The Big Paclantic: Thoughts on the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC Alliance

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The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC officially announced the formation of their Alliance today, or as we will now affectionately call it, “The Big Paclantic”. (Props to Frank the Tank commenter Mike on that awesome name. The best commenters in college sports are here on this blog.) As expected, a press conference with the commissioners of the three leagues was very high-level without many details. Here are my quick thoughts on the major topics of interest:

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF EXPANSION

The message seemed to be that all of the Alliance commissioners are in favor of college football playoff expansion. They also gave the impression that they are fine with the proposed 12-team playoff structure overall, but there are issues at the “margins” (to use the words of Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff) that need to be evaluated. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren made a passing reference to media packages, which was essentially code for figuring out how to extract as much money as possible from TV rights, whether it’s an extension with ESPN (which in practicality is going to be required if there’s going to be CFP expansion prior 2026 since ESPN’s consent is required) or waiting until 2026 so that those rights can go to the open market with possibly multiple TV partners (a la the NFL postseason).

I still maintain that it would be really difficult for the powers that be to delay playoff expansion until 2026. While I understand the rationale of wanting to take the contract to the open market, 5 years is an eternity when it comes to the media landscape. If I were running the show, my goal would be to get ESPN to agree to a relatively short extension at the end of the current contract (maybe 2 to 3 years), which would allow them to have 5 to 6 years of broadcasting the newly expanded playoff. The playoff TV rights could then go to a fully open market after that time. This way, all of college football can get a short-term cash infusion of a 12-team playoff quicker, ESPN gets enough of an extension to make it realistic to come to the table to reopen the existing CFP contract, and the entire CFP media deal can still fully go to the open market prior to the end of this decade.

SCHEDULING ALLIANCE

The Alliance commissioners were non-committal on specifics in terms of non-conference scheduling, although Kliavkoff intimated that the Pac-12 could convince its TV partners that it could go to 8 conference games if there were enough valuable non-conference matchups to compensate. This is where I believe the Big Ten needs to be careful since it’s not clear that it makes sense to reduce its conference schedule from 9 games to 8 games in order to accommodate additional non-conference scheduling. While the Pac-12 and ACC could certainly benefit from playing more Big Ten schools, the reality is that a 9th conference game between two Big Ten teams could very well be more valuable when looking at it from the Big Ten point of view. Sure – everyone wants to see Ohio State and Michigan play USC and Clemson, but once you get past that top tier, the plebeians of the league (like my Illinois Fighting Illini) would honestly rather see, well, Ohio State and Michigan come to town more than a second tier Pac-12 or ACC opponent. Note that this is occurring in a landscape where the SEC is now looking at going to a 9-game conference schedule and might even go up to 10 – the whole point of conference realignment is to increase the inventory of compelling intra-conference matchups. It’s hard for me to understand why the Big Ten powers that be (meaning the university presidents and athletic directors) would contemplate cutting back to an 8-game conference schedule. (One important point here: never, ever listen to head coaches on this issue since they all just want an 8-game conference schedule in order to trade off a conference game for a cupcake to pad their records.)

Now, if the Big Ten schools believe that getting more high-profile non-conference games with the Pac-12 and ACC can be done without reducing the number of conference games, then I’m all for it. The question shouldn’t be whether a Pac-12/ACC non-conference game is going to replace a Big Ten conference game, but rather whether a Pac-12/ACC non-conference game is going to replace a non-compelling cupcake non-conference game. I know that many Big Ten athletic departments have come to the conclusion that having 7 home football games per year is some type of sacrosanct right, but those terrible non-conference payday home games are really the ones that ought to be on the chopping block. That is what would improve the value of the TV package immensely: keeping 9 Big Ten conference games and swapping out a currently worthless non-conference game for a Pac-12/ACC Alliance non-conference game.

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said the following about the Big 12 during the Alliance: “Let me put it directly. We want and need the Big 12 to do well. The Big 12 matters in college athletics. The Big 12 matters in Power Five athletics, and our FBS group.”

Of course, the immediate question/comment that I saw from a lot of observers in response: if the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC wanted the Big 12 to do well, then why didn’t they get invited to the Alliance?

All three of the commissioners then went on to note that prior conference raids created a domino effect of multiple conference raids, so one of the purposes of the Alliance was to create a sense of stability in the ever-changing world of college athletics.

I actually believe that the Alliance members are being sincere in wanting the Big 12 to survive and having a stable conference realignment environment in the Power Five (Four?) ranks. Granted, this isn’t being altruistic, but rather the Alliance members don’t see any expansion targets in the Big 12 that are attractive enough at this point. Following today’s Alliance press conference, Kliavkoff told The Athletic that the Pac-12 would have an announcement on whether it plans to expand by the end of this week. Pretty much every quote from him (along with virtually every report coming out of the West Coast over the past month) indicates that the Pac-12 will stand pat. The revenue bar for any new addition to the Big Ten is so high that it’s difficult to see anyone outside of Notre Dame providing enough on that front and even the bar for the lower-paying ACC is significant hurdle for any potential expansion option.

The paradox of conference realignment is that the Alliance not wanting to expand is bad for individual Big 12 members (who all want to find a different power conference home), but it’s a good sign for the Big 12 as a conference. The upcoming Pac-12 announcement will likely provide the clarity to Big 12 schools and their fans that they’re likely not going anywhere, so it’s time to figure out their own expansion options. To that point, stability on the power conference front does not mean stability for the rest of college sports. The repercussions throughout the Group of 5 conferences and other leagues below could be quite severe.

It was made clear during the press conference that the Alliance members did not sign a contract with each other, so everything being proposed is really going to be based upon the relationship of the three commissioners. We shall see if The Big Paclantic really turns into a substantive Alliance or it never gets past this high-level framework.

(Image from Chicago Sun-Times)

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230 thoughts on “The Big Paclantic: Thoughts on the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC Alliance

  1. houstontexasjack

    The devil’s in the details. We shall see what kind of scheduling arrangements come of this.

    Assuming the PAC-12 stands pat, forcing Big 12 members to lose that hope, I could see the Big 12 adding Cincinnati and UCF if it returns to 10 and Houston and USF as the next two in if it goes to 12.

    Like

  2. Kevin

    Still think waiting until 2026 to expand playoff is best path. It’s not truly 5 years because it’s not available until 2023 at the earliest.

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  3. stewlevine

    It seems to me that the alliance could have some additional areas where it could have an impact.
    1. How the bids will come for the playoff and whether there will be a cap on teams per conference, especially if they can keep that number down to three (two seems highly unlikely).
    2. Getting creative on TV rights, especially if they can create inventory on all three league networks (simultaneous carry?).
    3. Coordinating league scheduling to avoid competing for viewers on key weekends and key time slots.
    4. Preserving slots and matchups for bowl games for teams that don’t make the playoffs.

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  4. Andy

    I wonder if this means Illinois can’t keep playing Missouri in football. That’s a decent rivalry game. But if not, Missouri can always schedule Big 12 teams like Kansas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State instead, still, the Illinois/Missouri rivalry game is a good one so hopefully they keep playing.

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    1. z33k

      Honestly, I really don’t think the scheduling component is going to be that profound.

      Most schools already have games planned to 2030-2034, and many have rivalries that are regional/adjacent state/same state and aren’t worth getting rid of…

      Missouri is a solid rival for Illinois as a border rivalry that’s been played a fair bit, absolutely would not expect that kind of game to be permanently prevented from happening.

      Would just be counterintuitive to be frank.

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      1. Marc

        Most schools already have games planned to 2030-2034…

        Many schools have schedule gaps starting in the mid-2020s, and the gaps get wider with each passing year. Any scheduling cooperation could easily be managed with a multi-year ramp-up, which is how football scheduling usually works anyway. After all, Texas and Oklahoma are (as of now) still in the Big 12 for another four years.

        Missouri is a solid rival for Illinois as a border rivalry that’s been played a fair bit, absolutely would not expect that kind of game to be permanently prevented from happening.

        Several ACC schools have annual rivalry games against the SEC, which they’ve given no indication they will cancel—and I suspect Oklahoma will keep playing Oklahoma State. Most of those games have a much deeper pedigree than Illinois–Missouri. If they play, Illinois–Missouri can play too.

        The reality is, Florida State probably needs the annual game against Florida more than the Gators need it, so it would be self-defeating to refuse to play the SEC.

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        1. Jersey Bernie

          In the late 1950s, the Florida legislature mandated that UF and FSU play in every sport. No law was passed because the then governor of FL thought that it was a waste of legislative time to actually make it a FL statute.

          The FSU – FL games are not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. My guess is neither team will want to mess around with that game and the FL legislature would get involved if needed again -70 years after the first involvement.

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          1. Certainly, if the goal of each conference is to maximize the value of their TV inventory, then there isn’t going to be a freeze-out of SEC non-conference opponents by anyone. Frankly, maybe the Alliance is worried about the opposite since the SEC has talked about going to 9 or 10 conference games and *they* could be the ones dropping non-conference rivalries. Who’s to say Missouri wouldn’t be the party trying to get out of its non-conference agreement with Illinois when the SEC gets another conference game (or even two) as opposed to the other way around? At the same time, it definitely doesn’t help the ACC TV package for them to lose Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, etc. That’s the opposite of creating more TV value.

            Maybe I’m the one being naive on this point, but my hope is that the scheduling component of this is additive: *adding* to the existing conference schedules and non-conference rivalries. Otherwise, you’re just basically offering the same “quality game” inventory as before if it’s swapping one P5 vs. P5 game (whether it’s a conference game or an existing non-conference matchup) for a different one. That really doesn’t increase the value of the TV packages in my mind. The buy games of cupcakes ought to be the ones on the chopping block instead. The pitch has to be that the additional TV revenue will be enough to compensate the larger schools like Ohio State and Michigan for losing a home game maybe every other year.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Frank – I’m hoping that the NCAA Constitutional Convention accomplishes a couple of things:

            1. Making powdered wigs cool again.

            2. Increasing the qualifications of whatever will be the FBS or I-A or P-5 or it will be called, and giving it some autonomy from the smaller football D-Is, non-football D-Is, D-IIs and the D-IIIs.

            a. As part of these qualifications, a uniform schedule should be adopted with a minimum of ten games against opponents from the same (let’s call it Super I-A – the ACC, B-12, B1G, P-12, SEC, ND & BYU) division, whether its eight conference games and two OOC, or nine conference games and one OOC, or ten conference games.

            b. There should also be some increased minimum stadium size, attendance benchmarks, and football budget. Grandfather existing conference members for a decade. If they don’t meet benchmarks, they can remain in the conference for all other sports except football.

            c. If current FCS games are to be eliminated, there needs to be a fund established (from all this new money) to subsidize each individual program to the tune of $500K to $1m per year in perpetuity.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. urbanleftbehind

      Why Clemson as C.A.? I guess because they’re viewed as duplicative in state and brand that fades post-Swinney? I would see Wisconsin or Cal as more Captain America (cue irony) in that scenario.

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  5. Eric

    Few thoughts:

    I hate the idea of going down to 8 conference games. We don’t play the other division enough as is.

    I am really not a fan of the scheduling aspect at all unless it means fewer one and done games. I don’t want OSU avoiding playing SEC teams or lose conference games.

    On the playoff, I think they are much more willing to wait than Frank does. I do think they’ll leverage that though and ESPN will probably accept changes to the CFP without extra years (as they’ll still make more money). A compromise could be to sign the national championship itself an extra year or two beyond the contract but not all the games.

    Off this topic a bit, but I think 4 perment quarterfinals in bowls make more sense. Big Ten and PAC-12 might support the night time New Years bowl splitting between thr Sugar and Orange to sometimes give the ACC the better spot.

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    1. Marc

      ESPN will probably accept changes to the CFP without extra years (as they’ll still make more money).

      This makes a lot of sense. After all, if expansion makes money, then ESPN ought to be okay with that, even if they are only guaranteed the original contract length.

      If they say, “we’ll expand now, but only if you give us 5 more years,” then it is just posturing.

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    2. bullet

      I think ESPN and Fox will hate the idea of going down to 8 conference games. A few years back the Big 10 ADs were all saying they wanted to play each other more, not less. And as the Nebraska AD said, TV will tell us who to add. TV will tell them not to go down to 8.

      I just don’t see anything other than premier games being additive. In fact, I think they are probably negative. Now USC-Michigan, Clemson-Ohio St., FSU-Oregon, those get interest. Wake Forest-Oregon St.?

      As for the 7 home games, Texas and Oklahoma get by with 6 some years because of the game in Dallas. If they can, it hardly seems necessary even for Michigan and Ohio St., let alone Indiana and Minnesota.

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      1. Marc

        Now USC-Michigan, Clemson-Ohio St., FSU-Oregon, those get interest. Wake Forest-Oregon St.?

        It depends on which games Wake Forest gives up. If they substitute Oregon State for Elon or Liberty, it’s a net positive.

        As for the 7 home games, Texas and Oklahoma get by with 6 some years because of the game in Dallas.

        That’s a rivalry game that they totally control; it’s not a true road game for either squad.

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    3. Little8

      The Rose Bowl will advise against the PAC and B1G trying to screw the Sugar Bowl. That could open up all traditional times and the Rose wants to hold its Saturday slot. Despite the alliance what is in it for either conference if the Orange bowl gets a better time slot?

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  6. Colin

    You say Big Paclantic but I still call it a nothingburger. The sole purpose that this “alliance” has been slapped together is to give the impression that the B1G, ACC and P12 are doing something to counter the seismic shift caused by OU and UT joining the SEC. But they’re not really doing something, they’re just making noise to save face.

    What does the Big Ten stand to gain by playing more games with the coastal conferences? Neither fan base has the following of the Big Ten or the SEC and that is reflected in the low revenue of the ACC Network and P12 Network.

    The refusal of Big Paclantic to include the remnants of the Big XII pretty much expels the Big XII from the P5, so now we’ll have a P4. That might produce an uptick in TV revenue for the Big Paclantic but nothing on the scale that the SEC benefits by adding OU and UT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc

      You say Big Paclantic but I still call it a nothingburger.

      I think you’re right. The three conferences have not concretely agreed to do anything. They have merely issued a press release stating that they are philosophically aligned. That could very easily change as specific issues come up where their interests diverge.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jersey Bernie

      My guess is that we really know very little of what the implications are of this “alliance”. If it was only what was announced, it sounds like a waste of time.

      Presumably, there is much more that will come out in time.

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    3. bullet

      I think there could be value in selling a “Tier 0.” It could be a Bigpaclantic ooc game of the week. 1 game a week between teams in the top 3rd of each conference. 10-14 games a year. ESPN has the ACC, but the Pac and Big 10 are coming up for bids. Their share of the “Tier 0” could be bid out to anyone.

      It would be a guaranteed high profile out of conference game, something the Pac and Big 10 are not doing now. And the ACC isn’t guaranteeing those SEC in state rivalries, only the Notre Dame games.

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      1. Alan from Baton Rouge

        bullet – I suggested this a couple of posts back. Great minds think alike, I guess.

        Frankly, (pun intended) its better and more concrete than anything suggested yesterday.

        Sell as a separate package to FOX, or CBS, or NBC, or anyone but ESPN since they are the devil.

        Leave Labor Day weekend open. Have odd years at PAC stadiums, even years at B1G stadiums, or vice versa. Play Thursday through Monday on Labor Day weekend. B1G #1 v PAC #1, B1G #2 v. PAC #2 … down to B1G #13 v B1G #14. Each game gets their own separate window. Put the five best games in the five best windows and try own the opening weekend.

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        1. Marc

          Sell as a separate package to FOX, or CBS, or NBC, or anyone but ESPN since they are the devil.

          The schools and conferences don’t have the animosity towards ESPN that you imagine. Freezing out ESPN would only mean that the other networks bid lower. Every conference is on ESPN—and still wants to be. They just want the bidding to be competitive.

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          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Marc – I was being sarcastic. Sorry it didn’t come through. Most of the posters on this board appear to hate ESPN. If anything, I’m the ESPN apologist along with FTT.

            Personally, I would much rather watch a game on ESPN/ABC than FOX or NBC. Only CBS has superior production value and more of a big game feel, in my opinion.

            One point others seem to mis is FOX, CBS, and to a certain extent NBC are fooling around with the NFL in January. ESPN does make college football their top priority. Other networks probably won’t. When FOX had the BCS, it was a disaster – other then LSU beating Ohio State for the 2007 BCS title.

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          2. Marc

            @Alan: I agree with you about ESPN’s coverage — they are simply better than Fox. I also agree about CBS. I would have to think they will want back IN. The only question is which properties they’ll bid on, and how much they’re willing to bid.

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          3. Kevin

            I would disagree on the ESPN/ABC being superior. I think the Fox Big Noon game is better than ESPN/ABC. For those that watch a lot of NFL I think Fox does it best. Much prefer a Fox Super Bowl broadcast over the others. Very similar to MLB as Fox is superior to the Turner networks.

            FS1 is a different story but Fox broadcast is great in my opinion. I think the ABC broadcast has slipped over the past 10 years. Chris Fowler is nails on a chalkboard. The Fox pregame the last couple of years was superior to Gameday in my view.

            Overall I think the routine ESPN broadcasts have slipped as well. The announcing crews are not what they use to be when you had Spielman etc..

            CBS does a great job. I think Gary Danielson is a tough listen. Brad Nessler is fine but nothing spectacular.

            The one area I like ABC is the game intro music etc…

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          4. National broadcast quality by sport (IMHO):

            College Football: ESPN/ABC = CBS > Fox > NBC
            College Basketball: ESPN = CBS > Fox
            NFL: Fox > CBS (noting that Tony Romo is the single best color commentator on any network) = NBC > ESPN
            MLB: Fox = ESPN > Turner
            NBA: Turner > ESPN/ABC
            Golf: CBS > NBC/Golf Channel > ESPN
            Tennis: ESPN > NBC

            I think that Fox does the NFL and MLB very well, but ESPN/ABC and CBS really do have a quality broadcast advantage for college sports.

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          5. Marc

            I mostly agree with Frank’s rankings, at least for those sports I watch enough to have an opinion.

            One’s feelings about specific announcers can sway it a lot. For instance, it’s pretty hard to love Fox’s NFL coverage if you dislike Joe Buck—which I know some people do. The same would be true of CBS for all of the people who can’t stand Jim Nantz.

            Gus Johnson is my least favorite #1 announcer on any major network that covers CFB. I’ll never love their coverage as long as he is there.

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    4. Little8

      Until OU and UT leave the B12 will still be a power conference. If OU lives up to its preseason ranking the PAC champion will still be the odd man out of the 4 team playoff. But the most concrete item in the alliance was cementing the power conference view of the Little 8 as college football moves on to the P4. With inter-conference scheduling 3+ years out that is now for new games.

      Like

  7. ccrider55

    Jon Wilner
    @wilnerhotline
    ·
    Aug 23
    George Kliavkoff worked for MLB, Kevin Warren worked for the NFL. Both leagues have multiple broadcast partners for their post-season inventory.

    Like

  8. Mike

    Max Olsen on the Big 12.

    https://theathletic.com/2789067/2021/08/25/the-big-12-weighs-its-next-move-expansion-exploration-the-texas-oklahoma-problem-and-bob-bowlsbys-future/

    Notes:

    – Big 12 keeps getting caught flatfooted (UT/OU, the Big Paclantic)
    – Uncertainty on UT/OU departure date is holding things up.
    – 15 schools contacted the Big 12 to express interest in joining
    – Expect a more deliberate process than what they did in 2016
    – AAC requires 27 months notice (UConn paid 7 million to drop that to 12).
    – “There still seems to be serious reluctance about engaging with Houston, which dates back to the conference’s unpleasant experience with UH board chairman Tilman Fertitta in 2016.”

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  9. Bob

    There are too many moving pieces for everyone in this Alliance to get everything they want. It is impossible to always have 7 home games, have attractive home-and-home non-conference games against Power 5 (soon to be Power 4) opponents, play teams in your own conference frequently, have a bowl eligible record, keep cross-country travel for the “student-athletes” to a minimum, expand the playoffs, avoid increasing the number of games (and the resultant injuries from an extended season), keep your regional OOC rivals, and still play SEC teams in the regular season. Something (or multiple somethings) will have to give.

    If this Alliance really wants to be successful they need to agree on some common rules and get them ratified by their members. This will never work as a handshake agreement IMHO.

    Here are a few suggestions.
    1. Change the rules for divisions reagrding CCGs.
    2. Drop divisions for each of the Alliance leagues.
    3. Play 8 conference games (with locked rivals and a 2 year rotation so you see everyone often).
    B1G: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 P12 + 1 ACC
    P12: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/8 others + 1 B10 + 1 ACC
    ACC: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 B10 + 1 P12

    4. Use a mix of high-profile neutral site locations for Alliance games wherever it makes sense.
    5. Drop FCS games completely.
    6. Use the Alliance OOC games to spice up the start to the season.
    7. Schedule a few high profile Alliance OOC games in the middle of the season when teams normally take their byes to help offset the reduced inventory those weeks.
    8. Play your locked rivals at the end of the year.
    9. Start getting some Alliance games scheduled now before the B1G and P12 TV deals are up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bullet

      I hate getting rid of divisions. It means arbitrary tie breaks and the flukes of scheduling determines who gets into the championship game, not a fair result from on the field.

      The Big 10 has a lot of experience with their 8 game schedule and 11 teams. Whoever didn’t get Michigan and Ohio St. turned into a competitor. Sometimes even fairly weak teams, like that Purdue squad 15 or so years ago that would have won the conference if they could have upset Penn St.

      Like

      1. Marc

        I hate getting rid of divisions. It means arbitrary tie breaks and the flukes of scheduling determines who gets into the championship game…

        You’ve got arbitrary tiebreaks anyway. Remember the year when one of the Big 12 divisions had 3 11–1 teams, each of which was 1–1 against the others.

        On top of that, Ohio State might win the Big Ten East because it beat Penn State in OT at home, then facing 8–4 Northwestern in the CCG, which it already beat by 3 touchdowns.

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      2. billinmidwest

        You’re right, but now the issue is whoever avoids Ohio St. has an advantage.

        My Wolverines will probably be irrelevant in the Big Ten title race until 2025 at the latest.

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    2. Mike

      @Bob –

      ACC: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 B10 + 1 P12

      Don’t forget that Notre Dame is part of the Big Paclantic and The ACC is committed to giving them games. Also Clemson, UL and GT have their in state SEC rivals to play along with trying to get seven home games.

      Like

      1. Mike

        3. Play 8 conference games (with locked rivals and a 2 year rotation so you see everyone often).
        B1G: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 P12 + 1 ACC
        P12: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/8 others + 1 B10 + 1 ACC
        ACC: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 B10 + 1 P12

        I think the PAC would need two more teams for this to work. Unless the left out Big/ACC teams just played each other.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Alan from Baton Rouge

      bob – for every Ohio State-USC, there’s a Washington State-Rutgers. I think a Washington State-Oregon State or a Rutgers-Maryland has much more value than Washington State-Rutgers.

      Also, for every Ohio State-USC, there are less Ohio State-Wisconsins.

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      1. Phil

        This is a excellent point. Washington State vs Oregon State has certain local interest and replacing it with WSU-MD or OrSt-Rutgers seems like a waste. Losing a conference game to most of these Intra-alliance matchups makes little sense.

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    4. Marc

      1. Change the rules for divisions reagrding CCGs.

      Probably going to happen.

      2. Drop divisions for each of the Alliance leagues.
      3. Play 8 conference games (with locked rivals and a 2 year rotation so you see everyone often).
      B1G: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 P12 + 1 ACC
      P12: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/8 others + 1 B10 + 1 ACC
      ACC: 10 games = 3 locked rivals + 5/10 others + 1 B10 + 1 P12

      The ACC is already at 8 games. As Frank and others have noted, replacing a conference game with a non-conference game is a money-loser for the Big Ten, since it’s one less game they control. Frank is right: the only way for this to be a money winner is if buy games go away.

      4. Use a mix of high-profile neutral site locations for Alliance games wherever it makes sense.

      Ugh! No!! That’s just giving gate revenue to a third party, and taking it away from the home teams.

      5. Drop FCS games completely.

      The Big Ten already did.

      6. Use the Alliance OOC games to spice up the start to the season.

      High-profile OOC games area already at the start of the season.

      7. Schedule a few high profile Alliance OOC games in the middle of the season when teams normally take their byes to help offset the reduced inventory those weeks.

      Possible, but it devalues the conference season. Not sure they want that.

      8. Play your locked rivals at the end of the year.

      They already do.

      9. Start getting some Alliance games scheduled now before the B1G and P12 TV deals are up.

      Many teams already have such games scheduled long into the future.

      *** Now, you’ll note that the above is a mix of things that exist already and a few bad ideas that they aren’t going to do. If all of the implementable things are implemented, it’s just not that much of a difference.

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      1. Bob

        I agree with many of the comments – and that’s my point. If the B1G keeps 9 conference games and plays a P12 and ACC (one home and one away) each year that’s 11 games. Let’s assume alternating years of 5 home/4 away and 4 home/5 away. If the 12th game is always a home game that works out to alternating years of 7 and 6 home games. This leaves no room for matchups like Iowa-Iowa St. or the occasional SEC OOC game. This also assumes there are enough G5 teams that will agree to buy-games without ever getting a home game in return.

        I don’t see the marquee teams ever agreeing to 6 home games. If so, this “Alliance” may not turn into much as far as OOC scheduling is concerned. Still plenty to be gained in other areas.

        FYI – Half of the B1G has an FCS team on the schedule this year.

        Like

        1. Bob, yes on the FCS point. Quite a few B1G teams have FCS opponents on their schedules many years into the future. Those games should be the easiest to back out of from a monetary standpoint.

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  10. bullet

    If they delay playoff expansion, they give up that 3 years extra money forever. With the time value of money they probably never make that up. And with the recruiting edge the 4 team playoff gives a handful of schools, it just seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face as a way of getting back at ESPN.

    Are Fox and Amazon, etc., really uninterested in college football simply because they can’t get the late December and January playoff games? Maybe, but it seems more like the Pac commissioner is getting played with a negotiating tactic.

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  11. Mike

    Wilner

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/08/25/pac-12-stock-report-expansion-calculation-changes-slightly-uclas-big-chance-asus-huge-loss-and-some-help-for-the-big-12/


    We have been asked repeatedly in the past 20 hours about the lack of details and the absence of a binding document.

    Those issues are interconnected with the timeline.

    Any contractual agreement that would include details requires not only a level of commitment none of the conferences are currently willing to make but also … lawyers.

    In other words, it would have taken months, and the commissioners didn’t have months:

    They had weeks, because the alliance needed to be solidified before the next College Football Playoff meeting, in late September.

    Also, the commissioners appear to have taken the Big 12’s plight into account.

    The sooner they could forge an agreement, which presumably snuffs out Pac-12 expansion plans, the sooner the Big 12 would know its fate and plot a path forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alan from Baton Rouge

      From Wilner’s article: (To be clear: Every member of the alliance would have invited Texas and Oklahoma in a nanosecond if given the chance, and any commissioner who turned down overtures from the Longhorns and Sooners would be fired in a millisecond.)

      Like

  12. Phil

    I personally think they need to keep the 9 conference games for Pac12/ Big ten. If the Pac12 went to 8 games that is less games the northwest schools get in their recruiting grounds of southern California and Arizona. To replace games versus NC State, Rutgers etc. Stanford and USC have an annual locked in game with Notre Dame, I can’t see USC happy with another ‘marquee’ game against Clemson, Ohio State, every year,that is a brutal schedule. I hope that cooler heads prevail and the conference schedule remains the same with maybe a rotational of 1/3 of the schools each year playing inter(intra?)-alliance.

    Like

  13. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    Still think the B12 doesn’t loose anyone else and expands with the best g5 ‘brands’ (relative term) to maintain credibility as a P5. They won’t get close to what they were making, but what options do they have if the other P5’s don’t expand? Public perception as an on the field equal is key, so not all the usual ‘rules of expansion’ may apply this time.

    They might be slightly better off financially staying at 8, but going to 12, perhaps 14, or maybe even 16 is required if they don’t want to be viewed as an also ran vulnerable to being left in a P5 to P4 reorganization. BYU, UCF, Cincy, and Boise aren’t huge brands, but they’re better than KSU, TTech, and of course Kansas in the public eyes. Adding those 4 would get more compelling matchups and thus viewers. You have to get the public to keep viewing you as a P5, not a new G5. So slicing the pie more ways even if it slightly cuts per school payout may be necessary and wise.

    Memphis, Houston, and USF are the other 3 best candidates if going to 14 or 16. Memphis is a current g5 ‘brand’ with their string of success, but perhaps at risk of sliding to mediocrity in a tougher B12, and a small market. USF struggles, but is a decent sized market and there’s potential synergy of having 2 Florida teams instead of 1. U.Hou’s biggest obstacle is the previous fear of the Texas schools that a P5 Houston could hurt their recruiting and soon outshine them. However, there are potentially lucrative funding options for at least TTech that Texas politicians have been examining/pushing, and adding U.Hou could make a huge difference in that regard. So if the B12 goes to 14 I’d expect them to be included, perhaps even at 12.

    If going to 16, San Diego St seems to have the most potential and least risk of the remaining G5. Medium size market that lost its pro team, new stadium opens next year, 4th in attendance for the g5, opens up CA more for recruiting, and I’d guess Fox/ESPN would prefer as an 8th add.

    Temple with it’s shaky history and being in a pro sports saturated market is more risky. Fresno St is possible but not a major TV market. So expanding to 18 is probably a no-go.

    Colo St is a popular message board forum choice but nobody watches Colorado teams on TV. ECU isn’t in a major market. UNLV’s attendance is lousy, Vegas still isn’t a large market, and now pro teams are entering. Everyone else just has a g5 vibe and big weaknesses in at least some of tv ratings/brand rankings/value/attendance. A new Boise State is theoretically possible, but odds are a Liberty or Coastal Carolina just doesn’t have the size or history to have staying power if elevated.

    Bottom line, B12 should and likely in the next 2 years announces the addition of BYU, Cincy, UCF, and probably Boise or Houston. Maybe Memphis or USF to those 5 if going to 14. And San Diego St if 16.

    Like

    1. bullet

      SMU doesn’t get mentioned as much as they should. #1 reason? After UConn, they have the biggest budget in the G5. They have a lot of money behind them.

      I don’t think they are a top candidate for the Big 12, but they will get a serious look.

      Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        The UConn budget is not “real”. They had $40 million per year deficit before the pandemic, with no major improvement in sight.

        Sort of like Rutgers, except that RU will be getting tens of millions more from the B1G in a few years. That was the cost that both RU and UConn bore to upgrade facilities. When the conference realignment ended, UConn was on the outside looking in. There is a reason that many think that RU was the single biggest winner from realignment. From AAC to B1G.

        UConn has cut four sports. Everyone agrees that the losses are totally unsustainable. It will get a little tiny bit better with the new Big East contract. They paid $3.5 million to join the Big East and are paying the AAC $17 million spread out over a number of years as a $10 million exit fee and extra $7 million to leave early. The continuing losses will still be enormous, with no answer coming.

        At some time, probably sooner rather than later, the State of CT will be dramatically reducing the funds that is being put into UConn sports.

        I think that you could legitimately say that SMU has the highest sustainable budget in G5.

        https://www.si.com/college/2020/06/24/uconn-sports-cuts-coronavirus

        Like

  14. Kevin

    Different strokes for different folks. Many of my other CFB friends also prefer the Fox broadcast so not subjected to just my opinion. There was a recent nonscientific poll of OSU fans that preferred to keep the Fox Big Noon game over a CBS game.

    Like

  15. Colin

    As I dwell on this Big Pacalantic Alliance, isn’t it really counterproductive for any future B1G expansion? If we wanted to add another ACC school such as UVA or a P12 school like Colorado, doesn’t this alliance of solidarity now make that more like a breach of trust?

    It seems that this alliance has no teeth because is is nothing but a handshake agreement yet at the same time it provides security to the coastal conferences while adding nothing to the Big Ten. We aren’t going to lose OSU or UM or PSU. Playing more games vs ACC and P12 teams isn’t going to enhance our BTN or national network TV revenue.

    Not trying to be a Debby Downer on this alliance but I see advantages for the ACC and the P12 while the B1G does not achieve similar benefits and it seems to diminish our opportunity to “poach” schools from either conference.

    Like

    1. Kevin

      I think there is a long term risk of schools (Clemson and FSU etc. ) that leave the ACC. Once that happens I think other ACC schools will possibly leave for the B1G.

      Like

      1. Colin

        “I think there is a long term risk of schools (Clemson and FSU etc. ) that leave the ACC. Once that happens I think other ACC schools will possibly leave for the B1G.”

        Kevin, I agree and that’s my point. There is a good risk that schools like Clemson and FSU may be bolting to the SEC in the future. So why should the B1G jump into an “alliance” that blocks us into going after academically prestigious leftovers like UVA/UNC/GT/Duke?

        Like

        1. z33k

          That’s the point though, there’s nothing in this alliance that prevents competition between the conferences like normal (which involves poaching).

          This alliance will work until the early 2030s…, but once Clemson/FSU start looking around, the Big Ten will try to invite schools that it wants out of the ACC whether there’s any alliance or not.

          Big Ten would have never agreed to a contractual agreement not to poach teams. Would just hamstring the Big Ten.

          Like

        2. Alan from Baton Rouge

          Like with the Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 between Germany & Russia, the B1G will be looking to invade the ACC sometime, just not now.

          Like

        3. Marc

          I think there is a long term risk of schools (Clemson and FSU etc. ) that leave the ACC.

          You are generously assuming they’ve got a place to go. The SEC might not want them.

          Like

    2. @Colin – That has been my challenge with the Big Paclantic Alliance from the first time that we heard about: the Big Ten is the league that would be bringing the most to the table by far. It has the greatest depth of schools with marquee value: not just Michigan and Ohio State, but also Penn State, Wisconsin and Nebraska (at least historically). The brands that might be considered to be “mid-tier” in the Big Ten like Iowa and Michigan State would be near the top of Pac-12 and ACC. Even the least valuable football members in the Big Ten bring in huge markets in a way that the bottom-feeders in the Pac-12 and ACC don’t: Northwestern, Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland, etc. It’s not an accident that the Big Ten is getting paid so much more in media rights compared to the Pac-12 and ACC in the first place.

      That’s why I’ve expressed so much concern in my post about the scheduling arrangement. I have zero issue with the Big Ten replacing MAC and other Group of 5 games with Pac-12/ACC games – that would be a vast improvement and I would welcome that development TODAY. However, that doesn’t seem to be the discussion. Instead, the discussion seems to be headed toward about this being a trade-off for eliminating a conference game, which I would strongly be against here.

      Like

      1. z33k

        I don’t see how going down to 8 conference games would work financially, so I agree on that.

        If this alliance game is to be a replacement for an 11th game (i.e. not touching the 9 conference games or 1 normal Power 5 non-conference game), then I can understand how it would work financially even for the Big Ten.

        But there’s just not going to be a net gain in value in replacing a crossover weekend of Nebraska-Penn State, Wisconsin-Ohio State, Michigan-Iowa, Northwestern-Indiana, Illinois-Maryland, Rutgers-Purdue with the 14 Big Ten teams matched up with ACC teams and only controlling a half of the TV rights to those games. The stadiums also have to get filled, and I’m pretty sure most of the matchups we’d see would be less desirable than those.

        Like

      2. Colin

        Frank, don’t we quietly want the SEC to raid the ACC of FSU and Clemson? Wouldn’t that really open the door for the B1G to invite the “leftovers” of UNC/UVA/GT/Duke? There would then be two monster conferences east of the Rockies and a little brother on the west coast. And those two monsters of the East, we’d be the Public Ivies and the SEC would be like Special Ed.

        Again, I do not see any benefits for this Big Pacalantic Alliance for the B1G. It seems to tie our hands and benefit the coastal conferences.

        Like

      3. ccrider55

        Frank,

        Where, other than the Pac commissioner’s placating some USC boosters and fans by saying it may be considered, have you heard any school or conference source say a move to 8 would be sought?

        Didn’t you say scheduling was probably number 4 or 5 on the things the BPA+ND would be collaborating on. Dealing with the rush to change CFP may be overlapping with reconstituting the NCAA at number 1.

        Like

        1. Alan from Baton Rouge

          In a stunning act in support of the Alliance, Pac-12 King USC will open the 2024 season in Viva Las Vegas against SEC low-life LSU, as reported by SI’s Ross Dellenger and subsequently confirmed by his old paper The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

          Like

      4. billinmidwest

        I think Michigan needs to be given the “(at least historically)” disclaimer as well.

        Michigan’s roster is in such bad shape right now that my Wolverines aren’t going to be a Big Ten Title contender until 2025 at the latest.

        Like

      5. Bob

        Could not agree more about 9 conference games and the desire to drop the bad OOC games. Trouble is most P5 teams play 7 home games every year, including at least 1 against an FCS team. The OOC pay to play games seem to be the preferred way to keep 7 home games. Many of the G5 teams want a return game, a 2 for 1, or a much bigger payout. The B1G tried to ban FCS scheduling, but backed off when they had a hard time finding replacement games. Apparently they now allow FCS games in the years when a B1G team has only 4 home conference games.

        For 2021 only 12 Power 5 teams don’t play an FCS team. 7 of the 12 are B1G teams. Every ACC and SEC team plays at least one FCS team.
        https://saturdaytradition.com/big-ten-football/only-12-power-5-teams-dont-have-an-fcs-team-on-the-schedule-in-2021-more-than-half-are-in-the-b1g/

        Some are using neutral site games. There are 12 between P5 teams this year.
        https://fbschedules.com/college-football-neutral-site-games/

        Unless the big boys can be convinced to give up 7 home games every other year all of this Alliance scheduling talk will end up being a “nothingburger” after all.

        Like

  16. Andy

    This was talked about in a previous thread on here. Not sure if anyone will care. I saw Mizzou’s latest research spending numbers from last year. In the four years since they hired Mun Choi as their president (he was previously at UConn), Mizzou’s research spending dollars have gone up from $230M ot $332M, so a 44% increase in 4 years. On top of that, they just opened a $250M health research institute that is expected to significantly add to those numbers. I’m hearing in the next few years it should probably get up to somewhere north of $400M per year. So more in line with some other AAU schools. I know the federal research dollars are a separate metric and more relevant to the AAU but those also seem to be going up proportionally. Anyway, point is Mizzou seems to be making good progress toward staying in the AAU. I don’t know if Kansas/Iowa State/Oregon are also making that kind of progress. Maybe they are.

    Like

    1. bob sykes

      Bear in mind that every penny of those research dollars comes from research grants obtained by individual faculty members. How Choi incentivized them would be an interesting story. But in every school everywhere, all the research monies come (ultimately) from grants won competitively by individual faculty. The basic job of faculty is to get money for their schools. Teaching is a sideshow.

      PS. I wasn’t very good at it, and I got a nice going away party when I retired.

      Like

  17. z33k

    It is kinda funny but yeah, the day after the much ballyhooed arrival of the Alliance, we get that USC/LSU game announced.

    I really don’t see the scheduling side of the Alliance meaning that much. But for big picture stuff like the CFP and other things like that I think it can have an impact.

    Like

    1. Alan from Baton Rouge

      For what it’s worth, UCLA’s return trip to Baton Rouge is also scheduled for 2024. LSU plans to play both the UCLA game in Baton Rouge and the USC game in Vegas.

      My Tigers may be in contention for both the SEC West and the PAC-12 South titles that year.

      I’m also looking forward to attending the LSU – UCLA game at the Rose Bowl in two weeks. I know it won’t be the same as the actual Rose Bowl, but after reading all your posts over the last ten years about how special that place is, I have to see what all the fuss is about.

      Like

      1. LSU might have one hell of a schedule in 2024 if Texas and OU have jumped to the SEC by then (which I think is a safe bet), and the SEC goes to a 9 or 10 game SEC schedule (I think 9 is almost a guarantee at this point).

        I’m actually quite surprised that the LSU/USC game actually went through. USC is one of the major teams that you would think the ACC & B1G would want scheduling their teams since they are a ratings draw, and yet USC decides to go through with scheduling a top SEC school instead just 1 day after this new “alliance”. Throw in the fact that most believe that Texas and OU will be in the SEC by then, and the SEC will most likely be going to at least 9 conference games, and LSU already had UCLA scheduled for that year. You would think that both sides would’ve been willing to pump the brakes on scheduling this game.

        Like

          1. bamatab

            I’m definitely down for that. I think the last season’s 10 game conference schedule was really fun, and was still successful in getting a SEC team to the playoffs. I would personally love to see a 10 game SEC schedule, one major out of conference game , and one pancake game.

            I thought this alliance might force the SEC into a 10 game conference schedule, but with USC and LSU announcing this game immediately after the alliance was announced, I don’t see the alliance sticking to a freezeout of scheduling SEC teams. So I think the SEC can get by with a 9 game SEC schedule, at least for the time being.

            Like

          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            LSU is bringing 20,000 fans to the Rose Bowl and UCLA is giving away tickets to every high school kid in Los Angeles so as not to lose home field advantage.

            I think think schools in the Alliance will continue to make decisions based on money and they (and their CVBs) like the way SEC teams travel.

            Like

          3. @Alan from Baton Rouge – I hope that’s the case with SEC scheduling and that the Alliance similarly takes away a cupcake (as opposed to a conference game). If that ends up being the case, then that’s a huge positive.

            Like

    2. Bob

      Am I the only one that thinks the timing of the USC-LSU game the day after the Alliance press conference wasn’t accidental? Seems like something Texas would do. USC could easily have waited a few weeks until the season started, but decided to announce the very next day after the Alliance presser.

      Like

      1. Marc

        I would guess the decision was made a lot sooner, and they only waited so that the alliance would be announced first.

        Unless you hear backchannel complaints from the other schools, I’d conclude the alliance was totally OK with it, because there was never an intention to stop playing SEC opponents.

        Like

      2. Alan from Baton Rouge

        Bob – in USC’s defense, all signs point to this story breaking from the LSU side. SI’s Ross Dellenger is the for LSU beat writer for The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

        Like

        1. ccrider55

          And it really has no bearing on the last months events. It takes months, minimum, to arrange these. It did not occur over a phone call last weekend.

          Like

          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            cc – that’s a given.

            This game has been 18 years in the making, since the BCS computers wrongly put Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl with LSU, and the AP writers wrongly crowned USC its national champion, when LSU won the 2003 BCS national championship.

            This is also a big game for Ed Orgeron. He was USC’s interim HC after Lane Kiffen was infamously fired on the tarmac and USC was a complete dumpster fire. O finished the season 6-2 but was passed over in favor of Sarkisian. For some reason, the USC brass didn’t think O would fit in at the Beverly Hills Country Club. While O eventually found his way back home, the USC slight still eats at him.

            To add to the interconnection between the programs, USC legend John Robinson is a senior advisor to the LSU football program and well-known O-whisperer when O has shot-gunned too many Red Bulls.

            Like

  18. loki_the_bubba

    Greeting from rainy Berlin. I’ve been busy visiting my daughter, so apologies for being tardy in explaining how this impacts Rice.

    1. Expanded playoff? Net neutral. Zero chance updated to no chance.

    2. Scheduling agreements? Net bad. With conferences going to 9 or 10 games and playing each other more, the chance of Rice having two P5 games, like Texas and Arky this year, will go down dramatically.

    3. Realignment? Bad. Sounds like a lot of people expect little additional change in the P5 and limited call-ups. They only way the Owls move to a better or more rational situation would be from unexpected consequences of total chaos.

    Like

    1. largeR

      @Loki- Great news! The PAC should consider a high quality university from Houston! You’re in the money! What’s that? Oh! Wait! Not FROM Houston, but Houston. Never mind Loki. Go back to your Bitburger.

      Like

    2. Alan from Baton Rouge

      loki – LSU’s OOC schedule for 2024 is USC at Viva Las Vegas, with UCLA, Rice, and South Alabama at Baton Rouge.

      If UT and OU join the SEC prior to the 2025 season and the SEC goes to a nine game schedule, as expected, I would expect, based on our historic relationship of 56 games played, that South Alabama would get kicked to the curb before your Owls.

      Not sure if that 2020 game at NRG Stadium will get made up, though.

      Like

  19. Mike

    Wilner does his own PAC expansion exercise and comes up with Houston as the best available option.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/08/26/if-the-pac-12-were-to-expand-one-school-stands-as-the-clear-no-1-pick/

    Edited for clarity


    — Houston is not a member of the AAU, but it’s an R1 research school. It’s public. It just built a medical school. It’s reasonably accessible from the West Coast (i.e., non-stop flights). And it’s the No. 8 media market in the country.

    — Houston’s athletic department spent $22.92 million on equipment/facilities and $16.55 million on coaching salaries in 2019.

    The median figures for each bucket in the Pac-12: $22.98 million on equipment/facilities and $20.26 million on coaching salaries

    — The basketball program’s average power rating (KenPom) over the past five years is 20.2.

    The Pac-12 average is 82.7

    — Houston has produced more ESPN-300 football recruits than any city except Miami.

    — Since 2013, Houston’s football program has drawn an average of 3.33 million viewers on the main broadcast networks (Fox, ESPN, ABC, CBS) when facing Power Five opponents.

    — Of the Pac-12 teams, only Oregon’s viewership is higher (4.66).

    Once Oklahoma and Texas depart, the Big 12 will have zero presence in the massive southeastern Texas region.

    The SEC will be king, of course, but there’s room for a prince. The Pac-12 should fill that void before the ACC does.

    Like

    1. ccrider55

      I’d go TCU and Rice (little Stanford). Gets approx 8 yearly visits by Pac schools into each major metro area. The new regular appearance from the far west will generate some interest over uniqueness, beyond what a USC, Ore, etc would on a one off OOC game.

      Like

    2. urbanleftbehind

      That is true about Houston and Miami…their “downtrodden” public schools still produce a lot of D1 talent, though South Florida also has a more robust Catholic/Private HS network.

      Like

    3. Marc

      It’s easy to suggest Houston as the #1 expansion target when your sources already told you they’re not expanding at all! It’s a good way to write provocative copy, knowing you can’t be proved wrong.

      Like

    4. houstontexasjack

      This brings a smile to my face. I live a couple miles from the campus at the edge of the Third Ward and would love to see UH in a major conference. I know the PAC-12 has announced it isn’t expanding, but it’s fun to see someone who is not a homer touting the Coogs.

      Longer term, I think the extension of Spur 5 into SH 35 will help the University of Houston, if only for revitalization of homes nearby the east end of campus (generally improved access to freeways leads to townhome developments Inside the Loop in Houston) to continue to shift the perception of campus as a place one wants to be.

      Like

  20. bamatab

    Frank, I agree with you that I don’t think the college football playoff expansion is going to be postponed until 2026. The SEC itself wasn’t the driving force for the playoff expansion, and it is in the best interest of a number of other conferences for the expansion to take place sooner rather than later.

    Here is a quote by Sankey from yesterday that I think is telling on this point: “Presidents of the CFP Board of Managers very clearly said ‘we want to see this (12-team) format and we want to see it now.’ By the way it wasn’t the SEC presidential representative who said it.”

    I just don’t see the G5 conferences, what’s left of the Big 12, or even the Pac 12 for that matter, being willing to wait 5 more years for the playoff expansion.

    Like

    1. ccrider55

      “… being willing to wait 5 more years for the playoff expansion.”

      Expansion wouldn’t be able to occur until ‘23 at the earliest. What would be happening is a non competitive award to espn of an extension, formulated under the assumption of 5 actual power conferences containing their regional kings.

      Like

      1. bamatab

        “Expansion wouldn’t be able to occur until ‘23 at the earliest.”
        ’23 is 2 years out, not 5 years.

        “…formulated under the assumption of 5 actual power conferences containing their regional kings.”
        Conferences keeping their “kings” did not formulate at all into the desire to expand the playoffs seeing as how no one outside of the SEC, Texas, & OU even knew there was a possibility of SEC sacking the Big 12. The desire to expand the playoffs was spurred by all of the conference’s (not just the Power 5, but also all of the Group 5 conferences) wanting to have more inclusion into the playoffs. That is why the Presidents of the CFP Board of Managers were demanding that the playoff expansion happen ASAP. And I would bet the house that the Group 5 conferences, along with what is left of the Big 12 and Pac 12 still want that to happen ASAP. And I’m pretty sure that no one believes that the SEC is going to expand any further by the time 2026 rolls around. So what is done is done on the “kings getting swiped” front.

        Now I have no doubt that the B1G would be willing to wait until 2026 so that Fox can bid on the tv deal, and to be honest I don’t think the SEC would be all that upset to wait that long since they are basically guaranteed a spot in the current playoff system other than ESPN pressuring them. But I have serious doubt that the Group of 5 conferences have the stomach to wait that long. And as much as the Pac 12 wishes they could wait that long, their conference tv value will continue to take a hit the longer they are kept out of the playoff.

        So with that said, I think in the end there is still going to be a very strong desire by most of the conferences at work to drive a playoff expansion ASAP. I don’t think a gentleman’s agreement between 3 conferences (one of which will probably have some motivation to have playoff expansion ASAP) will be enough to stave off the playoff expansion until 2026 considering how many other conference there currently are that want a chance to be in the playoff.

        I could definitely be wrong, but that just how I see things at the moment.

        Like

      2. Marc

        Expansion wouldn’t be able to occur until ‘23 at the earliest.

        Correct…so it is really about waiting 3 years, not 5.

        What would be happening is a non competitive award to espn of an extension, formulated under the assumption of 5 actual power conferences containing their regional kings.

        If you look at the purported reasons for expanding the playoff — which ones are no longer true, now that we know that Texas and Oklahoma are going to the SEC? I totally get the opposition to expanding. But for those who previously favored it, the reasons don’t change very much.

        If anything, the B12 (long term) needs this expansion even more, since they’re losing their only program that ever qualified under the current format.

        Like

        1. bamatab

          “If you look at the purported reasons for expanding the playoff — which ones are no longer true, now that we know that Texas and Oklahoma are going to the SEC? I totally get the opposition to expanding. But for those who previously favored it, the reasons don’t change very much.

          If anything, the B12 (long term) needs this expansion even more, since they’re losing their only program that ever qualified under the current format.”

          Exactly. A voting block of only 3 conference isn’t going to be enough when you factor in the 5 G5 conferences, the Big 12 which has basically been relegated to a G5 conference, and the SEC (if they want to stand with the G5 conferences).

          Like

          1. Marc

            A voting block of only 3 conference isn’t going to be enough when you factor in the 5 G5 conferences, the Big 12 which has basically been relegated to a G5 conference, and the SEC (if they want to stand with the G5 conferences).

            Playoff expansion is not a majority vote. Even if the G5 vote yes, they cannot force it to happen if the Alliance says no. I think there’s almost no chance that the current format will survive past 2025, but changing it any earlier will require all of the stars in alignment — and they just might not be.

            Like

        2. ccrider55

          “ If anything, the B12 (long term) needs this expansion even more…”

          You may be right, but Gordon Gee (WVU) just suggested tapping the brakes is appropriate.

          Like

  21. Mike

    Wilner’s advice for the Big 12. The usual suspects of UCF, USF, and Houston are going to score well here.

    Like

  22. stewlevine

    It still comes back to there being almost certainly one and only one school that moves the needle for anyone, and that is Notre Dame, and so long as it has its NBC contract and relationship with the ACC ir doesn’t have to do anything.
    Everyone else with their suggestions is doing nothing more than playing another form of fantasy football. None of the remaining Big 12 schools check all the boxes for the other top conferences, and it’s hard to find an AAC, MWC, or any other school (including BYU) that moves the needle for the Big 12.
    All that’s left is for Rice and Tulane to fulfil their destinies and become the southwest corner of the UAA.

    Like

    1. bamatab

      “and that is Notre Dame, and so long as it has its NBC contract”

      Does anyone have the current amount that ND is getting from NBC? Last I saw it was only $15 mil. I don’t see how ND can continue to make that much less than what the B1G and SEC schools are currently making, much less what they will be making in the future. You would think that at some point the tv revenue will force ND into a conference unless NBC more than quadruples their current payout to ND.

      Like

      1. Marc

        I’ve always understood that ND has a lot of private donors, for whom football independence is like a religion. Since they are private, they don’t have to disclose the amounts, but that always the explanation.

        Worth noting…they also don’t have to share their bowl payouts.

        Like

      2. Bob

        Here is an article from 2020 related to Notre Dame.
        https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/notre-dame-conference-independent-football/v59x02eh6yt21nc786brczykn

        The AD admits independence costs them money and that they would be much better off in a P5 conference. The article goes on to quote Forbes 2018 research that lists Notre Dame as the 7th most valuable football program. As long that number stays in the top 20 or so they will never join a conference.

        Like

    2. Marc

      None of the remaining Big 12 schools check all the boxes for the other top conferences, and it’s hard to find an AAC, MWC, or any other school (including BYU) that moves the needle for the Big 12.

      The Big 12 will have to expand.

      Like

      1. Colin

        Actually, the new Big XII (sans OU and UT) has quite a few schools that are peers or better. BYU, Boise State, UNLV, AFA, Colorado State. Actually, the entire Mountain West Conference could combine with the Big XII remnants and that might get them up to P5 level for playoff expansion.

        Like

        1. Marc

          Those schools are not all peers of the Big 12, indeed most of them are not.

          However, you’re right on the broader principle. When they had Texas and Oklahoma, it was hard to find members that would improve the average payout per member. That was why they didn’t expand beyond 10. The math changes with those two schools gone..

          Scheduling is also a problem. With an 8-team conference, each school has to find 5 more teams to play out-of-conference. There aren’t enough “good games” out there. They’d be stuck with watered-down schedules that TV wouldn’t want to pay for, and that would hurt them competitively.

          Like

  23. Mike

    If there was any doubt left.

    Like

    1. Colin

      ” (WV Pres) Gee said. “Our choices are pretty clear and one is the fact that we [the remaining eight Big 12 schools] could potentially affiliate with another conference. We could expand our numbers and because we’re smaller, we have agility.”

      Like, maybe, the Mountain West?

      Like

    2. Alan from Baton Rouge

      Gee is voting against his school’s and his conference’s best interests if he follows through with a no vote. Under the current proposal, the Big 12 without OU & UT would still almost be guaranteed a spot in a 12 team playoff. Without OU in the Big 12, his own school’s chances of making the playoff rise exponentially. Under a 4 team CFP, ask a one loss Baylor and one loss TCU circa 2014 about the chances of a Big 12 making the cut.

      Like

      1. Marc

        He’s not entirely clear, but I take it that he is a no on immediate expansion, with the key word being immediate. Assuming he agreed before, which he says he did, voting no permanently would be idiotic and self-defeating.

        Like

        1. z33k

          Yeah, I think in the context of his “no” only applies while UT/OU are in the Big 12, then it makes some sense.

          Basically seems to incentivize everything to stay pat without UT/OU leaving early.

          If the CFP expands earlier, then it makes sense for UT/OU to try to leave earlier is the rationale here.

          Like

      2. Marc

        It could also be posturing. Someone who really wants expansion now could ask him, “What does it take to get you to yes?” Then the horse-trading begins.

        Like

        1. @Marc – At first, I thought Gee was nuts. Frankly, the Big 12 needs playoff expansion more than ever now. They’ll get crushed in the current top 4 system once Texas and Oklahoma leave.

          Now, the one thing that I could see the Big 12 wanting now that it wasn’t worried about 2 months ago is a guaranteed auto-bid for all P5 champs (plus the top G5 champ) as opposed to the top 6 conference champs. It’s not so much that it would be practically different (as the Big 12 champ is still very likely going to be among that top 6 annually even after UT and OU leave), but rather a 100% cementing of the Big 12’s P5 status. That’s the only thing that I could see the Big 12 holding out for here.

          Otherwise, these all seem like empty threats to me at least in terms of the overall playoff structure. Whether all of these parties are truly willing to wait 5 more years to allow the contract to go to market is another matter. Maybe the prospect of a bidding war is so enticing that it’s worth it, but as everyone has seen in my commentary, I’m a complete skeptic on that front.

          Like

          1. bullet

            ESPN is going to pay pretty well for the next 3 years and that’s a lot of money that is permanently lost.

            And going to bid doesn’t always work the way you want. Remember the BE turning down that $150 million ESPN deal? Remember OU and UGA ending the NCAA monopoly? In the short run, TV money decreased by 50%.

            The TV market could be in a down mode in 3 years. College football could be in a decline with concussions, pay for play and “free agency” weakening ties and the boomers dying off.

            But it all sounds like just a childish emotional reaction.

            Like

          2. ccrider55

            Bullet.

            “ Remember the BE turning down that $150 million ESPN deal?”

            BEast = CFP?
            And a weakening and disfunctioning BEast at that.

            Remember anyone not bidding on NFL, MLB, or any major sports national championship? (Yes, I know it’s not professional (supposedly), but it is the ultimate, the championship in the most watched college sport.)

            No? In fact the bidding was so high it had to be divided among broadcasters. Unless for some short term reasons an extension is offered with a promise of higher payout, but no bidding to extract full value.

            Like

          3. Jersey Bernie

            Has there been a word from anyone other than Sankey indicating that there is still a big push for expansion now? OSU AD Gene Smith did not seem to think that there is a rush. Now Gee from WV indicates that there no rush. PAC 12 Commissioner Kliavkoff is all in on expansion to 12, but there are issues “at the margins”. Kliavkoff has given no indication that he in much of hurry either.

            If ESPN wants this done in a rush, it is very simple, start the expansion in ’23 and keep it for ’24 and ’25, the end of the current contract. Then open up the bidding to all media companies. That would be really simple, but at least to date, there is no indication that ESPN would do this. If ESPN and the SEC are pushing this so that ESPN is and can be the only bidder, then the other leagues are nuts to go along.

            It would be extraordinarily short sighted to give EPSN a long term contract without other bidders. Of course, as Frank has said, there are major institutions who really could use more money now, but is giving ESPN what it wants the way to do it? Is the likely long term loss far greater than the short term gain? Does anyone know?

            As far as whether the Big Paclantic could stop the immediate expansion to 12 team, of course they could. Does anyone doubt that a major agreement that I believe requires unanimity could be stopped by 3 P5 leagues.

            Also why assume that the B12 is in a hurry? Not expanding now puts pressure on UT and OU to go nowhere until the GOR is over. With 4 teams OU can get in as B12 champ. Being third or worse in the SEC, there is no ticket to be one of the 4. That way the B 12 leftovers have maximum pressure on UT/OU to pay every penny required by the GOR to try and leave early. Collect the money while deciding how to expand. Do not concede 10 cents in any “settlement”.

            Yes the Big 8 plus would love to get a guarantee in a 12 team field, but getting full money from UT/OU is priority one. Then there is still time to try to get a guaranteed seat among the 12.

            As to the G5, Nick Saban has already said that he does not see a reason to include any G5 champions. If you are a G5 commissioner, would you leave yourself to the tender mercies of the SEC? The G5 desperately needs support from the Big Paclantic.

            Like

          4. bob sykes

            I twice had an opportunity to speak with Gordon Gee, and up close and personal he is a charismatic figure. You get the sense you are the center of his universe.

            On the other hand, I sometimes thought he was more the Athletic Director at tOSU than the President. He has a consuming interests in college sports, and he has behind him a trail of improved facilities and programs. So, I am inclined to take his opinions seriously, much more seriously than any of his critics.

            PS. I shouldn’t be surprised if he eventually leads WVU into the B1G.

            Like

          5. Marc

            You don’t get all of the academic positions Gordon Gee has had, without being extremely smart and talented. He obviously knows what he is talking about, but at times he expresses himself inartfully, to say the least.

            He is now in his second tour as President of WVU, after two tours at Ohio State, and one each at Colorado, Vanderbilt, and Brown. By now, those who hire him know exactly what they are getting.

            Like

          6. billinmidwest

            Frank,

            Whether or not the Big 12 retains its P5 status in the context of the playoff is a much less important issue than whether the Big 12 continues to get P5 money from its TV contract.

            And, as “bullet” points out in his response to your comment, the chances of the Big 12 continuing to get P5 money is almost nil.

            Like

  24. ccrider55

    How much is/would a spot be worth in a 12 team playoff? Will first round bye teams be same tier as last team in? Will games played (like BB) add additional shares? How much can the pie swell?

    Questions that influence how much the B12 actually benefits from an expanded playoff.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Those are all good questions for the negotiating table, but it seems obvious that their revenue can go in only one direction, up. The only question is by how much.

      Like

  25. ccrider55

    Gee regarding why no Big, Big Paclantic alliance:

    Jon Wilner
    @wilnerhotline
    ·
    5h
    Gee: “The Big 12 is not in that alliance, at the moment and part of the reason is the fact that we still have four years of being a Big 12, because we own all the media rights to Texas and Oklahoma. The others didn’t want to have Texas and Oklahoma in on their parade.”

    Like

  26. bullet

    https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/sports/college/football/2021/08/26/college-sports-kirby-hocutt-says-big-12-expansion-plans-under-way/5607522001/

    Texas Tech AD on the Big 12 expansion process. Expansion committee and consultant Oliver Luck meeting with presidents tomorrow and ADs and TV consultants next week.

    There’s a Berry Trammel article saying BYU is heads above everyone else in TV value. Berry is usually informed, but he is an OU reporter.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Logically, that seems true. BYU is the only FBS school besides Notre Dame that brings a whole church along with it. It’s also the candidate that has won a national championship in modern times, and is strong enough to have its own TV deal with ESPN. They play a tougher schedule than most non-P5 teams. They aren’t an easy out for any P5 opponent.

      Like

  27. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    Gordon Gee’s mouth has got him in trouble many times over the years.

    It would be delicious irony if WV got relegated to a G5 conference while he’s president after his “Little Sisters of the Poor” remark against TCU and Boise when he was at Ohio State.

    Like

  28. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    Long term it may be in everyone’s best interest for the P5 and G5 to split and the G5 start their own playoffs. The 60-ish school G5 (maybe G4 after the B12 raid and resulting shuffles, though there seems to always be lower schools wanting to move up to FBS) would then get 12 (or 16) schools in a playoff every year instead of 0 to 2 per year. Those playoffs would be televised, just like FCS. Lots more happy fan bases that finally get to participate in a meaningful playoff instead of a handful heading to the Golden Corral Who Gives A Flip Bowl and similar. Playing for a title is probably more enticing than hoping to upset a 7-5 Wake Forest.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Those schools want promotion to the next level — as Utah, TCU, and Louisville got. You don’t get promoted without playing the big boys and beating them sometimes.

      Like

    1. Mike

      I’m not sure the Big 12 should be adding another time zone to its conference unless it goes real big (4 mountain, 4 plains, 4 Texas, 4 East) because two or three island schools is going to be killer for all sports travel budgets.

      Like

        1. Mike

          Right. The problem is Provo (1200.1 miles from Dallas) is in the opposite direction from Morgantown (1203.6). Does the Big 12 really want to add a second long road trip for all sports? Outside of TCU, the other schools are not really close to airport hubs (KU is 50 mins from KCI) and controlling costs is going to be a concern.

          Like

          1. Colin

            For Big XII expansion, just look at a map. Laramie, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs are almost sitting on top of each other. I do not believe that U of Wyoming, Colorado State and the AFA are of any lesser stature than the K States and West Virginias and the Baylors.

            FYI, the AFA was previously invited to join the Big XII (link) but said “no thanks” because they couldn’t recruit with the OUs and UTs. That ain’t gonna be a problem after 2025.

            From the CSU/UW/AFA cluster, it isn’t going to be too far to BYU and Utah State. Again, those schools are academic and athletic peers with the remaining schools of the Big XII.

            https://swcroundup.com/news/2016/7/28/the-time-air-force-said-no-to-the-big-12

            Like

          2. Marc

            The problem is Provo (1200.1 miles from Dallas) is in the opposite direction from Morgantown (1203.6). Does the Big 12 really want to add a second long road trip for all sports?

            As the post above mentioned, they might add BYU for football only. This mitigates the problem of Sunday play in other sports. For football only, the trip to Provo is a total non-issue.

            Outside of TCU, the other schools are not really close to airport hubs (KU is 50 mins from KCI) and controlling costs is going to be a concern.

            For most flights, what dominates the trip duration is NOT time in the air. Rather, it’s getting to/from the airport, loading/unloading luggage, boarding/deplaning, airport security, waiting, taxiing, weather and traffic delays, etc.. This is why it could take 4–5 hours to fly from downtown New York to downtown Boston, even though the time airborne is only 40 minutes.

            In Provo, the airport is just 3km out of town, which means a trip there “feels closer,” because you don’t have that 50-minute bus ride.

            Like

    1. Kevin

      I have heard Barry Alvarez interviewed on the radio within the last couple of months suggesting that he was going to encourage the B1G to drop down to 8 conf games. Now that was prior to the Texas and OU news. As Frank has said, the matchups will be key here as to not dilute the B1G’s TV payout. Ohio State can’t play the top teams in each league every year.

      The scheduling will certainly be uneven between leagues and conferences. Especially schools that play ND every year which makes scheduling with the PAC less attractive. I will be interested to see if this will create more national eyeballs vs. regional.

      Like

    2. Brian

      Mike,

      Sorry, I disappear over the academic year. Too much work, too little sleep as it is. I may pop up in December, then again around May.

      Like

  29. Mike

    Like

      1. z33k

        To expand on my comment:

        Are Clemson, FSU, and USC keeping their annual dates with South Carolina, Florida, and ND?

        Are those ND-ACC games going to count against this as well?

        Just feels like the Big Ten gets royally screwed here if Clemson/FSU/USC are only adding 1 more Alliance game to their current schedule while the Big Ten is giving up a game against Ohio State/Penn State/Michigan/Wisconsin/Nebraska/Michigan State/Iowa and giving those up to the other conferences.

        At a minimum, the Big Ten has to demand that Clemson/FSU end their SEC series and USC adds 2 games against alliance teams if we’re really going to go this route.

        And ND has to add like 3 games against Big Ten teams every year.

        Otherwise, what’s the point? I’d rather keep the 9th game than add a below Big Ten average quality opponent.

        Warren isn’t doing his job as Big Ten commissioner if he doesn’t make sure that the matchups are favorable to the Big Ten (which is bringing the most value to this alliance).

        Like

      2. Kevin

        The one benefit for the B1G ( and this could have happened without the alliance) is by eliminating the divisions there is a chance that we will see a better conference championship matchup. Less likely for Northwestern vs. OSU. No offense to the Purple.

        Like

        1. z33k

          I can understand that, but I don’t think that benefit comes anywhere close to matching the value of the 9th game, especially if we’re adding a lower value game to replace that for most teams.

          Wake Forest, BC, Duke, Washington State, Oregon State have to play somebody in this alliance right?

          Like

          1. bullet

            Right. This makes zero sense for the Big 10. Sounds like the Pac prez is spouting off a wish list, not what the others want. But then again, Warren could be not too bright.

            Like

        2. Marc

          The one benefit for the B1G ( and this could have happened without the alliance) is by eliminating the divisions there is a chance that we will see a better conference championship matchup.

          The key words are, “this could have happened without the alliance.” A few years ago, the Big Ten led the charge to defeat CCG deregulation because Jim Delany wanted to stick a knife in the ACC’s back. Given that the decision was entirely out of spite, it was a sure bet to be revisited as soon as the Big Ten’s self-interest changed. Perhaps that time is now.

          Like

      3. Colin

        Z33K : “I completely understand why the Pac-12/ACC want that, but why do the Big Ten schools want this?”

        BINGO. Exactly. Spot on. That’s been my position on this “alliance” from Day One.

        The coastal conferences have moribund TV networks, weak football fan bases and very real concerns about teams being poached by the B1G or the SEC. Should the B1G water down our national TV revenue by increasing games with ACC/P12 teams? The ACC is providing a refuge for Notre Dame to the B1G’s detriment.

        The B1G should be doing an analysis of which teams to poach from the ACC/P12, not getting into some goofy alliance with them.

        Like

        1. Marc

          Should the B1G water down our national TV revenue by increasing games with ACC/P12 teams?

          I know every other fan posting in his pajamas thinks he’s smarter than Kevin Warren and all the Big Ten presidents. Trust me, they won’t change a thing unless it makes more money. And among the many options that make more money, they’ll choose the most lucrative one.

          The B1G should be doing an analysis of which teams to poach from the ACC/P12, not getting into some goofy alliance with them.

          This alliance doesn’t compel the B1G to do anything. It’s just a parking place while they wait for better options down the road.

          It’s a reasonable bet that the B1G has looked at all of the reasonable expansion candidates over the years. If they are not expanding now, it’s because the desirable ones aren’t available.

          Like

          1. bullet

            Sometimes you wonder if people at the top have ANY common sense.

            Too many yes men under them telling them they are wonderful. Academia and government aren’t any different from business in that regard.

            At more than one company, I’ve heard smart V-Ps say they wait until the CEO says it a second time before implementing it. Lot of impulsive CEOs. See Gordon “little sisters of the poor” Gee for a college president example.

            Like

    1. Mike

      – I’m sure ESPN/Fox would love to make made for TV games each year.

      – Math doesn’t check out. Pac 12 has two less teams and there is no accommodation for Notre Dame.

      Like

      1. z33k

        The math doesn’t check out and ND already has 7 games against the Pac-12/ACC while some of the best ACC/Pac-12 properties already have annual non-conference games against ND/South Carolina/Florida.

        Like I just don’t see how this is anything but hugely unfavorable to the Big Ten in its current form (expanded comment above).

        If we’re giving up a slate of Nebraska-Penn State, Ohio State-Wisconsin, Michigan-Iowa, Michigan State-Northwestern, Minnesota-Indiana, Purdue-Maryland, Rutgers-Illinois; then we’d better be getting the equivalent back.

        Like

  30. Bob

    Dropping to 8 conference games should be a hard no for the B1G. Most OOC schedules are booked out 10+ years. The only way to get a decent number of games scheduled in the next decade is to use conference game slots. This makes no sense for the B1G. Why drop to 2 cross-over games? This is especially true if USC, STAN, ND, CLEM, FSU, and GT are keeping their current OOC rivalry games and not fully participating in the Alliance. The P12 and ACC need this WAY more than the B1G. Make the ACC go to 9 games instead.

    Like

        1. z33k

          It should be the rest of the conference complaining. Ohio State/Michigan/Penn State/Nebraska/Wisconsin will be fine (and will likely get the best opponents in Alliance matches), it’s the rest who should be like “wait am I going to lose a game against the teams that fill our stadiums in exchange for a game against Wake Forest or Duke or Oregon State or Washington State?”

          Like

          1. Jersey Bernie

            I said OSU since it is my understanding that in the Delany days, he would ask everyone in the league and then listen to OSU and Michigan. Now Michigan may not have the power to veto such a bad idea, but OSU certainly does.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. z33k

            Yeah, I just think the pushback against this will likely come from all corners.
            Big Ten teams (esp the big brands) fill stadiums across the footprint. Who’s giving up those games for games against Pac-12/ACC opponents which may include the worst possible draws?

            Like

    1. Marc

      It seems like you guys are over-reacting. The B10 has not said it is considering an 8-game schedule.

      The P12 and ACC need this WAY more than the B1G.

      Exactly. The commissioners said straight up, “We’re still competitors.” The B10 is not going to do anything against its interests, just so the ACC can get better.

      Make the ACC go to 9 games instead.

      They can’t (and won’t) do that either. The ACC can do what it wants.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Sorry…I had not fully caught up. It seems the Pac-12 commish has said “the goal is for everyone to play 8 games.” Hard to believe the B10 would do that without getting a lot in return.

        Like

        1. ccrider55

          I’d hope he is conflating some of the Pac south (USC) as the conf hope as the conference goal. He apparently hasn’t visited all the north schools (or the risk to other south if divisions go away). The non CA north schools already sacrificed half their trips to LA for the CA schools to keep their yearly “weekender” between the bay and LA. Can’t think he’s speaking for the other conferences.

          Like

    2. Bob

      P12 Commissioner told reporters in Pullman on Friday that he wants to drop from 9 to 8 games and start playing Allliance games as soon as next year.

      “It depends on whether or not we’re able to renegotiate our nine-conference-game schedule with ESPN and FOX,” Kliavkoff said. “If we’re able to re-negotiate that down to eight, and the Big Ten is able to do that as well, we can start playing these games next year. But there’s a lot of work to be done to get there.”

      Haven’t seen anything in the media to indicate the ACC and B1G feel the same. Will be curious to see how the networks respond.

      Like

      1. Marc

        He is willing to speak where others are saying nothing, which means he’ll always be a good interview, but get ahead of the facts sometimes. I cannot find any comparable statement from the Big Ten or the ACC. You’d think he has a basis for saying that, but there are an awful lot of open questions.

        Will be curious to see how the networks respond.

        The networks want P5 vs P5 games. This proposal creates more of those games, and perhaps some interesting match-ups that would otherwise never happen. So I think the networks would be fine with it. Now we have to out find what they’ll pay for it.

        Like

  31. Bob

    If you look at the future scheduled OOC games the only ACC teams that don’t have a B1G team scheduled are Clemson, FSU, GT, and NC State. The only P12 teams without a B1G team scheduled are USC, ASU, and Stanford. I don’t see the ACC schools giving up their end of year SEC games or USC & Stanford giving up ND games. Without them there aren’t enough high profile teams to bother with, and most of them are already scheduled to play B1G schools. Can a loose non-binding alliance lead to a few more games scheduled to fill in the gaps, sure, but that won’t move the TV needle much.

    Even if the B1G agreed to 8 conference games (which they should not do), there is no way FSU, Clemson, and GT will never agree to play 10 Alliance plus games against FL, SC, and GA respectively. If Delany was still running things I’d think this was all some sort of Godfather move to get USC/UCLA or UNC/UVA. Mr. Warren makes me nervous.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Mr. Warren makes me nervous.

      I wonder where the skepticism comes from? It doesn’t take a genius to know his job is to maximize revenue for his employer.

      I don’t know whether he’ll transform college sports the way Jim Delany did: very few people can have an impact like that. But he’s not so stupid as to give away (for no compensation) conference games that the league totally owns, in exchange for non-conference games that it would have to share.

      Like

      1. z33k

        I agree with your notion on this subject.

        Also worth noting there’s a lot of people to provide input on this decision including Silverman (head of Fox Sports now, ex-head of BTN which is still under his control). It’s not just Warren alone making these types of decisions.

        There’s a lot of TV people involved in any of these decisions (especially expansion/conference games/matchups).

        A lot of this depends on money, but there the benefit is harder to see for FOX/ESPN as well.

        Don’t see why FOX/ESPN would pay more money for cross-conference games substituted for a conference game, especially to the Big Ten who would probably get worse matchups.

        They’re already paying for that 9th game, and there’s not much time left on the Big Ten/Pac-12 deals so I don’t see why they’d open it.

        If you’re FOX/ESPN, you already have 9 Big Ten games and a marquee game from Ohio State/Michigan and the rest, you’d have to really be getting a lot more value to justify re-opening these deals.

        Like

        1. Marc

          They’re already paying for that 9th game, and there’s not much time left on the Big Ten/Pac-12 deals so I don’t see why they’d open it.

          I don’t think it’s about re-opening existing deals, but about giving the TV partners something juicier in the next negotiation, which they’re probably going to start working on in a year or two.

          I still don’t see how the Big Ten could benefit from alliance scheduling, which is a whole other problem.

          Like

          1. Colin

            Marc, you are correct. The Big Ten has nothing whatsoever to gain from “alliance scheduling”. It would be a boost to the ND enablers of the ACC, and accordingly to ND, and would certainly enhance the viewership of the P12 Network. For the B1G, it’s a nothingburger.

            Like

  32. bullet

    Maybe the Big 10 should cut down on conference games!? Brett McMurphy having fun watching Nebraska-Illinois:

    “…Brett McMurphy
    @Brett_McMurphy
    ·
    7h
    1st quarter since Big Ten joined the Alliance:

    4 punts, 1 missed field goal, 1 safety, 0 TDs
    Brett McMurphy
    @Brett_McMurphy
    ·
    7h
    Breaking news: After watching opening 11 minutes of Nebraska & Illinois, Pac-12 & ACC officials frantically reviewing contract details to immediately get out of The Alliance. “Wait .. hold on. That’s right, there is no written contract.”
    Brett McMurphy
    @Brett_McMurphy
    ·
    7h
    Big Ten is back:

    Illinois 2, Nebraska 0…”

    Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        For anyone who does not realize it, “NJ” was the College of NJ, later renamed Princeton.

        So for a brief moment in 1869, Rutgers was the top ranked football team in the country. Of course, later that year Princeton won a rematch, so they tied for number 1. Granted, those were the only two college football teams in existence, but number 1 is still number 1.

        Like

  33. Logan

    Perhaps this is a dumb question, but should BYU join the Big 12 or stay independent?

    With OU and UT in the conference, it is a no brainer. In terms of TV revenue, it’s been rumored that the Big 12 will take a $10-15m hit on their next contract, which could put them in the $5-10m range. BYU’s current TV deal with ESPN is unknown as they are a private school and don’t have to disclose it, but BYU was rumored to make $7m on their prior deal. Can BYU cancel their scheduled games and get out of their ESPN deal without penalty if they join a conference? If there are penalties, is joining the Big 12 financially beneficial? It could depend on timing as their TV deal is thru 2026 and they have 8 games scheduled in 2025, 5 in 2026 and 3 or less beyond that.

    BYU is viewed as a P5 school in terms of the SEC’s requirement that every school play a P5 non-conference opponent. If the Big 12 is no longer considered a P5 conference, does joining the Big 12 represent a step down?

    One issue for BYU could be the Alliance and how it impacts their scheduling as an independent. They play 5 Pac-12 and 1 ACC opponent this year – that becomes difficult if Alliance scheduling takes off. A strong Alliance probably leaves BYU scheduling a lot of games against Big 12 teams anyway, which means it makes more sense to join.

    Like

    1. Marc

      BYU and the Big 12 have access to data we don’t have. But we know that schools and conferences don’t re-align to lose money. And no one makes a move without approval from their TV partners. So yeah, we can safely say that if they’re considering this, they will make more money.

      The math is a bit more complex, because Big 12 schools retain their Tier 3 rights. By joining, they’d get bowl and playoff shares that they don’t receive as an independent. They’d also have a path to the playoff in the proposed 12-team format. Overall, I am pretty sure it is a net positive.

      It could depend on timing as their TV deal is thru 2026 and they have 8 games scheduled in 2025, 5 in 2026 and 3 or less beyond that.

      I am sure the TV deal is manageable, as there is just a one-year bridge to 2025, when Texas and Oklahoma leave. The new Big 12 is sure to be on ESPN, because every league is on ESPN. The schedule is more problematic, as I believe you miscounted. They have 8 games scheduled in 2025 and 6 in 2027. But at their level, the buyout fees are probably manageable.

      BYU is viewed as a P5 school in terms of the SEC’s requirement that every school play a P5 non-conference opponent. If the Big 12 is no longer considered a P5 conference, does joining the Big 12 represent a step down?

      I think it’s highly unlikely that the other leagues will stop counting B12 schools as “P5” for scheduling purposes. There are only so many of those games to go around. If West Virginia counted before, it doesn’t become a lesser opponent because Oklahoma is in the SEC.

      The P5 scheduling requirement exists to beef up TV inventory. BYU was an exception because they’re a strong TV draw, which they’ll continue to be in the B12. Similarly, the SEC counts Army as “Power Five.” It’s not because Army is strong competitively; it’s because Army always gets good ratings no matter who they play.

      One issue for BYU could be the Alliance and how it impacts their scheduling as an independent. They play 5 Pac-12 and 1 ACC opponent this year – that becomes difficult if Alliance scheduling takes off.

      Gordon Gee suggested that the B12 is not in the alliance, solely because the other three leagues don’t want to share their strategy with Oklahoma and Texas. This suggests that they are not freezing out the Big 12 permanently, only until those schools are no longer involved. Interestingly, BYU has no future games scheduled against any B12 opponent.

      Like

      1. Logan

        So yeah, we can safely say that if they’re considering this, they will make more money.
        The rumor is the Big 12 is looking at BYU, so I assume it is in the Big 12’s interests. I’m asking if Big 12 membership is clearly superior to independence for BYU. We hear they are talking, but are they guaranteed to accept?

        he schedule is more problematic, as I believe you miscounted. They have 8 games scheduled in 2025 and 6 in 2027.
        I referenced this, it may not be up-to-date.

        https://byucougars.com/page/independence-and-future-opponents

        By joining, they’d get bowl and playoff shares that they don’t receive as an independent. They’d also have a path to the playoff in the proposed 12-team format. Overall, I am pretty sure it is a net positive.
        They still have a path to the playoff as an independent and they wouldn’t have to share revenue with others. But being in a conference would certainly deliver more reliable revenue. Remains to be seen what bowl tie-ins the Big 12 will be able to retain.

        This suggests that they are not freezing out the Big 12 permanently, only until those schools are no longer involved.
        That’s arguably the best reason to join. If the alternative is mostly MWC opponents, then the Big 12 is the way to go.

        Like

        1. Marc

          I’m asking if Big 12 membership is clearly superior to independence for BYU. We hear they are talking, but are they guaranteed to accept?

          I cannot speak of guarantees, but I will go on record that I’d be surprised if they decline a B12 offer.

          They still have a path to the playoff as an independent…

          Nominally yes, but as an independent, they’d need a once-in-a-generation season to get in. As a Big 12 member, they’d need only to be one of the top six FBS conference champions. (This assumes the playoff expands along the lines of the recent proposal.)

          Like

    2. Colin

      When the Big XII came apart at the seams the first time (Nebraka Colorado A&M Mizzou left), they invited the Air Force Academy to join but the Zoomies said “No” (link):

      https://swcroundup.com/news/2016/7/28/the-time-air-force-said-no-to-the-big-12

      What the Big XII needs now that it is coming apart at the seams yet again is a logistical bridge to BYU and here the AFA is ideally situated. The conference should invite BYU and the AFA plus Army and Navy. That would get them back to twelve teams and plenty of games in three time zones that would have national interest.

      WV would no longer be a bizarre outlier. The service academies would all get upgraded football schedules and the Big XII could showcase the most classic rivalry in college football.

      Like

      1. Marc

        What the Big XII needs now that it is coming apart at the seams yet again is a logistical bridge to BYU and here the AFA is ideally situated. The conference should invite BYU and the AFA plus Army and Navy.

        It’s not a crazy idea to ask AFA again. I believe they’d still say no, but it never hurts to ask. Even without Texas and Oklahoma, a Big 12 schedule is a pretty big jump in difficulty from the schedule the AFA plays today.

        The idea of a “logistical bridge to BYU” is just nonsense. If you look at the schedule the Cougars play, they do not care about long-distance travel.

        There is no chance that Army and Navy would accept a B12 invite. They’d get slaughtered against that schedule. They also don’t want to be playing a majority of their games west of the Mississippi.

        Army and Navy typically play just one or two P5 opponents per year. To put it in perspective, Kansas is the weakest football program in the Big 12. If they played Army this year, they’d be the Black Knights’ second- or third-toughest game (behind Wisconsin and possibly Wake Forest).

        The service academies would all get upgraded football schedules and the Big XII could showcase the most classic rivalry in college football.

        The service academies don’t want upgraded football schedules. They want a carefully curated slate of games they can actually win. That is why they’re not in the Power Five and have never been.

        Like

      2. Longhorn McLonghornFace

        Maybe reread the article.

        The B12 didn’t invite Air Force, they simply inquired about interest and fit early in the process.

        Their AD listed a lot of reasons why he didn’t want to join a P5 conference. All still apply. The academies didn’t want to join the P5 and I’ve seen nothing indicating they’ve changed their views.

        Like

  34. Jersey Bernie

    247sports published an article regarding the problems at Nebraska, prior to the Illinois loss. The article basically says that the problem is Scott Frost heavily relied on his strategy of recruiting from Florida, and it has been a disaster. Since Frost came from UCF, in theory the plan made complete sense, but in practice, not so much.

    https://247sports.com/Article/Nebraska-football-recruiting-Scott-Frost-Florida-signees-169706326/

    Nebraska’s plan seemed sound at the time. In fact, it worked and the Huskers gained ground on the recruiting trail. Frost signed 14 players from Florida in four recruiting classes, including six in 2018 and seven in 2020. They ranked fourth in the Big Ten in three straight recruiting classes, presumably placing the Huskers in position to contend for championships. And who could blame him for going heavy in Florida? Frost had the name recognition, he knew well Nebraska lacks a sustainable, homegrown recruiting pipeline and he needed speed to make his super-charged offense hum.

    That plan, however, has backfired. The mass influx of Florida talent has turned into a mass exodus. Seven signees have since transferred or been kicked off the team, and two more never made it to campus because of academic issues. Only one Florida native enters the Huskers’ season opener Saturday against Illinois on the projected two-deep depth chart.

    The 2020 class, which ranked No. 20, has turned into a disaster zone: five of six Florida signees have transferred in a year, including two before the start of their freshman seasons. The Nos. 3, 4 and 5-ranked signees in 2020 are already gone. The 2021 recruiting class also ranked an impressive No. 20 nationally and noticeably included just one Florida signee as Frost & Co. went heavy in their own state; the five Nebraska-bred signees in 2021 were more than Frost had inked in his combined previous classes.

    Like

    1. Marc

      I’ve always thought the recruiting services should keep their rankings live after the close of the class—for instance by removing kids who never made it to campus, transferred early, or whatever.

      Like

    2. Marc

      …he knew well Nebraska lacks a sustainable, homegrown recruiting pipeline and he needed speed to make his super-charged offense hum.

      I know that in the B12 era, Nebraska could recruit Texas. But how did they recruit so well when they were in the Big Eight?

      Like

      1. Logan

        A lot of people will point to Prop. 48 and the rule that allowed Big 8 schools to enroll partial qualifiers while many other conferences (notably the Big Ten) did not. When the Big 12 was formed, Texas pushed to end admission of Prop. 48’s.

        https://www.hookem.com/2016/05/26/texas-responsible-downfall-nebraska-football/

        You’ll also see people point to their walk-on program and the effectiveness of their strength & conditioning program (with the implication that they used PED’s). Those factors are probably overblown.

        A lot of it is just a positive feedback loop, when you are a top 5 program year after year, you can pluck talent out of Florida, California and New Jersey. Particularly if they are academically questionable. Their style of play relied on developing offensive linemen year after year with guys who redshirted and stayed 5 years learning the system. That all changed when they went to a west coast offense under Callahan.

        Like

    3. bullet

      Sounds like Charlie Strong. The only really good class he had at UT had 4 highly ranked Florida players. 2 never showed up on campus. 1 stayed for a week and left. The other one, a receiver, was in the rotation, but not a starter.

      Like

    4. Mike

      Outside of sitting in a recruiting hotbed, Nebraska still has everything needed (support, facilities, money) to be a top program. Interestingly enough, the death of the Big 12 as a power conference will only help with recruiting since it will drop four P5 programs within 400 miles of Lincoln.

      Like

      1. Marc

        The ‘death’ of the Big 12 is somewhat exaggerated here. Still, there’s no doubt that it’s weakened, and that should help the Cornhuskers.

        But their first job is simply to perform up to the level of their talent. They’ve had four straight losing seasons, and five of the last six. Their recruiting classes aren’t that bad. With the players they’ve got, they should be winning more. Of course, the more you win, the easier the recruiting gets.

        It also doesn’t help that they fired Bo Pellini, who won consistently 9–10 games a year. Those days look pretty good right now.

        Like

        1. Mike

          The fact that Bo Pelini (18-22 in conference games at Youngstown) could win 9-10 games at Nebraska should tell you all you need to know about Nebraska’s advantages.

          Like

  35. Bob

    Is it time for the B1G to think about dropping divisions? Would it make sense to lock 2-4 games and rotate the rest? Would be interested to here what folks think. Good idea or not?
    What games would you want to see locked? May be a good topic for a future post.

    Like

    1. z33k

      Yes because clearly Nebraska is never going to really be what I think Big Ten decision makers hoped it could be 10 years ago.

      At best it can become another Wisconsin/Iowa if they find good coaching.

      But it’s just beyond clear now that the East is going to have 3 heavyweights (of which 1 is a super heavyweight) and even Michigan State/Rutgers/Maryland do well with recruiting given their proximity to better recruiting grounds.

      And the West is going to be considerably less deep.

      I think the original hope was that Nebraska would maybe become a really consistent 10 win team again, and that they would along with Wisconsin represent the West most often.

      But it’s just clear that the game has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous 30.

      Proximity to recruiting grounds matters as much as brand.

      Now the one major caveat to all this is that TV likes having the big 3 brands together, i.e. Penn State playing Michigan and Ohio State annually. That obviously makes for perhaps more big games, but it’s clear the balance is off.

      You probably get a better Big Ten championship game without divisions, but you lose those annual games against Penn State.

      Like

    2. Marc

      A few years ago, the Big Ten successfully opposed a proposal that would’ve allowed conferences to drop divisions while still having a CCG. That proposal would need to be revived.

      Contingent upon that, then yeah…I think most leagues would benefit from dropping divisions, and locking only those games that have to be — which would be fewer than the 6–7 that are locked today. That would mean the rest of the unlocked teams would see each other more often.

      I don’t have a proposal, but I would say that it’s hard to come up with 4 locks per team that have any logic to them. Even 3 is difficult.

      Like

  36. Andy

    I’m a Missouri alum and a Northwestern alum, so yes, I’m biased on this, but hear me out.

    Kansas fans have convinced themselves that they are going to the Big Ten. I tend to think they are fooling themselves and it isn’t going to happen, but I’m going to treat it as a serious possibility for the sake of argument. I just don’t see this as a good move at all for the Big Ten.

    Let’s go through the reasons.

    First, the positives. 1) they’re a flagship university. 2) They currently have AAU status. 3) They’re a top 5 program in basketball. 4) They have pretty good brand recognition.

    All of those add up to them being a viable candidate, I concede that. But now let’s here the negatives.

    1) They’re not a Big Ten sized school. They only have an enrollment of 28k. Compare that to Indiana, at 48k, Rutgers at 37k, Michigan State at 50k, Minnesota at 51k, Wisconsin at 44K, etc. Is KU “big” enough for the Big Ten? I’m not so sure.

    2) Kansas is a low population state. Only 2.9 million. It would be one of the lowest population states in the Big Ten.

    3) Academics – yeah they’re AAU, but they’re basically Nebraska level AAU, not Iowa level AAU. If you look at their metrics, they’re only slightly better than Nebraska. And Nebraska got kicked out. Will Kansas lose their AAU status? It’s very possible. Now, Missouri is in the same boat, but they’re actually doing something about it. Missouri’s research spending went up 19.4% between FY19 and FY20. How much did Kansas’s go up? Only 8%. Also, Missouri has been investing hundreds of millions in to research facilities in the last few years to get their numbers up. I’ve looked and as far as I can tell Kansas is not doing the same. So if the Big Ten adds Kansas, you may end up with another embarrassing situation like Nebraska where a member school loses their AAU status.

    4) Let’s talk about football. Kansas is bad at football. Not just bad, but historically bad. As in, they’ve been averaging about 2 wins per season for the past 12 or so years. As in, their stadium is pretty much empty during games. Also, their stadium would be one of if not the worst in the Big Ten if they were to join. It’s bad enough that the Big Ten added Rutgers and Maryland. And on top of that, Nebraska was supposed to be good at football and they are now even worse than Illinois at football. But Kansas would be a whole new level of bad at football. The Big Ten wants to be a football conference. You can’t be a football conference if you keep adding terrible football programs.

    5) Who do you add with them? You don’t want to just go to 15. That doesn’t work for divisions. So you’d need a 16th team. Who is available? The ACC has GOR out into the 2030s. I guess you could add Colorado or UConn. That’s about it. Missouri would work but Missouri is not leaving the SEC.

    So, like I said, I’m biased, but I just can’t see how adding Kansas is a good idea.

    Like

    1. Marc

      All valid (to varying degrees), but you’re setting up a strawman. I haven’t heard any push for Kansas to the Big Ten, except from Kansas sources. It’s delusional, but homers and the journalism that caters to them often are.

      I don’t think Kansas is in serious danger of getting kicked out of the AAU. After the removal of Nebraska and Syracuse, there’s been no noise out of that organization for years. It’s apparently something they don’t want to make a habit of.

      But your other points settle it.

      Like

      1. Andy

        Kansas fans are absolutely convinced they are headed to the Big Ten. They will hear of no talk to the contrary. But I agree, out side of Kansas fans, I don’t hear much about it.

        I don’t know if anyone else would get kicked out of the AAU. But if it does happen, Kansas is among the bottom 2 in the AAU in terms of the metrics. So I’d say that puts them at risk.

        And one of my two degrees is from Missouri so I fully admit Missouri’s numbers aren’t that much better than KU’s, but at least Missouri seems to be making significant progress on that front. If they keep that going then Missouri should pretty much catch up to the lower level AAU schools over the coming years. But Kansas is basically treading water. Maybe they don’t ever get kicked out, but it’s not impossible.

        Like

  37. Jersey Bernie

    An arrogant view from Central Florida. It is odd how some people view the current college football situation. Here is an article from the Palm Beach Post. It appears that both the author, Tom D’Angelo and UCF AD Terry Mohajir are actually looking down on the Big Paclantic leagues. It is actually both funny and instructive.

    Most of the article discusses the advantages of UCF and Orlando, as compared to other places. I agree that UCF may have a lot to offer the Big 12, but honestly if UCF misses that chance, it is pretty clear to me that UCF will have nowhere else to go. Of course if the ACC breaks up 10 years or so and FSU leaves, that might open up space for UCF in the ACC, but that is a while from now.

    That is not an issue to AD Mohajir, since it is obvious to him that UCF has so much value that any P5 league would be lucky to get them.

    https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/sports/college/2021/08/24/terry-mohajir-guz-malzahn-land-ucf-right-side-realignment/8253316002/

    The start of the piece shows the attitude, P5 conferences are forming silly alliances while UCF is above the fray. It also appears that Clemson and Alabama should wish that they had the future that UCF has.

    Yikes.

    “While other conferences and universities are forming alliances or desperately looking for a home, Terry Mohajir is positioning UCF for the best opportunity.

    One the new athletic director is confident will come his school’s way.”

    ….

    “I can honestly and confidently say the value and viewership we bring to the table, and the youth and the alumni base and our TV market far exceeds a lot of teams in high resource conferences,” Mohajir told the Palm Beach Post last week. “Far exceeds.”

    …..

    “We’re trying to change the narrative of being the best or one of the best non-Power 5 programs to one of the best programs in college football,” (Coach) Malzahn said.

    ….

    Last week, Mohajir – a senior associate athletic director at FAU from 2004-11 and the AD at Arkansas State the last nine years – presented UCF’s Board of Trustees with a $50 million plan to create a ‘football campus’ that will include upgrades to every facet of the program, including the stadium, weight room and meeting rooms.

    That number is impressive and eye-popping for UCF, but others with more resources have done even more.

    “I don’t need to build something Clemson has because there’s nothing to do in Clemson, South Carolina,” Mohajir said. “They are building a building for the players to have them do something.

    “There’s a lot to do here.”

    ….

    “There’re (five) million people in the state of Alabama,” Mohajir said. “Alabama is a dynasty to people in California who will watch it. But when Nick Saban retires and they go back to 7-5 or 8-4, will people in California watch them? Well, for 20 years no one watched them because they weren’t a dynasty.

    “What’s the value? To me, we have a lot of value we can bring to the table.”

    ….

    That value is what Mohajir will continue to sell in the changing landscape of college football. UCF (and the AAC) would benefit from an expanded 12-team playoff in which the six highest ranked conference champions qualify. That, in Mohajir’s eyes, eliminates the distinction between the Power 5 conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12) and Group of 5.

    But that could be in jeopardy with the announcement of an alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12, which will focus on NCAA government and scheduling. One of those items is sure to be the 12-team playoff, which the SEC is pushing, especially since adding Texas and Oklahoma.

    Mohajir is banking on UCF’s “value” (market and TV ratings primarily) to make it more attractive than other Power 5 schools. Teams coming into a new conference must bring value – as Texas and Oklahoma do for the SEC – because current schools aren’t going to slice the pie and end up with a smaller piece.

    “Who’s going to bring that type of value to a super conference?” Mohajir said. “Those commissioners will be looking for lots of eyeballs and who’s watching you all over the country.”

    Like

  38. Eric

    If the alliance scheduling ends up hurting the Big Ten or ends up something they need to backtrack on, my thought is going to be that Warren too quickly reacts for a commisioner. We aren’t there right now I know, but if idea is really to drop conference game for an alliance game and that ends up blowing up, then we will have moved too quickly to respond to SEC expansion and to cancel 2020 season. Both of those are things that could have been more slowly examined/waited on.

    Like

    1. Marc

      I think the Alliance timing was predicated on a September meeting where playoff expansion will be on the docket.

      Keep reminding yourself, the Alliance does not compel the Big Ten to do anything. It’s just an agreement to work together where it’s mutually beneficial, with the details totally unspecified.

      Like

    1. Andy

      Interesting. I wouldn’t have guessed that. That got me curious so I looked up Missouri’s incoming freshman class. It didn’t go up by much, but apparently they decided to be more selective, and the ACT average is up to 27, up from 26 in the past. I looked up the various P5 state schools to see where that ranked, they’re moving up the list:

      Michigan 33
      Maryland 32
      Virginia 32
      Florida 31
      North Carolina 31
      Texas 30
      Wisconsin 30
      Ohio State 30
      Georgia 30
      Washington 30
      Clemson 30
      North Carolina State 30
      Illinois 29
      Minnesota 29
      Purdue 29
      Rutgers 29
      Texas A&M 28
      Indiana 28
      Colorado 28
      Virginia Tech 28
      Florida State 28
      South Carolina 28
      Auburn 28
      ***Missouri 27
      Penn State 27
      Tennessee 27
      Alabama 27
      Michigan State 26
      Iowa 26
      Oklahoma 26
      Kentucky 26
      Mississippi State 26
      Arkansas 26
      LSU 26
      Kansas 26
      Arizona State 26
      Utah 26
      Nebraska 25
      Iowa State 25
      Oklahoma State 25
      Ole Miss 25
      Arizona 25
      Orgon 25
      Oregon State 25
      Kansas State 24
      Washington State 23

      Like

      1. Marc

        I would not have expected Florida and Clemson to be as high on that list. I know Florida is selective (as my niece just started there), but more selective than almost all of the Big Ten? Not what I would have guessed. And Clemson has a reputation of being academically weaker than the ACC average.

        Like

        1. Andy

          Florida didn’t surprise me. Clemson did. Also Alabama and Auburn. I don’t think of those as good schools so I expected them to be lower on the list. And I expected Iowa and Michigan State to be higher.

          Like

          1. Marc

            Clemson has a long history of “cooking the numbers” on these academic rankings.

            No, they don’t. They made a deliberate choice to prioritize metrics that make the USN&WR rankings go up. Nobody has suggested that the SAT/ACT numbers they report aren’t really true.

            Like

  39. Mike

    Has there been any discussion from the Notre Dame side on how Kliavkoff’s* Alliance model (8+2 5H/5A) model will affect them? Any Alliance team (like the contractual ACC opponents) playing at ND will have a maximum six home games. I don’t think Notre Dame is too interested in playing the Big 12 remnants (no games all time vs OSU, TT, KSU; 1 vs ISU, TCU; 2 vs BU; 4 vs WV; 6 vs KU) Unless ND plans of filling up on SEC teams its going to get hard to schedule up to 9 or 10 P4 games.

    *the Math doesn’t work out with membership numbers of 14/14/12 and really doesn’t with 15/14/12. IMO – An 8+2 model assumes ND games are scheduled outside.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Has there been any discussion from the Notre Dame side on how Kliavkoff’s* Alliance model (8+2 5H/5A) model will affect them?

      No one besides Kliavkoff has commented, but I take it that ND is not an Alliance member for football.

      Any Alliance team (like the contractual ACC opponents) playing at ND will have a maximum six home games.

      It’s the same open question for the ACC schools that have annual SEC rivalry games.

      Like

  40. Re: “Clemson has a long history of “cooking the numbers” on these academic rankings.”

    Chasing higher rankings in the (overrated) US News rankings has long been near universal, though usually unspoken, behavior. Reading the cited article, it appears that Clemson reduced class-sizes, increased faculty salaries and stopped admitting some weaker students. In other words, they took steps to mimic their more selective peers among large public universities. Some might argue that taking this direction is in conflict with a state school’s core mission but many others in the Big Ten and elsewhere have followed the same path. Unseemly, perhaps, for Clemson to be so open in their aspiration but hardly nefarious.

    Also, just curious about not seeing Pitt on the list of ACT scores for incoming freshmen classes. I believe it is a public school, though one with an unusual arrangement with its state government.

    Like

  41. Pingback: Where in the World is Carmen San Diego State? Mapping Out Big 12 Expansion Strategies – FRANK THE TANK'S SLANT

  42. bob sykes

    When I was there in the late 60’s, Purdue’s total enrollment was about 28,000. Now it is at least 45,000. By comparison, tOSU’s total FTE enrollment is about 60,000, but the number of bodies on campus is substantially larger, because tOSU has a large contingent of commuter students. Purdue has virtually none; it is a residential college. tOSU typically graduates around 9,000 students per year.

    The infamous USNews recently ranked Purdue’s engineering graduate program 4th, tied with Cal Tech, which is about where it was when I was there. In fact, Purdue’s engineering school has ranked in the top ten for well over 100 years.

    Evidently, de-emphasizing athletics, especially football, has not hurt what once was Quarterback U. It would probably be a good idea for the rest of the B1G to de-emphasize athletics. The Ivies have the best model for student athletes. The Harvard-Yale game still creates passion in their fans, and it can even be found on obscure DirectV channels.

    Like

  43. Colin

    Doesn’t the Big Ten already have an “alliance” with the Mid-American Conference? I don’t know the details but I seem to remember that the B1G has pledged to play something like ten games per year vs MAC opponents and that the game payouts to the MAC were financially crucial for the entire conference.

    Like

    1. There’s no formal Big Ten-MAC alliance. I believe that there are some informal reasons why the games are so common simply based on the overlapping geography of the league and they make sense for the Big Ten in minimizing guarantee game costs (e.g. where they agree to cover travel expenses for the MAC team). Schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State might also build up some political chits by keeping more of their guarantee game money in-state.

      Like

  44. greg

    The B1G, MAC, and MVC have an officiating consortium.

    https://bigten.org/news/2019/12/13/football-carollo-agrees-to-five-year-contract-extension.aspx

    The Big Ten Conference announced today that Bill Carollo will continue in his role as Coordinator of Officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium (COC), which includes the Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conferences. He has been at the Big Ten Conference and COC since 2009, following exceptional careers as an official in the National Football League, and executive with both IBM and Manpower, Inc.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-big-ten-officiating-michigan-ohio-state-greenstein-spt-1225-20161222-column.html

    The highest-rated officials get the best assignments. Carollo can assign officials to games involving the Big Ten, Mid-American Conference or Missouri Valley Football Conference. If you could make $3,000 working a Big Ten game, $2,000 for a MAC game and $1,000 for a Missouri Valley game, which would you strive for?

    Like

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