Where in the World is Carmen San Diego State? Mapping Out Big 12 Expansion Strategies

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Last week, the Pac-12 announced that it was not seeking any expansion at this time in the wake of its announced Big Paclantic Alliance with the Big Ten and ACC. While some fans of schools remaining in the Big 12 that are hoping for another power conference home may cling to the “at this time” qualifier from the Pac-12, the practical reality is “at this time” really means, “We’re not expanding unless Notre Dame and schools such as, well, Texas and Oklahoma are coming through that door.”

Therefore, reality is setting in for the Big 12 that it will ultimately need to expand and, to that end, the league has formed an expansion subcommittee. At a minimum, the Big 12 will need to have at least 10 conference members after Texas and Oklahoma officially leave for the SEC in order for the league to maintain its current TV contracts with ESPN and Fox. Note that everyone from the Big 12, SEC, Texas and Oklahoma will all publicly state that no one is moving until 2025 in order to comply with their existing agreements. No one can even hint anonymously that there’s a possibility that UT and OU will leave the Big 12 prior to that time. However, in practicality, everyone knows that there will eventually be a settlement so that those schools aren’t spending the next 4 years in lame duck status that isn’t good for anyone. This means that the Big 12 has to be ready to act once it knows the UT/OU exit timeline and staying at 8 members simply isn’t an option.

Over the past decade (decade?!) in writing about conference realignment, I’ve had multiple posts about examining Big 12 expansion candidates complete with dated pop culture references ranging from Avicii to The Bachelor. In reviewing Big 12 expansion this time around, though, I felt that a straight ranking of the candidates really wouldn’t add much to the analysis. The interesting opportunity that the Big 12 has is that, as a result of its current roster of members with a potpourri of institutional types and geographic placement in the center of the country (except for West Virginia), the league can legitimately expand in any direction both philosophically and geographically. With only a small handful of exceptions, the realistic expansion candidates for the Big 12 essentially all have, in baseball terms, the same Wins Above Replacement Value where there aren’t glaring differences. As a result, expansion should be looked at holistically in terms of the overall strategies that the Big 12 could use. Putting on my consulting hat, here are 11 different Big 12 expansion strategies:

1. Lazy AF Bare Minimum Backfilling Strategy – Cincinnati and BYU

If it’s true that no realistic combination of expansion options for the Big 12 can bring in additional revenue and would only dilute per school shares, then it stands to reason that doing just the bare minimum to backfill to 10 members simply to keep the current conference TV contracts intact is high on the list of potential strategies. Cincinnati and BYU were generally looked at as the top targets for Big 12 expansion 5 years ago and that’s likely going to be the same today. (Heck, Cincinnati and BYU were even the two top schools in my Big 12 Expansion Index from 2013.) It’s not the most explosive or Armageddon-like path for the conference realignmentologists out there, but it might be the most realistic.

Out of all of the available schools, Cincinnati is the school that I believe is most likely to get a Big 12 invite. The Bearcats have a solid TV market, an excellent football recruiting area (which would be the best in the Big 12 outside of Texas), as good of an overall athletic history in both football and basketball as any other candidate, a great football program today, and (maybe most importantly) absolutely no baggage of potential issues with religious stances or in-state conflicts with current members. These are all reasons why Cincinnati is the only school that is listed in every single one of the strategies in this post.

Now, from a pure financial value standpoint, BYU is typically viewed to be the most valuable potential addition to the Big 12 due to its TV viewership history and fanbase size. The challenge with BYU is the “baggage” in past objections from other Big 12 members regarding BYU’s Honor Code and its treatment of members of the LGBTQ+ community and the real or perceived difficulty of negotiating with the school in its past conference realignment discussions with both the old Big East football conference and Big 12. That being said, The Athletic quoted a Big 12 source stating that the ones that opposed adding BYU 5 years ago are the ones “leaving the conference”, so the barriers to BYU getting an invite to the league might have come down.

Of course, the flip side is that BYU, with its independent TV contract with ESPN and BYUtv, might be the only school outside of the Power Five that could conceivably turn down a Big 12 invite. Personally, I find that prospect to be doubtful if/when we have an expanded 12-team playoff system with guaranteed spots to the top 6 conference champs, but no one should discount the fact that BYU has different institutional goals compared to any other place in the country. If BYU won’t come or can’t get into the Big 12 for any reason, look for one of either Houston or UCF (both of which will be discussed in the next strategy) to take their place.

2. You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, Houston, and UCF

One of the cardinal rules that we have learned over many years of expansion analysis: S**t ALWAYS rolls downhill in conference realignment. That is, any time that a league lower on the pecking order thinks that it could poach a conference that’s higher on the pecking order, that’s exactly when the lower league gets completely demolished. (See the old Big East football conference, Mountain West Conference and WAC in the early 2010s.) When Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby publicly accused ESPN of engaging in a conspiracy to get the AAC to raid the Big 12, I wrote that this might have changed the Big 12’s attitude from taking as few AAC schools as possible (see the Lazy AF Bare Minimum Backfilling Strategy above) to trying to take as many AAC schools of value as possible. This ensures that there’s no chance that a reverse raid occurs in the future or that the CFP committee in a 12-team playoff world is trying to debate whether the Big 12 or AAC champion faced a tougher conference schedule in fighting for a playoff spot.

Houston is a school that should be in the Big 12 with its institutional and geographic fit combined with being directly located in one of the most important markets for the conference and an excellent athletic program for both football and basketball (including a New Year’s Six Bowl win in 2015 and a Final Four appearance this past year). If Houston (the school) was located anywhere outside of the state of Texas, it would essentially be a lock for Big 12 expansion. The one major wrinkle is that Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU may very well not want to elevate an in-state competitor, which is a theme that we have seen throughout conference realignment history. The Athletic mentioned that some in the Big 12 had issues with in dealing with UH board chair Tilman Fertitta in 2016, although my intuition is that’s cover for the more likely reason of in-state conflicts of interests. If I were running the Big 12, I would absolutely add Houston and this particular strategy would be the one that I’d favor the most.

When the Big 12 was looking at expansion in 2016, the league essentially looked at UCF and USF as effectively tied in a coin flip. That’s not the case any longer with UCF’s on-the-field success and building of its brand over the past several years. Today, UCF arguably brings the most pure football value of any option in the AAC along with new entry into the Orlando TV market and recruiting grounds.

3. TV Executives Will Tell Us What to Do Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, Boise State

In the above-referenced article from The Athletic on the Big 12 expansion process, the schools in this strategy were ones specifically named as possibly maximizing football and TV value for the league. Whether that was pure writer speculation or more of an informed opinion is unknown (although my gut feeling is that those names were just thrown against the wall within the context of that article). From a pure football perspective, Boise State might have the best brand value of any Group of 5 team (despite not performing as well on-the-field compared to several AAC options recently), so they are one of the few expansion options with a solid recent history of on-the-field success and corresponding TV viewership.

4. Life After Death Southwest Conference Strategy – Cincinnati, Houston, SMU, and Rice

My head says that this expansion strategy won’t be used by the Big 12, but my heart really wishes that it would. In most conference realignment situations, the reality is that the resulting matchups when games finally get played lack any history or general emotions at all. (Recall the Civil Conflict “rivalry” between UCF and UConn in the AAC where UCF didn’t even acknowledge the existence of the trophy that UConn created.) That won’t be the case here: nothing will be forced. The hate will be real with Houston, SMU and Rice (yes, Rice!) getting into the very league whose creation destroyed the Southwest Conference and demoted them to non-power status for the past 25 years. The rivalries between the those 3 schools and Baylor, Texas Tech and TCU are longstanding and, in some cases, date back over a century. While the main weakness of the Big 12 up to this point has been its overconcentration in the Texas market, that may now be its greatest asset going forward as it rebuilds. So, the strategy here would be to lean into that asset. It may be better to be the clear #2 conference in the State of Texas than to be the #3 conference in Florida or even the #2 conference anywhere else. Honestly, this is the most fun option for me as a sports fan.

5. Stealing Magnolias Strategy- Cincinnati, SMU, Rice, and Tulane

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there were various discussions of the creation of a “Southern Ivy League” of top academic private schools that was colloquially known as the “Magnolia League” and involved SMU, Rice and Tulane. As I’ve noted previously as the most important rule in conference realignment: Think like a university president and not like a sports fan. This strategy would fit into the university president’s typical desire to raise the academic pedigree of a league. While this may not be the best path to improve football quality, the argument here would be that getting AAU members like Rice (yes, Rice again!) and Tulane would have a greater institutional impact in being academic peers to a critical mass of members of the other power conferences. Even with the defections of Texas and Oklahoma, the actual on-the-field football product for the Big 12 will likely still be very good, but the challenge is about how the league’s members are perceived as overall institutions compared to the rest of the Power 5. Tulane provides a bonus of being directly located in a solid TV market (and world class road trip destination) of New Orleans and opens up another fertile recruiting area. 

6. All My Exes Live in Texas Blackballing Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, and 1 of either Memphis or USF

Going in the other direction from the Life After Death Southwest Conference strategy, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech form a voting bloc that would blackball any other Texas-based additions to the Big 12 altogether. As noted in the initial discussion on Houston, whether it’s fair or not, protecting the home territory of existing conference members has long been a major factor in realignment decisions. Essentially, this is the You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss Strategy with Houston removed and the last spot being a choice between Memphis and USF. Memphis is in an excellent college sports market that brings a fair amount of historical pedigree for both football and basketball. Meanwhile, USF creates synergy as a pair with UCF in solidifying a presence in the Central Florida region where any school that isn’t Florida or Florida State can’t carry on its won. My feeling is that Memphis would win out due to it being stronger as an overall athletic program, although there might be an overarching desire of the Big 12 to create a more impactful presence in Florida.

7. The Mountains Win Again Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, Colorado State, and Boise State

The options discussed up to this point have focused on the Big 12 adding schools to the East outside of BYU. However, there’s a fair argument that going West would be better long-term in order to get the conference into a less competitive region of the country that is also fast-growing. The Big 12 (and old Big 8, for that matter) used to have Colorado as a key member before they defected to the Pac-12. This strategy works best with building around BYU and Boise State. Colorado State has long been at the top of the list of schools that would improve its conference realignment prospects drastically if it could be merely consistently competent in football since it has so many off-the-field factors in favor of it in terms of academic profile and a location in a state that is exploding with growth. .

8. Return of the WAC Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, Colorado State, Boise State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, and Air Force (alternate: anyone else from the Mountain West Conference)

Taking The Mountains Win Again Strategy one step further, once upon a time, the WAC was a 16-team superconference with games going on at all hours of the evening. The Big 12 could resurrect that model by going big with many of the same teams that were involved in that WAC format. Essentially, this is a full-on raid of the Mountain West Conference. San Diego and Las Vegas markets are two of the largest TV markets that don’t have a direct or de facto connection to a power conference team, so the Big 12 could serve a need in those areas with San Diego State and UNLV, respectively. (Recall that Boise State and San Diego State were willing to join the old Big East football conference for a few moments before conference realignment further took its toll and they decided to re-up with the Mountain West.) Air Force further solidifies the Rocky Mountain region with some national brand value as a military academy. The Falcons have also been willing to play a higher level of competition for basketball and other non-football sports compared to their other military academy brothers of Army and Navy (who will be discussed later on in this post), although the school expressed concern about competing in a power conference in the past. In the event that Air Force doesn’t want to move, the Big 12 would effectively being throwing at a dartboard at a map of the MWC for which school gets the last spot. (Fresno State? San Jose State? Nevada? Wyoming? Utah State? Heck, Hawaii? It’s totally unclear who would win that battle.) 

9. Big Country Conference Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV, and Houston (alternate: either Memphis or USF)

Further to my last point, the old Big East attempted to put together a coast-to-coast football conference in 2012 in the wake of the ACC raiding that league of Syracuse and Pitt and the Big 12 grabbing West Virginia. However, the plan was killed when the league was raided again by the Big Ten (Rutgers) and ACC part 2 (Louisville) shortly thereafter. That’s too bad since they were employing a variation of one of my favorite blue sky ideas from the crazy conference realignment days of 2010: a coast-to-coast football-only Big Country Conference of the Big East plus the best of the then-non-AQ conference schools. For football purposes, today’s proposed Big Country Conference would be a super-fun league that can deliver 14-plus hours of games for TV networks every Saturday (plus plenty of willingness to fill weeknight time slots). The challenge would be that this may not be realistic as an all-sports league for the West members since there isn’t a critical mass of schools in that part of the country (unlike the Return of the WAC option). If those schools As a result, football-only memberships for those schools would require some coordination with a league like the Big West or West Coast Conference to take those Western schools as members for basketball and other sports.

10. I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller, I Wish I Was a Baller Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, Houston, Memphis, Temple, and UConn

It is a common refrain that “football is all that matters for conference realignment.” However, I would push back on the universality of that statement. While it’s true that the top power conferences such as the Big Ten and SEC are making so much revenue that football is really the only sport that can make a material difference, that isn’t necessarily true at the lower levels. Case in point is the new Big East that has been able to thrive both on-the-court and off-the-court financially based on basketball and no longer needing to deal with football members.

Also note the situation in the Big 12 where the most valuable school left for conference realignment purposes happens to be Kansas… and that is due entirely to its status as a blue blood basketball program. As a result, Kansas may very well have the most influence in Big 12 expansion discussions, which means that basketball prowess could become more of a factor in the decision-making. In this case, 3 AAC schools that we have discussed at length already (Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis) are included along with UConn, Temple and BYU. Granted, it’s hard to see UConn switching conferences again after leaving the AAC and going “home” to the Big East for basketball last year while turning independent for football. However, if the Big 12 is looking to really focus on its basketball brand (which will still be excellent with blue blood Kansas, reigning national champion Baylor, alma mater of the latest #1 pick of the NBA Draft in Cade Cunningham in Oklahoma State, and the national runner-up from 2 years ago in Texas Tech), then UConn has the best available brand on the table. Temple also has an excellent basketball history and would bring in the Philadelphia area that, while being perceived as a weak college football fan market, is actually a strong college basketball region with great rivalries in the Big 5.

11. Shock and Awe Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU, Air Force, Navy (football-only), Army (football-only), and 1 of either Houston or UCF

Andy Staples of The Athletic recently wrote about the importance of the 4 Million Club, where TV value is driven by games that draw more than 4 million viewers. The SEC and Big Ten have excelled on this measure since 2015, so it’s not a surprise that they draw in the most TV revenue of any conferences by far. The weakness of the Pac-12 and Big 12 (not counting Texas and Oklahoma games) by comparison was also stark. In looking through the source ratings data at Sports Media Watch, one interesting tidbit is that out of 193 college football telecasts that drew more than 4 million viewers since 2015, only 6 didn’t involve at least one Power Five team (including Notre Dame)… and 5 of those 6 games were Army-Navy games. If the Big 12 could actually make the Army-Navy game into a contest that falls under the conference contract, that may be worth more from a TV value standpoint than any other possible addition. Add in Air Force on top of that and the Big 12 would have all three service academies under its wing. Cincinnati, BYU and Houston or UCF can also be added for depth across all sports.

Now, the Army-Navy game currently has a separate TV contract with CBS, which was a requirement of Navy upon joining the AAC as a football-only member and means that league doesn’t receive any revenue from that matchup. Whether that can be adjusted would make a significant difference as to whether going for an expansion strategy focused on adding the service academies would be financially viable. In any event, Navy, Army and Air Force all do bring national brands that are hard to come by outside of the power conferences.

If I’m handicapping the field, I’d rank the following strategies in terms of likelihood: (1) You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss Strategy, (2) Lazy AF Bare Minimum Backfilling Strategy, (3) TV Executives Will Tell Us What to Do Strategy, and (4) the rest of the field. (EDIT: Thinking about this further, the All My Exes Live in Texas Blackballing Strategy ought to be included on this list. I would move that up to the #3 choice.) It’s not an accident that the same schools such as Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, Houston and Boise State are the ones that are being discussed the most along with a small handful of others. The Big 12 already went through an expansion evaluation in 2016, which would seem to make the process this time around much more efficient in theory. The real question is where the Big 12 wants to go, both literally and figuratively, as their strategies are all across the map.

(Image from IMDb)

853 thoughts on “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego State? Mapping Out Big 12 Expansion Strategies

  1. Colin

    Two days ago I sent the following email to UWV president Gordon Gee and his AD staff. I received a response thanking me for my thoughts.

    Dr. Gee, Mr. Lyons, Ms. Zinn and Mr. Uryasz:
    I am writing to convey a conference expansion proposal for the Big XII that I believe would enhance the stature of the conference following the departure of Oklahoma and Texas. As an introduction, please be aware that following the first major exodus from the Big XII in 2016 (Nebraska, Colorado, A&M and Mizzou left) the conference invited the Air Force Academy to join. The AFA athletic director said “no thanks” because he didn’t believe that AFA could recruit with the likes of Oklahoma and Texas (link). Given their imminent departure, recruiting against OU and UT will no longer be a concern after 2025.

    https://swcroundup.com/news/2016/7/28/the-time-air-force-said-no-to-the-big-12
    Obviously, most of the Big XII presidents are receptive to the concept of adding a service academy to the conference. I propose that the Big XII regroup by expanding back to twelve schools with the addition of Army, Navy, Air Force and the University of Cincinnati. I believe this endeavor would be of particular benefit to the University of West Virginia as an outlier in the East.
    The service academies now play each other every year but within different conference alignments. Navy is in the American Conference, the AFA is in the Mountain West and Army is independent. The football schedules and national exposure of all three academies would be considerably enhanced by playing the remaining members of the Big XII vs their statuses quo. Please see for yourself:

    https://fbschedules.com/army-football-schedule/
    https://fbschedules.com/navy-football-schedule/
    https://goairforcefalcons.com/sports/football/schedule/2021

    If the service academies all played within the same conference, their rivalries games would also become in-conference games for them. This would free them up to play two additional out-of-conference games, an important consideration for the academies as they typically seek to achieve a good deal of national exposure. Also, the Big XII could showcase the most classic rivalry in college football, the Army-Navy game, as a conference game of even more national interest than the Red River Rivalry that is now moving to the SEC. The Big XII would also gain considerable bragging rights for its exemplary support of our nation’s armed forces.

    With the addition of the service academies, the Big XII would be gaining three Ivy League caliber academic institutions. The University of Cincinnati would also be a prestigious addition and would seemingly become West Virginia’s end-of-season football opponent. Cincy would also bridge the gap from the Central Zone schools to those in the East. Cincinnati currently has a top ten ranked football team and is also a perennial basketball power and would certainly be a worthy addition to the Big XII Conference. The Bearcats could possibly give Dr. Gee’s old Buckeye buddies something to think about if they moved up to a P5 conference.

    Kindly forgive me for providing unsolicited advice as I’m sure you receive more than enough on a routine basis. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
    Regards,
    Colin Meyer, DVM, PhD
    Colonel, US Army (ret.)
    440 Fairmount Drive
    Madison, IN 47250

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  2. Stuart

    On the “add no Texas schools” voting bloc, you really need to include Oklahoma State along with Tech, TCU and Baylor, as both Gundy and the AD have made statements to the effect that they absolutely don’t want more Texas recruiting competition. Oklahoma is sort of an extension of Texas too.

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    1. bullet

      You are mistaken on the opposition to Texas schools. Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU and Texas all came out publicly supportive of Houston last time. OU did also.

      They will be supportive again. The opposition came from the old Big 8 schools-Ok. St., KU, KSU, ISU. They didn’t want any more competition in Texas.

      Texas Tech is playing at Houston this week. They have played Houston several times recently.

      I think the Big 12 will realize they need UH. They just don’t have enough pull and exposure in Houston without them (now that Texas is leaving).

      Colorado St. got interest from the northern Big 12 schools. KU, KSU and ISU said they had a lot of alumni in Colorado. It would be similar to a major part of the Big 10 strategy with Rutgers and Maryland. Expanding to the alumni base more than expanding for the school.

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      1. Jersey Bernie

        Except that the RU – MD expansion also brought about 30 million sets of eyeballs and a presence in NYC and DC. It also blocked the ACC from controlling the Eastern seaboard. A post made in the prior thread quoted the statistics showing that the addition of those two schools increased the income of the B1G as a whole by about 33%, so the two more than paid for themselves and increased income to the other 12 teams by a meaningful amount.

        (As an irrelevant aside, Delany saw the value of grabbing the NY/NJ market while the ACC left the opening while going to Boston, upstate NY and Pittsburgh. I never understood why the ACC did not grab Rutgers, even with lousy sports, just to seal off the entire Atlantic Coast. Delany was shrewd enough to close that gap.)

        Clearly alumni were important to the B1G, but Delany had other major strategic motivations. Not quite sure that Colorado State adds anything other than a presence in the state, where CSU is presumably the second place major school after U Colorado.

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  3. Can I propose the Mr. Bowlsby goes to Washington strategy?
    Adds: Boise St., SDSU, BYU, Nevada, New Mexico, UCF, USF and Cincinnati

    This approach also maximizes recruiting value by being the only conference with schools in each of the 3 largest talent producing state and also provides critical mass in each of the time zones with logical pods for East, Midwest, South and West.

    But the main thesis behind this plan is to just add as much political clout as possible. This is why you might take New Mexico, Nevada and Boise which adds three new states to Power 5 status. Along with BYUs political clout in Utah and existing states like Kansas and West Virginia you’d have 12 senators that could make it extremely difficult for CFB to leave demote the Big12 from Power 5 status.

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  4. Andy

    I posted this at the end of the previous thread but it was only up for a couple hours before this thread got started so I’ll repost it here. Also, I accidentally left out a few schools so I added them here. I just got news that Missouri’s average ACT score went up from 26 to 27. I wanted to see how that compared to other public P5 schools:

    Michigan 33
    Cal 33
    UCLA 32
    Georgia Tech 32
    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
    Pitt 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

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      1. Andy

        Like I said, it as of last year was 26, I just found out the new average is 27. As in this news just came out this week. I’m sure they’ll update the website at some point.

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    1. Andy

      And here’s a look at some of the Big 12 candidates

      BYU 29
      Cincinnati 27
      UCF 27
      USF 27
      Colorado State 26
      SDSU 26
      Houston 25
      Memphis 23
      Boise State 23
      UNLV 22
      New Mexico 22

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      1. bullet

        One thing to keep in mind is the prevalence of different tests in different parts of the country. The ACT has long been the main test in the midwest, but when I was in school the SAT was king in Texas. I believe it was similar in most of the south. Only those going out of state took the ACT. More people take the ACT in the south than in the past, but SAT still is predominate.

        So if you only have a small population of admitted students who took the ACT, it can distort the average.

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      2. bullet

        With a recent HS graduate, I can tell you Cincinnati, UCF, USF, Houston and Temple all require a tougher combination of grades and scores than most of the SEC and most of the Big 12. Of course, Rice, Tulane and SMU do as well. We didn’t look at the others mentioned.

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    2. urbanleftbehind

      Is there some sort of ACT inflation calculator for scores received in a given past year? I have heard that x score earned today is = about x-2 a score from the 1980s / early 1990s.

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      1. @urbanleftbehind – There has definitely been a larger increase in higher test scores. It’s not so much score inflation but rather students (at least at upper middle class income levels) spend a *lot* more time preparing for them compared to the 1980s/1990s. It’s a vicious circle – as the average scores go up, that puts even more pressure on kids to get even higher scores in order to stand out from the crowd. Our local high school has been averaging over a dozen kids per year scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT. It used to be that having 1 kid per year in that same high school getting a perfect score was a rarity. Yet, even with all of those higher scores, it has gotten exponentially more difficult to get into the Ivy League/Ivy-level schools (e.g. Northwestern, University of Chicago), which in turn has raised admissions standards for public flagships and “flagship equivalents” (e.g. UCLA, Georgia Tech, Purdue) and schools down the line. I’m glad that I’m not applying to college today.

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    3. Tupac

      Machiavellian strategy, hurt both the Mountain West and American conferences by taking 2-3 from each and leave behind very weakened competition as the #5 conference.

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    4. bob sykes

      Thanks for the effort in compiling these data. They add another dimension to understanding conference realignment. ACT/SAT are strong indicators of the overall intellectual quality of a school’s undergraduate student body, just as AAU status indicates faculty quality. These are important factors in judging compatibility with one’s peers. Maryland and Rutgers were superb additions by these criteria.

      Northwestern has a mean ACT of 34 and a minimum acceptable of 33. That adds to the humiliation of last weeks Nebraska loss (25). Although count me as skeptical that any school (especially ND) applies admission criteria uniformly over all applicants.

      The B1G average is 29, ranging from Nebraska at 25 to Northwestern at 34.

      Kansas U (26), KSU (24), and ISU (25) would appear to be academically marginal for admission to the B1G, but the cultural fit would be good, and there is a AAU fit as well.

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  5. Little8

    PAC “at this time” means when either the B1G or SEC destabilizes another P4 conference, with the Little8 only getting a look if the PAC is the one raided.

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    1. Andy

      Right, I assume the main hope for schools like Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State is if the Pac 12 or ACC get raided. Then those conferences would need replacement schools and they’d look to the Big 12 for those replacements. Short of that I think they’re going to stay in the Big 12.

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  6. Andy

    Reading through that, I think the one that ends up happening is: 6. All My Exes Live in Texas Blackballing Strategy – Cincinnati, BYU , UCF, and 1 of either Memphis or USF

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    1. Colin

      Andy, there is one factor that you guys aren’t considering. The service academies do not need TV revenue. They don’t need a dime. They have infinite revenue to support their athletic programs and it is chock full of equality and equity and whatever mumbo jumbo comes along next. The addition of all three service academies could be contingent upon them getting scheduling preference and zero TV revenue payouts. They have no reason to quibble about TV revenue payouts.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Frank the farmer

          Go big 12 n good or go home.

          For television markets in growing cities the Big 20 adds 12 universities with large endowments, medical business and law schools such as Cincinnati, VCU, Georgia State, UAB, UCF, Tulane, Rice, SMU, North Dakota State, Colorado State, San Diego State, and BYU to the 8 remaining schools.

          Add 12 plus 8. With 20 teams, play like quad NFL.. top best 5 play each other the next year plus the bottom 5. The above middle 5 play one another and the below middle 5.
          Football schedule is 9 games (4 + 5) with 3 for rivalry or money games outside the conference.
          Should any team finish in last place 3 out of 5 years, it will be replaced with a nonconference foe who beat the most conference teams over prior 5 years. The league championship game is the two highest rated teams in the top 5 polls.

          With 20 basketball teams, there are 19 teams to play once per season. Only the top 12 teams make the conference tournament.

          All other sports play in East West split conference of 10 schools. Best 4 teams in each half play for league championship.

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      1. Marc

        The addition of all three service academies could be contingent upon them getting scheduling preference and zero TV revenue payouts. They have no reason to quibble about TV revenue payouts.

        The academies’ TV payouts are greater than zero today. You feel they would take a cut to zero, in exchange for joining a conference where they’ll get slaughtered? Seriously??

        I made this point on the previous thread, but it bears repeating. Kansas is the worst football program in the Big 12. If they played Army this year, they’d be the Black Knights’ second- or third-toughest opponent. Even without Texas and Oklahoma, the remaining Big 12 programs are a BIG step up from the schedule the academies now play.

        There dozens of mid-majors that would take a Power Five invite in a heartbeat. The service academies, which could have had an invite anytime they wanted it, have never sought one. They know they cannot compete at that level. They want games they can win.

        Like

  7. Bwtell

    The mountain strategy is very interesting. You could add 6. Take BYU, CSU and Boise. Along with Cincy, Houston and UCF in the east. Pair the old big 8 schools with the mountain for travel purposes and the Texas schools and WV with the east additions and it’s not a bad little conference. With the monster asterisk of course being, will the money be there.

    Like

  8. bullet

    I would guess the most likely would be a variation of #1. 2 out of BYU, Cincinnati, or Houston.

    Then the come at the king would be #2-those 3 plus UCF.

    Then 3rd would be the “We just want our name back!” BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and then either Colorado St. or SMU. CSU for northern Big 12 alumni groups and a bridge to BYU. SMU because they have the biggest budget of the non-indie G5. They are one of the few schools with enough money to get a death penalty!

    Like

  9. bullet

    This is the average distance to the R8. Note that the Florida schools are further than BYU on average and about 50% further than most of the other schools from the 2016 final 11. Florida is also a big cultural gap in addition to geographic.

    SMU — 462
    Memphis — 594.4
    Rice — 594
    Houston — 660.5
    Air Force — 731
    Cincinnati — 783
    Colorado St. — 805
    Tulane — 807
    BYU — 1,183
    UCF — 1,233
    USF — 1,256
    Uconn — 1,456
    Boise — 1,530

    Like

  10. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    The military schools have already said in the last few years that they don’t want to join a P5 conference. They can’t physically keep up, given the academies various academic and physical restrictions that affects their recruiting. Google it.

    TV ratings for Colorado St. and Colorado are terrible compared to their peers. I’d be shocked if CSU gets an invite.

    If academic perception/fit carries any weight, Boise and Memphis may get eliminated early again. The perception of P5 peers could be important in the B12’s attempt to stay a P5. A P4/P5 split from the rest of FCS might happen much sooner than many think. UH, Cincinnati, UCF, and USF are probably the best institution fits of the realistic candidates. SD State perhaps, too.

    Memphis is overrated in basketball. SD St has performed better in the last decade, and comparable in football. San Diego is more than double the size of the Memphis market. I was pretty high on Memphis if the B12 went to 14, now I think SD St would be a better addition. Yes it is a long trip to the Pacific time zone, but the B12 could do football only or require them to have earlier start times for non-fb sports.

    If going to 16, Fresno State might be a surprise addition, that with SD St, BYU, and Boise make a west pod that helps reduce the amount of travel in all sports.

    Temple and now UNLV are hurt by being in pro towns, especially with Las Vegas’s tv market still being pretty small. There are no neighboring hinterland markets of size to draw on, as opposed to Texas (east half0 and further east. It’s an island. Look at attendance figures for the candidates, it’s not a perfect proxy for tv ratings, but helps put candidates in ranges.

    If anyone thinks U Conn might be a candidate, look at Saturday’s Fresno St game. It’s over, they’re in the Big East where they belong.

    I don’t think the B12 goes to 16, so probably the only schools that will be chosen are in a pool of:

    UCF
    Cincinnati
    BYU
    Houston
    Boise

    and maybe

    SD St
    USF
    Memphis

    Slight chance Temple if TV thinks a P5 upgrade will finally draw in viewers in the Northeast. I’m skeptical.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Slight chance Temple if TV thinks a P5 upgrade will finally draw in viewers in the Northeast. I’m skeptical.

      As you should be. Temple has been in a lot of conferences, including the Big East when it was considered a power conference. Different company, same outcome.

      Like

    2. bullet

      Think you have a good point about a P5 split. With Memphis and Boise, the Big 12 looks less like a group of peers in the eyes of the Pac 12 and Big 10 presidents and even the ACC and SEC presidents.

      Like

    3. Colin

      After Texas and Oklahoma leave the Big XII, that will mean that the original conference has lost its top six colleges: UT, OU, A&M, Colorado, Mizzou and Nebraska. Adding TCU and West Virginia to the bottom half does not make a P5 conference. There are no viable additions that will make the Big XII a P5 conference again. The Big XII leftovers are nothing like the Big Ten or the SEC.

      If the Big XII added the service academies, their inter-service rivalries would become conference games. That would then free up four out-of-conference games every year for each academy to beat up cupcakes like UConn, Liberty and Colorado State.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Adding TCU and West Virginia to the bottom half does not make a P5 conference.

        Let’s do a bit of basic math. TCU finished in the top half of the B12 football standings in 7 of 9 years since it joined. WVU finished in the top half in 6 out of 9. Hence, both schools strengthened the conference; they did not weaken it.

        Would the B12 have preferred to keep Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas A&M? Of course!! But given the emergency, they took the best replacements. That’s a roadmap to what they’ll do this time.

        There are no viable additions that will make the Big XII a P5 conference again.The Big XII leftovers are nothing like the Big Ten or the SEC.

        Sure, there isn’t another Texas or Oklahoma out there. That doesn’t mean they’ll capitulate. The most plausible additions in Frank’s list, are the ones that are the most competitive in football. That is not a coincidence.

        If the Big XII added the service academies, their inter-service rivalries would become conference games. That would then free up four out-of-conference games every year for each academy to beat up cupcakes like UConn, Liberty and Colorado State.

        Math again. Since there are only two academy games on each of their schedules, joining a conference “frees up” two games, not four. But only for Navy and Air Force. Army is independent, so joining a conference doesn’t free up anything.

        If you look at their actual schedules, they are already cupcake-laden. Imagine a knapsack. If you add 100 pounds and take off 20. No one would say, “Wow, this knapsack is 20 pounds lighter!” No, it’s 80 pounds heavier.

        We’ve already patiently explained, over and over again, that the academies don’t want to get slaughtered like that. And Army and Navy don’t want to be playing so many games halfway across the country. The Big 12 probably doesn’t want to weaken their conference schedules to that extent, either.

        Like

        1. Colin

          Marc, Navy this year Navy plays Cincy, Memphis, Tulsa, Houston and SMU. Explain to us how that is different than playing Cincy, Kansas, OK State, Baylor and TCU.

          Like

          1. Marc

            SMU and Tulsa are both below .500 all-time in AAC play. In other words, even in a weaker conference, they lose most of the time.

            Houston has been on a nice run in the AAC, but let’s put that in perspective: since joining, they’ve lost 4–5 games every year but one, and have been unranked every year but one. In other words, they are better than average against AAC competition, but below average against everyone else. It wasn’t an accident that when the B12 was formed, they were among the four former SWC schools that didn’t get an invite.

            So yeah: Kansas, Okahoma State, Baylor, and TCU >>> Memphis, Tulsa, Houston, and SMU. I will grant you that Cincinnati = Cincinnati. And that’s only Navy. Your plan is predicated on Army joining too, and the difference for them is even more dramatic.

            Like

  11. Jersey Bernie

    What may be relevant to some of these decisions are the grants of rights. The AAC extended its TV contract, but there is no grant of rights, so AAC teams are free to leave.

    UConn on the other hand has a $30 million payout to the Big East if they leave within the first six years, which ends in 2025.

    Colin, I am not sure that any of the three military academies would want to join a major college football league due to the major upgrade in competition, but your suggestion of trading money for flexibility is creative.

    Like

    1. Marc

      I don’t think Frank was being serious with UConn — it appeared only once, in the 10th option out of 11. Football is 85% of the revenue, and the more important sport for most of the eight remaining schools. They aren’t going to add a program so weak that it makes Kansas look like Ohio State.

      Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        Marc

        I agree that UConn is really not viable for anything other than the Big East. I think that it is more likely that UConn downgrades football to FCS than that it gets an offer from any other football conference. The buyout number is interesting since it is timed to end at the same time the B1G TV contract. I wonder if that was a consideration.

        Even UConn mens basketball is not what it was under Coach Calhoun. Will it ever be?

        UConn womens basketball is an undisputed KING. Unfortunately for them, not a whole lot of major conferences are built around womens bball.

        Like

  12. Logan

    I suggested something like a You Come at the King strategy in one of the previous comment threads. Basically the best way to solidify the Big 12’s position as the 5th best conference is to deliberately weaken the 6th best conference.

    One other thing that echoes the demise of the Big East – let’s say The Big 12 takes Cincy, Houston and UCF and the AAC backfills to return to 12. Then over the next several years, a couple AAC schools emerge and dominate the conference. Maybe Memphis and USF are consistently wining 10-11 games a year and occasionally sneaking into the playoffs when Big 12 schools beat up on each other and all go 9-3. The Big 12 could just poach those two and go to 14. Nothing says “we’re power 5 and you are not” like making the AAC their feeder league.

    Like

    1. Marc

      It’s a case where correlation is not causation. The B12 won’t raid the AAC out of spite or revenge — it’s simply the conference where most of the logical expansion candidates reside.

      Like

  13. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    I’d like to suggest we simply list the schools instead of using Frank’s, uh, creative titles for the options, so we don’t have to keep scrolling all the way up to see what schools are being talked about.

    I have trouble remembering the 8 schools in the You Have to Burger the King Before You Steal All My Exes Strategy.

    Like

  14. loki_the_bubba

    I’m humbled to think that I have influenced the debate enough to get Rice mentioned so many times. A man can dream, but I always wake up.

    In other news, the Owls extended our AD in spite of the horrid state of the big three sports. I guess we just want to dominate CUSA on the women’s side.

    Like

  15. Posternb4012

    Would love to see a west coast cluster of BYU, Boise St, and San Diego St to go with a more eastern cluster of Cinci, UCF, and then either Memphis, Houston, or even UConn.

    Would be a fun league. Great basketball, solid football. But 14 makes most sense to me. Not for per school payout, but for long-term survival.

    Like

  16. loki_the_bubba

    Looking again at the Magnolia League I think it has a decent chance of happening. Just not with the remains of the Big 8. If the B8 takes the top AAC teams (say Houston, Cincy, UCF, and Memphis) that league becomes the core of the Magnolia. You have Tulane, SMU, Tulsa, Temple, and Navy already. Add Rice and a couple of others, maybe UAB, and you would be there. Wichita may leave for better basketball elsewhere, and ECU and USF don’t really fit the mold, but it could work.

    Like

    1. loki_the_bubba

      The dream would be that ECU and USF decide to go elsewhere and they’re replaced by Army and Air Force. We get a nice somewhat homogenous nine team Magnolia.

      Air Force
      Army
      Navy
      Rice
      SMU
      Temple
      Tulane
      Tulsa
      UAB

      Like

      1. urbanleftbehind

        Temple is close to Annapolis and West Point, but it’s not as preppy or bro/douche as Lehigh or some of the other possible schools in VA/NC or SC. Too bad U of Jac, Stetson, Rollins and Eckhart in FL are not precipice of D1 schools.

        Also, explain in what ways UAB is different than Memphis and say, Georgia State, is it more focused on the lucrative “pre-____” liberal arts majors (they do have a good med school) and do the HBCUs siphon off enough other students that may signal more of a grittier urban school? Indeed the Blazers have come back pretty strong after the football hiatus.

        Like

        1. loki_the_bubba

          In the admittedly flawed USNews rankings,
          UAB 153
          Memphis 258

          Plus, the med school, as you noted. In most discussions on the CUSA board UAB is acknowledged as the second best school in the conference. And ahead of any in the Sun Belt.

          Like

  17. Bob

    I’m not convinced BYU would (or should) accept an invite to the B12. The details of college football playoff expansion and P12/B1G/ACC Alliance scheduling will likely play a significant role.

    There’s been alot of discussion over the years about the P10 (now P12) and BYU related to cultural differences. They don’t see eye to eye on big issues, but that has not prevented them from playing alot of football. As an independent BYU can schedule whoever they want that’s willing. They’ve played the P12 way more often than the B12, and not just the annual game with Utah. AZ, ASU, CO, and UCLA have all played BYU more than any B12 school.

    Follow Rule #1 (Think Like a University President) and look at where BYU students are from.
    State Perrcent
    Utah 34.32%
    California 9.81%
    Texas 6.34%
    Idaho 5.97%
    Washington 5.46%
    Arizona 5.03%
    Colorado 2.81%
    Virginia 2.50%
    Oregon 2.30%
    Nevada 2.09%
    https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/brigham-young-university-provo/student-life/diversity/chart-geographic-breakdown.html

    BYU schedules games where they get the most students. It’s no accident that UVA is on the schedule this year.

    What type of playoff access will BYU have as an independent? How many conference winners will get auto-bids? Will the “new” B12 be one of them? If the Alliance follows thru on the P12 Commissioner’s recent quote and plays 10 Alliance games (8+1+1) that would effectively cut off BYU’s access to P12 games. I can’t see anyone other than Utah willing to play 10 Alliance games and then BYU OOC.

    It makes sense for BYU to wait and see what shakes out with CFP expansion and the Alliance. As long as BYU can continue to schedule a mix of mostly P12 and MWC games (plus a few B12 games if needed) there isn’t much reason to join the B12. If the Alliance goes to 10 games they may need the B12.

    Like

    1. Marc

      What type of playoff access will BYU have as an independent? How many conference winners will get auto-bids?

      In the proposal, the top six conference champs get auto-bids. The B12 champ will usually be among the top six. Hence, by joining the B12, BYU would have two paths to the playoff: as the B12 champ or as an at-large. As an independent, their only path would be at-large, but with the schedule they play, they’d need to go 12–0, and how often will that happen? Maybe once in a generation.

      Besides that, as a conference member they’d get shared bowl and playoff money; as an independent, they’d get no playoff money and they’d only get bowl money for the games they are in. I would be surprised if BYU’s prospects are better as an independent.

      Like

    2. m(Ag)

      “I’m not convinced BYU would (or should) accept an invite to the B12.”

      If the Big 12 had offered them a football-only invitation, I think they might have declined it, unless they feared the “Alliance” effectively blackballing them (along with the SEC and BIg 12) by not leaving schools any slots to schedule them. I’d imagine the average BYU fan will find the Big 12 football schedule less interesting than what they’ve had as an independent.

      But the opportunity to improve their competition in the other sports, even with increased travel, has to be a big plus for the athletic program. The Big 12 has top-level basketball, and is pretty good in several other sports.

      Like

      1. Colin

        ” I’d imagine the average BYU fan will find the Big 12 football schedule less interesting than what they’ve had as an independent.”

        I agree. It wouldn’t be possible for the Big XII to cobble together a better schedule than BYU has this year. Six opponents either in-state or in contiguous states. Five Pac-12 teams on the schedule including Southern Cal. Boise State and Utah State are annual rivals plus they play Utah just about every year.

        https://fbschedules.com/byu-football-schedule/

        Like

  18. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    And the BYU AD has talked in interviews about how difficult it is to be an independent in football these days.

    I took another look at Colorado State’s football record. It’s awful, worse that USF. Other than 2013 & 2014 under Coach Sharkhumper, it’s been mostly losing records or a 7-6 ceiling for the last 18 years. They’d be a terrible addition.

    Anyways, it won’t happen because it may not have quite as high a per school payout, but if I were Kennesaw Mountain McLonghornFace taking over the B12, I’d go with ‘They’ve Earned It On The Field’ pods of:

    SD St, Fresno St, BYU, Boise St
    TxTech, TCU, Baylor, U.Hou
    Ok.St, KSU, KS, IA St
    Memphis, Cincy, WVU, UCF

    Easier travel, all the new schools have shown a commitment to doing what it takes to win, and that’s a pretty good cutoff line if the P5 breaks away.

    Like

    1. urbanleftbehind

      That 4th spot in the West Pod could go a few ways, but I concur with Fresno St in that spot as the on-field performance pick. Maybe the Valley can even wrest itself from the Bear by the latter part of this decade.

      Like

    2. bullet

      CSU is not a whole lot better historically than UTEP, New Mexico and New Mexico St.

      But they have had some good years including a top 10 finish and they have a new stadium and they are spending with the top of the G5.

      If you add them, you are adding them both as a project and for alumni connections in Colorado.

      They only get in as a #12 or #14 or #16.

      Like

  19. Andy

    New AWRU rankings are out. Here are the AAU member rankings:

    https://www.shanghairanking.com/rankings/arwu/2021

    AWRU US Rank of AAU Members

    Harvard University 1
    Stanford University 2
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3
    University of California, Berkeley 4
    Princeton University 5
    Columbia University 6
    California Institute of Technology 7
    The University of Chicago 8
    Yale University 9
    Cornell University 10
    University of California, Los Angeles 11
    University of Pennsylvania 12
    Johns Hopkins University 13
    University of California, San Diego 14
    University of Washington 15
    Washington University in St. Louis 17
    University of Michigan 18
    New York University 19
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 20
    University of Wisconsin–Madison 21
    Duke University 22
    Northwestern University 23
    University of Minnesota 24
    The University of Texas at Austin 25
    University of Colorado Boulder 27
    University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 29
    University of Maryland, College Park 30
    University of California, Santa Barbara 31
    University of Southern California 32
    Vanderbilt University 33
    University of California, Irvine35
    Purdue University 36
    Boston University 37
    Carnegie Mellon University 38
    University of Florida 39
    University of California, Davis 40
    Brown University 41-56
    Case Western Reserve University 41-56
    Emory University 41-56
    Georgia Institute of Technology 41-56
    Indiana University Bloomington 41-56
    Michigan State University 41-56
    The Pennsylvania State University 41-56
    Rice University 41-56
    Rutgers University–New Brunswick 41-56
    Ohio State University 41-56
    The University of Arizona 41-56
    University of Pittsburgh 41-56
    University of Utah 41-56
    Texas A&M University 57-62
    UC Santa Cruz 57-62
    University of Rochester 57-62
    University of Virginia 57-62
    University of Iowa 63-89
    University of Kansas 63-89
    University of Missouri 63-89
    Brandeis University 90-110
    Iowa State University 90-110
    Stony Brook University 90-110
    State University of New York at Buffalo 90-110
    University of Oregon 90-110
    Tulane University 153-168

    I know these aren’t the same as the AAU rankings but they are similar. It seems like the schools that have the most to worry about are Iowa State, Oregon, Buffalo, and Tulane. It seems like maybe Missouri and Kansas are safer than I thought. Also, as I’ve said repeatedly, Missouri is investing heavily and trending up at a high pace, so I see them probably moving up to the next block (57-62) over the next several years at this rate. So they seem tot be very safe.

    Like

    1. Marc

      It seems like the schools that have the most to worry about are Iowa State, Oregon, Buffalo, and Tulane. It seems like maybe Missouri and Kansas are safer than I thought.

      Does this survey use the same metrics the AAU does? Unless they do, those schools have nothing to worry about.

      Like

  20. Andy

    The general chatter I’m hearing is that the Big 12 is definitely adding Cincinnati and UCF. They’re deciding on whether to also add two of BYU, Boise State, and Memphis, or to just stay at 10.

    Like

  21. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    ‘Tim Shepherd’, based on his prior tweets, appears to be another twit phony with no inside info. He’s thrown out a lot of conflicting info the last few months.

    He’s just guessing.

    Like

  22. houstontexasjack

    I’d think, looking forward to the 2023 legislative session, Texas politics would incentivize the three remaining Texas Big 12 schools to play nice with Houston. There are always pet projects and legislative priorities that don’t get the political blood boiling that require legislative horse trading in order to get passed. They might not be able to get Houston an invite, but they would be well-served to at least speak well of Houston so as not to tick off representatives in the area for other petty sorts of retaliation.

    Like

      1. houstontexasjack

        UT has alumni as Speaker of the House and in the governor’s mansion. I don’t think the face imminent risk of any retribution—particularly with the UT-A&M game coming back.

        Of course, the 2022 elections will occur before the 2023 legislative session (the lege is in a special session right now called by the governor to address only certain topics), so there’s always the possibility of some surprises.

        Like

        1. After watching UT walk away alone from the Big 12 with the only political response being to call some hearings to get a few on-the-record quotes (but no actual action), I would think that Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU legitimately DGAF what Texas politicians say about Big 12 expansion at this point (and they honestly shouldn’t). Now, I believe that Houston is one of the 4 most valuable schools available for the Big 12 to add, so it makes sense for the league to add them from that standpoint. However, any outside political pressure is effectively gone.

          By the same token, while UT and OU leaving the Big 12 was certainly bad for Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU, it may end up being very good for other Texas-based schools that could move up the conference realignment ladder. Houston is certainly on that list and maybe SMU if they get Big 12 consideration. Rice could step into the AAC if Houston moves. Consolidation in the G5 ranks could end up helping schools like UTSA, UNT and UTEP long-term. Once you get past the specific partisans that support Texas Tech/Baylor/TCU, there could be several other Texas-based institutions that end up being better off when all is said and done.

          Like

          1. Jersey Bernie

            I also did not consider that the return of the UT v TAMU game might be more important to many in TX than the minor collateral damage to Texas Tech, Baylor or TCU. Thanks for that significant reminder.

            Like

          2. Right – the “T-shirt” fans in the State of Texas that aren’t alums of any prominent program are overwhelmingly either Texas or Texas A&M fans. My guess is that they’re completely jacked to see the UT-A&M rivalry reinstated and simply having Texas in the SEC (the preeminent football league on-the-field) in general. I mean, I’m the furthest thing from either a Texas native or an SEC guy, but as a pure football fan, anyone that denies that adding UT and OU on top of the existing SEC matchups is just straight-up exciting is fooling themselves. The SEC is going to have multiple monster matchups every single week.

            Like

          3. Mike

            @Frank


            as a pure football fan, anyone that denies that adding UT and OU on top of the existing SEC matchups is just straight-up exciting is fooling themselves. The SEC is going to have multiple monster matchups every single week.

            I think that is big reason for Texas wanting to leave that gets overlooked. UT’s biggest game of the the year is in Dallas leaving the games in Austin lacking. Baylor, TCU and Tech are historical rivals, but don’t inspire the buzz like A&M does. KU, KSU, ISU, OSU, and WV are considered by fans to be lesser teams that Texas should blow out. There are still going to get some of those games in the SEC, but the games in Austin just got a lot better.

            Like

    1. Eric

      The Texas legislature may strong arm the 3 Texas schools to vote for Houston, but the remaining 5 won’t vote yes. They need 6 yes votes to get in (75% of 8).

      Like

    1. Andy

      Those 4 make the most sense. I had been hearing Houston wouldn’t get in, but I think they’re a stronger candidate than Memphis or Boise.

      UCF, Cincinnati and Houston all have average ACT scores of 27 and decent but not great research numbers. BYU isn’t a research institution but their ACT average is 29 so they’re kind of like a Notre Dame-lite. All four of them are above average at sports compared to the Big 12. They all make the Big 12 better overall rather than worse.

      Like

      1. Colin

        My wife attended BYU. Cost of attendance is stunningly cheap. Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2021-22 is $5,790 and total cost including room and board is $19,236 before financial aid. However all students get some financial aid based upon household income and even the wealthy pay only $17,113.

        Household income Average cost after aid
        Less than $30,000 $8,694
        $30,001–48,000 $9,858
        $48,001–75,000 $12,386
        $75,001–110,000 $16,004
        Over $110,001 $17,113

        Like

  23. Andy

    Assuming the Athletic story is correct, here are the conferences ranked by ACT average:

    1. ACC Top Half

    Duke 34
    Boston College 33
    Georgia Tech 32
    Virginia 32
    Wake Forest 31
    Miami 31
    North Carolina 31

    Average: 32.0

    2. Pac 12 Top Half

    Stanford 35
    Cal 33
    USC 33
    UCLA 32
    Washington 30
    Colorado 28

    Average: 31.8

    3. Big Ten Top Half

    Northwestern 34
    Michigan 33
    Maryland 32
    Wisconsin 30
    Ohio State 30
    Illinois 29
    Minnesota 29

    Average: 31.0

    4. SEC Top Half

    Vanderbilt 34
    Florida 31
    Texas 30
    Georgia 30
    Texas A&M 28
    South Carolina 28
    Auburn 28
    Missouri 27

    Average: 29.5

    5. ACC Bottom Half:

    Clemson 30
    NC State 30
    Pitt 30
    Virginia Tech 28
    Florida State 28
    Syracuse 28
    Louisville 26

    Average: 28.5

    6. Big 12 Top Half

    BYU 29
    Baylor 29
    TCU 28
    Cincinnati 27
    UCF 27
    Houston 27

    Average 27.8

    7. Big Ten Bottom Half

    Purdue 29
    Rutgers 29
    Indiana 28
    Penn State 27
    Michigan State 26
    Iowa 26
    Nebraska 25

    Average: 27.1

    8. SEC Bottom Half

    Alabama 27
    Tennesse 27
    Oklahoma 26
    Kentucky 26
    Mississippi State 26
    Arkansas 26
    LSU 26
    Ole Miss 25

    Average: 26.1

    9. Pac 12 Bottom Half

    Arizona State 26
    Utah 26
    Arizona 25
    Oregon 25
    Oregon State 25
    Washington State 25

    Average: 25.3

    10. Big 12 Bottom Half

    Kansas 26
    Texas Tech 25
    Oklahoma State 25
    Iowa State 25
    Kansas State 24
    West Virginia 24

    Average: 24.8

    The top half of the SEC is pretty decent, ranking 4th out of 10. The bottom half, not so much, ranking 8th out of 10. But look at 10th place out of 10. That’s the bottom half of the Big 12. That’s a big reason why those schools aren’t getting any invites. They would bring down the average of literally any conference they join.

    Like

    1. Kevin

      Average ACT scores by themselves ignore enrollment size. Many of the bigger schools could increase the average score dramatically by reducing the enrollment levels. Plus most of these schools only report initial freshman enrollment scores and not the significant numbers that transfer into the schools.

      Like

      1. Andy

        OK, but UC Berkeley has 42K enrollment, UCLA has 44k, Texas has over 50k, Ohio State has 46k, Michigan has almost 45k, Wisconsin has almost 44k, etc. So it’s certainly possible to have a huge enrollment and a high ACT average.

        Like

          1. For as long as I’ve written about conference realignment, I’ve been careful to make this clear: clearing the academic hurdle for whichever conference is expanding (whether it’s the Big Ten, Pac-12 or Big 12) is Step 1. Once Step 1 is cleared, though, then Step 2 to getting an invite is *entirely* about athletic and financial value. Otherwise, Rice would have been in the Big Ten many years ago (much to the delight of loki_the_bubba).

            Now, I do think there’s realistically going to be a sliding scale. For instance, I firmly believe that if the Big Ten were presented with an offer to take Texas and Oklahoma in the same manner as the SEC, then the Big Ten would have taken that offer within two seconds regardless of the AAU status (or lack thereof) of OU. (No one should buy any Twitter/message board rumors that the Big Ten turned down OU for academic reasons for a single second.) The value of that move from a conference realignment standpoint would have been so overwhelming that it’s a no-brainer. Even then, though, Oklahoma is still a flagship university with a national brand.

            Further to that point, there’s always a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg calculus in how much academics are a consideration since, not so coincidentally, a disproportionate number of the most valuable brands are flagship universities that generally have higher academic standards than most of their FBS peers or schools that otherwise have academic standards that are as high or higher than many flagships (e.g. Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, Texas A&M, etc.). If most (if not all) of the top brands are schools that have either flagship status or are academically on par with flagships, then the top conferences can use academics as genteel way of eliminating schools that they would never consider on football value itself, anyway.

            Like

    2. Marc

      That’s a big reason why those schools aren’t getting any invites. They would bring down the average of literally any conference they join.

      That’s not the reason at all. If Kansas and Iowa State had the football records and the state demographics of Texas, they would be in the Big Ten, assuming some other conference had not already beat them to it.

      The Big Ten already took Nebraska, with no signs of regretting it. KU and ISU are academically better than Nebraska. They have not received invites because the football product and the state demographics aren’t attractive.

      The situation with the Pac-12 is even more obvious, since unlike the Big Ten they have clear weaknesses they’d like to address, if they could get the right schools. KU and ISU are right at the Pac-12 median academically. It is because they don’t bring enough football viewers, not because of academics, that they haven’t been considered.

      Like

      1. Andy

        I think it’s like Frank said, it’s a sliding scale. If they had football programs like Oklahoma they’d be okay. But they have a combination of below average academics AND below average football programs. So they’re going to be on the outside looking in.

        Like

        1. Marc

          That’s not the way the sliding scale works. KU and ISU’s football programs are financially worthless to the Big Ten, which means that even with Harvard’s academics, they would not get in.

          In other words, there is no conceivable setting on the “slider” where their academics would be good enough to offset the lack of athletic value. That is why Rice has never been considered.

          When you say that academics are “a big reason why those schools aren’t getting any invites,” it is just. not. true. at. all. Their horrible football programs are the entire reason.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Andy

            Iowa State is currently ranked in the top 10 in football. Their basketball history is okay. They average almost 60k fans per game in football and 15k per game in basketball lately. They’re not that bad. And they’re in the AAU, although ranked near the bottom of the AAU. If their school had an average ACT of 31 instead of 25 and did $600M per year in research instead of $300M (basically, give them the academic profile of a Maryland or a Rutgrs), it would probably help their cause some. But I guess for them probably the bigger deal is that the Big Ten already has a school in Iowa.

            Like

          2. Colin

            “But I guess for them probably the bigger deal is that the Big Ten already has a school in Iowa.”

            Of course it is.That is also why the B1G doesn’t go after Pitt.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Marc

            If their school had an average ACT of 31 instead of 25 and did $600M per year in research instead of $300M (basically, give them the academic profile of a Maryland or a Rutgers), it would probably help their cause some.

            No, not in the least.

            I guess for them probably the bigger deal is that the Big Ten already has a school in Iowa.

            Yes, you’ve got it! That, and Iowa is a very low-population and low-growth state.

            Although ISU is currently in the top 10, they have finished the season ranked just once in the last 20 years. In college sports, programs have a pronounced tendency to return to their historical norm.

            I’ve no beef with ISU — to the contrary, it would be cool to see them succeed. But they’re a long way from proving that last year’s 9–3 campaign is the new normal in Ames. They have an all-time losing record and last won a conference championship in 1912. (Not a typo.)

            Liked by 1 person

          4. bullet

            Iowa St. won the Big 12 in football last year. I think that was their first title since 1912. They have historically been pretty bad in football.

            Academics are a floor primarily. They can be a tie-breaker. But sliding scale is not really the best way to describe it.

            Like

        2. Jersey Bernie

          Andy, just wondering. Do you think that it is relevant that Maryland and Rutgers brought 30 million more people into the B1G footprint and resulted in significantly higher income to every team in the league? How about all of the B1G alumni located between DC and NYC?

          Iowa State brings a handful of extra people and probably almost no extra money to the B1G. The State of Iowa is already in the B1G, so how does Iowa State pay for itself, much less add value to the B1G?

          Though it is an academic conference with lots of sports, no one gets an admission ticket without also bringing significant value to the sports league. PSU brought Pennsylvania and great football. Nebraska was expected to bring great football and both had national football reputations. MD and RU brought money, eyeballs, B1G alums, and stopped the ACC from controlling the Atlantic coast by creating the ONLY college football presence from DC to NYC (not counting PSU fans in the Philly area).

          I doubt that Iowa State was on Delany’s short list of additions when any of those were invited.

          Iowa State brings what exactly compared to any of the four newer teams?

          I am sure that Iowa State is a perfectly fine university, which recently has also had excellent football, but they bring no upside to the B1G.

          Like

          1. Andy

            Iowa State is probably a bad example for all the reasons you’re listing.

            Kansas is more relevant. They would bring a new state and a primo basketball brand. If their ACT average were 31 like UNC’s then I bet they’d be a more serious candidate. As it is they’d have one of the worst academic profiles in the Big Ten.

            And I think it goes for the Big 12 as well. Notice they’re apparently adding 3 schools with an ACT average of 27 and one with an ACT average of 29. Notice who they’re not inviting:

            Boise State – ACT average 23
            Memphis – ACT average 23
            UNLV – ACT average 22

            I think they’re shying away from weak academic schools.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Kansas is more relevant. They would bring a new state and a primo basketball brand. If their ACT average were 31 like UNC’s then I bet they’d be a more serious candidate.

            No league with football expands for basketball. Football is 85% of the TV revenue. Even with Stanford’s academics, Kansas wouldn’t get in. It’s true, they’re in a state the Big Ten doesn’t have, but it’s a low-population state.

            We don’t know if UNC is a serious candidate. But NC is 9th in population, more than all but three states in the B1G footprint. It is also growing faster than any state in the footprint. Kansas is 36th with well below-average growth.

            Notice they’re apparently adding 3 schools with an ACT average of 27 and one with an ACT average of 29. Notice who they’re not inviting:

            Boise State – ACT average 23
            Memphis – ACT average 23
            UNLV – ACT average 22

            I think they’re shying away from weak academic schools.

            The rumored choices are all better for football, television, recruiting, etc. In other words, they are doing what Frank has preached on this blog for the last 15 years or so. While your academic hypothesis happens to work in this case, how does it explain the ACC replacing Maryland with Louisville? How does it explain the B12 adding West Virginia?

            Even if the schools were all equal academically, there are a bunch of purely athletic reasons why Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati would be best. When a sports league makes a sports decision, don’t invent other reasons for it.

            Like

          3. Jersey Bernie

            ACC taking Louisville was simple. Clemson and FSU demanded a football school, with an implicit threat of picking up their own footballs and leaving. Louisville had been 12-1 the prior season and they were ranked in the top 20. Simple.

            Academics at NC, VA, Duke, etc. had to bite their respective tongues and take the top football school available.

            Like

          4. Marc

            But Louisville was not an exception. It proved the rule that football value drives almost all realignment decisions. The ACC (Louisville), the Big 12 (West Virginia), and the Big Ten (Nebraska) all made a football decision to take schools that were academically worse than the members they already had.

            Like

          5. Andy

            If Kansas had the academics of Stanford, like you suggested, plus a new, contiguous state and a top 5 basketball program, I think there’s a high chance they’d be added to the Big Ten right now. As it is, they don’t. Their academics are basically the same as Nebraska’s, maybe slightly better.

            Like

          6. Marc

            If Kansas had the academics of Stanford, like you suggested, plus a new, contiguous state and a top 5 basketball program, I think there’s a high chance they’d be added to the Big Ten right now.

            Which past realignment decision by any football conference is consistent with this?

            Why are you suggesting a newfangled explanation that many past realignments flatly contradict, when the one that Frank put out there 15 years ago continues to explain everything?

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          7. Andy

            If you give Kansas the academics of Stanford then they are basically Duke. Don’t you think the Big Ten would take Duke? I do. There’s no proof that they wouldn’t. In fact, I think not only would the Big Ten take Duke, but the SEC would gladly take them as well.

            Butt Kansas is not Duke so it’s all hypothetical.

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          8. Marc

            If you give Kansas the academics of Stanford then they are basically Duke. Don’t you think the Big Ten would take Duke?

            In that case, they’d be getting into North Carolina, the country’s 9th-most populous state, and one of its fastest-growing. There’d also be an obvious school to pair Duke with, UNC. All of that Kansas can’t offer, even if it had Duke’s academics.

            In fact, I think not only would the Big Ten take Duke, but the SEC would gladly take them as well.

            I doubt we will ever know, but I suspect not. Unlike the Big Ten, the SEC does not have the problem of being concentrated in slow-growing states. It has four states growing faster than NC is (Texas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina).

            With football being ~85% of the revenue, I’ve got to think UNC+Duke would be a net negative for the SEC and possibly even for the Big Ten. The nation’s best MBB rivalry might not be enough to compensate for their mediocre-to-poor football product.

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          9. Andy

            It’s all hypothetical, but you have to think like a university president and think about the prestige factor.

            If the SEC adds UNC and Duke, they add a major contiguous state, but also they do two more things: they instantly make the SEC as good of a basketball conference as any other league, and also they remove any remaining questions about the SEC academically. A league with Duke, Vanderbilt, UNC, Florida, Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, and Georgia is unquestionably a solid league academically, and all of the university presidents could feel good about that.

            I absolutely think the SEC would take both UNC and Duke if they had the chance. Can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.

            Like

          10. Little8

            The B12 invited WV because it needed to get back to 10 teams to fulfill its TV contract commitments. #1 candidate Pitt was angling for and got an ACC invite, B12 powers deemed #2 candidate BYU made too many unique demands. That left WV and Louisville as the best available that would accept a B12 invite. The B12 chose WV. When the B1G poached Maryland the ACC had the same choice and picked Louisville (WV would have left the B12 in an instant for the ACC). If the ACC had picked WV than Louisville would probably be in the B12 now. Yes athletics played a major role in the decisions to the extent that Rice or Tulane were not considered by either ACC or B12 but it is always a multi-factor decision. On a pure athletic choice the B12 should have picked BYU.

            Like

          11. Marc

            It’s all hypothetical, but you have to think like a university president and think about the prestige factor.

            Folks trot out Frank’s “think like a university president line” but don’t always work out the details. The real #1 rule of the presidents is that nobody voluntarily realigns to lose money. It is not absolutely clear to me that Duke and UNC could be financially accretive to the SEC. Granted, it’s not a crazy idea and they might take that deal, but it’s not clear-cut.

            The B12 invited WV because it needed to get back to 10 teams to fulfill its TV contract commitments.

            We all know why the B12 expanded. The point is they made an athletic decision to take a school that was academically worse than every member they had. They were not looking at ACT scores.

            On a pure athletic choice the B12 should have picked BYU.

            Incorrect. WVU was the better football school at the time. In the decade before they joined the B12, WVU had 10 bowl appearances and 7 ranked seasons, including 3 in the top ten. They also had 3 BCS appearances, the gold standard at the time. Over the same 10 seasons, BYU had 7 bowl appearances, 6 ranked seasons, none in the top 10, and no BCS bowls.

            WVU was clearly the better football product, and better still, they also didn’t have the Sunday play issue in other sports. It was the best athletic decision.

            Liked by 1 person

  24. Colin

    Four P5 TV networks in one state? That’s what were’s actually looking at in Florida. The ACC and SEC networks are already there. A couple of years ago Comcast tried dropping the Big Ten Network from their basic package and they had so many cancelations from B1G alumni that they brought the BTN back in a couple of months.

    So if UCF joins the B12, how many people will pay for yet another P5 TV network?

    Like

  25. Richard

    Thinking about the Alliance & 8 conference games vs 9, I agree that for the B10, dropping to 8 conference games and substituting in an Alliance game by itself wouldn’t do much of anything. What dropping to 8 conference games does is give you flexibility, though (even if the schools that have big stadiums desire 7 home games a year). With 8 conference games, I would expect 3 protected rivalry games and playing the other 10 schools half the time. You could then stage OOC games between B10 schools while still allowing Iowa its precious 7 home games and ISU rivalry game. When they aren’t meeting in conference play, have one game a year where 2 of OSU/UMich/PSU/MSU/Wisconsin/UNL play each other (on a home field). 2 of the other 7 (besides Iowa) also play each other each year OOC in a kickoff classic that is either held in Chicago or the East Coast. I would make both games kickoff classics (either Week 1 or Week 0).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike

      @Richard – There is one way to play nine conference games and give everyone seven home games, invite the SEC to the Alliance. Teams that have 5 conference home games get two away Alliance games (four at home get one away). It solves the ACC vs SEC problems the current arrangement has (just lock those rivals) and makes for a fair scheduling arraignment.

      9 Big Ten
      1 ACC
      1 P12
      1 SEC

      Yes the math doesn’t work out for a 16, 14, 14, and 12 member conferences, but the extra teams could just play each other. Also, it completely screws Notre Dame unless they join a conference. Assuming they do, a week 0 game could be added to accommodate “games of regional importance” like ND-Navy, Iowa-Iowa St, Utah-BYU, etc.

      Like

      1. Richard

        ??? That gives you 6 home games a year as the regular season is 12 games.
        5 home conference games means 4 away conference games. Add on 2 more away Alliance games and you have 6 away games, meaning only 6 home games a year.

        4 home conference games means 5 away conference games. Add on another away Alliance game and you have 6 away and 6 home games.

        Like

    1. urbanleftbehind

      …as #13 and #14 or as replacements of 2 the original favored #9 thru #12? Maybe the UCF prez won this year’s Fertitta Award and BYU is backing out as much for not being able to schedule PAC and other overall recruiting grounds as in regards to Honor Code.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc

      A lot of people thought Texas A&M would vote against Texas joining the SEC, but they did not.

      Conference realignment decisions in FBS are almost invariably driven by football money. If Houston is the best financial choice, they’re going to get the nod, no matter what the other considerations may be.

      Like

  26. Phil

    Did ESPN double cross the AAC (again)?
    So if cbssports report is correct , the top 3 AAC programs – Cindy, UCF, UH and Byu are the Big 12’s preferred candidates. Option 2. I wonder if ESPN goaded AAC earlier to solicit big 12 schools knowing that this would upset the big 12 to go aggressive back Speculation, but I can see some kind of backroom deal to free up Oklahoma, Texas early with less penalty in exchange for a revenue package close to existing for Big 12. ESPN gets what it wants for SEC , Byu contract rolled into the big12 and reduced contract for AAC. ESPN and Sec get exactly what they want. , big 12 is stabilized, the 4 newbies are happy. AAC gets holding the bag.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc

      The B12 is simply doing what every league does in realignment, whether ESPN suggests it or not. They go to the next conference down the food chain. Or, as Frank put it, the sh*t rolls downhill.

      I don’t think we can credit ESPN with any Machiavellian insights, when the B12 is just doing the obvious things that realigning conferences always do.

      Like

  27. Andy

    Like

      1. Colin

        ” . . . the proposed move by the #Big12 to bring BYU, Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati into the league is basically a “done deal.” Formal invitations are expected to go out within the next 7-10 days . . .”

        The Big XII will be moving fron a conference with two outliers – ISU and WV – to at conference with five outliers – BYU, ISU, Cincy, WV and UCF. Will that enhance TV revenue?

        And adding Houston to a conference that already has lost its Texas state flagship and its little brother – will that enhance TV revenue?

        Like

        1. Marc

          The Big XII will be moving fron a conference with two outliers – ISU and WV – to at conference with five outliers – BYU, ISU, Cincy, WV and UCF.

          ISU isn’t an outlier: it has been a conference mate with Kansas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State since 1958. It has been with Kansas and Kansas State since 1913.

          But anyhow, you’re the guy who suggested they invite Army and Navy, which would have been more obvious outliers than any of the schools you mentioned.

          Will that enhance TV revenue?

          And adding Houston to a conference that already has lost its Texas state flagship and its little brother – will that enhance TV revenue?

          Yes, without a doubt. Nobody in the last 25 years has made a conference realignment move without confirming the value with TV partners. They’ll make less than the old Big 12, but there’s nothing they can do about that. With the hand they’ve been dealt, these are the best cards to play.

          Like

  28. Bob

    Assuming these four are invited and accept, a bunch of questions come to mind.
    How will B12 expansion impact the timing and exit fees for OU & UT’s move to the SEC?
    Will the “new” B12 still be considered a P5 league or just the best of the rest?
    Will the SEC and B1G/P12/ACC Alliance (if that turns into anything) still schedule B12 home and home OOC games or will the be relegated to buy-games?
    How will B12 expansion impact upcoming discussions on playoff expansion in September?
    Will the B12 still be considered an Automony league by the NCAA?
    What other reshuffling and consolidation will occur in the other G5 leagues?
    How will all of this impact the planned NCAA Constitutional Convention in November?

    Grab some popcorn it’s going to be an interesting football season on and off the field.

    Like

    1. Andy

      I think the new Big 12 will be kind of on the boarder between P5 and G5 status. When the playoff expands, they take the top 6 conference champs. So the Big 12 would pretty much always get a spot in the playoffs. The way they can establish themselves as a solid P5 conference is if they win playoff games. If they make the playoffs and then lose badly every year, they won’t be taken seriously. It will be up to schools like UCF, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State to actually win some playoff games agains the OUs and Georgias and Ohio States and Oregons of the world in the playoffs. If they do that, they’ll be taken seriously as a P5 conference.

      Like

    2. Marc

      How will B12 expansion impact the timing and exit fees for OU & UT’s move to the SEC?

      If OU and UT want to leave much before 2025, the exit costs are stratospheric. I don’t see the Little 8 being very generous to them. If they want to leave early, it will cost them. These four additions are the best the Big 12 can do. They are still no substitute for Oklahoma and Texas.

      Will the “new” B12 still be considered a P5 league or just the best of the rest?

      There is no formal process for that to be revoked. At some point, if they do not carry their weight, the other four might push to expel them. It’s going to be important that they win their fair share against the other leagues.

      Will the SEC and B1G/P12/ACC Alliance (if that turns into anything) still schedule B12 home and home OOC games or will the be relegated to buy-games?

      The distinction isn’t as clear as you’re suggesting. Even today, Power Five teams sometimes schedule home-and-homes with non-P5 opponents, and sometimes schedule buy games within the P5. Oklahoma State might be in a position to make more demands than UCF.

      How will B12 expansion impact upcoming discussions on playoff expansion in September?

      The B12 should be desperately wanting expansion to pass.

      Will the B12 still be considered an Automony league by the NCAA?

      Much like P5 status, there isn’t any provision for that status to be revoked. Given that the NCAA is getting weaker, I do not see any league losing autonomy status.

      What other reshuffling and consolidation will occur in the other G5 leagues?

      In the past, almost every move sets off a domino chain of others. The ACC, as the strongest of the G5 leagues, will probably be looking to poach its nearest neighbors.

      Like

      1. m(Ag)

        “There is no formal process fo [P5 status] to be revoked. At some point, if they do not carry their weight, the other four might push to expel them. It’s going to be important that they win their fair share against the other leagues.”

        The term “Power 5” came with the current playoff system, replacing the term “AQ conferences”, which represented the 6 conferences that automatically qualified for the BCS bowls. While the term P5 doesn’t have an official definition, it was created to refer to the 5 conferences that signed contracts with the bowls in current playoff system. The AAC (née Big East) was the AQ conference that didn’t make the cut.

        If we still have the current playoff system when the Longhorns and Sooners move to the SEC, I could see the Sugar Bowl seeking to terminate their contract with the Big 12 (1). I would consider that officially “losing Power 5 status.” Of course, that won’t have any meaning if we’ve already started the new playoff system.

        In any event, I don’t see anyone trying to strip the Big 12 of “autonomy status”, as long as it votes like a *relatively* rich conference. That status was created so the wealthier conferences aren’t bound by the poorer conferences trying to keep spending down to “even the playing field.” Judging from comments by the P5 commissioners (which have been overshadowed since the realignment news broke), this NCAA convention better strengthen that independence or we may have a breakaway.

        (1) I believe someone suggested this on this board when the news of realignment first broke, but I could see the Big 10, SEC, ND, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl getting together and agreeing to this: Sugar Bowl: Sec #1 vs. Big 10 #2 or ND; Orange Bowl: ACC #1 vs SEC #2 or ND. The SEC/Big 10/ND would get a bit less money for each appearance for their #2 team than they currently get from the Orange Bowl, but they’d be likely to get more appearances. If they wanted to cheer up the ACC and Pac 12, you could have the ACC #2 vie with the Big 10 for the Sugar Bowl 2nd spot, while the Pac 12 #2 vies with the SEC for the Orange Bowl #2 spot, but I don’t know that the bowls would really want that (the #2 team from the ACC or Pac 12 is more likely to not have a large fanbase than the BIg 10 or SEC #2 team, especially since this might actually be team #3 if the conference gets a team in the playoffs).

        Like

        1. Marc

          I could see the Sugar Bowl seeking to terminate their contract with the Big 12 (1). I would consider that officially “losing Power 5 status.” Of course, that won’t have any meaning if we’ve already started the new playoff system.

          That makes a lot of sense! The term “Power Five,” as you’ve noted, has no real legal meaning—it’s just the leagues that had (historically) the best bowl access.

          If the playoff proposal passes, the top six conference champs will get playoff bids, which amounts to the same thing. It’s fairly probable that new Big 12 would almost always be in the top six.

          Now, if the playoff proposal is modified, we’ll have to see how they treat the B12. The Pac-12 commissioner has said he wants an autobid for power conference champs. He didn’t say if he still considers the B12 a member of that group.

          I don’t see anyone trying to strip the Big 12 of “autonomy status”, as long as it votes like a *relatively* rich conference. That status was created so the wealthier conferences aren’t bound by the poorer conferences trying to keep spending down to “even the playing field.”

          Also very sensible. Nobody’s going to tell the Big 12 it can’t spend like a big boy, and I doubt it would choose to self-demote.

          Like

        2. bullet

          I have a sense that this NCAA convention is being driven by everyone BUT the P5.

          Not sure that anything happens with it.

          The Knight commission had a survey saying most schools wanted to split off football but keep basketball in the NCAA. However, the P5 (and you had to look to find that data) strongly opposed that option. Not sure there isn’t a big clash about to happen.

          Like

          1. Marc

            I’m not predicting what’ll happen, but I think there’s near-universal disgust at the NCAA’s wastefulness, mismanagement and bureaucracy. The trouble is, everyone agrees that at least some of its functions are necessary. The schools have tolerated the NCAA’s ineptitude because they didn’t have the stomach for creating something brand new that might just trade the current problems for new ones.

            Interesting tidbit: for decades, the NCAA insisted that if players could monetize their NIL rights, it would destroy college athletics. Now, suddenly the players are doing exactly that, and the sky has not fallen down. How many tens of millions did the NCAA spend enforcing and litigating the former rule, only to let it drop so quickly when they finally realized the issue was lost?

            That’s not the first time it has happened. For years, the NCAA insisted that universally televised games would be the end of college football. It spent millions litigating that position up to the Supreme Court—and lost. Would anyone now prefer to go back to the days when almost all games weren’t on TV?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. bullet

            NIL may well destroy college sports. But I don’t know how it could have been avoided. Like that gymnast being a social influencer on instagram. How do you justify preventing that? Any other student could do that, including those on scholarships.

            There is going to be even more of a rush of athletes to the bigger, richer schools. You won’t see those occasional stars stay at home. The imbalance will get bigger.

            Like

          3. Jersey Bernie

            The impact of NIL remains to be seen. OSU recruit Quinn Evers was the top rated QB in high school football, so he skipped his high school senior year to enroll at OSU, where he is expected to earn about one million dollars or more from licensing this year. Not bad for a kid who was supposed to be playing high school football right now.

            I do not know how many other times that has occurred this year, but it has now happened at Rutgers. Gavin Wimsatt is the number one recruit in Kentucky, ranked nationally in the top 150 and the number eleven rated QB by 247 and he ranked in the top 100 by Rivals.

            While being number 11 QB and top 100 recruit (by Rivals) might be irrelevant to OSU and others, he is the second highest ranked QB recruited by RU since 247 started its ranking system.

            Last weekend he played his third high school game of the season for Owensboro, Kentucky, and then formally graduated from high school. (He had taken a number of accelerated courses and was qualified to graduate whenever he wanted.) Wimsatt was expected to enroll at Rutgers in January. Instead, this week he will be in classes at RU and start practice with the team. It appears likely that he was advised that he will earn well into six digits from NIL. It will not be the million earned by Quinn Evers, but he is also not the top ranked QB in this year’s ratings.

            After the Friday night game, Wimsatt told his high school teammates that he had leave them to take the money.

            Was that an unexpected and unintended consequence of NIL and does anyone care?

            As a total aside, is this also a message to other relatively top recruits that they can even go to RU and earn big money from licensing?

            Like

          4. bullet

            I was surprised just how big the money was. I didn’t think the impact would be that dramatic, but I was thinking 4 and 5 digits, not 6 and 7.

            Like

          5. Marc

            The impact of NIL remains to be seen.

            I agree—it’s early innings. Actually, the top of the first with nobody out.

            The NCAA and its member schools have repeatedly claimed that a particular rule was an existential necessity, only to change it later when they were forced to. Their credibility is long past shot.

            I don’t think NIL is an existential threat to college sports. Will there be changes that some people don’t like? Absolutely.

            Like

          6. ccrider55

            Marc:

            “… only to change it later when they were forced to.”

            Are you saying the ncaa should defy the ruling?

            “ Their credibility is long past shot.”

            I may have (many) disagreements with a number of ncaa positions, but this acquiescence certainly doesn’t destroy credibility.

            Like

          7. Marc

            Are you saying the ncaa should defy the ruling? . . . I may have (many) disagreements with a number of ncaa positions, but this acquiescence certainly doesn’t destroy credibility.

            Look at their litigating position. They always say, “if we lose, college athletics won’t survive!!” — or words to that effect. They say it in every case, going back decades.

            That’s what I mean, when I say their credibility is shot. Clearly, they had to comply when they lost.

            Like

    3. Little8

      What other reshuffling and consolidation will occur in the other G5 leagues?
      AAC will be down to 8 football members if they lose 3. AAC will target either Mountain West, CUSA, or the Military Academies as football only members. Colin should already be writing Aresco. Navy is already a football only member of the AAC. After the defections the AAC will be weaker than CUSA was at the time Army was a football only member (CUSA had TCU, Houston, Louisville, Cincinnati). It may be hard to convince Air Force to leave the MW conference due to other sports and increased travel. If the AAC invites the best teams from the MW they could be more far flung than the B12 with members from California to Florida.to Pennsylvania to Idaho.

      Like

      1. Marc

        If the AAC refills with the three best available football schools, which ones would it take?

        Colin should already be writing Aresco.

        Because his last letter was so influential?

        Navy is already a football only member of the AAC. After the defections the AAC will be weaker than CUSA was at the time Army was a football only member (CUSA had TCU, Houston, Louisville, Cincinnati).

        It’s not crazy that Army would join the defanged AAC. It’s a step up in competition for them, but not as big as the B12 would have been, and the geography is better. Ultimately, I still think they’d be a no.

        It may be hard to convince Air Force to leave the MW conference due to other sports and increased travel.

        Without Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati, the MW is probably the more desirable conference, so I suspect they’d say no thanks.

        Like

    4. bullet

      OU and UT’s move and Big 12 autonomy are probably tied together. They reach an amicable agreement for early departure and SEC supports Big 12 retaining autonomy.

      There’s a LOT of downsides if the Big 12 tries to play hardball on the exit. They could make enemies in the NCAA and in the Texas and Oklahoma legislatures.

      I suspect the speed of the Big 12 additions is an indication that deal making is well under way on the exit.

      Like

      1. ccrider55

        Bullet,

        “ There’s a LOT of downsides if the Big 12 tries to play hardball on the exit. They could make enemies in the NCAA…”

        The ncaa is going to have a major over haul, if not a complete remake, a primary reason for the formation of the Big Paclantic.

        “…and in the Texas and Oklahoma legislatures.”

        Are you saying those legislators are supporting the demotion even if only reputation, for now) of TT, Baylor, TCU, and OkSU?

        Like

        1. bullet

          You need friends in the legislature for pet projects and funding. You don’t want to make enemies of the many Longhorns and Sooners in the legislatures.

          I’m not talking about the legislature as a whole. I’m talking about individual votes and important committee chairmen.

          Like

      2. Marc

        They reach an amicable agreement for early departure and SEC supports Big 12 retaining autonomy.

        That’s an empty gesture because the SEC cannot take autonomy away if the Big Paclantic supports them keeping it, which it probably does.

        Like

    1. frug

      Also

      American Athletic Conference bylaws require schools to give a 27-month notice before they leave and pay a $10 million buyout fee. In that scenario, joining by the 2023 season would be a long shot, but an earlier exit and higher buyout could be negotiated. The most realistic timeline, sources said, is 2024.

      Like

  29. jog267

    Were the Sooners and Longhorns to stick around til the end (however unlikely) both should be scheduled to visit BYU, Houston, UCF and Cincinnati in 2023/24.

    Like

    1. urbanleftbehind

      That’s a development which supports the ESPN theory from a few posts above..lard up the 2023-24 aggregate B12’s schedules with attractive non-G5/payout games.

      Like

  30. Richard

    The new college football world we’re entering looks a lot like the BCS era, when the BE was clearly the poorest of the Automatic Qualifying conferences (just like the new B12 will be the poorest, by far, of the Power 5 now). But that doesn’t mean that the new B12 can’t win on the field. While in the BE, Miami, a smallish private school that was forever financially outgunned by the super-kings in college football, still managed to win 2 national titles by taking advantage of its positive attributes (a goldmine of local talent in a football-mad state coupled with nice weather and a desirable location). In the new B12, I see UCF and Houston having the same advantages, and unlike smallish Miami, those 2 schools are as big as major flagships (though they have been typically commuter schools, but they can change that). We could see the battles between UCF, Houston and Cindy (and maybe OK St., maybe TCU and/or TTech too) become as nationally relevant as the games Miami played against Beamer’s VTech (and sometimes Syracuse).

    Like

    1. Marc

      While in the BE, Miami, a smallish private school that was forever financially outgunned by the super-kings in college football, still managed to win 2 national titles by taking advantage of its positive attributes (a goldmine of local talent in a football-mad state coupled with nice weather and a desirable location).

      Miami became a national power as an independent. As they entered the Big East, they’d already won 3 national championships in the preceding 8 years. They won it in again in their first season as a BE member, giving them 4 in 9 years. No Big 12 team, current or incoming, has a record remotely like that.

      I’m not saying it couldn’t happen—of course it could. Alabama is having a similar run right now, but they’re not really a relevant comparison. Nick Saban has been outstanding, but rebuilding an historically elite program is not the same as creating one where it never existed.

      For a recent case like Miami, you need to look at Clemson, which was historically pedestrian before Swinney got there. How often does a program make that kind of leap? Maybe once every 20 years or so. And remember, there are dozens of other programs that are trying to do the same, to say nothing of fallen angels like Michigan and USC that are trying to get back.

      Like

      1. Richard

        When you’re in a region rich in HS football talent, you just need the right coach to take your school to the next level. Miami, FSU and VTech were nothing in football before Schnellenberger, Bowden and Beamer came (Miami was thinking of shutting down their football program before Schnellenberger came) and Clemson wasn’t much before Dabo.

        In 1976, how much Canes gear (or even Noles gear) was worn around FL?

        Like

        1. urbanleftbehind

          Pitt is an example of urban program rise and fall. Things came together in the Dorsett-Marino decade (73-82) – rich recruiting area, mixed in with targeted recruiting of southern states by southern head coaches. All with an NFL dynasty nearby. Unfortunately, they became eclipsed by the state flagship( +,ND/OSU resurgence), the area has dropped in relative population and thus # of HS players, the BE became subpar after 04.

          Like

    2. Colin

      Richard, the problem is that Cincy, UCF and Houston ARE commuter schools. I live near Cincinnati and travel into the metro area every month of so. I see plenty of Ohio State T-shirts, baseball hats and bumper stickers, ditto the Reds and the Bengals. I have never see one person displaying Bearcat gear.

      I’m retired military and have also lived in Florida and Texas. Same situation. Texas has lots of Longhorn fans and Aggie fans and you’ll see a few TX Tech fans, but I never saw one person in Houston gear. Florida is about evenly split between Gators and Noles and Canes but a UCF fan was never seen.

      Cincy, UCF and Houston are in high school football hotbeds and all three recruit well locally and have good teams. But they will never develop enough of a fanbase to even earn the honor of being called a Little Brother. Cincy is way too far behing Ohio State. UCF and Houston are, at best, the Number Four teams in their respective states.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Sure, they started as commuter schools and still have a heavy commuter population but times do change. Most people on here may not realize it, as this is several decades in the past, but UCLA use to be a commuter school as well. For that matter, so was UW-Seattle.

        Like

      2. urbanleftbehind

        Do you see any Miami (OH) gear in Cincy? I see a lot on the north side of Chicago and in the suburbs. More so than the Bearcats. OH may not have a singular little brother, but many step brothers (MAC schools) in distinct corners of and communities in the state .

        It could be the garish bearcat claw logo and also the local old-timey contention the UC is barely above a juco. “Houston High” also shares that issue.

        Like

        1. @urbanleftbehind – Miami (OH) has long been a popular out-of-state destination for suburban Chicago students (historically much more so than Ohio State), so it doesn’t surprise me that you see a lot of their gear around here. I think it has a fairly unique atmosphere for a public university – it looks and feels a lot more like a private liberal arts school than it does a public research institution despite its size. So, that has long been attractive to a lot of Chicagoland students that are looking for a larger school but still has more of a (for lack of a better term) preppy vibe.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ward Weber

            My son is a senior at Miami – he said that 80% of the kids there come from the “5 C’s” – Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago and China.

            Like

        2. Colin

          Yes, I do see some Miami OH gear in my boondock area. I live about halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati on the Ohio River. Miami is a highly regarded academic school, certainly more prestigious than Cincy or Louisville.

          Like

  31. Phiil

    Replacements for AAC: Rice, UTSA, FAU,FIU – sounds more like a recipe for alphabet soup, Southern Miss?
    Probably only need to get back to 10 . Certainly a Texas school to replace Houston. Also a Florida school to replace UCF.

    Like

  32. Jersey Bernie

    Not a great day for Indiana. In addition to getting clocked by Iowa, running back David Holloman was given a jersey indicating that he played for “Indinia”. Minor typo on the face of his jersey,

    Like

    1. bullet

      Well he does have a patch saying he plays in the Big 10, a conference with 14 schools.
      Can’t do math or English.

      There’s a good chance with realignment we get rid of one of the mathematically challenged conferences with the Big 12 fixing their numbers. Now we need the Atlantic 10 to blow up as things roll downhill. Not sure how we fix the Big 10. Trade Maryland for Pitt? Then you could at least claim 10 states.

      Like

        1. bob sykes

          They will call themselves “The Big Ten” regardless of how many teams are in the conference. “Ten” is not a number. It is part of a trademark. Just like “Coke” is not an ingredient. It is a trademark.

          People, even highly educated ones, keep confusing English with algebra, and worse, confusing formal written English with spoken English. For example, spoken English uses multiple negatives for emphasis. This is well understood by high school drop outs who haven’t yet taken algebra, but not by math professors at MIT. (I would name the culprit, but I forget his name.)

          Anyway, I love the subliminal 16 in B1G. Wish I had seen it first. Now I can’t unsee it.

          Thanks.

          Like

  33. frug

    Flag football in the Olympics?

    https://swimswam.com/cricket-flag-football-among-sports-vying-for-la-2028-inclusion/

    A rule change in 2020 allows host nations to add sports based on local interest. For Tokyo that meant skateboarding, surfing, karate, sport climbing, 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and baseball and softball.

    In Paris in 2024 sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing will return and break dancing (aka “breaking”) will be added.

    While no official decision has been made for LA, baseball and softball seem all but certain to return and skateboarding and surfing would make a lot of sense given their popularity in Southern California. The International International Cricket Council has announced they plan to pursue addition of cricket for either 2028 or 2032.

    The most interesting potential addition though is 5×5 flag football. The NFL is making a big push to have the sport added. Given the NFL’s desire to spread football’s popularity internationally this would be a marketing coup, but the fact the sport has so little following outside of North America could make it a tough sell to the IOC.

    Like

    1. Colin

      I’m a 40% disabled veteran as rated by the VA and my disability is a compressed disc between my 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae and subsequent arthritis. I was injured playing flag football in the Army. Here are the rules to Army flag football:

      1. Knock ’em to the ground as hard as you can.
      2. Jump on top of ’em.
      3. Pull flag from belt.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Jersey Bernie

    One thing to keep in mind is that for every sport added to an Olympics, one other sport is removed. The total number of sports does not change. That is why the article discusses sports being added or dropped.

    For reasons that I still cannot understand, there was a serious proposal to remove the discus throw from the 2016 Olympics in Rio. This was notwithstanding the fact that the discus was an original Olympic sport in 1896 and was part of the pentathlon in the ancient Greek Olympics, mentioned in both the Iliad and in the Odyssey. The Greek statue of the discus thrower is an iconic Olympic symbol.

    The discus throw did survive due to the overwhelming support worldwide.

    Like

    1. frug

      The big thing is they are trying to keep the total number of athletes relatively flat. The IOC added mixed medley relays/events to triathlon, T&F, swimming, shooting, archery and table tennis along with the women’s 1500 freestyle and men’s 800 freestyle to the swimming program largely because they (correctly) assumed virtually all the participants in those events were likely to competing in other events anyways. And some of the brand new sports had a small number of athletes (like BMX free which only had 18 participants men and women.)

      The big problem for football and cricket is that they use 15 person rosters which is fairly large, especially since baseball and softball (with their 25 person rosters) are virtually certain to return in LA.

      Like

      1. ccrider55

        There use to be 10 weight classes per style (men’s Greco and men’s Freestyle) but with the addition of women’s Freestyle in 2004 there began a reduction. There are now 6 Olympic weights in each style (18 total). But they do now give double bronze now which increases the medals awarded…🙄

        Like

  35. Mike

    Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.
    At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/college-university-fall-higher-education-men-women-enrollment-admissions-back-to-school-11630948233

    Like

    1. Colin

      I’m a veterinarian. In 1960 the veterinary profession was 98% male. Today, it’s about 50/50 and in the future it will be mostly female. Since 1984 more women have been admitted to veterinary school and more have been graduating since 1988. Right now about 80% of the current vet students are women.

      Like

      1. bullet

        Accounting is trending the same way. Not 80%, but moving to majority female from being male dominated. We didn’t have any female audit partners or managers in my 80s Big 8 (then 8) firm. Seniors/Supervisors were probably about 25%.

        Like

        1. @bullet – Yes – I see that in accounting, consulting and law where it’s generally at least 50% female for new hires out of undergrad. To be sure, though, it has a looooooong way to go to be anywhere near as balanced at the leadership/partner/executive levels. All of those professions are still very male-dominated at the higher levels.

          Like

          1. Richard

            In a generation, engineering will be the only major white-collar profession that remains male-dominated. You’ll have affirmative action for guys (which already occurs at liberal arts colleges) at most privates (though probably not the top ones).

            Like

          2. Richard

            In a generation, engineering will be the only major white-collar profession that remains male-dominated. You’ll have affirmative action for guys (which already occurs at many liberal arts colleges outside the very top) at most privates (though probably not the top ones).

            Like

          3. bob sykes

            Balanced, like diverse, means no White guys.

            As to quotas and affirmative action for men, Kenyon College has a quiet policy of keeping each class at least 45% male. Until 1970 Kenyon was a males-only college.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Colin

            I sat on several US Army promotion boards in the 1990s. Back then, an Officer Record Brief (ORB) contained photos and also stated the ethnicity/race of the officer in the narrative. The boards also had racial “goals”.

            Now, these goals walked like quotas and swam like quotas and quacked like quotas. But you dare not call them quotas. They were goals. Every promotion board was tasked to meet the ethnic and gender “goals”.

            Circa 2000, several white officers sued the Army because there we’re any “goals” for white men. They won and several hundred were promoted retroactively but the damage was already done. Many had their careers cut short by being passed over and left the service.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/03/05/judge-halts-an-army-policy-on-promotion/b26d18fa-ffa8-4393-8ac2-f4b2b603bd22/

            Liked by 1 person

          5. bullet

            Ironically, the groups most impacted by affirmative action college admissions are NOT white males. Its Asians and white females.

            Like

          6. billinmidwest

            Frank,

            With all due respect, there probably won’t ever be “balanced” gender demographics at the leadership levels.

            Leadership positions are stressful and lucrative, which explains why we have a married men vs everyone else pay gap, *not a gender pay gap*

            Married men earn every dollar that they can because they have to. If a man doesn’t earn every dollar that he can, his wife can divorce him and the family court system can force him to work for every dollar that he can.

            Like

    2. Marc

      Money quote:

      “Will the Big 12 remain a P5 conference after expansion? Technically, yes, although what that actually means could completely change in three years.”

      Like

  36. Colin

    In addition to the eleven combos that Frank put together, I’ll throw another hat in the ring – Wyoming. If Colorado State is a viable candidate for the Big XII then Wyoming certainly should also be one. Laramie and Fort Collins are only 65 miles apart and CSU and UW are annual rivals. UW is a state flagship and would actually double the number of flagship universities in the conference. The Cowboys have had several 8-win seasons in recent years and knocked off Mizzou a couple of years ago.

    So I humbly submit the Intercontinental Railroad Option – BYU, Wyoming, Colorado State & Cincy.

    Like

    1. Little8

      It is a little late for B12 candidate lists. Will the AAC be able to get any of the teams from the Mountain West such as Colorado State to fill its depleted ranks? AAC will be down to 8 schools after Cincy, Houston, and UCF leave. AAC will probably invite 4.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Realigning schools usually don’t move voluntarily unless it’s a step up. I would argue that MWC to (new) AAC is at best a lateral move, and maybe even a step down.

        Like

  37. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    I posted this Brett McMurphy article on Friday, but it never showed up, so I’ll try again.

    https://www.actionnetwork.com/ncaaf/big-12-conference-expansion-byu-cincinnati-houston-ucf-could-receive-league-invite-this-month?utm_source=article&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=brettmcmurphy

    It contradicts some common realignment myths that keep getting repeated. Each realignment episode is different.

    Key excerpts:

    “…After BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, the next four schools that previously received the most consideration from the Big 12 were Boise State, Memphis, SMU and USF, sources said.

    Although several other schools contacted the Big 12 about potential membership, no other universities other than those eight were seriously considered, a source said.

    The most important factors the Big 12 is considering for its expansion candidates are “TV audience, football relevancy and certainly market size is a factor,” a source said. “Men’s basketball brand also is extremely important. The Big 12 is one of the best — if not the best basketball league in the country.”

    The Big 12’s decision was based “75 percent on (the school’s) football success and 25 percent (men’s) basketball,” a source said…”

    “…A source said the Big 12 adding eight schools to get to a 16-team league is not a realistic possibility….”

    Like

    1. Marc

      It contradicts some common realignment myths that keep getting repeated.

      I’d say it’s broadly consistent with Frank’s thesis over the last 15 years or so. The myths are coming from people who either didn’t read Frank, or who read him but thought they were smarter.

      Like

  38. bullet

    A little off topic, but with NIL out there… https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/32167191/shaedon-sharpe-top-ranked-prospect-class-2022-commits-kentucky-wildcats

    “…I get the sense that I can grow to reach my potential on and off the court at Kentucky given the platform, atmosphere and legacy.”

    Sharpe was choosing between a group that also included the G League Ignite, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma State….”

    Note that the G league was considered.

    Like

    1. Mike

      I expect them to abstain, but I wonder if we’ll see Texas and OU vote no. Since we know from the last time the Big 12 explored expansion no one brings in enough to increase revenues, Texas and OU could claim that the expansion violates the Big 12 bylaws* and use that as the basis for a lawsuit and subsequent settlement.

      *Big 12 Bylaw 1.3.1.4 [The mission of the Conference is to] Optimize revenues and provide supporting services compatible with both academic and competitive excellence.

      Like

    1. Colin

      The Big XII, ACC and Mountain West should also realign based on geography. ACC and B12 should swap Louisville and WV. Then the B12 should forget about Cincy and UCF and add a contiguous and concise group of Colorado State/Wyoming/AFA/BYU to get to 12 or an additional group of Boise St/UNLV/Houston/Memphis to get to 16. If you look at it on a map, it makes a lot of sense.

      Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        The ACC has had plenty of chances to add WV and has shown no interest. Why should they start now?

        I assume that the Big12 is much more interested in Cincy and USF than Colorado State and Wyoming.

        There are lots more people in the Orlando metro area than in the entire state of Wyoming. UCF has an undergraduate student body of more than 60,000. UWyoming has closer to 12,000 students. Other than being in a pretty very empty state, what does U Wyoming offer?

        None of the service academies, including AFA, have never shown an interest in being in a P5 league, as discussed at length on this site.

        Like

        1. Colin

          JB, he ACC has had plenty of chances to add WV and showed no interest before the B1G poached Maryland and before the ACC added academic skank Looville. It’s a different world now.

          Like

        2. UCF is definitely massive – their latest enrollment is actually at around 72,000 (!) students, which makes it the largest school in the US.

          To put that into perspective, Wyoming’s 2020 census population figure is 576,851. The UCF student body by itself would be the largest city in Wyoming (the population of Cheyenne is at around 65,000) and is equivalent to 12.5% of entire population of that state.

          Like

          1. Colin

            Frank, here’s the football attendance for the largest school in the US:

            All-Time UCF Single-Season Spectrum Stadium Attendance

            Year Games Total Attendance Average Sellouts
            2007 *7 (6-1) 308,129 44,018 3
            2008 6 (2-4) 237,576 39,596 1
            2009 7 (6-1) 266,543 38,077 1
            2010 *7 (5-2) 277,301 39,614 0
            2011 6 (5-1) 205,695 34,282 1
            2012 6 (5-1) 207,646 34,607 0
            2013 6 (5-1) 252,505 42,084 2
            2014 6 (6-0) 226,869 37,811 1
            2015 6 (0-6) 180,388 30,064 0
            2016 6 (3-3) 214,814 35,802 0
            2017 +7 (7-0) 257,924 36,846 1
            2018 +8 (8-0) 352,144 44,018 5
            2019 6 (6-0) 262,728 43,788 2
            Total 84 (64-20) 3,250,262 38,693 17

            Like

          2. Marc

            @Colin: Correct, but stadium attendance has never been a big factor in conference realignment. Note that their stadium only seats about 44k. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it expand if they keep filling it.

            Like

          3. greg

            Colin, you’re making fun of UCF for only averaging around 38k in attendance, while you are advocating for Wyoming 23k, Colorado State 23k, and AFA 27k.

            Like

          4. Colin

            Greg, I’m not ridiculing UCF but the largest school in the nation is obviously a commuter school without a rabid fanbase. UCF will also be a rather distant outlier in the Big XII and they will probably lose archrival USF. BYU + Wyoming + Colorado State + AFA is a cozy collection of long-time rivals that will bring more eyeballs to TV sets than BYU/Cincy/UCF/Houston.

            Like

          5. Marc

            I’m not ridiculing UCF but the largest school in the nation is obviously a commuter school without a rabid fanbase.

            Whatever UCF’s fanbase might be, the schools you’re proposing to replace them with have less.

            UCF will also be a rather distant outlier in the Big XII and they will probably lose archrival USF.

            UCF is already in a conference with other schools from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The Big 12 will be more of the same. If Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Maryland were willing to give up much older rivalries, I think UCF will survive the loss of USF on their schedule.

            BYU + Wyoming + Colorado State + AFA is a cozy collection of long-time rivals that will bring more eyeballs to TV sets than BYU/Cincy/UCF/Houston.

            There is very low interest in Colorado State and Wyoming football, no matter who they play. AFA would have been a good idea on their own, but not good enough to justify taking Wyoming and Colorado State too.

            I assume you’re using the word “cozy” to refer to geography, which is usually not a top factor in the eyes of realigning conferences and schools.

            Like

          6. ccrider55

            Frank:

            “… enrollment is actually at around 72,000 (!) students, which makes it the largest school in the US.”

            I thought I saw AzSU was at 75k or more.

            Like

      2. Marc

        If you look at it on a map, it makes a lot of sense.

        This assumes you ignore the revenue, TV drawing power, and football strength, of the candidate schools. The B12 does not have the luxury to focus on a map that looks good, over economics that do not.

        The ACC has had plenty of chances to add WV and showed no interest before the B1G poached Maryland and before the ACC added academic skank Looville. It’s a different world now.

        None of the factors that led the ACC to choose Louisville have changed. Besides, how is the B12 better off with Louisville?

        Like

    2. Mike

      It sounds good and fans would probably like it, but does (for example) Tulane want to be seen as equals with the rest of the Louisiana schools or does it like being the only AAC school in LA*? Most people may not see much of a difference between the AAC and CUSA but any distinction will be used in recruiting.

      *Feel free to sub in USF and Florida, ECU and the Carolinas, etc.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Most people may not see much of a difference between the AAC and CUSA but any distinction will be used in recruiting.

        I think most fans do understand that the AAC is the top dog among the gang-of-five conferences. That is not difficult to see. Indeed, you’ll almost certainly see the AAC expand by poaching other G5 conferences, not the other way around.

        Like

        1. Mike

          I think most fans do understand that the AAC is the top dog among the gang-of-five conferences.

          That’s why Thamel’s idea won’t get off the ground. Anything that can be used to differentiate will be. Thanks to Aresco’s pronouncements some fans may some vague idea that the AAC is better, but how many know which schools are actually in the American? I had to look up who was actually in the AAC to finish my post out.

          Like

          1. Marc

            That’s why Thamel’s idea won’t get off the ground. Anything that can be used to differentiate will be.

            His proposal requires the G5 schools to magically cooperate to create geographically compact conferences. Anytime you see such an idea, you know it’s dead in the water. The conferences are competitors, and will do what suits themselves.

            Like

        2. Colin

          “I think most fans do understand that the AAC is the top dog among the gang-of-five conferences.”

          Actually an AAC minus Cincy, UCF and Houston isn’t going to be a top dog. We’re now looking at Memphis, SMU, East Carolina, Navy, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.

          Compare that to the Mountain West: Air Force, New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming, Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada, San Diego State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i, San José State, & UNLV.

          Like

          1. Marc

            Actually an AAC minus Cincy, UCF and Houston isn’t going to be a top dog.

            It’s a jump ball now. In the Playoff era, the following schools have received the G5’s New Year’s Six autobid: Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, UCFx2, Memphis, Western Michigan.

            So, four of the seven bids went to schools going to the B12. The other three were schools now in the MWC, MAC, and AAC. Boise is the only one with anything resembling a sustained history of success; still, they only did it one year out of seven—and it was 2014, so not especially recent.

            But the champ is the champ until beaten, meaning AAC is the top dog in the G5 until another league supplants it.

            Like

          2. Little8

            From a TV standpoint per year per member ESPN Tier1/2 rights payout is $3.75 M for MW vs. $6.95 M for ACC. The MW agreement was new in 2020 and is about triple their old agreement. So AAC has a $3.2 M advantage with current membership. Even at the top of the G5 travel and other costs must be weighted in conference affiliation decisions. That may be enough to hold the MW together. It could be hard for the AAC to attract MW prospects if ESPN lowers the AAC payout significantly based on the new composition. The other G5 leagues have payouts of about $1M so the AAC will be a big move up for any CUSA, MAC, or Sunbelt team.

            Like

  39. Logan

    I’ve seen some proposed East/West divisions for the new Big 12 that split the Texas schools to guarantee access to the state for recruiting.

    East: UCF, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Houston, Baylor, Iowa State
    West: Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, BYU, TCU, Texas Tech

    With 9 conference games, the Big 12 could make the Texas cross-divisional games permanent, similar to how the Pac-12 protects the UCLA/USC vs Cal/Stanford games.

    The major downside would be the elimination of some long-time rivalries between the Cyclones and the Jayhawks and Wildcats (Farmageddon!). They could make those rivalries permanent as well, but that limits access to Texas.

    I’d eliminate divisions and play 1 vs 2 in the title game. Use (3) 4-team pods as a basis of scheduling, keeping the 4 Texas schools in a pod, the 4 “Big 8” schools in a pod, and BYU unfortunately thrown in with the 3 schools in the eastern time zone. Play 3 pod games every year and 3 of the 4 teams in each of the other pods on a rotating basis. That still gives non-Texas schools 3 games per year against Texas opponents, with 3 every 2 years played in Texas.

    Like

    1. Marc

      I’d eliminate divisions and play 1 vs 2 in the title game.

      I am crossing my fingers that the rule requiring divisions is repealed in the next year or two. That rule is inhibiting the most useful schedule format for a number of leagues.

      The Big Ten and Pac-12 were the main opposition the last time CCG deregulation came up, and they still have the least motivation to change it.

      Like

    2. Little8

      If divisions are required the expanded B12 should (but won’t) have:
      Southwest Division: old SWC members (TT, TCU, Baylor, & Houston) plus the South most (UCF) and West most (BYU) schools in the conference.
      Big6 Division: KS, KSU, ISU (all old Big6 members), OkSt (became Big8 when they joined), WV, & Cincinnati

      Like

  40. Jersey Bernie

    I just happened to look at 247sports college football recruiting. Air Force has 28 commits for this years. Two of them are low three stars. The others are all two stars or lower.

    It would be nut for AFA to join a P5 league with that level recruits.

    For the past few years, AFA has had slightly better classes, but almost always ranked below 100.

    Like

    1. Colin

      Bernie, I’m not so sure about that. If you look at the AFA record against P5 opponents over the past 20 seasons, they’re 8-16. But that includes 1-5 vs Notre Dame, 0-2 vs Michigan and 0-2 vs Oklahoma. Against the other P5 teams, including many bowl opponents, they’re 7-8.

      2019-Air Force (MWC)
      9/14 @ Colorado (5-7) W 30 23
      12/27 vs. Washington State (6-7) W 31 21 @ Tempe, AZ Cheez-It Bowl
      2017-Air Force (MWC)
      9/16 @ Michigan (8-5) L 13 29
      2015-Air Force (MWC)
      9/19 @ Michigan State (12-2) L 21 35
      12/29 vs. California (8-5) L 36 55 @ Fort Lauderdale, FL Armed Forces Bowl
      2013-Air Force (MWC)
      10/26 vs. Notre Dame (9-4) L 10 45
      2012-Air Force (MWC)
      9/8 @ Michigan (8-5) L 25 31
      2011-Air Force (MWC)
      10/8 @ Notre Dame (8-5) L 33 59
      2010-Air Force (MWC)
      9/18 @ Oklahoma (12-2) L 24 27
      12/27 vs. Georgia Tech (6-7) W 14 7 @ Shreveport, LA Independence Bowl
      2009-Air Force (MWC)
      9/12 @ Minnesota (6-7) L 13 20
      2007-Air Force (MWC)
      11/10 @ Notre Dame (3-9) W 41 24
      12/31 vs. California (7-6) L 36 42 @ Fort Worth, TX Armed Forces Bowl
      2006-Air Force (MWC)
      9/9 @ Tennessee (9-4) L 30 31
      11/11 vs. Notre Dame (10-3) L 17 39
      2005-Air Force (MWC)
      9/3 vs. Washington (2-9) W 20 17 @ Seattle, WA
      2004-Air Force (MWC)
      9/4 vs. California (10-2) L 14 56
      2003-Air Force (MWC)
      9/6 @ Northwestern (6-7) W 22 21
      2002-Air Force (MWC)
      8/31 vs. Northwestern (3-9) W 52 3
      9/21 @ California (7-5) W 23 21
      10/19 vs. Notre Dame (10-3) L 14 21
      12/31 vs. Virginia Tech (10-4) L 13 20 @ San Francisco, CA San Francisco Bowl
      2001-Air Force (MWC)
      9/1 vs. Oklahoma (11-2) L 3 44
      2000-Air Force (MWC)
      10/28 @ Notre Dame (9-3) L 31 34
      1999-Air Force (MWC)
      9/18 @ Washington (7-5) W 31 21

      Like

      1. Marc

        If you look at the AFA record against P5 opponents over the past 20 seasons, they’re 8-16. But that includes 1-5 vs Notre Dame, 0-2 vs Michigan and 0-2 vs Oklahoma. Against the other P5 teams, including many bowl opponents, they’re 7-8.

        The service academies could’ve applied to join the Power Five at any time—and never did. AFA’s coach said that the B12 would be too tough. If you look at their occasional success against the P5, the wins are concentrated against bad teams. The Big 12 minus Texas and Oklahoma is still a big schedule upgrade, relative to what the AFA has played.

        The AFA (like all the academies) plays an unconventional style that can be a challenge for teams that seldom see it. They would not do as well against prepared opponents who face it every year. Remember, the AFA only has to worry about playing (perhaps) one top-tier game every season. The grind is very different when it’s only once. This year, they aren’t even doing that: their discretionary games are Lafayette and Florida Atlantic.

        Jersey Bernie is of course correct about recruiting. There is obviously some imprecision in forecasting the future athletic performance of teenagers. But statistically, the recruiting rankings are overwhelmingly predictive. Over the long haul, the one- and two-stars will not be competitive with the three- and four-stars.

        Like

  41. Jersey Bernie

    With the elimination of ACT/SAT scores and a few other interesting educational innovations going on in California, I wonder how tis will look in 10 or 15 years.

    Like

    1. Marc

      During the pandemic, the NCAA suspended its usual rule requiring a minimum SAT or ACT score (on a sliding scale, depending on the student’s GPA). The suspension is in place through at least the 2022–23 academic year.

      In April, the NCAA announced that a new task force will evaluate the continuing use of standardized test scores. With many of its members moving to permanent test-optional admission policies, I cannot see the former requirements being reinstated without some changes.

      I recognize the bind they’re in. The NCAA wants to know that student–athletes are real students in some sense. They’ve got no way directly to police thousands of high schools, where grades might be manipulated for star athletes. They have enough trouble policing their own members, where at least they have some enforcement powers.

      Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        It is not pandemic related. the UCal system is phasing out SAT/ACT over the next few years.

        Say what you wish, but those are the only sort of objective standards. Studies have shown that students with higher SAT scores do better in college. Are they smarter? Do you work harder? I have no clue, but given Berkeley and UCLA a few years and lets see how they are rated.

        https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2021/05/17/no-more-sat-or-act-u-california

        Like

        1. Colin

          Bernie, the SAT/ACT is being dropped because minorities score lower than whites. To the Woke, this is solid evidence of racism and no other explanation will be tolerated.

          “In 1926, the SAT was created to give talented students, regardless of income, the chance to compete for college admission and scholarships. Nearly 100 years later, it often excludes the lower-income students it was created to help. Although the original exam was primarily aimed at economic diversity, part of its stated modern mission is to help increase racial diversity, too.

          “But Black and Hispanic or Latino students routinely score lower on the math section of the SAT — a likely result of generations of exclusionary housing, education, and economic policy — which too often means that, rather than reducing existing race gaps, using the test in college admissions reinforces them.”

          https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/01/sat-math-scores-mirror-and-maintain-racial-inequity/

          Like

          1. Marc

            To the Woke, this is solid evidence of racism and no other explanation will be tolerated.

            I do not see the word “racism” in any of the passages you quoted. I do see “race,” but the words are not synonyms.

            Like

        2. Marc

          It is not pandemic related. the UCal system is phasing out SAT/ACT over the next few years.

          The NCAA claimed that the suspension was due to the pandemic. Like a lot of things they say, it might not have been entirely true.

          Like

          1. ccrider55

            U Cal was eliminating the tests prior to COVID.
            The ncaa temporarily eliminated due to COVID for different reason than U Cal.

            Note: it’s the U Cal system and their seven AAU members. I think they are more than able to find a more fair method to evaluate potential success, other than depending on one size fits all strategies.

            Like

          2. Colin

            The differences in SAT test scores are not due to differences in intelligence among ethnic groups, it’s due to differences in culture. My brother was a teacher and basketball coach in Chicago Heights for 21 years and that school was as diverse as they get. Black kids who were seen carrying books home were often ridiculed for “acting white” or being a “Tom”. My bro actually had basketball players who hid their homework inside clothing or gym bags when leaving the school.

            Asian kids are the polar opposite. They get together and study in herds and they don’t quit until everyone ‘gets it’.

            Hispanic kids are often learning and taking SAT tests in a second language and even if English is their primary language, what they hear at home and among their peers is often Spanish. That in itself is enough to weigh down the test scores. Again, it is not a “racist” test.

            Like

          3. ccrider55

            Colin,

            You do realize you are citing different races to demonstrate different cultural influences resulting in inaccurate or unreliable scores, don’t you?

            Like

        3. Richard

          The top UCs have always been sink-or-swim.

          Cal isn’t so easy to get in to now, but a couple generations ago (when their faculty was winning Nobels about every year or so), the tough part wasn’t getting in to Cal but getting out.

          Like

  42. Mike

    Invites are out, and acceptances are tricking in.

    Like

    1. Marc

      They are putting the best spin on it that they can. It’s kind of funny that, on the one hand, they are proclaiming loyalty to the American, while expressing intense disappointment at their failure to get out of it.

      Realignment isn’t over. The remaining G5 schools will compete for the right to upgrade when the next chance comes around.

      Like

    1. Little8

      Of course; no need to qualify if TX and OU were allowed to vote and voted yes. I assume they either voted no or were not allowed to vote. This keeps any potential legal arguments open.

      Like

    1. urbanleftbehind

      Either BYU is very private in its dealings or it is dealing/dealt with cold feet/internal opposition. No application letter is out there. Could the Boise State rumors be an attempt to assuage BYU about geographic isolation and reduction in possible PAC schedule slots? Maybe they realized that they have a similar if not official relationship with the PAC-12 as Notre Dame with the ACC football-wise.

      Like

      1. Colin

        Urban, I fully agree. BYU should not jump to join the Big XII leftovers. And as I have previously stated, I believe the Pac-12 is foolish not to invite BYU to join.

        Consider TV. Let’s imagine BYU + Hawaii in the Pac12. BYU already has a TV network and a cult of millions in the West. Hawaii is two (2) time zones west of the Pacific Coast. A game that starts at 7:00pm in Honolulu will start at 9:00 in LA, 10:00 in Denver, 11:00 in Chicago and midnight in New York. It will be pretty much the only game on TV at that time of night and half the football junkies in the country will be up watching.

        Like

        1. ccrider55

          “ Hawaii is two (2) time zones west of the Pacific Coast.”

          Nitpick: Hawaii doesn’t observe daylight savings time, so three hours difference until switch to standard time.

          Like

      2. Marc

        Either BYU is very private in its dealings or it is dealing/dealt with cold feet/internal opposition.

        BYU is joining the Big 12. It’s on their school website, and has been for many hours. I suspect it’s the former — they were just being private about it. The other three are public institutions that are subject to FOIA requests, a problem BYU does not have. If they had any cold feet, there is no evidence of it whatsoever.

        BYU should not jump to join the Big XII leftovers. And as I have previously stated, I believe the Pac-12 is foolish not to invite BYU to join.

        Much as you believe that, the Pac-12 announced that they are not expanding.

        A game that starts at 7:00pm in Honolulu will start at 9:00 in LA, 10:00 in Denver, 11:00 in Chicago and midnight in New York. It will be pretty much the only game on TV at that time of night and half the football junkies in the country will be up watching.

        Pac-12 members have said repeatedly that late games are a problem. They don’t want more of these. There is no national audience for Hawaii football.

        Like

        1. ccrider55

          The Pac has 6 teams starting at 7 pacific time (Az doesn’t do daylight time so same as pacific) and another at 5 (night start at U Mich).. Tomorrow, not this month or this season. Tomorrow night.

          Like

          1. Marc

            The Pac has 6 teams starting at 7 pacific time…

            They’ve got TV contracts that require them to do this. They’ve said it is a problem.

            …and another at 5 (night start at U Mich).

            5pm starts are not a problem.

            Like

          2. ccrider55

            Marc,

            5 pacific is 8 eastern. Still not a great start time if at home. If the issue is partly visibility in the east, over half of your games starting after 10:00 eastern and another at 8:00 seems excessive.

            Like

    1. Little8

      I expect all 3 AAC schools will be able to get released at 21 months notice vs. 27 at a price where both these schools and the AAC benefit. That should become the target date for TX and OU to leave unless FOX or ESPN gives the B12 a massive increase for adding these 4 schools (I expect $0). If $0 that will decrease an $80M B12 exit fee to $57M (14 way vs. 10 way split) if TX/OU stay through 2024 since it is based on the last 2 years distributions. If the exit is finalized before the new members join it will be split 8 ways, not 12. Lots of financial incentive for the Little8 to reach a reasonable settlement on the grant of rights.

      Like

      1. Colin

        L8, I believe that the Pac-12 made a HUGE mistake by not bringing BYU into the conference. The Cougars are clearly the bell cow among BYU/UCF/Houston/Cincy. The increase in TV eyeballs in the West would justify any of Boise/AFA/UNLV/Hawaii as the go-along. Or perhaps even the second largest university west of Chicago, UBC.

        Like

        1. Marc

          The Cougars are clearly the bell cow among BYU/UCF/Houston/Cincy. The increase in TV eyeballs in the West would justify any of Boise/AFA/UNLV/Hawaii as the go-along.

          Do you have any data to support that? Any conference considering realignment consults with its TV partners. If the Pac-12 didn’t expand, I can practically guarantee the networks told them the money wasn’t there.

          BYU is the best of the expansion candidates available today, and a very good one indeed, but let’s not overstate their value. Remember, both the Pac and the B12 have expanded (or looked at expansion) multiple times in the past, and did not choose them.

          If BYU is a no-brainer for the Big 12 today, it’s only because the B12 is in the worst shape of all the P5 conferences, and now needs to take schools it rejected only a few years ago.

          Like

          1. Colin

            ” If the Pac-12 didn’t expand, I can practically guarantee the networks told them the money wasn’t there.”

            The Pac-12 Network doesn’t have a Sugar Daddy like the BTN (Fox) and the SECN (Disney). It is entirely owned by the conference and that’s why it’s a train wreck. It doesn’t get ‘bundled’ with other programming.

            The major networks have no interest in helping the Pac-12 Network expand.

            Like

          2. Marc

            The Pac-12 Network doesn’t have a Sugar Daddy like the BTN (Fox) and the SECN (Disney). The major networks have no interest in helping the Pac-12 Network expand.

            You are correct that the Pac-12 network has been a train wreck. However, the Pac-12 gets most of its TV money from the major networks. They’re the ones who’ll say whether the league can increase its payout by expanding. The answer is clearly no.

            Bear in mind, the Pac-12 contracts are up for renegotiation within the next couple of years. Leagues are in constant dialog with their TV partners about scheduling and expansion options. The conference wants more money; the networks are happy to pay, provided they get the inventory that justifies it.

            Like

          3. Colin

            “However, the Pac-12 gets most of its TV money from the major networks. They’re the ones who’ll say whether the league can increase its payout by expanding.”

            Marc, the P12 does indeed get most of its TV revenue from the networks. That’s for the big games like UCLA-USC. However those networks have no reason at all to expand the P12 Network. To them, that’s just another competitor in an already overcrowded sports cable field. The networks would probably love to kill it off altogether.

            Like

          4. Marc

            Marc, the P12 does indeed get most of its TV revenue from the networks. That’s for the big games like UCLA-USC. However those networks have no reason at all to expand the P12 Network. To them, that’s just another competitor in an already overcrowded sports cable field. The networks would probably love to kill it off altogether.

            Even if you are correct, how does it support your case? Conferences don’t voluntarily expand to lose money. You acknowledge the Pac-12’s network, which it owns, is a disaster. That means the money would have to come from the major networks. If the networks will not pay, then where is the financial case to make the expansion you are suggesting they should have done?

            Like

          5. Colin

            Marc, I didn’t say “Expand. Period.” I specifically said to expand with BYU + someone else, whoever would bring the most TV eyeballs. BYU has a large fan base in the West. The Pac-12 will rue the day they let the Cougars get away and allow the Big XII to get a foothold in the region.

            Here are the 10 states with the highest Mormon populations:

            Utah (2,126,216)
            California (756,507)
            Idaho (462,069)
            Arizona (436,521)
            Texas (362,037)
            Washington (289,479)
            Nevada (184,703)
            Florida (160,266)
            Oregon (153,540)
            Colorado (150,059)

            Like

          6. Marc

            Marc, I didn’t say “Expand. Period.” I specifically said to expand with BYU + someone else, whoever would bring the most TV eyeballs.

            And yet, the Pac-12 has considered expansion repeatedly, and passed over BYU every time. If BYU had the value you are imagining, the networks would have encouraged it. After all, they want what the leagues want—more people watching.

            Like

          7. Colin

            Marc, BYU was passed over repeatedly because they are considered a fringe religious cult by many of the uberliberal schools of the Pac-12, not because they lack fans or athletic success.

            Like

          8. Marc

            BYU was passed over repeatedly because they are considered a fringe religious cult by many of the uberliberal schools of the Pac-12, not because they lack fans or athletic success.

            You are right that BYU did not fit culturally. But there is zero evidence that the Pac-12 is turning down revenue for that reason alone. The world of college athletics is notoriously full of leaks. If a major network had told the Pac-12 they could increase revenue per school by adding BYU and Hawaii, and the league turned it down, you would’ve heard that.

            At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself, if schools and leagues keep making the “wrong” moves, are you really that much better at sports administration than they are? I’m sure you’re a great veterinarian, but your training does not typically prepare somebody to be a director of athletics.

            Like

          9. Colin

            Marc, in addition to being a veterinarian, I also have a PhD in food science and I’m board certified in preventive medicine. Both doctorates were funded by the US Army and I had eleven years of payback time, which might well be all-time record. I served 28 years as an active duty US Army officer including eight years overseas and was twice the commander of overseas detachments. My wife and I were stationed overseas for eight years: Philippines, Germany and Italy.

            After retiring from the Army I worked within the military rations industry in Detroit and then became a research engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Dept of Texas A&M University for five years. My primary job was writing research grants and no one at A&M did it better.

            And yeah, you and I probably hear different drummers.

            Colin Meyer, DVM, PhD, DACVPM
            Colonel, US Army (ret.)
            Emeritus Professor, Texas A&M University

            Like

      2. Marc

        If the exit is finalized before the new members join it will be split 8 ways, not 12. Lots of financial incentive for the Little8 to reach a reasonable settlement on the grant of rights.

        We have not seen the financial terms for the joiners. Schools “stepping up” often do not get a full share immediately. The contract could very well state that the four joiners do not receive any Texas or Oklahoma early-exit money. That would be fair — why should they get a payout when they were not parties to the agreement that produced it?

        Like

        1. Jersey Bernie

          I agree that there is zero chance that any of the four new schools get UT or OK exit money. Why should they? The next question is what happens to the existing contract before the UT/OU exit. (The TOxit?) Clearly neither UT nor OU will be asked to take one cent less before they leave. That would certainly be a breach of contract and get out of B12 free card.

          So there are now 12 teams to split the 8 remaining teams money before TOxit. I would imagine that the new teams will either get less money, or money that they get will be a loan from the league to be repaid under the new contract, post TOxit. That will help with buyouts to the AAC.

          Will the new four have a buy in to the next contract, similar to NE, RU, UMd and the B1G? I sort of doubt it, since the B12 does not have nearly as much to offer as the B1G, particularly for BYU finances. The three AAC schools could take a small haircut for a while since even the new Big12 contract will be much more than the AAC pays.

          Like

          1. ccrider55

            “ Will the new four have a buy in to the next contract, similar to NE, RU, UMd and the B1G?”

            No. There’s no B12Network to buy into.

            Like

          2. Jersey Bernie

            The buy in does not require purchase of an interest in a network. The Big12 could demand an entry fee, which is the equivalent of a buy in. UConn was required to pay a $3.5 million buy in to join the Big East. The Big East offered UConn a piece of a bigger TV contract.

            Here the Big12 needs the new teams as much as they need the new league, so I doubt that there will be a buy in.

            Like

          3. Marc

            Here the Big12 needs the new teams as much as they need the new league, so I doubt that there will be a buy in.

            Just quickly found on Google that UCF is paying a $2.5 million fee to enter the Big 12. I suspect Cincinnati and Houston are similar, if not BYU as well.

            Like

          4. ccrider55

            Marc,

            Link? You sure that isn’t the fee in order to leave their current conference early, which would have to happen before entering the B12

            Like

          5. ccrider55

            It’s a deposit into an escrow account. “ In addition to having to pay an exit fee, UCF will have to pay an escrow to go into the Big 12, UCF President Alexander Cartwright said. That fee will cost $2.5 million.” Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t escrow account still your money unless you don’t satisfy the contract terms? Sort af a deposit (possibly refundable).

            Like

        2. Mike

          We have not seen the financial terms for the joiners. Schools “stepping up” often do not get a full share immediately.

          I thought I saw somewhere that BYU said they would get half distributions for two years. I can not find that link tho.

          Like

          1. Little8

            A 50% conference payout for the first two years (7/23-6/25) for new members lines up with the end of the current B12 contract. It is also closer to estimates ($20M-$25M) of the Little8+4 B12 payout (includes BB, etc.) with a new TV contract. The 2019 B12 payout was $40M. TCU and WV had a 3 years phase in at 40%, 60% and 80% before full payout in year 4. I could not find any confirmation of the 50%, but it makes sense based on TV contract expiration and past B12 practice.

            Like

          2. bullet

            I saw that somewhere as well.

            TCU and WVU had a buy in. I don’t remember the exact terms, but it was something like 50% share the first year, then 67%, then 75%, then 83% then 100%. There may have been an 85% thrown in before getting to 100%. I suspect the new members will get something similar.

            Like

          3. Colin

            “TCU and WVU had a buy in. . . . I suspect the new members will get something similar.”

            It ain’t the same at all. TCU and WV bought into a conference that had four of its top six schools depart but retained the top two. This new batch is getting into a conference that had its two alpha dogs run off, no TV network and several commuter schools incoming. I think all twelve of them are whistling in the dark about maintaining status as a P5.

            They won’t. It isn’t going to fall apart overnight but this new B12 will not be a peer with the B1G, SEC, ACC and the Pac-12. The best they can hope for is P4.5 and we may be looking at G6.

            Like

    1. loki_the_bubba

      Slight correction. Renu Khator is the UH President. Fertitta was chairmen of the Board of Regents until his term expired last week. I have not seen news that he was re-appointed. He’s still listed on the web site.

      Like

    1. z33k

      ESPN+ is the ballgame for ESPN’s future.

      Everyone knows it. They’ve already started to move stuff there like T3 rights as well as other sports like international sports.

      Amazon going after NFL’s Sunday Ticket package (as well as already taking the Thursday package) just proves it’s all got to go online/app anyway.

      Within 10 years, direct to consumer is going to be how most people below 50 watch sports. And a big % of those over 50 as well even if not a majority.

      It’s just the future, there’s no way around it.

      Even my grandma uses apps (Sling/Roku/Hulu/Youtube) now to watch most of her international television programs. There’s just no avoiding that.

      Like

  43. hypewilliams

    Buy low and sell high. Okie state, Baylor, Kansas all want in B10 and would blend in academically and athletically just fine….and be happy in the B10 (I stress last point). Not much talk on her about keeping Nebraska happy like Penn State by adding some neighboring states.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Okie state, Baylor, Kansas all want in B10 and would blend in academically and athletically just fine…

      Kansas is the best of the 3 academically, and would nevertheless be near the bottom of the Big Ten. The others are worse. So no, they would not be an academic fit.

      The Pac-12, which has far more reason to expand, just stated publicly that they were standing pat. I am sure it looked at those three schools, because they are the obvious ones. If the Pac-12, with its inferior TV deal, could not make the math work, the Big Ten with its richer TV deal won’t either.

      Not much talk on her about keeping Nebraska happy like Penn State by adding some neighboring states.

      “Keeping Penn State happy” was one of the factors cited off the record in adding Rutgers and Maryland. But only one. Those two schools checked many other boxes for the Big Ten that the three you mentioned do not. Penn State is also far more valuable to the Big Ten, and Nebraska is no threat to leave.

      There is a good chance one of those 3 schools would win B10 west.

      There is no chance Kansas would win the B10 west. They’ve averaged 2 wins a season for the last five years.

      Like

  44. Bob

    Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff continues to make public statements regarding Alliance scheduling. Yesterday he offered some specific ideas including:
    1. The P12 and B1G dropping from 9 to 8 conference games as quickly as next season
    2. Canceling games with the SEC if they want to make room for games with OU/UT
    3. Canceling games with BYU to allow them to make room for B12 conference games

    Here is a link to the full interview:
    https://247sports.com/college/oregon-state/LongFormArticle/Pac-12-Commissioner-George-Kliavkoff-listening-tour-Oregon-State-University-Beavers-2021-170626978/#170626978_10

    Just don’t see how most of this helps the B1G. Also, Kliavkoff’s repeated comments about 10 total Alliance games doesn’t square with conference member’s requirement to have 7 home games. The only way that happens is if they never play OOC road games against anyone else. That contradicts Kliavkoff’s comments about keeping historic rivalries (e.g., IA-IASt., FL-FSU, Clemson-SC, etc.). Kevin Warren and Jim Phillips have been very quiet since the initial press conference.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Kliavkoff speaks without a filter, which makes for good copy. He is too new for us to gauge whether the things he says are really happening, or it’s just his hopes and wishes.

      Press conference comments can often be elliptical. I think he’s suggesting that teams would play two Alliance games per year, except where they’re bound to keep a non-Alliance rivalry, in which case they’d play one Alliance game. I believe he understands that if Iowa plays Iowa State, that’s one less Alliance game they can play.

      How could this benefit the Big Ten? In a conference week, the league plays 7 games that it totally owns. In a non-conference week, it could play 14 games that it shares. The revenue of the 14 needs to be more than twice the revenue of the 7.

      Could that work? Kliavkoff must have a basis for thinking that the sum is greater than its parts. Bear in mind, the Big Ten was willing to have a scheduling alliance in the past, and the Pac-12 called it off. That was about 10 years ago, but apparently the math worked then, or it would not have been considered.

      Like

      1. z33k

        The math worked because the Big Ten was at 12 teams with 8 conference game schedules.

        Once the alliance was called off, we moved to 14 teams with 9 conference games to make the package as desirable as possible for FOX/ESPN.

        And now the Pac-12 is less valuable (relatively) than it was 10-12 years ago.

        I just don’t see how any of this works out for the Big Ten short of taking 6-8 of the best Pac-12 schools into the conference as a Pacific division that plays 5-7 games against their division and then 2-4 cross-over games with the rest of the Big Ten.

        Financially, that sounds like it expands the pot. Question is just whether the decision makers at USC/FOX/Big Ten/etc. come to that conclusion when the next TV deals start to be talked about next year.

        Consolidation makes sense in this case just like it did for Texas/OU to the SEC.

        Like

        1. z33k

          As far as Kliavkoff’s basis goes, yes it makes sense for the Pac-12.

          Owning a half of 12 Pac-12 vs Big Ten crossover games is more valuable than 6 Pac-12 games.

          For the Big Ten schools it’s way less clear. Owning 6 Big Ten games is probably more valuable than a half of the 12 Pac-12 vs Big Ten crossover games. That’s the problem.

          Like

  45. Phil

    The Big 12 will be back to 12 schools and there is chatter they want to go to 14 by adding Boise St and Memphis.Seems like a lot of pieces for a smaller pie? I know the current tv contract there is incentive to add more schools as the revenue goes up accordingly but when the current contract ends, in ’25, Will ESPN, Fox,etc pay big dollars for West Virginia Vs Tech or BYU vs Iowa St? Kansas vs Cincy anyone? I suppose ESPN is driving this for inventory.
    Not sure what appealing football games there will be. Boise St is an ESPN darling, so ESPN probably pushing BIg12 to add them as a travel partner for BYU.
    Does anyone know if the current contract still incentivizes the Big 12 adding schools, if Texas and Oklahoma are out of the conference, seems like the networks may contest the current contract when those schools leave.

    Like

    1. Marc

      The Big 12 will be back to 12 schools and there is chatter they want to go to 14 by adding Boise St and Memphis. Seems like a lot of pieces for a smaller pie?

      Yes, that is why I am skeptical of this one.

      Will ESPN, Fox,etc pay big dollars for West Virginia Vs Tech or BYU vs Iowa St? Kansas vs Cincy anyone?

      That’s like asking whether Fox will pay big dollars for Purdue vs. Rutgers. There’s value in the Big 12, but the measuring stick is not the worst games. Of course, the dollars are relative. The Big 12 is going to be fifth among the Power Five, but it will still make more than any G5 league.

      ESPN probably pushing Big12 to add them as a travel partner for BYU.

      When you see the phrase “travel partner” in conference expansion, you know it is not happening. The Big 12 said that expansion is 75% a football decision. Adding Boise means that, once every two years, BYU will have a slightly shorter road trip for one game out of twelve. But not that short, as Provo and Boise aren’t especially close. That’s no reason to go from 12 schools to 14.

      Like

      1. Colin

        “That’s like asking whether Fox will pay big dollars for Purdue vs. Rutgers.”

        Marc, Fox is already paying big dollars for Purdue vs Rutgers. That’s why the BTN exists. Games like that previously had zero TV value but are now earning millions due the the BTN. That is the genius of the BTN. It earns cable TV money for games that previously had no TV value.

        Like

        1. Marc

          Marc, Fox is already paying big dollars for Purdue vs Rutgers. That’s why the BTN exists.

          The original post was asking about Tier 1 and 2 networks. It was not asking about the conference networks, because the Big 12 doesn’t have one.

          Like

      2. Phil

        Good point about the travel partner, it isn’t exactly like the old MLB days when the Giants joined the Dodgers out on the west coast. It may be helpful with the minor sports but as you say this is football driven.
        On the possible football matchups- other than Kansas- Cincy which is probably the worse possible matchup, the other examples i gave BYU-Iowa State which should be one of the more competitive series and WV-Tech would be kind of a routine series, neither compelling or dreadful. I just wonder what games would be year in year out great matches with Red River and Bedlam gone. I am sure each year there will be teams having great years that when they do meet it will be a fun game to watch. Lot of solid football schools but none of the circle the calender games like Michigan-Ohio St, FL-GA, LSU-Bama, Miami-FSU, etc.

        Like

    2. Little8

      The B12 has been at 10 since Nebraska and Colorado left because there were not any schools the B12 could add that would pay for themselves. Bowlsby mention of 14 members in 2023 included Texas and Oklahoma.

      Like

    3. Richard

      One reason why the B12 may stay at 12 instead of going to 14 is because staying at 12 with 9 conference games still allows everyone to get a decent number of games vs TX schools no matter how the divisions are split/games are protected, which I dare say most B12 schools would want for recruiting. Add Boise and Memphis, and that wouldn’t be true any more, and while Memphis is located in a talent-rich area, Boise is not.

      Like

      1. Marc

        I think you are right. One of the problems with Boise, is that the the proposition for adding them rests almost entirely on their football success over the past 20 years. That’s more than a flash in the pan, but it’s not Oklahoma either. They’ve claimed their share of power five scalps, but they have never played a full season at that level. If they reverted to being merely average, or worse, there’d be no reason to be there.

        Orlando, Houston, and Cincinnati are all places you’d want to be, even if the teams themselves have a bad year (or even a bad decade).

        Like

    4. m(Ag)

      “The Big 12 will be back to 12 schools and there is chatter they want to go to 14 by adding Boise St and Memphis.Seems like a lot of pieces for a smaller pie?”

      It made no sense before to expand the Big 12 before because the Sooners and the Longhorns boosted the per-school value of the Big 12; noone would even approach that value except for BYU, who wasn’t going to get accepted at the time.

      The situation is different now. The announced roster of 12 schools appear to all have roughly the same TV value, with BYU probably boosting the average, but not ridiculously so. All of the schools talked about for potential spots 13 to 14 (16?) appear to be more or less at that value, too. So a TV contract doesn’t seem to be a barrier to stopping expansion right now (and, in fact, there may be some extra value in increased inventory and/or the opportunity to play games in different time zones).

      So other reasons may lead them to expand: the chance for more NCAA tournament credits (Memphis?), the chance for more exposure to recruits in Florida (USF?), exposure in California (SDSU? Fresno State?), another football mini-brand (Boise State?), have some traditional rivals to BYU to make them happier (any of the western schools), the opportunity to hurt conferences lower down the ladder to ensure that you remain well above them (any of the previous schools?). Or maybe they just want more peace of mind in case somebody does really well and gets invited to the Pac 12/ACC/etc. in 10 years.

      Like

  46. billinmidwest

    Frank,

    I think your “Big Country” idea isn’t getting as much traction as it should.

    The “Understandably Irate 8” are screwed in the short term and there really isn’t anything that they can do about that.

    (The vast majority of Baylor and TTU fans have my sympathies…although how understandably irate Ann Richards, Steve Bullock, et al deserve to be is debatable.)

    Playing the long game should be the primary goal of conference expansion for the UI8

    As such, one thing to keep in mind is that there are limits to how much more ticket prices can be raised, particularly for “Michigan vs Eastern Michigan” schools. I imagine that Athletic Directors are slowly realizing that they need to bring in opponents that travel well with decent sized fanbases, but also aren’t going to be drastically harder to beat on the field than some random MAC or Sun Belt school.

    If the UI8 can put together a conference with every team that Athletic Directors could possibly want to schedule in order to boost ticket sales, the UI8 and its new members can use that arrangement as leverage for revenue sharing with the P4.

    Could a 20+ team conference be feasible financially?

    Like

    1. Marc

      Could a 20+ team conference be feasible financially?

      Almost certainly not. In conference finances, the name of the game is NOT revenue. It’s revenue per school. There aren’t eight more (realistically available) schools of comparable quality to the four they just added.

      Like

  47. Richard

    You know, there is a way to have 7 home games (almost all the time) _and_ 9 conference games (if a conference wants that) _and_ 2 Alliance games _and_ Iowa to keep its precious rivalry game with ISU:
    Simply allow conferences with 2 divisions to schedule interdivisional games between all schools in the conference (not just the CCG) during the traditional CCG week. So like what the B10 did in 2020. That means a 13 game regular season for everyone (not just the CCG participants). If the CCG is neutral site (and I really only see the SEC and maybe the B10 keeping it neutral site), simply reimburse the team who would have lost a 7th home game with the CCG ticket sales.

    If there is a 12 team playoff, there would be interest in a bunch of those non-CCG games as they would have playoff implications. Yes, it would be more games for most players, but not actually an increase in the maximum number of possible games.

    I would also allow conferences to play (only conference) games during Week 0 in years when there would have been only 1 bye week. And hold open 3 weeks in late October/early November for the 2 Alliance games.

    Like

    1. Marc

      The 13th game for everyone is the Rubicon they apparently do not want to cross. I have not seen any proposals to that effect from the coaches and ADs.

      The NCAA rules treat CCGs as “regular season games,” but in the eyes of the public they’re postseason games. Having other teams play that week would be like having a full slate of NFL games during the first week of the playoffs.

      Obviously, there is nothing sacrosanct about 12 regular-season games, given that the sport once thought 10 was the right number (the Ivy League still does), and later 11. But I would be surprised to see 13 for everyone, outside of the strange 2020 season.

      Like

      1. Richard

        I wouldn’t be surprised.

        If a good number of administrators are proposing up to 17 games for some teams and players, what logic do they use to justify that 13 is too much?

        They could mandate that 1 of the 13 has to be a FCS game if they want to.

        Like

        1. Marc

          If a good number of administrators are proposing up to 17 games for some teams and players, what logic do they use to justify that 13 is too much?

          Your proposal is so far outside the Overton Window that no administrators are even debating its pros and cons, at least not publicly. I am not saying it couldn’t happen, but this idea is evidently beyond the reasonable arguments that anyone today is willing to even consider.

          Since they are not talking about it, I can only guess at their reasons, but I have a few ideas. All of the changes to the CFB postseason have been about “making it look like other sports.” For decades, FBS football was the only sport that decided its championship via a poll, rather than on the field. The long-standing battle was tradition vs. what every other sport does (and every other level of football does), and tradition eventually lost.

          But other sports don’t play consolation games among eliminated teams during playoff weeks. It’s just not a natural thing to do. (As I mentioned, the CCG is functionally a “playoff,” and the public regards it as such, even if the NCAA rulebook considers it a “regular season game.”)

          FBS instituted a playoff after years of debate and pent up demand. There is no visible demand for consolation games. To the extent anyone watches at all, they’d be siphoning off viewers from the CCGs that actually mean something.

          While administrators are willing to consider adding one or two more rounds of playoff games with championships at stake, those games bring in disproportionate revenue that might be worth the risk of injuries and further wear and tear on the players’ bodies. Adding another game for Purdue, that is played at the same time as other far more relevant games, does not.

          Imagine the Alabama/Auburn game decides the division championship. At that point, nobody has bought tickets for a home game the following week, because both schools’ fans want to be at the CCG. Then, the losing school has less than a week to get dispirited fans and players ready for a previously unannounced game that, in most years, would mean nothing.

          It’s just not a very appealing prospect.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Except that with a 12-team playoff, many of those games would not be consolation games. They would be for playoff spots. Many more would be for bowl bids/bowl positioning. And all would be Senior Day games.

            Your other point can be addressed by having the CCG be a 13th game. That honestly makes sense for everyone except maybe the SEC because they get corporate sponsorships for their Atlanta CCG. Then, when you buy tickets to that last home game, you could be potentially getting tickets to a CCG game.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Except that with a 12-team playoff, many of those games would not be consolation games.

            Very few of those games would have playoff implications. Imagine we’d had a 12-team playoff all along. How many of the 12 each year would not have been CCG participants? The answer is very few. The vast majority of the games you’re talking about would not have playoff implications. Perhaps 5% of them would.

            And all would be Senior Day games.

            Senior day is the last scheduled home game. In your proposal, we don’t know the home and away teams until after the previous week’s games are played. Teams won’t plan Senior Day around a game that might not happen.

            Since most CFB players will never sniff the NFL, Senior Day is not just their last game in the school uniform. It is the literally the last time in their lives that they will ever suit up at home. Those who don’t live nearby usually try to arrange for their parents to be there. It’s months in the making. It has to be on a known date.

            Like

          3. Richard

            ??? Under my proposal, it’s always known whether the last game is home or away. The teams in one or the other division all host together, switching each year. That’s how you can guarantee 7 home games a year. And your argument about very few games mattering for the playoffs by the 13th game would be the same one to argue against the 12th game. Or the 11th, etc.

            And

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          4. Marc

            Under my proposal, it’s always known whether the last game is home or away. The teams in one or the other division all host together, switching each year. That’s how you can guarantee 7 home games a year.

            Right, but you could easily have multiple teams in the division with a mathematical chance of playing in the CCG, right up to the last weekend. They’re going to schedule Senior Day for the last home game that that they know will be played.

            And your argument about very few games mattering for the playoffs by the 13th game would be the same one to argue against the 12th game. Or the 11th, etc.

            Well, that’s true of all sports — teams keep playing the originally scheduled games after they are eliminated, whether it’s 162 in MLB or 12 in CFB. But no sport plays consolation games after its postseason has started. (And again, the CCG is functionally a playoff game and perceived as such, no matter what the NCAA may call it.) The reasons aren’t hard to see.

            I mean…Michigan sells out the stadium for Ohio State, even though they have not won the game in years. But after they lose, what do you think would be the uptake for Michigan vs. Purdue the following week? How many of Michigan’s best players would even suit up for a game like that? How hard would they practice?

            Like

          5. Richard

            The motivation for Michigan after losing to OSU would be potentially making the playoffs (many years with a 12 team playoff) and better bowls nearly all years.

            You keep calling the CCG playoff games even though that won’t be true with a 12-team playoff.

            Like

          6. Richard

            Also, as I would have the 13th game matchups be by how teams are in the standings (which only make sense), PU would have to be as good in the West as UMich was in the East to face UMich in the 13th game (both 2nd or both 3rd, etc.)

            Like

          7. Marc

            The motivation for Michigan after losing to OSU would be potentially making the playoffs (many years with a 12 team playoff) and better bowls nearly all years.

            Try backtesting your idea. Most years that Michigan has lost to OSU, it would have eliminated them from playoff contention, even with 12 teams. And that’s generally true across football. Most playoff teams would be CCG teams (or Notre Dame).

            And consider the opposite proposition. Let’s say a team wins its rivalry-week game but is not in the CCG. Who would get excited to play again a week later, against what’s sure to be a less interesting opponent? That’s why rivalry week ends the regular season.

            A little noticed footnote to the 12-team playoff proposal is…fewer bowls. The proposed first round eliminates four good bowl teams. The most prestigious bowls will be reserved for quarter-finals. That leaves just a couple of bowls that might be worth playing for.

            For 95% of FBS, a consolation game that hardly anyone watches is not worth the potential to elevate from the Smucker’s Jam Bowl to the slightly better Hunts Tomato Bowl. Indeed, a lot of your suggested games would involve one or both teams with no serious prospects at all.

            There are ~120 teams in FBS, so you’re talking about almost 60 totally redundant games that overstep the CCGs, so that you can play the few that might matter.

            You keep calling the CCG playoff games even though that won’t be true with a 12-team playoff.

            You kidding me? In the proposal, the top six conference champs will get playoff autobids. The CCGs will be the de facto first round of the playoff. The 12-team playoff makes the CCGs more important.

            Also, as I would have the 13th game matchups be by how teams are in the standings (which only make sense), PU would have to be as good in the West as UMich was in the East to face UMich in the 13th game (both 2nd or both 3rd, etc.)

            They would avoid rematches. This year, Michigan plays Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Northwestern. Iowa could very well reach the CCG. What’s left is…not very appealing.

            Like

          8. Richard

            Marc:

            1. In my proposal, there would be only 8 B10 games before CCG week, meaning 2 crossovers.

            2. A CCG isn’t a playoff game if the loser doesn’t get eliminated from the playoffs (which would be the case for the SEC every year under a 12-team playoff and B10 many years).

            3. And I did look at Michigan’s history (while it’s clear you haven’t). Under Harbaugh, UMich has been in the top 15 after the OSU game (so with a shot at a 12 team playoff if there was a 13th game) 4 out of 5 years after the OSU game (no OSU game in 2020; no shot at playoffs either)

            Like

          9. Marc

            1. In my proposal, there would be only 8 B10 games before CCG week, meaning 2 crossovers.

            Granted, I did not look at it that way. Still, no sane league would do this. If you want 13 games, schedule 13 games that count.

            A CCG isn’t a playoff game if the loser doesn’t get eliminated from the playoffs (which would be the case for the SEC every year under a 12-team playoff and B10 many years).

            It’s kind of a hybrid. You could call it a playoff game or a post-season game. It would be a true elimination game in some cases. It would certainly be treated as a post-season game, as it is today.

            3. And I did look at Michigan’s history (while it’s clear you haven’t). Under Harbaugh, UMich has been in the top 15 after the OSU game (so with a shot at a 12 team playoff if there was a 13th game) 4 out of 5 years after the OSU game (no OSU game in 2020; no shot at playoffs either)

            I am guessing I know Michigan football history better than you. You are forgetting that 6 of the 12 would be conference champs, Notre Dame is in the mix without putting its record at risk in a CCG or consolation game. And then the CCG participants have the advantage of a high profile game, so the losers will have an significant advantage over those who play a consolation game.

            Put that all together, and very few of the ~60 games you are adding would have any real shot at putting someone in the playoff if they are not already in.

            Like

          1. bullet

            Because it would be every team. And it wouldn’t be for a chance at a championship, merely another payday for the schools. So lots more players who would want a piece.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Walter White

      If they do ever go to 13 regular season games for everyone. I think rather than having floating games during conference championship weekend, (which as many have already pointed out is a bit of a logistical and scheduling headache to say the least) it would be more likely the powers that be would just take the week 0 exemption that currently allows for just Hawaii and teams that play at Hawaii to play 13 regular season games and apply it to everyone. Basically codifying the current week 0 as the new week 1 and allowing teams the choice of playing 13 games or having 2 bye weeks. Similar to how (back when they went from 11 to 12 regular season games) they use to allow only teams that played in sanctioned/licensed neutral site kickoff games to play12 games when the standard season was 11, then just gave up the ghost and let everyone have 12 games.

      Like

    3. Mike

      Simply allow conferences with 2 divisions to schedule interdivisional games between all schools in the conference (not just the CCG) during the traditional CCG week. So like what the B10 did in 2020. That means a 13 game regular season for everyone (not just the CCG participants).

      Unfortunately, those games are not going to be very valuable. They’ll be up against the ACC title game at noon, then the SEC title game, and then Big Ten title game. They make the PAC12 play their title game on Friday as it is.

      I really like the idea of making the last game of the year scheduled late like they were last year. I also like the idea of a 4 team “tournament” to determine the CCG participants (yes its against the rules). I don’t see the alliance working out unless a 13th game is added. My earlier plan that I messed up transferring over and ended up not making sense was:

      Add the SEC to the Alliance.
      9 Conference Games (1/2 5H/4A and 1/2 4H/5A)
      3 Alliance games* (1/2 1H/2A and 1/2 2H/1A)
      1 OOC (games like Iowa – Iowa St, Texas-Texas Tech, Oklahoma-Oklahoma St, ND-Navy if ND joins the ACC)

      *Lock rivals like the ACC-SEC rivals or anyone else that wants to

      Like

    1. z33k

      That just seems a bit silly; Fertitta selling himself a bit hard.

      Big 12 sounds like they were always aiming to get back to 12 post OU/Texas exits with their rapid expansion.

      Maybe they might have considered Memphis or Boise State alongside Houston for the last spot but doubt they were going to stay at 11.

      Like

  48. Phil

    The New Big12- Curious what commenters would consider the most compelling rivalries once the Red River Rivalry is gone and to a lesser extent bedlam? Lot of solid football teams but neither the tradition or the fierce rivalries you see in the other P4.

    Assuming that a 12 team conference would get $360million a year( for 30Mil a school) would adding 2 more schools give 420 million (for the same 30Mil/ school), 30 million is just a number to throw out. It seems at some point you can’t just adding schools like you having a printing press for money, at some point the pie stops growing proportionately. If it was just a matter of adding random schools, the other 4 conferences wouldn’t be so selective.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Curious what commenters would consider the most compelling rivalries once the Red River Rivalry is gone and to a lesser extent bedlam?

      The short answer is, they don’t have one. It needs to be created. No word yet on whether the two Oklahoma schools will keep their annual game, but if they do, it’s obviously non-conference.

      Like

    2. Bucky

      The Big 12 was trying to make Kansas State-Iowa State into a rivalry for awhile, for some reason. In the 80’s, Kansas-Kansas State was known as the Toilet Bowl. Other than those, WVU-Cincy seem like a natural pair and then Tech-TCU and/or Baylor-Houston. Will be interesting to see what the scheduling looks like for the new conference. Will they have divisions and what teams will play each other every year? Will the four Texas schools be split up?

      Like

      1. Logan

        You disrespect Farmageddon? In the wake of the successful Mizzou-Kansas games at Arrowhead in 2007-08, the moved a couple ISU-KSU games to Arrowhead as well. It only lasted two seasons.

        KU/KSU/ISU have all played each other for a long time. They didn’t play OSU as much when the Big 12 had its north/south split. I would imagine they would want to keep those rivalries alive, but just as much, all 4 of those schools want to play games in Texas. All four of the old Big 8 schools’ rosters are filled with former Texas high schoolers

        Like

        1. frug

          The best part about Farmageddon is the fact it was originally proposed as a name for Iowa-Nebraska, but after the same marketing geniuses that gave the world “Leaders and Legends” settled on the Heroes’ Game instead, ISU and KSU snatched up the moniker.

          Like

    3. m(Ag)

      The most desirable games for TV networks will be the non-conference games that they get the rights to when they’re at the home of the Big 12 team.

      WVU/power conference teams (Maryland, Virginia Tech, Pitt, etc.)
      Iowa/Iowa State
      Oklahoma/Oklahoma State (assuming it continues)
      BYU/power conference team
      Texas/Texas Tech?

      The Pac 12’s most valuable game each year is also probably a non-conference game (the home game against Notre Dame by USC or Stanford), but several of its conference games are also valuable.

      Of course, if the Pac 12 commissioner has his way, the “Alliance” seems likely to eliminate space for some of these non-conference games.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Not necessarily for the Pac. Because they mostly have smaller stadiums and often have trouble selling out, sheer number of home games are less valuable to them so they don’t need 7 home games every year (and many/most don’t have them). That’s true for the ACC as well. That means those schools can have 2 Alliance games + another meaningful/rivalry game (or 2, if they cut down to 8 conference games and are fine with 6 home games a year).

        Like

      2. Mike


        The most desirable games for TV networks will be the non-conference games that they get the rights to when they’re at the home of the Big 12 team.

        They are in a lot trouble then. None of the remaining teams are known for scheduling very compelling OOC match ups. A quick check 2011-2021 of OOC P5 games:

        OSU – 7
        Kansas – 6
        Kansas St – 8
        Iowa St – 10
        Texas Tech – 6
        TCU – 10

        Like

        1. Marc

          None of the remaining teams are known for scheduling very compelling OOC match ups.

          When they find out what their new TV deal is worth, they will have to decide whether to toughen up or accept a lot less money. I realize it’s an open question whether the other power leagues will have any open dates available if this Alliance really works.

          As others have noted, many of these schools have been playing each other for decades, but the new B12 lacks a signature rivalry. Kansas and Kansas State will play each other every year, and so will the Texas schools, but in most years these games won’t generate much national interest.

          Conferences sometimes try to invent rivalries, but that doesn’t always work either.

          Like

          1. Mike

            @Marc

            When they find out what their new TV deal is worth, they will have to decide whether to toughen up or accept a lot less money.

            IIRC the TV networks only pay for conference games*. Unless they are willing to cede some control of scheduling of a game or two to ESPN I don’t think they’ll get anything more.

            *They will pay you X per conference game. Its why the Big Ten went to nine games and the Dan Beebe was able to save the Big 12 in 2011 by going from 8 to 9.

            Like

          2. Richard

            The networks pay for OOC games too (they’re not getting them for free).

            They just are priced (and maybe negotiated) separately from the main TV contracts that we all see numbers for.

            Like

          3. Marc

            TV coverage is driven by the home team’s media deal.

            To give a basic example, if Notre Dame schedules a home-and-home with Michigan, then the game in South Bend will be on NBC, because they have ND’s home football rights. The game in Ann Arbor will be on one of the Big Ten’s partners (ESPN or Fox) by the same logic.

            This is why most of the P5 conferences mandated at least one P5 non-conference game—to beef up their media inventory.

            Like

          4. Mike

            @Richard –

            The networks pay for OOC games too (they’re not getting them for free).

            I thought that way too until someone on here pointed out (again IIRC) that the contracts are priced on a conference game basis. That “price” per game may include expected non-conference games but amounts are calculated on a conference game only basis. The reasoning was that non-conference games are not guaranteed* and neither side wants variability built into their contract if a marquee non-conference series is canceled or pushed out** few years.

            *See Nebraska (stupidly) exploring dropping Oklahoma from the schedule this year.
            **Nebraska and Tennessee scheduled a home and home for 2016-17 in 2006. In 2013 those games were postponed until 2026/27.

            They just are priced (and maybe negotiated) separately from the main TV contracts that we all see numbers for.

            Unless its a neutral site game, I don’t believe so.

            Like

        2. Little8

          A major schedule step up would help. I added 2 Little8 that were left off at end.
          BYU should have good OOC schedules; not sure about other 3 new members
          A quick check 2011-2021 of OOC P5 games:
          OSU – 7
          Kansas – 6
          Kansas St – 8
          Iowa St – 10 (annual Iowa)
          Texas Tech – 6
          TCU – 10
          West Virginia – 15 (by far best OOC schedule of Little8)
          Baylor – 3? (counts BYU ’21; the other 2 were Duke)

          Like

    4. Richard

      Some posters have already touched on this.
      KSU-KU
      KSU-ISU
      Baylor-TCU
      Are old rivalries.
      WVU-Cincy seems like a natural one as well.
      And why not Mormons vs Baptists? Milk drinkers vs soda drinkers.

      Like

    5. ccrider55

      “ Curious what commenters would consider the most compelling rivalries once the Red River Rivalry is gone..:”

      Is the SEC not going to schedule UT/OU?

      Like

  49. Richard

    So if we have to stay with 12 regular season games, how can the Alliance fit 2 games in the schedule yet allow B10 teams 7 home games and also be attractive enough to the B10 to sacrifice a B10 game (drop down to 8 from 9 conference games)?
    Answer: add ND in to the mix.

    The PAC is short 2 schools to make the numbers work, so have ND take up 2 PAC slots (meaning ND would face 2 B10 and 2 ACC teams every year as a “PAC” team). And since Iowa wants 7 home game as well as the ISU rivalry game, have ND take Iowa’s slot vs. the ACC (so Iowa only has 1 Alliance game a year, always vs. a PAC school).
    Since takes means a decrease in ND games for the bottom part of the ACC, maybe still an ND-ACC game outside of the Alliance (ND typically plays 5 ACC and 1 B10 game currently, so this would simply switch it to 4 & 2).

    The ACC loses 1 ND game a year, but gains top B10 (and PAC teams). B10 gets enough to justify going to an 8-game conference schedule. PAC upgrades it’s TV offerings.

    Like

    1. Mike

      The PAC is short 2 schools to make the numbers work, so have ND take up 2 PAC slots (meaning ND would face 2 B10 and 2 ACC teams every year as a “PAC” team). And since Iowa wants 7 home game as well as the ISU rivalry game, have ND take Iowa’s slot vs. the ACC (so Iowa only has 1 Alliance game a year, always vs. a PAC school).

      Would it make sense to allow two ACC teams (Georgia Tech and Clemson*) and two Big Ten teams (Iowa and ?) to miss the PAC games as long as they play their SEC rivals or Iowa St? This idea will limit ND’s P4 options to just the SEC though.

      *Sorry Louisville

      Like

      1. Richard

        Hmm. If Iowa misses the ACC, 1 of FSU/Clemson/GTech may miss the B10 while the other 2 miss the PAC (as the league that brings the most teams with heavy viewership, the B10 can insist that it’s GTech that misses the B10. That still leaves 14 B10 teams matched up to 12 PAC teams, however.

        Unless ND is there for 2 more “PAC” slots.

        That would give ND pretty much a complete schedule: 5 ACC games + 2 B10 games + Navy + USC + Stanford = 10 games. Also covers pretty much the entire parts of the country they’d want to visit besides TX and the Bayou. Maybe they can insist that Navy schedules ND games in TX or around there.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Iowa plays an annual game with ISU. Clemson, GTech, FSU, and Louisville also have annual SEC rivalry games. The Pac will probably tell Utah to schedule BYU annually (because someone else has to play OOC when ND visits CA Thanksgiving week.
          So
          PAC+ND vs B10-Iowa means 13 v 13
          B10 vs ACC + ND – 1 of the 4 ACC teams with SEC rivals means 14 v 14
          PAC – Utah v ACC – 3 of the aforementioned 4 means 11 v 11.

          The numbers work.

          Like

  50. Mike

    @Frank –

    Off topic, but of all the Chicago based Twitter feeds how did the @ChiPartyAunt end up getting a Netflix show? I assume your talk show is in development?

    Like

  51. ccrider55

    Mike Bohn
    @USC_mikebohn
    We are making a change in the leadership of our football program. #FightOn

    What a spoil sport. Depriving talking heads of weeks and weeks of being able to grade the level of hotness of Helton’s seat.

    Like

    1. Andy

      If the ACC or Pac 12 ever lose any schools at some point then Kansas would probably be high on the list as a replacement school in those leagues. So I do think they’ll end up somewhere else some day. But not the Big Ten.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Kansas presents the same problem to any league: it’s got a horrid football program in a low-population state. Football drives 75%+ of the decision.

        I see that Kansas’s new AD has pledged to upgrade the football program. He won’t be the first Kansas AD who has tried. I wish him well. I think Kansas football would need to be a lot better, before it could hope for another Power Five invite.

        Like

        1. Mike

          Kansas presents the same problem to any league: it’s got a horrid football program in a low-population state. Football drives 75%+ of the decision.

          IMO – For the near term, Kansas has to hope the Big Paclantic makes finding P4 opponents difficult enough for Notre Dame that it decides to join the ACC and is a tag along #16.

          Like

          1. ccrider55

            “ Kansas has to hope the Big Paclantic makes finding P4 opponents difficult enough for Notre Dame…”

            ND is ACC in everything except FB.
            ND already plays two Pac schools yearly and has had regular games with B1G schools.

            I don’t see any possibility of ND having any trouble arranging games, or the Big Pacl ntic putting up barriers. They only need two to 4 having 5 ACC, 2 Pac and a B1G already scheduled. I’m sure any other schools in those conferences would make the “sacrifice” to help fill their schedule.

            Like

          2. Mike


            I don’t see any possibility of ND having any trouble arranging games, or the Big Pacl ntic putting up barriers. They only need two to 4 having 5 ACC, 2 Pac and a B1G already scheduled. I’m sure any other schools in those conferences would make the “sacrifice” to help fill their schedule.

            Where ND could have trouble is if the PAC and Big Ten drops down to 8 conference games but adds in two Big Paclantic games. That means any ND opponent would have to willingly give up a home game every other year to play at Notre Dame. I am not confident ND will find a lot of teams from those two conferences willing to agree to that. The ACC situation is worse with 8 conference games plus two Big Paclantic games. Three schools have SEC rivalries and five will be playing ND meaning eight teams* will lose a home game every two years.

            That’s the squeeze that could cause ND to join** the ACC. With Limited access to PAC/B1G teams, are there enough SEC teams willing to fill out a competitive schedule? I don’t think ND is very excited about playing the future Big 12 teams since ND hasn’t played them very often historically. If 3/4 of the P4 is playing Ten P4 games they will have to follow suit. Can they find 5 P4 opponents to go with the 5 contractual ACC ones? I think it will be very tough, but not impossible.

            *Unless Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville are playing ND. Then they’ll lose two home games in a two year period when they play at ND.

            **Finding enough opponents and access to National Championship are the two factors often cited by ND that would make them rethink independence.

            Like

          3. Little8

            If it is a choice of joining a conference or playing B12 teams Notre Dame is going to play the B12. They already schedule 2 G5 pay games per year + Navy. The PAC is not going to tell USC who they can play (unless they want to be the next B12). Add in another G5 pay game with 2-3 SEC and 3-4 B12 games and ND has a full schedule. I think Stanford will also want to keep their annual game and ND will probably find a lot of takers in the lower half of the ACC.

            Like

          4. If there’s one thing that has been a running theme over the past 20 years, it’s that exceptions will *always* be made for Notre Dame. The Irish aren’t getting squeezed regardless of how the Big Paclantic Alliance scheduling ends up working out.

            Like

          5. ccrider55

            Mike,

            “ That means any ND opponent would have to willingly give up a home game every other year to play at Notre Dame.”

            No, only one team per conference (excluding ACC) per decade would need to in order to add two games to their usual schedule. ND might even be up for H/H in a number of cases.

            Like

          6. Mike

            If it is a choice of joining a conference or playing B12 teams Notre Dame is going to play the B12.

            I’m sure they’ll be happy to buy home games vs Big 12 teams or even play return games at a neutral site, but I don’t see Notre Dame wanting to play in Stillwater, Lubbock, Waco, Manhattan, or Ames. They went to Provo twice as part of two for ones, but their latest BYU home game will be in Vegas. They have no real history with Cincinnati, Houston or UCF. I am not sure any of the new Big 12 teams will be willing to two for ones with ND. One of the reasons why Texas went to the SEC was because their fans thought their Big 12 home schedules were boring.

            The PAC is not going to tell USC who they can play (unless they want to be the next B12).

            My scenario was the 8 conference games plus the two Big Paclantic games would make USC and Stanford reluctant to schedule Notre Dame because it would limit them to six home games a year every year they went to ND.

            They already schedule 2 G5 pay games per year + Navy. [snip]. Add in another G5 pay game with 2-3 SEC and 3-4 B12 games and ND has a full schedule

            Balancing out the numbers a bit, They’ll end up with their contracted 5 ACC + 2-3 SEC + Navy + rounding out Big 12/G5. They’ll end up playing 8 P4 games when everyone else is playing more. That might hurt their playoff chances.

            I think Stanford will also want to keep their annual game and ND will probably find a lot of takers in the lower half of the ACC

            I think Stanford/USC would like to, but we’ll see how they value home games. Same with those non-contracted ACC teams.

            Like

          7. Little8

            USC will keep its game with Notre Dame and 7 home games. There is a Little8 in the PAC12 and USC in the PAC is like Texas in the B12. Notre Dame has a longer football history with USC than any school except California (Stanford, UCLA are the same as ND). If the PAC is smart they will finesse the situation by counting Notre Dame as part of the ACC. That will let USC use the conference slot freed to play an alliance game and prevent a PAC implosion. It will also allow Stanford to use the same logic to keep its game even though that history only goes back to 1988.

            As far as Cincinnati: Notre Dame has not played them in 100+ years, but have you looked at their 2021 schedule?

            Like

          8. Mike

            @cc –

            No, only one team per conference (excluding ACC) per decade would need to in order to add two games to their usual schedule. ND might even be up for H/H in a number of cases.

            Assuming the Big Paclantic gets off the ground, and the Big Ten/ACC/PAC each have eight conference games and two Big Paclantic games, then anyone playing at ND will have a maximum six home games where most (if not all) P4 programs want seven. Its possible that USC/Stanford are willing to do that. I’m not sure a lot of other teams are.

            Like

          9. Mike


            USC will keep its game with Notre Dame and 7 home games.

            Not possible unless USC only plays ND in LA.

            8 conference games (4H/4A) + 2 Big Paclantic (1H/1A) + 1 game at ND (A) + 1 guarantee game (H) = 6H and 6A.

            If the PAC is smart they will finesse the situation by counting Notre Dame as part of the ACC

            That just makes the entire Big Paclantic harder to do since now the Alliance has an odd number of teams. The entire point of the Big Paclantic was to make good TV match ups. It would be crazy to not include USC (and Stanford) in the ACC rotation. Two ACC teams already will be missing the PAC12 (14 teams vs 12) and the 8/2 model with the five game ND contact means the ACC teams playing at ND will be without their seven home games. Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Lousiville when they play ND will have a 12 game schedule of 8 conference, 2 Big Paclantic, ND, and their SEC rival. I don’t know how the ACC can ask another team (or two if you include Stanford) to skip out of Big Paclantic games to exclusively benefit ND when they are already giving up a lot.

            As far as Cincinnati: Notre Dame has not played them in 100+ years, but have you looked at their 2021 schedule?

            Yes. Cincinnati agreed to a guarantee game at ND. Twice in 100+ years is still no real history. Now that Cincinnati is headed to the Big 12, do you think they will still agree to buy games with ND? Will ND agree to a home and home if UC agrees to move their home games to Paul Brown Stadium? In a world where over 3/4 of the P4 is playing at least 10 P4 games does it hurt ND playoff chances to not play that many P4 games?

            Like

          10. Mike

            @Frank –

            If there’s one thing that has been a running theme over the past 20 years, it’s that exceptions will *always* be made for Notre Dame. The Irish aren’t getting squeezed regardless of how the Big Paclantic Alliance scheduling ends up working out.

            I agree and I get how ND feels about independence. As unlikely as ND joining the ACC is, I still think tagging along with ND is KU’s (and West Virginia’s) best hope for joining the P4 in the near term.

            Setting aside how skeptical I am that math will work out and make the Big Paclantic anything close to what they say it is, with an 8/2 model, how do you envision a ND exception working out? Assuming seven home games is important for Big Ten and PAC12 teams, if ND doesn’t count as an ACC team they’ll have to play 4 or 5 SEC teams* or find B1G/PAC teams willing to have six home games in years they play at ND. Counting ND as an ACC team is the best for ND, but as long as seven home games is important, it effectively locks them in to one Big Ten and one PAC12** team a year. The money will probably good enough that the ACC would willingly drop one of their teams out of the rotation, but it won’t be great for conference unity. As it is, 8/2 with the ACC’s current ND agreement means Clemson/Georgia Tech/Louisville will play 12 P4 teams in years they play ND with only six home games in years they play at ND. Not ideal for a Clemson team already rumored to have interest in the SEC.

            *I don’t see them wanting to play home and home with most of the Big 12. @ND/@Neutral is a possibility, but are ND fans going to be excited about those games? Texas fans weren’t.

            **Scheduled by a TV partner. Sure, you could lock ND and USC but how happy would Clemson/Miami/FSU be about being shut out of the best PAC12 brand.

            Like

          11. Little8

            You hit on why there will be problems implementing alliance football scheduling past any reduction in conference games (It is still an open question if such a reduction can be made that does not reduce revenue). Do you think that tOSU, MI, or PSU want to play football at Syracuse, Wake Forest, Duke, WSU, or OrSt EVER? What gets implemented will probably be a goal to play 1 or 2 alliance games based on “best efforts” which the conference kings will ignore if it suites them. The alliance can be implemented for basketball since there are a lot more games, but that will only generates a fraction of football revenue.

            Like

          12. ccrider55

            The Big Paclantic is described as 41 like minded universities which more than implies ND is a member of the alliance. Now whether that has extreme influence over ND FB scheduling remains to be seen.

            Like

    1. Colin

      “TCU and Houston to the Pac-12?”

      Andy, the article says what it says but I’m not buying it. TCU may indeed be in a large metro area but the brutal truth is that very few people in the DFW area care about TCU football. TCU is among the five lowest schools in attendance among the entire P5 conferences (link).

      I flat out do not believe that the Pac-12 would go after a low attendance religious school like TCU and an academic skank like Houston while ignoring religious school BYU with a far better following and more centric schools like UNLV and Boise.

      https://www.star-telegram.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/mac-engel/article253962398.html

      Like

      1. Marc

        Houston is better academically than Boise or UNLV. It’s also a bigger market and better recruiting territory. It’s totally believable that they would have been one of the Pac-12’s top choices.

        The Big 12 was more desperate to expand and was willing to consider more distant schools, and even they didn’t take Boise or UNLV. If those schools don’t move the needle for the Big 12, they don’t for the Pac-12 either.

        TCU partisans say that its religious emphasis has been significantly reduced over the years, even though “Christian” is still in the name. However, I agree that it is a small school, and its football success—almost the entire reason for considering it—is fairly recent.

        With any expansion, you always have to ask what the value proposition is, if the football team doesn’t continue performing well. Houston is a place you’d probably want to be in any event. Boise is not.

        Like

        1. Colin

          Marc, Houston & Boise & UNLV are all academic skanks. A debate about the least skanky vs skankier vs skankiest serves no purpose. They are academic skanks.

          Now let’s consider a comparison of TV markets. When the B1G brought in Rutgers and MD that was done because the BTN captured the HUGE Nielsen Designated Market TV areas of NYC and Wash DC into the BTN (link). But the Big XII has no conference network thus they gain virtually nothing by bringing turkeys like TCU and Houston.

          http://bl.ocks.org/simzou/6459889

          Marc, I hope you don’t mind if I ask a personal question. Are you a school teacher?

          Like

          1. z33k

            Big 12 needs bodies in Texas. They’re not focused on national brand or capturing local markets as much as they’re focused on inventory and just basic positioning; they don’t have a choice.

            Big 12 is 2nd in Texas even if it’s a distant second. Houston at least helps them a bit there; it’s a solid choice.
            Also let’s them have teams playing in Southeast Texas and playing more games in Texas for recruiting.

            Texas recruiting is the lifeblood of most of their schools (except WVU/Cincy/UCF); an extra school there can only help.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Marc, Houston & Boise & UNLV are all academic skanks. A debate about the least skanky vs skankier vs skankiest serves no purpose. They are academic skanks.

            I agree that all three are below the Pac-12’s academic level. However, you seemed to be suggesting that Boise and UNLV would be suitable, whereas Houston would not. I am not following you there. The Pac-12 didn’t add any of them—probably the correct decision.

            However, I am sure that they must have asked, “If we do expand, what are our best options?” I could realistically believe Houston was near the top of a bad list. Even among skanks, somebody has to be first.

            When the B1G brought in Rutgers and MD that was done because the BTN captured the HUGE Nielsen Designated Market TV areas of NYC and Wash DC into the BTN (link). But the Big XII has no conference network thus they gain virtually nothing by bringing turkeys like TCU and Houston.

            When the Big 12 added TCU, they were down to eight schools. They were going to face a reduction of their TV contract if they did not make additions, and concluded WVU/TCU were the two best schools available. I guarantee that the TV media partners were part of that choice, and also part of the choice to add Houston now.

            Comparisons with the Big Ten are not really relevant. The Big Ten is the richest conference. It had the luxury to only make the choices it did. The Big 12 is just trying to stay afloat.

            Are you a school teacher?

            No.

            Like

          3. Longhorn McLonghornFace

            Hmmm, who to believe, Colin or Jon Wilner?

            From a few weeks ago:

            “All signs point to the #Pac12 standing down in the realignment game. But if it were to expand, there’s an obvious No. 1 pick: Houston.”

            Like

          4. Colin

            Let’s believe the Wall Street Journal academic rankings.

            Cincy 291
            UCF 323
            Houston 364

            Lowest in the Big Ten: Nebraska 336. All others above Iowa at 162.
            Lowest in the SEC Miss St 479, Bama 463, Ark 405. All others above Ole Miss at 298.

            Like

          5. ccrider55

            Colin,

            Houston ARWU rankings is in the 200’s world wide, and listed in the 77th position in the U.S. that’s ahead of Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon among the notable schools.

            Like

          6. Colin

            All of these rankings use different metrics and have different results. However, I’ll stay with the Wall St Journal/London Times over Shanghai.

            Like

          7. ccrider55

            Colin,

            And yet, apparently, the Pac was in fact giving Houston consideration.

            I know different ranking methods give different results. I’ll go with a highly respected ranking that some may criticize for emphasizing sciences and research, which coincidentally is a common emphasis of most of the Pac.

            Like

          8. Colin

            ccrider, I do not believe that the Pac-12 was giving Houston serious consideration. Some sports journalist may have ponied that up and their ADs may have actually discussed it. However Houston is the little brother of the little brother of the little brother in the state of Texas and TCU is even worse. That is not serious consideration.

            Like

          9. ccrider55

            There was a Pac delegation that visited Houston around half a decade ago. I’m not advocating for it, but I do see that in spite of the humorous pot shots taken at it, Houston is a school deserving of consideration.

            Like

        2. bullet

          Houston is better academically than most of the SEC and Big 12. Its a Tier I research university and, despite its USNWR ratings, is tougher to get into than a good number of P5 schools. So are UCF and Cincinnati.

          Like

          1. ccrider55

            Houston ARWU rankings in the two hundreds worldwide, and listed in 77th position on the USA list, ahead of Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, among notable schools.

            Like

          2. bullet

            And from having a son recently graduate from HS, I know that UH was harder to get into than anybody in the SEC other than Vandy, Florida, Georgia and A&M. We didn’t look that much at the Big 12 schools, but it was tougher than Missouri, which is probably tougher than WVU, OSU and KSU and comparable to KU and ISU.

            Like

      2. ccrider55

        Colin,

        TCU is founded by “religion” in a similar way as USC (original mascot was the Fighting Methodists). BYU, while a fine school, is directly controlled by the church hierarchy. Similarly Baylor, Liberty and others don’t operate in as secular a way as B1G or Pac conferences would be comfortable with.
        Stanford only has around 8k undergraduate student. I know it’s a long shot but I’ve only half jokingly advocated for the Pac including Rice as a Houston based version of the Cardinal. TCU would add the Dallas/Fort Worth metro. USC, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, UCLA, etc making regular visits to both metro areas would attract attention, whoever they play.

        Like

        1. Marc

          Let’s imagine the Pac-12 had no issues with BYU’s church-controlled governance. I’m still not convinced that there is any 14th school that, coupled with BYU, would be financially attractive.

          Last time the Pac-12 expanded, they took Utah. At the time of the decision, Utah had better recent athletic success. Besides not being church-controlled, Utah was the better choice all around.

          If the Pac-12 could significantly increase revenue-per-member by adding BYU and any 14th school, I suspect at least some members would be willing to consider that, and the controversy would become public knowledge.

          One clear rule of college athletics, is that if money is being left on the table, there’s usually somebody that wants it. To be clear, BYU is a horrible cultural fit with the Pac-12. But I bet they are not a great financial fit either.

          Like

          1. Colin

            ” I’m still not convinced that there is any 14th school that, coupled with BYU, would be financially attractive. ”

            Marc, you’re probably right but I’ll never be convinced that TCU + Houston would be financially attractive. TCU has pathetic football attendance and both schools are waaaaay behind UT, A&M and Texas Tech in the state.

            Like

          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – TCU’s 2019 average attendance was 42,881. The PAC 12’s average attendance for the same year was 46,080. Other than Washington, no one in the pac 12 school averaged more than 60k.

            Click to access 2019.pdf

            TCU out drew Stanford, Cal, Arizona, Oregon St & Washington St, and came within less than 1000 of UCLA.

            TCU had a losing record, had only one attractive home game and still roughly had the same attendance as UCLA – a team playing in the second largest market in the Rose Bowl.

            For the 2020 season, TCU also completed a stadium expansion to add more club seats and suites.

            If the PAC 12 had chosen TCU, they probably only would have trailed Washington, USC, Oregon, Arizona State and Colorado in attendance.

            Like

          3. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – I have attended several games at TCU’s stadium over the last decade as well as many other games throughout the country. TCU is no different than any other non-elite program. Heck, many elite programs have trouble with no shows as well.

            Do you think TCU is turning in tickets sold/distributed info to the NCAA and every other school in America is reporting actual butts in the seats?

            I couldn’t open your link.

            Like

          4. Colin

            Alan, in answer to your question I do not think that the big schools fudge on their football attendance and I believe most of them pass the eyeball test. As this article says, small privates like Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College, Baylor and TCU have serious attendance problems and more incentive to cook the numbers. Here’s the text of the article.

            In changing college football landscape, TCU’s attendance challenge a potential problem

            Despite the pleas from some donors and administrators to go bigger, one of the smarter decisions TCU has made in recent years was to not expand the seating capacity beyond 46,000.
            Depending on what figure you believe, Amon G. Carter Stadium is the sixth or seventh smallest football stadium in the Power 5 landscape of college football, and while the venue is one of the best in the country it’s nearly impossible to fill.

            Other than slap a roof or awning over the stands, TCU has done every single thing possible to make its game-day atmosphere attractive to fans, families with young children, players and recruits.

            Packing at Amon G. Carter Stadium remains as much of a challenge today as ever. As college football goes about restructuring itself, one of the silent concerns for many schools is attendance.
            It’s a concern for several schools, and leaves Power 5 members such as Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College, Baylor and TCU increasingly vulnerable in this new landscape. TCU opened its 2021 season on Saturday night against Duquesne. Needless to say, it was not a sellout.

            Fans have minimal interest, although coaches from Power 5 schools do love a schedule with a Duquesne. (The final score was 45-3, and both head coaches took the rare step of shortening the game by six minutes.)

            Texas and Oklahoma are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC not just for ESPN’s money, but the need to load its home schedule with opponents that give them a better chance of bigger crowds.
            With so many quality entertainment options now easily available, and the lure of that big hi-def flat screen in the living room so enticing, fans simply don’t care enough to pay much money to watch anything other than Big vs. Big.

            When a Texas plays Texas A&M, no price is too high for a ticket, and no venue can be big enough. Conversely, a stadium can’t be small enough for Old Dominion at Wake Forest, Utah State at Washington State, or Duquesne at TCU. All three were opening-weekend matchups.
            For the smaller schools not named Notre Dame that currently enjoy residence in the Power 5 football conferences, like TCU, Baylor, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Boston College and Duke, the attendance issue only complicates their status.
            Each of these schools have poured millions into their athletic departments, and have, at times, fielded successful football programs. Selling out their stadiums is just difficult.

            In the case of TCU, since Amon G. Carter Stadium’s renovation finished for the 2012 season, the announced average attendance for home games is 44,541. A good number. And the key word is “announced.” The eyes tell a dramatically different story than the reported figures.
            The real average is likely closer to 30,000. Ish. For instance, when TCU hosted No. 9 Oklahoma and quarterback Kyler Murray on Oct. 20, 2018, finding a seat was not a problem.

            Fudging, and or lying, on attendance figures is a staple in all of college athletics, not just TCU. When it comes to announced attendance, every athletic department in the nation relies on fuzzy math.
            This is not an indictment on TCU, or its athletic department. It’s this way for most small universities that are in the Power 5. In 2019, Wake Forest averaged 26,999 at its home football games. Duke’s average was 25,811, and Boston College came in at 34,185.

            TCU has an undergrad enrollment of 9,400 students. And as long as you compare TCU against the other small, private schools in the Power 5, it has done well. The concern for TCU, and every school like it in the Power 5, is when you compare them against the larger universities. That’s not only a challenge, but in this landscape it could be a major problem.

            Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC is another step in the slow consolidation of revenue in college athletics. Where the likes of TCU, Wake Forest, Baylor, Duke, Northwestern and the few just like them fit in this evolving scheme of hoarding cash, and this master plan, no one knows.
            A bunch of empty seats for a season opener never helps.

            Like

          5. Marc

            I’ll never be convinced that TCU + Houston would be financially attractive.

            I’m not sure anybody is. After all, this is the road the Pac-12 didn’t take.

            TCU/Houston might have been their best expansion option, but that doesn’t make it good. Otherwise, they would’ve done it.

            Like

  52. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    So largely missed this weekend was Bowlsby’s comments that the B12 could eventually expand to 20 to 24 schools.

    What the author seems to miss is that Bowlsby is likely not talking about adding 8 to 12 more G5’s. Rather that if the Pac12 and/or ACC have their top programs raided by the B1G and SEC, then the leftover P5 schools may become available:

    https://www.heartlandcollegesports.com/2021/09/12/bob-bowlsby-suggests-big-12-could-expand-to-20-or-24-teams/?fbclid=IwAR30dKwPr46xUvUrC4Ds5Mzl0vwHhhliuWxSQzNa2-FggGKYMVr-gQo8-pU

    Bowlsby said, “We’ll look for targets of opportunity. We might find out down the road that larger alignments are going to be the order of the day. We might find ourselves going to 20 or 24 (teams) at some point in time.”

    And then the KU chancellor suggested big changes may happen to the NCAA in the next year. Lots of ways to speculate about that, but one end result could be the P5’s enacting financial benefits to players and program requirements that may cause most G5 programs to throw in the towel about trying to keep up. Perhaps the P5/G5 split long bandied about. So even if the SEC/B1G/ACC/Pac 12 don’t change much, there may be some G5 schools with enough booster commitment to make the final climb to P5 before the drawbridge is pulled up. B12 becomes the Poor But Proud Conference floor of the P5 division. Perhaps a lot of 2 for 1 OOC games for the B12 schools, replacing FCS and the lesser G5’s on the Alliance and SEC schedules.

    I think in the long run most G5 schools would be financially better off breaking away, reorganizing into more regional conferences that minimize travel, and living off their own 16-team G5 playoff that ESPN (or perhaps another network) will buy for inventory. Discount priced playoffs, but still better than what most G5’s outside the AAC get now.

    http://www2.kusports.com/news/2021/sep/13/ku-chancellor-girod-believes-ku-good-footing-follo/?football

    “This is not your conference realignment of old,” Girod said. “This is not moving the deck chairs. We’re seeing major changes (and probably will see) a very different looking NCAA after the first of the year. College athletics is shifting pretty dramatically under our feet.”

    Like

    1. Longhorn McLonghornFace

      To clarify, I think the first option is more likely, that of the B1G taking 6 (maybe up to 8 or 9) of the best Pac12 AAU schools and then at some point (maybe quicker than many think) raiding the top ACC schools and the SEC also taking it’s share.

      Yes the Pac12 is far away, but the travel isn’t so bad if it becomes a 6 or 8 school western division. Double (or even triple) round-robin in the division for sports like basketball, for example.

      I think the B1G ends up with the 4 CA schools, Oregon, and Washington, plus UVA, UNC, G.Tech, and maybe Duke. SEC grabs Clemson, FSU, V.Tech, and NC.State (or Duke.) I don’t see why ND couldn’t continue as an independent in football. If the B1G remains to haughty to allow that, the SEC will probably be fine allowing ND to do that. The B12+++++ Island of Misfit Schools certainly would, so ND will have their choice.

      Heck, I could see the SEC dropping divisions and allowing it’s top dog schools to have a semi-independent schedule, as long as they keep the money in conference. They aren’t afraid of innovation, and now I don’t think they’re afraid to walk away from the NCAA. I would not be shocked to see an SEC-Alliance showdown within a few years over SEC desire to expand football rosters.

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      1. Marc

        I think the first option is more likely, that of the B1G taking 6 (maybe up to 8 or 9) of the best Pac12 AAU schools…

        How could they do this without diluting the payout of the existing members? The Big Ten makes much more per school than the Pac-12.

        SEC grabs Clemson, FSU, V.Tech, and NC.State (or Duke.)

        Similar situation. The SEC is in a position of strength. Adding the second-choice schools in Virginia and North Carolina would almost certainly be dilutive.

        I would not be shocked to see an SEC-Alliance showdown within a few years over SEC desire to expand football rosters.

        I agree, this is probably coming. The challenge for the SEC, is that if they want to be national champs, they have to play someone outside of their footprint. If they expand rosters unilaterally, then the SEC Championship Game ends their season.

        I think there are other P5 football programs that would love to expand rosters too. The trouble is with the other ~75% of P5 athletic departments that are losing money, or at least not making money.

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    2. Marc

      I think in the long run most G5 schools would be financially better off breaking away, reorganizing into more regional conferences that minimize travel, and living off their own 16-team G5 playoff that ESPN (or perhaps another network) will buy for inventory.

      The breakaway happened already when the “Autonomy Five” started making their own rules. And four of the five G5 leagues are already regional—the American is the only one that’s not. Granted, the Sun Belt and C-USA could each become a bit more compact if they traded schools, but what they’ve got is not unwieldy.

      If the G5 formed their own playoff, the question is whether that would make more money than the bowl invites they get today. That’s the only way it would happen.

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    3. billinmidwest

      It makes sense in the long term, since the Understandably Irate 8 are inevitably screwed financially in the short term.

      Growing a nationwide fanbase for Big 12 football is the right move over the long term.

      Whether the Big 12 teams can afford to make long-term decisions at the expense of the short-term financial situation remains to be seen, though

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  53. stewlevine

    Hard to see the P5/G5 split happening so long as P5 schools insist on 7 home games. They won’t get those additional home dates from other P5 schools. I do wonder though whether some G5 schools, especially as it gets harder to recruit under new NIL rules decide to drop down to the FCS where costs (or outright financial losses) may be more manageable.

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    1. Marc

      When people refer to a split, they just mean playing by different rules. FCS already does that, but it doesn’t prevent them from scheduling games against the P5.

      G5 programs need P5 games, so there is no way they’d voluntarily stop playing them.

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      1. stewlevine

        Do G5 programs need P5 games? Only if they need the paycheck or want entree into a bowl. Dropping to FCS could lower program costs and the playoff series replaces the bowls. Not so sure if for some schools, FCS doesn’t become the better answer instead of continuing in the arms race.
        No different than schools like Carnegie Tech and Chicago de-emphasizing football in the 30s-50s.

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        1. Marc

          Do G5 programs need P5 games? Only if they need the paycheck or want entree into a bowl.

          They need it for the paycheck. Plenty of P5 teams schedule FCS opponents, so stepping down would not preclude those games, though they might be harder to get. Current rules limit FBS teams to just one FCS game a year, assuming their home conference doesn’t have a stricter rule (as the Big Ten does).

          No different than schools like Carnegie Tech and Chicago de-emphasizing football in the 30s-50s.

          Chicago didn’t de-emphasize football. They stopped playing it entirely. They are now in Division III, but there was a 60-year gap without a varsity team. There are many programs that were formerly at the top level and aren’t anymore, not just those two. Comparisons are difficult, because the current 3-division system didn’t exist then.

          Since Division I split, the Idaho Vandals are the only team ever to downgrade from FBS to FCS, but they were FCS previously. No team that has been in FBS all along has ever downgraded, but it could happen.

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  54. Mike

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  55. Mike

    In reaction to the Big 12’s recent raid of Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, the AAC has focused on recruiting a group of schools that includes Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State and UAB, sources tell CBS Sports. UAB, a member of Conference USA, is the only non-Mountain West team on that short list.

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/american-targeting-mountain-west-powers-among-handful-of-expansion-candidates-in-realignment/

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    1. Colin

      It’s hard to imagine why Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State would be better off in the AAC vs the Mountain West. Their travel logistics would be considerably worse and I don’t see an uptick in TV revenue. Seems like an AAC throes following the Big XII’s inquisition of UT and OU.

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        1. Colin

          Mike, I agree. Right now the Mountain West has Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State plus New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming, Nevada, Fresno State, San José State, UNLV and Hawai‘i.

          How does that get better for Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State to instead be in a conference with Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, East Carolina, Navy, Tulsa and UAB?

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          1. Mike

            About the only thing I can think of is it gives the those teams the opportunity to be on ESPN instead of Fox/CBS Sports. I know Boise has its special home football deal with ESPN, but are those four willing to gamble that increased ESPN exposure will make them legit Big 12 candidates? If the next Big 12 expansion takes some but not all four are they willing to risk being left on an island? Tough call for not a lot of gain in money.

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      1. m(Ag)

        “It’s hard to imagine why Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State would be better off in the AAC vs the Mountain West”

        If the new playoff is adopted as proposed, there will probably be a huge advantage to getting that 6th conference championship bid. That probably leads directly to a much larger share of playoff money going to the conference. Regular appearances in the playoff (even if they always get blown out by the SEC or Big Ten 3rd place team), probably leads to their regular season being more desirable to TV networks than the other “G5” conferences, leading to more TV money.

        My guess is, the AAC plans to make these 4 the first wave. If these 4 disagree, the idea is dead, and they focus on the region East of the Rockies. If they agree, they’ll then add even more schools to have more regional regular season play (especially in non-revenue sports): With these 4 on board, any others will accept an invitation immediately to stay relevant.

        I would think the next schools asked would be Fresno State, UTSA,,and FAU or FIU (a national conference needs to be well-represented in every national recruiting spot to keep its schools happy), then 1 more school to make it an even 16 schools. Giving everyone 4 permanent rivals (since we all agree that every conference wants to do away with the divisional requirement to hold a championship game) would guarantee 2 home and 2 away games against “regional” opponents every year (Navy and Air Force would of course be rivals).

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        1. I’m skeptical about any MWC to AAC moves, but I agree that if this were to occur, it’s going to be an extensive and almost wholesale addition of a Western wing instead of a dabble.

          Don’t forget about UNLV sitting there in a major and fast-growing market without any other college sports competition. Football hasn’t been great lately, but they’ve got fairly good basketball pedigree.

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          1. bullet

            I just don’t see why they would add so much travel for so little extra money. Even more so since the Big 12 might not be done with the AAC.

            But you have to think like a college president. There could be egos in the MWC that want to separate from 4 to 6 current conference mates or to guarantee that they are in the #6 conference. I do agree, its got to be a western wing with something like 6 schools.

            But it would create a bit of a mess with scattered teams in the AAC and the surviving MWC.

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          2. m(Ag)

            “I just don’t see why they would add so much travel for so little extra money. Even more so since the Big 12 might not be done with the AAC.”

            -The Big 12 may take teams from the Mountain West as well, but the fear of losing schools actually might make this move more likely. If all the 1st and 2nd tier teams below the Big 12 band together, they’re sure that whatever happens, they’re in a “top 6” conference. Of course, everyone involved will insist on being able to accept a Big 12 invitation immediately (just like TCU did in the last round of realignment).

            -For football, the travel won’t be too bad if they follow the formula I outlined above. I would envision 8 conference games: 2 of your 4 road conference games would be against rivals, leaving only 2 other trips. They could then add 1 pay game against a local P5, 1 buy game against an FCS team, and 2 home and home games against other G5 teams in their region.

            They might do something unconventional in basketball: not playing everyone in your league every year. 8 games (home and home) against rivals + 4 more away games and 4 more home games against other conference schools, meaning you would skip 3 teams in a given year.

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          3. Marc

            For football, the travel won’t be too bad if they follow the formula I outlined above.

            Football is almost never the problem for travel, because there are so few games, and they’re almost all on Saturdays. It’s the other sports where it becomes an issue.

            Of course, West Virginia shows that geography doesn’t matter if the money is good enough. I wonder how that has affected their recruiting in the non-revenue sports? I don’t think football and men’s basketball players care so much, but it must be a real drag some of the other sports.

            They might do something unconventional in basketball: not playing everyone in your league every year.

            I would be surprised if they were willing to sacrifice basketball to that degree.

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          4. Nathan

            Can conferences, within the framework of the NCAA, split in such a way that what we currently see as conferences (the Big XII, and all the G5 conferences that may be on the cusp of expanding their footprint geographically) get split into two tiers? Essentially what we have now are kept as “revenue generating” conferences (football, basketball) and then secondary conferences are created for the non-revenue generating sports. That should help alleviate some of the concerns about going a far-flung league if all you have to worry about is paying for football and basketball travel. In theory that help the non-revenue sports as their travel costs are considerably constrained.

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          5. Marc

            Can conferences, within the framework of the NCAA, split [into] “revenue generating” conferences (football, basketball) and then secondary conferences are created for the non-revenue generating sports.

            The NCAA already has single-sport conferences. An example is Hockey East, which provides a home for Northeastern schools whose home conferences don’t have enough hockey-playing schools.

            I’m not aware of a rule that would prohibit forming conferences just for revenue sports, although this has never been done to date. Would that actually work to the schools’ benefit? I have not tried to work out the details.

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          6. Mike

            I’m not aware of a rule that would prohibit forming conferences just for revenue sports, although this has never been done to date. Would that actually work to the schools’ benefit? I have not tried to work out the details.

            There is (always) a rule. You can check out the NCAA handbook for details, but (IIRC) conferences are centered on basketball and X number of women’s and Y number men’s sports. If your conference doesn’t sponsor a sport you can join another conference that sponsors it. I am not sure if there is a specific exception for Hockey conferences or they just exist because so few primary conferences actually sponsor hockey.

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  56. Long listener first time caller. Boise State’s special deal is with Fox now. All of its home games are on Fox or FS1, and they still get $1.8 million more than the other MW members, which with new CBS/Fox deal means about $5.8 million for BSU and $4 million for other MW schools except Hawaii. In terms of exposure, this year two of Boise’s road games are scheduled to be on regular CBS at noon (10:00 AM Mountain) and a couple of their home games could be on regular Fox not FS1. $5.8 M is not that far below the AAC revenue pay out of $7 M, And that $7M figure might not the true payout, according to an article about UConn’s move to the Big East. In that article they pointed out that some AAC FB and BB games were being moved to ESPN+ as part of the AAC’s deal with ESPN and that schools were on the hook for the production costs of those games, which the article figured could cost UConn $500,000 to a $1 million a year. All that being said BSU and the rest of the MW are not on the best of terms since the others, especially SDSU, resent the special treatment BSU gets, and BSU of course thinks their special treatment is justified. BSU threatened to sue the MW, and the MW commissioner said this was the last negotiation with a special deal. Lastly, because the revenue is so much less outside the P5, basketball does matter in G5 realignment in a way it does not in P5 realignment. (see the AAC adding Wichita State) The AAC doles out about $500,000 more to each school from NCAA tournament units than all other G5s except for the Mountain West. The MW payouts, however, have been dwindling, and in 2022 they will not be that much better than in the other G5 conferences.
    . .

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    1. davidpsu

      I like your Yellow Lab Patrick! What’s his name?