Big East BFF with BYU?

There’s a fairly well-known story about how Bobby Knight, who had coached Michael Jordan on the U.S. Olympic team in 1984, called up his friend and then-Portland Trailblazer GM Stu Inman prior to the NBA Draft that year to sell him on taking MJ with the second pick.  (It was assumed and unquestioned by everyone at that time that the Houston Rockets would take Hakeem Olajuwon at #1.)  Inman kept saying, “We need a center.” Knight responded, “Then draft Jordan and play him at center!

Inman didn’t heed Coach Knight’s advice and ended up taking Sam Bowie, leaving the Chicago Bulls to pick Jordan at #3.  We all know what has happened since then: a Bulls dynasty, millions of Nikes sold, the Shrug and even coming full circle years later with Greg Oden spending more time taking cell phone pictures than actually playing, the Bulls getting Derrick Rose with a 1.7% lottery chance and the Taj Majal teabagging Dwyane Wade last Sunday night.  The lesson is that in the draft for any sport, you should take the best player on the board regardless of perceived need or fit.

In the world of non-AQ schools, the best school on the board to move up to the AQ level is BYU (and I don’t believe there’s a close second).  The school has an athletic department whose revenue and size is right in line with other AQ schools, sells out a 63,725-seat football stadium consistently, travels extremely well for bowls, has a nationwide following among members of the LDS, and even boasts a top-level basketball program.  However, the two most geographically accessible AQ conferences for BYU don’t really want them (the Pac-12 on religious grounds and the Big 12 for the lack of financial need for Texas and friends).

Enter the Big East, where BYU pretty much delivers everything that the conference could possibly want in an expansion candidate… except that it’s a juuuuuuust a bit outside of the Northeast.  I’d compare it to one of those draft decisions where there’s a player on the board with all of the talent in the world but has a little reefer problem – it’s a 99% dream pick with a 1% glaring issue.

Still, it didn’t really surprise me that much that the Big East apparently had a cup of coffee (or maybe a can of caffeine-free Diet Coke) with BYU to see if the Cougars would entertain a football-only invite.  Who knows whether this will really lead to anything, but count me in as someone that likes this line of thinking for the Big East.  I’ve proposed the Big Country Conference in the past (a coast-to-coast football-only conference with the Big East football members as the pillars) along with expounding the value of BYU.  My position is that if the Big East really wants to expand for football, then it needs a ready-made school to plug-in as opposed to searching for potential or focusing on geography.  (I was pushing TCU for the Big East many months before they were publicly on the radar for the conference.)  The usual suspects such as Central Florida, East Carolina and Houston are a bit more geographically-friendly for the Big East compared to BYU, but nowhere near the same level in terms of history, fan base size and financial resources.

Now, is this a good idea for BYU?  As a newly minted independent, it’s guaranteed at least three games per year on ESPN worth $800,000 to $1.2 million per game.  That means $2.4 million in TV money annually from ESPN at a minimum and with attractive games on the future schedule with Notre Dame and Texas, BYU is probably looking at closer to the $4 million to $5 million range just for football TV rights, which is more than what the Big East football members are currently making from ESPN for both football and basketball (around $3 million per year).  Coupled with BYU TV and from a pure television contract perspective, BYU may very well be better off as an independent than joining the Big East at this time.

At the same time, the travel burden of being a western outpost in an Eastern-based conference is really on BYU as opposed to the rest of the Big East.  Is it all worth it in order to join an AQ conference?

I would unequivocally say yes.  That status in and of itself is invaluable in terms of recruiting, national perception and certain in terms of competing with in-state rival Utah (who just hit the lottery with the Pac-12’s new TV deal).  The Big East TV contract is due for at least a market-based increase in a couple of years. So, even if BYU’s ESPN money looks good right now, it may not look so hot compared to a new Big East deal.  Also, a 10-2 BYU in the Big East is probably going to a BCS bowl, whereas a 10-2 BYU as an independent is going to be scrambling around to find a second-tier bowl bid.  Finally, if BYU thinks that it would be a good idea to wait around to see if the Big 12 would expand down the road, that certainly isn’t a guarantee and even if the Big 12 really did want BYU, the school would actually be even more attractive as having had AQ status.  Offers for spots in AQ conferences are few and far between and it wouldn’t be wise for anyone from the non-AQ level to pass those up.

Now, I could understand if BYU won’t consider anything less than a full invite to the Big East… and if I’m running the Big East, I’d give it to them.  BYU is really the only realistic “big” move that the Big East could possibly make where they would provide a material increase in the value of the conference’s deals on both the football and basketball sides.  Therefore, despite the fact that a Big East-BYU marriage would stretch the conference far west, that geographic issue is far outweighed by everything else that the Cougars bring to the table.  It may not be a perfect fit, but the Big East and BYU are ultimately the best players on the board for each other.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

(Image from byucougars.com)

793 thoughts on “Big East BFF with BYU?

  1. swesleyh

    Frank, you are an attorney. How difficult do you suppose it would be to convince the television powers and the Big East football schools to leave the Big East and form a new conference? Suppose you could get the TV money up to about ten/twelve million per year per school. Suppose you have the pick of the existing Big East schools plus BYU. Suppose you take some of the forgotten seven from the dying Big Twelve like Missouri, or Kansas or K-State, or Texas Tech to get to the perfect number of twelve, maybe fourteen in basketball if Notre Dame wanted membership? What do you think?

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    1. Phil

      Kyle-

      For the Pac 12, when it came to the TV contract, moving into the Mountain time zone wasn’t a bug it was a feature. It may also benefit the Big East in its contract negotiation to spread its live content over a bigger time frame.

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    2. cfn_ms

      It’s certainly an issue… but it’s solvable to some degree (for instance, splitting 10 teams into 2 divisions for scheduling purposes; you can’t do a CCG w/ 10 teams, but if you have 8 games, BYU is in a division w/ (for example) TCU, Lville, Cincy and one other (I’d guess USF but there’s no fantastic fit for the fifth team). Travel is an issue but not a titanic one for intra-division play, and then you end up playing (probably) 4 from the other “division”.

      Obviously logistically awkward but not insanely so.

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  2. Phil

    Since the Big East allegedly folded after TCU refused a football only invite, BYU is certainly not going to accept one.

    Assuming you offer BYU an all sports invite, it seems to make sense that the other two football teams you add to get to 12 are from Texas or the mountain states. Who do people feel would be the best two candidates?

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    1. Bamatab

      If they were to add two more teams after adding BYU, I think their best options would be UCF and maybe Houston. I can’t think of another mountain state team that they would add.

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      1. ccrider55

        Think plains/midwest. TCU already gets them into TX. How much more would Houston add? Who has decent FB and decent BB, or just ok FB and great BB that might be in the market for an alternative situation?

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        1. bullet

          TCU’s penetration into SE Texas is about the same as Washington St.’s. Just as Houston’s penetration into DFW is about the same as WSU. They’re one market for UT and A&M, but 2 distinct ones for other schools.

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          1. Phil

            I don’t think any available schools make a dent in the larger “Texas” market. The question is do any of them bring enough of their area. For example, does adding Houston have an impact in that sizable market? Would adding SMU (along with TCU) cumulatively bring enough alumni/fans to make the Big East relevant in DFW?

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        2. Jake

          Air Force? They’re terrible at basketball, but generally pretty salty at football. The last thing the Big East needs is a strong basketball school with a poor football team – you’d be taking coals to Newcastle. That’s why I don’t really consider Memphis to be an option.

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  3. bullet

    I’ve seen a couple of people on boards suggest that BYU is going to get $8-13 million from all its TV deals. Just board talk, so it could be just that, talk. Anyone have any more info than what Frank identified above? Not being a state school, the contract details may be easier to keep confidential. But then we’re hearing everything about the top secret mission in Pakistan, so a lot of people talk when they shouldn’t.

    I really doubt BYU would want all sports membership. There would be a real cost in $ and on the students. BYU dumped MWC for WCC and its tiny gyms. I don’t see them wanting BE basketball that much to subject the rest of their sports to that travel.

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  4. Art Director

    NCAA rules require a minimum number of teams in conferences, but do they require a minimum number of games?

    Say the Big East moves to a 12-team league, but only required teams to play their 5 divisional opponents? You COULD schedule cross divisional games, but didn’t have to?

    This would mitigate travel concerns for BYU, and may also appeal enough for Notre Dame to join. They wouldn’t be committing to a 8- or 9-game schedule, just 5 games.

    Also, this means that you could have a 12-team football league and an 18-team hoops league (add TCU and BYU for all, add Nova and ND football).

    I know the last thing anyone wants to hear is another crack pot “let’s add Notre Dame” theory, but that way the Big East could get to 12 FB schools without splitting up the hoops league.

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  5. Jake

    Frank – thanks for the post. I’ve been arguing for BYU to the Big East for awhile now, and it’s heartening to see others coming around. I was only somewhat serious at first (as I’m guessing you were with the Big Country post), but the more I think about it the less crazy it seems. Both sides really have a lot to offer each other. A strong football program and access to western markets from BYU, and eastern exposure and AQ status from the Big East. I don’t see travel as a deal breaker – there are only about four sports other than football and basketball that the BE sponsors regular season championships in that BYU also plays, and the rest would mostly keep playing in tournaments all over the country.

    TV is, as always, the biggest issue. If BYU played eight Big East games a year, would they get to keep scheduling those lucrative OOC deals with the likes of ND and Texas? If a Big East Network is launched, will BYU get any third-tier sports programming for BYUtv?

    Anyway, good post. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mavs-Bulls finals, but I think you’ll understand if I say that we have some unfinished business with the Heat to discuss.

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    1. Jake

      It was baseball, softball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Other non-revenue sports would be mostly unaffected by a Big East move.

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  6. bullet

    As for Portland, a healthy Sam Bowie could have been a game changer as well. But then he already had some issues in college. NBA hasn’t done well with really tall players-the legs/joints give out-Sam Bowie, Ralph Sampson, Yao Ming. And Portland did get Clyde Drexler with an mid teen pick the year before.

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  7. BYU is going to be problematic for any major conference. First off, unless it’s a football-only invite, their refusal to play on Sunday will affect sports like basketball, baseball, women’s basketball, etc. This becomes more problematic if they have far-flung opponents like the Big East. Harder to make non-revenue road trips work when you don’t have the flexibility of half the weekend.

    There’s also the growing animosity towards BYU’s racial issues. Read the Deadspin article: http://deadspin.com/5791461/the-truth-about-race-religion-and-the-honor-code-at-byu You alluded to this months ago when discussing how schools like Cal Berkeley would never accept BYU into the Pac 10. The Big East schools may not be as radical as Berkeley, but you can bet if any serious talk started some of the Big East people would start to object. (Don’t forget, PC champion and the devil’s right hand, Nancy Cantor, is still at Syracuse!)

    On paper it makes perfect sense for all the reasons you mentioned, but BYU is a totally unique animal due to its ties to the LDS church (you think their backing of California’s gay marriage ban won’t come up?). Add to that the arrogance factor of BYU. I live in Utah and I can tell you unequivocally that their fans and administration think they’re no different from Notre Dame.

    I just don’t see it happening. But hey, I’ve been wrong plenty before in all this mess!

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    1. ezdozen

      Of course, unlike a lot of other conferences, the Big East’s tournament does not play on Sunday.

      Also, the Big East really does not schedule many games on Sunday in general.

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  8. cfn_ms

    Copying post from Pac-x thread:

    I would guess that the big issue is that BYU wants (and probably thinks they can eventually get) an all-sports invite. I don’t think that they can get it without a FB-nonFB breakup… but that’s a plausible outcome to all this. At some point the FB schools need to make a decision on what they want to do and what they want to be.

    If they want to remain a totally BB-centric league, they can suck it up and invite Nova with their lousy FB program and tiny stadium, stand pat at 10 for FB, emphasize BB (and hope that grows heavily for TV revenue) and accept the substantial risk of falling by the wayside in FB (BE + Nova almost certainly not an AQ in the 2014 evaluation).

    Or if they want to become a FB-centric league, they can suck it up and break away from the BB schools, go from 9 to 10 by bringing BYU in all sports, and then try to find two more schools to reach 12 (at that point, they can either take UCF and one Texas school or maybe two Texas schools [SMU, Houston?], or maybe some other pairing).

    Or they can sit back and see happens with expansion elsewhere, with the most likely eventual outcome being that a couple of theirs move to “have” leagues and the rest become permanent have-nots.

    Those are really the three paths that make any sense at all to me. Personally I think the FB schools would be best-served by following the 2nd path, emphasizing football and breaking away from the BB schools so that they can actually expand without creating an unworkable situation (add 3 new schools to hit 12 for FB and you get something like TWENTY schools for BB… and even the current 17 or so is really pushing the limits).

    But that’s just my take. The BE could certainly come to a different conclusions. But I think that, one way or the other, they need to figure out what they want to do at a high level and start making decisions that reflect this philosophy, whatever it is.

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  9. frug

    I have a tough time seeing this happening. The fact TCU (who didn’t have the option of independence) wasn’t willing to accept a football only invite means that BYU probably wouldn’t either. The problem is the non-football schools probably feel like got burned in the Villanova debacle and may block any future all sports expansion unless “Nova is admitted first. I’m not saying its impossible for BYU to join just highly unlikely unless the football members split off.

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    1. The only thing that might work in the Big East’s favor here is BYU has already split their sports. Independent in fotball and WCC in most other sports (WAC in a few minor sports). Clearly the Big East is a much much better conference than the WCC, but considering how heavily BYU recruits California and how many Mormons live in California (there are more LDS members in Cali than in Utah), it may not be quite as big a deal for them to stay in the WCC for other sports. Especially if they get to keep more of their second-tier sports on BYUtv.

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      1. bullet

        From Jake’s comments, I suspect the WCC is stronger in the non-revs with league play–baseball, softball, women’s volleyball almost certainly. Maybe even soccer, although the BE has some strong programs.

        In many of the other sports where the BE might be stronger, the league championship is just another tourney. There are regional championships that matter for the NCAA tourney/meet.

        The only sports where the WCC wouldn’t work as well would be basketball and football.

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        1. bullet

          And BYU might prefer to be one of 2 or 3 big fish in a small pond than an also-ran in BE basketball (see once proud DePaul, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence).

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      2. JRid

        There actually aren’t more LDS members in California than in Utah; not even close. There are just over 755,000 Mormons in CA and almost 2 million in Utah as of 2010. I think you’re thinking of Las Vegas vs. Salt Lake City where Vegas actually has more Mormons than Salt Lake (though LV has a lot more people period than SLC). BYU definitely has the same effect to many Mormons that Notre Dame has to many Catholics, but obviously there are FAR more Catholics in this country than Mormons, so don’t expect BYU to be selling out opponents’ stadiums all over the country like Notre Dame can.

        I don’t think BYU would have much of a problem joining football-only in the Big East. Their other sports clearly don’t need the Big East to gain national prominence, even basketball.

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        1. You are correct, I misspoke (mis-typed?) Meant to say “nearly” as many, since the figures I’ve seen have Mormon population growing in California (approaching 1 million) and stagnating in Utah at a little over 1.7. Mea culpa!

          I guess my point is that more than nearly 4 million of the 5.5 million Mormons in this country live in the western US, so the Big East may not be the best fit for their fan base. It would almost force them to commit to several non-conference games on the west coast every year.

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  10. Sportsman

    How much of an issue would the religion factor be? Would the primarily Catholic BE want BYU or even SMU? With TCU, religion was somewhat of a positive, with some of the other available religious, non-Catholic schools, it may be too much of a negative.

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    1. Jake

      SMU is no more religious than TCU; both are essentially secular. Prayers before football games is about as far as it goes. BYU is a whole different story. I don’t know how all of the Big East members would feel about that. Other than the Sunday play thing, I don’t feel like it would be a problem.

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  11. Michael in Indy

    This past season was the first of a four-year cycle for most bowls’ contracts with conferences. Once that cycle is over, and re-negotiations begin in late 2013 & early 2014, I suspect that BYU will strike a deal with the MWC or the WAC for bowl games, similar to the way Notre Dame is tied into the Big East’s bowl games. In exchange, BYU would, well, continue to play 3-4 games a year against the MWC or WAC.

    Anyway, I seriously doubt BYU is going to have trouble getting some decent bowl tie-ins next bowl cycle.

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    1. Michael in Indy

      Something else to consider: assuming BYU remains an independent, couldn’t they work out something out with the Big 12 in terms of bowl tie-ins? The Big 12 is almost certain to be less attractive to its current bowl partners three years from now. The league lost two members, including an all-time powerhouse, and the remaining members will have five more conference losses among them. It’ll be awfully hard for the league to keep the Alamo AND Insight on top of the Fiesta, Cotton, and its lower-tier bowl games if they’re having to take teams with four to six losses, which is a pretty distinct possibility. But if BYU had a deal with the Big 12 like the Big East’s deal with Notre Dame, then the league would have a much better chance of keeping its best bowl tie-ins from being taken by the Pac-12 or Big Ten or SEC.

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      1. Richard

        That may happen. What also could happen is ND and BYU banding together and getting some bowl tie-ins, maybe with the B10, B12, or P12. For example, I could see three of the Insight, Alamo, Sun, or Holiday bowls picking from ND, BYU, 1 B10, 1 B12, and 2 P12, with an extra B12 or B10 team picked if ND or BYU aren’t available.

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        1. Richard

          Hypothetical scenario:
          Insight, Alamo, Holiday, and Sun form a bowl alliance to choose from amongst P12 #2,#3,&#4, B12 #3&#4, B10 #4 as well as ND and BYU (B10 #5 goes to the Gator to face SEC #6).

          All 4 bowls can choose ND or BYU once in 4 years.

          Picking order is
          Insight
          Alamo
          Insight
          Alamo
          Holiday
          Sun
          Holiday
          Sun

          If ND or BYU are missing, the bowls can choose from B10 #6 or B12 #5 (who would otherwise be meeting in the Texas Bowl).

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          1. Richard

            I forgot to mention:

            I think pretty much everybody would like this arrangement. ND gets to play every postseason in the SW where it wants to expand its fanbase; BYU stays in all the western areas where it wants to be; the bowls get a variety of new opponents every year; and I think all the conferences would be happy to be sending their teams to new bowls all the time. The tough part is pulling this off logistically.

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          2. ccrider55

            Perhaps I’m missing something. What is the incentive for a conference to align with a bowl that can displace a member with a non-member at the bowl’s discretion?

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          3. Michael in Indy

            @ccrider55,

            Just as with the Big East/ND arrangement, any bowl could only take BYU over a Big 12 team once in a four-year contract. The incentive is to ensure that the bowl would take Big 12 teams the other three years, if not all four.

            Just wait and see… over the next three seasons, the Alamo, Insight, and especially the Holiday are going to start having teams with 5 and 6 losses, and they’re a lot more likely to be teams that bring relatively small crowds and low ratings like Kansas State or Baylor or Iowa State than they are to be Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, or Oklahoma State. The Insight, which gets the fourth pick among 10 Big 12 teams, is going to start looking a lot more favorably at the Pac-12, where it could the third pick among 12 more regionally-friendly teams. The Holiday is going to look more favorably upon the Big Ten because a 6-6 or 7-5 Big Ten team would be much more likely to result in a sellout than a Big 12 team with the same record. But if those bowls could have a strong-traveling BYU team with a record more like 10-2 or 9-3 as a choice alongside the Big 12 teams, it could be enough for the Big 12 to keep its highest-paying bowl tie-ins.

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          4. ccrider55

            I guess what I’m asking is unless it’s a new (for the conference) bowl, or an opening for a lower qualifying conference member, wouldn’t a conference try to secure the spot for their membership? Does BYU get as to become a “provisional member” of those conferences that would be at risk of being displaced? Do they have that kind of juice?

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      2. bullet

        Big 12 doesn’t need any help on bowl tie-ins. They aren’t the Big East. They are far and away the most attractive alternative on all their top bowl tie-ins and most of their lower level ones as well (which are easily replaced with 35 bowls). Only one in question would be Holiday and are they going to want the #5 or #6 Big 10 team more than #3 Big 12? BYU wouldn’t really help on that.

        WAC doesn’t have anything to offer BYU. They are losing their tie-ins.

        MWC hates BYU. They aren’t going to offer them any help.

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        1. Michael in Indy

          Bullet,

          The Big 12 may very well need help keeping its tie-ins. Having 10 teams all playing each other puts a lot of wear and tear on the league. Just ask the Pac-10 after last year:

          Oregon, 9-0,12-1
          Stanford, 8-1, 12-1
          Washington, 5-4, 7-6
          USC, 5-4, 8-5
          Oregon State, 4-5, 5-7
          Arizona State, 4-5, 6-6
          Arizona, 4-5, 7-6
          California, 3-6, 5-7
          UCLA, 2-7, 4-8
          Washington State, 1-8, 2-10
          —-
          Only five bowl-eligible records, including USC. The same kind of thing could easily happen with the Big 12.

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          1. cfn_ms

            especially if they upgrade the OOC slates, as has been discussed as part of what the networks were looking for.

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        2. Richard

          Bullet:

          The Holiday gets the B12 #5 now, so your hypothetical is a false one. In any case, I do think bowls would find both ND & BYU to be more attractive than the B12 #5.

          My guess is that ND, BYU, P12 #2, #3, & #4, B12 #3, & #4, and B10 #5 will be split up some how between the Alamo, Insight, Holiday, and Sun bowls.

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      1. Brian

        The MSU/YSU game is the Friday of Labor Day weekend. It may be nobody else wanted to move to Friday. Strangely they don’t have a Saturday game that weekend. They also had to take a MN game and 9/24 is the bad weekend. After ESPN picks their games there wasn’t much left so they might as well take MN then rather than a weekend with better choices.

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      2. cutter

        After looking at the schedule of games being played in prime time on the Big Ten Network, a couple of thoughts come to mind.

        The first is that it provides prime evidence for why the Big Ten would want to go to a nine-game conference schedule. Two of the prime time games are against 1-AA opponents, and while going to an enlarged schedule of conference games might not stop that practice, it might curtail it. More importantly, a nine-game conference schedule would provide a better inventory of games available to the BTN. If the BTN wants to be a serious player for prime time football broadcasts and be a “destination network” for viewers, it has to improve the quality of the opponents.

        The second thought I had is that perhaps the Big Ten would look to schedule conference games in the first three weeks of the season. Michigan, for example, opened the 1996 season with Illinois and play the Illini in the second game of the 1995 season after opening with Virginia in a Pigskin Classic contest, so it has been done before.

        This would provide ABC/ESPN and the Big Ten Network some better season matchups so that Youngstown State v. Michigan State or North Dakota State v. Minnesota aren’t prime time matchups. I could see the Big Ten scheduling two confrence games in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 of the season with at least one of them becoming prime time broadcasts on the BTN. That means each team in the Big Ten plays at least one conference game before the final week of September.

        Obviously, it would also mean playing non-conference games in October or November, but that is something the SEC manages to do. Admittedly, though all the high profile SEC non-confernce games take place early in the season. The ones later in the season are almost always against minor opponents and take place immediately prior to major conference games. The Big Ten could probably do the same thing, if they’re willing to do it.

        I have to imagine the 2015/6 Big Ten schedules are going to be out fairly soon. We’ll see how much television really drives the bus when it comes to college football, especially since the ABC/ESPN contract runs out in 2015.

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        1. Brian

          You have to remember the circumstance. Who else wanted to move to Friday night like MSU/YSU did? Both teams have to agree to that. MN had to get a night game, and there was an opening on 9/24. If you were the BTN, how would you have met your needs?

          ESPN still gets to pick at least 2 games first, so just shifting 2 games may not help. With 9 games, I think they’ll go to 3 conference games each in weeks 3 and 4. That keeps the OOC in September (unless someone fills a bye week with an OOC game) while also providing solid games in weeks 3 and 4 to go with the bad games. Weeks 1 and 2 already have some decent games every year. Usually week 4 is the problem as teams want a virtual bye to prepare for the conference schedule.

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        2. jj

          Also. I’m a state man and had zero desire to go to this. Now that it’s at night, I’d think about it. I love night games at msu.

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        3. Richard

          cutter:

          Pretty much all of those early season conference games were moved there in order to fit PSU in to the schedule of the other B10 schools, I believe. That said, I had mentioned in the previous thread that when the B10 goes to 9 conference games, during a regular 13 week season, we may very well see something like the following

          Week 1: All OOC
          Week 2: Half
          Week 3: Half
          Week 4: Half
          Week 5: Half
          Week 6: 5 games
          Week 7: 5 games
          Week 8: 5 games
          Week 9: 5 games
          Week10: 5 games
          Week11: 5 games
          Week12: Full
          Week13: Full

          We may see a smattering of OOC games in Oct/Nov as some schools may schedule OOC games in to their bye weeks, but most OOC games would still take place in weeks 1-5.

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        4. m (Ag)

          “Admittedly, though all the high profile SEC non-confernce games take place early in the season. The ones later in the season are almost always against minor opponents and take place immediately prior to major conference games. The Big Ten could probably do the same thing, if they’re willing to do it.”

          The traditional rivalries are glaring exceptions.

          Florida/FSU
          South Carolina/Clemson
          Georgia/Georgia Tech

          are all played the last week of the season. In addition, Vanderbilt frequently plays a game that weekend…often Wake Forest. Certainly not an attention getting game, but it’s not a minor matchup for Vanderbilt.

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  12. M

    Does anyone know if the Villanova plan is officially dead? Is there any bad blood on behalf of the basketball schools because of how that went down?

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    1. Brian

      At least publicly, the BE is still thinking about it. It may be cover for Nova to come back with a better proposal with suitable stadium plans.

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  13. Richard

    Frank:

    For what it’s worth, browsing the BYU boards, Cougar fans seem to think that the ESPN deal pays $1-2M per home game televised (probably based on profitability) and that BYU could conservatively get $1M in ad money for the games they televise on BYUTV (because they were selling them for $800K/game locally some time in the past) + $2M for the neutral site game against TCU (and maybe other neutral site games like that against attractive opponents), which is how they probably come up with the $8-12M figure for TV money.

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    1. Richard

      The BYU slate for 2011 frankly isn’t that attractive to ESPN (Utah, UCF, USU + the TCU game) and 2012 brings Hawaii, USU, & OreSt. but 2013 brings Texas, Boise, + GTech (& presumably Utah).

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    2. Gumbynuts

      Does anyone know if BYU is able to generate ad revenue through a religious non-profit TV network like BYUtv? Someone mentioned they could not in the Utah thread you posted.

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      1. Brian

        As a non-profit they are allowed to generate all the revenue they want, they just can’t profit. They can buy more and better equipment, pay better salaries, build studios and otherwise enhance their productions, though. They can also distribute money to charity or support LDS missions.

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          1. Brian

            It appears the only real limits are illegal campaign contributions, hookers and blow. Just so long as they don’t keep it.

            Like

  14. RR1066

    UCF and Houston still look the best of the do-able teams. Those who have been to the BYU campus know it is a nice school. However the no sports on Sunday policy would kill any BB membership.
    This BYU invite may be like the supposed Kansas & Kansas lite offer of last year. More myth than meat.
    I am still waiting for evidence that the basketball commish Marinatto has a clue or gives a darn about FB.

    Like

    1. Gopher86

      Bill Self went on the record that the Big East had a deal on the table for MU, ISU, KU and KSU. No one has gone on the record here.

      Like

      1. cutter

        We’ll see if they can continue to pull it off. Even Swarbrick says in the bottom part of the article that it was difficult to get that 2012 schedule together.

        Notre Dame was fortunate the Pac 12 gave USC and Stanford a waiver to play ND in the latter part of the season. With three Big Ten games in September plus Navy, USC and Stanford as regular opponents (Stanford and ND are signed up thru 2019), that means ND essentially has half of its schedule in place through the decade. I don’t think Notre Dame would have a problem getting another six teams on the schedule–the question is which ones are realistically available or want to play Notre Dame in October or November in the midst of conference play.

        Brigham Young, for obvious reasons, will be there on a regular basis, along with programs from the Big East and ACC. Outside of three season openers with Texas (starting in 2015) plus one more games against UT in September plus a home-and-home with Oklahoma, there’s no indication ND will be playing many Big XII teams. The SEC remains a no show based on what has been published on their future schedules.

        Notre Dame has to be happy they were able to get Northwestern for a couple of November dates (2014/18), but that seems to be an outlier with Big Ten programs (and it’s also do to a strong relationship between the two schools’ athletic directors). The same with Miami and the 1-1-1 set up they have with the Hurricanes.

        I’m sure Notre Dame will continue to play teams from the Mountain West, although that conference will be going to a nine-game round robin, so that means fewer scheduling opportunities (the same would happen with the Big East if Villanova or some other combination of teams is brought into the fold).

        The bottom line is this though–if Notre Dame doesn’t become a consistent winner, it’s not going to matter how their schedule is finally put together. Once ND gets two or three losses in a season, the television ratings for Irish games get real soft, real quick. Couple that with games mostly against second tier/non-marquee programs (with the obvious exception of USC) and you have a problem.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Outside of TX and OU, which B12 schools would ND want to play? Maybe MO if they stay good and TAMU for Houston?

          Similarly, with 3 B10’s locked in how many more midwest teams do they want to play? OSU and NE? Once the B10 goes to 9 games, who will want to add in ND?

          The problem with the SEC for ND is FL refuses to play out of state. I’d guess they talk to GA, AL and Vandy and nobody else.

          The issue ND may face is with 9 game schedules in the P12, B12, B10 and BE eventually, and maybe the ACC. That reduces the number of AQs willing to play ND home and home.

          Will the ACC also go to 9? I’ve seen some fans advocate it but nothing official. The problem, I’d assume, is the number of OOC games with the SEC (FSU/FL, GT/GA, Clemson/SC) and other AQs (BC/Syracuse, MD/WV, WF/Vandy, etc). It may be a tough sell. I assume the SEC would be last to 9 games (maybe never), but they are last to play ND, too.

          Like

          1. cutter

            I think there’s a difference between how Notre Dame would want to play in comparison to who Notre Dame can play–and that’s my larger point.

            For example, do you really think playing Washington State in San Antonio for a neutral site game was an optimal opponent for Notre Dame? Or did ND feel it was better to get a game in Texas even with a program that is relatively low profile (and in that year, only went 1-11)? The same goes with a couple of opponents from last season, i.e., Tulsa and Western Michigan. I doubt Notre Dame really wanted to play them, but they were available and willing to fill an open schedule slot.

            So when it comes to which teams in the Big XII Notre Dame would play, my answer is based on when they’re availalble. If Kansas State were to say they were willing to come to South Bend during the first week of November to play ND, and Notre Dame had the open slot, then ND would play K-State.

            I don’t think ND is going to go beyond three Big Ten games per year, so that’s a moot point. I suspect ND would like to have some of those games later in the year, and if the B10 opts to schedule some future confernce games in the first three weeks of September, then that might happen.

            I think the bigger problem for the SEC is that it’s such a difficult conference that there’s no real incentive to play Notre Dame in the midst of conference play. Couple that with programs who have some tough non-conference rivalries anyway (Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, So. Carolina-Clemson), and you knock down the pool of SEC teams willing to play ND.

            I agree with you that the problem Notre Dame may face in the future comes from a combination of further conference expansion coupled with nine-game conference schedules. ND would have been on a very small island if the Pac 16 had come into existence and other dominos started falling once that happened. Heck, Swarbrick says straight out in that article that ND was monitoring the conference expansion issue on a daily basis.

            Like

          2. Brian

            If you noticed, ND said they play “home” games at neutral sites to help the school, not the team. They may play a lesser B12 team at a neutral site for that reason, but not a series that includes an away game. They already play in the midwest, west and northeast regularly, so the neutral site would have to be in the south. Series with Miami or GT would cover the southeast, and TX covers the south, so I don’t see much need for the rest of the Big 12.

            Like

        2. Michael in Indy

          Notre Dame will be just fine.

          No matter how the exact dates change from year to year, there are always 13 Saturdays among September, October, & November. Notre Dame has to fill 12 of them because one week would be their bye.

          Let’s assume that the first four weekends are easy to fill and would not include their bye. The majority of the games those weekends are non-conference games across college football, anyway, and with ND being ND, they can get almost anybody home-and-home that they want. Besides, three of those games will generally be Michigan State, Michigan, and Purdue. In the years when one of them has a year off from ND, someone will else step up to the plate. In years when a prime opponent like Texas, Oklahoma, or Miami wants its game within the first four weeks, Michigan State or Purdue would probably be all right bumping their game to a fifth Saturday in September or to the first Saturday in October. (It’s been done before.)

          ND’s bigger concern would have to be filling up the final nine weeks of the calendar. One of those weeks would be a bye. One would be an October game against either Stanford or USC, depending on the year. Another would be the season finale against either Stanford or USC. Another would be against Navy. Most years, another game would be against Boston College. Most years, another game would be against Pitt.

          That leaves just three games in the season’s final nine weeks for the Domers to be truly concerned about, and Notre Dame already has some teams contracted to fill the voids, such as BYU and Northwestern. Other Big East teams beside Pitt will certainly be willing. Same for ACC teams. Specifically, Georgia Tech has played a lot of games against ND through the years and would probably agree once again. I’m sure FSU would be willing to arrange a home-and-home, too, later in the decade; their early 90’s and early 2000’s games were a big hit for both fanbases.

          Like

          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Mike – during the 70s, 80s & 90s, LSU & Notre Dame played – often late in the season. As Louisiana is the most Catholic state in the South, LSU has and would always find a find to fit Notre Dame into the schedule.

            Like

        3. Richard

          I have to second what Mike of Indy said. With the B10 looking to spread conference games in to September, the 3 B10 rivalry games can fit in to the first 5 weeks. Of the other 8 weeks, one is a bye, 2 are taken up by USC&Stanford, & 1 by Navy. That leaves 4 games to be filled by schools from 2 BCS conferences (ACC & BE), usually including Pitt & BC. I don’t think ND would find it hard to find roughly 2 opponents a year from each league (and there’s always Army & the non-AQs). The other 2 games early in the year can be filled by Texas, OU, an SEC team, or other B10 or P12 teams.

          Like

    1. joe4psu

      Interesting that last year the BTN was was considered to be part the reason for expansion but Swarbrick considers it a detriment. I think he’s wrong in two ways. School’s have to pay for their stake in the network so that doesn’t cost the conference in any way and additional revenue is created in multiple ways from the addition of new schools/markets.

      The BTN makes money for the conference in at least three ways. The network pays the conference rights fees for the content and that should go up with expansion. The network makes money from advertising which should go up with more content without considering the rates charged for the advertising. The network also makes money from cable companies for access to the network and that will increase with additional households being charged in the new markets. It seems to me that any school outside of the current footprint would create SOME additional income. It’s just that SOME additions would make a lot more income for the network and the conference.

      I also find it interesting that Swarbrick says that conference owned networks make it less likely for these conferences to expand but Scott has already said that the Pac-12 desires further expansion. I think it may have to do with old thinking from Swarbrick in contrast to new thinking from Scott and Scott has proved to be a genius at expansion and getting paid for the value of that expansion.

      Another thing that has bothered me about the whole expansion exercise is that now people say that the B1G’s stopping at twelve schools proves that none of the others would benefit the conference financially. Isn’t that in direct opposition to the reports early on that consultants had looked at a number of schools and that some if not all would be profitable additions? I still think that political pressure and the perception of greed that the media was creating made the presidents leery of further change.

      Like

    1. Brian

      I think he’s wrong on several fronts:

      1. Some of the people taking money now don’t want to break the rules but feel they need the money. These players may well not break the rules if they get the full cost of attendance. It just like most people will pay for something on the honor system. Some people will always break the rules, but this takes away any poverty excuse.

      2. This won’t make cheating any more prevalent than it is now.

      3. Some academic scholarships do include the full cost of attendance. It’s called a full ride for a reason.

      However, I do like his idea of showing the student-athletes how much their scholarship is worth. Give them an annual sheet that shows the full cost of everything they got for free (tuition, books, room&board, tutors, health care, insurance, coaching/training, etc).

      Like

      1. jj

        I think a large gist of the article is just telling crybaby athletes to suck it up and realize what a good thing they have going while tens of thousands are SOL in job hunting and tens of K in debt; or appealing to readers re the same.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Like I said, I agree with him on that part. I think they would be surprised if they saw what it actually cost to get what they have. However, to me he was wrong on those three points I mentioned.

          Like

    2. Richard

      What a poorly thought-out article.

      1. The proposal to give student-athletes a little spending money has nothing to do with preventing cheating (which will go on regardless) and more to do with helping out those athletes who come from poverty now that the power conferences have struck the TV goldmine (if you take the charitable view).
      2. He says athletes shouldn’t be treated differently from regular students, but they are _already_ treated differently from regular students (in a negative way). A regular student is free to take as many or whatever kind of job he/she wants in order to earn some spending money; the athlete is prohibited by the NCAA from doing so.

      For a far better take on the issue, read Andy Staples: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/05/20/paying-players-attendance-cost/index.html

      Like

      1. jj

        Why can’t they just get a loan like everyone else? If someone offered me or one of my kids their deal and the downside was that I had to take a 5 k loan a year or something, the pen would be on the paper before anyone blinked.

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        1. Brian

          There are restrictions even on loans for them I believe (to prevent sweetheart deals), although I think some may be available. They can also get Pell Grants if they are truly needy.

          Like

          1. Richard

            I thought Pell Grants covered only tuition, room & board (that is, what the regular scholarship covers).

            Like

        2. jj

          Maybe the schools or conferences or ncaa can start a loan program. It’s not right to expect the general student body to further support these folks.

          Like

  15. BYUND2BIG12

    To be honest and I know most people won’t agree, but I think in four years – when the Big 12 is renegotiating their Tier I rights contract with ESPN/ABC, both BYU and ND will be in the Big 12 for at least football. BYU could possibly make it for all sports if the Big 12 can find a way to work around their no games played on Sunday rule.

    I know most don’t think ND would join a conference, but in four years, them along w/BYU could be forced to. It’s going to be hard for them to keep up w/other schools when it comes to TV revenue, exposure, and more importantly bowl games. Other conferences adding teams and getting stronger hurts them more than it does anybody else.

    UT’s AD Deloss Dodds is friends w/the ND AD and has already told him if they need somewhere to go for football, that he would lobby to get them to become a member of the Big 12. The Big 12 is a much more attractive conference for fooball than the Big East – it’s more competitive and it will give them a much bigger presence in TX than they would get by being in the Big East. That will help them significantly in recruiting. Both teams would add to the crediblity of the Big 12 since the perception is they have now gotten weaker since losing two teams even though all they really lost was two huge TV markets.

    Colorado hasn’t been relevant in any of the major sports and over the past decade, Texas Tech has been more relevant than Nebraska in football. After years of mediocrity Nebraska finally became relevant again at the end of 2010 but they are nowhere near being the powerhouse that they were and considering that they couldn’t be beat a horrible UT team last year and barely beat Iowa State, I’m not sure playing in the Big 10 is going to make it any easier for them to become the powerhouse they were in the past. Compared to those two schools, BYU and ND would be a huge upgrade to the Big 12 and Im not sure how Beebe and could pass on that. At the very least he should offer them both for football only and work from there. Whether he wants to or not, he may be forced to as soon as an undefeated OU or UT team is kept out of playing for a title over another team that played for and won their conference champonship and who may also be in stronger conference. I think that happens sooner rather than later.

    So I’m predicting it now, BYU and ND to the Big 12 for at least football in four years. Both teams would play in the Big 12 North bringing that division much needed credibility when it comes to football. It would be an instant rivalry that could become as huge as the OU/UT rivalry w/yearly rivalry games played between the two schools in Arlington,TX at Jerry’s World’s every year or perhaps in Utah (Mormon land) and Italy (Catholic land) ever once in a while. OU, UT, BYU, and ND in one conference for football would be amazing and good for college football. With OSU and A&M continuing to get stronger it would make the conference even better.

    Like

    1. herbiehusker

      …..yeah, then maybe you can convince Florida and Alabama to leave the SEC to join the South Division of the Big 12 and poach Ohio State and Wisconsin from the B1G to become the first 16 Team Superconference. Mr. Beebe, is that you?

      Like

    2. Brian

      This will NEVER happen. No matter how many times it is said, people refuse to listen to 2 things:

      1. ND will not join a conference for football. Football independence is part of their institutional identity. They make huge money from NBC (and will from whoever pays them next) and will never lack for exposure or bowl options. ND will not be tied in to playing teams like ISU, KSU and KU every year.

      2. The Big 12 doesn’t want to expand. They are happy as is (which means TX is happy as is). Yes, BYU and ND would make good candidates for FB expansion, but they don’t want to expand. Based on their TV deal, why would they?

      Like

      1. Christian

        I’m not sure too many people would agree with that. I think BYU can make a better case that they’re equal to Nebraska, than Nebraska could make that they’re equal to Notre Dame.

        Like

        1. Brian

          I think you’re both wrong.

          ND is more valuable than NE. NE is much more valuable than BYU.

          CO nominally would be more valuable than BYU because they are already an AQ and bring a larger home market, but they’ve been so down lately that may not be true right now.

          NE + CO is probably about equal to ND + BYU for the B12, all thing considered. They’re both equally likely pairs to join the B12, too.

          Like

        2. Muck

          Since 94 ND has had 10 seasons where they lost 5 or more games. Over the same period of time Nebraska has won three national titles. BYU’s multiple 10 win seasons are tainted by playing in the MWC.

          Yes Nebraska went through a slump during the Callahan era, but it was still less than the downturn Texas experienced during the late 80’s & 90’s. No one in their right mind would argue that BYU or ND would adequately replace Texas.

          Now granted BYU & ND fans don’t typically fall into the category of “in their right mind” but that’s another topic altogether.

          Like

          1. Christian

            I was thinking more in terms of desirability. If given a choice of Notre Dame or Nebraska, I think every conference in the nation would choose Notre Dame instantly. If given the choice of Nebraska or BYU, they would select Nebraska, but they’d think about it a little longer than they thought about ND vs. NEB.

            Like

          2. R

            @Christian

            Yeah, for probably a nano second. ND is a home run, Nebraska a stand-up triple, and BYU a slide-in double.

            Like

    3. Mike

      Notre Dame won’t let its football team join a conference with some of its historic rivals (the B1G). I’m amazed at how unified Notre Dame fans are about football independence. Now, you are telling me it will join a conference that it doesn’t have any historical ties to, to form a division with annual division road trips to such places as Ames, IA; Manhattan, KS; Lawrence, KS, Columbia, MO; and Provo, UT? Yes, they would get a game or two in Texas (ever been to Waco or Lubbock?) For a school that views itself as national as Notre Dame, I don’t see it regionalizing itself into the plains states, to play a majority of schools Notre Dame doesn’t consider its peers. If Notre Dame is going anywhere (1% chance) it will be the B1G or ACC. Conferences that top to bottom are schools more like Notre Dame.

      Like

      1. bullet

        Notre Dame will fight it as long as possible, but eventually they will need to join a conference. If they are smart, they won’t wait until the subway alumni have all drifted away or died.

        But when Notre Dame does eventually join a conference it will not be the B12. B10 is most likely. ACC and BE are possible as they have traditional rivalries and ND fan territories. B12 is not one of the options.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Why will the need to join a conference? Money? Scheduling? Other?

          They will continue to get a huge TV deal for the foreseeable future, and are planning to start their own online network. As has been discussed elsewhere, even with 9 game conference schedules ND will have plenty of options (6 of 12 games are essentially locked in, and most schools would love a 1-1 or 1-1-1 with ND).

          What will drive their need?

          Like

          1. bullet

            Other.

            Its a detriment to be an indy with nothing to play for but a national championship. Plus, everyone gets up for them, even more so than the kings in their own conferences. Their national following has to do with their Irish Catholic identity. Irish Catholics are mainstream now. There’s not the discrimination that caused them to so heartily embrace ND. Its just not going to be the same in the future. So their national fan base will decrease and wins will decrease and their TV$ advantage has already disappeared. I don’t think their post Holtz decline is all chance and all bad coaching. Also, TV wants to diversify. They don’t want to have to show a bad ND team every week. With conferences, they can mostly ignore the kings in their bad years.

            I think they will continue to get enough money, but will fall behind others instead of being well ahead. Scheduling will be more difficult, but tolerable. Its the intangibles that will eventually force them to join a conference. It might be 30 years. It might be 10. But it will eventually become obvious to them that they are creating a disadvantage for themselves by being independent. And it could be a BE split with a football half that may not want anything less than all of ND that forces them to make a choice. It could be a national championship tournament when their popularity is meaningless. It won’t happen soon, but I think its inevitable that they join a conference.

            Like

          2. Brian

            Bullet,

            Post-Holtz, ND has been coached by Bob Davie (35-25), Tyrone Willingham (21-15) and Charlie Weis (35-27) before Brian Kelly. How many of them are still head coaches? Davie had to go to TV. Willingham took UW to an 0-12. Charlie Weis is an OC. You don’t think coaching was a big factor in their doldrums?

            Everyone thought ND was done when they hired Gerry Faust to replace Dan Devine. Lou Holtz came in and fixed things. I think Brian Kelly will get them back to a top 10 or 15 program.

            Like

          3. Richard

            . . . .yet neither Army or Navy are in a conference (though Army did engage in that experiment in the past). I’m convinced that ND would rather slide to Navy-level relevance than join a conference.

            Like

        2. Christian

          Big 12 is an option because they will probably be the conference most willing to bend over backwards, allowing Notre Dame to remain “independent” within a conference. They can have their own network for their third tier rights, can refuse to make certain road trips (Ames, Lubbock, Waco), and can play a reduced conference schedule, allowing them to continue to play their “national” schedule (USC, Stanford, couple B1G teams). The Big 12 would TOTALLY allow all of that to get Notre Dame, while the B1G and Pac 12 and probably even Big East would say “hell no”. So, while it is a long shot, the Big 12 definitely would have some allure.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Don’t kid yourself. The BE would bend over and grab their ankles if ND even hinted they might join. They already give up bowl slots to them despite ND not playing them 3 times a year as promised.

            I don’t see the lesser Big 12 schools saying yes to a school joining under the condition that they never have to play those lesser schools. NCAA rules say they would have to play everyone in their division, or else no CCG. What 5 Big 12 schools would make ND willing to drop some of their rivalries and freedom?

            Like

          2. Mike

            @Christian – I just don’t see Big 12 member schools voting to include a member who has special privileges. Yes Texas has its own network and gets the most TV money (determined from a formula, there is nothing that says Texas has to get the most money). However, each school has the same opportunity to do what Texas does. What does it say about your conference when in order to admit a member you exempt them from having to play road games at another member? Good luck getting those members to vote for admission.

            Like

  16. Brian

    If the BE was looking at a FB-only invite, wouldn’t Boise be the only choice? That’s the only sport the BE would want them for and all they’re good at. The travel for football can be justified by the boost in reputation. Boise is far enough down the ladder that they would have to give a FB-only offer serious consideration since they have no alternative besides the MWC.

    Like

    1. Muck

      BSU just doesn’t offer the long term stability of the programs that have already been snatched up (TCU & Utah) or of BYU. Those three have finances, athletic departments, stadiums & fan bases that put them squarely in the same ball park as many other AQ teams. BSU just doesn’t have the same infrastructure to be potentially competitive over the long haul.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Boise has been winning in I-AA for 15 years (2nd to OSU in W%, 4th in Ws). TCU, Utah and BYU are 13th, 16th and 22nd in W% over that time. Sure, an easier conference helped (TCU was in the WAC for a while too) but that’s nothing to laugh at.

        Boise has won 10+ games every year since 1999 except 2001 and 2005. TCU’s first recent 10 W season was 2000, and they’ve not gotten to 10 3 times since. Utah had 1994 then 2003 to start their run and they also have missed 10 Ws 3 times since then. BYU has had more sustained success over time, but with multiple lulls. They’ve won 10+ 5 times since 2001 and not the other 5, but had a lot of strong years earlier (especially in the 80s).

        Boise lacks a lot of things in terms of infrastructure, fan base and stadium size, but they have a recent history of winning that shouldn’t be ignored. Their stadium isn’t much smaller than UC’s (and Boise has expansion plans) and their FB program is stronger than most in the BE. They would boost the BE’s FB reputation and help themselves, and they don’t have the clout to demand a full offer.

        Like

      2. Alan from Baton Rouge

        Muck – Boise isn’t just a one-hit wonder with Peterson. They’ve been consistently winning with 4 different head coaches. They look like a pretty stable program to me, despite their problems with conference affiliation, location, lack of tradition & no recruiting base.

        Like

    1. greg

      The NCAA insider’s view is astonishing in that it is so upfront about serving their own interests. “Football is bad because they don’t give enough to the NCAA, and the only solution is an NCAA playoff where we control the money.”

      Like

      1. Brian

        It’s a reasonable point to say that perhaps FB should pay more to the NCAA to cover the cost of administration and enforcement, but he clearly has issues with FB (note he is from CSU). He mentions baseball also doesn’t pay for itself but doesn’t see a need to split off baseball.

        Like

      1. Brian

        The other schools have some leverage, especially if the BB-only BE schools (other than ND) and non-AQs side with them. What would the rest of the BE schools do at that point? Do Syracuse and UConn choose Georgetown et al in hoops or the AQs where they bring up the rear in money? If the FB AQs stand alone, they are outnumbered in I-A. Many of the smaller sports need the other NCAA schools, too. If the NCAA made it an all or nothing deal, it might get uncomfortable.

        Like

    1. cfn_ms

      More like shouldn’t/won’t/mustn’t. I don’t see why the big boys need to subsidize the minnows even more than they already are. If you can’t afford it, AA is always available.

      Like

      1. Brian

        His logic wasn’t clear to me either. I don’t see why the NCAA would have to subsidize it either. It’s up to the schools to pay their bills, the NCAA provides rules and revenue distribution from championships.

        The rest of the article was good, though.

        Like

    2. M

      When they’re done subsidizing that, I propose that schools with lower tuition subsidize the scholarship cost at schools with higher tuition. It’s only fair.

      Like

    1. Michael in Indy

      I don’t know whether they still have it, but Clemson had something like this in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Some of my friends who went to school there would go to soccer and women’s basketball games but pay no attention to the action and instead do homework, all so they could get free football and/or basketball tickets. So I’m not sure how much “support” the non-revenue sports at PSU will actually get.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Even if they don’t pay attention, having butts in the seats is an improvement. Some of them will eventually come to enjoy it. Plus, you’ll earn some revenue for concessions if nothing else. Niche sports with strong followings could benefit from exposing more students to the excitement (wrestling, hockey, baseball, etc).

        I’d combine attendance (I’d use sports and other events on campus like plays, concerts, etc) with GPA to make a point system. It’s good for students to be exposed to multiple things, especially when they are free, and grades are what they’re there for.

        Like

    2. PSUGuy

      Something else to think about…kids who watch sports live are more likely to watch it on the BTN when they graduate.

      I for one had a girlfriend who played club soccer at PSU and guess who had to watch a bunch of soccer games from the stands?

      Joke is the girl is long gone, but I haven’t missed a PSU Women’s Volleyball Championship in the past four years and am going to get the web stream of the BTN so I can watch all the “non-money” sports programming the BTN is offering.

      IMO, good way to start “building the brand” for non-football sports.

      Like

    1. Michael in Indy

      Well, it sounds like Ebersol’s proudest achievement, in his mind, was NBC’s association with the Olympics, but Comcast may not be quite as keen on keeping them at any price. Thus, this probably means NBC is going to stop overbidding on the Olympics.

      Just guessing here, but if did have a huge bulk of its budget freed up by underbidding on the Olympics, Comcast/NBC will be a lot more free to bid on sports that are popular every year, not just once every four. Maybe they’d use it to get back in the game with Major League Baseball playoffs, but, then again, pro baseball is not as valuable a television property at the national level as it once was, relatively speaking. Getting back the NBA would be huge once its TV deal is up for renegotiation.

      Certainly, Comcast sees the writing on the wall that football, football, football is #1 by a mile. Right now, NBC only has one NFL game/week and seven Notre Dame games/year, plus a handful of non-AQ games on Versus, so I think it’s out of the question that NBC would let go of those existing relationships. So Notre Dame’s not going anywhere. I also suspect that Comcast/NBC is eyeing the Big East’s rights (with most games diverted to Versus) as well as the Big Ten’s and Big 12’s first-tier rights 4-5 years from now. They’ve got to do something because it has less football content than its three biggest competitors. CBS has the AFC package, the SEC Game of the Week (better ratings and 13 games/year as opposed to Notre Dame’s seven), and some MWC games (on CBS Sports Network); Fox has the NFC package, a Big 12 package, a Pac-12 package, the Big Ten championship game, and a new C-USA package; ABC/ESPN has Monday Night Football and games from all six AQ leagues, five of which can have games on ABC itself.

      Like

    2. Pezlion

      It means it’s only a matter of time before ND starts showing up on whatever the reincarnation of Versus ends up being. It also means that people who think ND is going to command massive contracts for its football games into perpetuity are kidding themselves.

      Like

      1. Brian

        They may well move ND to cable at some point (I don’t if they can under the current contract). I think they’ll continue to get big money, though, because they pull ratings better than anyone else. Just imagine their value if Kelly gets them back to winning 9+ games almost every year.

        Like

          1. Brian

            On an even playing field (equal success, equal opponents) they do. Three early losses last year killed their ratings. You’re comparing their whole home season to the cherry picked games on CBS and ABC. Do you think CBS’s numbers would be as high if they had all the home games of a 7-5 SEC team like Florida (Miami of OH, USF, KY, LSU, MSU, GA, SC, ApSU)? CBS only carried 1 of those games, with the others on ESPN (3), ESPNU (2), ESPN3 and SECTV.

            CBS only included the SEC games, too, not Army-Navy or ND-Navy.

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          2. bullet

            I think you just made his point and mine earlier about ND joining a conference eventually.

            There’s a lot more value when you get to cherry pick games. A Notre Dame (or Texas or USC) contract doesn’t have as much value because individual schools have bad years.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Bullet,

            CBS got twice the ratings for $55M. ND gets around $15M (maybe even 20+) from NBC. I think NBC did OK for themselves, especially since their ratings were down 10-15% while CBS’s were down less than 5%.

            Like

        1. bullet

          Cheap shows with low ratings still get cancelled. It all depends on the advertisers. Do the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines reach their target audience advertising on Notre Dame games?

          Like

          1. @bullet – Remember that NBC is only paying Notre Dame about 1/10th of what ABC and CBS are paying for college football, though. ESPN is paying in excess of $1 million per game to show BYU on Friday nights, so NBC getting those rating for ND at $2 – 3 million per game is a relative bargain. ND is in absolutely no danger if not having a TV contract (which is really a means to support independence as opposed to the reason to stay independent, which is a big difference) or finding schools to play. When Miami has effectively agreed to a 2-for-1 and Maryland has a 1-and-done in DC, ND’s supposed difficulties are vastly overstated.

            Like

    1. Michael in Indy

      Glad you asked! Here’s what I know…

      App State has taken the stance that it will not attempt to pay for the costs of moving up by using additional costs to students. So there will not be an increase in athletic fees. The university has already done studies on how much ticket prices could be increased with an FBS schedule (some say an extra $15-$20 per ticket, which adds up quickly for a family of four with season tickets); studies on how much attendance would rise if the school moved up, taking into account more interesting opponents weighed against price changes; studies on how much donations to athletics would increase; studies on costs for travel; studies on how an FBS conference’s TV contract would help pay for a new women’s team… They’ve studied it all. The conclusion is that the Sun Belt, under its current TV contract and current membership, combined with other increase in revenues, would not be enough to cover the costs of moving up without increasing student fees. And frankly, the school doesn’t want to merely break even with a move.

      Besides, all the alumni I’ve spoken with have felt that the Sun Belt very, very unpopular option, anyway. App State fans have watched three national championship teams in the past six years; the only two-time Walter Payton Award winner (the Heisman for FCS) in Armanti Edwards; a famous, all-time upset win; repeated record-breaking in attendance; six straight conference titles; and more victories over the past six years than any other six-year stretch in its history. If the school is going to step away from the level, where it had all that success, it doesn’t want to go to the conference where teams go to die. Western Kentucky, for instance, won the ’02 FCS title; they’re now permanently in ESPN’s “Bottom 10,” and I dare say that ASU football, even at the FCS level, has provided its students and alumni with a far more memorable, enjoyable decade than the SB’s most successful program, Troy. The Sun Belt is also unappealing because of all its mid-week night games, which are very difficult trips for alumni in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, & elsewhere to make. (Boone is at least two hours from all those cities.)

      Conference USA, rather than FBS in just any conference, has been the goal from Day 1, provided that making a move was deemed the right decision to begin with. ECU would make a great in-state rival, judging by the close game in 2009. Marshall would make a great rival, too, since they shared a conference for about 15 years. Obviously, it’s just a much more appealing league to be in, considering it has several schools with enough appeal to be at least rumored as candidates for the Big East (Memphis, SMU, Houston, UCF, ECU) and a few others with respectable football history (S. Miss, Tulsa) and name recognition (Tulane). The name-appeal of the Sun Belt schools, by contrast, is no better than the familiar, more local rivals in the Southern Conference, at least in the minds of many ASU fans. Most importantly, C-USA makes enough in TV money to compensate for the increase in costs from making a move without raising a dime in athletics fees for students.
      ——
      The public reason that ASU is not making its decision now is that it would be extremely distasteful to announce a huge increase in athletic spending at a time when faculty are being laid off and/or put on furloughs due to MASSIVE state budget cuts in the UNC System. (Well over 200 people will be laid off at ASU alone.) To paraphrase the AD, even though athletics receives no state funding, making a move now would be a PR nightmare because the perception would be that the school is grossly putting football ahead of academics. I completely agree.

      But apparently the biggest problem, according to those who say they know people on the committee that’s studying whether to make a move, is that neither C-USA nor the Sun Belt have shown interest (yet). At first, I was very surprised, especially with the Sun Belt. App State has a higher athletic budget than all the Sun Belt schools WITHOUT benefitting from Sun Belt schools’ level of payouts from games against AQ schools (i.e., FIU would get about $1 million+ to play at, say, Florida, while ASU gets about $400K) and without getting revenues from an ESPN contract. Third-party consultants were “blown away” by the quality of App’s facilities, which they said were superior to all Sun Belt schools and middle-of-the-pack for C-USA. ASU would also get the SB into a new, fast-growing state, where, especially in Charlotte, Asheville, and Greensboro, it has gotten good ratings in its few appearances on ESPN. It’s a little easier to understand C-USA’s hesitation.

      But I have a theory that explains why both leagues are hesitant to respond, and it’s not an indictment of whether App State itself is appealing. I think that everything goes back to a waiting game on the Big East. C-USA may lose UCF, Houston, ECU, maybe even SMU or Memphis, or some combination of those schools. Or it may not lose any of them. Either way, it would be foolish for C-USA to expand without knowing what’s going to happen. If the league loses a team, it would need someone to step in as the twelfth team to keep a championship game. Thus ASU as a twelfth team would have a significant amount more value than it would as a thirteenth or fourteenth. The Sun Belt also might be waiting to see if adding ASU and another team would eventually get them to 12, but that league can’t know until it sees whether C-USA pries one of their own schools away.

      My hope is that ASU ends up in C-USA, and I don’t care whether it’s as a twelfth, thirteenth, or fourteenth member. The Sun Belt, comprised mostly of schools I never heard of until a few years ago, does nothing for me. It would be pissing money away for almost the same amount of obscurity as the school already has, playing against schools who can barely draw 20,000 people, which is still less than what ASU draws. The SoCon at least has familiar rivals, several of which are the alma maters of schools where family members and friends graduated.

      Like

      1. bullet

        Good discussion.

        However, I think App St. is delusional if they think CUSA will ever invite them from FBS. I also doubt that ECU would be enthused. CUSA would invite a number of MAC schools, and several Sun Belt schools (depending on which holes to fill) before App St. I don’t think the MAC would invite them due to geography. So the Sun Belt is the only hope and they really stretch the Sun Belt geographically.

        App St. isn’t that big and doesn’t really bring any market or recruiting area. All they bring is themselves and that’s not enough value.

        Like

        1. Michael in Indy

          I understand what you’re saying, but think about it a little.

          – All Sun Belt and MAC schools have lower attendance than App State does, in spite of having a home schedule with FBS teams.

          – App State is more financially sound as an athletic department than the Sun Belt schools without the benefit of television revenue or much larger payouts from FBS schools. What does that tell you about how much more well-run App State’s athletics are compared with those schools?

          – App State is not a big name, granted. Neither are the Sun Belt teams. Seriously, what is La. Monroe known for? MTSU? WKU? FIU? La. Lafayette?

          – You can’t think of App State’s market as just Boone, NC, the small college town where it’s located. Its markets are Charlotte, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Asheville, and, to a lesser degree, Raleigh-Durham. No, it’s not the #1 team in those markets. Not even close. Neither are FIU or FAU in Miami, or MTSU in Nashville, or any of the Sun Belt programs. Point is that App still does very well on TV in its actual home markets when it gets the chance to make an appearance.

          – ECU would be more enthused than any member. Their AD, Terry Don Phillips, has spoken out with ideas of expanding to 14 or 16 teams to ease travel costs on sending his non-revenue sports to New Orleans and beyond. With 8 teams in an eastern division, ANY 8 teams, and fewer trips out west, it would save ECU bundles of cash and develop better rivalries: http://www.fanblogs.com/conference_usa/007567.php (sorry the link is to a blog. The link the newspaper article no longer exists, but the blog does have quotes from it)

          Like

          1. Brian

            An interesting quote from the article:

            “I have come to the conclusion that 12-team conferences do not work well for long term,” Holland wrote. “The power conferences can survive the disadvantages but I believe that in the long term they will suffer some damage to rivalries, etc., as well.

            Is this the best reason to go to 9 games? Has anyone noticed it hurting the SEC?

            Like

          2. Michael in Indy

            @Brian,

            First, thanks for taking the time to post a link to that article. Great find!

            I think Holland’s point is that a 12-team conference hurts existing rivalries and makes non-existing ones nearly impossible to establish. That’s definitely accurate for the Big 12. The intensity of Nebraska-Oklahoma became a shadow of its former self.

            And yes, it’s true in the SEC, too. Auburn-Florida, for example, was a big annual series for many years. Many fans miss it. Going into their 20th season as SEC members, Arkansas and South Carolina haven’t developed any real rivalries with teams from the opposite divisions. But Holland also pointed out that the major conferences can survive the damages. Translation: they’re making more money than they ever dreamed of, which eases the pain of lost rivalries.

            With C-USA, it’s different. It’s such a hodgepodge of a conference. SMU, Rice, and Houston are the only schools with a long-term shared history. Marshall was 1-AA 14 years ago. UCF and UAB were, too, in the early 90’s. ECU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Memphis, Tulsa are former independents. UTEP came from the WAC. So it should be pretty easy to see why he thinks its hard to develop rivalries with teams from way out west that it plays at home just once every four years and have very little shared history. (It doesn’t help, either, that its two most successful members, TCU and Louisville, are long gone along with USF and Cincinnati, all to the Big East.)

            Like

          3. Brian

            Yeah, a few old SEC rivalries went away but I think the younger generation is fine with the new ones. It’s the older ones who don’t like the changes, which is understandable. The SEC schools didn’t use to play many conference games anyway, so I don’t think they miss as much.

            I agree that newer conferences need more games against each other. I think 9 makes perfect sense for a new conference since they ca’nt profit from a CCG.

            Like

          4. bullet

            Interesting article. But I think Holland draws the wrong conclusion.

            12 works fine. Some rivalries change. Ole Miss-UGA and Ole Miss-TN used to be big rivalries. But then UGA almost never played TN or S. Carolina and those have become big games. Its change, not loss.

            16 for CUSA is awful. It could mean 1 of 16 get into the NCAA instead of 1 of 12. Holland is basically saying CUSA isn’t worth it. Sun Belt/MAC/CUSA should restructure geographically (not saying I agree-but that is a better conclusion from what he is saying).

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          5. bullet

            Would the CUSA schools be happy with?
            Umass/Temple/Marshall/ECU/WKU/MiddleTN one division
            UAB,USA,Troy,UCF,FAU,FIU in the other

            and then:
            UTEP/UH/Rice/SMU/UNT/Tulsa combined with
            ULL,ULM,LaTEch,Tulane/Ark. St/USM

            and the MAC would be just the 12 full MAC schools.

            I don’t think the CUSA schools would be happy.

            Like

          6. m (Ag)

            The teams in the SEC West don’t play 5 of the teams in the East very often (and vice versa), so those cross-divisional games generally aren’t rivalries anymore. However, the SEC is a brand, the fans pay attention to their conference in the media, and everyone gets excited to see another SEC team come to town. The same will happen in the Big Ten and Pac 12, even as the non-permanent rivalries diminish somewhat.

            One problem with the Big 12 is that the North became its own, weaker brand.

            The problem with a smaller conference, like Conference USA, is that their conference isn’t a brand, and most of their fans aren’t going to be paying attention to the other division. They might not even watch their own division on TV. Instead, they’ll be watching the Big Ten, SEC, or some other big schools. So they have 5 games a year scheduled against their annual rivalries, and 3 against teams their fans aren’t familiar with. Adding 1 team to each division would give each team another rival they could, over time, get excited to play every year. Of course, while it might improve attendance and excitement at the stadium, it would likely hurt TV revenues unless they found a really good candidate.

            Like

  17. clamb

    As a BYU football fan I don’t like the idea of going to the big east at all. No disrespect at all to the big east but the traveling and the lack of any sort of historical rivalries is not that appealing. Moneywise with all the travel costs the Big East isn’t an upgrade maybe a downgrade from independence. The BCS bowl inclusion would be the only appeal. If the money were close to the level of the pac12 then it would be very appealing. Independence isn’t perfect but it does mean byu can be on Espn frequently and offers a level of freedom. Big East basketball would be awesome but again the traveling would be brutal for byu. Don’t forget Byu also gets an equal split of the West Coast Conference money for basketball on espn. While not huge money it does add to the pot.

    Like

  18. Playoffs Now

    ND isn’t joining the B12-2, but I could see the B12-2 making a tempting offer to ND and BYU:

    Become the Coalition of Independents.

    a) Switch to a 5-game conference schedule in 2 divisions for football. Play everyone in your division, then the 2 champs play a CCG.

    b) Change the teams in the divisions each year, but not in a rigid alternation or rotation. Some might not play each other but once per 4 years, allowing ND to avoid watering down with too many ISU & KSU games if they don’t want that (though OTOH they might like the excuse of division play for a few schedule breathers.) The main thing is to balance the divisions each year, which would also be a plus of the flex concept. The NFL does this with 10 of each team’s 16 games.

    Think about this: ND might want to pack more name teams in their division each year, but that also allows some of the weaker schools to play a lighter conf/div schedule, too. Important because that might be a tradeoff that allows the weaker schools to add more good non-conf opponents, and thus more attractive games for TV. The lousy non-conf schedules of several weak sister B12-2 teams has been a burr under UT’s saddle, and one of the reasons they used for pushing further unequal revenue distribution.

    c) Of course conference schools would still be free to play each other every year, it just wouldn’t always count in determining division champs.

    Would free UT, OU, and aTm to add more lucrative high-profile non-conf games, thus increasing their annual revenues. Would also free the other conference schools to do likewise, so the smaller schools would have only themselves to blame if they failed to maximize their revenues. Enhances the revenue potential for those schools with the options to walk, while still providing a home for schools in danger of being left behind that is more profitable than any of their other potential conference options.

    d) ND would be allowed to set up a home-away-neutral site rotation with most conference foes (though it might take up to 12 years to play through that rotation with some schools.

    e) Accommodating individual school channels.

    All this would go a long way in solving ND’s Oct/Nov scheduling dilemma. UT would probably be an annual game, along with 1 or 2 each year from BYU, OU, and which ever team was hot the prior year between aTm, MO, and TT. Thus joining a conference would probably impose only 2 relatively unattractive games per year on ND, not really different than what the Oct/Nov issues effectively result in. Plus 1 of those 2 dogs would be a neutral site game. Should result in an Irish game in the state of Texas every year, 7 non-conference games, and 3 division games that would have fit right in as non-con games for ND. Virtual independence continued.

    But of course for ND it is about more than just football. Perhaps a similar limited conf-schedule could be implemented in other sports, to keep room for continued rivalries with the BE catholic schools. Might require forcing weaker B12-2 schools to provide a complete Olympic slate of teams.

    A lot better chance of pulling off if the BEast football schools are stupid enough to split away. That would allow ND to do a football-only membership in a B12-2+2.

    More likely that a P16 forms and triggers a 4 or 5×16 realigning of the BCS conferences. But as another noted, the B12-2 probably has the most flexibility to make such an offer.

    Like

    1. Playoffs Now

      One other advantage of a 5-game flex conf schedule: Friends With Benefits scheduling.

      Schools are free to pursue up to 7 high-value non-conf games or loading up on home games. But in years where there’s a gap or two there will often be conference mates that aren’t in your division this year that you can add to fill out the schedule. Since it isn’t an official B12-2+2 conf game that year, schools have the flexibility of waiting a few years for a payback away game or even $ buyouts.

      Like

    2. Brian

      Why would the smaller schools vote to add ND just so ND can refuse to play any of them? If ND can cherry pick TX, OU, TAMU (Houston), MO (St. Louis) and KU (KC), what’s in it for the other schools?

      Like

      1. BigFunny

        @Brian – you really think A&M only brings Houston? I’ve seen you comment on this a few times. A&M has a bigger footprint in Dallas than OU does and has a following throughout Texas. Not equal to Texas but still much, much bigger than any other NCAA entity. Besides all the Texas fans tune in hoping to see a loss (the same is true for A&M fans when Texas plays).

        Like

  19. Michael in Indy

    Frank,

    I can completely see why the BE would want BYU, especially for football-only. I’m not quite sold that it’s in BYU’s best interests to join the Big East football-only, let alone for all sports.

    This is BYU we’re talking about. Sure, they want more money because what they were getting in the MWC was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay below what their true earning potential is, and that problem has basically been solved, even if the money would be a little more in the Big East (which may not be the case, anyway). But money isn’t their #1 driving force.

    Winning championships at the expense of their radical dedication to their own sense of morals and integrity is not one of their interests, either. Ask Brandon Davies and the basketball team. I just don’t see BYU, being mindful of its mostly western fanbase, doing something as crazy as playing in an east coast-heavy conference just for a better chance at BCS bowls. Even more so, BYU seems like the type of school that would be more concerned than most about sending non-revenue sports on frequent trips across the country just to get AQ status, especially when its athletic programs are already in good shape. Besides, if they’re in the top ten, they’re probably going to a BCS bowl game, anyway. And joining the Big East for the chance to go their eastern, mediocre non-BCS bowls isn’t a strong enough reason to join. I’m confident they’ll find a better solution for non-BCS bowl tie-ins in due time.

    As for recruiting advantages, I don’t see a lot that BYU could do to improve itself beyond getting on ESPN, which it has already accomplished. Non-Mormon kids who aren’t interested in living by BYU’s ultra-strict code of integrity are going to be no more likely to play there if they’re a Big East member than if they’re an independent. Kids who are willing to follow the code will play for them regardless. Considering most of their recruits come from the west, it may even hurt recruiting a little.

    What BYU really wants is exposure–for their sports, yes, but mainly for the Mormon church and the university itself. They’ve got that now, both through ESPN and byutv. I could see Boise State bending over backwards to join as a football-only member because it would gain more than BYU would. But BYU’s just way too different.

    Like

    1. Jake

      Good points, but I don’t think BYU is so likely to get into a BCS game as an independent. Keep in mind that they have the same deal as Army and Navy, not Notre Dame. Only way they’re guaranteed a BCS spot is if they’re #1 or #2 in the country. As for the other bowls, with TCU and BYU on board the Big East’s tie-ins might change a bit to include a game out west.

      And again, travel is overrated as an obstacle. BYU is already traveling all over the country for football, the increases to their basketball revenues from joining the Big East would more than cover the higher travel costs, and beyond that there are only four sports the BEast sponsors regular season conference championships in that BYU also plays – women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, baseball and softball. Those teams would travel to Big East opponents (about half a dozen trips each per year), but BYU’s other sports wouldn’t be very affected.

      Like

      1. Richard

        BYU would get more basketball TV revenue but far less football TV revenue under the current BE TV deal. Even after the BE’s new deal, I daresay BYU would not see a meaningful increase in TV money after the extra travel costs if they joined the BE.

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        1. Jake

          We’ll have to see what the BEast can bring in. And keep in mind that whatever it ends up being probably would have been a bit higher had BYU been a member. And being in the BEast doesn’t mean that BYU can’t schedule 2-for-1’s with ND and Texas.

          I don’t necessarily favor BYU as an all-sports member, I just think it’s worth it if that’s what it takes for the BEast to land them. But if someone can convince them to join for football only, awesome.

          Like

      2. FLP_NDRox

        I am still under the impression that it wasn’t just ND fighting for their BCS deals, but the bowls themselves. I don’t know that the BCS *want* BYU in as much as BYU does.

        Like

  20. Brian

    ESPN.com has been running a poll on whether the B10’s idea to pay a cost of attendance stipend is a good or bad idea.

    Good idea: 46%
    Bad idea: 37%
    Not sure: 17%

    The real surprises were the states that were opposed or almost opposed:
    Clearly against (more than 7% difference) – VT, WV, UT, ID, OR
    Almost split evenly (1-4% difference) – MS, LA, Ark, OK, KS, HI
    Almost opposed (1-3% difference) – AL, TN, NC, SC, WA

    I’m surprised so many AQ states are on the fence or against this, especially in the SEC (only FL and GA were in favor) and B12.

    Like

    1. 84Lion

      Anyone else think that if the question had been whether the SEC should pay a cost of attendance stipend the poll results in the southeastern states especially would be very different?

      Like

  21. Pezlion

    Frank, et al,

    Some information for you. The Nittany Lion Club (Penn State’s booster club) just released its 2010 Annual Report. There some numbers in here that completely fly in the face of a lot of the B1G revenue numbers I’ve always read. Penn State’s intercollegiate athletic revenues in 2010 totaled approximately $106.6 million; 46% of this, or approximately $49.0 million of this was generated from football. Where I’m confused is the Big Ten TV number, which is listed as 14% or $14.9 million. That $14.9 million number is a lot lower than I’ve ever seen anywhere for the B1G tv money.

    Anyone have thoughts on this? Have any of the other B1G booster clubs released annual reports showing revenue numbers for 2010?

    Like

    1. Nostradamus

      The $14.9 million figure is accurate for television. Multiple athletic departments/media sources have confirmed it. The breakdown was $6.5 million from the Big Ten Network and $8.4 million from ABC/ESPN and CBS. I’m not really sure where the reports of the Big Ten school’s making $20 to 22 million on television originated in the media, but they have been perpetuated by multiple sources. It may very well be from looking at the average life of the contracts instead of what they are actually paying out.

      This is an issue that we’ve been discussing in the comments section for the past couple blogs Frank has put up. The Big Ten contract with ABC/ESPN for primary/partial secondary rights is a 10 year $1 billion deal, or $100 million a year on average. That doesn’t mean the conference is actually getting $100 million a year. Virtually all of these contracts contain escalation clauses. The conference is going to get some discounted value that may be 70-80% of the average life of the contract in year 1 and it will escalate from there.

      Where that is all relevant in the widely reported $20 to $22 million in tv money is the average contract value of the $2.8 billion/25 year Big Ten Network and $102 million/10 ABC,ESPN, CBS deals are $19.45 million. But the entire conference distribution (tv, bowls, ncaa tournament, etc.) for 2009-2010 the last year we have data on for now was about $19.2 million, not even hitting the “rumored” $20 million from tv alone.

      Like

        1. Nostradamus

          The Big Ten certainly almost certainly isn’t taking an equal cut of the Big Ten Network money.

          For the 2009-2010 year, each Big Ten school got $6.5 million from the BTN. $6.5 million per school for 11 schools is a $71.5 million overall distribution. The Big Ten Network gave the conference $72.1 million. So there is only $600,000 missing. In other words the conference’s apparent share was only a 9% of an equal $6.5 million share

          We can’t do the exact same thing for the ABC/ESPN and CBS revenue, because we don’t know for certain how much money was paid to the conference. We only know what the conference distributed to the 11 schools. The average life of the contracts for the ABC/ESPN/CBS deals would pay the Big Ten a hypothetical $102 million a year. But again, as we’ve talked about most of these contracts start at a discount and escalate.

          In 2007-2008 the first year of the current ABC/ESPN deal each school got paid $7.7 million. That equates to an $84.7 million distribution for the schools and an overall $92.4 million distribution if you are assuming the conference is taking an equal 1/12th share. My problem with the math here is why know the SEC and Pac-12 deals are likely starting at a discount of about 70 to 75% of the average life of the contract value. $84.7 is an 83% discount of the average. Fairly reasonable for it to be slightly higher than the Pac-12 or SEC deals as it only covers 10 years. If you throw in the hypothetical 1/12th share for the conference your $92.4 million is already at 90.6% of the average life of the contract. That seems extremely high to me for year 1 of a 10 year deal.

          I can grow that $92.4 million out over 10 years at just over 2% annual growth and get to $102 million. The problem there is the payout for schools from the ABC/ESPN/CBS contracts grew 3.9% from year 1 to 2 and 5% for 2009-2010 over 2008-2009. The math to me at least doesn’t seem to reflect an equal share there either.

          The Big Ten obviously has operating expenses, salaried employes at the office, officials, outside legal counsel, accountants, event costs, etc. At least in the case of the Big Ten though it looks like to me they may be “skimming” a bit off of the top of multiple sources instead of taking an equal share of television revenue.

          Like

      1. joe4psu

        If that $2.8 billion over 25 years is rights fees paid the conference, does the $6.5 million from the Big Ten Network even include that? Is the $6.5 million just yearly profits from the network?

        Like

        1. Nostradamus

          Yes it is. The $6.5 million IS the rights fee from Fox to the conference. It is ONLY the rights fee though. The Big Ten schools haven’t seen any profits from their 51% ownership stake in the network. I was going to type a longer reply detailing this among other things tonight, but got distracted.

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          1. Pezlion

            Pretty sure the rights fee is only around $60 million. There have been numerous reports that the conference HAS received profits interest already.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Pezlion:

            Where’d you get the $60M number?

            I thought the $2.8B over 25 years was a conservative estimate of what the B10 would get from the BTN in total (probably assuming Fox would take many years to recoup its startup costs & profits would not be earth-shattering). It seems that the B10 will start seeing their 51% of the profit starting about now, which would match with what other people have said about the B10’s take from the BTN doubling. We’ll have to wait to see the 2011 numbers come out to be sure.

            Oh, and the $6.5M is the rights fee. I’m pretty certain about that.

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          3. Nostradamus

            Pezilion the rights fee was estimated to be $66 million in year 1 by SBJ, that estimate as about 3 months before the actual payment.
            http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2008/03/20080303/This-Weeks-News/Big-Ten-Could-Reap-$28B-From-Network-Deal.aspx

            In year 1 (2007-2008) each Big Ten school received $6.1 million, or a total of about $67.1 million. The rights fee component of the deal escalates just like traditional television contracts do. In 2008-2009, each school got $6.4 million, and last year 2009-2010 each school got $6.5 million or about $71.5 million overall. In about a month or two we’ll start getting 2010-2011 data and we’ll see where things stand.

            I would love to see a link to one of the numerous reports that the “conference HAS received profits” already. I’ve read numerous reports from early 2009 that state the network is “making a profit”. To me, the most likely interpretation of that is it no longer was losing money, and the profits were beginning to be reused to re-pay Fox. Once Fox gets reimbursed for the startup costs they incurred in forming the network, the Big Ten will begin seeing its 51% of the profit.

            Like

          4. Nostradamus

            @Richard,
            Here is the exact wording from a News Corp. SEC quarterly filing.

            “In July 2007, the Company entered into a contract with the Big Ten Conference for rights to telecast certain Big Ten Conference sporting events through fiscal 2032. The Company will pay approximately $2.8 billion over the term of the contract for these rights.”

            So it is a conservative estimate in the sense that it is likely the floor of the earnings potential for the conference. We still don’t know what the initial investment was that Fox needs to recoup, exactly how much money the Big Ten Network is making (outside of SNL Kagan estimates), and things like how the Fox guaranteed rights are handled.

            Like

    2. cutter

      Here’s a link to the University of Michigan’s Athletic Department FY 2011 budget:

      Click to access 2010-6-X-17.pdf

      If you go to the third page of the document, you’ll see a table with conference distributions. The first line is Televison (Football and Basketball). For FY 2010 Projected, the number is $14.887M. The FY 2011 Budget for this line is $16.597M.

      These numbers would be the same for each program in the conference. Keep in mind that this television number includes revenue from ABC/ESPN, the Big Ten Network and CBS.

      The FY 2012 budget is due to be released in June since the 2011 fiscal year ends on 30 June. When that budget is published, we’ll have some more information on future revenue projections.

      Like

      1. Brian

        An interesting progression of TV revenues:

        TV money ($M)
        2007 – 9.4 actual
        2008 – 13.9 actual (+48%) – new deals
        2009 – 14.4 actual (+3.6%)
        2010 – 14.9 projected (+3.5%)
        2011 – 16.6 budgeted (+11.4%) – adding NE & CCG

        That makes NE and the CCG worth about $14M.

        Like

        1. Nostradamus

          I think we have another case of date confusion. Brian, I don’t think that 11.4% increase is a Nebraska/CCG bump. What you have labeled as 2011 is (I believe) 2010-2011, or the season we are wrapping up now. Your numbering there agrees. 2007-2008 would be the first year for the new deals.

          If that is the case, “2011” above includes neither Nebraska nor a conference championship game. Much of that 11.4% yoy growth is from something else i.e. the conference starting to see BTN profits…

          Like

          1. Brian

            Certainly possible, those were just guesses at the reasons. I didn’t check to see how MI and the B10’s financial calendars overlap and what they accounting rules are for when something should be reported.

            It could just be profit, it could be a special event or two, it could be a lot of things.

            Like

          2. Nostradamus

            And good guesses. Just saying the years are clearly off. An 11% jump is a huge year over year gain for a contract, and the most likely explanation is Fox’s investment was projected to be paid back sometime during the current academic year.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Next year’s document should be out soon, so that should show the NE/CCG bump on top of profits if that’s what this was.

            Like

  22. Dave

    I’m of the opinion that this ‘BYU to the Big East’ story got a lot more play than it deserved, and in fact had nothing more to it than the annual reports from local TV stations that ECU or Memphis is about to join the Big East (which has never happened, and never will). The biggest reasons why I’m sure there was nothing to it: BYU is supposed to have declined, wanting an all-sports invite. And there’s no way that’s true; the last thing BYU wants is to send its non-revenue sports to Syracuse and Tampa every year, and they certainly do want to be in an AQ conference.

    So if you consider a setup where BYU in the BE might work for all sports, you’d need to add enough western schools for divisional play in most sports — maybe Boise and Houston in addition to BYU? — and split off from the non-football members (because a 20-school all-sports conference isn’t workable). And splitting off from the non-football members to add Boise, BYU, and Houston would be killing the golden egg of Big East basketball.

    Like

    1. cfn_ms

      the real question is how much of a “golden egg” Big East basketball is for the football members. Certainly it’s not making them an enormous amount of cash, and it’s making it very logistically difficult to do any sort of football expansion (to the point where Nova, a ridiculous addition on the surface, was seriously considered mainly due to the fact that it’s logistically easier to promote a BB-only member than it is to add an 18th team to the overall mix).

      It could be that the FB members eventually decide they’re better off breaking away from the reset. Or it could be that they decide that they’d rather be enormo-league. I could see them going either way on that one.

      Like

      1. Dave

        It isn’t making them SEC-football levels of cash. But Big East basketball does make an enormous amount of cash compared to almost anything other than SEC / Big Ten / Pac 12 / Texas 10 / ND football (on contracts signed at similar times, anyway), and adding a few CUSA schools (or BYU and Boise and Houston, even) will not allow the Big East to get more than ACC-ish football money, best case. And I’d almost guarantee the next BE TV contracts, like the current ones (and like the ACC’s, for that matter), will bring in roughly the same amount per school from both football and basketball.

        Like

        1. Richard

          “enormous” for basketball (which is what the ACC & BE get) is still significantly smaller than BCS football outside of the BE & ACC.

          Still, the BE football schools still get more from TV money from basketball than football, so Dave has a point, as there really aren’t any expansion candidates out there that would move the needle in football (except possibly BYU) and all of them would drag down basketball (except possibly BYU).

          Like

        2. Brian

          I’m not sure if you were only talking football for all those other conferences or just ND, so I’ll add a clarification.

          Here’s the 2009-10 data as reported by the schools:

          Conf. – MBB Rev Per School
          Big Ten – $12,550,448
          ACC – $11,123,326
          SEC – $10,386,378
          Big East – $9,632,644
          Big 12 – $8,808,859
          Pac-10 – $8,012,901

          http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/05/17/comparing-revenue-in-division-1-basketball/

          This is all revenue, not just TV, and doesn’t include money not allocated to a specific sport. Still, it shows BE basketball isn’t the windfall many expect. The number is greatly influenced by Louisville ($25.9M – #2 nationally) and Syracuse ($18.3M – #5), with Marquette, West Virginia and Pitt in the $13M range and Georgetown at $10.1M. The other 10 schools are below $8M.

          By comparison, 5 B10 teams were between Syracuse and Marquette, Minnesota was in the $13M range and NW was very close to Georgetown. The remaining 4 teams all came in before the bottom 10 of the BE.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Also important for BE expansion discussion is that 4 of the top 5 basketball earners are football schools and mostly traditional BE schools (Pitt, Syracuse, WV, UL). The other football schools tend to rely on student fees to make up for the lack of revenue (#1 nationally USF – $13M, #3 UConn – $8.6M, #4 Rutgers – $8.4M). It will be hard to get the BB earners to vote in lockstep with the other football schools since their interests are so different.

            Like

          2. Dave

            The BE’s current TV contracts are both old and date from just after the ACC raid, when the BE was at its all-time low point in negotiating position. Comparing revenue to other conferences’ new deals isn’t realistic.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Dave,

            The data is from 2009-2010, so the new deals for the B12 and P12 have not kicked in. And remember, this is only BB revenue. FB is what has been getting the big raises. Will the BE get a raise in 2013? Of course. But everyone else’s contracts will keep escalating, too. How big of a jump will BE hoops make financially?

            And while BE FB suffered from the raid, didn’t BB benefit from losing Miami, VT and BC?

            Like

    2. Playoffs Now

      the last thing BYU wants is to send its non-revenue sports to Syracuse and Tampa every year

      I’m not certain a school of missionaries is averse to travel…

      Like

        1. ccrider55

          BYU does not have money issues. It’s all about exposure to serve the mission of the church (the school and it’s athletics is simply the vehicle).

          Like

          1. Dave

            If they had to send all of their team sports to the other coast for 90% of their conference road games, even Texas would have money issues. Travel costs are why Hawaii always has money issues (because from Hawaii to even San Diego State is a longer trip than BYU to any Big East school).

            Like

  23. Brian

    We’ve talked about how the timing helped escalate the value of the P12 TV deal. I wonder how the future dates will impact TV deals.

    The next sets of rights available:

    BE (1st & 2nd tiers) in 2012 & 2013

    Everybody else got paid fairly recently. Is someone desperate enough for CFB that they’ll overbid for the BE, or are the big bidders full of content? Will they try to combine their deals? Will that help? How long will the deals be?

    B12 (1st) in 2016
    B10 (1st) in 2017

    Presumably this is the next round of big deals. The B10 could benefit from being second with no other inventory available for 6 years, but maybe the B12 blunts the demand by taking out a bidder. My guess is they don’t impact each other that much since ABC has both of them right now. Will Fox, CBS or NBC have built up their CFB profiles to the point of being a serious challenger by then?

    ACC (1st & 2nd) in 2023
    P12 (1st & 2nd) in 2024
    SEC (1st & 2nd) in 2024
    B12 (2nd) in 2025

    This will be a huge couple of years. Will the ACC suffer as bidders save themselves for the other deals?

    B10 (2nd) in 2032

    This is a non-issue. I highly doubt anyone but the BTN will get this deal.

    Like

    1. greg

      Brian, regarding the interplay of the future bids. What if Fox/NBC/anyone other than ESPN lands the B12 deal in 2016? If that happens, ESPN will absolutely break the f’n bank to land B10 in 2017, since they will have a lot of inventory to fill and no possible alternative for 6 years.

      Like

      1. Brian

        That’s certainly possible. I think almost anything could happen. I’m not sure if ESPN is willing to be outbid for a conference important to them, but the loss of the B12 or the B10 would create a hole in their lineup.

        Like

    2. frug

      I could see someone ponying up decent money for the Big East rights. Comcast made a serious play for the PAC-12 before ESPN and Fox teamed up to block them out and with no more CFB rights up for bidding until the middle of the decade I could see Comcast paying real money for the BEast.

      Like

  24. Brian

    We keep hearing how a full cost of living scholarship will separate the haves from the have-nots.

    The MAC schools got between $9.8M and $17.5M in student fees and direct institutional support each in 2009-2010, over half of their total revenue. If they already invest that much in athletics, why wouldn’t they spend another $500k+ (or make matching budget cuts), especially since it’s to help students? I’m not saying they should spend it, but it isn’t clear to me that they wouldn’t.

    http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/04/29/how-does-the-mid-american-conference-stack-up-financially/#more-281

    Like

    1. bullet

      WVU’s Luck also prefers 12 teams as he’s said in some interviews. Has not given any preference on who the additional teams should be.

      Like

  25. Brian

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15091411/many-questions-looming-as-big-east-ponders-expansion

    CBS polled BE football coaches (including TCU) anonymously about expansion (1 declined):

    1. Do you favor Villanova as a football member?

    Yes – 2.5
    No – 2.5
    No opinion – 3

    2. If Villanova becomes the 10th member, do you want to stay at 10 or go to 12 members? If 12, which two schools would you add?

    Go to 12 – 5 (UCF – 3, ECU – 2, Houston – 2, SMU – 1, 1 coach abstained)
    Stay at 10 – 2
    No opinion – 1

    3. If Villanova is not added, do you want to stay at nine members or still get to 10 schools? If 10, which school would you add?

    Add a 10th school – 5 (UCF – 1, Army – 1, doesn’t matter – 3)
    Stay at 9 – 3

    In case Jake was wondering, TCU’s Patterson prefers 10 instead of 12 teams, but would rather have nine and play a round robin with 4 OOC games.

    Like

      1. frug

        This was a discussion in another thread, and the consensus was that adding Army and Navy would be great for the BEast but not a particularly good move for the academies since they national followings kind of like Notre Dame and BYU.

        Like

        1. cfn_ms

          I don’t recall any consensus like that. The academies have had mediocre to lousy football for a generation. Their fanbase is dwindling (IMO a lot of this is due to the growth of ROTC – you now see a pretty decent sized chunk of the officer corps and soldiers from places like Texas A&M, Alabama, UCLA, etc.), they’re basically irrelevant nationally except for the Army-Navy game (and even that seems to be fading from the national consciousness), etc.

          Until and unless there’s some large-scale change that makes good recruits actually want to sign up with the academies and serve for a few years afterwards, I don’t think there’s any reason that their decline should reverse itself. Unlike a lot of other programs, where getting AQ status would provide a big exposure bump and help recruiting that way, the academies are likely to recruit from the same base regardless of their status.

          If anything the academies are best-served by not trying to join the rat race, since they can try to compete against the lower ends of 1-A and not necessarily fall massively behind.

          And certainly an AQ league wouldn’t want them. They don’t drive ratings, their football is nowhere near AQ level (especially damaging for a league like the Big East whose AQ status is under seemingly perpetual fire), etc. Unless somehow Notre Dame decided to join the Big East under the condition that Army and/or Navy also got an invite, adding either (much less both) would be a disastrous move for the league.

          Like

          1. frug

            I’m going to have to disagree with you that adding Army and Navy would hurt the Big East’s chances of preserving their AQ status. Navy has developed into a decent program over past 7 years and Army could turn things around. More importantly, it would make stripping the Big East of its AQ status a political disaster. Seriously, if you think there is heat on the BCS now just imagine what would happen if the Big East were to lose its BCS bid right after adding the service academies.

            Like

          2. cfn_ms

            I don’t think that the service academies are any kind of sacred cow of college athletics; it’s not like anyone in congress has been seriously pushing their interests (or at least effectively).

            If the Big East wanted to try to play the political game by bringing those two aboard (and it certainly wouldn’t help in any other way), that’d be one hell of a dangerous game. They’d be surrendering AQ status on the merits and hoping that the government would somehow keep them afloat. I don’t see that gamble winning the day.

            Like

        2. bullet

          While I agree that Army and Navy would not be good additions to the BE, I don’t agree with many of your conclusions.

          I haven’t checked the ratings, but I would be surprised if Army and Navy weren’t better than many of the BE schools.

          The military academies are not on a decline anymore. The military is much more respected than it was in the 70s and early 80s and the academies have figured out ways to offset their opponents size and speed advantages. Navy has beaten ND 2 out of 3 after not having won since the 60s.

          Army/Navy still draws huge crowds.

          Army and Navy outdraw several BE schools and most candidates and travel better than any with the possible exception of WVU (and would help in bowl bids).

          Now I think in an AQ conference, they would have a tough time competing week in and week out. I don’t think it would serve their purposes. I also think it would hurt the BE in strength and perception. But I don’t think all is gloom and doom for the academies.

          Like

          1. Muck

            Don’t be surprised if the Navy ‘resurgence’ sees some major setbacks in the future. There is a lot of anger over the move by USNA leaders to lower admission standards for athletes. That has been attributed to much of the greater success on the athletic field…but correspondingly less success in producing capable Naval Officers for the fleet.

            Like

          2. Brian

            I’ve seen some analytical articles that say the academies don’t really serve a purpose anymore anyway because they don’t produce measurably better officer candidates than other schools and cost the taxpayers a ton.

            I don’t know if that’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. How much of what they teach is important for military service versus for getting an accredited degree?

            Like

          3. bullet

            I’ve got to question, in a co-ed world where you no longer have 4,000 male students, whether it still makes sense for the 3 academies to recruit to play in FBS. The academies should at least be thinking about it. 100 students is a lot bigger chunk of 3k than it is of 4k. And do they still need academies with the same number of students they had during the Cold War with a much bigger military? So that ratio could climb even higher.

            Like

          4. Richard

            Brian,

            I think that’s definitely true of the Air Force Academy, which can disappear tomorrow without anyone being affected. Harder to say about the other 2.

            Like

    1. Brian

      I wonder if that was part of the reason they told Nova to wait. Maybe ESPN said some things to them hinting that 18,500 might not be a good choice. At least UC has their tiny stadium on campus.

      Like

    2. bullet

      Article kind of contradicts itself. It says expansion can be gradual. It also says they need to get their lineup set.

      The latter is right. They need to talk to their consultants and figure out what the best structure is. Then go to the networks. ESPN isn’t going to tell them who to add, merely what they will pay for the combination presented. And the BE doesn’t have very long. If they are going to start negotiating in September 2012, they need to invite teams in the next 12 months so they can be ready to go in 2013 (as crazy as last May and June were, that’s not the way it is normally done). Either the team makes sense in 2013 or it doesn’t. Now Villanova, BYU or Notre Dame would take a little longer to upgrade or re-arrange their schedule, but the BE needs to know who is going to be part over the course of the contract.

      Like

    3. Steve

      Commissioner says Big East must resolve expansion plans by Sept 2012.
      ttp://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/knig hts/os-big-east-expansion-20110523,0,7583929.story

      Like

    4. cutter

      After seeing the television contracts that have recently been awarded to the Pac 12, Big XII and ACC, I wonder if it’s time to reexamine any possible Big Ten expansion scenarios beyond Nebraska. The articles above regarding the Big East reiterate the same point about the value of college football, men’s basketball and college sports overall essentially skyrocketing. I suspect if we go back to previous posts on this blog, some of the initial assumptions made 18 months ago might not be entirely accurate.

      Does it make sense for the Big Ten to maintain its twelve members in place four years down the line when the ABC/ESPN contract expires? Or would the conference be a more valuable commodity with fourteen or sixteen members, assuming Notre Dame isn’t one of the schools included (because we all know this’d be a slum dunk if ND was included)?

      I’ve seen a figure of around $400M per year being tossed around as a benchmark for the new Big Ten contract when it gets signed in four years or so down the line. That’s $33.3M for each of the twleve B1G programs. Are there four programs out there combined that could up that number to around $530M that don’t include Notre Dame? Or how about two more to get the figure to nearly $470M? How would those two or four programs help the Big Ten in terms of men’s basketball, i.e., what could they do to make the B1G the best b-ball conference in the country?

      Like

      1. Richard

        Outside of ND & Texas (and the SEC; Florida & Georgia would certainly bump the per-school take up, but I don’t see them leaving), I think only the core of the ACC (Maryland, Virginia, UNC, and Duke/NCSU) would make sense, and they may not bump up the per-school take.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Obvious: ND, TX, TAMU, OU, FL, UGA, AL, Miami, FSU

          Others (BB value, FB value & market):
          Duke & UNC – they make so much on BB
          Pitt & Syracuse – make a lot on BB and FB already

          Like

          1. Richard

            Brian:

            I don’t think OU and ‘Bama would pass the academics test. Pitt & ‘Cuse have value, but likely not enough (they certainly didn’t have enough to compel the B10 to add them this round).

            Like

          2. Brian

            I agree on the academics, but someone would object if they weren’t on the list. It’s easier to list them since they are unobtainable anyway.

            Syracuse
            $19.1M FB (> #11 in B10)
            $18.3M BB (#5 nationally, > #1 in B10)
            $37.4M combined, > PU, NW

            Pitt
            $22.5M FB (> #10 in B10)
            $13.1M BB (#19, > #7 in B10)
            $35.6M combined, > PU, NW

            These schools are already making B10 type money without the B10 level TV deal. The BB deal would gain significant value and the FB deal at least adds some markets and some mid-level programs with good history.

            Like

          3. Richard

            However, you take away the flexibility of adding the heart of the ACC (I don’t think UNC/Duke/NCSU comes along without Maryland & UVa) or Florida/Texas schools in the future. Adding schools that are in the lower half of the B10 athletically is not a good strategy & one I’m confident the B10 presidents will not pursue.

            Like

          4. Brian

            Nobody said to only list the maximum sets of teams for revenue, just ones that might add enough.

            Adding teams doesn’t reduce flexibility unless the maximum number of teams is constrained. In this fantasy world, the B10 can go to 18 as well as 16, leaving all your option still available. Heck, maybe the B10 should add all of them.

            I don’t think the B10 will expand past 12 in the near future. It could make more money potentially, but it would stop being a conference.

            Like

          5. Richard

            Brian:

            I like my hypotheticals to be constrained somewhat by reality, and in reality, 16 is almost certainly the maximum number if B10 schools care to play each other even somewhat regularly, which B10 fans seem to want to an above average degree.

            Like

          6. Brian

            The ADs want it more than the fans, outside of the rivalries. 14 and 18 both make for better schedule than 16.

            Like

          7. Richard

            brian:

            Uh, the ADs have said that their fans tell them they want to play other B10 teams more. Not sure where you go from that to “the ADs want it more than the fans” (unless you’re projecting your own sentiments on all of B10 fandom), but whatever. For what it’s worth, I actually prefer more OOC games, as NU has alums all over the country.

            Also not sure why you think 18 would make for a better schedule than 16.

            Like

          8. Brian

            ADs like the money from conference games. They cost less and sell more tickets. Some fans at some schools may say they want to see more B10 teams, but I don’t believe it is a majority at most schools (maybe none). Fans usually say that when being asked about replacing a MAC or I-AA teams with a B10 game. Do you think MI fans would trade ND for IN?

            As for 18, it provides for 8 division games (4 home, 4 away). If they play nine, it will be the inter-division game that is unbalanced but that means less than intra-division games. Likewise, 14 provides 3 and 3 with a 1/1 split in an 8 game season. 12 and 16 are bad because of the inherent imbalance in home and away games.

            Like

        2. ccrider55

          Richard:

          I’m not sold. The guess was that the Pac xx was maybe going to surpass the ACC numbers. Look at what happened. Yes, there were several factors at work, but the one that seems to get overlooked is that by increasing the conference with teams that were not absolute negatives it increased the inventory the conference controled. Potential surprise years by bottom feeders are of value. More varied games for the power teams in house. enlarged market area. None of these depended on a King being added. If the B1G went to 16 with midlevel teams (compared to the rest of the conference) they would then hold almost 25% of BCS team inventory in house. That alone should be enough to leverage a contract that would give everyone an increase. Plus you would have an increase in new inventory for the B10 network in multiple sports.

          Like

          1. It’s still hard to say how much of the Pac-12 TV contract increase can really be attributable to Colorado and Utah, which is why I tend to agree with Richard here. As I’ve noted elsewhere, the Big 12 still got a big pay bump and they contracted instead of expanded. Colorado and Utah definitely added some value, but I feel as though the big rise in dollars was more about the Pac-12 finally realizing the value of the schools that they already had prior to expansion. This is a conference that legitimately delivers the state of California for college sports – while they aren’t rabid college sports fans like they are in the Southeast and Midwest, that’s still the nation’s most populous state where the Pac-12 is fairly dominant. (The Big East has more issues in its own populous footprint because it faces a lot more competition in its home region, where schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami and Boston College all draw a lot of attention in the Northeast alone.)

            Like

          2. ccrider55

            FTT:

            You are probably right, though I wonder how much of the Big12ish bump is attributable to the Pac?? “threat” of further accumulation of inventory. An arguement can be made that if it were as cheap to have allowed the Big12ish to break up and pay the new larger conferences they would have allowed that. There would be no need to honor their existing contract dispite fewer teams, or bump the tier 2 rights. Those moves suggest to me that ESPN et al are taking advantage of a desperate situation (in the Big12) to avoid/delay paying a higher per team average, a larger total amount.

            Or I could be wrong and college sports could be moving more toward a “cult of personality” where only a few drive the whole market. I don’t see alumnae of non king schools abandoning ship and buying merchandise, following, and supporting Ala, tOSU, UT, USC, etc though.

            Like

      2. Richard

        However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. We know that Florida and Georgia have stridently been against oversigning (in fact, they’re the only SEC schools I’ve heard of who are against that practice). Let’s say they can’t get the SEC to govern college football the way they want and more Cam-Newton-like occur with the SEC looking the other way. Fed up, they also know that after the B10 negotiates its new TV deal, it will significantly out-earn the SEC in TV money for close to a decade. However, Florida can’t leave unless FSU joins them, because you know the first call Slive will put in if Florida decides to leave the SEC is to Tallahassee. Seeing the money differential and the recruiting advantage they have, FSU jumps on board (their choice is between the ACC & B10 only, as Florida makes it clear that they won’t leave the SEC unless FSU joins them as well. B10 adds an eastern school (Rutgers or Maryland) to go to 16.

        How would the divisions look? I propose a simple East/West split:
        East:
        PSU
        OSU
        Michigan
        MSU
        IU
        PU
        Eastern school
        NU/Illinois

        West:
        Florida
        FSU
        Georgia
        Nebraska
        Wisconsin
        Iowa
        Minnesota
        NU/Illinois

        Where NU & Illinois end up depends on how much pull MSU has. Logically, NU should head west with Illinois east, but MSU has stated that their second biggest concern (after playing Michigan) is visiting Chicagoland.

        In this lineup, the East would be just a little tougher than the 11-team B10. The West would be murderous. With a conference like this, we’d see fewer interesting OOC matchups (besides the traditional rivalries with ND & Georgia-GTech, we may see OSU still play one high-profile OOC opponent . . . and that would be it); certainly pretty much no school in the west would schedule another “king”, but with this conference slate, that wouldn’t matter.

        With a 9 game conference slate, each team would play a pair of teams from the opposing division. The pairs would be (paired for balance)–
        OSU-IU
        Michigan-Maryland
        PSU-PU
        MSU-Illinois/NU

        Florida-Minny
        FSU-NU/Illinois
        Georgia-Iowa
        Nebraska-Wisconsin

        Schedule
        Week 1: All OOC
        Week 2: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 3: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 4: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 5: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 6: Full (divisional play)
        Week 7: Full (divisional play)
        Week 8: Full (divisional play)
        Week 9: Full (divisional play)
        Week10: Half (byes for one division)
        Week11: Half (byes for the other division)
        Week12: Full (divisional play)
        Week13: Full (divisional play)

        3 primetime games during divisional games in October. On the final week, Nebraska-Iowa on Black Friday, OSU-Michigan early in the day, and Florida-FSU on primetime.

        Like

          1. Richard

            I doubt Georgia would let the B10 bring in GTech as well, and they’re not afraid of GTech even if they join the SEC. Ditto with Florida & Miami. (Plus, SEC interest in either GTech or Miami would be less than for FSU).
            Ultimately, Florida, FSU, & Georgia are on one tier and Miami & GTech are on another because the first 3 are big rich public schools with tons of fans & politicians on their side while Miami is a small private school and GTech has the characteristics of a private school. All 3 of UF, UG, and FSU have undergraduate bodies that are 2.5 times or more GTech’s undergraduate population (and Miami is even smaller).

            Like

          2. Richard

            If the B10 wants UGa badly enough, yes. From the B10’s perspective, they would _want_ to add a Rutgers or Maryland as GTech adds virtually nothing if they already have Georgia (far less than FSU and less than Miami or even Pitt).

            Like

      3. @cutter – I don’t think any school can bring in $35 million by itself unless it can get the BTN onto basic cable in a population base equivalent to Texas or the NYC metro area. The rapidly rising TV contracts are really more of a function of market timing as opposed to expansion in and of itself. Look at the Big 12, which got a great raise on its TV contracts just for its 2nd tier rights and they *lost* Nebraska and Colorado.

        Now, I do think the Big Ten has long had ambitions to leverage Penn State and become as dominant on the East Coast as it is in the Midwest. The problem is that it doesn’t appear that it’s financially possible without Notre Dame involved. I’m a believer that if some combo of Syracuse, Rutgers and/or UConn could’ve gotten the BTN onto basic cable in the NYC market, then the Big Ten would’ve added them without Notre Dame last year. The fact that we didn’t see that happen and the Big Ten went the opposite direction towards Nebraska in a one-school expansion is fairly instructive. Even with the rising TV contracts for sports programs, they are more based on national drawing power as opposed to markets (although markets are still a good thing to have) and it doesn’t appear that other national draws are going to be moving for awhile.

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        1. Brian

          So as an odd circumstance, the BE needs to improve for their own good but improving may actually make the BE a target for expansion when it wasn’t before. I imagine that if the BE schools, especially SU, RU and UConn, were to become regular top 25 powers that NYC would start to care more about CFB. That, in turn, would make the B10 more interested in those teams.

          Like

        2. bullet

          The rising TV revenues make it harder to justify further expansion. When they only had to increase revenue by $5-$10 million there were more schools. To get to $20 million + there are very few schools that can do that.

          And for the non-AQs, spreading NCAA tourney berths further restricts membership growth even if the TV money isn’t a big barrier. Noone but the AQs seems to be consistently guaranteed multiple tourney berths.

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        3. cutter

          I was just wondering if the Big Ten’s Fab Five scenario you discussed last year (see https://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/the-big-tens-fab-five/) was a viable alternative.

          The Fab Five was Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Now, obviously, matters have changed over the last twelve months, but I was wondering if the points you were making are still valid. Even though Missouri, for example, has upped its revenue with the new Big XII contract, would the Tigers be looking for another home four years down the line if offered a slot in the Big Ten? I imagine the answer is yes.

          That leaves the issue of Rutgers, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Is that combination along with the other Big Ten members attractive enough to put the BTN on basic cable in the mid-Atlantic and northeast? Or does it make sense for the Big Ten to opt out of Missouri and invite a program like Connecticut or Maryland or Boston College? Is that a sufficiently attractive enough football/basketball package to get the BTN on basic in those areas?

          I guess the final question might be this–if Jim Delany really wants to move the Big Ten’s footprint into the northeast, do you think he’s looking at ways to do it without Notre Dame hamstringing him? Because let’s face it–one of the last things ND would like to experience is what it’s like being an independent in the midst of perhaps four 16-team super conferences.

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          1. Richard

            As opposed to the very last thing ND would want to experience (football-wise), which is being a member of a conference.

            Like

    1. Good move if they do. Divisions are pointless in basketball for a major conference given the conference tournaments allow everyone in anyway. It’s an extra thing to award, but then the prestige of being regular season champ drops a lot.

      The only conferences that think legitimately should have divisions are if travel costs are a considerable issue and geography can help out.

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      1. Brian

        The trade off is they used to play all their division rivals twice and the other division once. Now they have to be careful to maintain their rivalries while balancing the schedule. On the other hand, they can restore some inter-divisional rivalries (not that they mean much in SEC BB).

        I certainly think their tournament will benefit from getting rid of the division-based seeding.

        Like

  26. Brian

    The B10 discussed hockey playoff ideas at their meetings, too. The ADs are supposed to send in votes on their preference among 3 ideas:

    1. Single elimination, top 2 get byes, at neutral site
    2. 2 weekend model (bottom 4 playing best of 3 to make the semis), single elimination final four, at top seed
    3. 3 weekend model, all series best of 3, top 2 get byes, at top seed

    As for scheduling, the current plan is 20 league games, 8 WCHA/CCHA and 6 eastern teams.

    http://host.madison.com/sports/college/hockey/article_3b452884-852a-11e0-b169-001cc4c002e0.html

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      1. Richard

        On the other hand, I can see why they settled on 8 though. 6 X 8 = 48 = 16 X 3, and there are 16 CCHA/WCHA schools on the mainland.

        I wonder if the CCHA/WCHA schools will ask the B10 to take on the burden of playing the Alaska schools? That would still leave 4 games; mostly home games against smaller eastern schools.

        BTW, does Minnesota have a policy of not playing OOC against schools with Native American names, or is that just Bucky?

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        1. Brian

          They’ll probably ask, but it doesn’t seem like the B10’s problem. They only played 2 or 3 home and homes against B10 teams. They will probably still play them (3 teams each), but I don’t see it as an obligation. Let some of the other hockey powers (BU, BC, etc) do it too.

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          1. Richard

            Not too many programs outside the B10 draw the attendance for hockey to be a revenue sport. North Dakota; maybe UNO & Colorado College:

            Click to access attendance.pdf

            At any case, whether they have to do it or whether they should are different questions. I think the B10 could improve relations with the CCHA & WCHA as well as pick up some (admittedly, not a lot) of subscribers for the BTN in Alaska with that move. Win/win.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Oh, and 2-and-2’s with the Alaska schools mean essentially 2 extra home games:
            Conference: 10 & 10
            WCHA/CCHA: 4 & 4
            Alaska: 2 & 2
            Eastern: 3-4 home games
            = 19-20 home games.

            To get the same number of home games without going to Alaska, B10 schools would have to schedule the eastern schools 5-1 or 6-0, and home games are a benefit to the B10 schools since they draw the attendance to take advantage of them.

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          3. Brian

            St. Cloud St, UNH, UMass, BU and BC should be on your list, too. Don’t tell me ND and BC can’t afford the Alaska games.

            Like I said, I think the B10 will probably play 3 series with each (a gain of 1 more series), but they shouldn’t be depended on to prop up those schools. If they can’t afford it, they should play equivalent level Canadian teams instead. The B10 isn’t a charity for Alaskan college hockey.

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          4. Richard

            Again with the money B10 schools can gain from the extra home games & the increase to the BTN, I don’t think it would be charity for the B10.

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          5. Brian

            I doubt the B10 schools would net a profit from it, at least not most of them. If the coaches value the ability to have 2 more home games enough, it may be worth the money, but otherwise it is charity to help the Alaska schools keep their teams. That’s not a bad thing, but not the B10’s responsibility.

            Like

          6. Richard

            Maybe not OSU. Definitely Wisconsin & Minnesota. The question is whether Michigan, MSU, and PSU would.

            Like

    1. Brian

      Is this a surprise to anyone? They spent years building brand equity and recognition. Why would they throw that out? The only viable option would have been if Big 10 was an available and never used name, and then that restricts them in case they ever do decide to expand again.

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    1. ccrider55

      The problem I have with the Big12ish keeping their name is that they are “advertising” using a name that discribes something they are not. The Big 10 is simply keeping a discriptive name that is an understatement (they are 10, and more).

      Like

      1. bullet

        A little biased? Neither of them make sense. Neither does the Atlantic 10.

        But then its about $ and the A10 is somewhat recognized and the Big 10 and Big 12 very recognized. Its about brand. And I can’t think of anything that really fits the Big 12. Austin and College Station aren’t really the Great Plains. Not sure Ames and Columbia are either. Central Time Zone conference doesn’t exactly ring any bells either. Blue Norther Conference? I can see to Canada conference? Not SE, W or MW conference?

        And then they may go back to 12. I suspect they will eventually, but it probably won’t be until after their Fox deal runs out in 12 years. Someone besides BYU may be an attractive addition by that point.

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        1. ccrider55

          Bullet:
          Yes, a bit of bias, but mostly just poking fun at an easy target.

          I hear what you are saying. A 10 understates (and never overstated) membership. The B1G conference has a history that now includes a part of 3 centuries and has been called Big 10 continuiously since 1950. It had been BigX depending on numbers until PSU joined. I enjoyed the subliminal 11 in the Big 10 logo for the years it was applicable (which ironically is aproximately as long as the Big 12 has existed). If anyone has enough history to allow for an overstatement it is the B1G. They have never overstated.

          If the Big12ish were more of a conference and less of an entourage perhaps a reasonable name would come to me.

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          1. bullet

            Entourage is perhaps why it was vulnerable to poaching. SEC/Big 10/Pac 10-maybe even the 12/ACC except BC are all pretty much conferences with a distinct identity and also much older than Big 12. The Big 12 was a marriage of convenience and desperation between the 8 and the SWC.

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        2. Jake

          Some suggestions:

          The Big X (pronounce the X like the letter) – people keep calling it the Big XII-II, so simplify the equation. The X could stand for 10, or it could be a variable, like, how many teams are there?

          The XIT Conference

          Mack in the Middle

          The Conference Formerly Known as the Big 12

          The Texoma Conference

          The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

          The Texas Leaguer (because it’s a blooper – get it?)

          Van Hagar

          The No Horned Frogs Club

          Like

    1. Nostradamus

      Doug’s line of thinking here is a bit off.
      or conference games, the Big Ten uses a formula that maxes out at a $1 million payday for the visitors. So, for instance, would Ohio State rather pay $1.4 million to play Colorado; or $1 million to play Minnesota, Iowa or Northwestern, the three conference teams the Buckeyes won’t face this year?

      Ohio State isn’t paying $1 million to the Big Ten school it is playing. It is paying $1 million per home game into the Big Ten gate sharing pot. That pot is distributed equally, so Ohio State gets money back. For the 2009 season, It was $737,500 per game. Net Ohio State is only “paying” $262,500 per conference home game.

      Now that still misses the more valid economic comparison for an Ohio State of two body-bag games at home versus a 9th conference game meaning home and home. I fully acknowledge that, just responding to Doug’s argument here…

      Like

      1. Brian

        You’re right, but that payback will be affected by 9 games and who gets 5 at home and who doesn’t. Paying $250k versus $1M for an AQ opponent is no contest financially. As you say, though, an extra home game every other year is worth millions to OSU, and they also give that up for an OOC game. They will lose financially by going to 9, as will MI, PSU, NE, WI and maybe MSU and some others. OSU is happy to do it for the good of NW, IN and others.

        Note that all the coaches are against it.

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        1. @Brian – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all coaches want to do is protect their own asses. If they had their choice, they’d have fewer conference games and become bowl eligible with 4 wins instead of 6, just as the basketball coaches are the only people in the world that think it would be a good idea for the NCAA Tournament to expand to 128 teams. This is generally why (thankfully in most cases) coaches are ignored for big-picture decisions.

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          1. Brian

            I know that, but just wanted to point it out because when we say the schools are happy to play 9, that means presidents and ADs and some fans, but not coaches and other fans.

            I don’t blame coaches for being against it. There is no advantage in it for them. Would you rather litigate against a 1st year law student or a partner at a prestigious firm?

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        2. Richard

          Brian:

          It’s not just for the good of NU & IU. The increase in TV money may very well make 9 conference games either financially a plus or at least a wash for Illinois, MSU, & Iowa as well (along with NU, IU, PU, and Minny). Possibly even Wisconsin & Nebraska.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Hence the words “and others.”

            NE (#11, 85,664), WI (#16, 79,862), MSU (#19, 73,556) and IA (#21, 70,585) all get enough attendance to lose some money on the deal, with the B10 average at 72,106.

            Other schools:
            IL 54,188
            MN 49,513
            PU 48,063
            IN 41,953
            NW 36,449 (up from 24,190 in 2009)

            Like

          2. Richard

            Brian: Note the “increase in TV money” part, where I presume that more conference games would make the TV package more attractive.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Richard,

            I don’t think just going to 9 games will lead to a significant increase in TV money, but I’ll freely admit that is an uninformed opinion. The next deal will be a big gain, but that would be true for 8 games. It partly depends which OOC games are replaced. If teams drop other AQ opponents to play the ninth game, that won’t be worth much. If they drop MAC teams, that helps.

            The teams I mentioned all probably earn at least $4M per home game as a guess, so the ninth game would need to be worth $2M per year per team, or $24M per year. That’s certainly possible, but not guaranteed. I still contend NE, WI, MSU and IA would probably lose on the deal.

            Like

      2. @Nostradamus – I also think that the prospect of possibly losing multiple BCS bids as a “con” is a bogeyman brought up by a lot of fans. The reason why Big Ten schools get selected for BCS games is that they’re popular on TV and travel well (as opposed to pure merit), which is something that’s not going to change with a 9-game conference schedule. Plus, there’s a pretty high chance that the 9th conference game is going to end up replacing a non-conference home-and-home series (as opposed to a MAC-rifice or Division I-AA game) on most schools’ schedules, so I don’t think the impact on records will necessarily be that great.

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        1. Brian

          I think you overstate your case. Yes, B10 schools get picked in part for name value and large fan bases. They also get picked for winning 10+ games and being in the top 10-12. The problem with a ninth game is that it forces 6 more losses for B10 teams. Theoretically the B10 could win all of the OOC games that are being replaced. Six extra losses are likely to reduce the number of eligible teams and the number of NCG participants. The CCG will also have this effect, hurting one of the top teams in the league and probably keeping them out of the BCS.

          As for which OOC games get replaced, that will vary from school to school. Clearly Gene Smith intends to keep the national home and homes, so the 9th game will replace a MAC team. Unless that 9th opponent is MN, that’s an uneven trade.

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          1. greg

            Six extra losses for a ninth conference game is an exaggeration. Plenty of people have already pointed out that the 9th game most likely replaces an OOC home and home rather than a MAC game. The B10 would be very lucky to go 9-3 in those games, 12-0 is dreaming. You could maaaaybe claim that its three more losses, but even that is pushing it and kind of living in a dream world.

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          2. Brian

            greg,

            I disagree. The ninth game guarantees those six losses while OOC games don’t. Plus, conference losses hurt more (unless you’re in the SEC) since they come later in the year, especially if the league isn’t well respected.

            The B10 could go 12-0 or 0-12 in those lost OOC games. Nobody knows. But they have to go 6-6 in those conference games. The league also loses 6 games from the inventory and probably the gate from several more home games.

            People can assume what they want about which OOC opponents would be lost. OSU has gone on record saying it will be a MAC level game. MI, MSU, PU and IA have an annual AQ rival. Will they drop all other AQ games, or drop a MACrifice game? Will IL fans accept not ever playing an AQ opponent again? WI? PSU? NE?

            I think everyone will play a home and home series plus the nine games. Some will play a second AQ team. There will be some internal peer pressure for all the good teams to play a decent OOC schedule. It is, after all, good for business.

            Like

          3. greg

            Conferences losses hurting due to being later in the season is a false impact. The 9th conference game will be a September game.

            The league only loses 6 games from inventory if every team would have hosted a home game for their extra OOC game. I think that is a false assumption. Maybe 3 games from inventory, similar to maybe 3 extra losses.

            Here is a near mathematical certainty: teams will now need to have 5 of 6 OOC for each two year couplet be home games. That is what they need to do to have 7 home games per year. A lot of schools were scheduling 6 of 8 home OOC per two years, so those schools will have to remove a home and home (HaH) from their schedule.

            If IA or OSU has a home and home on their schedule, they can schedule nothing other than body bag games. OSU has scheduled one top team home and home and then a slew of home games, including a number of 8 home game schedules. So, you are correct that they’ll continue their AQ HaH, and will lose a mid- or lower-level home game. Iowa will definitely be losing the AQ HaH from their schedule. Looking at other recent B10 schedules, I’m a little surprised how few AQ road games they play. (cue snarking response about B10 OOC scheduling)

            You point out that MI, MSU, PU and IA already have an annual AQ rival and wonder if they will drop all other AQ games. If they want 5 of 6 (which they all do), they MUST drop it. Or perhaps IA only plays ISU 2 of every 4 years, and pickup an AQ HaH for the other two. Either way, the outcome is losing an AQ HaH from their schedule.

            I doubt you will ever see a second AQ HaH on any B10 schedule. They just can’t get to 5 of 6 with it on the schedule. More likely you’ll see a school like OSU that can buy one-off home games from higher profile teams. They got Colorado due to Colorado’s scheduling difficulties, and Utah visited recently when it appears they don’t have a return trip.

            Like

          4. Brian

            greg,

            Yes, the ninth game will be in September. However, that doesn’t mean that is when the loss will be. What if the actual extra opponent is played in October or November, with the rest of the schedule shifted forward? That is a loss much later than the OOC game.

            When I said inventory, I wasn’t strictly speaking of their TV inventory to broadcast. Sorry for the imprecision. But yes, they will lose 3-6 games (depends on scheduling philosophy) from their TV inventory and money from the gate.

            Most teams need 7 home games but not all. Certain schools (NW, IN) don’t benefit as much from the extra home game and have been known to play on the road more often. That leaves 10 schools going for 7 home games, or 1 home and home and 2 home games OOC. How ADs will respond to the ninth game is unclear, except OSU since he has spoken publicly (others may have too, but I know he did). You may see an increase in neutral site games since they don’t require a road return. You may see more schools buy mid-level AQ games, like OSU with Colorado. You may see teams play only 6 at home on occasion and count on the extra TV money to cover it. Will IA fans accept ISU as their only AQ OOC game forever? Will MI, MSU and PU fans accept only ND?

            The B10 doesn’t play a ton of AQ road games, that’s true. To be fair, though, all the teams are in a home and home with at least one other AQ. IA is in 2 and NW is often in 2-3. That’s 6-8 AQ road games OOC, about equal with the SEC and probably the B12. Does the ACC do more? The P12 probably does more and maybe the BE, but I don’t think the B10 lags all that much from most other AQs.

            Clearly you are wrong about nobody ever playing 2 AQ home and homes, because NW already often plays 6 home games. There’s no reason that has to change.

            OSU may well continue buying mid-level AQs like Colorado. Presumably MI, PSU and NE might as well. Maybe WI or IA. Anyone else? That would still be losing a MAC game for a conference game, though, which you said nobody would do.

            Like

          5. cfn_ms

            tough to think that not just Ohio St but also Michigan, Penn St and Nebraska could keep buying mid-level AQ’s. I could maybe see low-level AQ’s like Wazzu, most of the Big East, Iowa St, etc, but that seems about it. Even Colorado was an exception; I don’t think they’ve ever sold a home game before, and certainly they’re not going to do so regularly (especially with the big bump in TV revenue coming up).

            Ultimately, with a 9-game league schedule you need 5 home and 1 road OOC games every two years if you want 7 home games a year. That’s not realistic unless you’re buying lots of bodybag games, and that usually means really crappy opposition. Either the “we need 7 games” perspective relaxes or the programs accept that the OOC slates will be almost 100% junk. Barring an increase of per season games to 13 (good luck), there’s just no other way around it.

            Like

          6. greg

            NW may continue 2 AQ HaH, while Indiana may continue a dual Akron/Western Kentucky HaH. But I don’t see OSU/PSU/UM/MSU/IA/NE ever having two AQs on the schedule in the same season. It just won’t work.

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          7. Brian

            cfn_ms,

            Yes, those are the sort of teams I meant. The new TV deals may reduce the odds, but IN sold a home game to PSU recently so who knows.

            “Smith also said the other two non-conference games might include two MAC-type schools some seasons. But in other seasons it would include one MAC-type school and another mid-level school from a BCS conference, such as Colorado, Cincinnati or Vanderbilt, three schools coming up in future seasons.”

            If OSU would do it, some other B10 schools might as well.

            Like

          8. Richard

            I think OSU, Michigan, & PSU will keep 7 home games, meaning 1 home-and-home series. They may buy lower-level BCS teams for home games, but also upper-level non-AQ schools (MWC & CUSA).
            IU & NU will almost certainly play 1 FCS & 2 H&H. Minny & PU likely will as well. Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU, Iowa, & Illinois will likely try to keep 7 home games. Neutral site games make a lot of sense for these schools. 6 home games + 1 neutral site game probably brings in just as much money for these schools as 7 home games, so they could alternate between 7 home games and 6 home + 1 neutral site, which could allow for more than 1 BCS OOC opponent in a year.

            Like

          9. Brian

            Richard,

            I mostly agree with you. The big 4 may play some marquee neutral site games, like MI/AL, instead of 7 home games but otherwise will want the 7 home games. I was only saying these teams may play 2 AQs OOC, I didn’t say they would both have to be home and homes.

            I’d lump NE, WI, MSU and IA together, but IL is a different story. They fit better with PU and MN.

            Like

          10. Richard

            Thinking about it more, the bigger schools in the B10 should really get more creative with how they use neutral site games once a 9-game conference slate comes about. For instance, Nebraska & Wisconsin could do 2-1-1 with BYU with the neutral site game being held in Denver & Phoenix, respectively.

            PSU could fill their 3 OOC slots with a 1-1-1 series (say with Syracuse or BYU), a 2-for-1 with Temple, and a MAC/FCS home game.
            That would give them 12 home OOC games over 6 years, so they’d only have 6 home games half the time, but also 2 neutral site games. OK, maybe they’d have to juggle it to have either 7 home games or 6 and a neutral site game every year, but it seems possible. If they can get a 2-1-1 series, that makes scheduling much easier.

            Like

        2. Michael in Indy

          @Brian,

          Frank’s case isn’t overstated. The Big Ten gets multiple BCS bids every… single… year. A lot of years are purely on merit, like last year when it had three teams with 11-1 records and it got the maximum of two BCS bids. Other years, it’s really obvious that the Big Ten’s popularity gives it the kind of edge where its teams are picked ahead of other, more deserving teams.

          In 2008, Ohio State got a Fiesta Bowl bid that, in my opinion, it did not earn on merit. With a 10-2 record, sure, it was a really good team, as evidenced by its very close bowl loss to arguably the best team in the country, but OSU got completely smoked at USC and lost at home to Penn State. Meanwhile, Boise State had an undefeated, very dominant regular season but couldn’t bring OSU’s level of travelers or TV ratings.

          In 2007, Illinois was in the BCS at 9-3 ahead of higher-ranked 10-2 Arizona. (On the surface, this one was pretty bad, but the Rose Bowl basically had to take the Illini because of the tie-in. Still, it was another case of a strong-traveling, at-large Big Ten team making the BCS ahead of a lesser-traveling, more deserving team from a different league.)

          In 2003, Ohio State, who was #8 in the AP poll and #7 in the Coaches poll, was selected for the Fiesta Bowl while Georgia, who was #5 in both polls, and Tennessee, who was #7 in the AP and #8 in the Coaches, were not selected for BCS games.

          In 2002, Iowa, at #8 in both polls, was selected to the Orange Bowl while Kansas State and Texas, which were #6 or #7 depending on the poll, were left out of the BCS.

          I’m pretty sure the Big Ten’s pattern of having multiple BCS bids every year will be safe no matter what. If the Pac-12, Big 12, and Big East all end up with 9-game conference schedules, then it’s all the more safe. The SEC gets two bids every year as is, so the only threat to the Big Ten’s run of multiple bids would be a strengthened ACC, strong Notre Dame teams, and/or an unusual case where there are two very highly ranked non-AQ teams (such as 2009) and only one top 12 team from the Big Ten.

          Like

          1. Brian

            How many of those second bids would have been lost with an additional loss? Nine games is likely to lead to more years where there aren’t as many highly ranked teams. B10 BCS teams are between 6-2 and 8-0. The 8-0 team will still go regardless of the ninth game, but 6-2 and 7-1 may not. 6-3 will not qualify, and 7-2 may not. Now add a CCG that could make that 7-3 and more teams are in trouble. And remember, that ninth game will be harder than an average B10 game now because NE will be in the mix.

            The SEC will be taking a second bid for the near future. ND is improving and will start to get bids again (they only need 9-3 and top 14). Boise, or another non-AQ, will continue to get bids many years. That’s 7 of 10 spots locked (AQs + SEC #2), and another 1-2 gone (ND, non-AQ). That leaves 1-2 spots for the B10, B12, P12, ACC and BE.

            The B12 will benefit from dropping their CCG and adding another winnable conference game (ISU, KU, KSU or MO) to the schedules for TX and OU. That makes for an easier path to the BCS for TX and OU, and those schools are at least as desirable as B10 schools.

            The ACC will benefit from being the only other AQ league with only 8 conference games, plus FSU is improving and Miami may be as well. Assuming VT stays good they have a good chance of getting 2 bids.

            The BE and P12 are lesser threats in most years, but will on occasion merit a second bid.

            So in summary, B10 teams will have more losses, ND is improving, Boise is still out there, TX and OU are getting an easier path and FSU (and maybe Miami) is improving. All that taken together means the B10 is less likely to get 2 BCS bids in the future.

            Several things can change that:
            1. ND doesn’t improve
            2. Boise goes AQ
            3. ACC squads don’t improve or VT falls
            4. The SEC loses prestige
            5. The B10 gains a lot of prestige to be like the SEC

            Like

          2. greg

            I think the 9 game schedule and CCG do lower the chances of a 2nd bid, but not by a whole lot. The CCG seems like it has a good chance to knock out a 2nd team, but if you go through the history of the SEC CCG, it doesn’t look like it ever cost the conference a second bid. It cost specific teams a bid, but they were replaced by another SEC team.

            But how damaging is a lack of a 2nd bid? The payout delta between a 2nd bid and a low level bowl game that its really stealing a B10 from is about $3M. Not pocket change, but $250k a school isn’t a huge deal. Without a 2nd BCS bid, the 2nd through last B10 bowl teams all move down a slot and have better bowl matchups.

            If the B10 loses an occasional BCS bid while having better bowl records, I think its a wash. But it may only rarely actually lose a 2nd bid.

            Like

          3. Brian

            greg,

            I think the 9 game schedule will cost the B10 more bids than you do, but mostly I was rebutting the sentiment that it would have no effect and the B10 will always get 2. Getting 2 is not as automatic as some people think.

            The SEC CCG may not have cost them many bids, but that’s partly because they usually had 3+ worthy teams before the CCG or a quality runner up to a team that was upset (2001, for ex). Also, they don’t have many upsets in their CCG.

            The SEC was single bid in 2000 and 2002 – 2005. In 2003, #5 GA lost in the CCG and #5 OSU got the at-large. What if GA didn’t take that loss to #3 LSU? That change would almost make the B10 and SEC even on at-large bids (11-8 now).

            The damage of not getting a second bid is more perception than anything else. The hype for the SEC will only escalate if they become the only conference that always gets 2 BCS bids. That will drive people to mock the B10 some more saying they are in decline. No number of lesser bowl wins will do for the B10 what BCS wins will do.

            Like

          4. bullet

            The Big 12 benefitted from the ccg in getting BCS bids. The upsets switched some teams, but added more than it lost. CCG did cost them 2 national championship gamex. KSU, Texas and Missouri would have all been in once more without a ccg while UNL would have made it 1 less time.

            Like

          5. Mike

            @Bullet – I believe Texas in the ’96 Big 12 game cost Nebraska another title shot. Didn’t A&M cost KState a shot in ’98, Colorado cost Texas in ’01, and KState cost Oklahoma in ’03?

            Like

          6. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Mike – In 2003, Oklahoma lost the Big XII CCG to K-State but still made it to the BCS NCG (Sugar Bowl).

            LSU cost Oklahoma the BCS NC by beating them in that game.

            Like

          7. frug

            RE: 2007 Rose Bowl

            While I agree that AZU was better than Illinois (and given I was a jr at U of I at the time that hurts) Illinois didn’t really take AZU’s bid since if tradition hadn’t dictated taking a Big 10 team the Rose Bowl still wouldn’t have selected Arizona State since they wouldn’t have two teams from the same conference face off (USC was already in as the PAC-10 champ).

            Like

          8. Bamatab

            In 2000 or 2001, Colorado beat Oklahoma in the last regular season game of the season and knocked OU out of playing in the Big 12 championship game. But Nebraska, not having even played in the Big 12 CG, still played Miami in the BCSCG.

            Also as Alan stated above, OU got beat by KSU in the Big 12 CG, yet still played LSU in the BCSCG.

            Now those are both exceptions rather than the rule, but losing or not being in a conference CG doesn’t always kill your BCSCG chances.

            Like

          9. Richard

            Brian:

            You said
            “The SEC CCG may not have cost them many bids, but that’s partly because they usually had 3+ worthy teams before the CCG or a quality runner up to a team that was upset (2001, for ex).”

            . . .aaaaand you don’t expect the B10 to have 3+ BCS worthy teams after Nebraska joins the fold virtually every year?

            I’m going to have to agree with Frank & the rest in stating that I don’t see the B10 not sending 2 teams to BCS bowls so long as there are at least 2 teams with 2 or less losses. Now, maybe going to 9 confernce games decreases _OSU’s_ chances of getting a BCS bid; I’d certainly buy that, since which a 10-2 OSU team almost certainly gets the nod over a 10-2 MSU/Illinois team, a 9-3 OSU team would likely not get picked over a mid-prestige 10-2 B10 team. However, I seriously doubt we’ll have a situation where the B10 produces 2 or more teams with 2 losses or less and not get 2 teams in to BCS bowls, especially since the schedule will be perceived to be stronger.

            As for the other leagues, yes, OU and Texas have an easier path to a BCS bid, but I wouldn’t say the B12 has a better chance of landing 2 bids now because those are the _only_ 2 teams now in the B12 that would get the benefit of the doubt from the BCS I certainly don’t see a 2-loss Mizzou or TTech team beating out virtually any 2-loss B10 team for a BCS bid (and that includes NU and PU as well).

            Like

          10. Brian

            Richard,

            No, I don’t expect the B10 to have 3+ teams in the top 14 of the final BCS standings almost every year if they go to 9 games, especially if they lock a difficult second rival for the big 4 (OSU/NE & MI/PSU). I expect to see more 9-3 teams than before, even as division winners.

            The counterbalance will be if the harder schedule starts to earn the B10 more respect, in which case losses won’t hurt them as much as they do now (see SEC teams not dropping in the polls for conference losses).

            Like

          11. bullet

            UNL still would have finished #3 in 96 so the loss didn’t knock them out-but it was close. KSU would have been #1 in 99 if they hadn’t lost to A&M. Texas would have made the game 2 years later but lost to CU. UNL who had lost 62-24 to CU in the last game of the regular season made the ccg. And Missouri got upset by OU in the crazy year LSU won with 2 losses, knocking Missouri out of the #1 spot. KSU, Texas and Missouri didn’t even make the BCS those years.

            But as for BCS games, the league got a couple extra net, starting with UT in 96. Some teams got replaced (KSU by A&M, UT by CU, Mizzou by OU), but 98 when UT lost the ccg to UNL was the only time a ccg cost the conference a slot. KSU’s upset over #1OU got an extra slot. Believe there was one other time the ccg upset resulted in an extra slot.

            Like

          12. Michael in Indy

            @Bullet,

            The rankings going into the 1996 SEC & Big 12 championship games were #1 FSU, #2 Arizona State, #3 Nebraska, #4 Florida, and #5 Ohio State. Since it was the Bowl Alliance era instead of the BCS, there could be a #1 vs. #2 matchup, but only if #1 and #2 were not in the Pac-10 or Big Ten. With ASU being #2, the Sugar Bowl had to settle for #1 FSU vs. whoever would finish #3. Had Nebraska finished #3 by beating Texas, it would have played FSU in the Sugar Bowl. Instead they lost, and Florida was promoted to #3 and got a second shot at FSU. BUT… remember that ASU lost the Rose Bowl to Ohio State the night before the Sugar Bowl, so FSU vs. Florida ended up being a winner-take-all game.

            Assuming that the Rose Bowl would have been an ASU loss whether Nebraska had beaten Texas or not, Nebraska truly did lose a shot at the national title. The fact that it would have finished #3 wouldn’t have mattered at all.

            Like

    1. @Brian – Institutional support is definitely a big factor. We’ve seen several power football schools over the past decade, particularly Ohio State, Florida and Texas, commit a ton of investment in their basketball programs and it’s paid off on the court with nationally-ranked teams. There’s no reason why Penn State couldn’t be in the same boat if they really wanted it, as the athletic department certainly has enough dollars to make it happen. This is a revenue sport that can actually give quite a bit back to the athletic department, so I have a hard time understanding why any school (regardless of how much they focus on football) wouldn’t put forth a good faith effort in supporting basketball.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Especially since they have committed so much to wrestling and now hockey. PSU just seems to have no interest in BB. They aren’t just bad at it like IA or NW, they don’t seem to care.

        Perhaps one of our resident PSU fans/alums can explain what’s going on?

        Like

      2. cutter

        Michigan is finally putting in resources to upgrade its basketball program. The Ed Martin fiasco certainly made the university and major contributors reluctant to spend money on new facilities and upgrading Crisler Arena. Beilein has seemingly turned the program around and he assuredly isn’t one to dip his toe into the basketball recruiting cesspool, so there’s new confidence in the program.

        Crisler Arena is going through a two-phase program of renovations that include structural as well as aesthetic improvements. The basketball programs are also getting their own practice facility–it’s currently being built at this moment.

        All told, over $100M is being spent on these projects (including the new HD scoreboard) for the two teams. I guess they’re serious now . . .

        Like

    2. PSUGuy

      In fairness, this isn’t an indictment of BB at PSU, but more an indictment of DeChellis and where the organisation was going with him.

      Rumor was that if he didn’t reach the tournament last year he’d be axed and rumor is the same this year…only the team that made it to the tournament last year is all but gone. IMO, this was DeChellis taking proactive movement to keep a head coaching job for the years ahead (word was he wanted another extension after the NIT championship and was unhappy he didn’t get it).

      As for basketball I tend to agree with the “lack of support” comments, but the fact is when you look back PSU actually had a winning record prior to 1995. They weren’t amazing, but they were respectable. One would think they were supported back then, so what’s changed?

      If I had to venture a guess, simply put PSU (under Spanier) doesn’t care (so far) if its bball team is that great so long as it maintains its respectability as far as grades and graduation rates are concerned. It can afford to take this “moral high ground” because even as bad as the bball program is, it still makes money for the university…going from my booster club program, the PSU bball program made (in 2009/2010) approximately $360,000 for PSU. No where near the football contribution, but enough that it can claim to pull its own weight.

      All this being said, I think there was a reason the “DeChellis hot seat” rumors were out there and I think there’s a reason why he left…

      There’s a new method of ticket allocation being implemented this year and it requires donations for football seats (min $100 per seat and raises depending on location) and is going to base ticket allocation (for all sports) by donation level (first) and points standing (second). This means there’s going to be strong incentive for the ticket buyer (me) to elevate donation levels because it gives me access to better seats (even though I may not have been with the program for as long as someone who donated less).

      Obvious problem with this method though is if the team stinks its going to make it very unlikely anyone is going to shell out tons of money for premium seating. They still might (donate at high levels) because odds are the people donating are really looking for football tickets, but in the end I have to believe there’s still a large contingent of people who buy bball only tickets…I mean how else do they post a profit?

      Long story short, DeChellis had proven he wasn’t a guy that could bring a consistent winning product to the PSU bball court and PSU needs to at least show some desire for winning to ensure people buy into the new program. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see PSU make a legit run at putting together a decent program (even if it takes a few coaches to do so).

      Like

      1. Brian

        The problem is that if PSU cared about BB they would have fired him years ago, and the fans and potential coaches know that. The timing of this just makes it worse as there aren’t many people available and it will be hard to convince someone that PSU is dedicated enough to BB for them to leave a good job. I hope PSU does get serious about BB soon. They don’t need to be great.

        Like

        1. PSUGuy

          I agree with the “they’d have fired him years ago” idea in general, but again the two most important qualities PSU apparently looked for in a bball coach…academics and program profitability…were still being met. I honestly think to PSU they WERE running a good bball program…their definition of “good” just didn’t necessarily require a winning team.

          With the new donation/ticket program though I really think that definition changed. However, I really hope it just means adding “winning” to the list because I don’t want the team to become like every other “25% graduation rate” “Top Team”.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Not all top teams have poor academics. Many keep good APR scores. Their graduation rates may be down, but that’s often because so many players leave early for the NBA.

            Like

          2. PSUGuy

            Not saying everyone does, just merely that an easy path to get back to bball respectability is to 1) relax academics and 2) heavily recruit talented players who are more likely to bolt for the NBA at the first chance.

            I don’t believe either (let alone both) are acceptable options for PSU leadership, though I could be wrong.

            As an aside, PSU hired Eddie Folger to advise for the new bball hire…it’s looking more and more like PSU is going to make a concerted effort at becoming a legit bball program.

            http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=6590253

            Like

          3. Brian

            I’d suggest that #2 isn’t a big problem as long as the players take school seriously while they are there. Otherwise you have to build a program like a mid-major.

            Like

  27. Brian

    http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/2011/5/22/2184787/uw-hockey-news-and-notes-smith-to-return-to-badgers

    Here is an interesting point brought up by a WI blogger. The B10 hockey conference will have one big recruiting advantage in the BTN. Going to the FCOA scholarship could be another big advantage. Will the smaller hockey schools be able to cover the bump? They have much smaller athletic departments, so do fewer resources or fewer scholarships win out? Frankly, is it a problem if the smaller schools don’t pay? All the best players can’t go to just a handful of teams.

    Will BB see the same problem? Will all of D-I pay the FCOA? What about other sports where large and small schools compete (baseball, etc)?l

    Like

    1. Gopher86

      In college hockey, playing time/exposure will always trump $2-3k in spending money for the big time talent. Many of the smaller schools started competing with the traditional powerhouses because they could promise exposure to legit prospects. I think the extra pocket change is nice, but the BTN is the real game changer.

      Like

      1. Brian

        As the article mentions, though, the money may help the B10 compete with junior teams for some top players. That would be important.

        I agree that most hockey players don’t come from dirt poor families so spending money isn’t always a big issue. Still, I’ve known plenty of players whose families could use the help since they are paying for other kids in school and/or paying off the cost of hockey for the past 10+ years.

        Like

    1. Jake

      So, who does he think is going to split off from whom? Will the football schools get tired of … what, hanging out with a bunch of Catholic schools? What do they have to be disgruntled about? It’s not like they’re sharing their wealth with the basketball schools.

      And if it’s the basketball schools that are doing the leaving, it seems like Notre Dame is the key to that – if they’re happy with the current arrangement, would the others try to leave? What’s so bad about playing in an 18-20 member basketball conference? If they split off, wouldn’t they be just another FCS basketball conference? Right or wrong, isn’t there some benefit for basketball teams in being associated with a BCS conference?

      Like

      1. Brian

        Perhaps they would be disgruntled about having the football membership hamstrung by basketball schools? Like having Nova forced on them, or not offering other schools of interest to the FB schools?

        Like

  28. Mike

    Deadline set for Big East expansion? Sort of

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/24/deadline-set-for-big-east-expansion-sort-of/related


    The Big East conference is set to renegotiate its first-tier television rights with ESPN — initially rumored to be in the $110-$130 million ballpark annually — during a 60-day period beginning in September, 2012. By that time, conference commissioner John Marinatto hopes to have a definitive number of attractive football members to help the league add value to the sports network.

    Like

    1. Richard

      Interestingly, there are some BYU fans who are not happy with these 1-1-1 deals (which seems a little blindered to me, especially since they get an extra game to reach 6 home games those years when they visit Hawaii).

      Like

      1. Brian

        At some point I’d get sick of never getting to see home games too. It depends how many of these series overlap. It’s a lot of series where 2/3 of the games are on the road.

        Like

        1. Richard

          However, BYU can get 2-for-1’s from the WAC schools. Instead of a steady stream of home games against MWC-quality schools, BYU’s schedule now looks like a barbell, with a bunch of schools from the very top and very bottom of DivI-A football.

          Like

          1. Richard

            ??? That’s not really BYU’s choice. BYU’s choice is an MWC (or BE) strength schedule or a collection of WAC & “kings” (granted, more WAC than “kings” at home). No “king” will regularly schedule straight up home-and-homes with BYU.

            Like

          2. Brian

            You are the one that said you didn’t understand why they were mad. As fans, they believe BYU could get home and homes against middle tier AQs instead of 1-1-1s with top level AQs. They’d rather see that, or maybe even a MWC level schedule. Why wouldn’t a fan want to be able to attend more games?

            Like

          3. Richard

            Uh, Brian, they’re attending/getting the same number of home games. Again, the choice is between a mid-tier/MWC/BE schedule or some kings mixed in with a bunch of patsies. It obvious that you prefer the first type of schedule, though I’d prefer the second.

            Like

          4. Richard

            OK, let me go slowly:

            Three 1-1-1 series + three 2-for-1 series with WAC teams = 3 home games, 2 away games, and 1 neutral site a year.

            Six home-and-homes with MWC/CUSA/lower-level BCS opponents (and from the looks of it, BYU can only get home-and-homes with BCS schools like Oregon St. & GTech who can’t draw more than 50K per game at home; even WVU is only willing to play them on a neutral field close to WV) means 3 games at home and 3 games away.

            Granted, they could also simply replace the 1-1-1 series with home-and-homes and keep the WAC 2-for-1s (gaining half a home game, on average), but that would mean a much crappier schedule.

            So to turn the question around, would you rather see 2 games against PSU & Nebraska or 3 games against UCF, GTech, & Northwestern?

            Like

          5. Brian

            They have choice, Richard, and the fans don’t seem to prefer the choices of the AD. They could play more AQs and/or more home games. There is no clear reason why the fans should agree with the AD, since they don’t share the same concerns (budgets, exposure, etc). It is perfectly reasonable for a fan to want more home games and more series where their team is treated as an equal. Being fans, they think they are equal to a bunch of teams that refuse to treat them like peers and it bothers them. A NW fan should understand that.

            3 1/1/1 series + 3 2/1 series = 9 home games, 6 road games and 3 neutral site games (basically road games) = 18 games (9 AQ)

            1 1/1/1 series + 3 1/1 series + 3 2/1 series = 10 home, 7 road and 1 neutral = 18 games (9 AQ)

            6 1/1 series + 2 2/1 series = 10 home, 8 road = 18 games (12 AQ)

            9 1/1 series = 9 home, 9 road = 18 games (18 AQ)

            As a power team fan, I’d take the easy schedule and more wins. I want to see my team and want to see them win. Close games are fun if you play well and you win. Otherwise, I’ll take the big win so I don’t feel like I wasted $100 plus travel expenses and time on the game.

            If I was a fan of a newly independent team that wants more respect than it has, I’d start with more home games to build a record of success against AQs and then upgrade to harder AQs later. You may get more respect and more home and homes that way than jumping into the deep end. Sacrificing home games for big names sounds more like a team that trades winning for money, and that loses respect.

            Like

          6. Richard

            Being a fan means you can live in a fantasyland where the concerns of the AD doesn’t matter? Well, OK, sure, though I don’t find those fans worth listening to. I can see that some people evidently prefer an MWC-level schedule, though I’d be willing to put up with playing a bunch of patsies if it means more shots at some “kings”.

            And no, being an NU fan doesn’t make me understand it. I’m thrilled that ND is playing us home-and-home, but I’d be perfectly happy with a 1-1-1 with them as well. In fact, I’d like NU to play more neutral site games (even though I currently live within driving distance of Evanston now). If I was a BYU fan, I’d much prefer the schedule their AD is drawing up to the schedule you would draw up. You may not understand it, but to me, the thrill of my team acheiving a “giant-killing” win is several times greater than the thrill of beating an average team (while beating an average team isn’t several times greater than beating a patsy). Furthermore, scheduling a bunch of patsies along with a few giants makes an annual bowl trip more likely than playing a schedule filled with lower BCS teams (where BYU may not get to 6 wins in a down year).

            Also, I think your last scenario is rather unrealistic. I simply don’t think BYU can find 9 BCS schools willing to play them home-and-home and also fit them within their schedule (they have to fill Oct. & Nov. as well) every year.

            Like

          7. Brian

            These are internet fans of BYU you’re discussing. They are not necessarily representative of the whole fan base.

            Like

    2. Brian

      They are either looking really far ahead (OSU has major home and homes through 2021) or as a quality second OOC game for OSU. It makes some sense as Columbus actually has a pretty large LDS population, but going to Provo is not worth it in my mind. Neither is playing them at Jerryworld. I’d be happy if OSU never played at Jerryworld. If and when OSU does play a neutral site game, I hope it is a replacement for a national home and home, not a non-AQ.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Likely as a quality second OOC game. If one home game in 2012 is moved to 2013, OSU can still fit in the away game and neutral site game in 2012 & 2017 and still have 7 home games every year (assuming 8 game conference slate). 2012@Provo, 2013@Columbus, 2017@JerryWorld?

        Like

        1. Brian

          What game would they move? UC and Cal can’t move without a lot of schedule changes, and Miami (OH) and UAB are booked for 2013 too.

          I still hope this is just a rumor.

          Like

          1. Brian

            UAB already has 2 SEC teams and 2 road games for 2013.

            Miami has 2 AQs and 2 road games.

            ESPN will have to spend some money to get a bunch of schools to shuffle their schedules.

            Like

          2. Richard

            I somehow doubt a MAC team would have problems playing 3 OOC games on the road or against AQ opponents that a little money can not solve.

            Fitting in the game would be an issue, true.

            Like

    3. Richard

      I guess from the B10 schools’ perspective, the neutral site game with BYU would make sense only if they got the majority of the take (just like OU did when they played BYU in JerryWorld). BYU gets to evangelize and the B10 schools get to hit up alums in those areas for donations.

      Like

      1. Brian

        The very concept of helping Jerry Jones make money rubs me the wrong way. I’d rather burn his stadium down than watch OSU play in it.

        Like

          1. Brian

            OSU would make more money playing a home game. Why make less money and help Jerry f’n Jones at the same time?

            Like

          2. Richard

            I’d have to think that the payout from a neutral site game in JerryWorld (probably from both JJ + an extra kicker from ESPN) is close to the profit of a home game. Otherwise, yes, I agree, it would make no sense.

            BTW, living your life just to spite other people isn’t very productive. If you look at it from OSU’s point of view, they get to ring cash regis–connect with alums as well as advertise their team in a fertile recruiting state.

            Like

          3. Brian

            TX isn’t a great state for OSU, though. OSU gets a lot more athletes from FL than TX (and recruits GA a lot). FL has twice as many alumni clubs as TX, too. The point being, playing in Atlanta would be more useful.

            It’s not living for spite, it’s keeping in mind who you do business with. The association affects your reputation. Remember that a home game also brings a lot of other revenue streams as well as money into the community. Why give TX all that hard earned midwestern money if it isn’t even bowl season? OSU would have to make a huge extra profit to justify depriving Columbus and OH of that money and the joy of a home game.

            Like

          4. Jake

            Man, BYU vs. OSU at Cowboys Stadium. TCU fans might show up just to heckle everyone involved. Also, to nitpick FBschedules, Cowboys Stadium is in Arlington, not Dallas. Or maybe they’re going to play at the Cotton Bowl.

            And I don’t think the interests of BYU fans were really a top consideration when they went independent. They wanted to get on TV against big opponents as often as possible, and that’s what they’re getting. If that means their home schedule is full of New Mexico State and Idaho, that appears to be a price they’re willing to pay. Most schools wouldn’t go for that arrangement, but BYU isn’t most schools. They might reconsider if they start losing season ticket holders.

            Like

          5. bullet

            Well if you are going to nitpick Jake, UT-Dallas is in Richardson, barely in Dallas County. The University of Dallas is in Irving. The A&M research station at Dallas is in Plano. And of course, the Dallas Cowboys played in Irving and now Arlington. Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport is mostly in Grapevine. Dallas city hall is, for now, still in Dallas.

            Like

  29. duffman

    Frank,

    Looks like your man Mark Titus is poking the wasp nest that is the tOSU fanbase! What are your feelings? Is he onto something, or is gonna get swarmed in the end?

    For those on hear who have never heard of Club Trillion, here is a link:

    http://clubtrillion.blogspot.com/

    Titus was the guy that flirted with the NBA draft in the past

    Like

    1. @duffman – The bad apples among the Buckeye fan base certainly turned on Kirk Herbstreit before, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Titus (who is an absolutely hilarious writer, by the way) is going to be a target for scorn. Certainly, this is a small minority of the Ohio State fan base that’s causing the problems, but if you’re living in Columbus, that small minority can still overwhelm you.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Oh, it’s already turned, trust me. That group is on a hair trigger at this point. He had to know that’s what was going to happen as he alternated between saying he had no inside info and declaring he knows there are problems. He wanted hits for his blog and he’s getting them.

        Like

  30. ezdozen

    Although discussed above, it has also been discussed in other comment sections and even other forums.

    I think the Big East should consider this:

    #1, take on UCF.

    #2, approach ND and BYU about 5-game schedules. If BYU needs to join for all sports, so be it. Just stay at 19 or take on some hoops school as basketball only. Whatever.

    #3, break football into two divisions:

    Northeast: UConn/Rutgers/Syracuse/WVU/Pitt/Notre Dame
    Southwest: Lville, Cincy, USF, UCF, TCU, BYU

    #4 All divisions play 5 division games. Everyone but ND and BYU also play 3-4 games against other division opponents.

    #5 BYU and Notre Dame rotate every 2 years. That way, BYU and ND come to each campus every 4 years and every school takes one trip to BYU or ND every 4 years.

    #6 Division winner is based on following hierarchy:

    a. 12-0 team wins division
    b. If no 12-0 team, then an 11-1 team wins division
    c. If no 11-1 team, then a 10-2 team wins division.
    d. If no 10-2 teams, then look to conference “wins.”
    e. tiebreakers–conference wins (first); then head-to-head (second) and BCS rank (third).

    Between 11-1 BYU and 11-1 TCU, TCU wins because TCU would have more conference wins. A tie between an 11-1 WVU and an 11-1 Pitt would be resolved by head-to-head. A 10-2 tie between WVU. Pitt, and Syracuse would be resolved by BCS rank.

    BYU and ND keep scheduling flexibility. With 7 OOC games, plenty of room for traditional matchups and rotating around the country (ND) or region (BYU).

    Big East adds two teams to not only keep, but increase, legitimacy.

    Doesn’t this work better than adding Houston and ECU? Or Villanova?

    Like

      1. ezdozen

        I don’t know…. off the top of my head:

        Because that is better than selling their soul to fully join any conference?

        Because the path to the BCS becomes clearer? Go 10-2 and play in the Big East championship game? That is not so bad.

        A reconstituted Big East is more national–but still 7 OOC games. No same Big East opponents every two years. Only get stuck with Rutgers and UCF visiting every 4 years or so.

        Plus, the get to keep the Big East alive longer–a home for their other sports.

        And maybe Big East carves out 2 Big East ND games for NBC or something. That keeps them at a 3/4 season for NBC. Still some serious cash. But enough for the Big East to also justify.

        I would think that they would only do it if BYU was doing it. Makes some sense to both be aligned like that.

        If the BCS implodes, ND would still have a home for a playoff or whatever else comes along.

        ND gets to stick it to the Big 10.

        Like

        1. ezdozen

          Plus, ND is a power in the Big East vs. being a voice in some other conference.

          While the Big 12 could offer the same package to BYU and ND… ND can play Texas and Oklahoma any time it wants.

          The Big East would allow games in Pitt (recruiting hotbed of PA), UConn/Syracuse (northeast), TCU (Texas), UCF/USF (Florida), Rutgers (New Jersey), and Cincy (Ohio). With their annual game against USC, that gives them links to the 5 major recruiting areas in the country and the precious NYC market.

          The Big 12 cannot offer that.

          Like

          1. cfn_ms

            The big problem is the Big East would have them play a number of games (TCU, USF, Cincy, maybe UCF if they joined too) against what are clearly 2nd tier programs in their current areas. Right now I bet ND could sign any of them they wanted to a 2:1 easily (heck, USF is bodybagging it at ND this year). Why would they necessarily want to go from that situation to a straight home and home?

            The reason that ND doesn’t really want the Big 12 isn’t Texas and Oklahoma, it’s everyone else (who ND has zero interest in doing home and homes with). It’s the same story with the Big East; they might be cool with long-term home and homes with Pitt and Cuse, and might not be much against the same with WV, but that’s about it. They have little interest in going to Rutgers’s small stadium, or playing the 4th and 5th best programs in Florida on an equal basis, etc.

            To make that sort of deal remotely palatable, the Big East would have to offer substantial financial concessions to ND, and even then it’s a tough sell.

            Like

        2. Muck

          Being forced to participate in a ‘play in’ (which is essentially all a conference championship game really is) game for a BCS bowl would actually be a downgrade from ND’s current set up.

          If the Big East splits ND will have no problem depositing their non-football programs in whatever split off conference the Catholic BB schools end up starting (which will probably keep the Big East name).

          It doesn’t do anything for their scheduling that they can’t already do.

          “Sticking it to the Big Ten” is in some ways biting the hand that feeds. Their current B1G rivals are long standing & profitable series. Going out of the way to slap them in the face isn’t in ND’s best interest.

          ND could care less about BYU.

          This idea doesn’t offer any actual upgrades for ND.

          Like

        3. greg

          It’d really be sticking it to the big ten by giving up independence to join the lowest profile and lowest payout BCS conference.

          Like

          1. cfn_ms

            Or, even better, how joining the Big East would be “sticking it” to the Big Ten in any meaningful way (other than “nah, nah, you wanted us now watch us join another league”)?

            Like

        4. Brian

          ezdozen,

          All ND has to do is go 9-3 to make the BCS. They’ll get a top 14 rank almost any year they go 9-3, and the bowls would always select them as an at-large if available. They actually have to beat everybody else in the BE to make it in your scenario, and losing a CCG could keep them out.

          I fail to see the advantages for ND in your scenario.

          Like

    1. Brian

      Why wouldn’t divisions be decided by division record first, then head to head before anything else? Why would OOC record be a factor?

      Like

      1. Jake

        I’d like to see the BEast make ND live up to that promise to play three BE teams a year. Or one or two, even. Other than that, leave the deal with ND alone.

        Like

        1. Brian

          They have 1 or 2 BE teams scheduled for every year through 2017 (1 in 2012-3 and 2017), and have played 2 most years recently (2 in 2008-9, 1 in 2010). They just never get to 3.

          Like

    1. duffman

      brian,

      but they still get to be on TV during this time. The one penalty that would show that the NCAA maent business, they did not impose.

      Like

      1. Nostradamus

        That isn’t the great of a penalty as it sounds, because it actually punishes anyone who has USC on their schedule (the innocent as well).

        Like

        1. ccrider55

          Is the NCAA not able to impose financial penalties? Perhaps fine them individually the amount that the tv appearance would generate for USC when conference distributions are made? Their opponent and the other members of their conference would not be innocent sufferers (and USC would still get to be an attraction, for their benifit as well).

          Like

          1. Richard

            Really no need. Taking away home games is about the same thing. Sure, the schools could make up for them by scheduling creatively, but if you ban OOC home game for a 4 year stretch (say starting 4 years from now, to allow schools to adjust), it would still take some time to make up for the lost cashflow (or a lot of neutral site games). Plus, if you increase the number of years/scholarships that are docked, eventually, it will start hurting.

            I know that even a one year ban on all football home games would get the attention of schools.

            Like

          2. Brian

            I think the only direct financial penalties the NCAA can do are directly related to a financial infraction, like making players repay a benefit to regain eligibility. They can do TV bans, but they don’t like the impact on other schools and interfering with the big TV deals (a lawsuit waiting to happen?). Bowl bans have an effect financially on the team and the conference.

            30 scholarships lost will hurt them, too. That’s 45 players signed in 3 years, and only 25 the next (they can’t count extra players back against the previous year). That’s 70 signed over 4 years, and 95 over 5 years. Combining NFL losses, injuries, transfers, legal trouble, rule breakers and academic problems, they will be lacking depth for years. That means fewer wins, which translates into less money.

            Like

  31. Brian

    http://onlineathens.com/stories/052511/foo_834354175.shtml

    Some details of Mike Slive’s proposals to fix roster management are out. While they don’t say anything about explicitly cutting players, they do a pretty good job on the other issues.

    1. Cut class size to 25 from 28 (the old Houston Nutt rule), and extend the limit from 12/1 – 8/1 instead of just 2/4-5/31. That means no extra signees in summer and no pushing people back to the previous class.

    2. If signees are on scholarship over summer, you count against the 85 limit for the coming year. No being asked to grayshirt in August.

    3. More SEC oversight of medical hardship cases, including making a trainer, team doctor and AD sign off on it (meaning they could be in trouble if it isn’t deserved).

    4. Early enrollees can’t sign an aid agreement until they are enrolled and in class. Previously schools would get juniors to sign one which prevented other SEC schools from recruiting him.

    There may be more to his plan as well, but this sounds like a good start.

    Like

    1. frug

      They should require that kids be accepted by the university before they can be offered a scholarship. That would cut down on the whole “we need to oversign since we know we will have to stash some kids in ju-co we just don’t know how many”.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Most FB players couldn’t be accepted before graduating. Waiting until June to start signing players would be a disaster since FB starts in the summer. Schools generally know if a student is on track to be eligible for acceptance during their senior year. They could refrain from offering players they know won’t make it. They already shouldn’t be doing this, and I’m embarrassed for the presidents that let their schools do it.

        Like

        1. frug

          Acceptance is generally based on 7 semesters (though if the kid gets serious senioritis it can be rescinded) so the coach will know by March at the latest if recruits are going to eligible to enroll. That said, I agree this rule shouldn’t be necessary since it is hugely unethical for university presidents to allow their coaches to offer scholarships to players they know won’t be accepted.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Many FB players really need their whole senior year. They have to reach a qualifying GPA with enough credits of the right type, and often still need a test score. At best, they can get very conditional acceptance.

            Like

    1. Richard

      The number sounds big, but note that they include sponsorship & licensing rights as well (which the big schools in the B10 are already getting around $10M annually for, though granted, the smaller schools are not). If the P12 shows that pooling everything together makes more money, though, expect other leagues (including the B10) to do the same.

      Like

      1. ccrider55

        The number sounds big because it is big? Sounds big to me anyway.

        I’m confused on one thing. When announcing the deal several weeks ago (and at prior times, too) Scott spoke of three things. The primary media contract, P12Network, and P12 media enterprises. In the article Dodd in the first paragraph seems to include the P12N in P12 media enterprises, but in the third paragraph Scott is quoted “…..a billion-dollar business we’re sitting on,” Scott told CBSSports.com. “That’s just Pac-12 Media Enterprises.” that last phrase indicates a peice is not accounted for yet (I doubt he’d be distinguishing this number from the much larger primary media contract everyone is already familiar with). I wonder if the potential P12Network is that implied missing third part? any guesses/knowledge?

        Like

        1. Richard

          Seems pretty clear, from what I read of Dodd, that the PTN is included in the P12 Media Enterprises Holding Company.

          If that’s true, the $8.3-11.9M per school per year for those rights are almost certainly far more than what WSU & OreSt. got before for those rights, probably more than what USC got before for those rights, and about or a little more than what, say, NU gets from the BTN and media rights all in, but still a fair bit behind what OSU gets for BTN & media rights (and a little behind what Texas will get from the Longhorn Network).

          Like

          1. Nostradamus

            I’m actually surprised the figure is that low if it is indeed “all-in.” If it is a 10 year $1 billion deal each team like you said is “only” getting $8.3 million. I fully understand the schools will be absorbing network startup costs, and that may have indeed been factored it. That said, The Big Ten schools are getting $6.5+ million from the BTN a year right now without seeing any profits.

            Like

          2. ccrider55

            Nostradamus: Are you saying Fox rights fees for the BTN are the whole 6.5? Where are the BTN profits going that Scott speaks of when discribing the challenge of startup? Scott:”It took the Big Ten more than two years to realize a profit with its network.”

            Like

          3. Nostradamus

            Yes the current (2009-2010) $6.5 million per school is only the rights fee. Any profits from the network up until at least 2009-2010 have gone entirely to News Corp to repay Fox’s initial investment in creating the channel.

            Like

          4. Nostradamus

            No problem. The entire $2.8 billion/25 years estimate is rights fees only best we can tell. We’ll see if the Big Ten Network has turned a profit for the schools within a month when we start seeing some athletic department budgets.

            Like

          1. ccrider55

            Maybe you don’t kid. Forming the P12 Media enterprises, staffing, startup P12Network costs, consultants, creating digital distribution platform and business model, marketing the rights for all the schools that they used to do for themself. It could easily cost that much.

            If the quoted numbers are not a case of bad math it would seem that the costs are already being quantified and an unamed source seems to be privy to at least some of it.

            Like

      1. Richard

        It’s interesting to note that the P12’s conservative estimate for its network is roughly a third the worth of the rights to its first tier games. The B10’s conservative estimate for its network was roughly the same as its rights to its first tier.

        It seems that the PTN likely is going to have tougher sledding getting carriage or cable carriers to pay (as several of us on this board had predicted) than the BTN did.

        Like

        1. Nostradamus

          Yeah like I said, the $1 billion seems low to me. I expect the Big Ten to get $1 to $1.1 billion from BTN rights fees alone over the next 10 years.

          Like

          1. ccrider55

            Larry Scott: “That’s a potential minimum value over a seven-to-10 year period.” speaking of the 1 billion figure.

            We’ll have to wait and see but 1 billion plus if over 7 years seems more than pretty decent to me. Remember the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronomical number. It doesn’t reflect on the intrinsic value of the various conferences, but new methods of better realizing that value. Methods that may, if successful, be imitated, tweaked, improved upon by others.

            Like

          2. Richard

            The thing is, it’s actually not that astronomical to the B10 & SEC (well, maybe the bottom of the SEC). The top SEC schools already get around $10M (or more) for their third tier & media rights. The bottom of the B10 is already close to the stated P12 range (mostly due to the BTN) while the top of the B10 is considerable above that range when you add the BTN cash to the media rights. Mostly, this is a huge bonus to WSU, OrSt., etc., but while the SEC may be spurred in to starting an SEC network (which the success of the BTN should have done), I think we’ll have to see the P12 overacheive their stated range to make the big 2 leagues adopt that model.

            Like

          3. ccrider55

            Richard:

            I did not say that number was astronomical. I said the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronimical number. It would show that their conferences have potential to go higher. An outrageous number does not mean a conference (or team) has surpassed one not quite as high. It may simply mean they may have managed to extract more for what they are than the others at a particular point in time.

            Like

          4. Nostradamus

            ccrider55, $1 billlion is not chump change by any means. But like I said, if $1 billion includes everything from the network to potential third tier rights sacrificed by the schools it is a good, but by no means great deal.

            Remember the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronomical number
            I agree with Richard that it isn’t that astronomical of a number. And for that matter I’m not really sure that the Big Ten or SEC are watching this with as much interest as you think. I know Jim Delany was very interesting with what Scott negotiated for the Fox/ESPN contract. The additional media rights, likely not so much. Unless there is some kind of innovative internet rights that prove to be financially beneficial or some other unconventional things; Delany and Slive aren’t going to make many changes.

            Like

  32. bullet

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/college/7579168.html

    APR rules beginning to take a bite, although only UConn bb and Louisville and Maryland fb seem to be currently at risk among BCS schools.

    TSU is losing nearly a quarter of its scholarships. This is a school that once continued to play players who had dropped out of school and had much of its band being non-students. NCAA official who made improvements at MTSU commented that coaches needed to focus on students who could graduate from school, not merely get in like many do now.

    Like

    1. Brian

      Combined with their NCAA problems, that puts UConn down 3 scholarships for next year doesn’t it? Way to represent, National Champs.

      Like

    2. Jake

      TCU basketball may be joining those ranks soon. Haven’t spent much time above the minimum APR for the last six or seven years, and four players got kicked off/left the team this past season. And we can’t use guys leaving for the NBA as an excuse. Meanwhile, TCU football manages to be both very good, among the leaders in APR, and full of guys who would rather teach deaf kids than play in the NFL. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Some relevant links:

      http://web1.ncaa.org/maps/aprRelease.jsp

      http://gofrogs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/052511aaa.html

      http://life.atlantafalcons.com/topic/3919773-tcus-tejay-johnson-picks-deaf-students-over-nfl-draft/

      And speaking as a former TCU band member, we definitely had some folks marching who weren’t students, thanks to an arrangement with a local junior college. Most of our drumline was Juco back then, IIRC. Good thing the NCAA wasn’t asking questions. ; )

      Like

  33. bullet

    Thrashers to Winnipeg:
    According to TV news here, several reports that this is a done deal are, “absolutely not true.”

    Doesn’t mean its not likely to happen, but it hasn’t yet.

    Like

    1. Brian

      http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/40467-Source-Thrashers-sale-to-True-North-Sports-and-Entertainment-complete-decision-on-announcement-looms.html

      The deal seems to be very close if not done. $110M for the club, $60M for relocation ($20M of that to the Thrashers owners, perhaps). Speculation abounds that one big issue is when to make the announcement with the playoffs going on. Between the conference finals and SC finals may be best, but then the talk may detract from the finals. Waiting until after the SC finals will mean more rumors and speculation all during the series.

      Like

      1. bullet

        TV news reporter was quoting an “insider” (I interpreted it as one of the owners). So it may be close but it is definitely not done waiting for an appropriate time. Getting this ownership group to agree on anything is quite a challenge.

        Some interesting stats from an ajc article by Jeff Schultz:
        Braves 1988 averaged 10,000 fans per game and had 3,017 at one game late in the year.
        Now they are one of the best drawing teams.
        Falcons 1989 had 7,792 for one game.
        Thrashers 1st season 17,205 with 14 sellouts despite 61 losses. After making playoffs in 2006-7 they averaged 16,239 and had 11 sellouts which was their 2nd best season in attendance.
        Blackhawks 2003-4 averaged 13,253 (2k less than Thrashers now). Last year after winning Stanley Cup they were at 21,356.

        His point is not that there are no hockey fans. Only that the Thrashers with only 1 trip to the playoffs in 11 years (only one other franchise has done that badly), are not doing what it takes to get fans even in a hockey city like Chicago.

        The issue is that they can’t find any owners who want to keep the team in Atlanta.

        Like

        1. jj

          the thrashers are a “proud member” of Georgia?

          time for a party! jets back!

          now. let’s work on quebec and maybe hartford.

          Like

        2. Richard

          The Atlanta metropolitan area also had roughly half as many people in 1990 as it does now. Back then, it had fewer people than the MSP MSA has now (& roughly what the St. Louis MSA has now). Now it’s as big as greater DC and bigger than metro Boston or Detroit.

          Like

    1. Richard

      I don’t think Army & Navy to the BE makes a lot of sense from either the perspective of the academies or the BE, but if they’re hellbent on getting to 12 teams, UCF, ECU, and Houston aren’t significantly better in football.

      If they do add Army & Navy, I would strongly recommend UCF.

      Like

      1. @Richard – My understanding has long been that the Big East would add Army and Navy in a heartbeat, but the service academies have always turned them down (even partial schedules). Heck, why not add Air Force to get all 3 of the academies into the same conference? It’s really national brand names that the Big East needs right now and the service academies are really the best non-AQ options outside of BYU on that front.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Are the academies really bigger brand names than Boise at this point? Boise has been to the BCS and is a constant threat to return. If a year with no undefeated AQs happens, Boise may well be the first non-AQ to play for a national title.

          Like

        2. Muck

          I do like the idea of moving Army – Navy to Thanksgiving day, it would help rekindle the traditional in the national eye…but they don’t need to join the B. East for that to happen.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Army-Navy was that Saturday for a long time, but it can’t compete with better games. Mostly that’s because since 1963, only the 1996 and 2010 games have seen both teams enter with winning records. That has killed that game from being important nationally. I agree it should move back to November, but the NFL would crush it on Thanksgiving unless they play at night. They shouldn’t get an exemption to play later in December unless they give up playing in a bowl.

            Like

      2. bullet

        I agree. It may be a good short run financial decision as you get to 12 w/o adding to the mess of 17 in basketball they have now, but its a long run disaster. I think its an even worse decision for the academies than for the BE and it really is something that could cost the BE an AQ slot (I agree with those that say right now they have a near zero risk of losing their slot).

        The logical place to get all 3 academies together would be CUSA. Trade UTEP for Air Force with the MWC and CUSA could have a non-state school western division of Army, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Rice, Tulsa and Tulane. The east would include UH and the current 6 schools in the east. That would be a place the academies could compete.

        Like

  34. frug

    Ok, South Park spent the whole episode blasting the NCAA for exploiting slavery. Compared it to pitting crack babies against each other in a fight over a crack rock and then airing it and making ad money. Will posted on the internet sometime in the next 7 days. Replays tomorrow on Comedy Central.

    Like

    1. Brian

      Whenever someone compares anything to slavery or Nazis they are ignorant and horribly wrong.

      How is a voluntary activity that includes getting money (in the form of free education) at all similar to slavery?

      Like

          1. frug

            It’s pretty clear that Matt and Trey are just phoning it in at this point. Their contract is up at the end of the season and have mentioned that they no longer enjoy making the show and would prefer to work on other projects. Plus, they never really got over how Comedy Central handled the whole “200” and “201” fiasco. They even used the DVD commentary to blast the network and talked about how they do not stand behind the episode or regard it as their vision.

            That said, the last two episodes have been pretty decent (mostly because they returned to the satire that is the shows bread and butter).

            Like

        1. Brian

          I don’t car about the offensiveness, that usually helps their episodes. But bad comparisons to slavery aren’t funny either.

          Like

          1. bullet

            If they don’t find someone to offend they aren’t accomplishing their goal. If they only offend a few college football fans and a few African Americans (and I’ve heard some use the same comparison) its a lot less offense than normal for them.

            Like

  35. Brian

    The final Sporting News OOC schedule analysis is done.

    The comparison by % of OOC games:

    AQs

    ACC 44
    P12 41
    _BE 40
    B12 30
    B10 29
    SEC 25

    Non-AQs

    ACC 29
    P12 38
    _BE 40
    B10 50
    B12 50
    SEC 50

    I-AA

    _BE 20
    B12 20
    B10 21
    P12 21
    SEC 25
    ACC 27

    It’s important to remember that individual schools within a conference schedule very differently. Still, you can draw several conclusions:

    1. FB hotbeds/richer conferences schedule easier OOC
    2. The ACC and SEC should cut back on the I-AAs (and BE for reputation reasons)
    3. The ACC counterbalances their I-AAs with the most AQs
    4. The P12 has to do a lot of travel for their OOC games
    5. With 9 games, a CCG and the toughest schedules, the P12 is at a disadvantage

    Like

    1. frug

      Interesting that the ACC plays the highest proportion of both AQs and I-AA. Not sure if it means anything, just something I wasn’t expecting.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Yeah, they have 13 I-AAs out of their 48 OOC games (NCSU has 2) and 21 AQs (Miami and WF have 3; 6 have 2; Duke, VA and NCSU have 1; VT has none). It seems odd that they would schedule hard games but then add a bunch of crap games too.

        I assume the high number of AQs is to build their reputation nationally while the I-AAs provide almost sure wins.

        Like

        1. greg

          The conferences seem to schedule in a way that their markets/fan bases force them (or allow them) to.

          SEC/B10 (and B12 to a degree) can fill the bigger stadiums, so they schedule rather weak schedules and maximize their home games.

          ACC/P12 (and BE somewhat) have smaller stadiums and can’t fill them as easily, so they maximize AQ HaH that are a more attractive ticket, and balance it will low-payout FCS home games.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Mostly, yeah, but the range within most conferences is big. If need forces teams to schedule good games, why also schedule I-AAs?

            ACC – Miami and WF play 3 AQs, VT plays 0
            11 play 1 I-AA, NCSU plays 2

            BE – 7 schools play 2 AQs, Rutgers plays 1
            7 schools play 1 I-AA, Rutgers plays 0
            That’s about as balanced as a league can be.

            B10 – OSU and IA play 2 AQs, 10 schools play 1
            10 schools play 1 I-AA, OSU and MI play 0
            This is pretty balanced, too.

            B12 – ISU plays 2 AQs, TT and Baylor play 0 (but BU has TCU)
            5 teams play 1 I-AA, 5 teams play 0

            P12 – USC plays 3 AQs, WSU plays 0
            8 schools play 1 I-AA, 4 schools play 0

            SEC – LSU and Vandy play 2 AQs, MS and MSU play 0
            All 12 schools play 1 I-AA

            Like

          2. bullet

            Also, the ACC tends to schedule local FCS schools, some of whom they had ties with back in the southern conference days. In addition, the Colonial and Southern are two of the strongest FCS conferences. Whereas in the SEC, you might see UGA schedule Idaho St. Anybody they can get in cheap.

            Like

        2. Richard

          Actually, all this means is that the ACC schools have smaller fan bases than the B10 or ACC (probably due in good part to smaller stadiums). Thus
          1. they have to take more home-and-homes against other AQ schools instead of paying non-AQs for guarantee games.
          2. they play relatively more FCS because they’re cheaper than non-AQ.

          Also, what fans they do have are more die-hard than P12 or BE fans, so they’re more willing to put up with games against FCS schools.

          Nothing odd about this distribution at all when you look at it from the perspective of an AD.

          Like

          1. M

            Correct analysis, though big fanbases lead to big stadiums, not the other way around. ADs will try to make the schedule as profitable as possible, which means the cheapest opponents that the fans will still buy tickets.

            Like

  36. Brian

    http://www.alongtheolentangy.com/2011/5/25/2190716/bmv-close-to-completing-car-investigation-finds-no-violations-by-ohio#storyjump

    Upon further review, there appear to be no issues with car deals at OSU. The car dealer may be in trouble with the state but OSU is OK. Apparently the dealer would lowball trade-in value and instead reduce the purchase price of the car, which would lead to lower taxes. The alleged free car now cost $13,700 and involved a trade-in of an expensive car (cost $15,400 7 months before).

    Like

  37. joe4psu

    [More details on who said what than the recent articles, even B1G expansion to the south. noidea That would be great in my opinion. During last years expansion frenzy I spent some time on the GT board and there were quite a few people who thought a B1G invite would be great. GT isn’t UGA but it gets the B1G into GA. I think GA is now sixth moving ahead of OH in recruits signed last year.]

    For Big East, where is all this leading? – Mark Blaudschun, The Boston Globe
    http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/mens_basketball/articles/2011/05/26/for_big_east_where_is_all_this_leading/
    …According to several sources within the league, there has been an ongoing internal debate among Big East commissioner John Marinatto and a core group of presidents and athletic directors.

    The power struggle is football-driven, led by athletic directors at West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers, and the presidents at West Virginia and Pittsburgh. The three schools flexed their muscles when Villanova was being considered as the 10th team in football last month. To get approval, Villanova needed six of the eight Big East votes. The vote was 5-3.

    The internal bickering and bargaining has been intense, with Pittsburgh AD Steve Peterson and Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti having the loudest voices in the room but different agendas. Pernetti has argued the hardest for the bigger formula, i.e. 12 teams in football, 19 or 20 in basketball.

    …ESPN told the Big East that was its best offer, considering that marquee such schools as Penn State, Maryland, Notre Dame, and Boston College were not coming through the door as the No. 10 team in football. ESPN was content to take a chance on TCU and perhaps Central Florida with a fair-market offer.

    …There may be more trouble coming for the Big East if the Big Ten decides to move forward again in a few years; already there are rumblings that it might go to 14 teams, with an eye on Georgia Tech and Maryland, which would significantly increase its television footprint.

    PS – I don’t remember how links work so I’m hoping for the best…

    Like

    1. Richard

      $11M and the BE turned it down(!)

      I’m reminded of Cramer: Bulls make money; bears make money; pigs get slaughtered.

      Maybe they’ll do better, but it is a risk.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Thinking about it more, this may be a smart move that works out very well for the BE. I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC/Comcast comes in with an offer that pays the football schools as much as what the ACC schools (possibily more?)

        Then NBC could lock up ND to a long-term deal. If the BE does indeed add Army & Navy, NBC could set up an afternoon lineup at features ND games most weeks, fill in with BE matchups, and end with Army-Navy before the BE championship game. Versus could fill most of fall Saturdays with BE football games* with the BE games that very few people have an interest in potentially going to regional CSN networks.

        The BE could end up with as much money as the ACC and still have most/many of their games on Saturday (even all, if that’s a concern to them).

        *Granted, NBC/Comcast may want to leave room for potential B12/B10 games if they get them in 2016. If I had to guess, I would say that Fox, ESPN/ABC, & NBC split the B12 & B10 first tier games between them in 2016, with one of the networks taking the B12 first-tier & the other 2 splitting the B10 first-tier (which has over twice the inventory of the B12 first-tier) so that they can pay for them.

        Like

        1. Richard

          ND has virtually their entire schedule from 2013-2016 set already. The biggest initiative for NBC/Comcast, if they do indeed get both ND and the BE locked up long-term, is to get the ND-UConn series back on track. UConn understandably doesn’t want to go ahead with either the original 10 games series where all UConn home games would be held at the Meadowlands or Foxboro (outside CT) or the 7 game series where the same would happen. However, I’ve got to think that if NBC owned the rights, they could get the 2 sides together to do a 4-2-2 (with the 2 neutral sites being Foxboro and the Meadowlands). If they do that, they would have 8 ND games to broadcast in 2013 (all against BCS opponent or Navy or BYU, including OU), 8 in 2014 (9 if they arrange another BE-ND game; TCU?), 8 in 2015 (including Texas), & 9 in 2016 (including Miami). Of course, Michigan or USC every year.

          If this was in place in 2011, you could see this on NBC:

          Week 1: USF @ ND
          Week 2: FIU @ Louisville (currently on Friday on ESPN; this needs to be filled with another game)
          Week 3: MSU @ ND
          Week 4: LSU @ WVU Primetime: ND @ Pitt
          Week 5: USF @ Pitt (currently Thursday on ESPN)
          Week 6: AF @ ND
          Week 7: Navy@Rutgers/Utah@Pitt/USF@UConn/Louisville@Cincy
          Week 8: Uconn @ Pitt (Currently Wednesday on ESPN) Primetime: USC @ ND
          Week 9: Navy @ ND
          Week10: Cincy@Pitt/Syracuse@UConn
          Week11: ND vs. Maryland (neutral)
          Week12: Miami @ USF Primetime: BC @ ND
          Week13: Army vs. Navy (maybe) Primetime: Pitt @ WVU

          Like

        2. joe4psu

          Maybe it’s just me but I think Army and Navy would weaken the BE. Financially it may be a plus, may be, but the academies are not what most people would consider BCS material. What are the odds that either will make a BCS game while independent? It would make sense for NBC to add the BE, and if they could work it out, the Army-Navy game alone.

          I don’t know if anyone would be interested in broadcasting the Army and Navy games during the rest of the season without the big game at the end of the year but I imagine the two schools could try to work that out. The other conferences negotiate their CCGs independent of their regular season.

          Like

          1. Richard

            CBS College Sports does that now. I imagine that NBC/Comcast wouldn’t mind putting those games in Versus.

            Like

          2. joe4psu

            “CBS College Sports does that now. I imagine that NBC/Comcast wouldn’t mind putting those games in Versus.”

            @Richard,

            I forgot about that! Thanks.

            Like

    2. StevenD

      Maryland and Georgia Tech? I like it. Wisconsin moves to the B1G Northwest (to play Iowa every year) and the new permanent crossovers become Minnesota-Maryland and Wisconsin-GT.

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  38. Really informative article from the Boston Globe today on the Big East situation:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/mens_basketball/articles/2011/05/26/for_big_east_where_is_all_this_leading/?page=1

    There’s confirmation that Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia all voted against Villanova in a 5-3 vote (6 votes were needed to confirm Nova). The Rutgers AD is the one pushing hardest for a 12/19 or 12/20 model.

    Also, there’s a reference to “rumblings” of the Big Ten possibly wanting to go up to 14 targeting Georgia Tech and Maryland, although that seems like a throw-it-against-the-wall rumor.

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    1. Brian

      First, I’ll believe the rumors when someone shows me numbers that prove 14 can make more per school than 12. With ND or TX, sure, but MD and GT?

      Second, that pair seems really unlikely. Would MD really want to leave behind the old guard of the ACC? Would GT want to be that much of a geographical outlier?

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      1. jj

        If I were Maryland, I’d really, really, think about it.

        I love the ACC is some ways. But football drives the bus and let’s face it, ACC football is a second-tier brand. Plus, all the academic benefits that go along with it and give MD penetration westward for students.

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        1. Brian

          Is MD lacking for students? Getting access to the midwest is better than the mid-atlantic region?

          MD can barely compete in ACC FB, but has many traditional rivals in the ACC (more in BB than FB, I realize). The certainly have almost nothing in common with the plains schools in the B10 West.

          They might do it for the money, but I don’t think so without a buddy coming along (VA, probably).

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          1. SideshowBob

            I think you could argue that joining the Big Ten gives Maryland more access to the Northeast between PSU and the big followings of Michigan and, to a lesser extent, Ohio State. Compare to BC, with pretty limited regional appeal and the ACC in general which is clearly Southeastern in focus rather than up and down the east coast.

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        2. Vincent

          If I were Maryland, I’d really, really, think about it.

          I love the ACC is some ways. But football drives the bus and let’s face it, ACC football is a second-tier brand.

          Which is why I don’t think UNC, Duke and UVa joining Maryland in a 16-member Big Ten is that far-fetched an idea. ACC expansion worked only in terms of making the league more competitive and balanced for football, but it backfired, moving things downward, not upward. And while UNC has been compared to Texas as an “alpha dog” type, Texas has the football brand regardless of the conference it plays in. UNC has tried to make strides in football, where it has the potential to be much more of a national player than it is (that’s why it hired Butch Davis) and make a lot more money, but being saddled in the ACC makes it difficult. Its basketball brand could thrive in any league, especially if it moved there with Duke, Maryland and Virginia, three longtime rivals. If the price is right, UNC would move.

          If 16-team conferences became de rigueur and the Texas/Texas Tech/Oklahoma/Okie St move to the Pac took place, how would the Big Ten and SEC respond? I’ve already suggested the Duke/Maryland/North Carolina/Virginia to the Big Ten; for the SEC, assuming its current members could block Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami, I envision it taking Virginia Tech and N.C. State from the east and Texas A&M and Missouri from the west.

          The leftovers — six from the ACC, four from the Big 12, plus the nine Big East football members — join forces, add a 20th member (Brigham Young?) and form a new ACC of two 10-team divisions…this time standing for American Collegiate Conference.

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          1. Richard

            I’ve come around to Duffman’s view that NCSU matters more than Duke. If I’m the B10, I’d take NCSU instead of Duke because that essentially locks down NC (taking Duke along with UNC would not) while depriving the SEC of NCSU (Duke isn’t joining the SEC). In that case, the SEC would add VTech, FSU (regardless of whether Florida objects, which I don’t think they would because they realize the stakes), and TAMU. The last school should be Clemson, but if SC makes too much of a fuss, Mizzou would be OK (maybe even WVU).

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          2. Vincent

            I’ve come around to Duffman’s view that NCSU matters more than Duke. If I’m the B10, I’d take NCSU instead of Duke because that essentially locks down NC (taking Duke along with UNC would not) while depriving the SEC of NCSU (Duke isn’t joining the SEC). In that case, the SEC would add VTech, FSU (regardless of whether Florida objects, which I don’t think they would because they realize the stakes), and TAMU. The last school should be Clemson, but if SC makes too much of a fuss, Mizzou would be OK (maybe even WVU).

            I have to disagree vis-a-vis Duke and N.C. State. Duke may not bring as much as State where football is concerned, but in everything else — Sears Cup (or whatever it’s called now), academics, research — Duke has it all over NCSU. (Debbie Yow is trying to build State’s struggling overall athletic program up, something she did a wonderful job with at Maryland; things have really declined in Raleigh over the past two decades.) The Big Ten would perceive Duke as a Tobacco Road equivalent of Northwestern that might be able to lift its football status by shedding the ACC stigma (the prime reason UNC might be more interested in the Big Ten than conventional wisdom admits).

            If the Big Ten and SEC are going to divvy up the core of the ACC, I think the Big Ten would be happy to give the SEC Virginia Tech and N.C. State if it could get Virginia, North Carolina, Duke and Maryland. (In recent years, State has tried to build up its football program as Research Triangle rivals UNC and Duke have stolen its basketball thunder, and getting the SEC imprimatur could help in that regard.) And putting NCSU in the SEC with VT probably diminishes the chances of Florida State joining the SEC, an indirect boon to the Big Ten.

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          3. Richard

            . . . as opposed to NCSU joining the SEC, which would be a direct loss.

            The key point is that taking NCSU with UNC locks down NC (for the BTN & TV in general). Taking UNC & Duke doesn’t do that.

            I think your comparison of Duke to NU is a good one (granted, with Duke having a much, much better national basketball brand than NU). NCSU would be equivalent to MSU. Now, if the B10 had to choose between having only one of NU or MSU, with MSU joining the SEC if the B10 didn’t take them, which one should (and would) the B10 take? To me, it’s a no-brainer.

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      2. cutter

        I live in the Maryland suburbs not far from Washington, DC and have friends who are UMd grads and Terrapin sports fans.

        When you speak to the alums, they’re very pro-ACC in terms of where they want Maryland to reside. That group is basketball-centric and the centerpiece of their experience with Md sports are the rivalry games with Duke and Northe Caroliina. I would say that the previous athletic director, Debbie Yow, was also part of that group, citing how Maryland was a charter member of the ACC.

        The Maryland Athletic Department has a problem making ends meet with its athletic department budget. The Comcast Center is a first rate basketball facility, but the real problem comes with the football stadiuim expansion. In sum, they can’t generate enough interest to see out the luxury boxes and premium seating that were just added to it. Unless the football product gets consistently better, they’re going to have that albatross around their neck for some time. Keep in mind that they’re going to play Notre Dame at Redskin Park in Landover and not their home stadium–more seats and more revenue, certainly, but it also points out that they’re betting that having a big time opponent play them is going to pay off.

        Maryland now has a new president and new athletic director. I don’t know if they’d embrace a move to the Big Ten now that the ACC’s new television contract has come in place and should help alleviate some of the budget problems. But if the Big Ten is looking at a major expansion in its television contract revenue in four or five years, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t look at the proposition.

        Maryland has also upped its academic standing, so again, it’s a question of where they may want to go on that front as well. We’ll see.

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