Hallelujah! 12-Team College Football Playoff Approved

Most of the readers here came to this blog because of my writings on conference realignment. However, long before realignment became a year-in and year-out news story, I’ve been writing about and advocating for a legitimate full-scale college football playoff. If there’s one structural item in all of sports (whether college or pro) that has gnawed at me ever since I was a kid, it’s that the way that college football determines is champion is asinine. The best that we could say about the college football postseason is that it has gradually become less asinine over the years.

What made it particularly frustrating is that we have witnessed universities and conferences chase every single dollar under the sun, whether it’s via conference realignment, TV contracts that require odd start times and travel for athletes, and pushing donors to fund everything from state-of-the-art locker rooms to the current zeal for NIL collectives. Yet, when it came to the one money-chasing item on the agenda that fans actually wanted – a full college football playoff – the powers that be continued to fail to deliver over the years. It was a bizarro world in how it’s the one instance where the powers that be failed the fans for not acting rationally in their own economic self-interests.

We have finally reached the state where that constant gnawing and frustration can stop: the College Football Playoff Board of Managers (AKA the designated university president representative from each FBS conference and Notre Dame) has approved a 12-team playoff with the top 6 conference champions receiving bids along with 6 at-large slots. The newly expanded CFP will start in 2026 for sure and it’s possible that it could come sooner.

Personally, I find this to be phenomenal and believe that it will supercharge the interest in the sport beyond the handful of top brands (e.g. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson) that have dominated during the CFP era. One issue that has come up during the CFP era that wasn’t as acute during the BCS era is that the national interest and storylines in college football have been almost entirely about who and who doesn’t make the playoff. Even in the BCS era, making it to the Rose Bowl or another BCS bowl beyond the National Championship Game was still quite relevant to national audiences. Now, though, virtually any game that doesn’t have an impact on the top 4 rankings is seen as meaningless. That means that there have been a lot of exciting mega-important regular season games for a small number of teams like Alabama and Ohio State over the past several seasons, but a complete dearth of them for the vast majority of college football fans.

I watch the NFL just as much or more than college football and here’s what I see the NFL does so well (and a major reason why it’s the most popular sport in America by a massive margin): the stakes for your own team (whoever that might be), not just the biggest brands like the Cowboys and Patriots, are real and impact the playoff race long into the year. The NFL season isn’t just about the handful of teams that make the playoffs, but rather the much wider group of teams in the playoff hunt. When your own team is in the playoff hunt, that not only drives interest in watching your team’s games, but also every single other NFL game that can have an effect on your own team.

Essentially, NFL fandom is very much “bottom-up” where the intense interest in your own team is what then drives interest you watching the bigger national games as opposed to the other way around. In contrast, college football has really taken a “top-down” approach to fandom over this past generation. The powers that be have been banking on the very top brands like Alabama and Ohio State to effectively have a trickle-down effect to draw viewers to games where they’re often playing opponents that start every Labor Day weekend seeing zero chance of making it to the CFP. (See my Illinois Fighting Illini.) This is ironic because college sports are supposed to be the essence of regional and local sports fandom, yet the largest national brands have become more important than ever. We are seeing this play out right now in conference realignment with the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA (and maybe more) and the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma.

Ultimately, if we are living in a world where success is singularly defined by whether a team (or conference: see the Pac-12’s struggles) makes it to the CFP or not, the current 4-team playoff system is simply too small for such world. Not too long ago, a Big Ten team that just won the Rose Bowl would be celebrated regardless of whether they were national champions. When you look at Ryan Day’s comments about this past season’s Ohio State team that won the Rose Bowl, though, you would have thought that the Buckeyes had a losing year like my Illini or worse. This isn’t just a reflection of the high standards at Ohio State, but also that a combination of a super-small playoff field and the belief that making that super-small playoff field is the only way a team can be successful is completely warping fan/coach/team expectations along with the way that we watch college football.

Expanding that playoff to 12 totally changes that dynamic. Speaking as an Illini guy, there was no reasonable circumstance where I thought that Illinois could ever make it to a top 4 playoff. However, in a universe with a 12-team playoff where the top 6 conference champs get auto-bids, I can at least squint and see a path for my very plebian football program. You can multiply that for other Power Five programs that have been more successful than my Illini and provide that hope (however small it might be) to an entire class of Group of Five conference teams.

I understand the Stockholm Syndrome of some fans that will bemoan that this will reduce the importance of the regular season, but I once again go back to the core problem that the “importance of the regular season” only applied to a small handful of teams per year while the rest of college football was effectively playing for nothing of national importance by the end of September. This was exacerbated over the CFP era with all of the national energy entirely going to a playoff race that had only 4 spots available. We’re not putting the proverbial genie back in the bottle about the national focus on the playoff race, so the system effectively had to expand to keep more teams (and thereby more fans) invested in the sport.

In essence, the 12-team College Football Playoff provides stakes to your own teamwhoever that might be – just like the NFL. While the details still need to be finalized by the FBS commissioners and Notre Dame, essentially any ranked team can look at themselves as a playoff contender. That is a massive change in mindset and I think it’s going to be a great one overall. Interest is inherently capped when it’s just Alabama, Ohio State and a handful of the same usual suspects competing in the playoff annually. In contrast, there’s nothing more powerful than when your own team is in the playoff hunt. Expanding that universe of teams in the playoff hunt is what can drive the interest in college football far beyond where it is today.

A few years ago, I remember when I explained to my then-8-year old son how the college football postseason worked with a totally subjective committee choosing the teams and how this actually was an improvement over the prior BCS system and how sportswriter polls used to determine the national champion. His simple response: “That’s stupid.” Even an 8-year old could clearly see what many adults refused to acknowledge for the last century. The College Football Playoff will now be a lot less stupid going forward.

(Image from CBS Sports)

913 thoughts on “Hallelujah! 12-Team College Football Playoff Approved

  1. PennState Danny

    Frank (and others): how do you think the 4 games will be spread out on each of the first 2 rounds? Noon,3, 6 and 9 on Saturday? A Friday night game and then 3 on Saturday?

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    1. Marc

      I think there will most likely be a Friday night game. The typical CFB game takes >3 hours, and post-season games tend to take longer. While you could play them all on Saturday, it would mean that games probably overlap.

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  2. Kevin

    Awesome!

    Maybe I missed it but where are semi final games played?

    Also, under this new system it really seems like the B1G champion will almost always be in the Rose Bowl. Hard to see the PAC 12 champ ahead of the B1G with their weaker strength of schedule.

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    1. Marc

      The proposal was that the first round is played on campus and the second round at the traditional New Year’s Day bowls. I do not recall that they specified where the semis would be played. One option is that two of the NY6 bowls move out their game date. The other is that they put those games out to bid, just as the championship game is now.

      The subcommittee proposal did not specify how quarterfinal participants would be assigned to bowls. But it is quite logical that the highest-ranking Big Ten team still in the hunt would be assigned to the Rose, and likewise with the SEC to the Sugar.

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      1. Gobux

        I wish the first 2 rounds were on campus.
        Then semi-final at bowls games, I would choose Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on News Year Day.
        Then championship game at neutral site after.

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  3. Mostly agree, but I don’t think the playoff race is what drives the intense interest in the NFL, I think it’s gambling. Fantasy football and Survivor and pick ’em pools are why a Jaguars fan will watch a random 49ers/Cardinals game in October. Really, by Week 9 we usually have a pretty good idea about who the 7 playoff teams will be in each conference.

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  4. Alan from Baton Rouge

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Great column Frank. As a fan and alum of the school with the most hardware this century not named Alabama, but is not as consistent as Ohio State & Clemson, I think this format is great and should have been approved by the commissioners months ago.

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  5. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see USC, UCLA, Oklahoma and Texas back out of their agreements to join the Big Ten and SEC. They’re all going to have a much better chance of making the playoffs in the Pac-12 and Big XII, respectively.

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    1. z33k

      C’mon, the money and exposure is way bigger in the Big Ten and SEC. You know this.

      This isn’t just about the playoff, it never has been.

      USC didn’t want to play games that nobody cared about in the Pac-12 deal.

      It’s why many of us were certain USC would want to move as early as last year.

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      1. z33k; “C’mon, the money and exposure is way bigger in the Big Ten and SEC. You know this.”

        Well, let’s think this through. The money and exposure was way bigger in the Big Ten and SEC BEFORE the 12-team playoff came about. I think most USC alumni would prefer #1 in the Pac-12 and a virtually automatic playoff bid to #3 in the Big Ten and going nowhere in the playoffs.

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        1. z33k

          No they wouldn’t because the exposure will be way bigger from playing regular season games against Big Ten teams.

          The Big Ten has FOX, CBS, NBC windows lined up for 2023 and beyond. USC will be playing in those windows a lot.

          The Pac-12 would have what? Maybe one Fox window during the day and then night windows and Thursday/Friday games with low viewership.

          This is about exposure in the 3/4 of the country that really cares about CFB. USC wants to play with all those eyeballs in the Midwest/East Coast on them.

          It’s not just about making the playoff.

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          1. Redwood86

            USC currently regularly plays on Fox, ABC, ESPN, and one game every 2 years on NBC. Are you saying that would have changed had USC and UCLA remained in the Pac? I doubt it. They will likely get marginally more national exposure in the BiG than now, but clearly a lot more money.

            However, if the LA schools went back to the Pac, and brought along Nebraska & Oklahoma, that would increase the value of Pac media rights materially from where they are now. Admittedly, it still would be below the level of BiG & SEC. And Oklahoma might have a big problem with not having conference games in Texas.

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          2. Richard

            I’m not going to make the exposure argument (though USC would definitely get more exposure in the Eastern and Central time zones in the B10), but I’ve yet to see schools switch conferences to take less money.

            You could argue that FSU passed up the chance to make more money in the SEC to join the ACC, but the TV money was also much smaller back then. Back then, the benefits of winning titles (more alumni donations and ticket sale increases from winning conference and national titles) may have been bigger than the payout difference between the SEC and ACC.

            I really doubt that is true these days.

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          3. z33k

            @Redwood86

            Look at the windows on those games, a lot of 10:30 pm EST games. What kind of exposure is that?

            This isn’t even a debate, I’ll bet that the total viewership of their games will double in the Big Ten.

            The Big Ten’s TV windows are way more valuable.

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    2. Marc

      Frank has pointed this out before: university presidents prefer predictable recurring revenue over postseason berths that fluctuate year to year depending on game results. Playoff revenue won’t offset the loss they would take by going back to their far lower-paying conferences.

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      1. Marc: “Frank has pointed this out before: university presidents prefer predictable recurring revenue over postseason berths that fluctuate year to year depending on game results. Playoff revenue won’t offset the loss they would take by going back to their far lower-paying conferences.”

        You make the mistaken assumption that these top tier schools are more interested in revenue that getting the playoffs. Their fans are NOT. When Oregon and FSU go walking into the playoffs for 8 of the next ten years, they are not going to be chomping at the bit to leave the PAC/ACC to become non-contenders in the B1G or SEC.

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        1. Richard

          I don’t think it’s mistaken. Sure, fans may care more about winning titles, but programs definitely care more about money. Think like a university president, not like a fan.

          I’ll just repeat what I posted elsewhere. Note that if your assumption was correct, we’d see schools leave the B10 and SEC instead of some of the most renown programs in college football joining those conferences. It’s not like these schools were unaware that a 12-team playoff was likely coming soon.

          “ I’ve yet to see schools switch conferences to take less money.

          You could argue that FSU passed up the chance to make more money in the SEC to join the ACC, but the TV money was also much smaller back then. Back then, the benefits of winning titles (more alumni donations and ticket sale increases from winning conference and national titles) may have been bigger than the payout difference between the SEC and ACC.

          I really doubt that is true these days.”

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        2. Psuhockey

          They will be chomping at the bit when it comes time to pay coaches and players and have to cut non revenue sports to keep up with SEC and Big Ten schools.

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          1. Psuhockey: “They will be chomping at the bit when it comes time to pay coaches and players and have to cut non revenue sports to keep up with SEC and Big Ten schools.”

            You don’t understand the situation. In 2037, the old ACC TV deal goes away. In 2037, the old ACC TV deal goes away. They’ll be able to negotiate a new contract for much bigger bucks. Meanwhile, the Noles have received an automatic entry to the playoffs in seven of the past ten years. So you think FSU will walk away from that to join the SEC?

            Same goes for Notre Dame. Why would they ever join the Big Ten now? They’ll have a much better chance of getting an at-large invitation as an independent than winning the Big Ten.

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          2. Richard

            Colin, we understand the situation perfectly fine.

            Even when the ACC gets to negotiate a new deal, simply because the B10 and SEC have far more big brands, FSU would be giving up more than half a billion dollars each decade to stay in the ACC. You seem to think they would do that for more playoff appearances. That’s thinking like a fan.

            As for ND, I’m pretty certain the playoff committee will still stress strength of schedule and I’m sure the Domers would prefer to have that first round game at home. They may not give up “independence” (which they treat like a religion) but a scheduling alliance with the B10 (8 games vs B10 teams) with the ACC weakening to what the B12 is like now seems pretty likely to me.

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          3. A “scheduling alliance” between ND and the Big Ten is internet fantasy. The Big Ten rejected that deal in 1999. The Big Ten will never become another groveling independence enabler like the ACC.

            You have no inkling what the ACC TV market will be worth in 2036. Your revenue projections are baseless.

            FSU will clearly have a much better chance of winning an NC while in the ACC that they would in the SEC. They’d probably never make it to the playoffs in the SEC. Same scenario goes for Oregon. They’ll have a much better chance of winning an NC in the PAC vs the Big Ten.

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          4. Psuhockey

            Colin M,
            Jimbo Fisher left an easier path to the playoffs after winning a national championship to a much harder path in the Sec. Brian Kelly made the playoffs multiple times at Notre Dame and left to a situation where it is significantly harder. That’s with the current format and dollar differential. That’s only going to increase in the future.

            The ACC will never get remotely close enough to the SEC and Big Ten regarding money even with their new contract. By the time 2036 rolls around most of the programs will probably be in severe debt and will jump much like Maryland and UCLA. My guess is Dabo will be out the door soon because of the money. A spot in the playoffs isn’t going to save these athletic departments once the money starts flowing to the players especially ACC schools with lots of nonrevenue sports that they care about.

            Notre Dame is a special case that independence is important to their donors. My guess the money will be too great a differential by 2036. The Big Ten will be signing not one but two new contracts at that point. They will use the ACC collapsing and scheduling difficulties as an excuse to join the Big Ten. I expect them to be the last hold out but getting rolled every year in the first round of the playoffs won’t appease the fans forever.

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          5. Psuhockey: “They will use the ACC collapsing . . .”

            The ACC isn’t collapsing. Quite the opposite. This new playoff format will be a lifeline to the ACC, Big XII and the PAC.

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          6. z33k

            @Colin

            The playoff will at most deliver $10-20 million to each team in the major conferences.

            That will not make a difference here in closing the gap.

            By 2032, the Big Ten and SEC will be sending out invites to ACC schools and they won’t have much of a choice but to accept.

            Schools like FSU, Miami, Clemson would have fans rioting in the streets if they rejected invites to the SEC or Big Ten.

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          7. z33k: “That will not make a difference here in closing the gap.”

            The “gap” that exists now will not exist in 2036. The ACC than gets a new TV deal.

            z33k: “By 2032, the Big Ten and SEC will be sending out invites to ACC schools and they won’t have much of a choice but to accept. Schools like FSU, Miami, Clemson would have fans rioting in the streets if they rejected invites to the SEC or Big Ten.’

            If FSU has virtually annual automatic invitations to the playoffs and maybe an NC under its belt by 2032, their fans will be rioting in the streets if they change conferences.

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          8. z33k

            @Colin

            But that’s my point, the Big Ten and SEC will both be on new TV deals already when the ACC is preparing to go to market.

            FSU, Miami and whoever else will not turn down guaranteed paydays in exchange for ACC promises that things will get better in 2036.

            They will have already seen the Big Ten and SEC numbers.

            It’s over for the ACC.

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          9. zeek: “It’s over for the ACC.”

            The new playoff format will consolidate the Little 3 of the P5. This creates a lot more interest in their conference races each year simply to see who will get into the playoffs. It will quickly become a national obsession.

            On the flip side, assume you’re the AD of Bama or Georgia or Auburn. Why would you now want Clemson and FSU joining the SEC?

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          10. Richard

            Colin, you either are intent on ignoring reality or are bad at math (or both). You might be completely ignorant of what the ACC would be worth on the open market, but knowledgeable people are not. Bob Thompson (the former head of Fox Sports) said he didn’t think any of the ACC schools are additive to the B10 but backtracked when someone pointed out that the 2 FL schools are very attractive. The rest of us can look up viewership data as well. A league that only has 2-3 schools (at most) that are additive to the B10/SEC will simply not be getting anything close to what the B10/SEC will get in TV money in the ‘30’s. In fact, a league like that looks suspiciously similar to the old Pac with the LA schools and old B12 with the RRR schools. Even on the open market, the ACC would only get a few million more per school. Miami, even though they won the BE most years and even a few national titles while in the BE, still left the BE for the ACC over a far smaller money differential (really only savings on travel) than what FSU, Miami, and Clemson will face in the ‘30’s. Did you see ‘Canes fans rioting in the streets when they left the BE?

            What you say is contradicted by both history and logic.

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          11. Richard: “Did you see ‘Canes fans rioting in the streets when they left the BE?”

            Again, a totally broken analogy. This is a New Day in college football, actually a New World. We now have a 12-team playoff with six automatic bids for the top six conference champs. This changes everything.

            The fans of FSU, Clemson and Miami are going to be laser focused on getting that automatic bid. They will not be fretting about how much money is coming in any more than they are right now. They will want easy access to the playoff and a chance to win the NC. The same is true of Washington, Oregon and Utah in the Pac-12.

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          12. Richard

            Colin, they will be lazer-focused on how their program is at a severe financial disadvantage compared to the SEC and B10 programs. It’s always a new world, but you’re out of your mind if you think that they wouldn’t mind not being competitive with the SEC/B10 programs even if their route to being bounced out early in the CFP is easier.

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          13. Look, let’s pretend the 12-team playoff had been in effect last year. Who would have gotten in? The Week 15 AP poll used for the following rankings:

            Six top-ranked conference champs: Bama, Utah, Baylor, Cincy, Michigan and Pitt.

            Six top-ranked at-large: Georgia, ND, Ohio St, Ole Miss, Oklahoma St and Michigan St.

            The FSUs and Clemsons and Oregons and Washingtons are going to look at this and say “Should I trade off relatively easy access in my present conference for extremely difficult access in the B1G/SEC?

            And if they do leave, do you see how much easier it will be for the Pitts and the Wakes and the Utahs and the Stanfords?

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          14. Nathan

            @colin. How laser focused will a mid-3 program be when they keeps losing good coordinators and HCs to B1G and SEC teams because the minute they show they have talent an SEC or B1G team in a down year will pay a hell of a lot more for their services?

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          15. Richard

            Colin, I understand that you are intent on thinking like an ignorant fan (not even a hardcore informed fan) regardless of what information is presented to you, but if FSU/Miami/Clemson stay in the ACC, their chances of winning the national title will be as good as those of Pitt/Wake/Utah. Sure, they may make the playoffs more often, but they’ll never amass the type of talent and depth to actually knock off UGa/Bama/OSU multiple times in a row. You seriously believe FSU/Miami/Clemson fans have the mentality of PU fans and think that just making the playoffs is great and never actually winning the national title again is OK?

            Are you under the mistaken impression that the playoffs are a crapshoot and that any team who makes the CFP has an equal chance of becoming national champs as any other team?

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          16. Richard: “You seriously believe FSU/Miami/Clemson fans have the mentality of PU fans and think that just making the playoffs is great . . .”

            Actually, I think most FSU/Miami/Clemson fans have the mentality that they have a much better chance of an NC if they actually get into the playoffs with an ACC autobid rather than finishing in the middle of the pack in the SEC.

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          17. Richard

            Colin, so you think that when the discrepancy in financial resources between FSU/Clemson and the big dogs in the SEC/B10 like Bama/UGa/LSU/OSU/UMich/PSU/Texas/OU become as big as the discrepancy in financial resources are now between Pitt/Utah (or, if you prefer, NCSU/GTech) and Bama/UGa/LSU/OSU/UMich/PSU/Texas/OU, the talent level at FSU & Clemson wouldn’t be what they are at Pitt/Utah/NCSU/GTech now compared to Bama/UGa/LSU/OSU/UMich/PSU/Texas/OU?

            Or that just making the expanded playoffs means you’re magically likely to win a national title?

            You seem to think that, but I can assure you that the leaders of FSU/Clemson/Miami are not so ignorant. Inside the SEC/B10, FSU/Clemson/Miami can be at the same level of competitiveness as Bama/UGa/LSU/OSU/UMich/PSU/Texas/OU. Outside the SEC/B10, they’ll be closer to where Pitt/Utah/NCSU/GTech are now. That’s the future reality that you’re ignoring.

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          18. Richard

            As for the scheduling alliance with ND, that really depends on what the B10 wants. You seem to assume that the B10 always would prefer ND as a full member rather than have a scheduling alliance with ND. But there have been rumors that the Big dogs in the B10 (OSU & UMich) do not want to make it harder for them to win the B10. Makes sense as winning the B10 means more alumni donations.
            So they may prefer to capture ND’s surplus value via a scheduling alliance rather than making the Domers full members.

            BTW, ND is already a B10 associate member. In hockey.

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          19. Richard

            Colin, I took a look at some numbers, and by the 2030’s, if FSU and Clemson stay in the ACC, Northwestern and even Purdue will be bringing in more total revenue than FSU/Clemson. Yet you are clinging to the illusion that a program that brings in less money than Purdue will somehow be able to amass enough talent to compete for a national title. Do you think that if PU joined the ACC (or the B12, let’s say), the Boilers will suddenly be competing for the national title?

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    3. Marc

      One more thing — everyone has known for a while that the playoff would almost certainly expand. This is not a surprise to USC, UCLA, Texas, and Oklahoma. To the extent this matters in their calculations, they would have already considered it.

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      1. z33k

        That’s worth pointing out many times.

        CFP calculations don’t have anywhere near the impact on realignment as factors like conference revenue distributions (with the largest portion coming from conference tv rights) and exposure.

        We’re at a point where there is a clear breakup of the Power 5 that’s unfolded. The Big Ten/SEC are a Power 2, then there’s the Middle 3 (with the ACC having similar payouts as the Big 12/Pac-12 due to its undermarket deal), then the Group of 5.

        This likely doesn’t have any impact on the future decisions by schools like FSU and Miami and Clemson.

        The exposure that the Big Ten/SEC are going to get will dwarf what the ACC sees; same reason why Washington/Oregon will continue to try to push to get to the Big Ten.

        Next realignment will be announced in around 10 years.

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        1. z33k: “The exposure that the Big Ten/SEC are going to get will dwarf what the ACC sees; same reason why Washington/Oregon will continue to try to push to get to the Big Ten.”

          z33k, that isn’t going to happen. The top teams of the PAC/ACC/Big XII will stay where they are to get almost automatic access to the playoff rather than go to the Big Ten or SEC and finish in the middle of the pack.

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          1. Richard

            You are aware of the differential in TV money these days, right? A few more playoff appearances over a decade won’t make up for $300mm-$400mm less in TV money over a decade (not to mention even more money in future decades).

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          2. z33k

            Colin we will have to revisit this in 10 years but avoiding competition has never been a good rationale especially when we are likely headed to a world with conference distributions providing payment for players.

            If it affects recruiting in such a fashion, it will effect rrealignment.

            SEC and Big Ten will both go to 18-20 in the 2030s.

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          3. Richard

            Following your logic, PU should leave the B10 to join the MAC, where your school would go undefeated and win the MAC pretty much every year, with a much better chance of making the playoffs than in the B10.

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          4. Richard: “Following your logic, PU should leave the B10 to join the MAC, where your school would go undefeated and win the MAC pretty much every year, with a much better chance of making the playoffs than in the B10.”

            Totally broken analogy. That’s not my logic at all. A realistic analogy would be FSU. Given the chance, would FSU now go to the SEC? They have a 50-60% chance of an automatic bid in the ACC compared to a 5% chance of an at-large bid in the SEC.

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          5. frug

            z33k, that isn’t going to happen. The top teams of the PAC/ACC/Big XII will stay where they are to get almost automatic access to the playoff rather than go to the Big Ten or SEC and finish in the middle of the pack.

            I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in…

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          6. frug

            On a more serious note, unless the ACC and/or PAC can somehow dramatically close the revenue gap with the SEC and B1G (which isn’t likely), there is no way any of their schools would turn down a bid from one of the Big 2. (Seriously, by 2030, the Big Ten and SEC schools will likely be making $50 million more a year than anyone else, and that number will continue to grow.)

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          7. Richard

            2034 (or whenever their new TV deal starts) for the SEC, most likely. But yes, a B10 school would likely take in more than a half-billion more total than any non-SEC school (at the least) in conference distributions in the 2030’s. Unlike some folks who insist on thinking like a fan, I doubt any school would be willing to sacrifice that type of money for a few extra playoff appearances.

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          8. Richard: “Unlike some folks who insist on thinking like a fan, I doubt any school would be willing to sacrifice that type of money for a few extra playoff appearances.”

            I’m thinking like a fan because a lot of fans will be thinking. If FSU makes the playoffs seven times in ten years by 2036, are they going to jump to the SEC in 2037?

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          9. Brian

            That’s crazy talk, Richard. PU might be able to win the MAC 50% of the time now, and it would be a lot less often once they had MAC-level revenue.

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          10. Richard

            Brian, tell Colin that.

            Colin, so you seem to believe that FSU leadership think like fans and would be willing to give up more than half a billion dollars every decade just so they can make the playoffs more often and get bounced in the early rounds because by the 2030’s, all of the non-P2 schools will be severely under-resourced compared to the SEC and B10 powers.

            You don’t seem to understand that by the 2030’s, the non-P2 leagues will be in the same position the G5 leagues are in now.

            At best, by then, the ACC, PAC, and B12 will be like the old BE after the BE lost Miami. Nominally a “power conference” with automatic (or near-automatic) access to the postseason (the BCS back then, the CFP in the 2030’s), but with far less revenues than the other power conferences. All those schools had an easier path to the BCS (and BCS title game) in the BE, but how many of those schools wanted to stay in the BE when they had a chance to move elsewhere?

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          11. Richard: “Colin, so you seem to believe that FSU leadership think like fans and would be willing to give up more than half a billion dollars every decade just so they can make the playoffs more often . . .”

            Richard, you’re looking at the horrible, pitiful TV deal that the ACC is now stuck in until 2036. Obviously, they will get a much better arrangement when the current GOR expires.

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          12. Richard

            Colin, I’ll just post what I said above:
            “ Colin, you either are intent on ignoring reality or are bad at math (or both). You might be completely ignorant of what the ACC would be worth on the open market, but knowledgeable people are not. Bob Thompson (the former head of Fox Sports) said he didn’t think any of the ACC schools are additive to the B10 but backtracked when someone pointed out that the 2 FL schools are very attractive. The rest of us can look up viewership data as well. A league that only has 2-3 schools (at most) that are additive to the B10/SEC will simply not be getting anything close to what the B10/SEC will get in TV money in the ‘30’s. In fact, a league like that looks suspiciously similar to the old Pac with the LA schools and old B12 with the RRR schools. Even on the open market, the ACC would only get a few million more per school. Miami, even though they won the BE most years and even a few national titles while in the BE, still left the BE for the ACC over a far smaller money differential (really only savings on travel) than what FSU, Miami, and Clemson will face in the ‘30’s. Did you see ‘Canes fans rioting in the streets when they left the BE?

            What you say is contradicted by both history and logic.”

            Like

          13. Richard: “What you say is contradicted by both history and logic.”

            History is meaningless. College football is in an entirely new era with entirely new rules.

            Like

          14. Brian

            Richard,

            Brian, tell Colin that.

            No thanks. Internet rule #2 is “Don’t feed the trolls.” Colin has made it abundantly clear he falls into that category.

            Like

          15. Brian: “No thanks. Internet rule #2 is “Don’t feed the trolls.” Colin has made it abundantly clear he falls into that category.”

            I don’t think that type of childish name-calling is appropriate on this forum. I’ve been called doctor, colonel and professor but never a troll.

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

            Like

          16. Richard

            Ah, it must be something in the water at College Station then that removes all sense of reality (sorry, M(ag), I couldn’t resist).

            Being more serious, though, so Colin, do you think any Aggie regrets joining the SEC and would prefer to be back in the new B12?

            Like

          17. Richard: “Being more serious, though, so Colin, do you think any Aggie regrets joining the SEC and would prefer to be back in the new B12?”

            Totally different scenario. I was on the faculty when A&M went to the SEC and there was one overwhelming issue: the Longhorn Network. Now that classic rivals UT and OU are also in the SEC, the Aggies wouldn’t go back to a rival-less B12.

            Like

          18. Brian

            Now you have. Mazel tov.

            Do you think any of those credentials prevents you from being an internet troll? Evidence here shows they clearly do not.

            Like

          19. Jersey Bernie

            I have no idea what a casual fan of FSU and similar schools may hold regarding leagues. I can state that for dedicated educated fans, as well as the administration at FSU, nothing is more important than the gap in money being received by UF compared to FSU.

            If anyone in Tallahassee was not focused on that, losing Jimbo Fisher to TAMU for a ten year $75 million contract was a wake up call. It is very apparent that if FSU develops a great new coach (Norvell? Neon Deion Sanders? ???) if someone comes along and offer that coach $9 or $10 million per year or so, FSU will probably not be able to keep the coach.

            Unlike Miami, FSU does not have bunches of big dollar donors around.

            Dabo Sweeney signed a $90 million plus contract with Clemson a couple of years ago. I can only assume that there are some big time donors kicking in to that.

            Then there is NIL, or other money, to players. FSU knows that they do not have access to the required money. Let’s face it, FSU lost the top recruit in the country to Jackson State and Coach Sanders, due to NIL money. Bringing in the top ranked HS player in the country could have been a starting point to bring FSU back to king level, but money won out.

            Yes, winning a couple of ACC championships and playoff appearances would be very nice, but if FSU got B1G or SEC money, they believe that they can be back on top to stay.

            As an aside the academics as FSU like the neighborhood with B1G teams and it would be easier to win a national title in the B1G, so maybe they are not locked into the SEC quite yet.

            Like

          20. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Bernie -it’s easier to win a national title in the B1G? Really? History suggests otherwise.

            B1G national championships in the BCS/CFP era: 2 both by Ohio State.

            SEC NCs in the BCS/CFP era: 14 – 6 by Alabama, 3 by LSU, 2 by Florida, and one each by Georgia, Auburn & Tennessee.

            Like

          21. Brian

            Alan,

            I think that’s Bernie’s point. They’d have to get past OSU in the B10, vs AL, LSU, UF, UGA, … (plus UT and OU soon).

            Like

          22. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Brian – my point is many SEC teams compete and win national championships. When
            Saban finally retires, you’ll see more.

            Ohio State is the only B1G team to win anything in 25 years. After Michigan’s split title in 97, you have to go back to the 60s and Michigan State for another B1G, non-Ohio State title. You may say it’s easier to get over one team than six, but the facts show otherwise. Previous contenders that have joined the B1G like Nebraska and Penn State can’t get past Ohio State. We’ll see what happens with USC, but I believe they’ll fall in line behind Ohio State as well.

            Even with Alabama having the greatest coach of all time and experiencing the greatest championship run of all time, SEC schools have similar resources and can beat Bama and win a national championship.

            Even when Ohio State has a down year – for them – no other B1G school steps into the breach and becomes a real contender. Other B1G schools that make the CFP have been 0 for the semis.

            Many SEC schools can and do compete for and win titles. Only Ohio State wins in the B1G and there’s nothing that Miami has done in the last 20 years or FSU in the last 10 years make me think they’ll kick Ohio State off the B1G throne.

            Like

          23. Brian

            Yes, but FSU is essentially an SEC team. They are in fertile recruiting grounds, unlike the B10 schools. They and their fans put CFB above everything, unlike much of the B10. They have all the advantages of being like the SEC, and could face the weaker competition of the B10. No other B10 schools are in that category. That’s why it’s different.

            Like

    4. Little8

      Oklahoma has 4 playoff appearances (0-4) and left for SEC. The primary reason Texas left was for recruiting (they still have loads of $$$). The expanded playoff has made it easier for them to get a bid since the SEC is likely to have 3 or more bids most years. It may be harder to get a bid in the SEC than B12 but when they get a bid they will be more likely to win after being tested against better competition.

      Anyone who gets a SEC or B10 conference invite needs to consider how long this new football playoff system will last. If the autobid-bye teams from the B12, PAC, and ACC keep getting blown out their byes will probably go away, maybe replaced with top 4 ranked of the 12 or an expansion to 16. Autobids may also be eliminated or reduced to 4 or 2. Changes could occur by 2035 and the direction is likely to be more bids for the P2.

      Like

      1. Little 8: “If the autobid-bye teams from the B12, PAC, and ACC keep getting blown out their byes will probably go away, maybe replaced with top 4 ranked of the 12 or an expansion to 16. Autobids may also be eliminated or reduced to 4 or 2”

        Little 8, there is no way on God’s Green Earth that the commishes of the ACC, Big XII and Pac-12 will ever vote to reduce the autobids for conference champs.

        Like

        1. Richard

          It may not matter what they think after a decade where their teams get blown away early in the playoffs and the national champs are all SEC (most of the time) or B10 teams.

          The SEC and B10 would just negotiate a playoff system with TV networks and tell the other conferences “here are the rules; feel free to join or not. Up to you.”

          Like

        2. Redwood86

          Richard, your analogy with respect to the Big East is not a good example. For football, that league was always an unnatural construct without sufficient natural rivalries. Of course Miami fled to the ACC to regularly play teams in the southeast. All other things equal, who would not?

          While things have been changing in one direction for the past decade due to money, one should not forget that there is a very good reason that NCAA sports remained regionalized for so long. Geography will eternally exert its magnetic pull. Nationalization at the expense of all non-monetary considerations is not necessarily a permanent trend. The SEC’s contiguous-state approach may prove an advantage in terms of long-term stability.

          Like

        3. Little8

          If SEC and B10 members dominate the CFP over the next 15 years the only vote the B12, PAC, and ACC may have is to eliminate the autobids or get eliminated from the CFP. They will not give up anything unless faced with the prospect of losing more. Now if Baylor, NCSU, Stanford, et. al. start winning the CFP I doubt that type of power play can be made.

          Like

          1. Little 8: “If SEC and B10 members dominate the CFP over the next 15 years the only vote the B12, PAC, and ACC may have is to eliminate the autobids or get eliminated from the CFP. ”

            Look, this thing is set up by a vote of conference commishes and ND. The commishes of the PAC, ACC and Big XII are not going to vote to eliminate themselves.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Colin, it was set up by all conference commissioners _this_iteration_.

            Like some people on here, you keep looking to the present and past instead of the future. Where the puck was and is rather than where it’s going, so to speak. In a world where the financial and on-the-field discrepancy between the P2 and everyone else will be as big as the current financial and on-the-field discrepancy between the P5 and G5, the ACC/B12/Pac will have power more similar to the current G5 than to what they wield now.

            Like

          3. Jersey Bernie

            The B1G and SEC may have the power to rearrange the playoffs, but why would they? The SEC will probably have three teams in the 12 every year and sometime four or even five. The B1G will have two or three every year. How greedy could the P2 get? They will probably have a minimum of five or six of the 12 every year. And then there is ND too.

            Trying to push out the other leagues is an invitation to political reaction and perhaps Congressional intervention. If that happens, any type of chaos could result.

            With their inherent financial advantages through TV contracts and having multiple playoff teams, why possibly blow up everything by having Congress start hearings on why good old Alma Mater U no longer is being treated fairly in the playoffs?

            I know that some of you are not nearly as concerned as I am about political intervention, but it is always a real threat to invite the bull into the China shop.

            Just look at the current stupidity of the CA Board of Regents.

            Right now there are more than 70 teams in P5 leagues. Through realignment and perhaps consolidation, that could drop to 65 or 60, but I do not see that as enough to cause major problems. Go with much lower numbers or get an entire league or two that feel that they were arbitrarily deprived of something that they have (ticket to at least one playoff team) and who knows what happens.

            Like

          4. @Jersey Bernie – Yes, I think there’s a big difference between a de facto financial power advantage of the P2 and everyone else versus a broader or even total legal structural separation.

            As the old saying goes, pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. The Big Ten and SEC are getting fat right now. They need to be wary of the negative repercussions of turning into hogs.

            Like

          5. z33k

            I’m with Frank on this.

            The SEC and Big Ten will want to keep access open. For 2 reasons: 1) to keep the sport important in all regions of the country (i.e. the lower leagues can also see a team rise to the playoff every year, so they keep fan support and keep investing in the sport), and 2) to avoid anti-trust.

            Anything else will invite all sorts of anti-trust problems that they don’t want to have to deal with…

            They don’t have the anti-trust exemption that the NFL has; they can’t go out and try to block everyone else from playing in the games that matter at the end.

            And it would be counterproductive in the end; nobody will watch a playoff of only Big Ten and SEC teams outside of those 2 leagues. Fans of other conferences’ teams will watch if their conference champs are included often enough.

            Like

          6. Brian

            Bernie,

            It would depend on how they frame it. If they try to make the CFP a P2-only affair, that would invite trouble. But if the P2 decide to stage a post-season B10/SEC challenge instead of competing in the CFP, and all the media selectors happen to choose the winner of that as the national champion, that would be different. Everyone else can hold a CFP, and let the voters pick an overall champion.

            Like

          7. bullet

            Sankey understands this. He and Bowlsby, when talking about their 12 team model and not having designated automatic bids, talked about how when they get more restrictive, they get into more legal and political trouble. If the Big 10 and SEC try to take their ball and go home, they risk all kinds of problems they could avoid by remaining inclusive. All it takes is one powerful senator, like Orrin Hatch of Utah, to start causing problems.

            Like

          8. Brian

            z33k,

            <And it would be counterproductive in the end; nobody will watch a playoff of only Big Ten and SEC teams outside of those 2 leagues. Fans of other conferences’ teams will watch if their conference champs are included often enough.

            You know that’s not true. Most of the CFP audience is fairly casual fans. They don’t care about conference participation. Lots of fans of smaller schools would still watch. And frankly, a decent number of fans of left out conferences would still watch because they’re games between highly ranked teams.

            Like

          9. As a non-adversarial talking point, let’s say the 12-team playoff had been in effect last year. Who would have gotten in?

            Using the Week 15 AP poll as a reference, the top six conference champs were:

            Bama, Michigan, Cincinnati, Baylor, Utah and Pitt.

            The top six at-large teams were:

            Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Ole Miss, Oklahoma St and Michigan St.

            Note this is before Oklahoma & Texas join the SEC and USC & UCLA join the Big Ten. It’s going to be a heck of a lot harder for Oregon, Washington, Clemson and FSU to get an at-large in the Big Ten or SEC compared to winning a conference championship in the Big Ten or SEC.

            https://www.denverpost.com/2021/12/05/ap-college-football-poll-2021-week-15/

            Like

          10. Richard

            Colin, why are you using the AP poll when the CFP has it’s own ranking that is actually used to determine playoff spots?

            Also, again, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in with you that the powers-that-be and dedicated fans of those schools wouldn’t be happy with just making the playoffs and getting blown out there. And no, not all teams that make the playoffs have an equal chance of winning the national title when some of them are operating at a large financial disadvantage.

            Like

          11. Richard: “Colin, why are you using the AP poll when the CFP has it’s own ranking that is actually used to determine playoff spots?”

            OK, here are the final CFP Top 25 rankings. They provide exactly the same 12 teams.

            1. Alabama (12-1)
            2. Michigan (12-1)
            3. Georgia (12-1)
            4. Cincinnati (13-0)
            5. Notre Dame (11-1)
            6. Ohio State (10-2)
            7. Baylor (11-2)
            8. Ole Miss (10-2)
            9. Oklahoma State (11-2)
            10. Michigan State (10-2)
            11. Utah (10-3)
            12. Pittsburgh (11-2)

            Like

          12. Little8

            The current playoff proposal was designed to get a 11-0 vote since that is required to amend the current agreement. If the B12, PAC, and ACC champs typically finish 7, 11, and 12 (as in 2021) it will be hard to justify those first round byes. For this round I think the SEC/B10 is more interested in the $$$ distribution than changing any of the format.

            For the next renewal it will be hard for the middle 3 to justify keeping the byes unless they consistently finish in the top 4 for the next 10 years. I expect that will be changed to top 4 or just be eliminated with an expansion to 16.

            The way to get rid of top 4 byes and top 6 champs autobid is to guarantee that at least one G5 team is included. That should get an 8-3 vote without any of the PAC/B12/ACC approving. However, if a decision is made to expand to 16 the autobids will probably be left in place since it is very likely all will be in the top 16 and the expansion eliminates all byes.

            The key is that whatever playoff agreement is made this round is likely to change in the next round in the mid 2930’s, and those changes are not likely to be favorable to the B12, PAC, or ACC.

            Like

          13. Brian

            Little8,

            The current playoff proposal was designed to get a 11-0 vote since that is required to amend the current agreement. If the B12, PAC, and ACC champs typically finish 7, 11, and 12 (as in 2021) it will be hard to justify those first round byes. For this round I think the SEC/B10 is more interested in the $$$ distribution than changing any of the format.

            For the next renewal it will be hard for the middle 3 to justify keeping the byes unless they consistently finish in the top 4 for the next 10 years. I expect that will be changed to top 4 or just be eliminated with an expansion to 16.

            I think the B10 and SEC will actually want to keep this format for a while. They are both likely to get a bye for their champs, plus get multiple at-large bids. It looks magnanimous on their part to let the M3 fight over the other 2 byes, but in reality it means 1 of the M3 always misses out and takes a PR hit (just like missing the CFP now). It also let’s the P2 keep the G5 down to basically that 1 bid, or occasionally keeping out a M3 champ. And don’t forget, the B10 values rewarding champs so they may fight to keep that 6+6 format even if the SEC tires of it.

            If they expand to 16, they lose the advantage of byes. The G5 will also push for a second slot, plus the M3 will get a reasonable share of those extra slots. I don’t think there’s a lot of upside in 16 for the P2.

            Instead, I would look for adjustments to the revenue distribution plan over time. That’s how the SEC can maximize it’s returns from the CFP and not get pushback.

            The way to get rid of top 4 byes and top 6 champs autobid is to guarantee that at least one G5 team is included. That should get an 8-3 vote without any of the PAC/B12/ACC approving.

            Why would the B10 and SEC want to get rid of the top 4 byes? I think it would very hard to drop the top 6 champs and still promise a G5 spot unless the G5 champ is usually one of the top 4 champs going forward. The M3 would make a stink about a lower champ being guaranteed a spot if they aren’t – it would have to be just the top 4 champs, and the G5 won’t trust the committee not to screw them on that (and they’d be right).

            However, if a decision is made to expand to 16 the autobids will probably be left in place since it is very likely all will be in the top 16 and the expansion eliminates all byes.

            I’m not sure the benefit is there for 16. First round games pay the least, and this would mean that all the champs that just won CCGs wouldn’t get any extra recovery time. Many of the proponents of 16 want to add more autobids (11+5), and that won’t happen. Besides, how do they schedule 8 first round games in the limited TV windows available to them since the NFL owns Thursday and Sunday? Overlapping playoff games don’t pay as well.

            The key is that whatever playoff agreement is made this round is likely to change in the next round in the mid 2930’s, and those changes are not likely to be favorable to the B12, PAC, or ACC.

            I agree, but I think it’ll be the revenue split that changes rather than the format.

            Like

          14. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Here’s an article regarding the NFL and their tax-exempt status.

            https://www.cnn.com/2014/09/22/us/nfl-nonprofit-taxes

            The reason goes back to 1942 when the IRS ruled the NFL was a trade association for its now 32-member teams and therefore exempt from taxes as a nonprofit under section 501(c)6 of the tax code.

            Just to be safe, the NFL lobbied Washington in 1966 on the eve of its merger with the American Football League.

            Two powerful Louisiana politicians, Sen. Russell Long and Rep. Hale Boggs, wanted a football team in New Orleans. Then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted antitrust protection and confirmed tax-exempted status for the league office.

            The Saints were born in New Orleans and in exchange, Rozelle got his wish slipped into an unrelated federal bill on investments and depreciation.

            Like

        4. Colin:

          Right, and that data doesn’t actually support your contention. Are you trying to argue that FSU/Miami/Clemson have no hope of being as good as MSU/Ole Miss if they joined the B10/SEC?

          Or they would be happy to have the resources of Baylor, Oklahoma State, Utah, or Pitt if they stayed out of the B10/SEC?

          Like

    5. urbanleftbehind

      USC yes, TX and OK are far more geographically proximate and, much more importantly, convinced they would have a shot as at large invitees as #3 thru #6 of SEC versus #2 Big xii.

      Like

      1. Marc

        If making the playoff were the most important consideration, Texas and Oklahoma would stay in the Big XII. It is a lot easier to be #1 in that league, where an auto-bid is assured. They knew perfectly well that the playoff was near-certain to expand, and chose the SEC anyway. That is all you need to know about where playoff contention fits in the decision hierarchy.

        Like

        1. Marc: “They knew perfectly well that the playoff was near-certain to expand . . .”

          Gotta chuckle at those now saying “We all knew this was going to happen” when, of course, no one had any inkling if and when it would happen.

          Like

      1. Redwood86

        Have you been reading all the people moaning here about BiG 14 travel to the west coast?

        By 2030, USC and UCLA may be the ones moaning and groaning. We shall see.

        Who knows, a chastened Pac might even be much more open to Oklahoma and Nebraska – two teams that would fare a lot better in the Pac than in the SEC and BiG, respectively.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Assuming those teams want to leave.

          I suppose we’ll see, but I just can’t see any school being willing to cut their TV money in half when that money is so big now. Not to mention that the SEC and B10 will earn a disproportionate amount of the CFP credits.

          Like

          1. z33k

            Money and exposure are just going to be too great in the Big Ten and SEC for anybody to want to leave those situations.

            10 years from now the ACC schools will be announcing moves…

            Like

  6. loki_the_bubba

    Sorry, Frank, my team still does not have a chance. We could go 12-1 and still be left out. Strike that, we WOULD be left out. It’s not a real playoff without all conference champs. If we can’t start the season with a path to the playoff that takes the subjective out of it, it’s still not fair.

    Like

    1. z33k

      12-1 Rice would make it as one of the conference champs unless there’s 6 conference champs ranked higher.

      There’s rarely going to be multiple G5 champs with 12+ wins.

      This is the best system for the G5 that the Big Ten/SEC will allow. 6 conference champs is a huge increase in access relative to previous systems.

      Like

      1. loki_the_bubba

        You’re giving the committee too much credit. A 12-1 Rice would be ranked behind a 11-2 MWC team, probably an 11-2 SBC also. It would take a string of years at that level to change minds and make them think it wasn’t a fluke. A system like this based on perception is just not a true playoff. And if the one loss was the ccg, forget about it. Rice would drop to the bottom of ‘others receiving votes’.

        Like

        1. Little8

          Rice could get in like Cincinnati did last year: go undefeated and knock off a highly ranked team. If the new playoff system was in place now going undefeated with wins against USC and Houston should do it. However, since buy games occur early in the season Rice’s chance at a playoff spot would probably end in early September (today if Rice does not upset USC).

          Like

        2. Richard

          Right, if 2016 WMU could make the new playoffs, there’s zero reason why Rice can’t as the MAC programs are probably the most disadvantaged programs in FBS.

          Like

        3. Richard

          Right. If 2016 WMU could make the new playoffs, there’s zero reason why Rice can’t as the MAC programs are probably the most disadvantaged in FBS.

          Like

  7. vp0819

    The six highest-rated conference champions? Would that mean a champ of a Pac 2.0 that’s largely comprised of WSU, OrSU and Mountain West emigres would get an automatic bid, or might it be bumped for the champ of the American? (I’m guessing Notre Dame gets special treatment, as per usual.)

    Whatever, it’s good to see the playoff now have some significance to areas north of Clemson (aside from Columbus, Ohio). College football was in severe danger of devolving into a NASCAR-like regional endeavor.

    Like

    1. Marc

      The six highest-rated conference champions? Would that mean a champ of a Pac 2.0 that’s largely comprised of WSU, OrSU and Mountain West emigres would get an automatic bid, or might it be bumped for the champ of the American?

      You have read it correctly. Now, without further Big Ten expansion the Pac is still a serious conference. In most years, I suspect the Power Two and the Middle Three would take five of the six autobids, leaving one for the Gang of Five.

      I’m guessing Notre Dame gets special treatment, as per usual.

      Actually not. Since they are not in a conference, they cannot get one of the six conference champion bids, and they are not eligible for a first-round bye.

      Like

  8. Ross

    One detail I haven’t seen but that I am curious about is whether they will re-seed in the second round. I have seen it suggested that the winner of the 5-12 game (ND-Pitt) would have played Alabama this past season. Doesn’t it make more sense to re-seed so that the top seed gets the easiest first game rather than potentially the hardest?

    Like

  9. z33k

    As I said in the other thread: it’s not a coincidence to me that they were ordered by the presidents to work on 2026 and then consider working backwards to 2024-2025 if feasible.

    The Big Ten’s veto (as part of the Alliance) of CFP expansion was predicated on wanting the expanded CFP to go to public bids on the TV rights and thus break it up as a package so that ESPN wouldn’t control the entire thing with control of the “narrative” of the season.

    Negotiating an expansion for 2023 and beyond would have enabled ESPN to ask for a multi-year extension (perhaps as long as 10-12 years) of their exclusive rights to the whole property.

    The SEC and ND may have been okay with that, but I don’t see how or why the Big Ten would ever agree to that.

    Working on 2026 and beyond first makes the most sense from the Big Ten’s position then trying to negotiate an expansion with ESPN for 2024-2025.

    Therefore, this is all in accordance with the actions that the Big Ten took to veto the original proposal. The Big Ten was never opposed to the 12 team playoff that Sankey/Swarbrick/Bowlsby designed, the issue was the TV rights. That was the only issue that mattered here.

    Like

    1. bullet

      No. They whined about the Rose Bowl and getting a designated bid most.
      Nothing has changed on multiple bidders for 2024-2025. Absolutely nothing. The 3 big CEO egos simply wasted a year throwing a temper tantrum.

      Like

      1. z33k

        Everything changed. They’re working on a new deal for 2026 and beyond before trying to work on 2024-2025.

        That is a completely different situation from applying an extension to 2023 and beyond.

        The playoff structure was never the issue.

        That would have been resolved eventually. The TV situation was the main sticking point.

        Like

      2. Brian

        Not really. Fans talked about the Rose Bowl more than Warren did. Kliavkoff brought it up. He recognized it was an F.U. move by Sankey et al. Autobids caught the media’s focus. Warren brought up the media partners issue immediately.

        Both the B10 and P12 said they supported CFP expansion in concept, they just didn’t feel comfortable voting yes to that plan at that time. The P12 had the audacity to want to know some financial details before signing a contract.

        https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/acc-pac-12-big-ten-commissioners-push-back/story?id=83118550

        The motion that was brought to the table for them to vote on last week didn’t split playoff expansion into the current 12-year contract, which runs through 2025, and another vote for Year 13 and beyond. Instead, it was one yes-or-no vote on expanding the playoff under the originally proposed 12-team model with the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams.

        Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 would have voted in favor of the 12-team proposal if the vote was specific to the final two seasons of the current contract.

        The ACC had made its position clear — both publicly and privately — long before the vote, which had to be unanimous in order for the format to change within the current contract. Phillips, the only Power 5 commissioner who served on both the NCAA’s constitution committee and transformation committee — both tasked with restructuring the organization’s governance — stated in mid-January that his conference was united in its stance that “this is not the right time for expansion.”

        Phillips pointed to three main reasons for the league’s reluctance: too many unanswered questions as it relates to the health and safety of the athletes; the “overall disruption in college athletics,” including the new NCAA constitution and a desperate plea for federal legislation as it relates to NIL; and a 365-day “holistic review” of policy as it relates to the sport.

        The Big Ten and Pac-12 felt there were lingering unanswered issues, particularly with the Rose Bowl and the unknown revenue distribution in Year 13. Without knowing the TV contract, the CFP could not answer how the revenue would be shared beyond the current term.

        “There can’t be, ‘Well, we’ll answer that after we agree that we’re going to expand currently, we will answer that down the road,'” Warren said. “And so I know from where I sit, where the Big Ten sits, I said it very clearly: We are 100 percent supportive of expansion. We think it’s the right thing to do. But it has to be at the right time, in the right format, for the right reasons.

        Warren also rattled off other issues, like mental health, the academic calendar, the revenue share and making sure multiple media partners are assured an opportunity to participate. The Big Ten has also been steadfast in its position that the Power 5 conference champions and one more should have an automatic bid in an expanded playoff — a proposal that hasn’t received much support around the table.

        “What we’re asking for for the Rose Bowl is a tiny little ask,” Kliavkoff said recently on The Paul Finebaum Show. “We’ve asked for three hours every three years to be protected against having to compete against a CFP quarterfinal. … Not a big ask. It’s difficult to expand the College Football Playoff and also hold onto the great traditions we have in the bowl games. We’re trying to do that. It’s a difficult balance.”

        Like

          1. Brian

            Not true.

            1. They committed to expansion after the current deal ends, and then maybe start it earlier. Before they were trying to force it through under ESPN’s exclusive deal. That’s a huge difference.

            2. The lack of autobids being acceptable has been settled.

            Also, the presidents don’t have to sweat the details. Their minions do, and nothing legally binding has been signed. You need details before you can sign contracts, which is all the P12 asked for.

            The ACC probably still feels things are unsettled, but the recent realignment has them running scared. The want/need the money too much to delay for the other issues.

            Like

      3. bullet

        NOBODY was saying they HAD to have an extension. If you believe conference commissioners explanations of why they do things, you probably even believe the CFP committee on why they rank teams the way the do, despite the fact that the explanation changes week to week!

        Absolutely nothing has changed from a year ago in relation to the playoff setup.

        Like

        1. z33k

          ESPN would never have signed off on just a 3 year expansion of the playoff. It’s ESPN. They’re the hardest bidders in this sport.

          You really believe that ESPN wouldn’t have required an extension as part of that contract renegotiation?

          This is the right way to handle it, work on 2026 and beyond first, then go back to ESPN for 2024-2025.

          Like

          1. Little8

            So why didn’t the B10, PAC, and ACC say a year ago: We need to work on 2026 forward and then see if we can negotiate a deal with ESPN to start the expanded playoff early?

            Like

          2. Brian

            Well, the schools gave up that chance so it’s possible. ESPN passed on the chance to make money from the B10 going forward, so it’s possible. ESPN wants value.

            They would’ve used expansion as leverage for themselves. Nobody can predict what final deals would’ve been possible. Maybe the two sides wouldn’t have been able to reach a mutually agreeable compromise. We’ll never know.

            Like

        2. Brian

          Nobody said they had to have one, because ESPN doesn’t make their demands in public. But this was a known concern a year ago.

          https://apnews.com/article/sports-college-football-football-craig-thompson-6ad3a1632222abda571580768aade77a

          How soon a new format could be implemented is tied directly to television rights. ESPN owns the playoff through 2025. Having multiple network partners is likely to increase the overall value, but whether that can happen before the end of the current deal is unclear.

          ESPN’s current 12-year contract gives it exclusive rights to the College Football Playoff through the 2025 season, no matter the current format.

          Is there a way to get around that exclusivity?

          That’s a significant question to which no one involved with the CFP has given a clear, public answer because the terms of the deal with ESPN are confidential.

          The strategy for the CFP could be to offer some type of extension to the current deal to ESPN, maybe allowing the network to lock in the semifinals and/or championship game for six additional years in exchange for the right to bring the new inventory —- eight more games in a 12-team format —- to other networks for bidding.

          Bringing an expanded CFP to market has become especially important to the conferences (Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12) that currently partner with both Fox and ESPN. Those leagues have media rights deals of their own coming up in the next four years.

          Like

  10. MIKE

    Great article and analysis.

    Also, the top four seeds still get byes, which should calm the thought that only a handful can actually win it all, even if true, it is still determined on the field.
    ND is on board and they will have a first round game even if top 4 rank.

    Like

  11. Richard

    Ian Boyd is a great knowledgeable read. Sadly, he paywalls most of his stuff, but not his overall CFP predictions for this season:
    https://americaswargame.substack.com/p/who-can-win-the-national-championship

    One thing he pointed to my attention is that the North (B10&ND), West (B12&Pac), SEC West, and Southeast (ACC & SEC East) tend to average 1 CFP bid each.
    This year, he’s pretty bullish on both OSU and UMich.
    I personally am predicting 2 SEC and 2 B10 in the CFP. 10-1 UMich downs unbeaten OSU in The Game. 11-1 Bama destroys unbeaten UGa in the SEC CCG.
    UMich/OSU rematch for the natty.

    Like

  12. Marc

    The proposal the presidents adopted is not precisely the subcommittee proposal, although it is very close. One nuance is that the home team for the first-round campus games can designate the site. Gene Smith already said that he would prefer Indy over Columbus at that time of year, for safety reasons.

    But this invites many questions. Would the Big Ten impose a consistent philosophy, or could Wisconsin make a different choice than OSU does? Smith’s concerns (safety) would seem to be equally valid at all of the Midwestern Big Ten stadiums. How much would it cost to reserve an NFL stadium for a game that is not certain to happen? Who pays if the stadium isn’t used? What if two Big Ten teams are hosting in that round?

    Like

    1. Richard

      Why would the B10 impose anything? Maybe Wisconsin wants Camp Randall regardless. Iowa would likely have to leave the state (which I doubt would be a popular decision). I reckon each school is capable of making their own judgement on safety.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Well, the sport has a long history of imposing rules from the top down. I am sure someone will be tempted. After all, if Smith is right, is his stadium the only unsafe one at that time of year?

        Like

      1. Marc

        While the Ice Bowl was obviously extreme, pros know they might be playing in such games, and are more prepared for them. The NFL has a long history of playing outdoor games after the colleges have closed shop for the year.

        As a Michigan fan, nothing would please me more than to see the Wolverines hosting Mississippi State in Ann Arbor in mid-December. But I will grant that Bulldogs probably have players who have never even seen snow, much less played in it. And they do not have cold-weather equipment either.

        At the time of the Ice Bowl, Lambeau Field had heated turf, although it malfunctioned on the day of that game. Most college stadiums do not have heated turf at all. I am pretty sure Ohio Stadium does not. I suspect there are some stadiums where the plumbing and heating would be really doubtful.

        Like

        1. Richard

          On the other hand, during 2020, a bunch of B10 teams played in those stadiums at the same time of year.

          Anyway, I’ll be interested to see if, indeed, OSU ever hosts a first round game, whether the Bucks would move the game outside the state of OH (and what firestorm would ensue if they did). Cincy and Cleveland, in the same weather conditions at the same time of year, host football games just fine.

          Like

          1. Gobux

            Yeah, that would be quite a bit of money not being spent in Ohio. I say if OSU hosts a game, move it to either Cleveland or Cincinnati. Keep the money in Ohio. Both cities/stadiums have experience hosting games in inclement weather.

            Like

          2. Kevin

            The problem with that is you are dependent on the NFL schedule. They probably don’t want another game tearing up their field in December.

            It’s really a head injury issue with the turf fields. I think the playoff committee/org may have to allocate some resources to these stadiums if there is anything they can do on game day.

            Like

          3. Richard

            Brian, I understand. That’s why I’m saying, while Gene Smith is so blithe about moving an OSU-hosted playoff game to Indy now, I’d be very interested to see if OSU would actually move that game outside of OH when push comes to shove.

            BTW, they didn’t worry about head injury in 2020?

            Like

          4. Brian

            It’s a post-season game, so he might move it. He wouldn’t move a regular season game out of Columbus, but OSU doesn’t owe Cleveland or Cincy anything. Smith isn’t worried about OH getting the tax dollars, but he does support local businesses. The fans would complain, but Smith would put the athletes first.

            They almost got sued for worrying about player health in 2020. If they can’t factor in the chance of dying from COVID, OSU’s last home game would’ve been 12/12 in 2020, but it really was 12/5.

            https://www.si.com/college/ohiostate/football/ohio-state-football-gene-smith-wants-option-to-host-potential-first-round-college-football-playoff-game-indoors-lucas-oil-stadium-ohio-stadium
            And remember what he actually said:
            But if that were to happen, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith would prefer to play the game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis rather than in potentially inclement weather at Ohio Stadium.

            “I want a clean environment. I don’t want a hard surface for the players,” Smith said during his press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday morning. “I know the fans would like to have it in the ‘Shoe, and maybe it’s snowing or we’re playing whoever, but that surface is a whole new ballgame.

            “I would prefer to have the indoor elements and have a clean field. If it was this year, I would want C.J. (Stroud) to have good weather. It’s just that simple.”

            “I know our fans rally around that and they’d like to host Alabama up here (in December), but now we have the flexibility to move into domes,” Smith said. “Now we can move into (Lucas Oil Stadium) or Ford Field (in Detroit) or (U.S. Bank Stadium in) Minneapolis or whatever if we end up hosting.

            “I think that’s important because who knows what the inclement weather could be like at that time of year in any of our places in the north, so we need that flexibility.”

            Smith noted that Columbus doesn’t have the same harsh winters as elsewhere in the Big Ten footprint, which means that moving a playoff game would only be an option depending on the date of the first-round game, not a certainty.

            “We’re south of the snow belt, so our weather is different than it is in Wisconsin or Minnesota,” Smith said. “I want that flexibility for the league, but depending upon the date that this thing ends up, we may look at the historical calendar and say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s OK to play in Columbus,’ so we don’t need to go do a deal that particular year with (Lucas Oil Stadium). The deeper you go in December, the more challenging it is here.

            “We want the flexibility to go indoors. It’s not like automatic. Now, you have to come up with a strategy to predetermine that at some point in time because you have to cut the deal with the facility and do all the operations, ticket sales, all that. But a lot of that is going to be date-dependent, so I’m kind of anxious to see how this playoff schedule actually will end up. When will it actually start? That’s critical.”

            Smith just wanted the option, because he didn’t think the game dates were settled yet. Once a schedule is known, then he could make a decision. He’d always a contingency plan in case an early storm is predicted, obviously.

            Also, NFL teams don’t have a choice. They can’t move games to another stadium except in an emergency. They might want to do it if it was possible.

            Like

      2. Brian

        Really? Death is the only concern? Well the newspapers say a fan died that day in the stadium, and 19 people went to the hospital for frostbite. The players say they still suffer lingering effect from the frostbite they got over 50 years ago.

        The NFL considers it an increased health risk, and that’s with all the resources they have available.

        https://www.nfl.com/news/harsh-cold-doesn-t-cause-injuries-but-can-make-them-more-painfu-0ap3000000455784

        What are the biggest health issues players might face by playing in below-freezing temperatures during playoff games this weekend?

        Cold weather may present a challenge to players, coaches, medical staff and other sideline personnel if any one of the following is present: 1.) Temperature of 40 degrees and below or 2.) Wet (rain, snow, ice, high humidity) or wet clothes at temperatures below 60 degrees. In addition, winds with speed above 5 mph in combination with wet conditions and temperature 40 degrees or below increase the risk of cold injury. The most common medical conditions facing football players in sub-freezing temperatures are hypothermia, frostbite and cold-induced asthma.

        Are there any injuries they might suffer that they might not face otherwise?

        There are no musculoskeletal injuries unique to the cold, however, players will be at an increased risk for muscle strains and tears, usually to the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. Since the ball is harder, there is a risk for fractures of the hand and fingers when trying to catch or receive the ball. Those players who participate in a game only intermittently (i.e. punters, kickers, special teams players) are at a heightened risk as they are expected to go “all out,” such as on a punt or kickoff, without a significant “warm up”.

        What role does a frozen or harder field play in these conditions?

        A frozen surface is harder, which means that any direct contact with the ground may increase the risk of fractures, contusions and/or head injuries.

        https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2325967116639222

        Concussion risk doubles for games at 50 or below vs 70+. Ankle injuries go up 50%.

        Like

    2. Little8

      The primary safety concerns are for the 60K-100K fans attending. Few B10 stadiums have the plumbing insulated and heated for winter play (All NFL stadiums are designed for January play where located)/ Think exploding toilets rather than concussions. Also slip and falls due to ice, etc. It is feasible to thaw the field prior to the game with tarps/heaters and it is unlikely to get brick hard during the game except in very cold conditions. Fixing the plumbing takes months and costs millions.

      Like

  13. Larry

    12 team playoff terrible for season ticket holders. I am dropping my donation and season tickets so I can use that money to go to playoff games. Regular season games like Mich-OSU, Bama-Geo are meaningless.

    Like

    1. Richard

      I suppose you consider all NFL regular season games meaningless, then.

      Anyway, I don’t believe a 12-team playoff would make Bama-UGa (first time) any more meaningless than it was this past season, when the loser not only made the playoffs but won the natty.

      Like

        1. Marc

          You are free to not like them, but the NFL season keeps expanding because the fans do, in fact, treat them as if they are meaningful. I do not watch the NFL very much. Still, I can see that their model obviously has worked.

          Like

          1. Brian

            They are a business that only does football. Their sole goal is making money. Of course their model works for them. CFB is not solely a business.

            Like

    2. Marc

      You are free to not go, but in the proposed system the top four conference champions get first-round byes, which ensures that winning your conference has real value.

      In basketball, the postseason has 68 teams rather than 12. But as far as I can see, rivals still play as if conference championships matter, even in years when both are good enough to be assured of a place in the tourney.

      Like

      1. Brian

        And look how important fans consider the regular season in MBB. Hoops starts in March for most people because the season is meaningless. That’s what the expanded tournament did.

        Like

        1. bullet

          Well in a 12 team tourney, most years it will be 11 of the 69 power conference teams (and 12/133 overall). In contrast, in basketball, its about half the power conference members (1/5th of the whole division). Drastic difference.

          Like

          1. Brian

            The NCAA tournament used to be 8 teams. The NFL playoffs used to be 2 teams. Neither has stayed that size.

            Yes, and you can probably name 6 of those 11 in the preseason with high accuracy, and the pool the other 5 will come from as well.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Like I said, Brian, if the FBS playoffs grow to 24 or more, feel free to complain because at that size, I’d agree with you that the regular season is devalued. Before then, I disagree. Certainly with the 12-team CFP, there’s plenty of incentive for teams to win every game.

            Like

  14. Richard

    The comment by Larry makes me think of something: even though El Clasico could be contested up to 7 times in a season now (twice in La Liga, up to twice in the Copa del Rey, up to twice in the Champions League, and the Supercopa matching the La Liga and Copa del Ray winners from the previous season) between Real Madrid and Barcelona, RM and Barca fans have not cancelled their tickets. Rather, they want to beat their rival as often and as badly as possible.

    I suppose that’s the difference between a real rivalry and a fake one.

    Like

  15. Brian

    Frank,

    Respectfully, you are wrong in almost every respect on this issue.

    The CFB postseason has only gotten more and more asinine over time. The bowl system made perfect sense.

    And not all fans wanted this, just the ones that valued money over everything else and didn’t care about the players.

    This isn’t going to supercharge interest because bad teams know they are bad teams, and their fans know it to. A large number of CFP games have been blowouts, and that’s with the top 4. I don’t think getting crushed in the CFP is a vast improvement over going to a bowl game you might actually win.

    One mistake you make is thinking that the NFL should be the aspirational goal for CFB. CFB can never be the NFL and will fail if it tries to be. NFL interest is driven by gambling, fantasy sports (another form of gambling), gambling, peer pressure, gambling, TV coverage, and gambling. There are reasons why tens of millions of Americans don’t watch the NFL at all, and many of those people are CFB fans.

    NFL teams have a relative level of parity that CFB will never come close to. The draft, salary cap, and free agency are all designed to make it more even. Even then, everyone knows the Lions, Jags, Browns and Jets are probably going to suck every year. The data shows only maybe 15 teams have sufficient talent to have a chance at the title. Fans know this, and expanding the CFP doesn’t change it.

    The NFL also uses a lot of local TV coverage. I don’t see that working in CFB. Show fans in NJ and NYC only RU games and see how many tune in. I greatly prefer the national coverage of CFB.

    NFL fans don’t care about any other team. They watch because it’s football and they have money riding on it. And it’s not like they have a bunch of other games to choose from, unlike CFB.

    You don’t understand OSU and other power fans. Last year was a lost year, and an embarrassment on the defensive side. We pay our coaches way too much for either side to ever be that bad. Losing to UM makes the season a failure. Watching that same team get crushed in the CFP only makes it worse. The Rose Bowl was a booby prize, and the game was terrible. Only by luck did we pull out a late victory. There was no team achievement for fans to celebrate about last year. Every year OSU starts with the same set of goals:
    1. Beat TTUN – nope
    2. Win the B10 – nope (see #1)
    3. Win the national title – nope

    It was a John Cooper season, but with a terrible defense. We fired Cooper for having those sorts of seasons over and over. Winning the Rose Bowl used to mean something, but your precious improved postseasons have ruined it. Now it is at best a stepping stone, or else a meaningless consolation prize.

    Maybe MI would celebrate just for winning a Rose Bowl, since their last win was in 1998 for the national title. OSU has 2 national titles and 3 Rose Bowl wins since then (plus a bunch of other NY6 wins and BCS/CFP appearances).

    Expanding the CFP will not change how OSU fans react. They either achieve the three goals or they don’t. Being a top 12 team is nothing for OSU fans to get excited about, it’s just making another NY6 bowl. Those only matter if they are the final game of your season. Now everything will be about getting a bye, and all ESPN”s coverage will tilt that way, and so will Fox’s and CBS’s. Only NBC will talk about it differently, and that’s only because ND can’t get a bye.

    This will reduce the importance of the regular season. OSU probably needs to go 10-2 or better to make the CFP. But they are huge favorites in 6-9 games every year, sometimes more. Now those out-of-nowhere losses to PU and IA mean
    almost nothing. And IL fans still know they aren’t going any time soon. A few more teams have games that matter, but at the expense of all the big games losing all meaning. Who cares if AL beats UGA or not, if they will both make the CFP anyway? Why bother watching OSU vs ND if both will be in regardless of the outcome? What’s the point of watching rivalry week if OSU and MI will both advance and you are a neutral fan?

    And on top of all this, they still are keeping the worst selection committee in the world as the arbiters of everyone’s fate. Talk about stupid. It’s like the NFL asking Jimmie Johnson, Mike Mayock, and Urban Meyer to pick all the wildcard playoff teams using the eye test. Even winning your conference isn’t enough, you also have to convince a committee that you’re better than the other conference champs. And they decide who gets a bye, who gets to host a home game, and what the pairings are. Yeah, that’ll go well.

    Like

    1. vp0819

      Sorry, Brian, but as a fan of two of the “have-nots” (Maryland and Iowa State), I intensely disagree with you, even though the Terrapins or Cyclones will rarely (if ever) qualify for a 12-team playoff, much less one of four. I would think the vast majority of college football fans – whether they root for power teams or not – would disagree too. You can’t go back to being Woody Hayes in 1968, obsessed with the Rose Bowl and beating “TTUN.”

      Like

      1. Brian

        I didn’t say we could go back, I said the postseason was better. The national title was nice, but wasn’t an obsession like it is now. The focus was the regular season and then a nice bowl trip as a reward. People could argue about the best team forever.

        Now the only thing that matters is the national title. Conference titles are about seeding. 2, 4, 12, 16, 32, it doesn’t matter how many teams are in. Everything except winning that title is failure now. And as long as the CFP is run by a committee, it is the worst possible postseason.

        OSU never stopped having those same 3 goals, regardless of the postseason format, so it wouldn’t be going back for us. But this system really incentivizes being #13 if you can’t be elite. Go play in one of the best other bowls and have a chance to actually win your last game. #12 is basically like a G5 in an OOC buy game – getting paid to get crushed.

        Most fans just want games to watch. They don’t really care who’s playing. But it will be harder to sell them on the importance of games when losses don’t mean much. 1 upset used to derail a great season so fans would tune in to see it happen. Now it means nothing, the team just can’t blow 2 more games.

        Like

        1. bullet

          Frank is 100% right. The bowl system was asinine. There’s a reason no other sport does it that way. ALL the other NCAA sports and divisions have championships.

          The top teams often never met. In 1984 Nebraska and Texas were #1 and #2 all year. Both were disappointed they didn’t meet and slept-walk through their bowl games, each losing by 1.

          You think the committee is bad, what about 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and several others in the BCS system where clear contenders never even got to play for the title. The old system was a beauty pageant. Everything you hate about the committee was magnified in the old systems.

          Like

          1. Brian

            That’s exactly the problem – trying to name a champion. The bowl system never tried to do that because it knew it was a fool’s errand.

            Many other NCAA sports have longer season and/or meets allowing for many competitors to compete at once.

            No, I know the committee is bad.

            None of those years you list bother me, because they all assume declaring a national champion is the most important goal and that it can be done accurately. I don’t accept either of those premises. All CFB titles are mythical BS, and they always will be. Now you can just declare tournament champions.

            Like

        2. bullet

          And nothing has cheapened the bowl games like the proliferation of bowl games. Players are opting out more an more because its nothing special. Any team with a winning record goes. The bowl system makes the NCAA basketball tourney look chincy with invitations.

          Like

          1. z33k

            Yeah, the bowl system was untenable.

            The “big bowls” below the BCS/NY6 have become diluted by the proliferation of bowls.

            Bowls like Citrus, Outback, Alamo, Music City have had much lower TV ratings than they used to even just 10-15 years ago because there’s so many added bowls now that dilute the product.

            At this point, expanding the CFP makes sense. Also with the Big Ten and SEC at 16 teams, a 4 team playoff no longer made sense regardless.

            Like

          2. Marc

            What exactly was “special” about the second-tier bowls, even when there were fewer of them? Forty years ago, there were not as many, but there were a lot more than just the top six.

            At some point, the draftable players realized they were taking an unconscionable financial risk of a severe injury in a game that meant nothing, hence the new and lamentable tradition of opting out, even in the major bowls when they are non-playoffs.

            Since the vast majority of the bowls are creatures of TV, the ones nobody watches are going to disappear. In the original subcommittee proposal, first round losers would not be bowl eligible. The version approved yesterday did not say if that is still true.

            Like

          3. z33k

            I think the issue is on both sides: from the top end, the expansion of BCS going from 8 teams to 10 to CFP/NY6 with 12 just means there’s less ranked teams available for the big bowls under the top.

            Citrus Bowl typically had two teams near the top 10 for most of the 90s-00s.

            Now it’s teams more in the 15-20 range or unranked.

            Like

    2. Marc

      If you were starting a new sport, here is the one system you certainly would not choose:

      “Let’s make sure the best teams never play each other. Then, a media poll will decide who won.”

      Like

      1. Brian

        It’s exactly the system I’d choose for an amateur sport with this many teams and this few games, because the national title will always be mythical in CFB because they are not nearly enough games to fairly determine one. The bowl system was never intended to determine a national champion. That was the beauty of it. They left MNCs to the fans and the media. The bowl system let lots of teams and fans end their season on a positive note.

        Now all but 1 is a failure. That’s the system I would choose for pro athletes in a small league with a longer season. In part, that’s because I don’t care if professional players get injured.

        Like

        1. Redwood86

          We have to accept that playoff structures are now designed to maximize revenues and entertainment, not identify/establish the best team.

          I believe that if a playoff only included conference/division champions, then it would be much better at identifying/establishing the best team. It would be reflective of a true tournament of champions. To Brian’s point, it is illogical that a non-conference champion can be the best team, so it should not be in a playoff. To identify the division champs, where necessary, scheduling should emphasize matchups between teams in the same division.

          MLB has the most ridiculous structure. A team plays 162 games, and if it ends up a wildcard faces a single-elimination game. Really? Rather than play 162 games for a roll of the dice, it would be much more fair to have a single wildcard spot for the team with the 4th-best record in the league. And the only justification for a wildcard at all is there are 3 divisions, so without a wildcard there would need to be a bye – which would be a disadvantage in baseball.

          In the NFL, this logic obviously means an 8-team playoff. NHL would be 4 as currently constituted, but if it moved to 8 divisions it would be 8. NBA could be 8 with wildcards like baseball.

          In CFB, even if the #2 team in the country is in the SEC, since that team lost out to the #1 team, it should be out. Notre Dame is automatically disqualified from the playoff , except perhaps under the condition it is undefeated or meets pre-defined scheduling requirements, because being an independent gives it an unfair scheduling advantage.

          With 32 conferences, MBB March Madness would be just/almost as exciting while the conference tournaments would be much more exciting. Those conferences with divisions could even have divisional tournaments before the conference tourneys. March Madness could thus begin in February!

          Like

          1. Marc

            We have to accept that playoff structures are now designed to maximize revenues and entertainment, not identify/establish the best team.

            You are right about that, but your proposed systems do not identify the best team either. They merely provide less revenue and less entertainment while being just as competitively flawed as the systems you despise.

            Like

          2. Brian

            I don’t accept that they provide more entertainment. Look at how many blowouts have been in the 4-team CFP, and the expanded one will be much worse.

            I agree that they try to provide it. They just fail miserably.

            They don’t maximize revenue, either. That would be much larger.

            Like

          3. Marc

            I don’t accept that they provide more entertainment.

            I do not mean close games; I mean games that people will watch. I tend to think that the rut of non-competitive games in the CFP is just random statistical noise with a (so far) very small sample size. I cannot think of a reason why #4 vs. #1 and #3 vs. #2 would always be bad.

            Like

          4. Marc

            It’s been 8 years, so 24 games. It’s not a tiny sample anymore. The CFP has led to a lot of blowouts.

            Statistically, it is quite possible to have a bad run of games in a 24-item sample. It is obviously true that this has happened, but nobody has suggested a reason why the format itself should have led to so many lopsided games.

            Even the old bowl system that you favor frequently had match-ups among highly ranked teams, and they were not all like this. The games do not become bad, just because you put the CFP label on them.

            Like

          5. Brian

            Marc,

            Statistically, it is quite possible to have a bad run of games in a 24-item sample.

            Sure, but when it’s spread over many years, with many coaches, and many teams, it seems less likely.

            It is obviously true that this has happened, but nobody has suggested a reason why the format itself should have led to so many lopsided games.

            1. It’s a bad format, and the football gods don’t like it
            2. Too much time to prepare for the games (teams with 10 coaches and 20 analysts breaking down game tape and scheming for weeks)
            3. Too much emphasis put on the games (nerves, anxiety, etc.)
            4. Time off leads to rust
            5. So many TV timeouts the players lose focus
            6. Saban drugs the opponent’s Gatorade
            7. Gamblers have bought off teams
            8. The CFP committee is terrible at their job

            Even the old bowl system that you favor frequently had match-ups among highly ranked teams, and they were not all like this.

            Not all, but some were. But back there were lots of bowls so a few blowouts didn’t mean much. Now only 3 games count, so perhaps they only seem more prevalent. I don’t feel like running the numbers to check.

            The games do not become bad, just because you put the CFP label on them.

            History shows otherwise.

            Like

          6. Richard

            “But back there were lots of bowls so a few blowouts didn’t mean much. Now only 3 games count, so perhaps they only seem more prevalent.”

            Ah, so an argument for an expanded playoff, then.

            Like

          7. Marc

            1. It’s a bad format, and the football gods don’t like it

            It is a sad day when Brian, who is known for relentless facts and logic, is reduced to this.

            2. Too much time to prepare for the games (teams with 10 coaches and 20 analysts breaking down game tape and scheming for weeks)

            The semi-finals are played over New Year’s, exactly when the traditional bowls would have been played. They have the same 10 coaches and 20 analysts in the regular season too, and would have them whether there was a playoff or not.

            The final is roughly two weeks after the semi-finals, so they have about the same amount of time to prepare as after a regular-season bye week. (Also, the majority of the finals have been competitive games.)

            4. Time off leads to rust

            They would have the identical time off if they played in a traditional bowl.

            5. So many TV timeouts the players lose focus

            They would have the identical commercials in a traditional bowl.

            8. The CFP committee is terrible at their job

            The CFP’s rankings have always been pretty close to the old-fashioned polls. No one has suggested that the committee’s #4 would be #10 everywhere else.

            Like

          8. Brian

            Marc,

            The only serious point on that list is that coaching staffs have changed as TV money has shot up. In the bowl system days, Bear/Woody/Bo/JoePa/whomever didn’t have 20 former NFL coaches/NCAA head coaches/etc. as full time analysts on top of his full coaching staff, detailed analytics that were generated for any and every situation, and video and other resources were tougher to manipulate.

            I think teams really can come in more prepared than ever used to be possible. And everyone is more focused on these games. These are business trips, not fun trips like bowls.

            Like

        2. Marc

          …the national title will always be mythical in CFB because they are not nearly enough games to fairly determine one.

          Is there any sport whose playoff necessarily determines the best team? All you can say is that the champ was the team that won that year’s tournament, often due to (un)lucky calls, breaks, and bounces that probably would not recur if the games were played again. Sometimes there is a team so dominant that you can be pretty sure they would win again, but frequently there is not.

          Like

          1. Marc

            A playoff is not capable of determining the best team. It is merely a money grab.

            Fans called Michigan Stadium a money grab when Fielding Yost build it and then raised ticket prices to pay off the debt. I think they have gotten over it. College sports are constantly changing. The words “money grab” are merely a synonym for “the subset of changes I don’t like.”

            Like

          2. Brian

            A money grab is a money grab. Everyone is openly saying they need to expand to make more money from the CFP. Nobody that matters is concerned about more access for the G5 or other such things. They want more money, and this is the easiest path to getting it.

            Like

      2. Richard

        Brian, you would choose that, but most CFB fans wouldn’t. More importantly, almost nobody below 40 would, and pretty much everyone who thinks the way you do will die out.

        Like

        1. Brian

          I can’t help that most CFB fans are wrong. But most of them aren’t really fans anyway. They are casual CFB consumers, or fans of non I-A teams.

          Like

        2. Marc

          Brian, you would choose that, but most CFB fans wouldn’t. More importantly, almost nobody below 40 would, and pretty much everyone who thinks the way you do will die out.

          The system Brian mourns was not the system for the entire history of the sport. He prefers the system he first knew, but if he grew up in another era, he very likely would prefer something else.

          Like

          1. Brian

            I could fully support going back to the pre-bowl era as well, but I think the bowl games are a nice reward for players. That’s the history from 1869-1997, most of which I was not alive for. I can’t help being born when the better system was in place.

            Other sports had different types of systems, and I knew them for the garbage that they were then and now. Expanding the systems to let everybody in has never improved any of them.

            Like

        3. bullet

          That’s a pretty offensive way of putting it. More people under 40 don’t care about sports compared to those over 40.

          One time on a Texas board we were talking about the 1984 season when UT and NU didn’t play. One guy, said, “that’s the beauty of it. 30 years later and we are still debating it.” Now I don’t think the beauty of it is the controversy, but some people do.

          I think every competitor wants a chance to prove they can be the best. The bowl system was a “give everyone a ribbon” model. A playoff is just much better for the players and the vast majority of the fans.

          Like

    3. bob sykes

      I pretty much agree with you. The old bowl system was better. In 1970 we had three national champions: Nebraska, Ohio State, and Texas. All three schools still claim the NC’s.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Let’s do it the way they do it in kindergarten:

        YOU get a national title!
        And YOU get a national title!
        And YOU get a national title!
        And YOU get a national title!
        And YOU get a national title!
        And YOU get a national title!
        etc.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Apples and oranges. Reasonable selectors can disagree about who should be #1. The same selector giving out multiple titles is crap. Your example is the second type.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Huh? OK, I’ll just have different parents give out #1 place prizes to each kindergartener, then. By your logic, that’s perfectly OK.

            Everybody wins!

            Wooooo!

            Like

  16. z33k

    UCLA contract with Rose Bowl lasts until 2042. Seems ironclad, only allows 1 neutral site game for UCLA in the county.

    SOFI is closer to campus (10-15 miles south instead of 25+ east) and closer to where people live.

    At some point UCLA will get to SOFI.

    100+ degree September games is almost unusable out in South Cali.

    Enjoy the Rose Bowl while it’s still in use folks. We get around 18 years of Big Ten play.

    Like

    1. Alan from Baton Rouge

      Here’s a little more detail of Sankey’s comments.

      https://theathletic.com/3563622/2022/09/03/greg-sankey-playoff-expansion/?source=user_shared_article

      One justification has been a desire to have broadcast rights for the 12-team Playoff go to a full bid process, amid the perception that ESPN was in the driver’s seat because of its relationship with the SEC. But Sankey said that was never the case.

      “We said from the beginning, in the original presentation, we’re going to the market, we’re going to the market, and every media entity will have an opportunity, so the notion that somebody leverages is completely incorrect,” Sankey said. “To me what’s unfortunate is we could have spent the last nine months talking about the implementation and we’re nine months farther behind than we would have been had we gotten to this back in January.”

      Like

      1. z33k

        I don’t trust that at all.

        Whether the expanded playoff could go to market under the 2023 expansion deal was entirely up to ESPN since they owned 100% of that contract.

        That’s very different from what they’re working on now.

        This is what Frank wrote in 2021: “I still maintain that it would be really difficult for the powers that be to delay playoff expansion until 2026. While I understand the rationale of wanting to take the contract to the open market, 5 years is an eternity when it comes to the media landscape. If I were running the show, my goal would be to get ESPN to agree to a relatively short extension at the end of the current contract (maybe 2 to 3 years), which would allow them to have 5 to 6 years of broadcasting the newly expanded playoff. The playoff TV rights could then go to a fully open market after that time.”

        We don’t have to take Sankey’s statements at face value when they don’t match reality.

        ESPN would have had the ability to ask for an extension under the deal that Sankey co-authored for 2023 expansion.

        Like

        1. Alan from Baton Rouge

          Sankey made a public statement refuting your conjecture. Any other commissioner could call him out and say his statement is not true.

          Again, you may be right and I may be crazy, but I’m not aware of any public statements or even anonymous sources that back up your speculation that Disney holding out for an extension is the reason the B1G/ACC/PAC voted against the same plan their presidents just voted for.

          By the way ask the NFL what a tough negotiator Disney is, as they have been overpaying for the worst NFL package for years. As circumstances change, Disney has shown that they will rework deals with college sports, unlike CBS.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Public statements at the time from Warren said that was one concern the B10 had, so Sankey and friends must not have conveyed it clearly if they did say it.

            I also recall no public statements at the time from Sankey denying that ESPN would have a monopoly. Since the topic was clearly discussed in articles about the no vote, he had the opportunity to refute it. Do you have any statements from back then?

            And legally speaking, ESPN has an exclusive contract with the CFP through 2025 regardless of whether or not it expands. Sankey couldn’t promise that they would go to market before then, and the B10 didn’t want an expanded CFP all on ESPN. Since the February vote was for “immediate” expansion, it had to be an all-ESPN deal unless ESPN said otherwise.

            Maybe Sankey told everyone they’d go to market for 2026 and beyond, but that assumes that ESPN would’ve allowed earlier expansion and not wanted an extension (or a discount on the extra games).

            To borrow a word, I think he may be mis-remembering what was said when and to whom.

            Like

          2. z33k

            I think Brian has it right.

            Nobody knows what ESPN would have asked for or negotiated.

            But I would be surprised if they wouldn’t have required a multi-year extension to expand the playoff under the vetoed deal.

            Sankey didn’t expressly negate that view. That’s the problem.

            The 2023 expansion proposal did not specify how the media rights would be handled. If it had been specified as just a 3 year expansion proposal that would be okay.

            But that wasn’t on the table. Some sort of nebulous negotiation with ESPN was on the table.

            This has nothing to do with Sankey but with the structure of the deal.

            The CFP commissioners working on the 2026 deal is much more sensible and then backdating it to 2024-2025. That should have been the original approach.

            Like

  17. Brian

    Well, the P12 just threw away another season’s chances of earning respect. #11 UO gets embarrassed by #3 UGA and #7 UU loses to unranked UF. CU lost to TCU. Their best week 1 win will either be over Boise or SDSU. Others beat Rice, MAC schools, or I-AAs.

    Now their only hope is a USC team that has ND as their only decent OOC game, and ND already has a loss (but they could get back to 10-1). Plus, USC is leaving for the B10 so their doing well doesn’t really help the P12 ‘s reputation much anyway.

    Like

    1. Redwood86

      Utah lost the game when they went for 2 up 19-14 in the 3rd. Such a stupid call. Had they not done that, it would have been 27-28 on the last drive and they could have kicked a FG for the win.

      Like

      1. Little8

        Utah lost because their QB forced a pass into coverage and got it intercepted. If he had thrown it away Utah could have kicked a chip shot field goal to tie for overtime.

        Like

    2. Richard

      1. What else is new?
      2. Why does that matter? According to Colin, all the schools in the Pac would still want to stay there because they have an easier path to the playoffs (where they’d get blown to bits by UGa/Bama/etc. but Colin doesn’t seem to think that far ahead).

      Like

        1. Richard

          Oh, I don’t disagree with you, but Colin seems to want to keep insisting that just making the CFP but not having the resources to win the national title is what those programs and fans of those schools _really_ want.

          Like

          1. Richard: “Oh, I don’t disagree with you, but Colin seems to want to keep insisting that just making the CFP but not having the resources to win the national title is what those programs and fans of those schools _really_ want.”

            No, I didn’t say that at all. That is your hysterical distortion of my comments.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Colin, yes you did. There’s no distortion.

            You said schools like Clemson and UO would prefer to stay in the ACC/Pac for easier CFP access even though that would mean taking in less football revenue than Northwestern by the 2030’s. Do you seriously believe that any program that makes less money in football than Northwestern can realistically challenge for the national title?

            Like

    3. Marc

      There are always many mistakes in a close football game that could have been decisive. I cannot blame the QB for throwing a pass he believed was open. (Sure, he could have kicked the FG there, but it’s not as if OT is a sure thing either.) The coach is supposed to know that you do not go for two in the third quarter.

      Like

      1. Brian

        I had not been watching that game at all, but flipped over just as they went for two. I said to myself that’s a bad decision and he’ll regret it. Never chase the points until you have to (never before the 4th quarter) – there are too many ways it can go wrong.

        Like

  18. z33k

    Watched a lot of cfb like everybody else here.

    Nothing last night changed my mind that the Big Ten needs more teams that can play at that peak “championship” level. That idea was reinforced to me.

    I don’t think Oregon will ever be able to recruit at the level needed to match what Alabama/Georgia put out there last night. Doesn’t mean they can’t be a secondary addition to fit into that secondary tier, but that’s not the priority.

    Schools like USC can, but that’s the only school out West that can.

    Just cements the idea that the Big Ten has to go for FSU and Miami as well as considering Clemson (if the SEC for some reason doesn’t want to go for 4 schools).

    Like

    1. Redwood86

      While I agree that Oregon is not a good choice for the BiG, the difference in recruiting quality between the Ducks and Georgia has not been that great. 45 >= 4-star players versus 55. 5 >= 5-stars (including Nix) v. 15. #7 in rankings v. #2. Certainly doesn’t signify a 49-3 outcome.

      I question hiring the DC of a team whose HC was DC prior to becoming HC. Same goes for OC. The Ducks’ new OC worked under a HC who was an OC. It’s like Stanford hiring Buddy Teevens, Steve Spurrier’s OC, thinking they were getting the equivalent of Spurrier.

      Like

  19. z33k

    A note on scheduling: the Pac-12 and ACC are prime examples of “scheduling for failure”. In the ACC’s case, way too many games at G5 in-state schools by the NC/VA schools. I get why they do it because there’s so many FBS programs in those 2 states, but the recruiting argument seems half-baked. Va Tech’s brand in Eastern Va should be strong enough even without visiting ODU; ditto for UNC and NC State visiting App State and ECU.

    Those are lose-lose games. All they show is that G5 teams can match you in their houses; how does that help build any brand separation for supposed “Power” teams? How many SEC or Big Ten teams do that often? Maybe once a decade you can travel to an in-state G5 team, but Va Tech’s gone to ODU and lost twice in the last 4 years. That just tarnishes your brand.

    For the Pac-12, stop visiting SEC teams in one-off games in Atlanta and Dallas. (Everyone needs to stop doing that unless you’re Clemson and you’re 120 miles away from Atlanta or maybe Texas Tech/TCU “visiting” Dallas).

    There is literally nothing to be gained for Oregon or Michigan or Miami or whoever in those games. Stop scheduling for failure. You’re never beating Alabama in Dallas or Georgia in Atlanta at the start of a season.

    Like

    1. Brian

      MSU visited each of WMU, CMU and EMU once as part of a series of 12 games last decade.

      There’s a series of reddit posts about the last time each P5 team played a true road game at a G5 (not just in-state). The link above is to part 5 – the SEC, and it contains links for the other P5. I know specified in-state, but that was too much research, plus the same logic applies to playing at any G5.

      Mississippi State: 9/18/21, 31-29 L @ Memphis (AAC)
      Vanderbilt: 9/11/21 (9:00 CT), 24-21 W @ Colorado State (MWC)
      Florida: 9/11/21 (Noon CT), 42-20 W @ South Florida (AAC)
      South Carolina: 9/11/21 (11 a.m. CT), 20-17 W @ East Carolina (AAC)
      Missouri: 8/31/19 (6:30 CT), 37-31 L @ Wyoming (MWC)
      Ole Miss: 8/31/19 (11:00 a.m. CT), 15-10 L @ Memphis (AAC)
      Arkansas: 9/8/18, 34-27 L @ Colorado State (MWC)
      Kentucky: 9/2/17, 24-17 W @ Southern Miss (C-USA)
      Texas A&M: 9/20/14, 58-6 W @ SMU (AAC)
      Tennessee: 11/6/10, 50-14 W @ Memphis (C-USA)
      LSU: 9/29/07, 34-9 W @ Tulane (C-USA)
      Alabama: 11/29/03, 37-29 L @ Hawaii (WAC)
      Auburn: 10/9/76, 28-27 L @ Memphis State (Ind)
      Georgia: 9/23/72, 24-13 L @ Tulane (Ind)

      The surprise is probably UF. Otherwise the big names are at the bottom, with AU and UGA not since the 70s. Everyone else has done it in the past 20 years, though.

      B10:
      1. Indiana: 9/25/21, 33-31 W @ WKU (C-USA)
      2. Purdue: 9/11/21, 49-0 W @ UConn (Ind)
      3. Maryland: 9/14/19, 20-17 L @ Temple (AAC)
      4. Minnesota: 9/7/19 (9:30 CT), 38-35 2OT W @ Fresno State (MWC)
      5. Illinois: 9/7/19 (2:30 CT), 31-23 W @ UConn (AAC)
      6. Wisconsin: 8/30/19, 49-0 W @ South Florida (AAC)
      7. Rutgers: 11/21/15, 31-21 W @ Army (Ind)
      8. Penn State: 9/5/15, 27-10 L @ Temple (AAC)
      9. Michigan State: 9/4/15, 37-24 W @ Western Michigan (MAC)
      10. Nebraska: 9/13/14, 55-19 W @ Fresno State (MWC)
      11. Northwestern: 9/17/11, 21-14 L @ Army (Ind)
      12. Iowa: 9/7/02, 29-24 W @ Miami (OH) (MAC)
      13. Michigan: 11/28/98, 48-17 W @ Hawaii (WAC)
      14. Ohio State: 10/17/53, 12-6 W @ Penn (Ind)

      One of these things is not like the others – 1953 for OSU. MI was 1998, and again everyone else is within the past 20 years. It’s interesting that NW is so low on the list. And relatively speaking, so is RU.

      Like

      1. Marc

        The list is definitely not correct, because Michigan played @UConn in 2013. (After scheduling the game, Michigan tried desperately to get it moved to a neutral site, but the Huskies refused.)

        Like

        1. Brian

          Marc,

          His criteria for making the list:
          Here’s how I chose what fit the list:
          1. The game must have taken place at the home stadium of the team in question at the time at which the game was played, so Oklahoma-Houston at NRG Stadium did not count toward this list.

          2. My definition of a non-Power school differed based on era. In the CFP era, it is all G5 schools and non-Notre Dame independents. In the BCS era, it is all non-AQ schools (meaning Michigan’s 2013 game at UConn would not fit, the AAC was an AQ conference in 2013). Pre-BCS, I went with what felt right and automatically excluded any teams that were in the SWC or were AQ when the BCS began.

          Like

    2. Richard

      Zeek, that happens when your program isn’t filthy rich, so can’t afford buy games all the time so have to schedule 2-for-1s and HaH’s with G5’s or “neutral site” games in the South for money* (Yet Colin seems to think that’s OK because getting to the CFP to be blown out a few times is worth it).

      *Except in the case of UMich playing in TX, which probably was for recruiting exposure; that game was also planned before the edict came down from the B10 office to only schedule HaH’s or neutral site games where the B10 gets control over at least half those games (such as the Wisconsin neutral site series with LSU and ND).

      Like

      1. Richard: “(Yet Colin seems to think that’s OK because getting to the CFP to be blown out a few times is worth it).”

        Please stop attributing these absurd comments to me. You are either badly confused or deliberately dishonest.

        Like

        1. Richard

          What do you think then? Because staying outside the B10/SEC may increase a school’s likelihood of making the CFP (slightly) but would decrease that school’s chances of actually winning the national title considering that that school would be bringing in less total football revenue than Northwestern starting sometime in the 30’s.

          It’s hard for me to imagine that you actually believe any program that will bring in less total money that Northwestern has a realistic shot at winning the national title. Do you think my Wildcats have a realistic shot at the natty?

          Like

          1. Redwood86

            NW’s low chances at a Natty have little to do with $$$, but a lot to do with their academic standards. Putting Stanford into the BiG is not going to materially increase its chances of winning a national championship.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Fair point, but again, I can not think of any program since, well, forever, who brought in less football revenue than Northwestern and won a national title.

            I’m not sure what some people on here are thinking. That there is zero correlation between revenue and ability to win the national title? That’s clearly not true.

            Like

          3. z33k

            Revenue will become a significant factor when conference distributions start to be apportioned to players.

            When that happens, who knows. But it’s coming. When conference commissioners like Warren are talking about it, it’s just a matter of time.

            At that point, conference distributions will become a direct factor in recruiting.

            Like

  20. HooBurns

    “A rising tide lifts all boats.” – Wen Kang, The Gallant Maid (Qing Dynasty)

    Colin M has it right (way up) above, and has taken an unfair heaping of abuse on this subject.

    The CFP agreement DOES change things and gives a lifeline to every program not currently destined for the B1G or SEC. (Check The Athletic for multiple columns on this.)

    Yes, finances matter – but only to a point. The ACC does not have to make B1G- or SEC-like money – it just needs to be close. And judging by their public comments, ESPN recognizes that, is incentivized for the ACC to be successful, and is working with the ACC to that goal. As Colin M further said, the ACC will get a better tv deal, and probably well before 2036.

    As a UVA (and ACC) fan, I prefer regularly playing our neighboring states in the ACC with an easier schedule than the 16-team B1G or SEC. (But we’re looking forward to playing IL next week!) If ESPN/ACC are indeed able to check the right financial boxes, Clemson and FSU will be not be any different.

    Much will happen over the next few years – but the new playoff structure gives everyone a shot at the NC, and undoubtedly changes the calculus for conference realignment.

    Like

    1. HooBurns

      PS. I’ve felt Colin M has been unfairly critical of Swofford and Phillips – who represent the consensus, collective will of the ACC Presidents. But on this one he’s right.

      Like

    2. Alan from Baton Rouge

      With all the other bombshells in the recent Magnus podcast, this nugget seems to have been lost. He did suggest that if the ACC wanted more money they should add a 9th conference game.

      Like

    3. z33k

      The biggest problem the ACC has is there’s likely to be a lack of unanimity for major changes beyond more superficial ones.

      The only substantial change is likely the 9th game. But even there I’m struggling with how that adds a lot more value: worth noting that schools like FSU and Clemson are already playing 10 Power 5 games. FSU already plays Florida as a “9th game” and Clemson already plays UofSC. Both valuable games against SEC schools. Then add their 10th game against schools like ND or Georgia or LSU this past year.

      Where is the extra real estate on those schedules for a 9th ACC game, would they agree to that if they’re playing ND and an SEC team or would the ND games count as a 9th ACC game?

      You likely need unanimity to extend the GoR. How exactly are you going to get agreements from FSU, Miami, and Clemson on that if they have other options?

      I’m just not seeing it, even if ESPN gives the ACC another $5 million per school for the 9th game, that isn’t bridging a $50 million gap.

      And then the Big Ten and SEC are likely to be targeting ACC schools in 2031-2032.

      Why would those schools agree to extend the GoR and upgrade that TV deal? You’re going to be having to extend that bad deal just to get more money brought up to 2031-2036; ESPN isn’t giving away money here in a world with cord cutting getting steeper and more competition from Amazon/Apple for TV rights. And an SEC renegotiation in 2032-2033 that’s likely to be huge $.

      11 years ago, I was far more bullish than most on the Big Ten poaching Maryland after vp19 came by with the idea. (I thought Maryland was a must get for the Big Ten even when others were saying the ACC was secure).

      And now I’m firmly convinced that FSU, Miami, and likely others will bolt the ACC in the early 2030s.

      There is nothing here that’s a game changer unless ESPN increases the value of their TV deal by 50%. But the only way they do that is if they steal money from years past 2036… if FSU, Miami, and Clemson agree to that, their presidents/ADs should be fired.

      Like

      1. z33k

        That doesn’t mean I’m right on anything or most things, but generally the path forward has become clear reasonably early.

        The ACC has 14 years left in is current configuration, but unless something materially changes about the product that its delivering, more schools will announce exits in the early 2030s.

        Maybe they supercharge their payments by dominating the CFP for the next 14 years, but beyond that, how does this change?

        Like

        1. HooBurns

          20 years ago Miami and USC ruled college football – and the B10 and ACC media agreements were roughly commensurate. 10 years ago, the BCS was used to decide the NC.

          2032 (let alone 2036) is a long time from now. Extending the GoR is not an issue that needs to be decided at this time – identifying ways to increase revenue is. University Presidents play the long game, and a lot will happen over the next 10 years that no one will have seen coming.

          Sorry, just not buying into the doom & gloom predictions for the ACC.

          Like

          1. z33k

            That’s fine, I’m just telling you the reality that the weakest moment for the ACC will be around 2031-2032 unless something materially changes.

            The NFL deals end in 2033, and the SEC deals end in 2033-2034. The ACC deal ends in 2036. (The Big Ten is likely to renegotiate its deal ending in 2030 for 6 years to end in 2036).

            For every big media company, they’ll likely be 100% focused on the NFL negotiations around 2032 and then the SEC negotiations. ESPN will likely have $5+ billion a year tied up in those rights if they manage to win the same proportion of those rights that they have now.

            I’d imagine the Big Ten and SEC will likely be talking to ACC schools around 2031-2032 knowing that it’s the best moment to try to poach schools.

            The ACC will have to try to somehow dramatically increase its TV deal around then, but the only realistic way is to pull forward revenue from 2036 and beyond…, but I’m just skeptical that can work without a GoR extension. I don’t see how or why FSU, Miami, Clemson etc. would agree to that to bail out a bad deal.

            Sometimes a bad deal is just a bad deal.

            Like

          2. Jersey Bernie

            Hootburns, I have to tell you that the top academic and athletic department people at FSU, at the least, do not view it the way that you do.

            They are scared to death of being financially crushed by UF.

            The rest of the SEC is not the issue to them, it is their situation with UF.

            Like

      2. Marc

        The biggest problem the ACC has is there’s likely to be a lack of unanimity for major changes beyond more superficial ones.

        And even assuming unanimity, I am just not seeing much they could do.

        Like

        1. HooBurns

          For Jersey Bernie above –

          Yep, understood; have heard that about FSU/UF too.

          Unfortunately for FSU, I don’t see the SEC taking FSU. It does not make financial sense given the SEC already has the Sunshine State in its coffers. And I don’t see UF supporting their entry in any shape, form, or fashion.

          FSU has made a lot of noise about leaving the ACC, but it’s probably in their better interests to help solve the ACC’s problems. Just my two cents.

          Like

          1. HooBurns: “FSU has made a lot of noise about leaving the ACC, but it’s probably in their better interests to help solve the ACC’s problems. Just my two cents.”

            That all changed last week with the new 12-team CFP. We aren’t going to hear another peep out of FSU nor it’s squealing President.

            Like

          2. Nathan

            Colin,

            Why is Oklahoma leaving the Big 12? They had the very scenario you are describing even under the 4 team playoff format. Their road to the “Final Four” has, and would continue to be, much easier as a member of the Big 12 than in the SEC. So why are they jumping?

            Like

          3. Nathan: “Why is Oklahoma leaving the Big 12? They had the very scenario you are describing even under the 4 team playoff format.”

            No, they didn’t at all. The B12 champ now has a virtually certain autobid. Previously they had nothing of the kind. If the 12-team playoff had been in effect previously, I doubt that OU and UT would have left the B12.

            Like

          4. Nathan

            Considering they still haven’t joined the SEC, not will they for a couple of seasons, why not back out? If they’re now guaranteed a spot in the playoffs as a Big12 champ (which, as I pointed out they were doing with regularity under the 4 team format) shouldn’t this now allow them to reverse their decision? The Big12 would *GLADLY* take them back. It’s not like there’s no history of teams changing their mind re: realignment (TCU & Boise St). At worst they pay a breakup fee. Anyone want to take the “Oklahoma reverses it’s decision and stays in the Big12” bet? I’ll give 100-1 odds.

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          5. Richard

            HooBurns, if the SEC turns down FSU, the B10 likely takes FSU and Miami for demographic, recruiting, and new markets reasons.
            FSU will definitely be heading somewhere when the ACC GOR ends.

            Colin: You keep insisting on believing that a program that will be bringing in less football revenue than Northwestern in the ’30’s (if they stay in the ACC) has a realistic shot at the national title.

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          6. Marc

            If the 12-team playoff had been in effect previously, I doubt that OU and UT would have left the B12.

            This imagines they are so stupid that they did not realize that the playoff was very likely to expand. If their decision was predicated on the playoff remaining at 4 teams, someone at those schools needs to be fired for incompetence.

            Like

          7. Richard

            Marc, I agree. Outside of Colin’s imaginary fantasy world, I don’t believe anybody is as stupid as he seems to think the folks who run unis are.

            Like

          8. “If the 12-team playoff had been in effect previously, I doubt that OU and UT would have left the B12.”

            Two reasons, outside of the money, that Texas was 100% leaving the Big 12:

            1) A&M has been beating us for the difference maker recruits; those kids want to play in the SEC.

            2) Our Big 12 home schedule is unattractive. With OU always in Dallas, the only real desirable home game is when we host an LSU or Bama. The SEC move guarantees two or three great home match-ups every year.

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          9. Richard

            Good points, Christian, and to some extent, those points would be true for the ACC powers as well (yes, their schedules are a bit more attractive and their top teams have shown the ability to win head-to-head recruiting battles with SEC (and B10) powers at times, but once the financial gap becomes a chasm, perception will follow, as USC has found out while in the Pac.

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        2. vp0819

          The very make-up of the ACC works against it. More than one-third of its members (SU, BC, Wake, Duke, Miami) are private institutions with somewhat small enrollments; Georgia Tech is public but not much larger; UVa and UNC are relatively small state flagships; Pitt at L’ville are urban public colleges; and Clemson, NCSU and FSU fit the large land-grant mode. This isn’t the B1G we’re talking about.

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          1. Richard

            Even Clemson isn’t all that big. Lil Ole Clemson has smaller total enrollment than UNC and lag almost the entire 16-school B10, beating out only NU and UNL (barely).

            Only FSU, NCSU, and VTech are large state flagships/co-flagships like most of the schools in the B10.

            Like

    4. Brian

      HooBurns,

      Colin M has it right (way up) above, and has taken an unfair heaping of abuse on this subject.

      I disagree on both points. He started name calling on Frank’s previous post, and he generally spiraled into trolldom.

      The CFP agreement DOES change things and gives a lifeline to every program not currently destined for the B1G or SEC. (Check The Athletic for multiple columns on this.)

      Yes, finances matter – but only to a point. The ACC does not have to make B1G- or SEC-like money – it just needs to be close.

      1. Define close. If the B10 and SEC are soon distributing $100M (to keep it a nice round number) per year per school in total revenue (to keep it a nice round number), how much does the ACC need to make? $50M? $70M? $80M? $90M?

      2. The current CFP basically pays the P5 all about the same amount. That seems unlikely for the expanded version. At-large bids are likely to earn more money going forward, and maybe even wins (like units in the NCAA tournament). A 12-team CFP has been projected to be worth $2B.

      Rough math:
      If you say 50% is split as base pay (5/6 for the P5 – equal amounts per school, with 1/6 for the G5 to split), that’s roughly $12M per P5 school.

      Then assume the other 50% is split based on games played (byes included), but excepting the NCG (to match the hoops model). That’s 12 1st-round units, plus 8 for the quarterfinals, plus 4 for the semifinals, so 24 total. That’s $41.7M per unit.

      From prior analyses and rounding to be kind to the other 3, roughly the B10 and SEC will take 4 at-larges (I’ll split 2 and 2 for simple math – I’m not claiming that’s a prediction). The other 3 get 0.5 each on average.

      Assume all champs are top 4, and that all games are coinflips. Total units up to the semis would be B10/SEC – 6 each, ACC/B12/P12 – 3.375 each. That’s $15.6M per school vs about $11.7M per school, assuming even splits. That’s a 3.9M gap.

      The point is that the expanded CFP will probably increase the gap a little, not close it. What it should do is close it as a percentage (50/100 is more than 54/125).

      And judging by their public comments, ESPN recognizes that, is incentivized for the ACC to be successful, and is working with the ACC to that goal.

      So they will just give them money?

      There are things the ACC can do, like adding a 9th game, and dropping I-AA games for better OOC games, to earn more money. There could be something from working with the P12 to move the P12N into the ACCN. But that’s a few million dollars per year. The projected gap is much larger than that. Even if ESPN (out of complete charity) renegotiated the current deal to be current fair market value, it would be maybe $35M per school, correct? The B10 will soon be getting $70M+.

      As Colin M further said, the ACC will get a better tv deal, and probably well before 2036.

      The B10 starts its big new deal in 2023 and will get another new deal in 2030. The SEC will start their all-ESPN deal in 2024 and will get a new deal in 2034. It’s not like everyone else will lose value relative to the ACC.

      Like

      1. HooBurns

        Brian, it’s ok to disagree on whether the new playoff format will incentivize schools to stay where they are. More power to you – the proof will be in the pudding down the road.

        In the end, university presidents want a stable revenue stream, a fair shot at playing for championships, and to not fall too far behind in the conference arms race.

        None of us can say how close the ACC has to be; the point is that there is in fact an acceptable margin – the ACC just has to determine what that is & get there.

        And despite the fan speculation about what ESPN will or won’t do – the only real info available is that ESPN has publicly said they’re working with the ACC on it.

        Am not into name-calling, have seen the discourse previously, and wasn’t really commenting on that aspect LOL

        Like

        1. Brian

          Be very clear, I am not in favor of any of this realignment. I’d rather undo it than have more of it. I certainly am not rooting for the ACC to get raided.

          You said the ACC has to be “close enough” financially as part of your argument for the CFP expansion to help the ACC. You have to have some sense of what you consider close enough to make that argument. And since the CFP expansion is likely to increase the financial gap, I’d like to hear why that helps.

          I know there is some upside to having more access, but the ACC hasn’t been left out anyway. The expansion helps the P12 and B12 much more than the ACC in that sense.

          ESPN has been content to let the ACC hang in the wind for years. They can work around the margins some, but there isn’t a big leap in revenue coming unless the ACC makes some structural change to justify it. The deal isn’t that far below market value (unlike the SEC’s CBS deal, for example, or ND’s NBC deal).

          Like

    5. Marc

      Colin M has it right (way up) above, and has taken an unfair heaping of abuse on this subject. The CFP agreement DOES change things and gives a lifeline to every program not currently destined for the B1G or SEC.

      No, he has it completely wrong, as he so often does. There will be more money in an expanded playoff, but the Big Ten and the SEC will get a disproportionate share, because they will have more teams that play in it. Financially, the playoff does not allow the ACC to catch up. It preserves (at best), and may even exacerbate, the financial gulf that separates them.

      Like

      1. HooBurns

        Let’s say Conference A makes @ $70M per team per year. Conference A is known as the Death Star b/c it is highly competitive; joining assures that (1) your students will have unprecedented travel demands & (2) your team rarely makes it to the National Championship.

        Then there’s Conference B that makes $55M per team per year. There’s limited travel (i.e. the volleyball team won’t have to travel across the country for half your conference games). B/c Conference B is top heavy, your team is virtually assured of being in the National Championship every year.

        That is a realistic scenario, and I don’t see university presidents automatically jumping into the Conference A boat. That is what I was commenting on, and I don’t think that’s completely wrong…

        Like

        1. HooBurns: “That is a realistic scenario, and I don’t see university presidents automatically jumping into the Conference A boat.”

          In addition to that, schools that leave the ACC, B12 or Pac to join the Big Ten or SEC will be trading a very good chance of making the playoffs for a very poor chance.

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        2. Brian

          Realistic except for 2 things:

          1. The projected financial gaps are much more than $15M. That’s the problem

          The differences in TV deals are projected to be $30M or more in the very near future.

          2. “Your team is virtually assured of being in the National Championship every year”

          Even if I assume you meant to include the entire CFP in that statement, maybe a handful of schools could feel that way right now (AL, OSU, Clemson, UGA, OU) but they all remember when that wouldn’t have been true. History says nobody stays a top 10 team all the time, and that’s what this would require unless you can guarantee winning your conference and being a top 6 champ.

          Like

          1. HooBurns

            Brian, you appear to assume that nothing changes on the ACC side, only B1G revenue will continue to grow, and the ACC’s gap will widen indefinitely.

            Whether the ACC expands, partners with the PAC, adds a 9th conference game, or whatever, we are talking a decade from now. There is every reason to believe the ACC (and ESPN) will take steps to shrink the $30M gap. And it is not unreasonable to think they might have some success – we shall see.

            If you’re Clemson, then you have to think you have a shot at the Natty every year as long as you remain in the ACC, as things stand now. That’s not true if you join the B1G/SEC 16-team Death Stars.

            Further, neither UVA nor UNC – both proud, wealthy institutions – are going to willingly consign themselves to permanent mediocrity as Maryland has.

            No one’s hiding under a rock here. It all depends on what the ACC (and ESPN) is able to do, right? They appear to have 10 years to get there.

            Like

          2. Right, Hoo, it’s not just an issue of CFP access vs conference money. Those are just two of a host of factors.

            It’s hard to imagine UVA and UNC walking away from Tobacco Road basketball. It would be considered treason in VA and NC. They would become outcasts.

            All-sports team travel for FSU and Clemson to the Big Ten would be horrific, both for the B1G and Noles/Tigers. ND’s AD has already complained about getting Olympic sports to Tallahassee and a glance at a map shows that Clemson is out in the middle of nowhere.

            For the SEC, FSU and Clemson to the SEC captures zero TV markets. They already have FL/GA/SC. And if they did leave, who would be getting the ACC autobids to the CFP? Well, it would be Wake, Pitt, VT and Miami.

            Like

          3. bullet

            The ACC will try, but there aren’t good reasons to believe they can make much of a dent. Simply look at TV ratings. They are comparable to the current Big 12 and way behind the Big 10 and SEC. The only way I see the gap to close is if the TV market collapses in the 2030s and the Big 10 and SEC don’t get as good a deal next time. Then the ACC’s long term lock in will help. That is far, far more likely than the ACC to be able to do anything on their own in a rising TV market.

            Like

          4. Richard

            Right, I see Bullet in touch with reality and a few people who are not.

            The ACC has to hope that something really destroys the TV market (or not, because the only things I can think of–financial and/or political calamity and/or awful unrest–are very bad for America). Otherwise, even if the ACC market value rises, the B10/SEC’s will rise more and yes, the gap will widen.

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          5. Brian

            HooBurns,

            Brian, you appear to assume that nothing changes on the ACC side, only B1G revenue will continue to grow, and the ACC’s gap will widen indefinitely.

            Until proven otherwise, yes. They are under contract. Those are the facts in evidence at this point.

            I have heard no realistic (they aren’t raiding the B10 or SEC, and ND isn’t joining) proposed ideas that would add more than a few million dollars per school to the ACC deal even if ESPN did adjust it. All the media experts agree on that, too, so it’s not my uninformed opinion.

            Whether the ACC expands, partners with the PAC, adds a 9th conference game, or whatever, we are talking a decade from now.

            Who could they realistically expand with that would raise their revenue? ND isn’t joining, and they aren’t raiding the B10 or SEC. Everyone else is already in a conference paying about the same as the ACC or more.

            The ACC already has 8 games plus the 5 ND games plus the SEC rivalries. Will they agree to 9 games on top of that? And if they do, those likely replace their best remaining OOC games. So how much value do they add? A few million, as I said before?

            There is every reason to believe the ACC (and ESPN) will take steps to shrink the $30M gap.

            Is there? ESPN isn’t obligated to do anything, and they aren’t a charity. ESPN needs a sound business reason to unilaterally increase the payout. Disney does have shareholders they are responsible to, after all.

            And it is not unreasonable to think they might have some success – we shall see.

            No, it isn’t. Especially depending on how you define “some success. ” I notice you continue to avoid putting any sort of numbers on these things. Even giving the ACC a boost to $35M per school per year (from $27M now) would leave them over $35M behind the B10 in a few years. Both contracts presumably have annual escalators (4% is typical), so that will just grow the gap over time.

            If you’re Clemson, then you have to think you have a shot at the Natty every year as long as you remain in the ACC, as things stand now. That’s not true if you join the B1G/SEC 16-team Death Stars.

            1. Clemson has been this quality under Dabo, but nobody else since the 80s. They probably don’t want to count on that lasting forever.

            2. FSU and Miami have both been way down. That probably won’t last forever either.

            3. They have to be top 1-2 in the ACC to get into a 12-team CFP, or top 3-5 in the B10 or SEC. In theory, that’s equally difficult. It’s supposed to be the 11 best teams plus a G5 champ, right?

            But that’s just Clemson. FSU and Miami can’t assume that at this point. What happens to the ACC if they want out in 2036?

            Further, neither UVA nor UNC – both proud, wealthy institutions – are going to willingly consign themselves to permanent mediocrity as Maryland has.

            Remind me of all their recent football success. Both are 0-1 in the ACCCG in 17 years. UVA has never won an outright ACC title (co-champs in ’89 and ’95), and UNC hasn’t won one since 1980. When have they been anything but mediocre in football?

            And since both are so wealthy, they should have no concerns. They can stay in the ACC and compete nationally despite the financial gap.

            No one’s hiding under a rock here. It all depends on what the ACC (and ESPN) is able to do, right? They appear to have 10 years to get there.

            I’d contend it’s what the ACC is able to do but what ESPN chooses to do.

            Like

          6. vp0819

            Maryland’s “permanent mediocrity,” HooBurns? Nonsense. Since joining the B1G in 2014-2015, only wealthy behemoths Ohio State and Michigan – both fielding many more athletic teams than College Park – have won more conference titles than the Terrapins. College Park has thrived in its new home. And if you insist on placing this in a solely football context, UMd, UVa nor UNC haven’t won a conference football title since the Terps took the ACC crown in 2001 (the Cavs and Tar Heels have each won the Coastal Division but lost the conference championship game).

            Like

          7. Jersey Bernie

            I do not know why people are connecting Clemson to the B1G, under virtually any circumstances. The academics are simply too weak. Clemson will need to keep winning to convince the SEC to take a second team in SC.

            Anyone who does not think that FSU would jump at a chance at joining either the SEC or B1G has no idea what is happening in Tallahassee. Yes, travel in the SEC would be much easier and culturally similar. Of course, the idea of association with the academic standards of the B1G really attracts important people at FSU. If the choice comes it would be an interesting issue.

            The SEC will give FSU an offer just to defend against the B1G.

            As far as getting to and from TLH (Tallahassee airport), there are direct flights from Chicago, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, and other major airports. The problem is that getting from a secondary city airport directly to TLH will not work. By the way, TLH is only 15 or so minutes from the FSU campus, so that is not the issue.

            What can the ACC do to significantly increase its funding? Will ESPN unilaterally simply increase payments? Another complication is that ESPN owns the ACC network, so it is not as though that will help.

            In the past year, the ACC network has been added to Comcast Xfinity. I do not know what extra revenue that brings, but I have not seen anything indicating extra money to the teams.

            I think that it an optimistic dream to believe that the ACC schools will increase revenues nearly enough to compete with the SEC or B1G.

            In NC and VA want to stay in the ACC, that would work. Clemson, FSU and Miami will leave and then there will be a great basketball league that also happens to play football. (Or maybe just FSU and Miami)

            Like

        3. Little8

          If it was $70M vs. $55M I could see some schools not moving for $15M. However, the estimates the PAC is getting is $25-$30M. Much harder to pass up more than twice the media money. Keep an eye on the PAC and B12 deals as they get announced. Those will be close to what the ACC can expect than SEC or B10 deals.

          Like

    6. Richard

      For sure, if I was in the ACC, I would like to believe that schools in the ACC actually have a shot at winning the national title.

      But the reality is that by some point in the 2030’s, Northwestern will be bringing in more total football revenue than any ACC school. Does anyone seriously believe any program has a realistic shot at the national title if Northwestern is capable of outspending them?

      And yes, at one point in time, the Pac and ACC did make as much money as the B10. Back then, the SEC far and away led everyone else in TV viewership. Then the B10 started the BTN, giving the conference a financial, exposure, and brand/recruiting boost and added UNL and East Coast schools. Even though RU and UMD still draw abysmal viewership to their games, that combination has really boosted the viewership of the top B10 games.

      Here are the list of conference games that got more than 4mm viewers by conference:

      2014 (giving half-credit for split coverage):
      SEC: 20
      B10:8.5
      ACC; 4
      B12: 2.5
      Pac: 2

      2021:
      B10: 14
      SEC: 11
      B12: 3
      Pac: 1
      ACC: 0

      Like

      1. bullet

        There are only 22 schools that have won an AP or coaches national title going all the way back to 1960. BYU in 1984 and Pitt in 1977 were a long time ago. Georgia Tech, 1990 coaches poll, has shown no sign they will repeat and went winless a couple of years later. Beyond those 22, only Oregon and TCU have even finished in the top 3 more than once since 1968 and only 32 total schools have cracked the top 3 even once. If you go back another 8 years and start after 1960, its still only 36 schools to make the top 3 (Navy, Ole Miss, Illinois and Wisconsin get added to the list). There aren’t many schools with a chance to win.

        Like

    1. z33k

      Yeah I want to be clear that I’m not trying to talk down the ACC or anything.

      Just that we’ve sort of learned around here when the important turning points for realignment appear.

      Realignment is all about rare opportunities when schools and conferences can consider different alignments.

      They are rare though and if not taken then a school may not be available again.

      If the ACC schools get to 2036 and sign a new TV deal and GoR, then that might mean a 3 year buyout could rise to $300 million even ignoring the GoR.

      At that point realignment starts to look prohibitive.

      I think if we see ACC schools leave, it has to be in 2036 and announced in 2031-2032.

      Like

  21. HooBurns

    Brian: “I notice you continue to avoid putting any sort of numbers on these things.”

    Yes, that’s right. In candor, I don’t have to offer a number – we both know there’s a number there. It’s up to the ACC to determine from its members what that amount is & find a way to get there.

    Clearly, you think a $35M gap will kill the ACC – and perhaps you’re right. Clearly, you think the ACC’s ability to reduce that gap to $15M is unlikely. Obviously, the right amount (that keeps schools in the ACC) is somewhere in between – and we’ll learn what it is between now and 10 years from now (maybe sooner).

    How to reduce that gap? You kinda shot down every idea that’s been floated, LOL. That’s ok – the ACC has about 10 years to figure it out, by all accounts.

    Cheers!

    Like

    1. Richard

      Sure, the ACC could and should try to “find a way to get there”. Will the ACC succeed? I doubt it. Would FSU, Clemson, and Miami be willing to stay in the ACC at a large permanent financial disadvantage to the big dogs in the SEC and B10 if they have the opportunity to join the SEC/B10?

      Unlike some folks on here who seem to think that those schools would take a slight increase in their chance to make the CFP in return for being permanently disadvantaged in actually competing for the national title, I doubt that very much.

      Like

    2. Brian

      HooBurns,

      Yes, that’s right. In candor, I don’t have to offer a number – we both know there’s a number there. It’s up to the ACC to determine from its members what that amount is & find a way to get there.

      You’re making the argument that it’s reasonable to think the ACC can close the gap enough. That’s pointless if you refuse to estimate what close enough is. You’re the one throwing out this theory. It’s not reasonable to think it’s possible if there is no number attached.

      So pick some number you as an ACC fan thinks is reasonable, then make a case for how the ACC can get there. Or just make a numerical case for how they can close the gap. I haven’t heard or seen anyone suggesting they can get much past $35M, and the B10’s new TV deal will be well over $70M before it ends.

      Clearly, you think a $35M gap will kill the ACC – and perhaps you’re right.

      No, I think certain schools will leave to chase that money. USC and UCLA did when the gap was lower. UMD did. UT and OU did. I think Clemson, FSU and Miami definitely would chase it if offered. I think it highly likely every ACC member would as well, but some might prefer to ignore big time CFB and stay in the ACC instead.

      Clearly, you think the ACC’s ability to reduce that gap to $15M is unlikely.

      Not a single person has some up with a plausible way for the ACC to do that. Not the head of ESPN, not the former head of Fox Sports, not the ACC commissioner, and not a single fan. There are things they can do around the edges that have been estimated as worth a few millions dollars.

      Obviously, the right amount (that keeps schools in the ACC) is somewhere in between – and we’ll learn what it is between now and 10 years from now (maybe sooner).

      No, it’s not obvious. UMD left when the gap was smaller than that, FSU and Clemson were talking about leaving when the gap was smaller than that. I don’t think it’s at all obvious what that number is, and it likely varies from school to school.

      How to reduce that gap? You kinda shot down every idea that’s been floated, LOL. That’s ok – the ACC has about 10 years to figure it out, by all accounts.

      I’ve shot down the unrealistic ones – adding ND, or any school from the B10 or SEC. Nobody anywhere has shown how anything else can gain them tens of millions per school. Adding the P12N content and some western subscribers – a few million. Adding a 9th game – a few million at most. Adding B12 or P12 schools – nothing.
      Bringing the contract to present market value – a few million. Those estimates come from people in the industry, not me. The money just isn’t there.

      If you have a new and different idea, we (and the ACC) would like to hear it.

      Like

  22. Richard

    BTW, I just thought of something:

    Nearly a decade ago, I had put schools in to tiers based off of financial resources, recruiting grounds, and brand:
    Super-kings: OSU, Bama, UGa, UF, LSU, Texas
    Kings: UMich, PSU, ND, OU, Tennessee
    I originally had FSU and USC with the super-kings but demoted them to kings due to their financial capabilities not matching the super-kings. Miami too was just a king due to lack of money.
    And A&M, UCLA, and Auburn were super princes (I should have had Clemson here too).

    But with B10/SEC money, USC and FSU become super-kings and A&M and UCLA (and Clemson) become kings (BTW, if you’re not a super-king, you need a transcendent QB to win the natty, as Auburn had once and Clemson twice).

    So if all the possible national title contenders are in the P2, what would the tiers look like?

    Super-kings: OSU, USC, Bama, UGa, UF, LSU, Texas, FSU
    Kings: UMich, PSU, UCLA, ND, OU, Tennessee, A&M, Clemson, Miami

    The SEC would win the majority of national titles in the P2 world regardless, but if the B10 manages to take ND, FSU, and Miami, and Clemson is frozen out in the cold because the SEC can’t find a non-dilutive partner for Clemson, the tally would be much more balanced:
    B10:
    Super-kings: OSU, USC, FSU
    Kings: UMich, PSU, ND, Miami, UCLA

    SEC:
    Super-kings: Bama, UGa, UF, LSU, Texas
    Kings: OU, Tennessee, A&M

    The B10 may actually win close to half the national titles in the P2 world (maybe 40%), though granted, probably a majority of those would be due to the new additions.

    Like

    1. HooBurns

      “You’re making the argument that it’s reasonable to think the ACC can close the gap enough. That’s pointless if you refuse to estimate what close enough is. You’re the one throwing out this theory.”

      Your hypotheses (and prediction) is that the ACC is absolutely destined to lose members. Notre Dame has had ample opportunity to join the B1G to date, but hasn’t. Virginia turned down an invite a decade ago. So for some schools at least, that invite and promises of great fortune must not be as enticing as thought. Colin M makes another point that there are a host of factors schools consider when it comes to conference realignment – he’s not wrong. Money is powerful but not the only determinant. We can agree to disagree.

      “It’s not reasonable to think it’s possible if there is no number attached.”

      Sure it is. Do you think Jim Delaney knew what the number was when he first thought of standing up the B1G network? Of course not. That final number will come eventually, and we’ll see then what schools decide.

      “Not a single person has come up with a plausible way for the ACC to do that…. There are things they can do around the edges that have been estimated as worth a few millions dollars.”

      You’re right – there is a not a single way to do that… it will take a combination of things. First, to clear up some mis-info: The ACC has yet to get a full year of distribution from Comcast signing up – and that alone is projected at an additional $6M per school. Now let’s assume the ACC can milk $5M each from at least three of the following: sell more content on the ACC Network (ie PAC games), go to a 9th conference game, sign up Amazon Prime or other new carriers, and/or bring the ESPN contract to current market value. That $15M add increases ACC distributions by $21M, dropping the $35M gap to $14M. And with survival on the line, I’d expect the ACC to do all those things and more.

      Brian, you argue good points and usually we’re in violent agreement. But you’ve dug in your heels a bit on what absolutely will and won’t happen to the ACC over the next 10 years. All I’ve said in the end is that the ACC needs to remain close and has 10 years to figure it out. Like with UMD, it’s quite possible there’s nothing the ACC can do or say for someone who really wants to leave – we’ll see on that too.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Notre Dame has had ample opportunity to join the B1G to date, but hasn’t. Virginia turned down an invite a decade ago. So for some schools at least, that invite and promises of great fortune must not be as enticing as thought.

        Yes, when the numbers are close, other factors influence the decision. The only real question is what constitutes “close.”

        Notre Dame is universally understood to be in a category into itself. But their AD conceded recently that there is some number so large that they would be unable to turn it down, though he did not say exactly what it is. When ND last had the opportunity to join the Big Ten, the gap was not very significant, and perhaps was not even a gap at all when all revenue sources are considered.

        I would be very surprised if UVA would make the same decision today, if they were free to choose again. They guessed, and guessed wrong. They are now paying for their mistake.

        All I’ve said in the end is that the ACC needs to remain close and has 10 years to figure it out.

        I am not going to argue too hard about what could happen in a decade. Yes, they have 10 years to figure it out. The GoR is both a blessing and a curse in that regard. Right now, they are massively underpaid, but their members are also unable to get out.

        The trouble is, the financial levers you have identified are available to other conferences too. While the gap should not be as large as it is, it can never be zero and it can never be particularly close. Even if the ACC could tear up every contract today and rewrite it at market value, they would still be way behind.

        And it’s not as if Florida State has a 70-year relationship to the conference: they are in the ACC primarily for convenience, which means they will also leave for convenience. But sure, let’s give them 10 years and see what they do. Due to the Swofford Swindle, they are so screwed up now that any move they make has to be an improvement.

        Like

        1. z33k

          It’s a good point to say that UMD and UVA show that when the differences are close, other things can matter.

          In 2012, UNC was expecting a $20 million difference per year by 2017 between the Big Ten and ACC distributions according to Bubba Cunningham’s emails that got FOIA-ed.

          For UMD given their financial situation, they had to take the leap. Sports had to be cut, they needed financing for their fieldhouse project, etc.

          For UVA, that wasn’t enough of a financial difference back in 2012 to justify leaving their relationships in the ACC despite having a Big Ten invite in hand.

          Would they make the same choice knowing what the projected payout differences would look like in 2022 or 2027 or 2032?

          As you point out, the bigger issue perhaps is what other schools will do. Tobacco Road and those NC/VA relationships may hold those schools together, but Florida State and Miami are not held by those.

          Clemson looks worryingly at UofSC and what their SEC branding does for them.

          FSU looks at UF the same way; they have to be in a comparable position.

          Miami looks at UF and FSU and wants to be on that same tier and will make moves to get there if needed. (Of course there has to be an option for them, but given the Big Ten blowing up geography by going for USC, they can position themselves as the USC of the East Coast).

          The same thing happened with Texas(/OU) and Texas A&M. That SEC branding for A&M was a huge differentiator and not one that Texas/OU could idly sit by and watch when you compare the Big 12 schedules to the SEC schedules.

          Like

      2. vp0819

        UVa is an atypical animal. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, it didn’t admit women as full-time undergrads until 1970 – about the same time Princeton did. For generations, its Old South heritage often made life difficult for black students. And many UVa students and alums not only recognize its uniqueness, but cherish it; I recall seeing a letter to the Cavalier Daily student paper complaining about the creeping presence of “state U-ism” on the Grounds (as Cavs call their campus). Athletically, culturally and educationally, UVa has far closer ties to UNC (a relatively small “public Ivy”) than it ever did to the traditionally more plebeian UMd, a Big Ten-style land-grant state flagship.

        Like

        1. Richard

          “its Old South heritage often made life difficult for black students.”

          For Asian students too. A good friend of mine is a Korean-American who grew up in NoVa and graduated from UVa. When I told him recently about my plan to eventually get a WFH (really work-from-anywhere) job and move to one of VA/GA/MI (for the in-state tuition and easier in-state admissions to UVa/GTech/UMich) as the Ivies/equivalents these days
          1. Cost too much
          2. Are too insanely hard to get in to even for a good student
          He recommended against UVa. Evidently, he did not feel comfortable there.

          Like

      3. Brian

        HooBurns,

        Your hypotheses (and prediction) is that the ACC is absolutely destined to lose members.

        Unless something structural changes the landscape in such a way as to prevent it, yes. I don’t think FSU and Miami have deep ties to the ACC like UVA and UNC do. I don’t think the ACC is guaranteed to fall apart, but losing at least a few members seems very likely.

        Notre Dame has had ample opportunity to join the B1G to date, but hasn’t. Virginia turned down an invite a decade ago. So for some schools at least, that invite and promises of great fortune must not be as enticing as thought.

        I’ve never thought ND was joining the B10, nor will they ever do it. ND will always be independent. They may get pulled into an NFL-lite league, but they wouldn’t join a conference in the traditional sense.

        UVA has options outside the B10, and I’ve never said they would leave the ACC for sure. But FSU has made a lot of noise about looking to leave to chase the money. They were considering the B12, so the SEC (or B10) doesn’t seem like a stretch. Miami doesn’t have deep ties to the ACC either.

        Colin M makes another point that there are a host of factors schools consider when it comes to conference realignment – he’s not wrong. Money is powerful but not the only determinant.

        It’s all about the what’s in the long term best interests of the school. Money is a huge factor, and almost everyone has taken it when offered. Next is probably academics. Is UVA going to say the B10’s academics aren’t good enough for them? I doubt that. The SEC’s? I doubt that, too. Then is probably “fit,” being a small, elite public school.

        It will come down to if UVA feels they need or want the money. If they do, they’ll be fine with the fit in the B10 or SEC. If they don’t, then they can stay in the ACC. They’ve never been nationally competitive in CFB, so if they can stay competitive in MBB that may be enough for them.

        UMD needed/wanted the money, so they left. FSU will want the money, and they’ll leave. UVA and UNC really prefer the ACC, but they may need/want the money at some point.

        Sure it is. Do you think Jim Delaney knew what the number was when he first thought of standing up the B1G network?

        I think he had projections based on certain price points, because he certainly knew how many cable homes were in all the relevant areas. He didn’t just blindly tell the presidents this might work and then commit them to it.

        Your theory to this point amounts to “something will happen.” That’s a wish, not anything reasonable.

        Here you finally get to your theory:

        You’re right – there is a not a single way to do that… it will take a combination of things. First, to clear up some mis-info: The ACC has yet to get a full year of distribution from Comcast signing up – and that alone is projected at an additional $6M per school.

        Correct, but they did get several months of it last year, and as you say people know what to expect it to be. I don’t know about the $6M number, as I’ve seen a range of projections. Here’s one of $3.7M from a Cavs fan:

        https://virginia.sportswar.com/mid/16440564/board/football/

        Something in that “a few million” range seems accurate.

        Now let’s assume the ACC can milk $5M each from at least three of the following: sell more content on the ACC Network (ie PAC games), go to a 9th conference game, sign up Amazon Prime or other new carriers, and/or bring the ESPN contract to current market value.

        This is all I was asking for – a plan with some numbers attached. I don’t see how these ideas are all worth $70M+ each (14 * $5M), but it’s not impossible.

        A 9th game slightly improves the inventory, but it doesn’t add much (if any) inventory. Since ACC games don’t average high viewership, I’m not sure how much more ESPN would pay for this but I think it’s less than $5M per school.

        I also don’t know if the ACC will approve a 9th game. UL, Clemson, GT and FSU all have locked SEC rivals already, so they’d have 10 scheduled games (11 if they play ND). To get 7 home games, they could only play buy games – will they agree to that? Will the other 10 force them to do it?

        ESPN owns all of the ACC’s rights as far as I know. ESPN could sub-contract to Amazon or others, but the ACC has nothing left to sell them.

        I don’t know why ESPN would feel inclined to unilaterally increase the contract, but they could. Nobody knows exactly what that would be worth, though we’ll find out soon as the P12 and B12 get new deals. The ACC should be a little more valuable than either of them with Clemson, FSU and Miami on board. The projected numbers are around $35-40M, which isn’t all that far from the current ACC deal.

        Here’s a great story on the topic from a NC station. It includes some wonderful graphs to track the past and compare conferences:
        https://www.wral.com/the-acc-s-future-is-uncertain-the-money-tells-you-why/20413637/

        From the article:
        In the weeks since the Big Ten announced its expansion, there have been reports of a possible ACC partnership with the remnants of the Pac-12 to generate additional revenue. ESPN will not have any part of the Big Ten’s soon-to-be-announced next agreement, the Associated Press reported. That could free up better game times for the ACC and, for the dreamers, more money. It would behoove ESPN, the thinking goes, to keep the ACC together and successful.

        “If I’m sitting in that chair today and I know I have an agreement that allows for stability and also a revenue stream that is consistent, I don’t know that I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I now need to change this.’ Because a contract is a contract,” Garson said. “I would certainly be willing to work with the conference on how to better monetize rights if there are certain areas that aren’t making as much money as they could on behalf of both the conference and the network.”

        But each year moves the ACC closer to the end of its grant of rights agreement and each year may bring a larger revenue gap, changing the calculus for schools.

        Back to you:
        That $15M add increases ACC distributions by $21M, dropping the $35M gap to $14M. And with survival on the line, I’d expect the ACC to do all those things and more.

        Of course, we don’t have true final B10 or SEC numbers yet. Nor do we know how the CFP will split revenue. We’ll need to see how things actually play out. A lot of things are still projections right now. I’d like to think the ACC will try to do whatever they can, and I hope it works.

        Speaking of projections, this is Navigate’s projection from before USC and UCLA agreed to join the B10:
        https://nvgt.com/blog/p5-payout-estimates-12-team-cfp-expansion/

        They had the ACC $39.6M behind the B10 and $56.3M behind the SEC by 2029. Even if the ACC closes that gap by $25M, they would be $30M behind the SEC (which matters to FSU and Clemson).

        All I’ve said in the end is that the ACC needs to remain close and has 10 years to figure it out. Like with UMD, it’s quite possible there’s nothing the ACC can do or say for someone who really wants to leave – we’ll see on that too.

        All I wanted was for you to put some sort of numbers to “close” and how they might get there, which you finally did here. Now it’s something people can discuss rationally. We don’t have to agree on what will happen – reality will prove us both wrong in various ways most likely.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Assuming that UVa and UNC even are given a choice to leave for the SEC/B10 or not. To be sure, the SEC may add UNC&UVa for academic prestige, basketball, and to recreate the Confederacy while the B10 may add UNC&UVa for demographics/recruiting and academic prestige, but they both would be dilutive to both the B10 and SEC.

          And dilutive schools are added only in special circumstances. Mizzou because adding A&M was more than enough to pay for an even-number school. RU & UMD possibly dilutive but the B10 felt an urgency to protect it’s Eastern flank, keep PSU happy, and sure, for demographics/recruiting too.

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          1. Marc

            RU & UMD possibly dilutive but the B10 felt an urgency to protect it’s Eastern flank, keep PSU happy, and sure, for demographics/recruiting too.

            RU & MD have not turned out to be dilutive. I would love to know what the projections were.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Yeah, in the case of RU and UMD, its really hard to say. When they were brought in, their BTN subscriptions paid for themselves but the significance of that revenue stream is fading over time. And those teams themselves do not draw viewers. On the other hand, the B10 definitely has seen an increase of viewers for its biggest games since they joined so arguably they increased the pool of casual (East Coast) fans who now pay (more) attention to big B10 games.

            Like

          3. Jersey Bernie

            In addition, RU and UMD allowed the B1G to be a coast to coast conference with NYC to Chicago to LA. That is unique in college football and cannot be repeated, as there are on other teams in NYC or LA. Whatever viewers RU or UMD individually draw, the B1G now goes from NY and DC to LA.

            Speaking of LA, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said
            “The addition of those two schools really cemented the national footprint of the Big 10 coast to coast. There’s going to be plenty of really good games to go around.”

            Would CBS and NBC be in this new contract without the coast to coast footprint?

            And if ND is relevant, this is also interesting.

            Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said in 2020: “I still believe that the opportunity to play in New York regularly, the opportunity to play on the West Coast every year. No school has ever played in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York in the same year; we’ve now done it nine times. That’s what independence gives us, it gives us that opportunity. ”

            I guess that the independence to play in LA, Chicago, and NY now includes all B1G teams.

            Like

          4. Richard

            Bernie, that’s fair.

            IMO, CBS and NBC would still have paid a ton of money to the B10, but yes, being able to almost replicate ND’s national coverage (not quite yet; still have to add FL/SE schools) and being in the 3 biggest media markets*–the very biggest on each coast and also the heartland–is also a plus.

            *Actually, the B10 is now in the top 4 media markets. If FSU, Miami, Stanford, and GTech are added in the next phase (with ND playing 8 games vs the B10), the B10 would be in 8 of the top 11 (and 11 of the top 16 and 13 of the top 19) media markets.

            Like

      4. Little8

        The PAC was in denial after TX/OK announced the SEC move. They thought their geography would protect them. It did not go well. The basic problem is that each pair was generating about 250% of a conference distribution. The SEC and B10 captured that excess revenue and in the process decapitated those conferences. It will be hard to prevent the same from happening to the ACC. The top schools just have fewer mouths to feed in the B10/SEC. That will not change if the ACC gets a market level media deal.

        At least the ACC has 10+ years to prepare for life after the loss. Unlike some on this board, I doubt that the SEC/B10 will find more than 3-5 ACC schools worthy of an invite by 2032. As long as 9 or more members are left why would anyone want to go to the B12 for the same money?

        What can be done (not much)
        >> Initiate uneven revenue sharing to minimize the difference between value and payout for top schools. However, this brings its own problems. If the top schools are truly paid what they are worth that just brings in the lower revenue for the other schools by 10+ years.
        >> Hope that Clemson has a bad decade and does not get an invite
        >> Hope the NC BoR says it is both (UNC+NCSU) or none
        >> Hope Miami has another down decade and does not get an invite
        >> When ACC AAU presidents talk to B10 presidents tell them how fortunate they are that they do not have to play low lives like Louisville and FSU, just to make that connection. Not likely to work, but worth a try.
        >> Extend the GOR (good luck with that). An attempt will identify the schools that might leave; however, the ACC office already knows who they are.
        >> Plan for a post realignment Notre Dame deal. Should be able to get 2-3 football games to provide ND with an alternative to the B10.

        I agree that FSU may consider how easy the path to the playoffs will be, but only if they have multiple invites (SEC or B10).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Richard

          I’m pretty certain FSU is gone. Just a question of who goes with them. SEC would add Clemson with FSU. The B10 Miami with FSU (and possibly some combo of Stanford/GTech depending on arrangement with ND).

          Like

        2. Richard

          IMO, the only way the ACC can prepare for a life after the raid is trying to add some combo of UCF, WVU, Cincy, USF (and possibly Memphis?). If the money is equal, those schools likely would prefer to be in a more academically elite East Coast league, Louisville would finally have some neighbors again, and for the ACC, visiting FL is pretty important.

          Like

          1. Richard

            And the Backyard Brawl would be an annual occurrence again!

            The battle for the Keg of Nail!

            The War on I-4!

            It would be awesome.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Hmm. The path dependence of conference realignment has/will leave Pitt/WVU, Louisville/Cincy, UCF/USF (heck, even Pitt/Cincy) in similar tier conferences earning similar amounts of money yet unable to play rivals annually in a game that have conference ramifications.

            And that’s a darn shame.

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          3. Richard

            Also, it made me realize that when the ACC adds USF (which they likely will after losing their FL schools), every single Old BE member that played football except UConn and Temple will be back in a power conference (though RU and likely Miami will be the only ones to escape to a P2 conference).

            Like

          4. HooBurns

            Richard: “Also, it made me realize that when the ACC adds USF (which they likely will after losing their FL schools)”

            LOL, best laugh I’ve had all day! Not going to happen but thanks for the chuckle

            Like

          5. Richard

            I understand. Laughter is a common reaction of despair.

            But! Despite what Marc said about the B12 exit fee, the ACC may yet be able to eventually add WVU, UCF, and Cincy. Do not despair!

            Like

          6. HooBurns

            Richard, the laughter comes from your prediction that the ACC will expand to include S FL. There’s no despair there, just humor from seeing an absurd statement on the face of it (respectfully).

            Neither FSU nor Miami will go to the SEC – both b/c it makes no financial sense and b/c UF will veto the move. There are no reports (none!) that Miami’s phones are ringing off the hook from B1G presidents desperate to see them join. But if you want to believe both those schools are destined for the B1G, more power to you. If you want to believe the ACC will take S FL 10 years from now, then may your skies remain purple or whatever color they are LOL.

            On your notes about WV and Cincinnati, who knows? You could be right on those one day.

            Like

          7. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Hoo – let’s assume that the football schools (FSU, Clemson & Miami) leave at the expiration of the GoR, who does the ACC add?

            While not up to the ACC’s academic standards, I would think Cincy, West Virginia, and UCF or USF are the only realistic choices. The ACC has already crossed the academic Rubicon with Louisville. Do they just take West Virginia and hold at 12? Or do they also add Cincy and either UCF or USF? I would think any Eastern time zone B12 school would jump ship to get in the ACC, if they can afford to do so.

            A future ACC with VA/NC schools as its anchor is a great basketball conference, fills out the ESPN2 windows for football, and remains viable as the best football conference among the middle three.

            Like

          8. Marc

            There are no reports (none!) that Miami’s phones are ringing off the hook from B1G presidents desperate to see them join.

            Where were the reports that UCLA’s phones were ringing off the hook?

            Like

          9. Brian

            HooBurns,

            Neither FSU nor Miami will go to the SEC – both b/c it makes no financial sense and b/c UF will veto the move.

            Doesn’t make financial sense for the SEC you mean? Brands = viewers. The SEC doesn’t need to sell more SECN subscriptions as much as they want even more big brand games. ESPN’s Magnus stated the importance of rivalries (FSU/UF) to them.

            Reports say UF wanted to invite FSU before, and was told by Slive to wait. If FSU joins, then UF plays them as a conference game and frees up an OOC slot for scheduling.

            There are no reports (none!) that Miami’s phones are ringing off the hook from B1G presidents desperate to see them join.

            McMurphy and Dodds both reported interest from the B10 in Miami, so the B10 has probably at least kicked the tires.

            Like

        3. Little 8: “I doubt that the SEC/B10 will find more than 3-5 ACC schools worthy of an invite by 2032.”

          I doubt that the SEC/B10 will find even one ACC school worthy of an invite by 2032. Clemson, FSU and Miami are not AAU, FL/GA/SC are already within the SEC footprint, either the SEC or Big Ten adding Clemson, FSU or Miami will dilute their TV revenue and will also dilute their chances of current members getting an at-large berth in the CFP.

          Plus Clemson, FSU and Miami will be walking away from a high-probability automatic conference champ bid to a low-probability at-large bid in either the SEC or Big Ten.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Erm, no. FSU is definitely additive. Clemson and Miami probably too.

            It’s amazing how you can sound so sure about stuff you’re clearly ignorant about, Colin.

            Like

          2. Little8

            If all ACC schools are unattractive to the SEC and/B10 that is probably the only way to keep from losing members. However, it comes with a catch: the media companies will also find the ACC less attractive. The ACC may get slightly higher bids than the PAC and B12, but still be in the same neighborhood.

            With NIL, pay for play, and the transfer portal it will get harder for the ACC schools to recruit and retain star players against SEC/B10 schools so the ACC schools may not be as attractive in 2032 as they are today. However, it is still likely that at least a couple of ACC schools get invites.

            ADs and coaches may prefer easier access to the playoffs. The president is likely to take the higher annual payout. Both GT and FSU let former coaches lead conference membership, but neither decision turned out well.

            Like

    2. Marc

      I recall that post nearly a decade ago. I believe you even attached a statistical probability to how often a team “should” win a national championship, based on its position in the hierarchy.

      I had some skepticism about Georgia and still do. They are the reigning national champions as of today, but it took them 41 years since their last one. In those four decades, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Penn State, each have more than one. (Going by the AP list.)

      So, based purely upon empirical results, Georgia has performed more like a King than a Super-King. Maybe they will start churning out NCs at the rate they are supposed to. Historically, they have not.

      Like

      1. Richard

        There’s always overperformance and underperformance relative to your resources.
        I’d say that in the Playoff era, Bama (under Saban) has overperformed and Texas (and UF) have underperformed. UGa, LSU, OSU are around par, having won a CFP national title apiece.

        Note that not a single regular king has won a CFP national title yet (only super-prince Clemson, both times with transcendent QBs; in the BCS era, that was also true; super-prince Auburn won the natty with a transcendent QB and of the old-line traditional kings with relatively poorer local recruiting grounds, only OU and Tennessee won it early in the BCS era over 3 decades ago now).

        UGa definitely is a super-king in the current era even if they (and LSU, heck, even UF) weren’t decades ago.

        Like

        1. Richard

          BTW, I know you really like to think UGa and UMich are on the same tier (just like Brian really really wanted to think that UMich was as competitive as OSU a decade ago; I believe the past decade has vindicated me and showed how flawed his thinking is), but take a look at my latest post (below).

          There are a few over/underperformers (Texas an underperforming super-king; OU an overperforming king), but I believe the Athletic shows my tiers are pretty spot-on. If anything, the superkings have been pulling away from everyone else (though money mattering more would help the traditional kings in the B10/SEC).

          Like

          1. Brian

            MI is still a peer of OSU and likely always will be. Success goes in cycles, and MI suffered through some coaching problems (EX. RichRod) in the recent past, but OSU suffered through it before that (Cooper). MI beat OSU thoroughly just last year – it’s an odd time to claim they aren’t competitive with OSU. Many of OSU’s recent wins over MI havc been close.

            OSU is overperforming now, and it won’t maintain that forever.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Brian, I know you really want to believe that (even though, even with the most current UMich victory, OSU has won 15 of the last 17 games in the series; I can’t think of another rivalry that lopsided).

            Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I do believe that the gap between the traditional kings and super-kings in the B10/SEC (who differ really only in the richness of their local recruiting grounds) will close in the era of NIL and super-bountiful B10/SEC money (recruits will say “show me the money!” instead of “show me who’s closer to home”.

            Like

          3. Brian

            It’s only 14* out of 17 thanks to the NCAA. But it was 9.5 out of the previous 28, so 23.5* out of 45. The rivalry goes in big streaks, but overall is quite balanced.

            Rivalry streaks are not uncommon.

            OU has won 10 of the past 13 vs UT
            AL has won 15 straight vs TN
            AL has won 10 of the past 14 vs AU
            AL has won 10 of the past 11 vs LSU

            Like

          4. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – to be fair Saban at Alabama hasn’t lost many games.

            Here’s a list of all his losses while at Alabama.

            5 – Auburn
            4 – LSU
            2 – Clemson, Ole Miss, A&M, and Georgia
            1 – Florida State, Miss State, ULM, Florida, Utah, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Ohio State.

            Regarding the LSU/Alabama “rivalry”, the Tigers and the Tide have played every year since 1964. LSU didn’t perform very well against the Bear, but nobody did. LSU hasn’t performed well against Saban, but nobody else has either. But from the Bear’s last season (1982) through Saban’s first season (2007), LSU was 13-12 against Alabama.

            Ask anybody from Louisiana or Alabama is the LSU/Bama isn’t a rivalry.

            Like

          5. Richard

            Alan, my understanding is that LSU considers Bama their top rival but Bama considers Auburn and Tennessee to be more traditional rivals than LSU.

            I understand as I rank Iowa as NU’s top rival (UNL in the battle of NU’s is also a keen one while some Wildcats consider Wisconsin a top rival but while I enjoy causing the Badger faithful heartbreak, they’re not a traditional rival; UIUC is somewhere below there), but the Hawks probably have NU 4th on their rivals list (even though we have a winning record against them over the last 5, 15, and 25 meetings; NU and Iowa have battled every year but 2 since 1971).

            Like

          6. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – you are correct that UTk and Auburn are Alabama’s more traditional rivals. LSU’s top rival fluctuates as to who the Tigers need to beat to win the SEC. For much of the post-Bear/pre-Saban years, it was Auburn and Florida. The most historical hate is reserved for Ole Miss. Ole Miss really hates LSU, but they hate Miss State more. The SEC tried to make Arkansas LSU’s rival and while Arkansas really hates LSU, LSU doesn’t really reciprocate the hate. The A&M/LSU games are getting a little feisty.

            It will be interesting to see what the SEC does with the nine game schedule and three annual games. I would assume LSU gets Alabama, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Will they keep they keep the LSU/A&M on rivalry weekend or will UTx play A&M on Thanksgiving weekend? If that happens, LSU may get Arkansas instead of Alabama, with the Tigers and the piggies playing, and Oklahoma and Mizzou matching up for Thanksgiving weekend.

            I think the nine game schedule is a given at this point, if for no other reason than to play catch up with the B1G in TV revenue. It will be very interesting to see how the 3-team annuals work out.

            Like

          7. Richard

            Alan, I would think the SEC still keeps UF-LSU as an annual game. They probably want to match up the conference powers as often as possible (like the B10 did) for TV ratings (it also makes it a little more even for the SEC programs with fewer resources).

            So I would think:

            UGa: UF, Auburn, SC
            UF: UGa, LSU, Auburn
            Auburn: Bama, UF, UGa
            Bama: Auburn, Tenn, LSU
            LSU: A&M, Bama, UF
            A&M: Texas, OU, LSU
            Texas: OU, A&M, Arkansas
            OU: Texas, A&M, Mizzou
            Tenn: UK, Vandy, Bama
            UK: Mizzou, SC, Tenn
            Mizzou: OU, UArk, UK
            SC: UGa, UK, Ole Miss/MSSt.
            Vandy: Tenn, Ole Miss, MSSt.
            UArk: Texas, Mizzou, Ole Miss/MSSt.
            Ole Miss: MSSt., Vandy, SC/UArk
            MSSt.: Ole Miss, Vandy, SC/UArk

            The top 9 SEC powers all tied to each other except for
            UGa-SC (UGa is the only SEC school SC is adjacent to)
            Texas-Arkansas (long history and rivalry in the same conference together)
            OU-Mizzou (long history in the same conferences together)
            Tenn-Vandy (rivalry game even if lopsided)
            Tenn-UK (rivalry game)

            I think it’s fair as Tenn is barely a SEC power any more.

            Like

          8. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – the SEC scheduling discussion has centered around the first tier playing two other first tier schools and one second tier school. Under the 3-6-6 format, one school would still playing all non-annual schools every other year or twice every four years.

            I can see LSU playing Alabama every year and I can see LSU playing Florida every year, but not both along with A&M.

            For LSU, Ole Miss and A&M are a must, with either Florida or Alabama.

            Here’s what I’ve come up with:

            TIER 1 schools:
            Alabama – Auburn, Oklahoma, Tennessee
            Auburn – Alabama, Georgia, Vandy
            Florida – Georgia, LSU, Kentucky
            Georgia – Florida, Auburn, South Carolina
            LSU – Texas A&M, Florida, Ole Miss
            Oklahoma – Texas, Alabama, Mizzou
            Texas – Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas
            Texas A&M – LSU, Texas, Miss State

            TIER 2 schools:
            Arkansas – Mizzou, Miss State, Texas
            Kentucky – South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida
            Mizzou – Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma
            Miss State – Ole Miss, Arkansas, Texas A&M
            Ole Miss – Miss State, Vandy, LSU
            South Carolina – Kentucky, Mizzou, Georgia
            Tennessee – Vandy, Kentucky, Alabama
            Vandy – Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn

            A couple are a little clunky (Vandy/Auburn and Alabama/Oklahoma) but it preserves the Tier 1-2/1, and the Tier 2-2/1 split. If it’s more important for LSU to play Alabama then you can swap Oklahoma out and OU can play Florida annually. I like that either way Oklahoma gets a traditional (original) SEC power. I don’t like that Texas doesn’t, but it just works out for them to keep Texas with OU ( a requirement), A&M (a no-brainer) and Arkansas (traditional SWC rival). maybe after eight or twelve years, they move a few games around.

            Like

          9. Little8

            The problem with locking Texas against a traditional SEC team is they have not played them often. LSU is the highest at 16; all others are 10 or less with many games from the distance past. That compares to 73 for Arkansas and 100+ for A&M and Oklahoma.

            Like

        1. Richard

          CFB always features some crazy games (ask Northwestern fans), but when you’re a national power, the whole country sees them. And LSU has been involved in some insane ones:
          –The 10 trillion overtimes game with A&M
          –The shoe game with UF
          –And now this wacktastic one with FSU.

          Like

          1. bullet

            They had their 2 triple OT losses in 2007 (to UK and Arkansas) while ranked #1.
            And yet they still ended in the BCS title game!

            Like

          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Or the Auburn Earthquake game in 88. Or the 4 for 4 on 4th down against Florida in 07. I could go on and on.

            Being a Tiger fan is never dull.

            Like

      1. Alan from Baton Rouge

        Yes – very tough to watch. Kelly inherited a mess with only about 40 scholarship players and put a team together with duct tape and transfers. LSU will be a work in progress this year. Losing the best defensive lineman for the season will only make matters more difficult. But – long term – the Tigers are in much better hands and will be contenders again very soon.

        On to topics more related to this board. My thoroughly unscientific survey of Florida State fans yesterday on conference realignment:
        Move to the SEC ASAP – 75%
        Hope things work out for the ACC, if not move to the SEC -25%
        Move to the B1G – 0%

        Frank – I know we are supposed to think like a college president, but the UTx & OU move taught us to also think like boosters, recruits & fans as well. UCLA & USC’s move to the B1G was like revenge of the college presidents and fans and student athletes be damned.

        Florida State is much closer to OU & UTx than they are USC & UCLA. College boards consist of political appointees. If FSU had a choice between the SEC & the B1G, they would choose the SEC 99 times out of 100. And the one time they chose the B1G, the president and AD would be fired and then they would join the SEC.

        The Magnus podcast interview told us what Disney values: Rivalries and compelling games. If that’s what matters in this and the next round of realignment, if the ACC suffers defections, Clemson and Florida State and most likely Miami go to the SEC.

        Clemson’s main rival is South Carolina and they love to play UGA a lot. Florida State’s is Florida and they have history with many SEC schools. Miami’s are Florida State and Florida. Imagine what that would do for season ticket sales, if Miami had one of Florida State and Florida ever year on their home schedule?

        The SEC has the high ground in the South.

        Like

        1. vp0819

          I can see FSU or Miami joining the SEC, but not both; too much conference competition for Gainesville. Miami’s private nature and more national student population make it more of a Big Ten target, assuming academics progress.

          Like

        2. Richard

          Yep, not to mention that the SEC would need to find a suitable pair to bring in with Miami.

          Honestly, that would be tough for the B10 too. Possible that only extracting ND’s surplus value would make that work.

          As for FSU to the SEC, yep, FSU is a lot like Texas. Though it may come down to dollars.

          Like

          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – If the SEC could land FSU, Clemson and Miami as new members, any other school would be a suitable fourth. Assuming the NC/VA schools all stay in the ACC, Kansas, OK State, Texas Tech or TCU would work. I doubt the SEC would ever take GA Tech back. Personally, I’d take Kansas. The Jayhawks give Mizzou a rival, they give the conference another basketball blueblood, and – most importantly- everybody could use a sure win on their schedule with one emperor (Alabama-6 NCs), five Kings (LSU -3, Oklahoma-1, Texas-1, Georgia-1 & Clemson-2), four former Kings, now Barons (Florida-2, Tennessee-1, Florida State-2 & Miami-1) and a Baron with a BCS title in Auburn. That’s 21 BCS/CFP titles out of 24.

            I know some people are using super-kings and super-princes, but I prefer Mandel’s rankings and terminology.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Alan, arguably, but just like the B10 was willing to pass up the Bay Area schools, UW, and UO when they could simply take the LA pair by itself, If the SEC can land FSU and Clemson, I don’t see why they would then try to add Miami and a dilutive 4th school.

            Even for the B10 (with more pressing demographic/recruiting reasons to add Miami), to add Miami would require somehow capturing a decent amount of ND’s surplus value (either as a full member or a scheduling arrangement to pay for a partner with Miami like Stanford).

            Like

          3. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – you may be right, the SEC may not want Miami in that scenario. My point is that if Miami has the choice to play FSU & UF every year in the SEC, they take it. Having one of those two at home every year will really help season ticket sales and donations, which are still very important for athletic department budgets.

            I do think that Miami in the B1G is by far the most workable situation for the B1G with regard to any southern ACC team. Florida is really three states: Redneck Riviera, I-4 corridor, and Miami. Miami is certainly the most easy to separate from the other two.

            Like

  23. z33k

    I will say, the discussions that we have come from all viewpoints which is why I find so much of this informative to my own thinking.

    It’s good that views get challenged from all sides; it really lets us focus on where things will go next.

    Frank has driven the discussion for more than a decade getting us all to think like college presidents (and a bit more recently like TV execs) and much less like fans.

    We have arguments from the SEC viewpoints coming from folks like Alan and bullet.

    We have Hooburns arguing the ACC viewpoint; I don’t think vp19 was ever on that side of things as our UMD guy, always was on the UMD->Big Ten train well before that happened.

    We have a Big Ten traditionalist-realist in Brian who wants to halt and roll back the past 20 years but acknowledges the realities of what is driving the changes and how things will continue to change.

    You have traditional expansionists like me, Marc, and many others arguing for expansion where financially appropriate or for efficient expansion in a sense.

    You have super expansionists like Richard, vp19, and others arguing for an AAU superconference.

    All of that when you combine it, is why I think we’ve managed to get to a point where we can see these things coming. 12-15 years ago, we were sort of just throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck. Now, with the past 10-12 years as evidence and seeing what the timelines look like, you can see the endgame appearing here.

    And given that most of us expect a potentially “final” major round of realignment in the early 2030s, we still have another decade to go (even though things will slow down until the next Big Ten deal is announced in 2029).

    Like

  24. Jersey Bernie

    Norvell really is trying to lose his job. After the fiasco at Jacksonville State last year, one would hope for more this year. If LSU had come back and won the game last night, the biggest story would now be the pitch by FSU that was fumbled and gave LSU life.

    Nutso call that almost resulted in disaster.

    Like

    1. Richard

      It’s amazing what a win can do, though. Now the focus will solely be on LSU’s pathetic edge blocking on special teams while Norvell and his team will be hailed for their toughness, grit, and never-give-up attitude.

      Like

      1. bullet

        I didn’t see the blocked FG, but I remember thinking as I saw the XP live, that the kicker was moving real slow to the ball. I haven’t studied kicking, but I think he waited until the ball was set, while most kickers start earlier. And he just seemed to move slow, both live and as I replayed it. ECU, LSU and UT all have serious kicking game problems. ECU missed an XP and FG and lost by 1. UT had a botched short FG and a botched punt.

        I think a lot of coaches neglect recruitment of kickers, especially punters. Seems like a big blunder.

        Like

        1. Richard

          It’s a bit crazy. Maybe because it’s such an esoteric skill (in the world of football) that is outside their wheelhouse. But the kicking game definitely has an effect on wins and losses.

          Like

  25. Richard

    Nice data from the Athletic showing how often teams would have made a 12-team playoff if it had been in place since the start of the BCS era (24 seasons; using the BCS rankings for playoff determination during the BCS era):
    https://theathletic.com/3565760/2022/09/05/college-football-playoff-12-teams-bcs/

    Only 3 schools would have made the CFP a majority of the time: OSU, OU, and Bama (barely; hard to remember now but the Tide weren’t very good in the early part of the BCS era). UF would have made it exactly half the time.

    5 of the 6 super-kings (OSU, Bama, UF, UGa, and LSU) have the most CFP appearances. To no one’s surprise, Texas is the super-king that underperforms. OU the only regular king that overperforms.

    Next come the tweeners FSU and USC (they’re between super-kings and kings solely because of money but would firmly be super-kings in the B10/SEC) as well as overperforming non-king UO and regular king ND.

    What this data shows is that most of the regular kings besides OU and ND (UMich, PSU, Tennessee, Miami) and even super-princes Clemson and Auburn aren’t all that special, being only as successful as many non-kings. A&M (and UCLA) too, though granted, A&M really should only be regarded as a super-prince in the SEC (same with UCLA in the B10).

    Like

    1. bullet

      I don’t have a subscription, but what you are saying doesn’t make sense. I show Auburn would have made the 6+6 six times since the start of the BCS era. A&M only 3 times. UCLA would only have made it in 1998.

      But including Georgia and LSU as super-kings, but leaving out Michigan and USC sounds like a pretty weak analysis, with way too much recency bias. And Notre Dame as a “regular” king????? Is the guy who did this 15? His metrics make no sense if those are the results he got. He needs to throw it out and start from scratch.

      Like

    2. Marc

      It begs the question of what exactly is meant by a “king”. I think everyone familiar with the term would know that Michigan has not performed like a king on the field. They are a king in other metrics like attendance, revenue, and TV ratings.

      Now, you could ask whether it is chronic underperformance (like Texas) or whether Michigan really is not on the same level as the others. I am not suggesting an answer.

      Like

      1. z33k

        The difficult thing with Michigan is recruiting.

        Only Ohio State is recruiting at the level required to win national championships outside of the South right now.

        Most believe USC can get there.

        ND and Michigan are the two that are harder to judge.

        Theoretically as “pay for play” becomes used in recruiting in some fashion, they should be able to up their recruiting given only a handful of schools have their resources levels.

        Question is whether and when that happens.

        So much of this comes down to whether the schools can get the talent needed to be #1.

        Like

          1. z33k

            Yeah, it comes down to a whole bunch of factors coming together.

            LSU and Auburn are good examples of where things can just come together for a specific year or two and then unravel.

            Everything came together for Dabo/Clemson for a couple years as they made their run.

            Alabama’s been at peak form for seemingly ever but Ohio State’s also been in the top 4 regularly as well.

            Just feels like we have to see where things go with the expanded playoff and whether that plays a role in where recruits go (and then of course the eventual pay for play discussions underway using potentially conference distributions to pay players).

            Like

          2. Richard

            Yeah, UMich and PSU do have a shot at the natty. I mean, I did say they were kings, not peons. They just aren’t super-kings. To win the natty, those schools pretty much need a transcendent QB with the talent level that they have.

            It’s possible 1 or both of them have one on their roster now.

            Like

          3. bullet

            We KNOW the 4 team playoff has had an impact on where recruits go. Year before last, Alabama got 4 of the top 11 in Texas, Ohio St. got 1 and Clemson got 1. Ohio St. got 2 of the top 5 in the state of Washington. The regulars have had a huge advantage in recruiting around the country, not just in their own region. Commissioners and ADs have commented they didn’t know how much of an impact being in and being out would have.

            Like

      2. bullet

        Notre Dame is #4 all time in win % (Boise is #3). Michigan is #5. Texas is #7. USC is #8. Michigan is not a “chronic” underperformer. They have simply been on a downcycle like Alabama was before Saban and Oklahoma was in the 90s.

        BTW Georgia is #13 and LSU #14.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Bullet, while I appreciate college football history, I don’t believe ND and UMich’s legendary exploits in the leather helmet era (or even pre-BCS era) will impress recruits much these days.

          Like

        2. Marc

          Michigan has one AP national title in the past 74 seasons. That’s a bit long to be considered a downcycle. It is true that Alabama went through a trough before Saban got there, but that big of a trough.

          Like

          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Marc – in the 25 year period between the Bear and Saban, Alabama did manage to win three SEC titles and on natty.

            Like

          2. bullet

            Going back to 1968, Ohio St. has won or shared 27 Big 10 titles. Michigan has 22. That’s not underperforming. MNCs depend a lot on luck. That’s not a measure of “underperformance.” Michigan was 23rd in win % in the last decade, but ND was 21 and USC 24. They were 22nd in the 2000s, but that was ahead of Penn St. and FSU. They were 7th in the 90s when they won their most recent MNC.

            Like

          3. Brian

            But they did win 25 B10 titles, and were in the AP top 5 heading into the Rose Bowl 12 times. They were close to multiple titles along the way. And who knows what they might’ve done if they didn’t have OSU in their way so often, especially before the B10 allowed multiple bowls. 1997 worked out, and 2006 was close. Then RichRod happened. Now Harbaugh has them competitive again.

            MI’s problem was that Bo was the king of 10-2 seasons. He was too good to ever fire, but couldn’t quite get over the hump. His success in the 10 Year War gave him job security and got his former assistants hired.

            1-tie team:
            1973*

            1-loss MI teams:
            1970**, 1971***, 1972**, 1974**

            * – no bowl due to tie with OSU and losing B10 AD vote
            ** – no bowl due to loss to OSU
            *** – only loss was the Rose Bowl

            Like

          4. Richard

            Bullet, I know you love your college football history, but again (and even though I’m actually bullish on the Wolverines in the near future), all that history means about zippo to 17 year-olds being recruited when UMich has won the B10 once in their lifetime.

            Like

          5. Marc

            Marc – in the 25 year period between the Bear and Saban, Alabama did manage to win three SEC titles and on natty.

            My post was garbled—I was trying to explain why the Bear–Saban interregnum is not comparable to Michigan’s most recent period. People say Alabama had down years, and that is true by their standards. Still, most teams would love to have down years that include three SEC titles and a natty.

            Like

          6. Marc

            Going back to 1968, Ohio St. has won or shared 27 Big 10 titles. Michigan has 22. That’s not underperforming.

            How much of that history is too remote to be considered predictive anymore? That is a sincere question. I mean, no one seems to think Nebraska is a king today, even though since 1968 they have as many AP national titles as Michigan and Ohio State combined.

            My feeling is that Ohio State now has structural advantages that put them in a different category than the rest of the Big Ten. That was not true in 1968, but seems true today. That doesn’t mean Ohio State cannot lose occasionally, but they have an ability to recover from it that currently no one else has.

            Like

          7. Richard

            Yep, I agree with Marc here: OSU has structural advantages that give them a leg up on PSU and UMich (same structural advantages that UGa/Bama/UF/LSU all have over Tenn). It also helps that they currently have a coaching staff with a reputation that attracts top receiving talent and QB talent.

            But!
            I expect UMich/PSU to be able to close the gap a bit more in a world where money matters more (if UMich can stop lying to itself about using money to put together a championship team). I’m actually the most bullish I’ve been about UMich in decades.

            Like

          8. Brian

            Marc,

            Going back to 1968, Ohio St. has won or shared 27 Big 10 titles. Michigan has 22. That’s not underperforming.

            How much of that history is too remote to be considered predictive anymore? That is a sincere question. I mean, no one seems to think Nebraska is a king today, even though since 1968 they have as many AP national titles as Michigan and Ohio State combined.

            MI is #2 in B10 W% and #12 in overall W% since 1993.
            MI is #3 in B10 W% and #15 (#11 among P5) in overall W% since 2011.
            NE is below 0.500 in the B10.

            NE may just be in their RichRod phase now, but MI recovered from that and hasn’t been that bad. If NE got back to where Pelini had them , they’d be talked about more favorably.

            My feeling is that Ohio State now has structural advantages that put them in a different category than the rest of the Big Ten. That was not true in 1968, but seems true today. That doesn’t mean Ohio State cannot lose occasionally, but they have an ability to recover from it that currently no one else has.

            MI self-imposes many of the advantages OSU has over them. Harbaugh doesn’t recruit OH very hard, so MSU does instead. Harbaugh has been late to NIL. MI could be more focused on CFB, but they choose not to be. MI has always been able to recruit nationally. If QB guru Harbaugh could consistently develop good QBs, MI would be really good again.

            Like

        3. bullet

          Alabama 1997-2007 (Saban’s first year)
          7-6 (2-6 after forfeits), 6-7 (0-7 after forfeits), 10-2 (0-2 after forfeits), 6-6, 4-9, 10-3, 7-5, 3-8, 10-3, 7-5, 4-7. That’s 74-61, but 53-61 officially. That isn’t making anyone jealous.

          Like

          1. bullet

            Michigan last 11 years;
            12-2, 2-4, 9-4, 10-3, 8-5, 10-3, 10-3, 5-7, 7-6, 8-5, 11-2 for a total of 92-49. Far superior to Alabama’s pre-Saban even without Alabama’s forfeits.

            Are you sure you just aren’t trolling Michigan fans?

            Like

  26. Richard

    Bullet:
    “I show Auburn would have made the 6+6 six times since the start of the BCS era. A&M only 3 times. UCLA would only have made it in 1998.”

    That’s why I said A&M should only be counted as a super-prince since the time they joined the SEC (and UCLA when they join the B10).

    Since the start of the BCS era, UGa and LSU would have made the 6+6 11 times. USC 9 times (that’s why said USC and FSU are tweeners who will be full-fledged super-kings in the B10/SEC). ND 9 times. UMich only 7 times (behind powerhouses Boise, KSU, and TCU).

    Like

    1. bullet

      Ok. Now I understand what you were saying. But UCLA and A&M would have to prove it first. One of A&M’s 3 was when they were in the Big 12. They’ve been a pretty consistent 3rd or 4th place finisher in their division in both the Big 12 and SEC since they fired RC Slocum.

      Like

  27. z33k

    It’s possible that 18 is a “long-term” stable number for both the Big Ten and SEC (as a nod to HooBurns). Everyone’s thinking 20 if there’s a jailbreak in the ACC, but 18 is a possibility:

    16 technically is long-term stable, but I think there is too high a likelihood that FSU forces another round of realignment in the early 2030s for anyone to call 16 an endpoint.

    The interesting thing is this notion of pairs of 2 that has typically been the mode of modern realignment (excepting the Big Ten’s move to 11 with Penn State) in the modern era.

    For a variety of reasons such as stability and integration as well as the rarity of “valuable” schools being available, realignment of the Big Ten and SEC has moved in pairs.

    Well, what if UNC and UVA commit to keeping the Tobacco Road/NC+VA schools together. Let’s say UNC’s board wants NC State taken care of and boosters or other interests at the schools or in those states don’t want them breaking up with the various schools in NC/VA.

    Realistically we could see just 3 schools bolt the ACC then:

    FSU would have its choice, and let’s say they choose to go to the SEC. The SEC (if rejected by UNC/UVA) could then take Clemson in a move to 18.

    Perhaps they consider Va Tech to try to get into the DC market area (in terms of Va Tech’s fan support in Eastern Va, but maybe they don’t want to force UVA and UNC to the Big Ten if they take one of the NC/VA schools).

    The Big Ten could then go for Miami and attempt to pair them with UVA (or Va Tech), but assuming neither is available, the obvious +1 is Washington.

    Maybe the ACC would consider adding USF to try to replace Miami and at least get a trip down to Tampa, just as the Pac-12 is considering SDSU.

    The big picture would actually look pretty long-term stable with the Big Ten and SEC each at 18. The Big Ten could claim it’s a national conference with Miami/Washington bringing it to every region, while the SEC would have all the football brands in the south/southwest except Miami.

    ND would also probably be happy to keep their relationship with the ACC (which will be even more desperate to have ND’s deal continue); though I would question whether that deal is really all that great for ND’s TV value if you remove FSU, Miami, and Clemson from that rotation.

    Just interesting to think about what happens in the 2030s if UNC/UVA (and Va Tech) commit to the ACC.

    Like

    1. z33k: “It’s possible that 18 is a “long-term” stable number for both the Big Ten and SEC . . .”

      That assumption is bogus. The “long-term” stable number for both the Big Ten and SEC is 16.

      Like

      1. z33k

        FSU is almost certain to bolt the ACC in 2036.

        Just a question of where they’re going and how early they announce it.

        It’s best to prepare for that when their president is talking about being aggressive in realignment in 2022.

        Like

        1. z33k: ” . . . their (FSU) president is talking about being aggressive in realignment in 2022 . . .” before the 12-team playoff was announced. As I said previously, this changes everything.

          Like

    2. Richard

      Yeah, that could happen.

      The possibilities are
      1. B10 adds FSU & Miami
      1a. B10 also adds Stanford and GTech and enters in to a scheduling Alliance with ND (who pay for the 2 dilutive additions that are great in all other respects).
      1b. B10 also adds dilutive UVa & UNC for reasons.
      2. SEC takes FSU and Clemson (and possibly dilutive UNC & UVa/Duke for reasons).
      B10 then takes Miami and 1 more. Could be UW. Could be Stanford and then a scheduling Alliance with ND. Could be UVa though it’s hard for me seeing how that pays enough.

      Like

      1. Richard: “The possibilities are
        1. B10 adds FSU & Miami
        1a. B10 also adds Stanford and GTech and enters in to a scheduling Alliance with ND (who pay for the 2 dilutive additions that are great in all other respects).
        1b. B10 also adds dilutive UVa & UNC for reasons.
        2. SEC takes FSU and Clemson (and possibly dilutive UNC & UVa/Duke for reasons).
        B10 then takes Miami and 1 more. Could be UW. Could be Stanford and then a scheduling Alliance with ND. Could be UVa though it’s hard for me seeing how that pays enough.”

        None of that is happening. You live in a fantasy world.

        Like

    3. vp0819

      I’ve seen enough Virginia/North Carolina politics to know that for N.C. State to be “taken care of” if UVa and UNC head to the Big Ten (and for all my earlier thoughts about the differences between them and the B1G, their academics would still make them better cultural fits there than in the SEC), State (and Virginia Tech) will have to join the only conference whose funding is similar to the B1G’s — the SEC. Neither State nor Tech have the AAU membership to qualify for the B1G, but both could thrive in the SEC. If both conferences don’t agree to this split, I see none of the four being allowed to leave the ACC.

      Like

      1. z33k

        That’s an interesting scenario matches what I was thinking.

        Might be a situation where all those schools in NC+VA stick together because both conferences want UNC.

        If that does happen then another round of pairs: FSU+Clemson to the SEC and Miami+Washington feels like an obvious move to 18.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Zeek, it really depends on what ND wants that that point. Only FSU is definitely additive. Clemson probably and Miami borderline/breakeven.

          So I see the SEC taking FSU and Clemson. B10 likely would still want Miami for demographics/recruiting. ND could finally see the handwriting on the wall. Would the B10 take Stanford and GTech too? Those schools/markets are appealing in all ways except for their TV value, but ND could cover that.

          BTW, with 5-6 Sun Belt schools, the B10 could give all northern B10 members something akin to the ND, schedule, with everyone playing 1 game in the last 3 weeks in a warm-weather location even if not everyone can end the season in CA. In fact, the B10 could only stage games in warm-weather locales+7 rivalry games the last 3 weeks of the season. That may well help with both recruiting and ticket sales.

          Like

      2. Richard

        VP, if what you say is true, then most likely, all the NC/VA schools stay in the ACC.

        I see zero possibility that the SEC takes dilutive NCSU and dilutive VTech to allows UVa/UNC in to the B10, and vice versa.

        Like

        1. HooBurns

          (1) UVA/UNC and maybe GA Tech to the B1G , and (2) VA Tech/NCSU to the SEC are scenarios that have been discussed often over the years, particularly in this area (NOVA). Duke is nowhere in the picture, except it appears, in internet blogs. To date, FSU/Clemson appear to me speculative fantasies.

          I tend to think FTT has it right that we’re now in the era of Conference Whales – where the promise of new markets may no longer be enough to further split the pie from 16 to 18 (let alone 20-24) different ways.

          Like

          1. Richard

            I don’t see anyone proposing FSU + Clemson to the B10. I do see proposals of FSU + Clemson to the SEC or FSU + Miami to the B10.

            The bald fact of the matter is that now, outside of the B10/SEC, only ND, FSU, Clemson (probably), and Miami (borderline) are additive.

            Like

          2. HooBurns: ” . . . the promise of new markets may no longer be enough to further split the pie from 16 to 18 (let alone 20-24) different ways.”

            This is true for both the Big Ten and the SEC. There is no combination of UVA, UNC, Clemson, FSU, Miami or Pac-12 teams that justifies further expansion of the P2. Only ND moves the needle and they are staying independent.

            Like

          3. z33k

            @Colin

            You’re severely underestimating the value of FSU here. FSU carries the whole state of Florida. They travel well (sold out a 30k allotment to New Orleans just this past weekend).

            They are additive in every sense whether TV value or otherwise.

            And the Big Ten has 0 footprint in Florida; FSU + Miami would be even more additive than USC+UCLA in all likelihood since both are top football brands while UCLA is a bit off the top tier.

            @Hooburns

            The Texas/OU and USC/UCLA moves did change the game. The schools most likely to be targeted are schools like that, high value schools in terms of as national TV properties. Other schools are likely to move with those as +1s.

            I just don’t see how any calculation for FSU works that doesn’t increase the size of the pie.

            Miami and Clemson are near that level imo. And demographically, the Big Ten needs to be in the South in some fashion (or attempt to be there).

            Like

      3. Marc

        I’ve seen enough Virginia/North Carolina politics to know that for N.C. State to be “taken care of” … [it] will have to join the only conference whose funding is similar to the B1G’s — the SEC.

        I do not claim to know the politics in those two states. I do know that it was previously stated here that Texas could never leave Texas Tech behind, nor could Oklahoma leave Oklahoma State behind — and both happened.

        The former UNC president said recently that he believed the school could have had invitations to either the Big Ten or the SEC. He mentioned the political issue of leaving N.C. State behind. UNC chose not to move then, but he did not appear to be saying that it was flatly impossible.

        Given what happened in Texas, Oklahoma, and now California, I am never going to believe that such moves cannot occur. Which is not the same as predicting the N.C. or VA schools will, in fact, move.

        Like

        1. z33k

          The interesting twist with UNC is that they share the same oversight board as NC State.

          UCLA and UCB were in the same situation with the shared UC board of regents.

          It didn’t matter then, and given that these types of decisions are typically able to be made at the campus level, it may not matter for UNC either.

          Also, given the ACC deal is relatively undermarket; they can make the case that NC State’s payouts won’t be hurt since the ACC deal may continue at the same $ figures past 2036 without FSU/Miami/Clemson/UNC since it’s somewhat undermarket.

          On the other hand, rather than just 2 schools leaving like USC/UCLA; if UNC leaves, it’s more like 5-7 schools are bolting, so the conference may actually collapse.

          Issue is just that there’s a lot more moving parts in the ACC than the Big 12 or Pac-12 where just 2 schools bolted each.

          Like

          1. Redwood86

            Strategically, it makes a lot more sense for the SEC to add FSU and Miami first if it wants to go to 18. It can always grab Clemson later when it figures out who to choose for #20.

            Like

          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            z33k – I can guarantee you that over the next ten years the NC board will address that to ensure that UNC & NC State remain joined at the hip. After seeing what’s going on in California – and to a certain extent in TX & OK – there will be a pre-emptive strike from the NC politicians. Its a lot easier to address the theoretical now, when no offers are on the table.

            Like

        2. vp0819

          The differences between Texas and Texas Tech, or Oklahoma and Okie State, are substantially more considerable than that between UNC and NCSU (or UVa and Va. Tech). Remember, Tech’s promotion to the ACC came when the Big East was in its death throes and it appeared Tech’s then-powerful football program would have no landing spot in a major conference… until Virginia politicians insisted UVa vote for the Gobblers, thus effectively bumping Syracuse from the 12th spot. (Also, Blacksburg had sought ACC membership for decades and came close to joining in the mid-sixties.)

          Like

  28. bob sykes

    When FSU Pres. McCollough said they had a lot of help regarding realignment, was that a reference to the State of Florida? Could the State of Florida be a participant in a law suit to reopen the GOR or even its initiator? After all, FSU is a state agency, and there is some appearance of fraud and collusion in the GOR negotiations.

    Aren’t UNC and Clemson in the same position? State agencies possibly the victims of fraud? Might not South Carolina and North Carolina join Florida in a law suit?

    Like

    1. Marc

      McCollough’s comment is a real head-scratcher. The courts don’t award bonus points just because the state joins as a plaintiff. They still need a good legal theory, and the fraud/collusion one is weak. I am not saying it is guaranteed to fail, but it is not a sure thing to succeed either.

      As FTT has pointed out, the entire reason for challenging a GOR would be to make more money. And yet, the outcome is a big unknown, since nobody has challenged a conference GOR before—successfully or otherwise.

      Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        The fraud in the inducement theory has one major advantage. It would not be nearly as risky as testing the GOR. It would be an attempt to negate the ESPN deal, ab initio, with no risk of hundreds of millions in damages. Lose the case and life goes on.

        I think that there is zero chance of a court ever ruling a GOR invalid as some sort of declaratory judgment without the team actually attempting to withdraw and risking total financial catastrophe. The fraud case does not require actual withdrawal.

        Another issue is the ACC network. Even if the GOR is successfully challenged, would that vitiate the contract with the ACC network? The fraud case would avoid that problem also, if successful.

        Of course, none of us have a clue whether the fraud case is even potentially valid, since we did not know who knew what, and when they knew it.

        Assume for a moment that the fraud case is actually possible. It might be different for each team. Perhaps the president of Clemson knew exactly what was happening, while pres of FSU did not . Again we have no way to even guess.

        Further assume that Tobacco Road is very content to stay in the ACC with the ACCN. A bunch of schools will be happy to stay – BC, Syracuse, GaTech, Pitt, Louisville, and the six VA and NC teams. They could pick up USF just to stay in Florida.

        Rather than seeing the fraud case go forward, could FSU (or maybe Clemson or Miami, or any grouping of them, that arguably were really defrauded) make a deal with the ACC and the network to leave peacefully for $50 or $60 million or so each. It could potentially work. And Clemson would need to be sure of an SEC invite. FSU and Miami almost certainly would be invited into one or both of the big 2.

        Of course to reach this point, it is necessary to make about 5 or more unlikely things all happen to be true. The odds are small to say the least. Please do not tell me that it probably totally impossible. I agree.

        Like

  29. Longhorn McLonghornface

    LOL that the first half of responses were to what I thought was a long running troll bit mimicking Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Hot Takes. But no, just aggy instead…

    This just in: Texas is not reneging on its SEC membership, and never considered such.

    Like

    1. Jersey Bernie

      Has that been confirmed or is it coming from unspecified sources within the B1g 12 or ACC offices? Perhaps it is from Brett McMurphy sources in the B1G?

      Like

      1. z33k

        Texas/OU to the SEC and USC/UCLA to the Big Ten are as committed as any move in the past 20-30 years.

        The notion that these moves would be undone by CFP changes is folly.

        And the likelihood of FSU following them (along with possibly Miami and Clemson) is also very high (probably 90+% at this point).

        These are permanent decisions. No short term changes will affect those decisions.

        Like

  30. Richard

    Another thought on the 12-team playoff with 6 auto bids:

    It would ensure that the cream of the PAC/B12/ACC won’t combine to try to challenge the supremacy of the P2.

    Though I suppose a Bracket Busters style scheduling alliance is possible between 2-3 of those leagues.

    Like

  31. Richard

    BTW, when the FL schools (+ likely Clemson, possibly GTech) leave, the ACC will be back to being the elite basketball conference that also plays football that it was roughly 1972-1990 except without UMD, probably Clemson, and maybe GTech but with a bunch of good basketball schools in Louisville, Pitt, and Syracuse (also VTech and BC; probably USF, maybe Cincy/WVU/UCF).

    The circle of life.

    Like

    1. z33k

      Yeah I think the endgame here depends on UNC/UVA more than anything.

      If they do stay in the ACC, then it’s very possible that there’s minimal movement outside of another 4 schools moving to the Big Ten/SEC.

      (There’s a part of me that probably prefers realignment stopping at 18).

      I think you end up with an ACC that’s basically a semi-fusion of the old ACC and old Big East. Maybe they add USF for Florida exposure.

      The Pac-12 may be able to stay intact as a 10 team league with SDSU in the place of Washington.

      The Big 12 stays at 12.

      All those schools end up getting around $30 million a year in TV money per year and most years each of those 3 leagues gets 1 slot in the CFP. The SEC ends up with around 4 slots each year and the Big Ten around 3 slots each year.

      1 slot to the top G5 champ; that brings you to 11. That leaves 1 more slot for the highest non-champ in the ACC/Big 12/Pac-12 if there’s a 4th team worthy.

      ND can probably keep its deal with the ACC going.

      Could probably keep a 12 team playoff going indefinitely with that kind of setup; though SEC/Big Ten would want at least half of that playoff money.

      Like

      1. Richard

        CFP money likely will be shared (at least in part) based off of appearances/games/bids like how the MBB tourney money is shared.

        And ND _could_ keep its deal with the ACC going, but without FSU, Clemson, and Miami, ND would have a fairly unattractive schedule and no FL exposure (well, though the ACC probably would add USF when they lose their FL schools).

        Like

        1. Marc

          ND _could_ keep its deal with the ACC going, but without FSU, Clemson, and Miami, ND would have a fairly unattractive schedule and no FL exposure (well, though the ACC probably would add USF when they lose their FL schools).

          In that scenario, the likely endgame is that ND offers to remain an ACC member for the Olympic sports but no longer plays 5 football games. Maybe they drop down to 2–3 games, which gives still gives the ACC something, while allowing ND to find non-ACC opponents to beef up their strength of schedule. (And I have no doubts the Irish could find those games.)

          The current ACC was in a position that it could demand 5 games; the weakened ACC would no longer be able to. They could kick ND out, but what do they gain by that?

          Like

          1. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Marc – the whole reason Notre Dame plays five ACC opponents is because Notre Dame was having trouble filling out their schedule once conference games kick into gear. With all conferences likely going to a nine game schedule, Notre Dame’s ACC scheduling agreement will be even more important. If the ACC loses FSU, Miami & Clemson, maybe Notre Dame quits scheduling UNLV and Marshall and tries to pick up a couple more P2 or M3 schools early in the season.

            BTW – there was discussion last week about Notre Dame possibly going to an eight game scheduling agreement with the B1G. I can’t see that happening. Let’s say the Irish go 8-0 against B1G competition and the B1G CCG participants are 8-1 and 7-2. With the Irish playing that many games and going undefeated, the B1G champion risks being viewed as illegitimate. What if the B1G champ didn’t play the Irish, or worse, lost to the Irish. At most, I think a Notre Dame scheduling agreement with a conference that plays a nine game schedule would be six.

            Like

          2. Richard

            Alan, in the 12-team playoff world, I’m not sure stuff like “how legitimate a conference champ looks” matters all that much as that team will be able to prove whether it’s legitimate or not in the CFP.

            BTW, in 2021, BYU went 5-0 against the Pac, including beating the Pac champ yet Utah still was the one who went to the Rose Bowl as the Pac rep.

            And fair point about ND’s 5 game arrangement with the ACC, though now that NBC has both ND and B10 games, don’t be surprised if NBC helps arrange ND games with the B10 (including late-season games).

            Like

          3. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Richard – BYU & Utah are apples, and Ohio State & Notre Dame are oranges. Plus, you made my point. There’s a difference between 5-0 with a nine game schedule and 8-0.

            I just can’t see the B1G agreeing to an Olympic sports membership with a football scheduling arrangement with Notre Dame. Notre Dame would be nice, but certainly isn’t necessary. The B1G has been fine without Notre Dame for 100 years.

            Further, if the ACC implodes, Notre Dame could go back to the Big East and play all the other Catholic schools. Any other P2 or M3 conference would work out a 5-6 scheduling alliance with Notre Dame.

            Like

          4. Marc

            Marc – the whole reason Notre Dame plays five ACC opponents is because Notre Dame was having trouble filling out their schedule once conference games kick into gear.

            That isn’t how I remember it. When they were in the old Big East, ND typically played about two ACC teams per year. They went up to five ACC teams—but dropped Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. It was a push. The three Big Ten teams were willing to keep playing ND annually (or near-annually) for years to come. The Irish moved to the ACC because they considered the new Big East too weak a conference for their Olympic sports.

            Now imagine the scenario where ND wants to remain independent, but needs other leagues to cooperate with filling out a schedule. I suspect they will have no trouble finding the games they want — because the alternative is that ND joins the Big Ten, an outcome that nobody (except the Big Ten) wants.

            Let’s say Swarbrick offers Sankey two ND vs. SEC games per year, with the proviso that they are later in the season, when open dates are harder to find. I bet Sankey grabs that deal in a flash, because he does not want ND in the Big Ten if he can avoid it.

            Like

      2. Jersey Bernie

        Though my opinion is less than irrelevant, I agree that it would be nice to see all five leagues survive, with the SEC and B1G (including FSU in one of them) having permanent advantages.

        Since I root for Rutgers, FSU and Wisconsin, that would work fine for me.

        Like

      3. Alan from Baton Rouge

        The more I think about it, the more I can see UNC & UVA staying in the ACC. Neither school has ever made a serious commitment to football. Their basketball programs will be fine remaining in the ACC as will the Olympic sports.

        While VA/NC is potentially the only great land battle between the SEC and the B1G, I question their value to either conference. VA Tech is the dominant program in Virginia, and UNC – at best – enjoys only a plurality of support in NC with seven FBS schools in the state.

        Since they have never been really good at football, it may be easier for them to de-emphasize football and be content in the middle tier of FBS. Lacrosse and basketball will be fine under this scenario.

        The West is really the best place for the B1G to grow. I know that the remaining PAC schools are like the girl that had a crush on you in high school that is really trying to hard to get your attention, so she’s kind of a turn off, but there are great markets out west full of Midwestern transplants in fast growing states that the B1G could own.

        If the BTN carriage is still a thing in 2030, maybe the B1G slugs it out with the SEC over states with schools that aren’t great in football and may not even deliver their states, or maybe the B1G picks the girls that already love you and will do anything for your affection.

        Like

        1. z33k

          I tend to agree, there is a potential path for UNC/UVA to try to keep the NC/VA schools together and go on a separate track from the Big Ten/SEC.

          There will be a lot higher chance of success for those schools as part of a conference that could still regularly get a bid though the resources won’t be at the level of the SEC or Big Ten.

          It’s partially why I think a move to 18 by the Big Ten and SEC is a potential multi-decade stopping point.

          Like

  32. vp0819

    Tech the dominant program in Virginia, Alan? Tell that to people in Norfolk (where Old Dominion beat the Gobblers for the second time in five years). The Frank Beamer years are long gone in Blacksburg.

    But Tech, UVa, UNC and NCSU still have big-time conference value, even though many here only view them in a football-brand context. If the B1G and SEC ignore them because they can’t be broken up, they do so at their own peril.

    Like

    1. Alan from Baton Rouge

      Vincent – the Beamer era was the greatest time in the football history of state. You’re making my point though, that no school delivers the states of Virginia or North Carolina. Maybe VA Tech only delivers a plurality like UNC may in NC.

      If UDub, Oregon, Colorado or Arizona State are in the B1G, they will deliver their (albeit somewhat apathetic) states. If UNC or UVA are in the B1G, its debatable how how they actually deliver, especially if the SEC counter-strikes by taking VA Tech and NC State.

      Like

      1. vp0819

        But people fail to realize Virginia and North Carolina don’t have the football-centric culture of SEC states (Clemson may be in a “Carolina,” but in this case, South and North are completely different). Tech and State would certainly be helped by being part of the SEC, but UVa and UNC would remain superior brands.

        Like

        1. Alan from Baton Rouge

          Vincent – I don’t see VA Tech/UVA and UNC/NC State splitting up, but if they did, with the B1G getting UVA/UNC and the SEC getting NC State/VA Tech, the masses would gravitate to the SEC schools because:
          1. UNC & UVA aren’t football schools and don’t have much more of a following (if any) than the NC State & VA Tech;
          2. NC & VA are still mostly “Southern” states that collectively border four SEC states; and
          3. SEC schedules would present more compelling matchups.

          If a 24 team super conference is the end game, the SEC could make the VA/NC schools an offer they couldn’t refuse and the B1G couldn’t match: take all four and throw in Duke for a little basketball fun, to go along with football schools Clemson, Florida State and Miami.

          Like

          1. Bob

            I’m not sure the SEC would take 8 ACC schools. In the new world of expansion that would be too dilutive. Some combination may be additive for the B1G and/or SEC. During our long wait until the GOR is ended the landscape will change as a result of NIL, transfer portal, TV revenue, NCAA changes, CFB expansion, etc. Trying to predict what the ACC teams look like then from a competitive perspective is tough. Will the big brands (FSU, Miami, UNC, Clemson) hold some degree of TV value when they are far behind Purdue and Ole Miss in dollars? Some of the ACC schools may be content with being in a competitive Middle 3 league, and others will not. Even those that are more focused on basketball and Olympic sports (and don’t aspire to win a CFB title) may find they’ve lost too much ground to P2 schools to stick with the ACC if they have the option to leave.

            Like

        2. z33k

          I think Alan is correct in his estimation of VA/NC.

          Va Tech is arguably the strongest football brand in either state, but even that has dimmed a fair bit in the past decade. Their recruiting has fallen off to basically being nothing special and any edge over UVa in that area has eroded.

          Their edge if they have any left on UVa is simply in the size of fanbase due to the Beamer era winning over large parts of Eastern Va to their side and their much larger fan support on gameday.

          NC is split many ways; UNC might be the strongest brand by a smidge (though NC State has more local sport in the Triangle and surrounding area).

          ECU is exceptionally strong in the East part of the state. App State has its fanbase. Duke and WF have their small fanbases.

          There’s a ton of football fans in both states (those states regularly produce very strong college football tv ratings), but their allegiances are split many ways.

          Without success in either league, none of those schools can capture that support. Yet none of those schools is particularly likely to be successful in the SEC. Maybe a higher chance of success in the Big ten, but not enough to have a run of 10+ win seasons that really puts a school on the map like Va Tech’s run under Beamer.

          Those football fans will watch plenty of SEC and Big Ten football even without a local school in those leagues.

          Like

  33. Richard

    You know, Alan (and others), all that’s keeping conference realignment from moving to its final stable state is that ACC GOR stretching out conference realignment for another decade.

    Otherwise, we’d already know where FSU, Clemson, Miami (and possibly ND; possibly others due to ND) are headed and we could get on with our lives.

    After the ACC issue is settled, I don’t see any expansion by the P2 before near mid-century at the earliest when demographic changes may finally make UW/ASU/CU attractive enough to the B10.

    Like

    1. Alan from Baton Rouge

      Richard – I agree. The question is do FOX and Disney keep throwing lifelines to the M3, because it’s cheaper to keep them alive than to have all the brands in the P2?

      The bigger questions are what will Clemson, Miami & Florida State look like in a decade after being lapped in revenue by the Vandys and Purdues of the world several times? Will the B1G/SEC still see value on these downtrodden former kings now living in the slums? Will the potential be there for a Marshall Plan to re-build the fallen?

      Also, I see more and more middle and upper- middle class families not allowing their sons to play football, and that’s in Louisiana where football is a religion. I can only imagine what’s happening in more sophisticated and civilized states. NOTE: I can talk about my state like this because it’s my state, y’all (northern translation as you’s guys) can’t!

      Will football just be a gladiator sport that poor kids play in a generation or two? If I’m a college president, this is a 100 year question I’m thinking about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. z33k

        All those are important questions:

        2 people have talked a lot recently about paying players: Kevin Warren and Jim Harbaugh.

        The biggest aggregate question that touches many of your own is “when will financial resources directly impact recruiting?”

        The Big Ten and SEC are likely to directly pay players out of conference revenue.

        The writing is basically on the wall for that to happen at some point.

        If Northwestern and Vanderbilt and Miss State and Purdue can pay significantly more to their players from conference distributions as FSU then it will directly impact recruiting.

        NIL alone won’t be enough because the big brand programs will have NIL + stronger conference distributions.

        And at that point, it may be about grabbing the bag for kids in Florida deciding FSU/Miami versus programs like Michigan or LSU or whoever which will be giving each player hundreds of thousands more simply for being in the SEC or Big Ten.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Yeah, it’s tough to tell. Would the B10 (and especially the SEC powers) really want to raise up FSU/Clemson/Miami by that point? FSU at least has big enrollment and is in a very big state.

          I still think FSU gets snapped up by someone. In a decade, their situation would likely be identical to USC now (faded power in a huge market filled with football talent that is lagging behind in large part because of money).

          Like

          1. z33k

            I think the Big Ten would (and as a result the SEC will). The SEC doesn’t really need to take anybody else. With Texas/OU, they’re going to be a fair bit ahead in football strength.

            But FSU is too valuable to leave out on its own. Almost definitely somewhere in the top 10 of programs by TV value.

            And Miami isn’t too far behind.

            Given the Big Ten has 0 footprint in the south, it’s too valuable to not take a Florida based school for TV value/demographics/recruiting/etc., so I think both of them find landing spots for sure.

            And if the SEC only wants FSU, then Clemson would likely be next to go to the SEC.

            It’s why I’m struggling to see a scenario where those 3 schools announce exits in the early 2030s. It just makes way too much sense for all involved.

            Like

          2. z33k

            Should have phrased that with a “don’t” in the last line.

            “I’m struggling to see a scenario where those 3 schools (FSU, Miami, Clemson) don’t announce exits in the early 2030s.”

            I know Colin and others oppose it but very hard to see realignment stop here.

            Like

          3. zeek: “I know Colin and others oppose it but very hard to see realignment stop here.”

            I don’t oppose it. I simply don’t believe that it’s going to happen. Let’s review what has transpired.

            Several posters here have declared that UT, OU, USC and UCLA knew the 12-playoff was coming before they jumped conferences. There is no evidence of that at all. It was a thunderbolt from nowhere as evidenced by Frank’s declaration of “Halleluiah”. No one knew it was coming in the near future. The proposal had been kicked around for years with no consensus.

            The reason no one knew it was coming is because, back then, it wasn’t coming. UT/OU to the SEC and USC/UCLA to the Big Ten are the events that CAUSED the commishes to get together to stop the B1G/SEC feeding frenzy. Now we have a scenario in which we have a new incentive for M3 schools to stay where they are and P2 schools to stop accepting more football heavyweights. The M3 heavyweights will have a much better chance of making the playoffs if they stay where they are and the P2 schools have a better chance of getting at-large bids if they keep the M3 heavyweights out of their conferences.

            Like

          4. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – the working group, of which the SEC’s Sankey and the B12’s Bowlsby were members, had put together the 12-team format before someone with A&M leaked the OU/UTx to the SEC news to the Aggie Houston Chronicle beat reporter. The plan went public soon after. I think its fair to assume that OU and UTx heard about the proposed playoff expansion from either Sankey or Bowlsby, but probably from both.

            Like

          5. Alan: ” . . . the working group, of which the SEC’s Sankey and the B12’s Bowlsby were members, had put together the 12-team format before someone with A&M leaked the OU/UTx to the SEC news to the Aggie Houston Chronicle beat reporter.”

            Got a link for that? It’s well known that A&M leaked UT and OU to the SEC but nary a word about moving to the 12-team format. I’m calling BS unless you can document your claim.

            Like

          6. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – I can’t… well, maybe I can but I don’t feel like researching it. It’s not that big a deal to me. But, I believe, the timing of the OU/UTx leak and the roll-out of the expanded playoff plan is too close together for OU and UTx not to know. Call BS if you want, but I think it’s a logical assumption and you apparently don’t. That’s OK. We can disagree.

            Like

          7. Alan: ” I believe, the timing of the OU/UTx leak and the roll-out of the expanded playoff plan is too close together for OU and UTx not to know.”

            As I previously said, the timing of the OU/UTx leak and the roll-out of the expanded playoff plan is solid evidence that the OU/UT move to the SEC was the CAUSE of the expanded 12-team playoff format.

            Like

          8. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – despite your certainty, we will have to agree to disagree. We have conflicting opinions that neither of us can prove with certainty. Again, that’s OK.

            Like

          9. Alan: “I believe, the timing of the OU/UTx leak and the roll-out of the expanded playoff plan is too close together for OU and UTx not to know. Call BS if you want,”

            Alan, can’t you see that the timing of the OU/UT move to the SEC and the expanded playoff plan is confirmation that the realignment caused the expansion?

            Like

          10. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Colin – obviously I don’t. I fail to see how you can think that a plan as detailed and well thought out, and that had some appeal for every conference was just thrown together in a couple of weeks to cover for some Aggie leaking a realignment story about UTx & OU. The working group had been discussing what an playoff would look like for months.

            It’s obvious that you didn’t convince me and I can’t convince you. Again, that’s Ok. Agree to disagree and move on.

            Like

          11. Alan – If Texas, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA all knew that a 12-team playoff was imminent then we can presume that every other school in Division 1 also knew. It was the best-kept secret in college football. Not one leak among over a hundred athletic departments.

            Like

          12. Marc

            As I previously said, the timing of the OU/UTx leak and the roll-out of the expanded playoff plan is solid evidence that the OU/UT move to the SEC was the CAUSE of the expanded 12-team playoff format.

            Let us make the absurd assumption that OU/TX totally believed the playoff was going to stay at 4 teams forever, even though their own commissioner was on the subcommittee tasked to expand said playoff.

            By the time USC/UCLA moved, every commissioner had stated publicly that they were in favor of expansion. The no votes 9 months ago were not fundamental opposition to expansion; the details just had not yet been worked out to their satisfaction.

            So perhaps OU/TX were stupid enough to believe the playoff was staying at 4. USC/UCLA would have had to be moronically stupid. Even lobotomized presidents would not have believed that.

            Like

          13. Marc

            If Texas, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA all knew that a 12-team playoff was imminent then we can presume that every other school in Division 1 also knew. It was the best-kept secret in college football. Not one leak among over a hundred athletic departments.

            It is actually quite the opposite. Everyone knew. The existence of the committee that was looking at expanded playoff formats was public knowledge before Texas and Oklahoma moved. And they probably knew of it before the public did, since their own commissioner was on it.

            Now, when a committee is formed to “look at X,” it tends to mean that X will eventually happen. Sure, it was possible that they would say “never mind,” and stay at four for the next 30 years. But not very likely.

            By the way, the history of every playoff I can think of is that they expand.

            Like

          14. Marc: “It is actually quite the opposite. Everyone knew.”

            “The College Football Playoff’s executive board on Friday approved an expansion to 12 teams, bringing to an end a more-than-three-year endeavor and delivering the most significant change to the postseason in college football history.

            “In a meeting that was cloaked in secrecy before a report from Sports Illustrated on Wednesday, the 11-member CFP Board of Managers, composed of presidents from each of the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame, voted unanimously to approve the 12-team format and implement it no later than 2026, sources tell SI.”

            https://www.si.com/college/2022/09/02/college-football-playoff-approves-expansion-12-teams

            Like

          15. Marc: “That in no way contradicts what I and countless others have already told you.”

            It directly contradicts what you said and the “countless others” are two other guys on this forum who parrot the same fabrication.

            Like

          16. Marc

            I said that everyone knew—and they did. You think Texas and Oklahoma did not know about a playoff expansion committee their own commissioner was sitting on?

            Like

          17. Marc: “I said that everyone knew—and they did. You think Texas and Oklahoma did not know about a playoff expansion committee their own commissioner was sitting on?”

            Exactly. Texas and Oklahoma did not know about a super-secret playoff expansion committee meeting that was hurriedly called after OU and UT and USC and UCLA had announced they were leaving for the SEC and Big Ten. In fact, the last people on earth that the Big XII commish would confide in would be the two schools that had just stabbed him in the back.

            Like

          18. Everyone in college sports knew the existence of the CFP expansion committee because all 10 FBS leagues approved it even before the pandemic. Individual schools may not have been privy to the detailed discussions as they went along, but they definitely all knew a committee that was made up of that subset of commissioners plus ND AD Jack Swarbrick was discussing CFP expansion as a general matter.

            Like

          19. Marc

            Of course. Frank, we all know that. What’s your point?

            That no sentient university president could have been surprised that the playoff expanded. When people form a committee to look at X, then X tends to happen — for more often than not.

            Like

          20. Marc: “That no sentient university president could have been surprised that the playoff expanded.”

            Marc, you just moved the goal posts. You previously claimed “everyone knew” this was going to happen and that it was imminent. Now you’re saying that no sentient university president could have been surprised that the playoff expanded. We can readily agree on that.

            Like

          21. Nathan

            @Colin

            Now that the CFP *has* expanded (to the surprise of most ADs) and being in M3 conference with an easier path to the playoffs is more valuable than being paid more in a P2 conference do you think UT and OU will announce their rescinding of the SEC membership to go back to the BigXII in a joint press conference, or separately?

            Like

          22. Nathan: “…an easier path to the playoffs is more valuable than being paid more…”

            I didn’t say that an easier path to the playoffs is more valuable than being paid more. As often happens on this forum, I am being challenged to defend some position that I did not make.

            I have repeatedly said that there are a host of factors that schools use when deciding to realign with another conference.

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          23. Nathan

            @colin but I do believe you said that the recent big moves (UT, OK, USC, UCLA) *wouldn’t* have happened if there was a 12 team playoff was in place. So, membership in their old conferences was more desirable than in their new *under a 12 team playoff format*. Well, we now have that format. So why aren’t those 4 schools backing out of their commitments?

            Assuming the ACC didn’t have a GOR issue how many M3 teams would turn down an invite from a P2 conference *today*? I’d say less than 5%, and that’s stupid conservative (I think the real number is 0%). How many P2 teams would leave for a M3 conference today? 0%. P2 teams are going to get the lions share of money, national news coverage and the best time slots and channels for their games for the foreseeable future. Any M3 team that doesn’t want that is insane, and their AD / president should be fired immediately

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          24. Richard

            Colin, you said FSU/Clemson/Miami wouldn’t leave the ACC even if they had the chance to join a P2 conference, did you not?

            So if that is not saying “easier path to the playoffs is more valuable than being paid more”, then clarify why they would choose to stay in the ACC to be paid less.

            I have come to Brian’s viewpoint that indeed, you are actually a troll as you engage in trollish behavior.

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          25. Marc

            @Colin: I was replying to the following statement by you:

            Several posters here have declared that UT, OU, USC and UCLA knew the 12-playoff was coming before they jumped conferences. There is no evidence of that at all. It was a thunderbolt from nowhere….

            It appears you now agree that the playoff expansion was not “a thunderbolt from nowhere,” and indeed the presidents of those universities knew it was coming. QED.

            I added further that everyone knew it was coming, and so did FTT. You are free to debate exactly how far down this goes, but as long as we have established that the presidents knew, it really does not matter who else did.

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          26. Marc: “It appears you now agree that the playoff expansion was not “a thunderbolt from nowhere,” and indeed the presidents of those universities knew it was coming.”

            Marc, you seem to be obsessed with playing some kind of “Gotcha”. Let’s look at the timeline of what transpired.

            -A year ago – Texas and OU announce they are going to the SEC.
            -July 2022 – USC and UCLA announce they are going to the Big Ten.
            -Sept 2022 – After super-secret unscheduled emergency meeting, playoff committee announced expansion from 4 to 12 with six autobids for top conference champs.

            Now, after the B12 commish was stabbed in the back by OU and UT and the P12 commish was stabbed in the back by USC and UCLA, do I believe that those two commishes were all kissy-huggy with presidents of the universities that had betrayed them and kept them up-to-date about the forthcoming super-secret unscheduled emergency meeting? No. In fact, I imagine their attitude was “Chuck You Farley”.

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          27. Brian

            https://apnews.com/article/college-football-sports-mark-keenum-college-sports-football-3b4c4b2f43473b8c84bc1812e226d540

            Super secret meeting? This article is from June 3.

            By this time next year, the university leaders who oversee the College Football Playoff want the next format for determining a champion settled.

            Mississippi State President Mark Keenum, the chairman of the CFP Board of Managers, said Thursday the conference commissioners in charge of building the postseason system for the 2026 season and beyond will restart the task in the coming weeks.

            “I’ve sent a note out to all my colleagues, the presidents and chancellors, to try to get us together sometime towards the end of the summer, hopefully by sometime before the end of August, just to continue the dialogue,” he said.

            https://www.on3.com/news/cfp-board-of-managers-discusses-potentially-expanding-before-2026-expansion-college-football-playoff/

            They met again in mid-August.

            Talks of College Football Playoff expansion stalled over the offseason. However, the idea reportedly came up at the CFP board of managers meeting Wednesday.

            The 11 members of the CFP board discussed “the next iteration” of the playoff before the contract runs out in 2025, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported. Conversations about potential expansion stalled over the summer and the plan was to keep the CFP at four teams until the deal expires.

            “A source told ESPN that the general feel among the presidents and chancellors on the call was that the college sports leaders have left too much money on the table by not implementing a new playoff before 2026, perhaps as much as a half-billion dollars,” Thamel wrote.

            Then they met again to have the final discussion and vote. How secret is a series of meetings discussed in the press over months?

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          28. Brian

            Every meeting college presidents have is secret, and the relevant results from this one got reported on immediately. What’s super secret about that? The CFP board meets regularly. How many details have we ever heard from any of those meetings? We hear what they plan to talk about, and we hear about any votes. That’s it. It’s like complaining about a school’s BoT having a closed session meeting.

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      2. Marc

        The question is do FOX and Disney keep throwing lifelines to the M3, because it’s cheaper to keep them alive than to have all the brands in the P2?

        I have not seen any evidence that the networks are willing to perpetually prop up weak leagues because they would rather not see more realignment. Yes, I know ESPN agreed (for a time) to pay the 10-team Big XII as if it still had 12 teams. You know how that story ended. None of them threw the Pac-12 a lifeline either.

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        1. Richard

          Well, in the case of the Pac, there wasn’t much that made sense to do as there would be no way for USC to make as much staying. Also not much they could do to keep Texas/OU from leaving.

          The B12 (and ACC with the football powers gone) promise to be a competitive league that anybody could win, however.

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        2. Jersey Bernie

          ESPN will prop up weak leagues since they need the inventory to show. The SEC or B1G have no incentive to aggressively grow if each additional school reduces the income of the incumbent teams.

          So if the SEC and B1G do not wish to pick up a number of teams and lose income, what happens? If the ESPN does not prop them up, then what? How does ESPN fill its windows without the weaker leagues?

          What is a lifeline to the PAC, if the B1G is not taking more PAC schools now? Would the existing PAC schools turn down $26 million per year? Then what? Join the MWC conference en mass and get $6 million?

          If a pipeline is $40 million per team to the PAC, it is not happening. Will the PAC threaten to go out of business if they get less than $35 million each? What are the options?

          If ESPN agrees to increase ACC income to $32 million and not a penny more, can the ACC say no? Is that propping them up?

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          1. Marc

            Perhaps a definition of terms will help. It is not “propping up” a league to pay a negotiated fair value for its inventory. Even UMass was able to sell its games to ESPN. There is always a price that a provider will pay.

            I took “propping up” to mean paying more than fair value, simply to ensure that the Big Ten or SEC won’t poach schools they might otherwise have taken. If there are no more schools worth expanding for, those leagues will still get something for their TV rights.

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          2. Alan from Baton Rouge

            I used the term “propping up” with regard to the M3. In the context of the sentence, I thought it was easy to understand what I meant. I guess I was wrong.

            If there are only two conferences with all the CFB brands, they will be able to name their price – within reason – similar to the NFL, but certainly not at NFL figures.

            It may be cheaper for FOX & Disney to pay slightly above market value for the M3 and avoid more defections to the P2, than to pay top dollar for the P2 with all the marketable brands in college football. If they don’t, and Notre Dame, FSU, Miami & Clemson all join a P2 conference, then the remainder of the M3 will be relegated to ESPN2, ESPNU & FS1, with many games on Thursdays and Fridays. The P2 can then name their price – within reason – and it may cost FOX/NBC/CBS and Disney more to televise P2 games in their six best windows than to overpay for B12/ACC/PAC. I hope that clears up what I meant by using the term “propping up.”

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          3. z33k

            @Alan

            I feel like that may have been possible before Texas/OU and USC/UCLA bolted.

            The Big Ten and SEC were already so far ahead in terms of ratings without those moves, but now the gap is a chasm from those 2 to the remaining Big 12/Pac-12.

            And their gap with the ACC has grown, so it’s hard to see a way for FSU or Miami or Clemson to get fair value in the ACC.

            That brings up the other problem, which is that the ACC is locked into this undermarket deal through 2036.

            By 2031-2032 when the Big Ten/SEC are talking to ACC schools, it’ll be hard for ESPN to somehow bridge that gap unless they promise unrealistic figures for 2036 and beyond (but they won’t do that 4-5 years early when they’re negotiating with the NFL).

            All that is why I feel almost certain that the Big Ten/SEC will invite ACC schools around 2031-2032; that’s the perfect moment where the ACC will be at maximum weakness given the NFL negotiations/SEC negotiations taking up all the oxygen. ACC will be too far away from its next deal to save itself.

            The cake feels baked imo.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Z33k – for the most part I agree. The one variable is a TV offer somewhat above market to the ACC and a disproportionate Playoff revenue split allowing the ACC playoff participants to keep -maybe- half of the money. Even if that happens, given FSU and Miami’s recent performances, they may not be able to take advantage of such a sweetener because they’ll be playing in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl or the Sun Bowl instead of the playoffs.

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