B10, B12, Pac10, SEC, BEast champs and 2 at larges. It would be great. At this point though, the MW might make for a better automatic than the BEast.
Thanks again Frank!
For all of you predicting the demise of the Texas 10 Conference, Chip thinks otherwise.
TV deal will help Texas, others break the bank
“And while this deal will be remembered for holding rivals like Texas, Texas A&M and OU together. It will also be remembered for two TV networks stepping up and paying a premium dollar to ward off expansion – probably for at least another 15 years.”
There you have. This shotgun marriage is going to last at least 15 years. Chip has spoken! 🙂
Chip better stock up on Preperation H for whenever DeLoss Dodds removes his arm.
Heh in that time we’ll have negotiated twice the Big Ten contracts. Somehow, I think that deal is going to be outdated within 5 years for most of the schools…
my guess is sooner than that; PAC10 renegotiating now for 2012? SEC is up for renegotiation in 2013? ND’s deal with NBC in 2014 (or maybe 2015)? And the ever increasing B10 Network.
Love, love, love the blog Frank. Helps me to obsess.
Texas just created/reformed a super version of the SWC. All they have to do is add TCU and Houston. The roles of SMU, Rice and AR to be played by…ISU, KU, KSU, MU. Stockholm syndrome to kick in – in 3, 2, 1…
And it will be called the “Texas League” (of Justice) w/o irony. I’ll go with Big Xii until TCU and Houston are added. If Texans are anything like their school – they could give a shit what happens outside of Texas. Win or lose.
As a Nebraska fan I am so very happy that NU/UNL joined the Big 10. Thanks for the warm welcome. Looking forward to winning many games.
I just realized – on top of not being able to spell (“N”woledge) – that soon we won’t be able to count.
Well there’s always ‘ritin’.
LOL… i’m looking forward to seeing/hearing more of how Huskers mis-spell. So throughout your state, all the Ns on the computer keyboards are the Nebraska “N”?
Q: What does the ‘N’ stand for on Memorial Stadium (or helmets)?
Q: What is the third largest ‘city’ on game day?
A: Memorial Stadium
sorry, but can’t offer any funny tidbits like that for the buckeyes … I may be out of touch and will leave it to buckeyes still living in central ohio.
but as said: welcome. I have some ‘Bama friends; they have the same passion. Stadiums for Auburn + Alambama + Troy + AL-Birmingham + one more (can’t remember) add up to like 400,000 seats or some such; they are packed on Saturdays, so like 1/5th of Alabama is in a football stadium on Saturdays in the fall.
like you say, Memorial Stadium is the 3rd largest city in Neb. on Saturday.
A. National Champions.
Part B is not a joke, its the truth!!
Has anyone considered this angle? What if the conference commissioners just played the TV people?
For several months, there was absolute chaos… culminating with… if Utah goes to the Pac 10… the Big 12 losing two teams, the Pac 10 gaining two teams, the MWC staying the same.
BUT… the Big 10 Network and expansion threats caused all conferences to have the leverage to approach TV networks with the (a) why shouldn’t WE try a network; and (b) we need money to keep pace with the Big 10 to stay alive, arguments.
The ACC gets much more than expected. The Big 12 gets much more than expected. The SEC and Big 10 are looking at future paydays. The P10 will get its opportunity. Winner: Conferences. Loser: Networks (unless they still end up making $$$).
The mantra was thinking like a University President. Well, University Presidents do not hate each other. They do not want to crush other University Presidents. They do not want sentiment to be anti-University. They do not want Congress wondering whether Universities deserve tax exempt status. They do not want or need negative attention. They want their school to thrive/improve, but are not driven by a desire to quash “Rival University.”
This talk of “forcing Notre Dame,” “breaking up Conference X,” and penetrating new markets is not consistent with how Universities operate. It is how for-profit businesses operate. It is how warfare is accomplished. It is consistent with athletic competition. It is like the games of Risk and Poker. But it is not how Universities go about doing their ordinary business.
And if you can’t believe that the Universities just played the networks… why think that they were interested in playing each other?
And obviously the Big 10 picking up Nebraska.
The Big XII got a fat new contract? That will work very nicely for the other conferences.
But the threat wouldn’t work unless somebody jumps…CU. And Nebraska was an acceptable loss.
NO! while the Big 10 and SEC have not paid a price, the Big 12 and Pac 11 have fallen farther behind and the ACC and BE have seen how vulnerable they are.
State Universities are the proverbial “wolf in sheeps clothing” as they have products that are sold “research” and “entertainment” while hiding behind tax exempt status and the goodwill of their citizens. wal mart wolverines are as valuable in the court of public opinion as the folks with the diploma.
All this drama, treachery and manipulation…over TV money per school that’s less than the Yankees pay their third baseman per year.
Question about the Big Ten’s TV deal with Disney. I know it lasts for a while (2016-17, right?) and I’m not sure if there are clauses that would allow for it to be renogitiated given the change in membership. If it isn’t renegotiated, would Nebraska just slide right into the pecking order for games on ABC/ESPN come 2011? Or would there be some sort of limits on Disney choosing their home games given that they weren’t part of the conference when the deal was signed?
Also, I was thinking about a Big Ten championship game. Such a game is obviously not in the TV deal with Disney. So, from 2011-2016 since we are still under the current active deal, the Big Ten could easily “sell” the rights to that game to be featured on the BTN and push the network’s value and enhance negotiation to get the channel wide distribution. Or, assuming that Disney would puch for the rights to that game, as one would expect, that might be a clear opening for the Big Ten to reopen their overall deal with Disney early and either ask for/get more money overall or potentially get other concessions (in particular, I could see them asking for ABC to give up their exclusive windows so that the BTN can carry games in the 3:30 time slot every week).
it has been my assumption that Nebraska would just slip into the pool for ABC/ESPN to select games for their share. I strongly doubt the conference would want to keep their new partner off the network. If anything I would think we would want to advertise it as much as possible.
I would be surprised if the contract with ABC/ESPN didn’t include an option to allow them to preferentially bid for a chanpionship game should one become feasible. As to putting the game on BTN the value of BTN at this stage is not in providing coverage of the big name games but making sure all games for all the teams get broadcast. that may change over time as the BTN gets more national distribution but the value for big games is still ABC/ESPN.
would agree with Hank’s thoughts and add that I read somewhere that the ABC/B10 contracts have, for years, had provisions concerning a B10 CCG. that is, the idea that the B10 would go to 12 teams has been foreseeable for a long time.
The Championship game will probably be up for bidding. The ABC contract in general may be adjusted upwards somewhat for adding Nebraska. We should see a bump, but the big bump will be in 2016.
A) Welcome Nebraska! Lost in all the chatter of TU and ND you have been and will continue to be the apple of my eye. Unlike ego driven self centered schools you have been the college sweetheart to me all along. Maybe it is just that we share midwestern values, you have always been the one I wanted to take home to mom, meet your parents, and settle down with. Now this is the reality, and I am a happy old fart indeed!
B) THANK YOU FRANK! I am old enough to remember the Hollerith card and punched tape. As a member of the “internet cow path” crowd your blog has restored my faith in the modern internet. I am taken back to days gone by when early adopters were able to have stimulating debates across the country at rapid speed and unhinged by time / distance. The early days were meant to stimulate debate not sell things or degrade human interaction. [PensfaninLAexile says: … “(certainly far superior to the dreck on the rest of the interweb)” & zeek says: … And even with those whom I’ve had disagreements before in the comments, we’ve actually managed to have an intellectually stimulating discussion on a topic that too often devolves into ESPN-message-box chatter that tends to waste everyone’s time.] If nothing else I have seen a new generation of excellent human traits I admire. GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY! 🙂 In all seriousness I feel honored to have shared this time with all of you, and have enjoyed reading all the new / varied ideas that have occupied far too much of my time lately! I think this blog has been the CIC of expansion debate, and welcome all non Big 10 bloggers as honorary members of such a group.
C) All along this has been a chess match between delany and slive. I will continue to view things going forward this way. My point of locking up the top 10 “brands” still holds true, and here is the current score:
4 Big 10 (net gain 1) – 2 organic + 2 added [tOSU,M,PSU,UNL]
2 SEC (status unchanged) – 2 organic [Bama + 1]
2 Big 12 (net loss 1) – 1 SWC organic + 1 Big 8 organic [TU,OU]
1 Pac 10 (status unchanged) – 1 organic [USC]
1 Ind (status unchanged) – 1 organic [ND]
All and all a very good round for the Big 10! My only concern is if some “cabal” was used to “control” the status quo. If the Big 10 has culpability (and I sincerely hope this is not the case) than we have brought disgrace to our collective houses. All things are born, live, and die – this is the order of the universe – and can not be changed. The more something is held back, the more it will break free to find its natural state. A person of wisdom will see this, and act accordingly.
D) The Longhorn Conference (tLC – where the lowercase t reflects the status of the “lesser 9” members). While 10 > 12 and Big 12 Lite may be clever I think tLC is the name befitting the crime. It stands as daily testament to what greed, control, and arrogance can bring in the end. Nobody won this battle, and TU has bloodied everybody in the process. TAMU shows me that battered wife syndrome is the dynamic of the conference, and should stand as warning for future discussion. I think the BE is safe as they are ALL fighting for survival. My guess is the All Carolina Conference (ACC) is the Big 12 all over again, and time will tell if VT aka A&M or MD aka UNL or BC aka CU are the next to break free. At some point college football should become a case study for undergrads and grad students across the country.
E) Kansas and Class – If I have one feeling of opportunity lost, KU is thy name. We have all agreed that the Big 10 could not admit Kansas State. I will go forward thinking that the class move by delany would have been to offer an invite to KU when they offered UNL. Both have AAU status, similar endowments, midwestern values, and a TOP athletic team. I am full well that football drives the bus, but adding KU has seemed to be a no brainer since the beginning (similar to adding Toronto to the Big 10). Both say the Big 10 values football, but values an internal “heart” that does not involve football more. A school like Toronto would be the slam dunk of establishing the Big 10 as THE standard bearer of core values over the almighty buck (and we get great hockey 😉 ). Kansas could have politely declined (because they could not bring Kansas State) but at least the Big 10 would have done the honorable thing. I also feel the same “family” thing I never got from ND or TU, was in KU and UNL. To separate good from great one must usually diverge from the accepted path.
F) Corporations vs Fans the coming battle. If you are like me and grew up in a sports world far removed from today you will understand. If you are younger, it might be a good time to see through our eyes what we have seen just by living this long. The following article should be required reading of any fan of any sport…. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=091005yankeestickets as this may be the touchstone for our collective future. Make no mistake that college sports are just as corporate as any pro team, so now is the time to hold them to a higher standard before they totally shoot themselves in the foot. As midwestern farming values tell me, one must hold back some of the harvest each season to sow the seeds for the future. This might be “quaint” and “antiquated” thinking, but if sports are to survive they must sow good seeds for future generations. It can not always be about ME at the expense of WE! At some point our legacy is what we leave for future generations to enjoy. Is our legacy a future where family can share sport as a group activity that is affordable, or is it a corporate future devoid of passion and catering to increased revenue streams and maximum profits. Maybe they need to leave a little on the table to grow the future.
G) The Model Partner. From the beginning I have caught flack for saying that TU and ND were NOT for the Big 10. I am not here to gloat, but to repeat that making the best decision often means seeing what something is rather than seeing what we want to see based on what we bring to the situation. For all those who have made fun of the SEC for academics I must say I come away from all this with a sense of respect for them. Maybe they do not have the AAU status we so desire, but we have been the beneficiary of great wealth and power in the past century (ponder if the auto industry had settled in New Orleans over Detroit). All and all, they have done a fine job with what they have to work with. If nothing else they have 2 things in common with the Big 10:
#1 They are fierce in competition
#2 They understand the value of being an american
Lost right now in the swirl of tLC, the thing that stands out most of all is that the value of the whole is more important than the value of the parts. As an american I am a member of a state (micro) and a country (macro) and it is what makes us great. I think it is not coincidence that the 2 strongest conferences “share and share alike” and the weakest have the most “independent” members. This should be the warning to all future expansion discussion. My decision about ND or TU from the start has always been how “independent” schools could fit the Big 10 “collective” model. I said early on I am not that smart, just older, and my life experience told me that no matter the “footprint” or “revenue” the core values never matched. If you choose a partner in marriage or business, it is most important that you are able to travel the road of life as one mind, body, and spirit.
H) Old Guys make the final decisions. Ignore this warning at your peril. I agree that they do not always make good decisions, and often try to hold power long past the good of the rest of the world. it is what it is.
In closing, I think the brakes are on. I am not saying this is a good thing as it has bottled up the natural order to adapt. When things settle down I am looking at you Maryland! As for Big Red welcome to the family….
That was a powerful and moving post and thank you for taking the time to write all that.
lots of nuggets of wisdom (which I think is about experience and just plain living and is distinct from smarts and learning).
from when do you hale?
i can really only argue with your point about KS. maybe they fit and would be a good partner, but i can’t see how they fit better than Mizzu i think Mizzu got “played” just a bit by Delaney. Thus, morally, Mizzu would get my sympathy offer.
further, with KS you can’t risk that they “politely decline” because what if they don’t?
Plus, if you are seriously seeing this about locking up the top 10 programs, there are only 4 more slots available in the B10. are you going to risk not getting ND or TX in the next round(s) because there is not slot available for the “has-to-come-with” school?
speaking of which, seems that the game of collecting top ten programs is finished, right (at least for a decade or two)?
TX is out and not desirable (and I agree), the SEC schools are not coming; So.Cal. is not joining the B10; that leaves ND; the B10 will not get higher than 5.
You’ve probably expressed your view on ND. but a fit? or not a fit? desirable or not?
egawd… i even read it to proof for typos… that should read: “From where do you hale.” (and that assumes “hale” is the correct spelling for the idea: where are you from? it might be hail, but that’s frozen rain?
It is okay, i am a terrible speller and my typing skills are just as bad.
Draw a line from Cincinnati to Louisville
Draw a second line from Indy to Lexington
where they intersect, draw a circle with about a 200 – 300 mile radius and that is my home range. I have traveled the full expanse of the US (sans AK and HI) but this is my roots.
Sounds like Madison, Indiana. I haven’t been there since moving to the state four years ago but I hear it’s beautiful.
I said in a very early post I am in a unique place as I sit near 4 conferences (B 10, BE, SEC, and A 10) so it gives me an ability to see different points of view. It also means I can get in a car and see good basketball in short drives.
Hey man, don’t forget about the Horizon League and the national runner-up Butler Bulldogs! What an amazing run it was to watch for those of us in Indy!
yes, now that you say that I remember your earlier post about where you are located. I’m NWI, so in the heart of the B10, but grew up in Ohio.
well, i’d agree, that gives some good insight on conferences.
everybody in Lucas I know were pulling for Butler. the same folks were also all at the boys high school tourney.
for me it is like “so many teams, so little time” and as you get older you are following the kids and grandkids and their friends.
valpo, sloo, and others get harder to get to.
add. great post. I’m thrilled that the B10 will still be the B10.
my KU argument was from a “jewel” standing.
KU says basketball like UNL says football.
I have said all along I am a basketball guy.
All things being equal between the 3 (Mizzu included) I just do not get the “top program” vibe that KU and UNL give off, my guess is the rest of the country feels this as well. As for the offer, delany would be upfront and say it would not include Kansas State. At that point the ball is in KU’s court so to speak. They go to the Big 10, or they stay with Kansas State. You let them decide what THEY will do.
On locking up top programs, it is also about balance (another reason to invite Kansas). Schools seem to excel at one sport to the demise of another. If every school in a conference is great you bloody each other along the season. If your conference is too weak, nobody watches. Look at the following:
Big 10: IU / MSU in BB – tOSU / michigan / PSU in FB
SEC: UK in basketball – BAMA in football
Pac 10: UCLA in basketball – USC in football
My basic argument was lock down top brands on both sides so the winner in one sport can feed the loser in another. Overall you spread risk by diversification.
ND is not a fit, said this from the beginning, no matter how good the package looks. (my opinion FWIW).
um hmm… would agree with you here as well. ND is not a fit, TX likewise, so B10 ends up with 4 of the top 10 in CFB.
what’s the chart for Bball?
i suppose i could look it up, but (in no particular order)
NC, Duke, Kent’y, KS, UCLA, Indiana, Syr, UCONN … I have about five teams i’d guess for the other two slots…
I follow men and women (anybody growing up in Indiana or Kentucky gets this) so it is a bit different. I am actually older so I know players and fans so I am a bit biased (I am looking at you X)
for the sake of simplicity, and from fans across the US the support I will look at just mens BB.
The first four (in no order)
IU, UK, UNC, and KU
the fans at these schools understand basketball better than anybody else, and they follow their teams. I had a friend who was in nashville for the SEC tourney (I was not there, so this is secondhand). The arena was SOLD OUT and inside the crowd was 95% UK fans. That is impressive, but my friend said that for every person inside there were 10 – 20 outside in the city. if he is correct, then 100,000 + drove to a town just to be “near” their team in a friggin CONFERENCE tourney game! Kentucky only has about 4 million folks in the whole state, that is impressive.
The 1 coach wonders
MSU, UCLA, Duke, Syracuse
would any be on this list without a single coach. The history of the program is tied to a single coach
The period teams
UC and UL type teams (think UL with Crum – for UC you have to be a little older). They had good coaches, with follow up – huggy bear was not the first coach at UC, and pitino was not what put UL on the map.
The bubble teams (not top in their conference but good solid history)
Maryland, Illinois, Arizona
The catholic and second tier teams
St. Johns, WKU, X, Penn
yeah I am already way past 10, but it is like being at a buffet to me. so many good teams, so many solid choices like Uconn and gtown and etc.
If I were looking at it from a AD / President’s view the best metric is demand in good and bad years, fans that will travel, and “scalper” economics. Which would be the first four + Syracuse + MSU + Utah + etc, teams like stanford and duke just do not seem to travel or have the same fan intensity.
Note: my list is bias to central schools as those are the ones I have seen live the most, NY and CA teams are harder for me to see as much.
Note2: I have never been to the Pit, it is on my bucket list.
Michigan State, Louisville.
(By the way, at what point does MSU get to be mentioned alongside KS, Duke, and ESPECIALLY Syracuse? 6 FF’s out of 11, the most-watched national title game of all time, 2 titles, which is one less than Kansas… Even Duke can’t say it has won national titles under more than one coach.)
It gets harder to rank #’s 11-20. In some order there’d have to be Illinois, NC State, Georgetown, Arizona, Florida, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio State, & Oklahoma State.
The nosebleed bowl is still the top OOC regular season attendance in college basketball (MSU vs UK in MI). Most of the rest of the top 10 are IU vs UK in the old dome in Indy (I have been to many FF, and almost every game between IU and UK in Indy – the IU vs UK games there win HANDS down for crowd and atmosphere).
As a Michigan alum… No. We don’t belong on any top list of basketball programs. Since the Fab Five fallout, TPTB at Michigan simply do not care about having a top basketball program, as long as it stays out of trouble.
“ND is not a fit, said this from the beginning, no matter how good the package looks. (my opinion FWIW).”
I used to think “Notre Dame ought to just join the freaking Big Ten and get it over with!”
Now, not so much. If they want to be independent so badly, and if they would only join the league reluctantly, then you have another Big 12 situation. That’s the last thing the Big Ten needs.
The one school that might be the best true “fit” of all is one that has the least chance of getting in: Pitt.
It’s the only other reasonable candidate WITHIN the Big Ten footprint (no offense to Cincinnati or L’ville) besides ND. The differences, though, are many:
*It fits wonderfully from an institutional and cultural standpoint;
*It carries no prima donna baggage ala ND or UT;
*It provides Penn State not just any ol’ eastern rival, but its most historically fierce, in-state rival;
*It offers a better football program, currently if not historically, than Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, and Virginia;
*It has an excellent basketball program to provide good winter TV ratings on the BTN; and
*It seals chances of expansion by the ACC into Pennsylvania.
But it looks like the Big Ten won’t ever get Pitt. I guess that’s good to ACC fans; should the league ever lose a member, that school is a pretty darn good backup!
I like Pitt, in the early discussions it was about expanding footprint. That is where they lost steam in the expansion discussion.
Overall, you definitely make some good points! Very, very good stuff.
I do have a rebuttal of sorts to some of your assumptions:
1. Your top ten “brand names” may be a tad off. Brand names are not completely synonymous with the top ten leaders in victories, although historic success carries enormous weight. (Just look at Notre Dame.) As a Florida State fan, it pains me to say this, but I think the U of Florida would have to rank ahead of a few of those, including their own conference mate Alabama. Even in Indianapolis (many hundreds of miles from Gainesville) I see Florida gear more often than new BT conference mate Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Penn State. They’ve unfortunately created a tremendous brand name thanks to huge success in football AND basketball.
I also think the ACC deserves some credit for two of the biggest brand names in college football: Florida State and Miami. The difference between that league and the others isn’t so much the brand names at the top; it’s that, other than Virginia Tech, their supporting cast doesn’t carry much national cache, whereas SEC, Pac-10, and Big Ten programs do. In other words, a #9 Georgia Tech vs. #16 Clemson game wouldn’t carry the same level of interest nationally as a #9 Wisconsin vs. #16 Iowa game.
2. I really am not sure where you and others are getting this idea about instability in the ACC.
“My guess is the All Carolina Conference (ACC) is the Big 12 all over again, and time will tell if VT aka A&M or MD aka UNL or BC aka CU are the next to break free. At some point college football should become a case study for undergrads and grad students across the country.”
Virginia Tech is anything but unhappy in the ACC. The school had wanted in the league for 50 years: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1090155/ They’re anything but a resentful A&M-type. Maryland, granted, may have an affinity for Penn State, but it also has one for UVA and its conference rivals dating from its Southern Conference days. Unlike Nebraska, Maryland also hasn’t had to deal with a new Texas-like alpha dog coming in and dominating conference issues. And BC is nothing like CU. Colorado had been quietly interested in the Pac-10 for years and years. They’re the only former Big 8 member that was unequivocally Western and decidedly non-Midwestern. BC, meanwhile, LEFT a primarily northeastern conference to join a league consisting of both small, competitive private schools (Duke, Wake, Miami) and solid, large, but not massive, public schools. (The truth is that it’s not BC who’s unhappy to be in the ACC; it’s old-line ACC fans who are unhappy to have such a northern outpost in their otherwise southern league. If you ask me, they just need to grow up.)
The ACC also was not a shotgun marriage ala the Big 12. When the Big 12 added the Texas schools, they were adding a group of four which had been together for 70+ years. When the ACC added FSU, it was much more like the Big Ten’s addition of Penn State: an independent gladly adopting a group mindset. Even with the Big East 3, they weren’t a bloc like the Texas schools; the schools are an average of 800 miles apart.
My sense is that the only sense of instability in the ACC is that it has inferior revenue due mainly to a lack of BCS bowl success. If the roles were reversed, with the ACC having a network instead, who’s to say that Penn State wouldn’t be rumored for ACC expansion, just as Maryland is for BT expansion?
1) I agree about Miami / FSU / UF but when I made the statement about brands. All are more modern, but they are not BAMA. 50 years from now the list will be different just as the biggest game now is not Harvard / Yale or Army / Navy. I was trying not to make the original post even longer so I was showing the value of history on perception. Coke and Pepsi are brands we know, Powerade and G may have this status 50 years from now. We just do not know.
The SEC is unique in that the other schools balance BAMA in history.
look at the top 10
you have pairs..
Michigan vs Ohio State
the SEC has an odd mix that has worked for them historically. Right now it is UF, a decade ago it could have been UT, and a decade before it could have been UGA, which is why I said BAMA + 1. Maybe being in the heart of it Alan or Bama can explain it better from an insiders view. I can not.
2) I agree and disagree, look at it 2 ways….
a) the ACC
I think all schools in the conference in terms of academics, football, and basketball. This is where I agree with you
b) the (A)ll (C)arolina (C)onference
This is where I disagree, as schools like UVA and Duke are the “cool, snooty” guys because they are in their own group when compared to the rest. Be it history, wealth, etc.. I get a feeling of deep difference, but I will defer to vincent and others who may have more front line experience. It has nothing to do with bowl revenue, but more social divide between perception.
Posters here have assured me that the SEC would have no interest in taking a Big East school, but I still disagree. The SEC was apparently willing to take a poor football team like Texas A&M in order to get a minor foothold into Texas, so why wouldn’t they consider taking Pitt or Cincy to gain a foothold into the fertile recruiting grounds in PA and Ohio? If the SEC was willing to take two poor academic teams from the small state of Oklahoma, why wouldn’t they consider taking West Virginia, the only big school in its state? It’s clear now that the SEC wants to expand into new, contiguous territory, and it’s also clear that it would be easier for them to steal BE teams than ACC teams. I think that if the Big Ten takes Rutgers and Syracuse, there’s a very good chance the SEC takes Pitt, and a decent chance they also take Cincy or WV, especially if the SEC don’t want to risk breaking open the ACC to allow the Big Ten better access to it.
a) UK and tOSU already own the southern ohio, northern kentucky market. UC has no value (an I am a UC alum).
b) While delany may think National, slive may think regional. My guess is the SEC finds greatest value in shared southern culture.
bama and alan is this the case?
I definately think the SEC should be limited to former slave states….makes things more interesting.
play nice, now is the time for peace and goodwill
beside you are an IU guy, make us look good man!
So, Maryland to the SEC then.
Maryland may be too polluted with yankee influence to fit into the SEC. The “soutern lite” ACC is a better fit.
Cincy offers nothing to the football-crazy SEC? Wasn’t Cincy, at the end of the regular season, undefeated and ranked in the top five? And are you telling me that Cincinnati Moeller and several other Cincy high schools offer nothing to recruiters? My Buckeyes have been trying for years to penetrate the Cincy market, with limited success, and they’ve been trying to fight off the SEC for years from raiding Ohio. Give the SEC a foothold in the state, and my Bucks won’t be very happy, considering the warm SEC states hold a lot of appeal to Ohio kids.
1. Weak brand.
2. Already covered partially by Kentucky.
It’s just not an appealing target. If you bring less people to your bowl game than, say, Ole Miss, you’re probably not attractive to the SEC.
they get the double whammy
UK and tOSO
sort of like UL
UK and IU
when it comes to basketball UL is in the middle, same thing for UC in basketball. In their defense tho both has 2 NC banners in the rafters
For what it’s worth, Cincinnati sold more tickets to the Sugar Bowl than mighty mighty Florida did.
It wasn’t by accident that the Fiesta Bowl passed up Cincinnati for TCU and Boise State.
Both schools brought more fans to the stadium and the TV than Cincinnati would. And neither is being mentioned for a BCS conference.
Cincy has no practice field and still has a dinky stadium. I don’t think they have the fan support to get a Pitt-esque deal with Paul Brown stadium. Cincy will unfortunately return to their historical level soon enough, I fear.
while have fond memories of Nippert it is not top shelf. I agree about Paul Brown, if they could get demand up that is a great place to play. The base is where UC can fit on the following scale:
The problem is you have to factor in a second set of variables:
# years consistent record
Stepping Stone vs Final Destination
To me the biggest problem is once your program gets better you have to worry about a better school hiring your coach before you reach the top of the heap. Keep in your mind that Brown at TU came from UNC and Spurrier at UF came from Duke. Imagine them both in the ACC right now, if they had never left!
1. Not nearly as fertile as Texas.
2. While TAMU is down, they still have a bigger brand, bigger footprint, and better demographics than Cincy or Pitt. On the eastern front, it’s still only the ACC schools that make sense for the SEC.
3. The SEC doesn’t have a strong logical imperative to expand (like the Pac-whatever or the Big10). If TAMU was available, of course they’d take them, but they aren’t driven to go on the warpath; they’d only move in when they smell blood in the water.
Ohio is extremely fertile (a few years ago, U Mich has almost as many Ohio players as Michigan players), and U Texas owns Texas at least as much as tOSU owns Ohio. I’m from Ohio, so I know how crazed the state is. The state of Texas also has Houston, TCU, Tech, Baylor, etc, while Ohio only has tOSU, Cincy and a million small schools. Pennsylvania has mainly Pitt and PSU, and is also a fertile recruiting region. Pitt’s brand and football team are probably as good as A&M’s, as are their academics and research.
My whole point is that if we’re heading toward superconferences, as so many think, and the SEC wants to expand into adjacent new territory, the SEC will almost certainly at least consider moving into the Big East, which is ripe for takeover. And Cincy and Pitt are unlikely candidates for the Big Ten, since they’re already in the BT footprint.
My stated premise was that the BT first takes Syracuse and Rutgers (not stirring the ACC pot), and implied that the SEC might not want to stir that same pot. That being said, if the SEC is now barred from Texas, and they want to keep up with the Big Ten (as they’ve threatened to do), and they want to expand into new and contiguous states (as they’ve apparently shown), what choice do they have but to consider taking BE schools?
Not sure why either conference wouldn’t want to stir the ACC pot. That’s where the attractive targets are in the east. Realistically, only Rutgers is an attractive enough target by itself in the BE to power conferences like the Big10 & SEC. All the other juicy targets are in the ACC.
Doug: This is why I think the next expansion will be very Big East heavy. If Maryland were to accept a B10 invite, they’d go down in history as the guys that killed the ACC. This is different from what happened with Nebraska (B12 inevitably being fucked no matter what happened). I don’t think one of the southern schools (Vtech/FSU) has the same impact leaving as Maryland would. This is also why I think WVU will eventually be in the SEC.
beyond football and texas, TAMU would be a good get for any conference for the academics. Maybe not the tip top, but still very good. I have a sneaking suspicion, had slive add A&M it would have had a academic value to add to the conference beyond sports.
I was actually ok with TAMU to the Big 10 (sans TU) except for the cultural fit.
Let me edit the end of my last sentence: especially if the SEC doesn’t want to risk breaking open the ACC and allowing the Big Ten to gain better access to the ACC.
What difference would that make, especially since the conferences would be pursuing different prime targets? The Big Ten has no real interest in Virginia Tech (unless it suddenly received AAU status, which won’t happen for a number of years if at all); the SEC certainly knows Maryland has no interest in joining.
If each of those were part of Big Ten/SEC expansion, the ACC would be where the Big 12 was yesterday, and UNC would then have to play Texas.
Some posters here have said that ACC teams like Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida St, North Carolina, etc, are possible candidates for the Big Ten. Other posters believe that the ACC will be very hard for the SEC to penetrate. If the Big Ten stirs the pot by taking Maryland, it makes it easier for the SEC to expand in the ACC, which is clearly not in the best interest of the Big Ten because the SEC is definitely their biggest competitor in terms of conference strength. I think this is why Delany has been so cautious and wants more time; he has to decide which opening East salvo to make, based on what the repercussions might be from the SEC. Delany wants to keep the SEC hemmed in. And yet Delany knows that, for the sake of the BTN, he needs to expand the BT, and that the BT stands more to gain from expansion than the SEC does. Delany has a lot of factors to consider, and this could develop into quite a chess match.
One reason that the Maryland Terp fans have been giving for answering a possible Big Ten call is that they fear raids by the SEC that might collapse or diminish the ACC, so they’d better jump ship while they still can. We’ve seen how the stealing of Nebraska nearly brought down the collapse of a strong (but admittedly divisive) Big 12. Delany doesn’t want to hand the prime ACC teams to the SEC, yet he might risk taking Maryland if he thinks the SEC stands to gain little from it.
I don’t really think the Big Ten fears the SEC at all.
What do we fear? South Carolina/Florida/Georgia consolidation where the SEC already dominates those markets?
As long as the SEC can’t get into Virginia or North Carolina, the Big Ten doesn’t really care.
When we think about it, there are 4 big areas that we want to keep separate from the SEC/Pac-10.
Those are VA/NC, Florida, Texas, California.
Yes, the ACC already has VA/NC and Florida, but they don’t have UF, so that doesn’t really count and the rest of the ACC footprint isn’t as football mad as the Big Ten or SEC or Big 12-2.
The Big Ten will aim squarely at Maryland/Virginia in the next expansion in order to fix the demographics issue.
I think we’ll leave the core of the ACC alone in the 4 NC schools…
This new Big12-ish TV contract looks like they won the Nigerian lottery. I’ll believe it when i’ll see it. The CCG, that’s another pipe dream. Who is gonna vote for that? PAC-10, maybe Big Ten, or you know maybe SEC. They all love Big12-ish and can’t wait to help them, especially after all of this.
this is an interesting point: what schools (other than a TX) would consider joining this new BXII? Maybe still the BXII is a giant upgrade over the MWC and C-USA and Sunbelt. But seriously getting locked in as TX and OKLA cupcakes for two decades?
Priceless. Leaves me speechless.
Another question: bowls. I know the most recent round of bowl negotiations just occured, but I would think there’s a reasonable chance for some bowls to drop the Big 12 considering they just lose two teams (one of whom had the sort of massive travelling fanbase that bowls love) and because the Big Ten and Pac-10 have picked up teams.
Maybe the Alamo Bowl or at least the Yankee Bowl would be in play for the Big Ten and maybe the Insight Bowl for the Pac-10.
My analysis of conference winners and losers.
Yet, again, the Big Ten won. In two expansions they have added two of the top ten programs of all time (PSU, UNL). No one else really comes close. The PAC adding Colorado is a collective yawn. The SEC adding Arkansas and USC(e) was good but far, far from great. The ACC expansion seems to have been a net negative. And the B12 actually contracted. Some others may think they have won a battle, but the Big Ten is winning the war. Hard as it is for many of us to admit.
Net change for Rice: zero. 😉
If you are happy about rice, I am too!
Question for any Utah folks out there, is there a chance Utah will face political pressure to stay in MWC? I understand there is a LOT more money today to make the move to a BCS conference. However Utah is a key factor in the MWC becoming one of the big boys very soon…i.e. BCS automatic qualifyer. Money will follow, maybe not as much as Pac money, but nonetheless it will be substantial.
I probably have less insight into how things work in Utah than just about any place else, so wondering if the Utah to P10 is really a slam dunk or not?
Don’t forget that the P11 may be a little more gun shy now that the P16 didn’t materialize.
If I’m Utah, I’m lobbying the new Big 12 to make sure Brigham Young gets in the revamped conference for that very reason.
Utah genuinely likes the Mountain West, and the rivalry with BYU is one of the more intense ones I’m aware of.
That said, Pac-10 has about double the revenue (abo. $100 million compared to $50 million), and the full BCS share would only add another $13 million or so to the Mountain West side. Plus it’s no sure thing–it will be hotly contested by the current BCS members, and I doubt that Mountain West would be granted an exemption. Moreover, the monetary disparity is probably much greater in a few years when you consider the upcoming Pac-10 TV contract–I don’t think the Mountain West would or should give Utah the kind of revenue they would command in the Pac-10.
So the Mountain West members will not want them to leave, and even some of the fans are not excited about it (I’m not), but from a money perspective, there’s no way they could pass up on an equitable Pac-10 slice. And from a prestige perspective, it’s a no-brainer.
I was a student at Utah through 2004, and the spike of applications following Urban Meyer’s run is what turned Utah into a football school. It would be foolish not to take advantage of that good fortune by permanently upping the school’s prestige.
Utes give notice
Sources close to UteZone indicate that Utah informed the Mountain West Conference Monday of its intentions to leave the conference. When asked about this report, a representative from the Conference could neither confirm nor deny the alleged report. If sources are to be believed then, the deal to invite Utah has already been done, and is merely a formality at this point. All that would remain of course is the announcement from the PAC-10 and a press conference by the University of Utah.
I am sure all of this has been mentioned, but I have to think that, individually at least, Texas is the biggest winner in all of this. Based on the rumor that TX demanded the LTN from the Pac Ten at the eleventh hour, you have to think that TX had no intent of ever joining another conference, and used this whole process just to get what it wanted all along: more control and more money.
From a football perspective, Texas’ machinations (it was far and away the most leaky ship during this) made its road to the NCG much smoother, eliminating both a re-rising power (Nebraska) and a CCG, both potential stumbling blocks. No, I am not saying that TX is scared, but the current landscape of their conference may turn the OU game into a de facto NCG play in game. I am not sure what TX’s OOC schedule looks like, but aside from the home and home with Ohio State, which Mack Brown (if i recall) did not like anyway, I dont remember too many out of conference stumbling blocks for the Horns.
The only potential wrench in all of this could have been A&M. But Texas called, and A&M folded. Hard to believe A&M didn’t see a better opportunity, long-term and otherwise, in the SEC. Perhaps their invite to the SEC was tied to bringing along TX or OU?
Their absolute conviction that joining a conference was a non-starter notwithstanding, I have to think Domers everywhere are breathing a huge sigh of relief. As someone else on here has said, though, might be more of a temporary reprieve than a permanent escape.
my reading, fwiw, of the Thamel tweey was that the LTN was already on the table though perhaps not yet agreed to and an additional sweetner was added at the 11th hour. in all likliehood they threw in something well above at the last minute because the new Big 12 deal was coalescing and they were buying time.
yeah, i suspect that TX and OKLA have made it easier on themselves to get to the NCG.
Howeva! at some point, that may also come to haunt them; the SEC champ gets the pollsters love even if a one-loss. will the same thing start to happen with the B10?
will an undefeated BXII champ be the next Auburn if there are Sec, B10 or P12 undefeateds? As VaTech has learned, a really soft soft SofS will kill your chances to go dancing. (Yes, that is a bball analogy, but you get the point).
Beebe’s email to the Big 12 on 6/1. Not as entertaining as his twitter feed.
Click to access colorado.pdf
So… the Pac-10 has fair weather fans. And Iowa State is “nearly Canada”. Brilliant!
I know it’s not a popular opinion on this blog, but there are plenty of other Big Ten forums that are really questioning the wisdom of adding Nebraska, as I’ve done since Frank originally ranked the Huskers so high in the BTEI.
I’m open minded, but I have a hard time understanding how adding the flagship school of a state with a population under 2 million that is academically borderline (at best) for the conference and has a fading national brand is going to pay its own way to the tune of $20-$25 million in incremental revenue.
If somebody could lay the numbers out I’d appreciate it. Words (great fit, good partner, etc.) are just bouncing off me at this point.
Great points, Mike, I totally agree. I think the Big 10 fans – who seem to make up the majority of the people commenting on this blog – absolutely refuse to admit that the great Jim Delaney could do any wrong, so they’re talking themselves into what a great pick-up Nebraska was. I’m not buying it either.
time will tell. but Delany has a very good track record for the Big Ten and most of us are prepared to give his judgement the benefit of the doubt.
Add any version of “in JD we trust” to the list of words that just bounce off me now.
How does Nebraska bring $25 million in incremental TV revenue to the conference?
see my second response to you
I don’t think it’s tough to come up with Nebraska adding enough money to the Big Ten cofferes to have their admission make out financially. For starters, there’s the championship game, which will probaly bring in ~$15M (true that would be there for any team that is invited, but the question is whether Nebraska would pay off). Nebraska adds at least some new TV sets to the BTN in their own state which should add a couple of million there. Then you have to figure you can sell the TV rights of Nebraska to the BTN and ESPN/ABC — that’s 7 additional football games a year, plus (at least in theory) some increased in value football games for other Big Ten teams (the games where Nebraska is playing at current Big Ten teams 4 times a year). Given how much the TV rights deals have been in the past, wouldn’t 7 Nebraska home games be worth a number of millions of dollars in rights fees a season. And then we can talk about bowl games, where Nebraska is the type of team that would enable the Big Ten to add a upper tier bowl game, the type that pays out $2-3M per team (say, the Alamo Bowl).
Overall, Nebraska will add enough easily. The question would be if additional teams beyond 12 would make financial sense — and that is where IMHO it gets real dicey. Without Notre Dame or Texas, I don’t think the financials work, which is why staying at 12 teams is fine.
concur with Hank, but also wouldn’t mind seeing some numbers and details on the buy-in, etc.
Well, on the flip side, there are many people like yourself to which the B10 can’t win. If the B10 adds Rutgers and their academics and load of televisions, the country would laugh themselves silly. The B10 adds a top 10 all time football power, and people are questioning the move.
Apparently, the only possible win is to add a PSU: a football power from a large population state. Well, there aren’t any PSUs laying around this time. I guess ND comes close, but ND ain’t ever joining.
Delany may have failed in his dream to shoot for the moon. As a B10 football FAN, I am ecstatic with the outcome, and I don’t care if Delany failed or not. The conference won.
A lot of people think Delany failed, but I never thought the presidents shared the vision, so it was never going to happen.
Agree totally. I think a lot of people, who hate that JD has power he has in college athletics, were going to paint this as a loss for the Big Ten in any situation, save for adding a Texas or a Notre Dame, which, it should be pointed out, NO ONE did.
A “win” depends on your perspective. I look at it more as a fan, and the Big Ten + Nebraska is better in that respect than the Big Ten – Nebraska. From that fan perspective, I would submit that the Big Ten got stronger than any other conference in all of this.
Agreed. We can argue about wins or losses, but the Big Ten is better with Nebraska than without (and likely richer as well). So, this change is a net positive in my book. Could it have been a move that was even more positive? Sure, I’d rather have someone given me a $100 bill over giving me a $20 bill. But I’m not going to complain if I have an extra 20 bucks in my pocket I didn’t have before.
And Notre Dame (especially) and Texas are still out there and who knows what will happen down the road. The important thing IMHO is that Delaney and company didn’t expand for the sake of expanding and brought in inferior schools; they brought in someone who could hold their own and had value.
Nebraska’s a big win, and the only 12th school other than ND or Tx which made much sense. The Big 10 had to get 1 big-time football program out of this expansion…going to 14 with Pitt, RU, and Mo., for example, would have weakened the football brand too much.
Hey, I said I was open minded. I want more than just words though. I just asked for some numbers to show that Nebraska was worth more money to the conference than some of the other candidate schools, especially when you consider that the conference had to compromise on academics to get Nebraska.
and there are a couple of reasons to be excited about Nebraska.
it is one of the top ten brands in college football so just from fan enjoyment perspective they will be a great addition.
on the revenue side. I’ll leave out the championship game as any 12th team would add that. there are two components to the BTN revenue stream. cable fees and advertising revenue. yes Nebraska has a small number of households. a number of the states in the upper plains states near Nebraska have large Nebraska fan interest. they aren’t large numbers of housholds either but it probably increases Nebraska’s household numbers a bit. but the second and very imporant component of the revenue stream is advertising on the network. for that you need to convert households reached to actual viewership numbers. one of the criticisms of Rutgers has been that despite adding a lot of households they don’t convert them to viewers. Nebraska is exactly the opposite. They have a very loyal and invested fanbase. Their conversion rate for households to viewership will likely be among the highest. this will translate into increased advertising rates across the network. that’s the bet. and its the same reason why Nebraska was valuable in network contracts despite the small size of the state.
Also, Neb’s fans will bring MILLIONS of $s into the economies of towns at schools like Ill., IU, Pur, NW. My brother owns a bar in Bloomington, IN, and I can tell you he would be all in favor of UNL to the Big 10…..
Which bar Mushroomgod?
We can swamp his business for days with UNL fans around an IU game.
@Mike B – Team #12 paying for itself has a fairly low bar to cross because it gets the benefit of the conference championship game boost. Most believe that the Big Ten Championship Game is going to garner close to SEC figures, which is about $15 million per year. Nebraska only has 700,000 households, but the flip side to that is that the Big Ten Network is going to get a massive rate for every single one of them. Note that the .70 per sub per month rate is an average across the Big Ten footprint – markets that have stronger fan support charge higher rates. It’s not a stretch to say that the state of Nebraska might garner the highest market subscriber rate of them all. If the Big Ten Network can get $1.00 per sub per month in Nebraska, that’s an extra $8.4 million in subscriber fees per year immediately. My understanding is that Nebraska has such rabid fans that the BTN can actually get even higher than that. We’re not even getting into the anticipated increase in the national ABC/ESPN contract down the road – if a blown up Big 12 can get $14 million – 17 million per team, then a Big Ten contract with 4 huge national names and great markets for the second tier teams is going to garner a massive amount.
Think of it this way: there were 2 Big 12 teams that killed the prospect of the Big 12 network several years ago because they believed that they could start their own profitable networks: Texas and Nebraska. There’s a good reason for that. While Texas has the sheer households, Nebraska could’ve started a lucrative network even with a small population base because that market is willing to pay ESPN-type sub fees for a channel that shows their games.
Add to that the higher ratings on the BTN when a UNL game bumps a network game down a notch.
@Frank Thanks for the response. However, I have to challenge the lawyer on his incremental economic analysis. Since adding ANY 12th team would have brought a championship game (name any of your usual suspects), the CCG money cannot be used in an incremental analysis of adding Nebraska over the other candidate schools.
I also have to challenge your analysis of the per sub rate. NJ has five times the number of households that Nebraska has. Even if Rutgers could only draw $0.40 per subscriber, Nebraska would have to pull $2.00 per sub to equal the revenue, double what you submit Nebraska might garner.
With regard to future negotiations with networks, I can see how that might be enhanced, but it’s pretty speculative to put numbers on exactly what Nebraska might bring, especially given that the Big Ten would be due for big increase anyway.
I see Nebraska as a line drive single that the outfielder cut off before it could get to the gap. I just don’t see the “stand up double” that so many seem to talk about, much less the HR that was Penn St.
(Also I note that you made no comment regarding academics)
its not just subscriber fees. its advertising on the network. that may be the even bigger revenue number long term. and the high Nebraska viewership numbers would have a big impact.
Line drive single? Huh? I would call Nebraska more like a triple — with academics and a smallish home market keeping it from being a home run. But it’s far better to have a large and loyal fan base in a small market than have a large market but limited control of that populace (cf Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt). Nebraska is worth a lot more than the popluation of their state would indicate at first glace based on how their large fan base will watch TV (rights fees, subscription fees and advertising/sponsorship money) and travel (bowl agreements). There’s no guarantee that, for example, Rutgers would have been able to get the BTN on basic cable even in NJ (PSU, a far more popular school, wasn’t able to get the BTN on basic cable in Philadelphia, for example).
Great point about bowl $. Neb adds another huge traveling fan base, ala OSU, Wis., Iowa…..
Not to mention it is a homerun with it’s “fit” into the Big Ten.
The other Homeruns (ND & UT) are singles when it comes to fit.
If you go only by state population logic, I can see the point.
However, then Notre Dame isn’t a very attractive option either. Of course, ND draws Catholics around the country. And it draws fans simply because of the success its had. People like winners.
Nebraska, too, has a similarly larger draw than the population of its state would suggest. Nebraska has a population of 1.8 million, yes, but they’d pay almost anything to watch their team. So those folks are more valuable than 1.8 million in, say, Nevada or Washington State.
Plus football is the only game in town across much of the prairies. You can add in 1.4 from the Dakotas. There is no competition there. My 84 year old aunt in Sioux Falls doesn’t miss a game. Including the Dakotas, now the population is up to 3.2 million.
Plus they’d draw fans in western Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota, (all of which are quite close to Lincoln, which isn’t far from the border of these states). Then add in much of Wyoming, eastern Colorado and Montana, each of which also have a Nebraska following. I’m sure the Big Ten has done a more precise analysis, but the regional footprint for the Nebraska football team, then, is probably closer to 4.5 to 5 million.
That’s not to mention very passionate alumni scattered across large cities like Denver, KC, St. Louis, Phoenix, Dallas, etc. And those who simply like Nebraska because it’s a perennial winner.
The Big Ten didn’t bother to go with Missouri with its 6 million people or Kansas with just under 3 million and a top-flight basketball team for a reason. Nebraska football is simply more valuable than either. In fact, the only candidate schools that are of greater value would be Texas and Notre Dame.
Nebraska is a slam dunk as far as I’m concerned.
“Nebraska football is simply more valuable than either (Kansas or Missouri).” Words aren’t enough. Numbers please.
Basic cable in Wyoming and the Dakotas is not a serious argument.
The argument is basic cable at pretty high rates across a huge swath of land that adds up to perhaps 5 million or more people.
If this point is incorrect, why owuld the Big Ten turn its nose at Missouri with 6 million people? Or Kansas with a top-ranked basketball program? Do you honestly think the Big Ten didn’t do a complete analysis on Nebraska’s regional and national appeal before inviting them?
There is value on national perception. If the Big Ten is seen as a powerhouse conference, all of the teams will get more respect, which will improve bowl positions, poll positions, and TV value (base on ratings). Nebraska is one of the few traditional college football powerhouses. The Big Ten now has four of them. This addition was a HR all the way. Forget about the small population and concentrate on the overall enhancement of the conference’s image.
“Nebraska has a population of 1.8 million, yes, but they’d pay almost anything to watch their team.”
To further make your point, if they’ll pay $30 PPV to watch a home game against Louisiana-Lafayette, they’ll pay anything. And yes, that was the actual price for PPV for that game.
To add to what Frank said about Nebraska, they’re also the force multiplier to end all force multipliers. There are relocated Nebraska grads and fans all over the country, which is part of why they travel so well. On top of this they’re rabid about their Huskers and they’re rabid in a Toledo kind of way. This means that adding Nebraska actually makes it easier to take a school like Georgia Tech who can be argued as not being able to even deliver the Atlanta market, yet when combined with the sizable number of Big Ten and Nebraska Alumni, brings you much closer to the needed “critical mass” to coerce the cable companies during the negotiations.
Another point for Nebraska from a fan standpoint is that they’re effectively the team of the great plains, ergo you gain not just Nebraska but also the Dakotas and portions of the surrounding states.
While I agree that the logic makes perfect sense for the Big Ten to expect a massive hike in their contract with ABC/ESPN based on what the new Big 12 may get, logic could also indicate that maybe they shouldn’t expect to. After all, ABC/ESPN execs seem to be against super conferences and they certainly know that the moment they sign that deal with the Big Ten, creating another massive gap in revenues, they will likely put this conference expansion ball into motion once again.
But if ABC/ESPN wants to lowball the Big Ten, they run the risk of losing the Big Ten to Fox… which is a worst case scenario since ESPN is not only losing the top three games each week, but now Fox is let into the club on Saturday afternoons. I’m sure ESPN does not want to compete each week with the CBS/SEC Game of the week AND the Big Ten game of the week.
ESPN is not going to let Fox get the broadcast rights to Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Penn State on the cheap.
The sum is greater than the parts.
It is a pet peeve of mine to see this phrase misused. Of course a sum is greater than any given constituent part. That is the nature of summation. The phrase is supposed to be that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, implying that there is synergy created by uniting parts. It is a meaningful phrase because our brains think that summation is the default way of estimating the result of a combination. Saying that the combination exceeds those expectations is precisely the point of the phrase.
I apologize in advance for the pedantic nature of my reply. I know I can be annoying and I am sorry.
You’re no Harvey Perlman, that’s for sure.
Actually, my understanding is that’s it’s kind of a Yogi-ism. It’s too easy (pedestrian) to say the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Saying the sum is greater than the parts is meant to imply some level of counterintuitiveness. That’s why I stated it without further comment; kind of a tongue in cheek remark. Hope that sits better with you.
Sure Nebraska is not Texas, then again who is all considered. Sure Nebraska is not ND but it has a strong fan base while not as large. Sure Nebraska (1,783,432) is not Rutgers with a potential population of (NJ 8,682,661 + 19,490,297 NY) and it’s not Illinois with 12,901,563. You do paint the acquisition as being bleak which it definitely is not. There are lists of state schools regardless population that have never reached the heights and most likely never will in college football of a Nebraska.
About it being academically borderline? Well things will change. If you are know by the company you keep and Nebraska will not want to be known as the Big Ten +1 and Nebraska. No matter how many football games you win, I don’t think Nebraska wants to occupy the same academic space it does now in 15 years. I believe they have all the resources and encouragement they need to upgrade.
NB will also be a team player who will not rock the boat. if they are not a fit already they soon will be.
I said I was open minded, and wanted to see how the aquisition paid for itself over and above other candidates. I also said I prefered numbers not words. If the case is that clear, it ought to be easy to make.
You didn’t make it.
Speaking for myself, Nebraska is a clear winner. However, it is certainly an intuitive feel more than a conclusion based on numbers.
Just like I would believe the Gren Bay Packers would have a greater value than, say, the Buffalo Bills or Baltimore Ravens, even though the population base of Green Bay is smaller.
You want numbers, but few of us have access to the demographic and TV numbers the Big Ten would. From this board, maybe Patrick could come closest to providing the “numbers” you seek. Or you could consider the analysis Forbes has done. http://www.sbnation.com/2009/12/23/1217848/Most-Valuable-College-Football-Teams, suggesting Nebraska is the fourth most valuable college football team, #3 if you go by profit.
However, if that’s not good enough, instead of demanding numbers from a group of interested laypersons, maybe you should do the analysis, yourself.
Take some Big Ten candidate schools–Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami, etc.
Figure out the number of people who follow the team (above and beyond state numbers, but actual fans who will watch their team), assess the television market for each school, including the cable and satellite rates that they could demand, factor in the expected viewership (across the country but outside the footprint) that is interested in the game from the respective brand of the schools and add in who would buy the TV package on an a la carte basis, come up with a number that those people could be charged, and do a comparison of the various brands.
Remember we want numbers not words.
When you’re done, we’ll need to work in the academic angle–what is the school worth in terms of academic brand value, and research dollars.
Of course, the Big Ten has likely spent huge sums of money doing this very sort of assessment. Maybe they’ve done so because this analysis isn’t quite so easy to do as you suggest.
However, if you think complex financial analyses are so easy to produce, this project should be no problem for you and you can prove to us that the other candidate schools are, in fact, of greater value than Nebraska.
thanks for the link. earlier folks were wondering about the SEC adding Arkansas and South Carolina. Seems pretty smart as both are in the top 20 most valuable football programs in the country. somebody did their homework.
UNL was introduced on Friday. How is this info available yet. Unless JD is willing to release his findings, we cannot know at this time.
The fans on here feel like it is a HR and I tend to agree.
It’s still a football brand name, has excellent fan support with a good all-around athletic program, is academically okay (a bit below Big Ten standards, but still above Missouri) and making a legitimate effort to boost its research.
You have to view the ultimate collective expansion from a Big Ten perspective, and that chapter has yet to be written. It’s probably why Delany’s remaining new members will come from the east or south and, although not quite as strong in football as Nebraska (outside of Notre Dame, if it comes), they will be at least as strong or stronger than UNL in all-around athletics, academics and market size. We will eventually see whom those institutions are. Then you can grade how expansion turned out.
Delany at least got one of the football “big three” without having to compromise conference ideals (something Texas tried to foist).
Vincent, Delaney clearly stated that they are looking at no other Big IIX schools. I believe him if he had his finger crossed on Texas. I do believe he is following the script which by now we all have an idea of.
1) Increased viewership 2) strong football program/history 3)strongest academic programs 4)Eastern/Southern expansion. None of this in any order. Picking up a Texas and a Notre dame is a wild card acquisition they will take if their requirements do not hurt the conference.
Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that the next expansion will include ACC schools. That’s the most prime part of the sun belt for the Big Ten to pursue.
I think the Big Ten is comfortable keeping the Texas Ten as a neutral zone in between the Pac-10 and SEC.
Forgive me for using words instead of numbers to explain why the Big Ten took Nebraska, but I truly believe (and may be completely delusional, who knows?) that Nebraska fits what the Big Ten is hoping to accomplish.
While I don’t think Nebraska will cost any of the current members any money given the CCG, in-state revenue, leverage for upcoming contracts, possible out of state revenue etc., I don’t think Nebraska is as big of a money-maker at this point as some of the other options in more populous states.
What the Big Ten is in the process of doing instead is improving their brand first and foremost. All the expansion speculation has garnered the conference with exceeding academic and financial praise. They’re now attempting (at the opportune time) to unseat the SEC – who’s in rebuilding mode this year as the top football conference according to public opinion. The SEC has developed their brand as the best football conference with the most rabid fan-bases. If they have a poor or mediocre showing nationally this year in bowl and OOC games while the Big Ten does the opposite, the Big Ten will go into 2011 with more respect, money, AND athletic and academic prestige than anyone else. They are priming whatever markets they pursue next so they can have leverage for their next cable contract negotiations for the BTN. If you don’t understand my explanation, consider this:
The Big Ten needed another big name to get more money from NYC/New Jersey for when they presumably grab Rutgers next. It would be foolish to try to infiltrate a market when general perception is that Big Ten football is big, slow, boring, old-fashioned etc. Instead, they worked/are working on their brand name, lose no money in the process, and will invite Rutgers and hopefully Maryland after this upcoming football season ends (one of the most dominant Big Tens of the last 5-10 years, and maybe the best UNL team since the early 2000s).
After this season when they invite Rutgers, they’ll go into cable contract negotiations to get the BTN on in NY and NJ, and they’ll certainly leverage UNL-RU, UofM-RU, OSU-RU, and PSU-RU – especially because several years these games might not make the cut for ESPN or ABC. With the Big Ten alumni base on the East Coast, many high profile games for RU that are relegated to the BTN, and an improved football brand, the Big Ten could increase their $0.40/household (hypothetical) in Jersey currently to $0.60 per household in Jersey and $0.30 per household in NY State.
Adding. Thanks, Frank.
Loved this blog over the last several months. I’ve spent more time on here than preparing for trial.
Hope you all enjoy the upcoming season. I know my team (Mich) needs a great year.
Frank – you’re the man. Frank the Tank is the best use of the internet since porn.
Can’t be happier about how this all worked out. In the end, I think the B12ish revenues will not keep pace and that’s a win in my book.
Dan Beebe: Texas Tech has not formally committed to 10-team Big 12 conference yet.
Their Board of Regents meeting is still scheduled as well, wonder if they’re trying to stage a mini-revolt to at least improve the new revenue sharing. They’re definitely getting screwed compared to what they would have gotten in the PAC and Texas essentially announced their “acceptance” of the new deal apparently without consulting them. Dodds all but told them they were going to get permanent second class citizen status despite having some of the higher rated games in the Big 12 last year.
I also have spent more time at this site than doing my job and it has been great fun. As a Mizzou alum, I can tell you that the buzz around Columbia is what the f… are these clowns doing? The Gov made stupid comments, the athletic director made stupid comments, and Mizzou got played by the Big 10 as being a wingman so they could go after the pretty girl.
Mizzou is lucky and fortunate that things turned out the way they did. The Big 12 is stronger now, especially in basketball becuause Colorado and Nebraska were boat anchors. Football took a 10% hit in league value by losing Neb, but hey, BYU may make that up. I’d go after them for neew markets and MAYBE UNLV or New Mexico, bit emerging schools with decent athletic program in major TV market of Las Vegas/Albuquerque and Salt Lake City.
I was hoping Mizzou would end up in the SEC. Would love to see those teams come through Columbia. But, getting whacked by Texas and OU every year is painful enough.
Long live the Big 12. Now, we get to watch what Notre Dame wants to do.
Doogie–I’ve advoated for Mo. on this board…but I can’t believe you’re happy with this result. Mo and the rest of the old B12 North are now TX’s little buddies…..I saw one Mo. poster desribe it as a hostage situation, and he’s not far off….
It would be interesting to know exactly what was communicated to Mo. concerning BT intentions….your adm. has been pretty quiet since Neb. was added, so they mat realize they simply overplayed their hand.
As to Neb. bball, I’d take Neb’s bball future over that of BYU’s. So you may be adding another anchor there…..
My opinion of Texas Tech would change drasitcally if they grew a pair and rejected it. Let’s be honest, though, that just isn’t goin to happen.
2 days ago the Big 12 was dead.
Never say never.
Beebe also apparently has admitted they have no new deal, just “promises”. I’d be very leary of this thing if I were one of the non-Texas schools. Tech has a big reason to be concerned. If this thing doesn’t happen now and CU/Utah get invites then if it goes down a few years later they are likely the school left on the outside looking in unless one of the teams swings an SEC invite.
The BCS contract is up after 2014. So they’ll start renegotiating in what, 2012? Even if for nothing but leverage, the super conference threat will return no later than the start of those negotiations.
It does appear that the super conference and its potential ramifications had some big blowback here, at minimum to buy time to sort through those issues. I’m sensing that the threat of political intervention was made more at the national than state level.
Per the TX news conference, Deloss Dodds said ABC/ESPN “Were very helpful.”
ESPN contract still runs through 2016, but same $ even with 2 teams leaving. Thus that is a 20% average pay increase for each remaining school.
Fox contract will be renegotiated in 2012.
My reading between the lines is that despite whatever length is reported, they’ll have out clauses that basically will sync the Fox agreement to the ESPN 2016 cutoff.
I also get the sense that there is more immediate added value. Not yet stated, but perhaps more guaranteed appearances for conference teams, time slot and coverage split improvements, etc. Probably beginning this year.
FWIW, currently the B12 has 48 conference games, by going round robin the Big Yawn will have 45.
Adding 2 teams and a conf title game isn’t necessarily being sought, but they aren’t off the table, either.
You really wouldn’t want to run into President Powers in a back alley. His voice alone could whip most bow-tied chancellors butts. Don’t let the Berkeley resume fool ya, he and Dodds are straight out of Giant and Hellfighters. No Conference for Old Men.
Love the Hellfighters reference! Raise your hand if you ever tried using firecrackers to put out a small leaf fire after watching Hellfighters. (Under the right conditions, it works)
Markets and Brands and Competition, Oh My!!!
If you’re wondering what’s happens next… past is prologue. As Duffman ably points out, the Big Ten now houses 4 of the top 10 all time college football brands and has only expanded when it can pick off another. How can you top Penn State and Nebraska in our decades long quest for dominance?
To all of you claiming this is over…REALLY? Have you not been paying attention? It takes time. Yet, we know where the next targets lie: in the constellation of Brands, Markets, Money and Competition.
If the BTN represents the vehicle for our future success, we will pursue getting on the first tier of the best markets (NY, DC, FL, NE, TX, LA/SF) through expansion or collaboration. Thus, scenarios such as expanding to include Miami/UF, UVa/MD, UT/A&M, Rutgers/UConn/Syr/BC will be considered (different than saying it will be done; after all we only have 4 slots). Scenarios such as packaging the BTN with a PTN for joint national distribution will be considered. Owning the rights to others will be considered because we’ll have the money to do so. And all of the remaining top 10 brands will be looked at, especially ND, who alone strengthens our claim of being a nat’l conference (not in composition but in scope, footprint and desirability). At the height of UNL/OK, who’d have thought conditions would have changed that would have allowed us to pick up that brand? Things change in time. ND, UT, FL will always be under analysis because they’re who they are. It’s not a surprise to see ND resist or UT revert to their inherent Alpha-dog tendencies and resist; that’s what makes them great. The whole ‘Screw You, We’re Texas’ is more an affirmation of that culture than the Screw You implies; it’s part of the Lone-Starness of a former independent country. Well, we have a lot of Screw You, We’re the Big Ten in us; it’s just our Midwestern sensibilities won’t let us make a video about it.
Where we are now is slowing things down to get the maximal bang for the buck. UNL is a wonderful brand and needs time to be appreciated and incorporated in a way that maximizes it’s value to us and us to them. I believe this is best done without the clutter of 4 others all at once. UM is in the football doghouse. This is a problem and cannot stand. Thus, our short term priorities must be competitive dominance in our selected venues. It does us no good to have UNL, MI, PSU and tOSU on board if they are relics of their former selves. We need to continue the thrilling success shown in last year’s bowl season, and our Big Dogs must reaffirm themselves as such. It is also thrilling to our middle tier do so well, having bench strength is the SEC’s claim to fame and enables them to whine enough to force 1 & 2 loss teams into the NC conversation. You can’t win 4 straight if you’re not playing in the game. A big part of the overall barometer for our on-field success is us crushing OOC competition. Otherwise, we’re just a bunch of 50 yr-old trophies. This is one reason why the money from the BTN is so important. If you have it, you can invest in the facilities and recruitment that translate into wins.
Delany’s study will be continued for another 6 months. Expect something big (more brands, more markets, better competition) to be the result of the study. All will be done w/o compromising the academic reputation and while making a ton of money. I love the Big Ten! I think I’ll write a check to NU now…
Frank and the incredibly toll free, intellectually powerful participants in this joyride, Thank you (and thanks for putting up w/my long-winded rants). I can’t wait for what’s next.
8 more slots. 20’s the endgame for the Big10, not 16.
First, though, add Miami+GT/FSU, Maryland, & ND.
The pods even split up somewhat nicely:
You could even have a 7 game regular season (with non-conf Big10 games, so Minnesota vs. Michigan, Illinois/NU vs. Wisconsin/Iowa, and maybe OSU vs. PSU annually.
And how do you see that happening without anyone else at over 12 (and without getting the Feds involved)? And I like your East grouping, although I’d put UVa in there somewhere…
UVa becomes available only if VTech heads to the SEC.
And bypass NYMetro for Atlanta? Hmmmm.
Few tidbits from the Texas news coference (using the link which someone else posted):
Powers and Dodds both looked very tired.
Plonsky, Dodds and Powers all referred to their conference as the Big 10 at least once. Someone asked about the conference names of B10 and B12 and Dodds laughed and said, “We’ll let the Big 10 take leadership on that.”
Repeatedly emphasived they were committed to a TEN (Powers emphasis-not mine) team conference. Never heard any question about expanding.
Powers said the only tie to conference was for a public statement of committment to the long term of the Big 12 by the Presidents and that there was always transparency and a lot of trust between the Presidents. As Frank says, think like a president. Presidents publically committing really is pretty binding (at least on that President), although I’m sure many on here will scoff at that.
TV deal is not signed. All questions on contract were referred to B12 who did the negotiations. Said B12 schools had been very successful in their market in generating partnerships, i.e. B12 is valuable to TV because local advertising is good.
Texas committed before A&M made their final decision.
Dodds thanked ABC for their help. There was no reduction in the ABC contract. (ABC the network that worked to stop P16?).
Powers very gracious towards P10 and Larry Scott-“…a great commissioner.” Said there was no one factor. Student travel was considered and was a big concern of B12 6 as well as P10. One problem was anything that minimized travel tended to reduce intra-division play and all you had was 2 conferences linked by a TV contract.
Powers said nothing negative about UNL or CU, just that they made the decisions they thought were best for their university as they should have.
Dodds was asked about LSN and possible creation of B12N and Pearlman’s comments. He was very emphatic. Some B12 schools had concerns when it was discussed in the past, but Nebraska was TOTALLY aligned with Texas on that.
BTW, Plonsky was known to be a powerful player in Texas athletics. It was clear she was doing a lot of the legwork in all of this.
Dodds also made a comment he could make a call to Houston, then call to Dallas and the person in Dallas had already heard about the Houston call. Made a joke mentioning Chris Brown about that point (who was in the audience).
Dodds was asked about LSN and possible creation of B12N and Pearlman’s comments. He was very emphatic. Some B12 schools had concerns when it was discussed in the past, but Nebraska was TOTALLY aligned with Texas on that.
Yet every time he mentioned NE’s not having a problem with the LSN he and Powers added the qualifier, “At the time.”
One further comment. They stated the TV execs really valued the Central time zone.
Indeed. Thanks for the good summary.
I don’t think what the Pac 16 was talking about doing from a scheduling standpoint would have worked with the networks. They wanted the “Eastern Division” to only use two time slots, and save the later slot for the Western Division. The Central Time Zone allows for three consecutive four-hour slots, and with 10 CTZ schools, you can use them all each week.
I’m sure they still have rights to the Big 8. Maybe they can do something tricky with that logo. Then again it would seem like they are resurrecting something long dead. Whatever logo they use I expect to see some longhorns superimposed. :- )
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So…just want to see if we all agree that that there is no way Scott would roll the dice on a Tech invite right? This was posted on the Tech Scout board.
“In order for Kent Hance to “stick it” to the B12 today he’s got to have somewhere to land. Reports are that he may just have a place to land”
“Am told Tech BOR mtg not a rubber-stamp for B12 agreement. Developing.”
Apparently tweets from Ryan Hyatt, not sure who that is…
TTech would be a better pickup than Utah for the Pac10/11/12 from an economic standpoint.
Ironic if the school that so many people here were sure would be rejected by the Pac10 would be the only Texas school to join. For the record, I always thought the Pac10 would be willing to take TTech to get Texas.
Love the Drama. But what r the chances Tech Bolts?
Tech to the SEC and someone wake Frank up.
I don’t for the life of me understand why A&M did not bolt and leave (for the SEC)this unfinished business behind. The whole thing seems so dysfunctional. Like grown kids not wanting to move out of mom and dad’s house even though they can economically..
Perfect. If Tech blows up the Big Yawn aTm can still go SEC and TX to P16. No more Tech problem!
Not sure if there’s any credence to this…but that certainly would solve the “Tech” problem. It seems like Tech might be slightly more attractive (even all by itself) than Utah. Obviously it’s an academic slouch for the PAC10, but it would offer the PAC10 a share of the Texas market. Of the three schools that the state of Texas cares most about, TTech is the lowliest. If they had a good home, screw the rest of the Big 12. AM and UT can go where the money is…and if they still despise money and prestige (Big 10/SEC), then they can be the Big 9.
day 10 of Izzo watch. a fretful nation ponders.
Does he really want to coach a team without Lebran? One word for him. Chicago!
Mmmma Numba 23ah!
I’d like to echo the thoughts of everyone here and thank you for becoming the de facto home for realignment-obsessed nerds everywhere. And I’m actually quite curious to see what tricks you might have up your sleeve to at least retain a portion of this traffic you have developed over the past few months. I know I plan on revisiting. Good luck! 🙂
Why is everyone burying a horse that ain’t dead? This ain’t over, folks.
its pretty clearly going on a slower simmer
The West was just the prelims. The East is the real battle.
Yeah, but now the Big Ten holds almost all of the cards as to when to strike on the Big East and ACC. Thus, I think Delany wants to integrate Nebraska before launching something…
If, instead of taking Syracuse and Rutgers, the Big Ten leads off by taking Rutgers and Maryland, they’d be stirring two pots (and seemingly not picking on the BE and coercing Notre Dame), and the SEC might be more inclined to counter with Virginia Tech and Pitt, or two ACC schools. Florida, because of recruiting, apparently doesn’t want Miami or Florida State in the SEC, and I think that the SEC, all things being equal, would rather stake out fresh turf.
Of course this assumes that any ACC team would want to join the SEC, which might be doubtful.
Pitt’s fanbase would be too small for the SEC. Not to mention that PA is not a former slave state, and would not therefore fit with soutern culture.
I agree it has been great Frank! I just decided to go ahead and get my season tickets renewed for Fighting Illini football!
For all of you who liked to post the ‘Were from texas, screw you” song. I remembered not to long ago a different song…..
Warning…. liberal use of the f-bomb 😉
College football is better off because greed is good-Michigan blog:
good post as well….
Nebraska’s impact is likely to be aroudn $60 million ($20 million more than necessary to ensure all teams continue to make the same amount they made in the past). I went back to the initial analysis on this blog about the financial impact of Nebraska to do this.
It estimated increase of $54 million in Revenue. Note that a team needs to generate $39 million to ensure that all other schools make the same amount of money. This is based on a $.36/month subscription rate on Nebraska’s TV sets. As Frank suggested above it is likely to be at least 3 times that amount — hell, fans had to pay $40/game for 3 PPV games last fall. If you increase the subscription rate to $1/month per subscriper then the Total Added Revenue Estimate = $60 million.
This does not include the impact of a Big Ten championship as that cannot be solely attributed to Nebraska. It would break down as follows (updateding the analysis)
Cable Carry Increase ($10.8): 900,000 new households (Patrick guessed 1.2 million) @ $1/month – $10.8 million
Cable Ad Increase New Market ($16.9)
Es. Increase in Current Footprint ($21.9)
Est. Added Revenue Increased Games BTN ($10)
TOTAL Added Revenue Estimate – $60 Million
Plus, The $100 million dollar ABC/ESPN deal can’t be negotiated for a few years. That would have gone up without Nebraska and adding Nebraska will make it go up even more.
So yes, Texas or Notre Dame would have added more revenue than Nebraska but no one can say that adding Nebraska is bad for revenue. Before adding in the impact of a Big Ten Championship game and future increases in ABC/ESPN Contracts Nebraska should increase eveyone’s revenues by a couple million dollars while also giving increased competition and a top historical power in college football. And while the academics aren’t up to par with the Big Ten yet, they are one of the most attractice academic candidates when you look at who is avaialble coupled with their new focus on research (including their $1 billion Research and Innovation Campus).
I know I’m biased but I refuse to agree with people who say Nebraska was a bad addition.
Sorry for the typos – I should be billing clients but this is more interesting.
Dude, I think I’m the king of typos here. Don’t make me feel bad by apologizing.
#1 I get the first one:
Cable Carry Increase ($10.8): 900,000 new households (Patrick guessed 1.2 million) @ $1/month – $10.8 million
#2 But these are all very speculative:
Cable Ad Increase New Market ($16.9)
Es. Increase in Current Footprint ($21.9)
Est. Added Revenue Increased Games BTN ($10)
TOTAL Added Revenue Estimate – $60 Million
#3 Run the same figures for a Syracuse/Rutgers combination:
Note: the 2000 census showed Nebraska with 667k households, not 900k.
But I will use the 2000 census figures anyway.
Cable Carry Increase: 11,000,000 new households (per 2000 census) times 32% market penetration (rather than 100%) = 3,520,000 new households @ $.70/month (rather than $1)= $29.6 million
#4 If the ratio of subscriber revenue to total revenue is 10.8/60.0 for Nebraska, let’s assume it is 1/2 that for Syracuse/Rutgers… 10/30. Even multiplying the aforementioned number by 3, you still get nearly $90M.
So… using very conservative numbers, Syracuse and Rutgers could combine to net the Big 10 twice what it would cost to pay Syracuse/Rutgers.
And if they delivered their markets with a greater than 32% penetration at the 70 cents a market… you do the math.
Nice work EZ. As Patrick said yesterday, the BTN has a ton of upside available yet to better “maximize” and leverage the financial windfall that awaits them beyond Nebraska. This can’t be the the end of expansion if Delany is going to be “Sainted” properly and praised as “Expansion God”. It’s too early for that yet.
I still think the ACC is missing the boat on this. They need to snag Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, and WVU/Rutgers. That, coupled with Virginia, MD, Va Tech, and BC would be Joe Paterno’s dream.
All those markets would be $$$$.
If anyone leaves for anywhere, still have other schools to choose from.
You are either predator or prey. If you stop being a predator, you starting being the prey.
I totally agree and posted same idea of ACC picking up NY Metro, Pitt/WVU, NY State, yesterday. Combine that with existing ACC markets and you have Boston to Miami markets locked up. I think Swofford and Co. should seriously do this. Delany won’t. Or at least he will be slow to pull the trigger. Now is the time for the ACC to move.
Thanks MH, and I recall Patrick’s work from earlier, although it came at a time I was very busy and wasn’t following the blog as closely. This is the kind of analysis I was looking for.
A couple of things (using my skeptical economic analysis eye),
Additional BTN games (as with CCG) would come no matter who was added.
Many other candidates would have brought better Cable Carry #’s
I don’t recall what the “increase in footprint” number was. Is that advertising, too? If so, that’s saying that Nebraska is worth about $40 M/yr in incremental advertising ($5 M per Big Ten game). Unless Nebraska fan buys a lot of Barbasol, I’m very skeptical of those numbers. Is that BTN only? Wouldn’t Fox get half of that?
As I’ve noted here several times, I continue to question Nebraska’s national draw, and thus its advertising value. Two years ago, when Penn St.-Illinois went head to head with Nebraska-Virginia Tech (two of the more rabid fan bases in the country), ABC carried PSU-UofI in 70% of the households.
Thanks much for your informative post.
Frank, I’m a first-time poster on this blog and a lifetime Husker fan but I want to say thank you for everything you’ve done with this blog. As this whole thing went on and it was evident that UNL was going to be in contention for the Big 10 spot, this became a great place for me to check out your insights – and your discussion.
See you down the road. Go Big Red!
I have TV related questions for anyone who may be in the know (Patrick?) as I know there are many from all walks that have been visiting FtT. I know I am one of the handful of Pac followers in a largely B10 crowd here so my concern/worries lie in the west…
What is the most likely network to provide/negotiate with the Pac for their new nat’l TV deal?
I ask because it would seem to me that ESPN has a large sum already vested in the B10, SEC, and now ACC. So they may be maxed out, as well as with space – unless ESPN 4 is on tap. If Fox/FSN is who saved the B12minus2, would they have any other money to float around – they also run MLB? That leaves NBC who pimps ND, TNT/TBS who push the NBA, and uhhh, the Food Network???
Live sporting events still produce that higest rating that should attract advertisres but (I know Frank brought this up in a long last thread) who has money and space left? I can only assume that Scott is going to have to get creative as far as tiering packages (similar to CBS/SEC) with two networks as I am not sure their is one network ready to pony up $150m per – although that total number should still be the goal. Maybe ESPN gets choice of first 2 games (1 Thurs, 1 Sat?), and another unnamed network, gets choice of next 2, while a PTN takes the remaining 2. Just spitballing but looking for ideas….and for someone to tell me its going to be ok (lol).
as far as Fox having money floating around it is not huge money. if you use the BTN model Fox provides the expertise and funding to set up the network and are then as the revenue comes in the conference pays for their equity stake out of the revenues. The Big Ten is in effect still buying in. So the upfront money commitment from Fox is not that big and then they just share in the revenue stream based on actual operating results.
The question is, do they offer the Pac 10 the same deal? Do they get 51% ownership now that FOX knows the model works? Also you are talking CA viewers that are not quite as rabid as other conferences.
I think they do. 51% for the content provider sp he can control editorial issues important to the conference. I doubt a conference would agree to their name association without that editorial power.
Its true that CA residents are not as rabid – as a whole.
But that is irrelevant to subscription though – if you get on basic cable, the PTN is receiving income whether they watch or not.
There is still a good percentage of them that care though – and where you may need a higher percentage of another markets viewers to make advertising attractive – that percentage is smaller in an area w/ a population base of CA. Example – if every eye ball in Nebraska was watching their game (and their fan base is rabid enough to have that possible) that would be proportionate to roughly 8% of SoCal alone watching a USC or UCLA game. 8% market doesn’t sound like too outlandish of a target.
@Hank – Thanks but my question was more so geared at a Nat’l TV contract more than a PTN. Was just curious to know what Nat’l distrubution networks (vs regionalized FSN) may be available to provide the dollars the Pac needs to keep up with the Joneses so to speak (and in this case – the Joneses are only the ACC).
Just in case there was any doubt about who runs the new league:
Unbelievable. The five “leftovers” (KU, KSU, ISU, BU, Mizzou) agreed to sign over their share of CU/NU’s buyout money to UT/OU/A&M.-Mandel
What choice did anyone have?
If those schools didn’t offer it, then they would not have protected their own interests.
If the schools taking the offer did not require it, they would be turning away money and turning away an opportunity to make even more money in a new conference.
This satisfied everyone’s needs.
Maybe they know there won´t be any buyout money? Perlman sounds pretty sure that this won´t be an issue, since the Big 12 came out on top, from a financial standpoint.
Perhaps it is a way to shift the inevitable legal fees onto those 3 teams, too. So fighting NE won’t cost the rest of the conference, but they won’t benefit if the conference wins the case.
Sounds like you hit it. BTW, Beebe was quoted as saying Powers said he would decline the offer.
completely ridiculous. and this is from “peer institutions” cooperating together to build a conference.
Who said anything about peers?
Solid foundation to rebuild a conference.
For the conspiracy minded, could this all be a show to get past short-term TX politics and simply buy more negotiating, adjusting time for all the conferences?
I could see this playing out where next year a contract still has not been agreed to. TX and aTm declare that the promised contract $’s weren’t subsequently put to paper by Fox, so they have no choice but to re-examine their options.
It is pretty evident that there isn’t any long-term stability in the Big 12-2 yet.
Here’s is what Dan Beebe supposedly sent to the Big 12 schools arguing for preserving the conference. I’ll be honest – pretty much all of the commenters here could have made more substantive arguments than this guy. It worked, somehow:
Click to access colorado.pdf
What in the #@$% was that?
It sounds like it was written by a college newspaper writer with about as much thought, analysis, and information as the same.
If we stay at 12 for awhile, how would you divide the divisions.
I think it is a safe bet that the “big 4” will be divided 2 and 2.
My impression as a UM fan is that UM and tOSU would prefer to be in the same division if this happens. (Why would tOSU object???).
Of the remaining 8 teams, Wisconsin and Iowa have been playing at a higher level than the others. I think they have to be split in order to maintain competitive balance.
Iowa would probably be put with Nebraska.
Michigan State would be put with Michigan.
So the division alignment would probably start this way:
plus 2 more (Illinois & Northwestern??)
plus 3 more (Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota??)
How do you think the Big Ten would slot the final five teams?
Do you agree with my assumptions on the positioning of the first seven teams?
In any split we here on the banks of gitchigoomie must have
Some would swap Iowa for Minnesota but over the years these have been some very good games for TheNU.
no, I disagree. I like the east west divide. Besides although Michigan WAS awesome, Wisconsin has the second best win record over the last ten years, second to OSU. I would like to see east west divisions. helps with travel, and gets border rivalries.
I like the east-west division best myself, because of the geography and the rivalries.
The point of my post was not to advocate any particular outcome, but to predict what the Big Ten actually will do.
I will be shocked if the Big Ten puts tOSU, UM, and Penn St in the same division. The Big Ten wants to maximize the chances for two of the big four meeting in the conference championship game. This is the basis for JD’s statement that “competitive balance” would be priority one.
If they intended to make the obvious east-west split, he would not have made a point of emphasizing “competitive balance” over rivalries and geography.
To be clear, I agree that Wisconsin has been better than Michigan over the past two or three years, but the decision to split the “big four” really has more to do with brand names and ratings than with actually success on the field.
(Also, you’re all making a mistake if you assume that Michigan’s successful run is over for good. The program will come back.)
The problem with “competitive balance” is that if you put Neb and PSU in the same division, it really starts to get hard to fit the other teams in without losing rivalry games.
If you buy the premise that Mich and OSU must be in the same division (so that they can’t play twice in a row at the end of the year) then a pure geographic split makes a lot of sense, except that Mich-OSU-PSU would all be in the East. A more balanced look might be Mich-MSU-OSU-Wis-Ill-NW and Neb-PSU-Iow-Min-Pur-Ind, but that’s pretty jumbled and eliminates Wisconsin’s rivalry games. Other combos are possible but they involve breaking up Ind-Pur, Mich-MSU, or Ill-NW. Maybe pure geography will win out.
I hope so. As a UM fan, I would prefer to have OSU and PSU in the same division. Those are fun games.
I think Wisconsin is the team that is most likely to get screwed out of its rivalries if the Big Ten decides to put PSU with Nebraska opposite UM-tOSU. Iowa will be put with Nebraska to create an exciting new rivalry. If you add Wisconsin to that mix, then the divisions are going to be very lopsided. Ohio State would be able to waltz into the CCG every year (until Michigan rights the ship).
@Paul – not a bad idea here.
I mean here.
I really hope they do it that way, but I am afraid they are going to put Penn State with Nebraska in order to split the “big four,” which will disrupt the natural rivalries.
Maybe a silver lining of Michigan being so down lately is that it will increase the likelihood of a straight east-west split. In other words, if people believe that Michigan is no longer going to be any good, then PSU/OSU balances nicely with NEB/IOWA/WIS.
Q for Iowa fans: who do you consider to be a bigger rival – Minnesota or Wisconsin?
I definitely consider Wisconsin a bigger rival. Our programs are mirror images, both in style and success, and always battle over the same recruits. Their friggin coach is an Iowa grad/former player. Alvarez coached under Fry at Iowa for many years. I always view the Iowa-Wisky game as the battle for second tier supremacy. The all time series record is something like 41-40-2.
Minnesota hasn’t been a competitive series for quite a while. Playing for Floyd of Rosedale is the best part of it, and taking over their stadium.
Hawkeye fans tear down the Metrodome goal posts after winning the 2002 B10 title:
I would agree, but their is too much respect there. I like Iowa fans, they are generally just like Wisconsin fans, down to earth middle class people. Minnesota fans tend to be more toward the Michigan type fans. Always think they are better yet haven’t done anything in a while. Iowa and Wisconsin are mirrors of eachother, but its hard to have rivals without angst. And to me, a Wisconsin guy, there is no angst with Iowa. I like them. I hate Minnesota and their fans though.
It’s hard for me to say because I’m the son of a UW prof who grew up a Badger fan and switched my allegiance when I enrolled at the U of I. For me, I hate the Gophers from both ends and I still cheer for the UW in hockey and when they aren’t playing the Hawks. And while the game against the Gophers has been a protected rivalry for us, there have been years we don’t play the Badgers.
But Minnesota has just been so mediocre since the 1960s it’s hard to really get worked up about it. It also seems like we compete for recruits a lot more with the Badgers than with the Gophers.
Assuming “competitive balance” (or rather, brand name marketing) is key for maximizing income, the big four will be split evenly, but I think it more likely to be along these lines:
Michigan (w/Ohio St)
Michigan St (w/Purdue)
Nebraska (w/Penn St)
Five division games; one protected matchup; and 2 or 3 (corresponding with 8 or 9 conference tilts) interdivisional contests.
Probably more balance in the NW, but more power today at the top of the SE. By the time things shift, we’ll be working out how to fit in the newcomers in a 14/16 team league.
Does having the big dogs playing each other attract enough eyeballs to compensate for the dog-eat-dog carnage that’s left behind? Looking at the SEC model, it seems the top dog’s status at the end of any given year elevates the entire conference. How’s that for a win-win?
As an aside, I have to echo the thanks to Frank and ALL THE REST OF YOU for making this an intelligent, informative, and interesting read over the last few months. Whether things subside soon or not, former lurkers like me and contributers like you will surely know where to get our fix when the time comes.