Geography or Trophy Games? Proposed Annual Rivals in the Future Big Ten

With Big Ten expansion seemingly on pause for the moment, let’s take a look at how the scheduling might work in a 16-team Big Ten. Assuming that the Big Ten will have 3 annual protected rivals for each school when USC and UCLA join, I’ve mapped out a couple of different potential matchup lineups: one more heavily based on pure geography and one with more priority to trophy games.

OPTION 1: GEOGRAPHY

Penn State – Rutgers, Maryland, Ohio State
Rutgers – Penn State, Maryland, Michigan
Maryland – Penn State, Rutgers, Michigan State
Ohio State – Michigan, Penn State, Indiana
Michigan State – Michigan, Purdue, Maryland
Michigan – Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers
Purdue – Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan State
Indiana – Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State
Illinois – Northwestern, Indiana, USC
Northwestern – Illinois, Purdue, UCLA
Nebraska – Iowa, Minnesota, UCLA
Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, USC
Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska
USC – UCLA, Wisconsin, Illinois
UCLA – USC, Nebraska, Northwestern

OPTION 2: TROPHY GAMES

Penn State
– Rutgers, Maryland, Ohio State
Rutgers – Penn State, Maryland, Northwestern
Maryland – Penn State, Rutgers, Indiana
Ohio State – Michigan, Penn State, Illinois
Michigan State – Michigan, Indiana, Purdue
Michigan – Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota
Purdue – Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois
Indiana – Purdue, Maryland, Michigan State
Illinois – Northwestern, Purdue, Ohio State
Northwestern – Illinois, UCLA, Rutgers
Nebraska – Iowa, USC, UCLA
Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, USC
Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan
USC – UCLA, Nebraska, Wisconsin
UCLA – USC, Nebraska, Northwestern
 
A few notes on my thought process:

  • The one school that has 3 clear rivals in all scenarios is Penn State with Ohio State, Rutgers and Maryland. Ohio State-Penn State is now generally the most-watched Big Ten game after Michigan-Ohio State, while the league’s East Coast strategy is based on tying Penn State with Rutgers and Maryland. Notably, that means Penn State-Michigan State goes away as an annual trophy game under both setups. It is a good game, but always felt a bit forced as a rivalry for both sides and the TV networks absolutely 100% need Ohio State-Penn State to continue annually.

  • In both scenarios, each school has at least one annual game with a larger brand (assuming that we can consider UCLA to be a brand name) for TV and competitive balance purposes. No one has 3 marquee games or, on the flip side, 3 games destined for Peacock.

  • The Geography option took the 2 locked rivals for each school from the 11-team Big Ten era except for PSU-MSU and largely zippered matchups for multi-school states. For instance, each Illinois school plays one California and one Indiana school annually.

  • The Trophy Games option would preserve or reinstate all trophy games from the “original Big Ten” era prior to Penn State joining the league. Note that this is only realistically possible if Nebraska has both USC and UCLA as annual rivals (as Nebraska-Iowa would be preserved but Nebraska-Minnesota would be eliminated).

  • USC-Wisconsin seems to be the most attractive “western” annual matchup from a national perspective, so that’s in both scenarios.
 
My guess is that many old school Big Ten fans will like the Trophy Games setup better, but the league office will lean toward something closer to the Geography setup. With a coast-to-coast league, it almost mandates prioritizing geographic proximity even more than now. As fans look at whatever scenarios are out there, think about what’s actually fair for everyone and take into account the league’s goals (like I’ve noted with the reasons why Penn State is locked-in to play Ohio State, Rutgers and Maryland). Everyone wants 3 perfectly matched annual games, but that’s impossible for all members. There’s a give and take when managing the interest of 16 different schools.
 

312 thoughts on “Geography or Trophy Games? Proposed Annual Rivals in the Future Big Ten

      1. Alan from Baton Rouge

        HA!

        Actually, I forgot to subscribe with the first regular non-specific “Geaux Tigers!” comment and WordPress kept kicking me out when I tried to resend the same comment and subscribe to this thread.

        Like

        1. Mike

          I don’t subscribe (I use an RSS reader to keep up with comments), however, lately I’ve been getting one comment a week emailed to me. Its usually in a thread I haven’t commented on.

          Like

          1. Brian

            Mike,

            It started doing something similar to me, so I had to follow the link in the email to cancel my subscriptions (I don’t subscribe either).

            Like

  1. Richard

    I think something closer to 2 will happen, but with more emphasis on maximizing TV viewership (and also giving MSU that visit to Chicagoland that they want so much):

    OSU: UMich, PSU, USC
    UMich: OSU, MSU, USC
    MSU: UMich, PSU, NU
    PSU: OSU, MSU, UMD
    UMD: RU, PSU, PU
    RU: UMD, IU, NU
    IU: PU, UIUC, RU
    PU: IU, UIUC, UMD
    UIUC: NU, IU, PU
    NU: UIUC, MSU, RU
    NW quad plays each other except UW and UNL don’t play each other and play UCLA instead.
    USC: UCLA, UMich, OSU
    UCLA: USC, UNL, UW

    In this setup, 8 of the 11 Midwestern schools have an annual game against either an east or west coast school (only Iowa, UMTC, and UIUC don’t; OSU visits both because of their PSU game).

    It’s possible that the B10 splits PSU-MSU (and also IU-RU), in which case, MSU-IU and PSU-RU become annual.

    Is it possible that the B10, instead of tying UMich and OSU to USC, tie them to either the IN schools or RU&UMD (thus leaving USC for UW&UNL and UCLA for the IL schools)? I suppose it’s possible though given what NBC and CBS paid, I find it unlikely.

    Like

    1. I feel pretty strongly that out of any school, Penn State is the most locked-in: they *have* to play Ohio State, Rutgers and Maryland annually. Outside of BTN households, the biggest reason why Rutgers and Maryland are in the Big Ten is because Penn State wanted Eastern teams (with a warning shot when they had some discussions with the ACC). To me, PSU not playing both Rutgers and Maryland annually would be like the Big Ten adding Stanford and Cal but not having USC and UCLA play them annually.

      So, a lot of my thinking cascaded from there. As much as the TV matchups are critical (and I certainly wouldn’t put it past anyone that the Big Ten would lock in games like OSU-USC), I do feel that there does need to be some small “p” political service to the West Division schools when such a disproportionate focus has been on the East Division ever since the Big Ten went to 14 schools.

      Like

        1. Brian

          bullet,

          OSU has played USC 24 times and UCLA 9.
          MI has played USC 10 times and UCLA 11.

          If the B10 were to split them, it would be OSU/USC and UCLA/MI.

          Like

          1. bullet

            I think it would be the other way because Ohio St. needs to play Penn St. Having USC would mean they are playing all 3 of the other top programs. Michigan, Penn St. and USC would not be.

            Like

          2. Richard

            IMO, both OSU and UMich play USC annually (or both don’t and both play IN schools or both play RU/UMD) because otherwise, there would be charges of unfairness between the 2 biggest dogs in the B10.
            Yes, OSU plays PSU but UMich plays MSU, and the gap between PSU and MSU often isn’t that wide at all.

            Like

          3. Brian

            bullet,

            “I think it would be the other way because Ohio St. needs to play Penn St. Having USC would mean they are playing all 3 of the other top programs.”

            I think the B10 would see that as a plus – those are 3 huge games for TV.

            “Michigan, Penn St. and USC would not be.”

            True, but they all have to play OSU, and OSU doesn’t. There’s some balance in that. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of OSU fans would complain. But many years, those aren’t the 3 other best teams.

            And OSU/USC really is a bit of a rivalry despite not playing that frequently. Certainly more so than USC/MI or OSU/UCLA.

            Besides, I said my plan was intended for the first 10 years. After that, needs will change as USC and UCLA are integrated into the conference. Then USC can play 1 and UCLA the other.

            Like

      1. James

        I think at the price point the BCast nets are paying for content, the PRIMARY consideration will be combining the biggest brands and making sure there are enough desirable games, from a ratings perspective, to fill all the available inventory.

        So I’m thinking something more like, TOSU, PSU, UM, WI, IA, NB, USC play each other as much as possible, THEN fill in remaining time with other considerations.

        But make no mistake, the PSU/MD game will never displace something like PSU/USC. I can see it being as-well-as, but never instead-of.

        Like

      2. Richard

        Eh, a lot of PSU people don’t even acknowledge RU and UMD as rivals. And with where the B10 and ACC are at (especially with the top programs in the ACC leaving when their GOR expires), there’s pretty much no threat of PSU going anywhere now.

        Like

        1. Joe

          It’s not just about Penn St. Nobody recognizes Maryland/Rutgers as rivals, but someone has to play them, and Penn St makes more sense than anyone else. Also, nobody outside of Ohio St considers Penn St to be a main rival.

          Like

          1. manifestodeluxe

            OSU doesn’t consider PSU a main rival. Big game, important game for recruiting and television, but no not a rival. OSU has one rival.

            Like

      3. Brian

        Frank,

        USC has played OSU 24 times, by far the most of any B10 team. Next is IL at 13, with MI, PSU and IA at 10.

        The East gets the focus because the East wins more. I’m not sure how IL and NW losing in LA helps the West. When the B10 added PSU, they locked them with OSU and MI for 10 years. When they added NE, they locked them with MI while playing OSU for 2 years. Then when they went to parity-based scheduling, they locked them with OSU. When they added RU and UMD, they locked them with OSU, MI and PSU. I expect TV to push for this trend to continue. PSU is locked in the east, but OSU, MI, WI and NE can go to LA.

        Like

      4. Frank, there is yet another option to #1 Geography and #2 Trophy games. We could have variable locked games for each school bases upon true rivalries. Each school doesn’t need to have the same number of rivalry games. Here’s my suggestion . . .

        4 Rivalry games: Penn St – Rut, MD, OS, MS

        3 Rivalry games:

        Illini – NW, PU, Ind
        Purdue – IU, UI, NW
        NW – UI, PU, Wisc
        Wisc – MN, IO, NW
        Minn – Wisc, IO, NE
        Iowa – Wisc, MN, NE

        2 Rivalry games:

        Ohio St – UM, PS
        Mich – OS, MS
        Rut – PS, MD
        Ind – Pur, UI
        Neb – Iowa, MN
        Mary – Rut, PS
        Mich St – UM, PS

        1 Rivalry game:

        USC – UCLA
        UCLA – USC

        All other conference games would simply be played Round Robin. And using your own axiom of “think like a college president”, would you as the president of Penn State or Northwestern or Indiana or Iowa or Rutgers prefer the annual schedule of Option 1, Option 2 or my Option 3?

        Like

        1. Richard

          Some of these rivalry game locks don’t make sense and NU-Iowa is a rivalry, but in any case, I doubt very much we will see different schools with different numbers of locked opponents.

          Like

          1. Richard: “Some of these rivalry game locks don’t make sense and NU-Iowa is a rivalry . . .”

            OK, so you just tweak it to include NU-Iowa and whatever “rivalry game locks don’t make sense” to you can also be changed in the blink of an eye. See how easy that is?

            Like

    2. Joe

      Does MSU want that trip to Chicagoland more than a bunch of other schools? Why do they matter more? Everyone wants it due to the number of traditional big ten alumni in chicago and the big recruiting footprint.

      Like

      1. Yeah – I know that MSU has been more vocal about wanting to play in the Chicago area, but everyone in the “original” Big Ten has the exact same interest. That’s why I didn’t assign any more weight to MSU vocalizing that preference since that’s little different to me than SEC/Big 12 schools wanting to play in Texas, SEC/ACC schools wanting to play in Florida, or Pac-12 schools wanting to play in California.

        Like

        1. Richard

          I assign more weight to MSU because they evidently have “visit Chicagoland” as their 2nd highest priority (after the UMich game; they’ve pounded the table on this) and
          1. The other programs that are at or above MSU in the clout department have other 2nd priorities that are more important.
          2. The other programs that have “visit Chicagoland” as a second priority (probably only the IN schools) do not have as much clout.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Furthermore, we have seen the B10 accommodate MSU in that desire at every turn. First with L&L, when MSU and NU we’re in the same division (UW and the IN schools did not get NU annually), and then when MSU and NU were locked the first 6 years of East/West.

            Like

      2. Brian

        Joe,

        I think they do. They were vocal about it before, when nobody else was. OSU and the eastern 3 don’t care about it that much. Neither do the western 2. MI has plenty of other rivals. The western quadrangle (NE/IA/MN/WI) all want to play in Chicago, but they want to play each other more. NW doesn’t count for this, and neither does IL.

        That leaves MSU, IN and PU. All have good claims on wanting games in Chicago.

        But so many schools are close to Chicago that it doesn’t matter that much.

        Like

    3. Eric

      I think Nebraska playing both USC and UCLA is actually a really good move. Nebraska is a king level program (or just outside of being it anymore), but no natural recruiting grounds. Leaving the Big 12 took them out of Texas. This would give them an annual trip to LA for recruiting exposure and, on the other side, seem like a bigger match-up for those schools.

      I think the conference is going to tie one of Ohio State or Michigan (or both) out there still, but I’d take the trophy game set up for sure.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Eric,

        NE always recruited nationally. The quality of their recruiting classes actually didn’t change all that much when NE left the B12. Now NE pulls in more players from the B10 footprint and FL than they used to, and fewer from TX and CA. Some of it is coach dependent and where they have connections.

        In 2009, NE only had 21 players from TX. Now they have 10. But FL went from 3 to 8, MD + NJ went from 3 to 10, etc.

        NE recruiting class rankings:
        2007 – #17
        2008 – #30
        2009 – #28
        2010 – #26
        2011 – #16
        2012 – #32
        2013 – #22
        2014 – #35
        2015 – #30
        2016 – #26
        2017 – #23
        2018 – #23
        2019 – #17

        NE was already sliding before they left the B12. The coaches after Osborne couldn’t maintain that same level.

        Like

        1. Richard

          I mean, Osborne wasn’t pulling in top 5 recruiting classes either. He managed to win national titles with an S&C program and a system that could utilize short-armed linemen to the best of their potential and a few athletes.

          Like

  2. Little8

    The California schools should not object to Nebraska — at least the way they have been playing recently. They will get enough of OSU, PSU, Michigan, etc. without annual matchups.

    Like

  3. Frank, always love your insight. Thank you. As an aside, could the B1G FINALLY move off of the name Big Ten? It’s tradition… right? If tradition were so important, they wouldn’t be poaching schools from their “rival” bowl partners for forever in the PAC12. I’d be very happy to see them break with an outdated/antiquated name and do something new altogether, perhaps with a lean to the new geographical reality that is Coast to Coast.

    Like

    1. Richard

      I suggest calling it the “Intercollegiate Conference”.

      But in all seriousness, no, the Big Ten won’t change its name. Too much brand equity in that name.

      Like

        1. Marc

          The B1G could change the logo to B16 and make the 6 look like a G.

          That is not very future-proof, since they will probably not be at 16 forever.

          If ever asked why they are called Big Ten with 16 members, they can just say “ten are big at any given time.”

          Like

    2. bob sykes

      Big Ten is a trademark. Nowadays it has nothing to do with the number of schools, hasn’t had since Penn State joined. It’s like “Coca” in Coca-Cola. There’s no cocaine in Coke.

      Pendants go bananas over stuff like that. They think a double-negative in English is like multiplying negatives in algebra. It isn’t. English uses repetition for emphasis.

      Like

        1. Mike

          Huge opportunity here:

          The Jim Delany Big Ten Pillars of Sports Presented by Citi

          The Stagg-Alverez Amateurism Pillar Zested Up by RO-TEL.
          The Hayes–Schembechler Sportsmanship Pillar Presented Responsibly by Budweiser.
          The Dungy–Thompson Humanitarianism Pillar Discount Double Checked by State Farm.

          Just let the Big Ten know they can send me the check for this idea.

          Like

  4. Little 8: “The California schools should not object to Nebraska. . . . They will get enough of OSU, PSU, Michigan, etc. without annual matchups.”

    Of course they will. Each school in the conference will play UCLA with a minimum 50% frequency and USC with a minimum 50% frequency. It could easily be scheduled that each of the “original 14” would play a California school every year.

    The foremost problem with our current set-up is two many heavyweights playing heavyweights in the East. Making UM and OSU the annual rivals of USC would only compound the problem.

    Like

  5. Marc

    I suspect the Big Ten will adopt a hybrid model between geography, trophy games, and the third idea that Richard mentioned above, TV value.

    Geography is probably the least important of these. A midwestern conference that just added USC & UCLA is probably not concerned about geographic compactness.

    I like the trophy game idea, but it has to be acknowledged that the majority of TV viewers could not tell you what most of those trophies are. I tend to agree with Richard (above) that the Big Ten is not going to care about preserving the silly MSU–PSU rivalry.

    If they go with three locked games (not the only model but the simplest), I am sure Penn State will lock Rutgers and Maryland. I suspect there will be some griping that they are getting an easier go of it than the other kings.

    Like

  6. Richard

    The B10 could also go with competitiveness-based ties while taking rivalries in to account (which Alan says the SEC will do)

    Say you have 4 tiers:
    Tier 1 (4 points):
    OSU, UMich, PSU, USC

    Tier 2 (3 points):
    MSU, UW, Iowa, UNL

    Tier 3 (2 points):
    UMTC, NU, UCLA, PU

    Tier 4 (1 point):
    RU, UMD, IU, UIUC

    UMich: OSU, MSU, PU (9)
    OSU: UMich, PSU, IU (9)
    PSU: OSU, MSU, RU (9)
    USC: UCLA, UW, UNL (8)

    MSU: UMich, PSU, NU (10)
    UW: Iowa, UMTC, USC (9)
    UNL: Iowa, UMTC, USC (9)
    Iowa: UW, UNL, UMTC (8)

    UMTC: Iowa, UNL, UW (9)
    NU: UIUC, MSU, UCLA (6)
    UCLA: USC, NU, UIUC (7)
    PU: IU, UMich, UMD (6)

    UIUC: NU, UCLA, UMD (5)
    IU: PU, OSU, RU (7)
    RU: UMD, PSU, IU (6)
    UMD: RU, PU, UIUC (4)

    All of the top 8 are at or a point away from 9 points.

    There’s more variation in the bottom half but all are at or a point away from 6 except for UMTC (because the other 3 schools in the NW quad are natural rivals and are all in the 2nd tier, though UNL is going through a down phase) and UMD.
    Maybe RU and UMD can alternate between ties to PSU and PU every 4 years.

    Like

    1. manifestodeluxe

      “Says all 10 will sign a grant of rights if the right deal is put before them.”

      That feels like a very confident way of saying nothing of merit.

      Like

  7. bullet

    Looking at these options, most schools would seem to be fine with 2 fixed rivals. The schools who would most object would probably be Rutgers, Maryland, Iowa and Nebraska (since Iowa would not pick them). So I guess you need 3 minimum and it doesn’t seem you need 4. As much as some of the west division schools would like Ohio St. or Michigan as an annual rival, they don’t have that now.

    So 3 fixed rivals would seem to be the number.

    Like

    1. Richard

      Iowa has at least 4 (UW, UMTC, UNL, and NU) and UMTC would want the Jug game with UMich too, but many coaches/programs also want to play everybody at least half the time.

      Like

  8. Brian

    Frank,

    The 3 locked rivals list is my bailiwick, so I’ve got to chime in.

    Start with the mandatory games:
    RU – UMD, PSU,
    UMD – RU, PSU,
    PSU – OSU, RU, UMD
    OSU – MI, PSU,
    MI – OSU, MSU,
    MSU – MI,
    IN – PU,
    PU – IN, IL,
    IL – NW, PU,
    NW – IL,
    WI – MN, IA,
    MN – WI, IA, NE
    IA – NE, WI, MN
    NE – IA, MN,
    UCLA – USC,
    USC – UCLA,

    I’ll be very surprised if all of those aren’t in the actual set.

    Now add in desirable games:
    OSU – USC
    MI – UCLA
    MSU – IN, NW
    IN – MSU
    NW – MSU
    WI – UCLA
    NE – UCLA
    UCLA – WI, NE
    USC – OSU, MI

    These keep MSU’s minor rivalry and preferred NW game, and get the big brands playing the new west coast members. USC gets kings while UCLA gets brand smore on their level, but also with some history.

    That gets you to 10 of 16 teams with 3 locked games, leaving RU, UMD, IN, PU, IL and NW with 2 each.

    So how to pair them?
    RU – NW (NYC vs Chicago, NW has lots of alumni in NYC)
    IN – IL (regional)
    UMD – PU (good engineering schools? – it’s forced

    Other pairings are certainly possible.

    My final list (for today)
    RU – UMD, PSU, NW
    UMD – RU, PSU, PU
    PSU – OSU, RU, UMD
    OSU – MI, PSU, USC
    MI – OSU, MSU, USC
    MSU – MI, IN, NW
    IN – PU, MSU, IL
    PU – IN, IL, UMD
    IL – NW, PU, IN
    NW – IL, MSU, RU
    WI – MN, IA, UCLA
    MN – WI, IA, NE
    IA – NE, WI, MN
    NE – IA, MN, UCLA
    UCLA – USC, NE, WI
    USC – UCLA, OSU, MI

    I want to note that this list is deigned for the first 10 years or so to integrate USC and UCLA. After that, the locked games out west could change.

    Certainly there is room for change, but I think this hits the goals for the B10 of preserving key rivalries and getting the big brands into LA.

    I hope the B10 mostly applies a zipper-like approach to scheduling the non-locked games:
    USC/UCLA
    NE/IA
    WI/MN
    NW/IL
    IN/PU
    MI/MSU
    OSU/PSU
    UMD/RU

    Play one for 2 years, then the other if neither of them is locked with you. Make new “pairs” from the singletons leftover from your 3 locked rivals and your partner.

    But wait, those locked games seem unfair some will say. Yes, they are unfair. So are the existing rivalries. They key is to remember that all the other games are played 50% of the time. So while IN, PU and IL aren’t locked with any of the big brands, they’ll play half of them every year.

    OSU has 3 locked kings, but OSU also has the best W% and never has to play itself. When you look at the overall schedule strength, it doesn’t vary all that much.

    I used conference W% from 1993-2021 to calculate SOS. The highest W% was 0.530 and the lowest 0.478, with an average of 0.506. Only PU and NW are below 0.490 (0.478 and 0.486), with 10 schools between 0.494 and 0.515. MN and UCLA’s SOS are skewed higher since NE is no longer playing at the level they were in the 90s. That leaves MI and USC as the top, but that’s hard to avoid since they play OSU. If I change NE’s W% to 0.500 from 0.614, the new toughest schedule is 0.520 with a low of 0.472, 15 schools are between 0.480 and 0.520, and 8 schools between 0.490 and 0.510.

    Obviously year to year fluctuations will have a large impact on these numbers.

    For comparison:
    FTT’s Option 1:
    SOS ranges from 0.490-0.530, with MN, RU, IN and UCLA having the toughest schedules while OSU, NW, PSU, NE and USC have the easiest.

    I don’t see why the B10 would lock IL and NW with the LA schools, personally. Those games don’t need to be annual.

    FTT’s Option 2:
    SOS ranges from 0.484-0.533, with MN, IL, UCLA and RU getting the toughest schedules while OSU, PSU, MSU, NW, PU and UMD have the easiest.

    I have a hard time seeing NE get both LA teams locked, and again I’m not sure NW is who the B10 would choose to lock out west.

    Like

    1. Richard

      OK, this looks like my TV-friendly locks except without PSU-MSU (PSU locks both other eastern schools).

      The more I think of it, the more USC-OSU and USC-UMich seems likely. It just makes sense for many reasons, and probably the LA schools’ home games are reserved for CBS and NBC to get them to pay up.

      Like

  9. Brian

    A couple of tidbits from Canzano:

    https://www.johncanzano.com/p/canzano-spider-senses-tingling-on

    I have a hunch this week could bring some news — or at least some direction — when it comes the Pac-12’s media-rights negotiations and/or expansion.

    Further, the Pac-12 expansion question is looming. I’ve written about San Diego State, SMU, UNLV, Boise State and Fresno State at length. A few have speculated that the conference might be more aggressive, moving to add a soon-to-be Big 12 member or potentially targeting some Conference USA programs.

    I reached out to several high-level sources inside the Pac-12 in the last week, asking about media rights and expansion. Nobody wanted to go on the record. One source told me he couldn’t be quoted “…until we get to the other side.”

    It makes me think the “other side” is in sight.

    Keep your ear to the ground this week. The Pac-12 members likely have numbers from the bidders on the media rights front. The conference may be weighing a three-pronged dilemma: A) Take a pile of money from a streaming service knowing that you sacrifice distribution; or B) Sign on full-boat with ESPN for less money, but bask in the glow of the worldwide leader’s propaganda machine; or C) Some blend of both.

    https://www.johncanzano.com/p/canzano-pac-12-commissioner-breaks

    The Pac-12 is knee deep in a critical media-rights negotiation. Conference leadership and its consultants are sorting out a variety of questions. Among them, weighing how much inventory should be sold to a digital streaming service vs. traditional linear-television distributors.

    Said Kliavkoff: “You’re thinking about it exactly the right way — it’s a balancing act. That’s the way we’re thinking about it.”

    In the talk, Kliavkoff spoke candidly about his relationships with other commissioners. He believes UCLA will lose money — not make it — by going to the Big Ten.

    Kliavkoff sounded confident the Pac-12 won’t lose any of the 10 remaining conference members to the Big Ten or Big 12. I mean, he sounded rock-solid certain. It dovetails with what conference athletic directors have said to me over the last couple of months, but I was still a little surprised at the level of unwavering confidence he expressed.

    “Listen, I think if schools would have left for the Big Ten, they would have left for the Big Ten already,” Kliavkoff said.

    • STREAMERS:
    I am 99.9 percent sure that the Pac-12 will end up with a ton of content on Amazon and/or Apple or another streaming service. But I also think the conference knows it’s too soon to go all-in with a digital partner.

    “Certainly revenue is at the top of the priority list but we have to also balance that against distribution,” Kliavkoff said. “We really want our content to be available to any of our fans who want to see it. I’ve set a goal that our content should be available to any piece of glass connected to the internet as part of our next media rights negotiation.”

    • EXPANSION: Kliavkoff talked about Pac-12 expansion, but he didn’t make it sound like a certainty. In fact, he didn’t really say adding schools has even been talked about, at least formally.

    The commissioner did provide a rough timeline, though — get the media-rights deals done first, then make conference expansion decisions.

    I’d love to see his math for how UCLA will lose money by joining the B10.

    Like

    1. Richard

      Yeah, GK seems to just be blowing smoke for the home crowd to snort up here.

      Anyway, I think it’s smartest for the Pac to get their game-of-the-week with the WWL for whatever ESPN will pay them (not much), negotiating a certain number of games (1 a week?) that will absolutely be shown on ESPN/ABC (even if After Dark) and then get as much money as possible from a streamer for the rest.

      Fox doesn’t make much sense because FS1 (and ESPN2 too) don’t really offer more exposure than a streamer.

      Like

    2. Marc

      I’d love to see his math for how UCLA will lose money by joining the B10.

      USC and UCLA are both coming to the Big Ten with full shares. So if he thinks UCLA will lose money, he must think USC will lose too. He must know a different math than everyone else in the industry.

      Like

      1. vp0819

        It somewhat reminds me of when Debbie Yow – then athletic director at N.C. State – was asked in late 2012 for comments on her former school, Maryland, leaving for the Big Ten. She cynically said she hoped Terrapiu basketball teams enjoy playing midweek games in Madison, Wis. Of course, Yow and her famed basketball sisters are North Carolina natives, and I doubt anyone in the College Park business office is complaining about the checks it gets from the B1G.

        Like

    3. manifestodeluxe

      “He believes UCLA will lose money — not make it — by going to the Big Ten.”

      My daughter currently believes Sonic the Hedgehog and unicorns are real. It’s amazing what you can make yourself believe if you want it bad enough.

      “Listen, I think if schools would have left for the Big Ten, they would have left for the Big Ten already,” Kliavkoff said.

      Change the ‘would’ to ‘could’ and he’s probably accurate here.

      Like

  10. Brian

    https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/oklahoma-sooners/bedlam-series-to-be-scrapped-when-sooners-join-the-sec-per-report/

    Bedlam is done once OU joins the SEC. OkSU says they just don’t have room to schedule them.

    “It (playing Oklahoma) presents logistical issues under our current (scheduling) structure,” Oklahoma State AD Chad Weiberg said, via McMurphy. “We don’t have any openings to play them. We’re full. Unless there are significant undertakings to make the game happen, it can’t happen.”

    It should be noted that OkSU just signed an 8 year deal with Tulsa starting in 2024, so that’s 10 games already scheduled for them. They also have series with AR and UO in 2024-27, with an I-AA game to make it all 12 booked (11 in 2025 – no I-AA yet).

    https://fbschedules.com/ncaa/oklahoma-state/

    Their schedule really doesn’t open up until 2030 unless they start cancelling games, and they already have a major OOC game for 2032-37.

    Like

  11. Richard

    Note that in a 3-6-6 scheduling framework, the B10 could switch up some of the 3rd locked games every 4 years. I’m pretty certain USC will start the first 4 years with OSU+UMich (leaving UCLA for UNL+UW). But in the next 4 years, OSU&UMich could lock with the IN schools (the IN schools as well as OSU/UMich want that to a degree), UNL&UW switch to USC, and UCLA locks with someone (IL schools?)

    Like

    1. Marc

      Note that in a 3-6-6 scheduling framework, the B10 could switch up some of the 3rd locked games every 4 years.

      That is my preferred format, as for many schools that third lock — and sometimes even the second — is kind of arbitrary, and there is no reason to make it permanent. People gravitate to 3-6-6 because it is super-easy to explain.

      Like

      1. Personally, I’ve generally been a K.I.S.S. person on various formats (whether divisions, scheduling or playoffs) so that there are consistent and easy to explain.

        That being said, I can see the appeal of having only some schools having 3 games locked if they make sense (such as how I believe Penn State needs to be locked with OSU, Rutgers and Maryland while Iowa and Minnesota similarly ought to be playing each other along with both Nebraska and Wisconsin) while making everything else more flexible.

        The problem, of course, is how to decide those “flexible” games. I actually like the NFL scheduling format where they based certain games on the prior season’s standings, so there’s a year-to-year strength of schedule component.

        I’ve seen some comments before about how the Big Ten locked certain intra-division games over the past few years (such as Northwestern-Michigan State), but note that other than Indiana-Purdue (which is a protected rivalry), all of those other locked intra-division matchups were quite literally chosen randomly out of a hat witnessed by the Big Ten athletic directors. (I’ll have to find the article that described this process, but this is honest-to-goodness how they paired those matchups.)

        That’s just evidence that all of us as fans might be thinking way more about the nuances here than the Powers That Be.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Frank, right, that was after they had locked for the first 6 years parity-based. Then to avoid squabbling, they just drew schools out of a hat the second time.

          It’s possible that each school would only have 2 permanent locks and the 3rd lock would be parity-based.

          So if 2 locks:
          USC-UCLA-UNL all lock each other.
          UW-Iowa-UMTC all lock each other.
          Then a ring that goes PU-IU-UIUC-NU-MSU-UMich-OSU-PSU-RU-UMD-back to PU.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Brian, true, but do either UIUC or PU care about that game? I never even heard of that trophy (or the Old Brass Spittoon, or the Illibuck) until the B10 split in to E/W and used those trophies as justification.

            Like

          2. Richard: “Brian, true, but do either UIUC or PU care about that game?”

            That was Purdue’s second-best rivalry for decades we cared a great deal about it. And when the game was in WL, there were bus-loads of Illini fans coming over to fill the stadium. The reason it became lost is that the East-West Divisions eliminated it.

            Like

        2. bullet

          One other alternative that isn’t too much non-KISS would be a 3-6-6 where you play 3 every year, 6 twice in 3 years and 6 once in 3 years. That could allow for more made for TV matchups as well as making trophy games a little more frequent.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Possible but unlikely. That doesn’t allow all players to visit every B10 stadium at least once over a 4 year career and the gain is somewhat minimal. Plus it would difficult to make the cutoffs so there would be charges of unfairness, favoritism, etc.

            Honestly, I think even my 2 locked opponents for all schools idea is unlikely. But it’s possible that the 3rd lock gets changed around for some schools some of the time.

            Like

          2. Marc

            That doesn’t allow all players to visit every B10 stadium at least once over a 4 year career. . . .

            I wonder how important that is anymore. What percentage of players are on the team and travel roster for four years? And among those who are, how high is this on their list of career priorities?

            Like

          3. Richard

            Marc, hmm. Who knows. I know Fitz has brought it up, though, yeah, not sure anyone cares about NU’s opinion.

            BTW, an interesting factoid: Devin Gardner played at UMich for 5 seasons but never played against Wisconsin*.

            *Wisconsin did visit Ann Arbor in 2010, but due to the wacky schedule changes due to B10 expansion and changing the divisional structure, UMich and UW didn’t play after 2010 and before 2016. No visit to Madison in the years between 2009-2017.

            Hmm, I just found out that that series was ridiculously lopsided before 2005.

            Like

          4. Marc

            To be fair, that is something Big Ten leaders (and not just Fitz.) have brought up in the past. But freshmen often are not on the travel roster, unless they are ready to play that early in their careers. And among those ready to play as freshmen, not all last four years (NFL exits, transfers, injuries, academics, etc.).

            So the idea that every player saw every stadium over four years was always something of a myth, and is probably even less likely today given the rise of the transfer portal.

            Like

          5. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Marc – As a non-athlete student back in the day, I would have appreciated the conference’s effort to schedule all teams within a four year period, and would have taken the possibility of football road trips to every conference school as a challenge.

            Not to brag, but as a student in the late 80s when the SEC was a 10 team league, I did make a game on every campus except UF and Vandy.

            I’m sure all you B1G guys were studying.

            Like

        3. Bob

          Penn State recruits heavily in New Jersey and Maryland. However, they do not consider Rutgers or Maryland rivals. The games are usually not competitive and have had no historical importance to CFB either before or after PSU’s move to the Big Ten. Matchups between MI and MN or OSU and IL have more meaning from a B1G perspective, but don’t show up in schedule suggestions as potential locks. As a PSU alum I have never once heard anyone pound the table for RU or MD. PSU was never considering a jump to the ACC. This always struck me as a Delany strategy to help sell Eastern expansion to the rest of the B1G (and it worked). PSU has played more meaningful games with IA, NE, and others than they have with MD or RU. Personally I’d prefer to lock OSU, UCLA, and MD and just play RU every other year.

          Like

          1. Richard

            The Little Brown Jug is definitely more meaningful but UMTC already has 3 rivals and UMich likely has a bunch of priorities (besides OSU and MSU, visiting the East Coast, visiting the West Coast, IN games for it’s fans to travel to, and visiting Chicago) above visiting MN more often.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Big Ten sources said on-the-record that they feared Penn State leaving for the ACC, and that the Rutgers/Maryland strategy was intended in part to prevent that from happening. That was never cited as the entire reason for doing it.

            It never made much sense to me. Penn State and Rutgers only started playing each other regularly in 1977, meaning it existed as an annual game for barely more than a decade before PSU joined. When Rutgers joined the Big Ten, they had not played PSU in almost 20 years.

            The PSU–Maryland rivalry had a bit more teeth, as the two played almost annually from 1961 to 1993. Still, PSU did not care enough to schedule it as a non-conference game. As with Rutgers, when Maryland joined they hadn’t played PSU in a bit over 20 years.

            That tells you how important those rivalries were to Penn State.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Bob,

            Nobody thinks RU or UMD are rivalries for PSU, but PSU is the eastern big brand and the only power school near them. PSU’s fan base is the only one they encounter much, and both are close enough for PSU fans to fill their stadiums. It just makes sense for PSU to keep playing them both.

            Like

          4. Brian

            Marc,

            Those were the eastern schools that were available and met the B10’s requirements. They are both near Philadelphia, where much of PSU’s fan base is centered.

            Other eastern options (based on most games vs PSU) were Pitt, Syracuse, WV, Temple, Penn, Navy, Bucknell, and Army. Penn and Bucknell are I-AA. The academies would not work. WV isn’t good enough academically. Temple got kicked out of the Big East for sucking, and brings no new territory. Pitt would’ve been redundant for territory (good rivalry, though) back when BTN subscribers were a key factor. That just leaves Syracuse, who left the AAU when NE got booted.

            Would SU have been more meaningful? After 1990, they didn’t play again until 2008. SU won twice in 23 games since 1971. Would SU have left the ACC? I doubt it. They fit better there, and it was hard to get UMD to leave.

            Like

    2. Brian

      There are lots of games they could play off the basic 3-6-6 scheme.

      A could play B and C 75% of the time (alternating 2 years as 3rd locked rivals with A).

      A – R1, @R2, B, no C, (d,e,f,g,h,n)
      A – @R1, R2, @B, C, (d,e,f,g,h)
      A – R1, @R2, C, no B, (i,j,k,l,m,n)
      A – @R1, R2, @C, B, (i,j,k,l,m)

      But I tend to think they’ll stick with KISS. Hopefully they will reconsider the third locked games every few years, maybe even pre-design a rotation for them.

      Like

  12. Gregenstein

    A few notes from a Penn State fan:

    I don’t generally like the Rutgers/Maryland locks. I’d keep the OSU game and ditch Maryland for whatever other blue blood you could throw this way.

    That said…putting on my *think like a university President” hat…the alumni base & good recruiting grounds for PSU are mostly PA, MD, NJ, and VA. There’s some exceptions (everyone loves Florida, Chicago, Southern California) but in general, it’s not westward.

    So as much as this is a ho-hum for PSU, I agree with what you wrote. Anyone writing in MSU or whoever else instead of the eastern block is probably not considering the 1,000 foot view from above.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    Like

    1. Brian

      Yep. And also, from RU’s and UMD’s POV who else would they want play? PSU is the only big brand school near their fan bases, and the only one near driving distance.

      Like

    1. Richard

      Amazon in the picture for the B10 only if the B10 expands, and that’s just tough to justify financially. Even if Amazon overpays, someone would have to keep overpaying for ever and ever.

      Like

    2. Marc

      The article notes that: “The likes of Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue and Rutgers would be unlikely to support expansion, ” since they would bear the brunt of games relegated to streaming purgatory.

      Dodd cites an unnamed industry source that any streaming deal would exclude 100% of the Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State games. I have to think Warren would need to throw Amazon at least some red meat.

      So I guess Warren has some convincing to do, assuming this is something he wants. Money quote:

      Approximately 85% of U.S. households have at least one streaming service. However, 85% isn’t 100%.

      And not all of those 85% have Amazon. Ratings for Amazon’s first Thursday night game were off the charts, but that might have been due to the novelty factor. No one knows if they can keep it up.

      Like

      1. Marc: “The article notes that: “The likes of Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue and Rutgers would be unlikely to support expansion, ” since they would bear the brunt of games relegated to streaming purgatory.”

        The likes of Ohio State, Michigan, USC and Penn State would be unlikely to support further expansion because it would further dilute their brands. Marc, do you take the bait every time?

        Like

      2. Brian

        Marc,

        “Dodd cites an unnamed industry source that any streaming deal would exclude 100% of the Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State games. I have to think Warren would need to throw Amazon at least some red meat.”

        Fox, CBS and NBC already paid for the top cuts. Amazon would get the trimmings at this point. Not only are there the Saturday tripleheaders, but FOX also paid for games for FS1 and BTN, and NBC for Peacock.

        Is Amazon going to reimburse them to get better games? Would NBC even want that, if the whole point is to grow Peacock?

        “And not all of those 85% have Amazon.”

        And of those that do, a large percentage don’t actually use it. They just wanted free shipping.

        Like

        1. Richard

          FS1, BTN, and Peacock would get something, but if the inventory is from more expansion, the increased quality of picks likely would offset them having to work Amazon in to the draft order as well. The problem is, while Amazon may be willing to pay the equivalent of top-3-pick money for non-top-3 picks, are they willing to pay that forever? Because otherwise, expansion would be hard to justify (without ND or any of the top ACC programs coming).

          Like

          1. Marc

            The problem is, while Amazon may be willing to pay the equivalent of top-3-pick money for non-top-3 picks, are they willing to pay that forever?

            This is why I am skeptical of any further expansion right now. Even if Amazon pays enough in the current cycle, that money could dry up next time around. Expansion is a forever decision.

            Like

          2. Brian

            Maybe we sell Amazon an auto-renewing membership that can only be cancelled by getting a live B10 representative on the phone, then remove the phone lines from B10 HQ. But we’ll give them free shipping for the games.

            Like

    3. Brian

      Amazon was interested in better games, but the B10 wasn’t. I don’t see that changing unless the new members take less money and play all the Amazon games. Why would any current B10 members want less money and/or less exposure? And I don’t see Amazon wanting just the worst games.

      Maybe they can overwhelm the P12 or B12 with cash, but the lack of exposure is a big hurdle. Even the NFL barely dipped a toe in those waters. And NFL cross-promotion only helps if CFB fans watch those NFL games – large parts of those fan bases don’t overlap at all. It’s not like the CFB game would follow the NFL game – that would have big value.

      I think UCLA might share a few million with Cal for a few years, their part of how much the TV deal might have dropped in value. More likely, they promise to play Cal OOC every year.

      Like

      1. Marc

        Amazon was interested in better games, but the B10 wasn’t. I don’t see that changing unless the new members take less money and play all the Amazon games. Why would any current B10 members want less money and/or less exposure? And I don’t see Amazon wanting just the worst games.

        I don’t expect further expansion in this cycle, but for the sake of argument, let’s say the Big Ten adds Washington and Stanford. Some of those games would be in the top-three rotation (e.g., Stanford @OSU), which would create spare inventory, some of which goes to Amazon. But as I said in another post, Amazon probably needs at least some decent games.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Amazon would want decent games, but nobody playing in a decent game wants to be on Amazon.

          Unlike the P12, the B10 isn’t desperate for Amazon’s money right now. It makes no sense for the B10 to agree to it.

          Like

    1. Marc

      According to every number I can find, Peacock’s subscriber base is minuscule — roughly about 1/10th of Amazon. And they are practically giving it away.

      Like

      1. EndeavorWMEdani

        Which makes the B1G’s decision to make it the conference’s streaming partner all the more bizarre. if NBC demanded it as part of their package, I have to believe there’s some sort of dissolution clause, freeing up those rights in the event Peacock is shuttered or absorbed in a merger. As is, it’s a dead bird walking.

        Like

        1. Richard

          I mean, those are probably the B10 games that have the lowest potential viewership (sadly, that probably means my Wildcats will feature heavily).

          Like

        2. Marc

          Which makes the B1G’s decision to make it the conference’s streaming partner all the more bizarre.

          I assume what the Big Ten really wanted was the night game on NBC. A handful of Peacock games was part of the deal, just to give NBC a chance to prove they can make it work.

          I have to believe there’s some sort of dissolution clause, freeing up those rights in the event Peacock is shuttered or absorbed in a merger.

          I am sure they do, but the bigger worry is that Peacock remains a zombie network — still technically alive, but miles away from the distribution they could have had on Amazon or Apple. Fortunately, this is a short deal, so if it’s a mistake, they aren’t stuck for 20 years, like the (ahem!) ACC.

          Like

      2. Brian

        Marc,

        I assume you really mean Peacock Premium (and Premium Plus). They literally give Peacock away, and Comcast subscribers get Premium included in their bill. Just from that Comcast deal, Peacock should have a decent number of subscribers (not viewers, but subscribers). Plus Premium is 60% off this month ($1.99 not $4.99).

        https://variety.com/2022/streaming/news/peacock-subscribers-q2-1235326362/

        13M paid subscribers, with 27M active accounts. But Comcast has more than 13M T V subscribers, so I’m not sure how that works.

        Like

        1. Marc

          I didn’t even know there were levels of Peacock, which tells you how much attention I am paying to it. But yes, that 60% discount is what I mean by “practically giving it away.”

          Like

    2. Brian

      Of more immediate interest is some details of which 16 teams get screwed with Peacock games each year. When are those games played (F nights?, Saturdays?) and who plays in them (big brands?, medium brands?, RU?)? Are there caps on how often teams play there, or minimum appearance rules?

      Which particular streaming black hole they end up in seems less important for now.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Seems like these were just thrown in so I’m quite confident nothing that is top-3-pick quality, so almost certainly no PSU/UMich/PSU. Games between the group of the IN schools, IL schools, UMTC, and RU&UMD when they don’t have winning records are tiny. Sometimes some other matchups too.

        And these types of games that currently end up on FS1/ESPN2/BTN draw very few viewers anyway.

        Like

        1. Brian

          I agree with all of that. But there were clear rules about everyone appearing on BTN at least twice per year, limits on night games, ability to refuse night games, etc.

          I’d like to see the details about Peacock games, NBC night games, PT night games, and all the other details for the new TV deal.

          Then we’ll know if schools have to appear on Peacock every other year or some such. OSU/RU is the sort of BTN game that could be buried on Peacock just as easily.

          Like

          1. Richard

            Again, Brian, I doubt it. Fox and NBC and CBS shelled out a lot of money (and NBC & CBS must be counting on very strong selections for 3rd picks). I doubt that there are restrictions on their top 3 picks besides the BTN appearance one.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Fox and NBC and CBS shelled out a lot of money (and NBC & CBS must be counting on very strong selections for 3rd picks). I doubt that there are restrictions on their top 3 picks besides the BTN appearance one.

            Right, but Brian is asking mainly about the Peacock games, which are never going to be top three. After those games, how do the rest get spread around?

            Like

          3. Richard

            Marc, by that time, all the OSU and UMich conference games would already be snapped up*. Most of the PSU conference games too.

            *Unless UMich/OSU become bad (again, in the case of the Wolverines).

            Like

          4. Marc

            Marc, by that time, all the OSU and UMich conference games would already be snapped up. Most of the PSU conference games too.

            I am not sure how you are counting, but there certainly are weeks when those schools’ games are not among the top three. Hence the question of pecking order (no Peacock pun intended) beyond that level.

            I mean…if Peacock is always the sixth choice after the broadcast nets, FS1, and BTN, then I agree they will probably never get a king game. But no one has stated the selection mechanism after the top three.

            Like

          5. Richard

            Marc, these days, OSU games always draw at least decent viewership even when they’re beating up nobodies OOC. Same with UMich when they are good. I believe every OSU game (not taken by BTN) was actually in the top 3 B10 games every week they played. The OSU games that weren’t taken by BTN (there should be 9-10 of them) definitely were in the top 45 B10-controlled games.

            In other words, your mental map seems out of date. These days, OSU/UMich are the brands you think ND is while ND isn’t as big a draw as Bama/OSU/UMich.

            Like

          6. Marc

            I see there have been multiple Ohio State and Penn State games on FS1 in recent years. They are also on ESPN sometimes, and I am not quite sure if that necessarily means they were in the top three.

            Like

          7. Richard

            Same was true in 2017 and 2018, including the 1 FS1 game I saw.

            Recall that Fox was putting good games on FS1 in order to grow carriage there.

            I think that’s 1 reason why the B10 went with 3 linear carriers this time (no streaming for a top 3 pick either): Because it didn’t want any of its good games buried on FS1 (or streaming), suppressing viewership.

            Like

          8. Marc

            So you believe that every week, the Fox/CBS/NBC line-up will consist of a Michigan game, an Ohio State game, and a Penn State game? (Maybe not in that order.)

            Wow!

            Like

          9. Richard

            Marc: Did I say PSU games are always top 3? No.

            Plus:
            1. Those 3 teams aren’t always playing. The top 3 picks are for 15 games each.
            2. Sometimes, they play each other.
            3. Some of their games will have to go on BTN.

            But yes, OSU, UMich, and PSU would feature disproportionately in the top 3 of a week. I’m not sure why that surprises you.

            Like

          10. Brian

            What was true with 14 teams and what is true with 16 teams may not be the same. You point out FS1 getting some good games because Fox wanted to grow it. Doesn’t that same logic apply to NBC and Peacock? Isn’t that one reason they were willing to pay so much, that they could get some decent games to stream?

            Say teams have the following value in games:
            Tier 1 (4 pts) – OSU, MI, PSU, USC – Kings
            Tier 2 (3) – NE, WI, IA, MSU – Princes
            Tier 3 (2) – UCLA, NW, MN, UMD – Decent and/or in big markets
            Tier 4 (1) – PU, IL, IN, RU – Bad and/or small market

            Now say my set of rivals is used.
            8 pt games – 4 locked + 1 = 5 (OSU – 3) running total = 5
            7 pt games – 1 locked + 7.5 = 8.5 (OSU – 2) running total = 13.5
            6 pt games – 4 locked + 9 = 13 (OSU – 2) running total = 26.5
            5 pt games – 7 locked + 12.5 = 19.5 (OSU – 2) running total = 46
            4 pt games – 1 locked + 10.5 = 11.5 (OSU – 0) running total = 57.5
            3 pt games – 4 locked + 6 = 10 (OSU – 0) running total = 67.5
            2 pt games – 3 locked + 1.5 = 4.5 (OSU – 0) running total = 72

            That’s just the 72 conference games, so let’s say they are spread over 11 weeks. That means 33 top 3 windows for the networks. Assuming they are spread out optimally, that would be 5 8-pt games, 9 7-pt games, 13 6-pt games, and 6 5-pt games.

            If you assume within each level that all OSU games are taken first, then all of OSU’s games would be in the top 3. Likewise for MI, but not PSU and/or USC. But if BTN also gets 1 B10 game from each team, then you might use up all the Tier 1 team games.

            But this is in the ideal schedule for TV scenario. We know that doesn’t happen in real life. In reality some weeks have a cluster of big games, while others have fewer. There are going to be some king games available.

            I didn’t even look at early OOC weeks when there are many more games.

            Why assume BTN gets priority over Peacock for access to teams? Why wouldn’t NBC demand a guarantee (maybe 1 appearance every other year) too?

            As I say, I would just like to see all the rules spelled out. How many weeknight games, and when (Wk 1 and T-Day week are different from the regular season)? How many BTN, FS1, and Peacock appearances are required?

            Like

          11. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Nobody knows who is is the ACC’s Atlantic and Coastal divisions. Most everyone can figure out the Pac 12 North & South, the B1G East & West, and the SEC East and West, with the exception of Mizzou.

            The 3-6-6 model’s beauty is its simplicity. So what if there are a couple of not quite perfect annual games, you get everyone at least fifty percent of the time. That’s about as good as it can get, while still making it easy to understand.

            Like

          12. Marc

            Atlantic & Coastal were uniquely stupid divisions designed to produce the occasional FSU–Miami conference championship game. The football gods punished the ACC by ensuring that this match-up never happened.

            The Big Ten tried the same thing with Legends & Leaders, which blessedly lasted only a short time. Adding Rutgers & Maryland gave them a chance to fix it without forcing them to admit how bad an idea it was in the first place.

            But divisions are something you see every time you look at the standings. The scheduling format is not like that. I will assume that most fans know that you play every team in your division every year. I suspect most do not know how the other three games are chosen.

            Like

          13. Alan from Baton Rouge

            Marc – my point is Joe Fan would know the his State U plays X, Y, and Z schools annually, and everybody else twice in a four year period. That’s in line with Frank’s KISS standard, rather than suggestions about some schools having 2 annual games with some others having 4 or 5. No plan will be perfect for everybody, but I’m 100% in the FTT camp that the most simple, easy to understand plan is best, even if you only get to play Team X twice every four years.

            Like

          14. Marc

            Marc – my point is Joe Fan would know the his State U plays X, Y, and Z schools annually, and everybody else twice in a four year period.

            I am guessing Joe Fan does not know that, given the amount of ignorance one sees on fan chats. The participants on this forum are dialed into such issues, and might be exaggerating the extent that the average fan is aware of them.

            The NFL’s scheduling formula is quite complex, and I suspect very few fans could tell you what it is exactly, other than you play all the teams in your division home & home.

            Like

          15. Brian

            What part of that is unrealistic?

            Even in the ideal scheduling scenario, there would be some king games left out of the top 3 picks unless the networks essentially always choose Tier 1 vs Tier 4 games above Tier 2 vs Tier 2 and Tier 2 vs Tier 3 games. That’s simple math. The 4 kings would play 31 B10 games (the other 5 are king-king games already counted).

            That would mean only 2 of games like NE/WI, NE/IA, WI/IA, NE/MSU, WI/MSU and IA/MSU would make an OTA network (and none of the other teams not playing a king) because PSU/RU and OSU/IN and MI/IL are being chosen instead. I find that highly unrealistic.

            So, the rules for 4th picks and below are also important to know. And scheduling constraints based on BTN or FS1 or Peacock having rights to show certain teams.

            Like

          16. Brian

            Marc,

            The B10 had better options but chose L & L instead.

            Outer vs Inner and NW vs SE both could’ve worked and made sense.

            Outer – PSU, RU, UMD, NE, IA, WI, MN
            Inner – OSU, MI, MSU, IL, NW, IN , PU

            NW – NE, IA, WI, MN, MI, MSU, NW
            SE – OSU, PSU, RU, UMD, IL, IN, PU

            Outer vs inner had travel imbalance issues and isolated the newbies.

            NW vs SE required two locked crossover rivalries (OSU/MI, NW/IL) but otherwise made decent sense.

            Like

          17. Brian

            Marc,

            Marc – my point is Joe Fan would know the his State U plays X, Y, and Z schools annually, and everybody else twice in a four year period.

            “I am guessing Joe Fan does not know that, given the amount of ignorance one sees on fan chats. The participants on this forum are dialed into such issues, and might be exaggerating the extent that the average fan is aware of them.”

            Back in the 11-team days, how many fans didn’t know who their school’s 2 locked rivals were? It didn’t take long to figure out if you cared at all, and that was true pre-internet.

            Like

          18. Marc

            Back in the 11-team days, how many fans didn’t know who their school’s 2 locked rivals were? It didn’t take long to figure out if you cared at all, and that was true pre-internet.

            I think fans generally knew who their locked rivals were, just as NFL fans know the teams in their own team’s division. How the rest of the season was determined, I believe most fans could not have told you.

            Like

          19. Richard

            I find your concern that every team will be forced to be on Peacock unrealistic. BTN being owned by the B10 and Peacock (which may not even exist in its current form) being not is a big difference.

            And your simple math doesn’t take in to account that B10 conference games will almost certainly soon be spread over 14 weeks. 45 “top-3” picks total.

            Also, you don’t differentiate between kings but really should. Even with the addition of the LA schools, I don’t see any OSU or UMich conference games (assuming OSU and UMich are national title contenders) to fall out of the top 3 picks. Some PSU and USC conference games might.

            Like

          20. Brian

            Marc,

            “I think fans generally knew who their locked rivals were, just as NFL fans know the teams in their own team’s division. How the rest of the season was determined, I believe most fans could not have told you.”

            Well, there were 6 games left to fill and 8 teams. I think they got the idea. So now with playing half the teams, then the other half, I think they’ll also grok that pretty easily. It’s not like pro schedules, which are much more complicated.

            That’s the whole point of 3-6-6 – anyone can understand it easily.

            Like

          21. Brian

            Richard,

            It’s not a concern per se, it’s an open question that I want answered. There is precedent for them including rules like that in deals, and NBC made a point of getting some Peacock games as part of their deal, and got 1 less CCG than CBS. There’s been speculation the Peacock games would be Friday nights, but we don’t even know if that’s true. And if it is, do the old rules of refusing to host those games still apply? Lots of unanswered questions.

            “And your simple math doesn’t take in to account that B10 conference games will almost certainly soon be spread over 14 weeks. 45 “top-3” picks total.”

            If you spread the B10 games out, then you just mix in their OOC games. It doesn’t change much. And I openly said I ignored the 3 OOC weeks. If I didn’t, then I have to include the 12 OOC games played by the kings but those range in opponents so they are harder to categorize. I also need to put in numbers for the princes and even the tier 3 and 4 schools in case they play a king or prince (like ND vs PU).

            USC will have 1 8-pt game at least. OSU, MI and PSU will have a 7-pt or 8-pt game each as well. Likely they will all have 2 5-pt games in many years as well. The princes should all have 1 6-pt or better game as well, plus 2 4-pt games. The tier 3 schools also may have some 5-pt games. So that’s 38.5 6-pt or higher games over 14 weeks. That means 3 or 4 of the 5-pt games would be needed.

            The 4 kings combine to play 43 games. The OTA networks would have to essentially ignore all other games to show all the king games in their 45 slots. That seems unrealistic.

            “Also, you don’t differentiate between kings but really should.”

            Right, because any way I did that you were likely to agree with. Besides, I did talk through that.

            “Even with the addition of the LA schools, I don’t see any OSU or UMich conference games (assuming OSU and UMich are national title contenders) to fall out of the top 3 picks.”

            They already fall to BTN, which is outside the top 3. Why would that end? It’s easy to have a week like: MI/NW, WI/MSU, USC/IA, PSU/UCLA and OSU/RU. No huge games, but several good ones that don’t include OSU. Week 4 last year was similar, with WI/ND, NE/MSU, MI/RU, and OSU/Akron. The OSU game went to BTN and finished 4th for the wee among B10 games.

            Like

          22. Richard

            Man, Brian, you’re a pedant. We both know that BTN takes at least 1 conference game and 1 OOC game from each king, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning. And yes, some of the OOC games would be dreck. You also like to attack strawmen as I never said all kings would have all their games in the top 3 choices. I said OSU and UMich should (if they are in national title contention) have all their conference games (other than the mandated BTN games) among the top 3. And PSU should have most (assuming that they’re also good and not bad/mediocre). Even if you add up all the OSU and UMich conference games not taken by BTN, that’s only 15 (they play each other). Say another 6 are PSU. There aren’t that many OOC games that would make the top 45 as generally, there aren’t that many attractive Big10-P5 matchups. Maybe 8 of those? And half of them would be owned by the other conference, so only 4 of them. Maybe a couple other OSU/UMich OOC games? You’re still only up to 27, and the other 18 are for USC and the other princes vs each other or some hot/compelling non-royalty team. Not all prince-prince matchups are great TV draws (especially if 1 or both those teams are mediocre/doing badly) and neither is USC when they are not contending for the national title.

            I do believe the B10 will spread around the most attractive B10 games smartly before every year so while your proposed scenario is possible, I believe the B10 will work to avoid that.

            Like

          23. Brian

            Richard,

            “We both know that BTN takes at least 1 conference game and 1 OOC game from each king, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.”

            1. We know that’s currently true. Is it part of the new deal? We don’t know. It’s one of those questions I’d like answered.

            2. Since that takes out up to 8 king games, it seems relevant to a discussion about what games might end up on Peacock.

            3. The point is that OSU already plays in some 4th choice games. Adding USC and UCLA won’t make that less common.

            “You also like to attack strawmen as I never said all kings would have all their games in the top 3 choices. I said OSU and UMich should (if they are in national title contention) have all their conference games (other than the mandated BTN games) among the top 3. And PSU should have most (assuming that they’re also good and not bad/mediocre). ”

            No, that isn’t what you said. You said this:

            Seems like these were just thrown in so I’m quite confident nothing that is top-3-pick quality, so almost certainly no PSU/UMich/PSU.

            Assuming one of those PSU’s is OSU, you said 3 of the 4 kings wouldn’t have any games on Peacock. No limitation to B10 games, no qualifications about team quality. You’ve kept moving the goal posts since then.

            “I do believe the B10 will spread around the most attractive B10 games smartly before every year so while your proposed scenario is possible, I believe the B10 will work to avoid that.”

            The B10 said they will work with TV on this, but they are slightly limited. Teams often have their OOC schedules set many years in advance, and certain games have traditional weeks (like rivalry week). They can also only guess at what will be attractive games. A few teams defy expectations every year. And fans are going to expect to mostly get home and home series in conference play. Plus, it’s not a given that the 3 TV networks will be in agreement.

            Like

          24. Richard

            Brian, I’ve mentioned this before:
            IU-PU and UMich-OSU are the only games I can remember (during my lifetime) that have always been played by the B10 rivalry week. All other B10 games have moved around before. That’s not a huge constraint on scheduling.
            And the 3 networks don’t have to be in agreement. That’s why they have a drafting order. Then everybody can put the games they choose when they want when it’s their turn.

            Dates for OOC games with G5 and FCS schools can also be moved around pretty easily. None of those leagues set their league schedules years in advance. In the future, the B10 may just tell schools not to set dates for those G5/FCS games (or it could tell UMich/OSU/PSU as well as some of the “peasant” class schools to schedule their G5/FCS games for weeks 4&5 while leaving weeks 1-3 mostly free (while telling the prince/middle-class schools to fit all their OOC games in weeks 1-3).

            Finally, I see no reason for the BTN requirement to change.

            You like to propose scenarios that aren’t likely for some reason. It’s like you’re trolling.

            Like

          25. Richard: “IU-PU and UMich-OSU are the only games I can remember (during my lifetime) that have always been played by the B10 rivalry week.”

            Prior to circa 1994-95, The Old Oaken Bucket game was played the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday, not during the 4-day Turkey weekend.

            Like

          26. Richard

            Actually, mixing and matching 4 kings with 4 peons probably works better just in case 1 of the 4 kings is really down. So tell UMich, OSU, PSU, USC & RU, UMD, IU, and UIUC to schedule all their G5/FCS buy games in weeks 5 & 6 (their P5 matchups OK to be in the first 4 weeks). Then tell everyone else to schedule all their OOC games in weeks 1, 3, and 4 (Labor Day weekend week 2 has a lot of slots so probably should feature a full conference slate) or after week 6.
            Between MSU, UNL, Iowa, UW, UMTC, UCLA, NU, and PU, you should be able to find 3 good games while the other half of the conference is playing buy games.

            Like

          27. Marc

            So tell UMich, OSU, PSU, USC & RU, UMD, IU, and UIUC to schedule all their G5/FCS buy games in weeks 5 & 6…

            So…you, Brian, and I are not really disagreeing on very much. What you just described is something they could do. But we don’t know what they have actually agreed (or will do), which is what Brian keeps saying.

            Like

          28. Richard

            Marc, right. What _I_ would do if running/advising the B10.

            And actually, I’d make an adjustment:
            8 teams schedule all their G5/FCS buy games weeks 6&7 (2 conference games spread throughout weeks 1&3-5 along with any P5 OOC games).
            Full conference slate Labor Day weekend.
            Other 8 teams play conference games in weeks 6&7 and all OOC games in weeks 1&3-5.
            So in the last half (7 weeks) of the season, everyone gets 6 conference games and a bye week.

            For fairness & and to stop complaints, the group of 8 teams switch positions every few years so everybody has to play buy games on weeks 6&7 (and early-season B10 games) at some point.

            The B10 could lay out this scheme for years in the future, allowing schools to plan their OOC schedule.

            Like

          29. Brian

            Stop making up strawmen. I literally said “slightly limited” and you reply with:

            That’s not a huge constraint on scheduling.

            I never said anything remotely similar to it being a huge constraint.

            “Brian, I’ve mentioned this before:
            IU-PU and UMich-OSU are the only games I can remember (during my lifetime) that have always been played by the B10 rivalry week.”

            So what? Does that mean your memory is correct? Do you assume I read everything you write?

            “And the 3 networks don’t have to be in agreement.”

            They do if they’re trying to get the B10 to move certain games to certain weeks to spread the games out in a way that helps them. They all may want certain games in a different place based on their other commitments and other games on the schedules of other conferences or teams.

            “Dates for OOC games with G5 and FCS schools can also be moved around pretty easily.”

            Easy for the P5 schools to say. Maybe the MAC doesn’t want to have 15 games forced on them in random weeks by the B10.

            “In the future, the B10 may just tell schools not to set dates for those G5/FCS games (or it could tell UMich/OSU/PSU as well as some of the “peasant” class schools to schedule their G5/FCS games for weeks 4&5 while leaving weeks 1-3 mostly free (while telling the prince/middle-class schools to fit all their OOC games in weeks 1-3).”

            Or they could just tell school years in advance to save week 3 here, and week 2 there. You don’t need the whole B10 schedule completed to give some advance notice of these sorts of things.

            “Finally, I see no reason for the BTN requirement to change.”

            So what? You aren’t party to the negotiations. You not seeing a reason doesn’t mean they didn’t have one.

            Again, I’m not saying it did change. I’m simply saying I want to see them lay out all the details. There’s no reason this stuff should be kept secret.

            Like

          30. Richard

            At this point, Brian, I’m going to write you off as a disagreeable argumentative troll with no life as you seem to want to argue for no good reason other than being ornery and disagreeable.

            Like

  13. Alan from Baton Rouge

    Week #3 rating are out.

    Only one game cracked the 4m threshold.

    https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings/

    4.05m Penn State at Auburn CBS 3:30p

    FOX won the noon slot with Oklahoma at Nebraska (3.41m), nipping UGA at South Carolina on ESPN (3.0m).

    The ESPN combination of Miss State/LSU (3.06m) and Miami/A&M (3.40m) eked out a win over the FOX game (Toledo/Ohio State 3.05m) and the ABC game (Mich State/UDub 2.79m).

    Like

      1. Ross

        I’m actually a bit surprised MSU-UW didn’t do better though given it’s 7:30 time slot and that it was a match-up of unbeatens, one of which was ranked somewhat highly. In general, looks like a rough weekend for college football ratings.

        Like

        1. Brian

          It wasn’t a great game to watch, and neither is a huge brand that will draw tons of casual viewers. There were also a lot of simultaneous games of roughly equal quality so the audience was splintered.

          Primetime:
          Miami/TAMU – 3.49M
          LSU/MsSU – 3.06M
          OSU/Toledo – 3.05M
          UW/MSU – 2.79M
          TT/NCSU – 0.75M
          IA/NV – 0.35M
          UMD/SMU – 0.26M

          Plus with the NFL starting, many casual fans have shifted to that.

          Like

  14. Brian

    https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34632937/wanting-college-football-strong-nationally-sec-commissioner-greg-sankey-optimistic-expanded-playoff

    Sankey said the main obstacles in moving up expansion to 2024 remain lining up bowl dates, campus involvement, interaction of TV networks, not bumping up against the NFL and not extending the playoff too far into January.

    Not really news, but Sankey lays out all the obstacles to CFP expansion coming early. A lot of those revolve around figuring out the calendar.

    Like

  15. Brian

    https://www.si.com/college/2022/09/21/proposed-college-football-calendar-season-moves-earlier

    The commissioners have drafted a new CFB calendar.

    However, maybe the most significant item is the notion that officials need to “further explore potentially making Week 0 fully permissive,” the calendar notes. Under current rules, teams need a waiver to play a game during what’s termed “Week 0,” the weekend before the official start to the season. In another proposed change, bowl games would be permitted to start the second Saturday in December—a week earlier than normal.

    In fact, there are plenty of hurdles left before the calendar is finalized, most notably a collaboration with officials on the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, who themselves have been working on a separate recruiting calendar. Officials with knowledge of the discussions caution that changes to the 365-day calendar are likely.

    While opening the door for teams to have an additional bye week, lifting the Week 0 waiver process could be the first step in a move to eventually shift up a week the entire regular season. The change would expand a tight December window in which to play additional playoff games, alleviating a cramped timeline that includes conference championship games, NFL regular-season games (some played on Saturday), midyear exams and graduation.

    Moving bowl games up a week is another sign in the eventual forward shift of the entire season. This year, the first bowl game is scheduled to kick off on Dec. 16. If the proposed calendar were implemented, bowls could start as soon as Dec. 10, the date of the annual Army-Navy game. Moving bowls up provides a larger window to play the 42 bowls as well as the additional playoff games.

    Other than the increased risk of heat stroke (for fans, too) with more games in August, this plan sounds good. Shifting the season up a week may be the only path to scheduling the expanded CFP around the NFL.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Other than the increased risk of heat stroke (for fans, too) with more games in August, this plan sounds good.

      It is also a lot more games played before the students have arrived for the fall semester.

      Shifting the season up a week may be the only path to scheduling the expanded CFP around the NFL.

      I think either Gene Smith or Barry Alvarez, maybe both, already said that they believe this will have to happen.

      Like

      1. vp0819

        As both an undergrad at Maryland in the mid-’70s and a grad student at Iowa State in the mid-’80s, students returned to campus before the final Saturday in August. And since I’m certain every FBS stadium now has lights, what’s the big deal?

        Like

        1. Marc

          As both an undergrad at Maryland in the mid-’70s and a grad student at Iowa State in the mid-’80s, students returned to campus before the final Saturday in August.

          That is certainly not true everywhere.

          And since I’m certain every FBS stadium now has lights, what’s the big deal?

          I don’t know to what extent the heat matters, but I am sure they will spread the games out over the full day, as they do every other week.

          Like

          1. vp0819

            The vast majority of American universities now begin the fall semester in mid- to late August, thus allowing the break between fall and spring semesters to coincide with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s why most commencements now take place in May, rather than June. (There are a handful of exceptions, notably Princeton and Harvard.) This dates back to the early 1970s, when many campuses were awash in anti-war sentiment, and many believed shifting up the calendar would help limit demonstrations and Kent State-like violence.

            One by-product of this was that several northern schools ended their baseball programs; for example, Syracuse discontinued the sport in 1975 (perhaps to focus more energy on lacrosse each spring).

            Like

          2. Richard

            Yeah, it’s not true everywhere (my alma mater, for one), but most colleges now are on a semester system where students arrive around mid-August. Even at UMich (with it’s short terms), students should be on campus by Week Zero.

            Like

          3. greg

            If the season starts in week zero, I assume that means ending the weekend before Thanksgiving, which is much better for students to be able to attend the final game. Iowa allows students to buy a season ticket without the Black Friday game.

            Like

          4. greg: “If the season starts in week zero, I assume that means ending the weekend before Thanksgiving, which is much better for students to be able to attend the final game.”

            For years, Purdue has tried to move the Old Oaken Bucket game to Lucas stadium in Indy on Turkey Weekend. Both IU and Purdue have more students in Indy than on campus at that time. IU refuses to do it.

            Like

          5. Marc

            I’d rather have 2 bye weeks.

            Me too, but I do not believe they will be inserting a bye week. Rather, they will likely move up the CCGs to Thanksgiving weekend, to make room for the new first round of the playoff.

            Like

      2. Brian

        Marc,

        As vp notes, the autumn semester started 8/23 at OSU. Quarters start much later (late September), but there’s not much you can do about that. Those students already miss a lot of games. I agree it’s not ideal, but that’s just 1 more thing to blame in the CFP.

        Like

    2. Richard

      Also, while heat stroke is a concern for players (in hotter climes, though note that the NFL plays preseason games even before then), baseball fans manage to not die from heatstroke. Do they know something football fans don’t?

      Like

      1. manifestodeluxe

        Richard: “Do they know something football fans don’t?”

        My guess is they know to not wear football pads/helmets since they’re two different sports and baseball players spend 60% of a game in the dugout.

        Joking aside, I agree that there are plenty of other sports played during the summer that seem to manage. It’s a concern but not a dealbreaker.

        Like

      2. Marc

        Well, it is perhaps relevant that the majority of MLB stadiums are not in the deep south, and most of those that are have fixed or retractable roofs. Also, most MLB stadiums have a portion of seating that is in the shade, while a lot of CFB stadiums do not.

        (With that said, I think the safety issue is more about the players.)

        Like

        1. Brian

          Of course it is more about the players. I was just pointing out that it isn’t just them. 85-year old alumni sitting in the sun for 4 hours when it’s 90+ degrees doesn’t always go well.

          Like

      3. Brian

        Yes. They know to stand outside drinking for 6 hours before sitting in the sun for a few more hours watching a game when it’s 100 degrees out.

        And the southwest is dangerous even at night. In Phoenix, it was 93 degrees at midnight on 8/25 with a heat index of 100. It felt like 113 degrees at 6pm. That’s dangerously hot for many people.

        Like

  16. loki_the_bubba

    I know you’re all waiting to see how B1G scheduling affects Rice.

    It hasn’t yet. Our home/home with Northwestern is still on the schedule for 2029(Houston)/2031(Chicago).

    Like

  17. Richard

    BTW, I looked, and in 2021, the B10 only owned 4 OOC games that drew more than even 2mm viewers.

    So every year, roughly 40 of the 45 top picks on linear TV will be B10 conference games. Probably 15 of them would have OSU or UMich (they play each other and 1 of each conference slate will be on the BTN). Roughly 5 of the rest would have PSU. That still leaves 20 for everyone else playing schools that aren’t OSU/UMich/PSU.

    Yes, I believe the B10 will schedule some conference games in the first 4 weeks of the season.

    Like

    1. bullet

      Yes. They will start patterning their schedule more like the SEC, with an occasional MAC game later in the season with some early season conference games.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Sort of. Almost all OOC games probably would still be played before November because the weather starts turning bad by then up north and while folks are willing to freeze to sit through a high-stakes conference game or meaningful rivalry game, less would be willing to do so for a buy game vs. a patsy.

        But I definitely see the B10 making sure there are at least 3 games every week in September (and Week Zero) that should get at least 3mm viewers (so featuring kings, most likely; likely against non-royalty).

        Labor Day Weekend offers a lot of possible slots (IMO, up to 6, or possibly even more) between The, F, Sat, Sun, and Mon.

        Like

        1. bullet

          Well that is pretty stupid. It is just moving mid-September games to November. Its the equivalent of Big 10/MAC Saturday. But if you are mixing them in with conference games, it provides value to the networks because not every game is garbage. The networks really had very few interesting games this past weekend from any conference and it showed in the TV ratings. There were only 3 or 4 games not involving someone I followed that were of any interest to me.

          Like

          1. Brian

            November is for games that impact the conference race, not pre-season scrimmages. MACtion games work well in September when fans are excited to have football back and see the new team develop. Nobody wants to sit through those in November weather.

            The TV ratings were fine this weekend, the viewers were just split over a bunch of different games. Only the early window had any real difference in total viewers from last week. The mid-afternoon and primetime windows were very similar.

            Like

          2. bullet

            Viewers are ALWAYS split over a bunch of different games. Alabama-Texas had as many viewers as the top 3 games this past week. The top game this week would have ranked 4th last week. PSU vs. a struggling Auburn and OU vs. a struggling UNL were the headliners this week along with Miami-Texas A&M. Toledo-Ohio St. was #5 and just behind #4 MSU-LSU.

            Like

          3. Brian

            They are always split, but not as equally as this week. 6 games got 3M+, while 11 games got 2M+ viewers this week. Last week 4 games got 3M+, and 7 games got 2M+.

            For a week with a lot of blowouts and no marquee game, the ratings weren’t bad.

            Like

      1. Marc

        The SEC has this thing where most of the league schedules buy games the Saturday before Rivalry Week. You could spread those games out over the whole season, and I see nothing wrong with that. There is no reason necessarily why the non-conference slate has to be packed into the first three weeks.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Part of it was to get the OOC games in the weeks when not all students were on campus. Then the students were there for all the B10 games. With fewer schools on quarters (NW and UCLA), that’s less of a concern now.

          It also put the pre-season opportunities early, so teams could develop against inferior foes before facing tougher games. A MAC game in October or November is basically useless for the coaches except to rest players.

          There are also scheduling difficulties for the P5 games, so those generally have to stay early. That means you are only moving buy games later. Why not keep those in September? You have 4-5 weeks (maybe even 6 if they move up the season a week) to get 3 OOC games, meaning plenty of teams could also get their first B10 game in so the networks have options. In October and November you mix in the bye weeks rather than buy games.

          Note, I didn’t say they should all be the first 3 games. I prefer them that way for OSU, but I didn’t call for it as B10 policy.

          Like

          1. Richard

            “Why not keep those in September? You have 4-5 weeks (maybe even 6 if they move up the season a week)”

            That’s not much different from my plan, which would get all OOC games done by week 7 but offers TV partners a few more attractive B10 league games in the first 7 weeks (so that they have at least 3 attractive games a week: remember that the B10 will only control about 5 attractive OOC matchups total every year because there are so many buy games).

            So at this point, I’m writing you off as an anti-social disagreeable ornery misanthrope who wants to pick fights and argue mostly for the sake of being disagreeable and ornery.

            Like

  18. Richard

    Also, I don’t think the B10 (and TV partners) will leave scheduling up to chance. I believe that in the first 4 weeks, they’ll have the kings that look to be national title contenders preseason go against the projected weakest teams in the B10 as well as have the few marquee OOC games and everybody else going through their OOC schedule. The next 3 weeks, the kings/natty contenders go through the patsies on their OOC slate while the princes and other promising teams play each other. The last several weeks of the season is when kings will play each other and princes.

    Like

  19. Richard

    Hey Frank, I saw your tweet on the potential issues with CF playoff scheduling (with NFL games, finals, etc.), but IMO, it just isn’t all that difficult to solve:

    First round games may have to be on weeknights that are not Sat, Sun, Mon, or Th before Christmas Eve (so Tue, Wed, Fri) or Sat in a time slot when no NFL game is on linear TV.

    Quarterfinals on NYD/NYE
    Semifinals on MLK Day
    Title game the bye weekend before the Super Bowl.

    Easy-peasy.

    Like

      1. Richard

        They seem to have trouble thinking outside the box. Or thinking. Who knows, man. I suppose I should be use to it as there’s an example of someone on this site who objects to any change to CFB from how it was in the ‘70’s.

        Like

  20. Scout

    TL;DR – Make more money. Minimize locks, play each team at least twice in a 4 year cycle, maximize flexibility (which really isn’t much it turns out).

    If the B1G is getting rid of divisions I don’t think there’s a need for the scheduling solution to be a neat and tidy 3/6/6. We’re talking about a conference named the Big Ten that hasn’t had 10 teams in 30 years, they’ll do whatever they want (see “Leaders, Legends”). And by whatever they want, I mean whatever they think will make the most money.

    Gene Smith already told us that TV scheduling is going to not just be considered, but that TV partners are going to be part of the scheduling discussion:
    ““We know it’s a model we have to go to and include our television partners in that process and structure it and have them be a part of the conversation. Now that we have them, we can begin that conversation and determined that type of thing. Is it based upon who’s going to be strong next year or based upon dates or whatever, and go from there.””
    https://www.si.com/college/ohiostate/football/ohio-state-football-gene-smith-big-ten-will-no-longer-schedule-conference-games-years-in-advance-eliminate-divisions

    That implies to me that the likely outcome is to lock as few games as possible to maximize flexibility each year to maximize ratings. And you have to maximize ratings in the first 4 years of USC/UCLA joining because the next negotiation window is in 2028 (or 2029?) meaning the TV partners need to have made good money or else the next deal won’t go up in value.

    What games are must lock?

    Penn State – Ohio State
    Rutgers – Maryland
    Maryland – Rutgers
    Ohio State – Michigan, Penn State
    Michigan State – Michigan
    Michigan – Ohio State, Michigan State
    Purdue – Indiana
    Indiana – Purdue
    Illinois – Northwestern
    Northwestern – Illinois
    Nebraska – Iowa
    Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa
    Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa
    USC – UCLA
    UCLA – USC

    I don’t buy that PSU needs to lock Rutgers and Maryland – I know Frank is adamant about this but I’ve never met a PSU fan that thinks that and there’s no way that PSU leaves the B1G at this point. I also assume that Minnesota and Wisconsin would prefer to play Nebraska less and Michigan, MSU, Northwestern, and the LA schools more.

    I don’t think it’s lip service when the B1G says play each team home and home in a 4 year span. So apply zippers to ensure each team plays every school at least 2x in a 4 year span (play 1 per year from each pair). Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minnesota will have a broken zipper each because they locked 1 of the pair, thus replacing the locked school with “[Open]”. Iowa has ZERO open games because they have 3 locked games.

    Penn State – Ohio State, RU/MD, MI/MSt, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]
    Ohio State – Michigan, Penn State, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]/MSt

    Michigan – Ohio State, Michigan State, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]/PSU
    Michigan State – Michigan, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]

    Rutgers – Maryland, OSU/PSU, MI/MSt, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]
    Maryland – Rutgers, OSU/PSU, MI/MSt, PU/IU, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]

    Purdue – Indiana, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]
    Indiana – Purdue, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, NU/UIUC, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]

    Illinois – Northwestern, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]
    Northwestern – Illinois, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, UNL/IA, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]

    Nebraska – Iowa, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, UW/MN, USC/UCLA, [Open]
    Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, USC/UCLA

    Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, USC/UCLA, [Open]/UNL
    Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, USC/UCLA, [Open]/UNL

    USC – UCLA, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, UW/MN, IA/UNL, [Open]
    UCLA – USC, OSU/PSU, RU/MD, MI/MSt, IU/PU, NU/UIUC, UW/MN, IA/UNL, [Open]

    So what does that leave in terms of schedule adjustments? Let’s assume that 4-yr cycle, and that the B1G is going to schedule a H&H within said 4 year cycle if it’s a

    Penn State – 4 games
    Ohio State – 2 games
    Michigan – 2 games
    Michigan State – 4 games
    Rutgers – 4 games
    Maryland – 4 games
    Purdue – 4 games
    Indiana – 4 games
    Illinois – 4 games
    Northwestern – 4 games
    Nebraska – 4 games
    Iowa – 0 games
    Wisconsin – 2 games
    Minnesota – 2 games
    USC – 4 games
    UCLA – 4 games

    If I’m maximizing for TV I’m adding these as the flex pairs (+2 games per 4 years) for the first 4 year cycle:
    Penn State – Nebraska, Michigan State
    Ohio State – USC
    Michigan State – Penn State, Minnesota
    Michigan – UCLA
    Nebraska – Penn State, UCLA
    Wisconsin – USC
    Minnesota – Michigan State
    USC – Ohio State, Wisconsin
    UCLA – Michigan, Nebraska

    (Thought about it being USC-MI and UCLA-UW but believe that USC-UW and UCLA-MI would be the better ratings pair in total)

    Pair up these remaining 6 teams however since it’s all going to be on BTN/Peacock anyway, so this isn’t scientific:
    Rutgers – PU, UIUC
    Maryland – IU, NU
    Purdue – NU, RU
    Indiana – MD, UIUC
    Illinois – IU, RU
    Northwestern – MD, PU

    Ultimately this is why PSU cannot be locked to RU/MD, because that would be forgoing 2 games of PSU-MSt for PSU-RU, and forgoing 2 games of PSU-UNL for PSU-MD. That’s a lot of money left on the table.

    Here’s what the above means the “locked” pairs would be for the first 4 years:
    Penn State – Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan State
    Ohio State – Michigan, Penn State, USC
    Michigan – Ohio State, Michigan State, UCLA
    Michigan State – Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota
    Rutgers – Maryland, Purdue, Illinois
    Maryland – Rutgers, Indiana, Northwestern
    Purdue – Indiana, Northwestern, Rutgers
    Indiana – Purdue. Maryland, Illinois
    Illinois – Northwestern. Indiana, Rutgers
    Northwestern – Illinois, Maryland, Purdue
    Nebraska – Iowa, PSU, UCLA
    Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, USC
    Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State
    USC – UCLA, Wisconsin, Ohio State
    UCLA – USC, Michigan, Nebraska

    It doesn’t matter that much though, as we’re talking about 1 game per year for 9 schools, 0.5 games per year for 6 schools, and 0 games per year for 1 school. There’s not really much space to optimize within, and frankly optimizing for TV ratings also has the side effects of slightly increased parity (because top teams play each other slightly more) and allowing the B1G office to tell teams making individual requests (e.g. MSU asking for more Northwestern) to cry into their piles of money and that they’ll revisit in a couple years. Which they will revisit, but only to see if they can make even more money somehow.

    Like

    1. Marc

      This is the system I have always preferred, but everyone here says I am wrong — you need a system that could be explained in a sentence or two, which this obviously is not.

      And you have to maximize ratings in the first 4 years of USC/UCLA joining because the next negotiation window is in 2028 (or 2029?) meaning the TV partners need to have made good money or else the next deal won’t go up in value.

      If your hypothesis is correct, then you don’t stop optimizing for TV after four years, because there will always be another deal after the next one.

      Like

      1. Scout

        If your hypothesis is correct, then you don’t stop optimizing for TV after four years, because there will always be another deal after the next one.

        Yep, that’s the kicker. And you use that to keep ADs in line by suggesting that it’s worth $5-$10M/yr to schedule this way and it’ll go away if you don’t. That funds multiple non-rev teams and pays for salary increases in the AD admin so you know they aren’t going to push back too hard.

        Like

    2. Bob

      Scout: The concept you’ve outlined here (along with the idea from others to spread out the OOC P5 games and OOC buy games to maximize the options each week for the TV partners) would be my preferred approach. The number of must have locks is limited, so why reduce good TV matchups. This is especially true once the playoffs expand and the impact of a single loss is reduced.

      As I PSU fan I’m happy to watch NE and MSU vs RU and MD. PSU would still play them 2 of 4 years which shouldn’t impact recruiting in those areas. RU and MD would still get a steady mix of OSU/MI/PSU/MSU as they do now with divisions.

      Like

    3. Brian

      Scout,

      “If the B1G is getting rid of divisions I don’t think there’s a need for the scheduling solution to be a neat and tidy 3/6/6.”

      Fans like simple. They get angry about unnecessary complications. It’s bets to avoid that if it doesn’t cost you much, such as in this case.

      “We’re talking about a conference named the Big Ten that hasn’t had 10 teams in 30 years, they’ll do whatever they want (see “Leaders, Legends”). And by whatever they want, I mean whatever they think will make the most money.”

      No, they’ve often chosen the less money path. They didn’t allow multiple B10 bowl teams for 30 years after the Rose Bowl deal started. The sat at 11 teams for almost 20 years when they could’ve added a CCG by expanding. They said no to Texas because they were busy integrating PSU.

      “Gene Smith already told us that TV scheduling is going to not just be considered, but that TV partners are going to be part of the scheduling discussion:”

      Yes he did. In large part, everyone already knows what they generally want – big brand games. But the B10 did parity-based scheduling before to increase that, then stopped doing it after complaints from schools. It didn’t change the TV deal then. Would it now? How much power will the networks have over scheduling?

      “That implies to me that the likely outcome is to lock as few games as possible to maximize flexibility each year to maximize ratings. And you have to maximize ratings in the first 4 years of USC/UCLA joining because the next negotiation window is in 2028 (or 2029?) meaning the TV partners need to have made good money or else the next deal won’t go up in value.”

      Those two things are in conflict. maximizing ratings for the LA schools requires locking more games. So do certain other B10 priorities, like keeping members happy and preserving important rivalries.

      “What games are must lock?

      You hit the obvious ones, but I’d argue these aren’t necessary by your definition:

      “Rutgers – Maryland
      Maryland – Rutgers”

      They aren’t rivals in any way. I’d also lock that game, so I’m not against it, I just don’t think it’s mandatory based on your other decisions.

      I’d add NE-MN to your list. NE has played MN 62 times, compared to 42 vs IA. For a newish member, that’s an important tie to keep. If RU/UMD is locked, so should this game be locked.

      “I don’t buy that PSU needs to lock Rutgers and Maryland – I know Frank is adamant about this but I’ve never met a PSU fan that thinks that and there’s no way that PSU leaves the B1G at this point.”

      They don’t, but RU and UMD need to lock PSU. It’s the only longer-term B10 member near them, it’s the one their fan bases interact with from DC to NYC. The newbies need a school that will fill their stadium.

      “I also assume that Minnesota and Wisconsin would prefer to play Nebraska less and Michigan, MSU, Northwestern, and the LA schools more.”

      But that doesn’t make you correct (or incorrect). NE is a much shorter trip than going to LA for a road game, or even MI and MSU. And frankly, NE is an easier W than MI or MSU right now. I will again point to NE’s long history of playing MN. I agree that NE/WI doesn’t need to be locked. NE?MN doesn’t have to be, but I think it’s highly preferred to be kept locked.

      What I think you are missing is the set of games to lock for preserving secondary rivalries/neighbor games. I think these matter to the B10.

      “If I’m maximizing for TV I’m adding these as the flex pairs (+2 games per 4 years) for the first 4 year cycle:
      Penn State – Nebraska, Michigan State
      Ohio State – USC
      Michigan State – Penn State, Minnesota
      Michigan – UCLA
      Nebraska – Penn State, UCLA
      Wisconsin – USC
      Minnesota – Michigan State
      USC – Ohio State, Wisconsin
      UCLA – Michigan, Nebraska

      (Thought about it being USC-MI and UCLA-UW but believe that USC-UW and UCLA-MI would be the better ratings pair in total)”

      I did something similar above, but with different choices. MN/MSU? That’s not a draw. MSU wants to play NW, and that would draw just as many eyeballs. Why does MI get UCLA instead of USC? MI/USC would draw a lot more viewers.

      “Ultimately this is why PSU cannot be locked to RU/MD, because that would be forgoing 2 games of PSU-MSt for PSU-RU, and forgoing 2 games of PSU-UNL for PSU-MD. That’s a lot of money left on the table.”

      First, they can be locked. It’s not forgoing any money. The TV deal is already signed without any schedule created. And keeping RU and UMD happy is good for the conference.

      “It doesn’t matter that much though, as we’re talking about 1 game per year for 9 schools, 0.5 games per year for 6 schools, and 0 games per year for 1 school. There’s not really much space to optimize within, and frankly optimizing for TV ratings also has the side effects of slightly increased parity (because top teams play each other slightly more) and allowing the B1G office to tell teams making individual requests (e.g. MSU asking for more Northwestern) to cry into their piles of money and that they’ll revisit in a couple years. Which they will revisit, but only to see if they can make even more money somehow.”

      But if it doesn’t matter much, why upset schools and fans over it? Why not keep more people happy? What is the benefit, since the TV deal is already signed?

      Like

      1. Scout

        Fans like simple. They get angry about unnecessary complications. It’s bets to avoid that if it doesn’t cost you much, such as in this case.

        I mean, TV deals have extended games to over 4 hours and wrecked the gameday experience, including crap buy games against FCS/G5 just because people will watch. If fans are taking that on the chin, how many are going to actually complain about B1G scheduling when it results in bigger games for winning teams and more winnable games for teams that want to be bowl eligible? This group is not representative of the majority of fans, which will simply hear that they are playing their biggest rival(s) annually, hear that you’ll play each team 2x in 4 years, shrug, and go back to complaining about their offensive coordinator.

        No, they’ve often chosen the less money path. They didn’t allow multiple B10 bowl teams for 30 years after the Rose Bowl deal started. The sat at 11 teams for almost 20 years when they could’ve added a CCG by expanding. They said no to Texas because they were busy integrating PSU.

        I think they often choose the long term money path over short term money, and institutional fit matters a lot. That said, I don’t think those bowl games brought in much money at the time, I think they were net losses due to how TV contracts worked then and also they were considered exhibitions. Obviously the schools didn’t care enough to change this or the B1G would have changed that rule sooner.

        They sat at 11 teams for 20 years because they wanted ND. They also had a de facto CCG most years in UM/OSU. The presidents use the “busy integrating school x” line as a polite way to say leave us alone we don’t want to talk to you right now, besides adding Texas would have been a mess as they’d forever have been on an island since there’s no one to pair with them for non-revs and it’s not worth dealing with their ego. Rumor has it that the B1G turned down OUT before they went to the SEC.

        It didn’t change the TV deal then. Would it now? How much power will the networks have over scheduling?

        I think it’s a little different with a TV deal that has 3 specific and exclusive broadcast partners and you’re going up against the SEC on ABC’s 3 slots. I also think this schedule isn’t explicitly parity based (it’s just a beneficial side effect) and also it should be less of a problem without divisions and with the expanded playoffs – plus I’d wager everything it was Michigan that complained the most about parity based scheduling since they (and PSU) were most heavily punished by it in Leaders/Legends, and then also in East/West since 10-2 is NY6 by 9-3 is Citrus Bowl; also Iowa probably complained because Barta whines about everything.

        Those two things are in conflict. maximizing ratings for the LA schools requires locking more games. So do certain other B10 priorities, like keeping members happy and preserving important rivalries.

        I should clarify, it’s not specific to maximizing rating for the LA schools, just maximizing ratings in the 4 years after they arrive. There’s going to be conflict that’s unresolvable, and they won’t keep everyone happy. So I figure if they are going to keep all members a little unhappy, doing it in the way that also pays them the most money is probably the best justification they’ll find.

        They aren’t rivals in any way. I’d also lock that game, so I’m not against it, I just don’t think it’s mandatory based on your other decisions.

        I’d add NE-MN to your list. NE has played MN 62 times, compared to 42 vs IA. For a newish member, that’s an important tie to keep. If RU/UMD is locked, so should this game be locked.

        Yeah I agree and initially didn’t lock RU/UMD. It just kept ending up as a de facto lock because they are a zipper pair and also it seems like it should be a rivalry 50 years from now when both teams aren’t getting pummeled in the B1G East every year. I figure I could have not locked it but I don’t see a scenario where that’s not scheduled every year so figured meh, might as well.

        NE-MN was the pair that I couldn’t decide what to do with. I think Nebraska would prefer playing more national games against UCLA and PSU than playing MN. And I think MN would like more games vs Michigan. So ultimately I wouldn’t lock it but I’d wager that NE-MN is a common flex pair.

        They don’t, but RU and UMD need to lock PSU. It’s the only longer-term B10 member near them, it’s the one their fan bases interact with from DC to NYC. The newbies need a school that will fill their stadium.

        Eh, it’s one home game every 4 years they are missing out on, and I’d wager they come out ahead from playing a 50/50 game with UIUC or NU instead of taking the near 100% guaranteed L from PSU. I think the money works out better to have PSU have 4 games to play against other big names instead of RU/UMD – simply because I’d assume that’s 15k tickets at $100/pop (PSU @ RU/UMD) once every 4 years so that’s like $1.5M incremental for each of those two schools but that works out to only $375k/yr.

        What I think you are missing is the set of games to lock for preserving secondary rivalries/neighbor games. I think these matter to the B10.

        I agree with you however I think the B1G crossed the Rubicon on that when it invited RU/UMD, then burned the bridge when adding USC/UCLA. The Little Brown Jug (UM MN), the Brass Spittoon (MSU IU), the Illibuck (OH UIUC), heck even the new George Jewitt trophy (UM NU) are just casualties here. If this was important to the B1G, then the 6-yr cross division locks from 2014 to 2019 would have been trophy games instead of UM/UW, OSU/NE, MSU/MN, etc, and like UM/MN and MSU/UW were RIGHT THERE and they didn’t go with that. So basically history now shows us these secondary rivalries/neighbors games are nice to haves but aren’t a priority, so I’m going to presume TV ratings trumps.

        I did something similar above, but with different choices. MN/MSU? That’s not a draw. MSU wants to play NW, and that would draw just as many eyeballs. Why does MI get UCLA instead of USC? MI/USC would draw a lot more viewers.

        Yeah that’s a good point on MN/MSU. I think MI/USC draws more views than MI/UCLA, but I thought that MI/UCLA + USC/UW draws more total views than MI/USC + UCLA/UW. But hey, let’s make USC play both MI and OSU in all of their first 4 years (and also ND), that is must see TV and probably more in line with what I’m expecting from the B1G here. Changes result in:

        Penn State – UCLA, Michigan State
        Ohio State – USC
        Michigan State – Penn State, Wisconsin
        Michigan – USC
        Nebraska – Minnesota, UCLA
        Wisconsin – Michigan State
        Minnesota – Nebraska
        USC – Ohio State, Michigan
        UCLA – Nebraska, Penn State

        I think my main point is that these pairings will be optimized for TV ratings and we won’t know exact pairings until fall 2023. Actually, lol, given how the zippers work these schedules are going to be awesome. Look at these conference + big OOC game schedules that are possible:

        USC – ND, OSU, UM, UCLA, and then 1 each from PSU/MSU, UW/MN, IA/NE, RU/UMD, NU/UIUC, UI/PU.
        Michigan – Texas, OSU, USC, Michigan State and then 1 each from PSU/UCLA, UW/MN, NE/IA, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC.
        OSU – Washington, UM, USC, PSU, and then 1 each from MSU/UCLA, UW/MN, NE/IA, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC.
        PSU – West Virginia, OSU, UCLA, MSU, and then 1 each from UM/USC, UW/MN, NE/IA, RU/MD, PU/IU, NU/UIUC

        First, they can be locked. It’s not forgoing any money. The TV deal is already signed without any schedule created. And keeping RU and UMD happy is good for the conference.

        But if it doesn’t matter much, why upset schools and fans over it? Why not keep more people happy? What is the benefit, since the TV deal is already signed?

        I should have said that it doesn’t matter much in terms of schools not getting scheduling preferences in who they play because of rivalry/alumni/competitive balance since it’s at worst a game a year you’d prefer something else and that’s not really moving the needle that much. The TV deal is signed with certain expectations from the TV partners. If the B1G schedules a pair of games that are projected at 4M total viewers combined (say PSU/UMD and USC/RU) instead of flipping the pair and getting 7M combined (PSU/USC and UMD/RU) then those TV partners are going to be very unhappy at the money they aren’t making, which will effect the next contract. I don’t have the information to run all the scenarios, but it’s clear to me that if I can flip one set of matchups and create $15M more value for just that year (3M incremental viewers * $5/viewer) then we have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake with scheduling decisions and thus that’s what will happen. If the options are better games, more money, happier partners and national hype VS RU/UMD’s happiness about football, I think I know what wins out.

        Like

        1. Brian

          Scout,

          “I mean, TV deals have extended games to over 4 hours and wrecked the gameday experience, including crap buy games against FCS/G5 just because people will watch.”

          The B10 has played played some terrible teams OOC for decades. TV didn’t drive that, the demand for 7 home games did.

          “If fans are taking that on the chin,”

          Plenty of fans are complaining already, like you. That’s why you avoid unnecessary aggravations.

          “how many are going to actually complain about B1G scheduling when it results in bigger games for winning teams and more winnable games for teams that want to be bowl eligible?”

          Fans and the schools complained last time the B10 tried it. Bigger games are great for the other teams, but unfair when it’s your team forced to play them just for TV money. And easier SOS for teams that end of doing well is decried as favoritism that got someone to a CCG.

          “I think they often choose the long term money path over short term money,”

          You mean like keeping RU and UMD and PSU’s eastern alumni happy at the expense of them being locked with MSU, a game neither side cares about all that much?

          “That said, I don’t think those bowl games brought in much money at the time, I think they were net losses due to how TV contracts worked then and also they were considered exhibitions.”

          As the only conference not playing multiple bowl games by rule, they hurt the B10’s reputation. A lot of great teams sat home when they were co-champs or 1-loss teams.

          “Obviously the schools didn’t care enough to change this or the B1G would have changed that rule sooner.”

          They needed enough people to agree, and the B10 put academics first. They chose the less money approach.

          “They sat at 11 teams for 20 years because they wanted ND.”

          They’ve always wanted ND. That didn’t prevent them from adding PSU, or 3 other schools.

          “They also had a de facto CCG most years in UM/OSU.”

          No. Just no. That was true in the Big 2 Little 8 years, but not in the CFB CCG era.
          From 1993-2004, OSU and/or MI were the only champs just twice. Then from 2010-2016 it happened just once.

          “The presidents use the “busy integrating school x” line as a polite way to say leave us alone we don’t want to talk to you right now, besides adding Texas would have been a mess as they’d forever have been on an island since there’s no one to pair with them for non-revs and it’s not worth dealing with their ego.”

          The B10 wants to add ND but is worried about UT’s ego? The PSU integration was actually quite painful, and did take a long time. But turning down UT was certainly not the long-term money choice. Being on an island is a fake problem. UCLA is about to handle it, and they are much farther away. Besides, with UT on board other schools might have been invited since then to bridge them in.

          “Rumor has it that the B1G turned down OUT before they went to the SEC.”

          Rumor says a lot of things. Without a source, it’s BS.

          “I think it’s a little different with a TV deal that has 3 specific and exclusive broadcast partners and you’re going up against the SEC on ABC’s 3 slots.”

          The TV deal is already signed. How will changing scheduling now impact it? And why would CBS and NBC care more than Disney did back when they had half of the B10’s rights? The B10 went up against the SEC then, too.

          “I also think this schedule isn’t explicitly parity based (it’s just a beneficial side effect)”

          That’s exactly what you and others have described – having more big names and better teams playing each other. That’s what the parity-based scheduling system did.

          “and also it should be less of a problem without divisions and with the expanded playoffs”

          How does dropping divisions help? NE didn’t like being locked with OSU for 6 years. It didn’t matter that it was a cross-over game and not a division game.

          I get that 1 loss means less with the expanded CFP, but that doesn’t mean most schools want to face a tougher schedule than their competition does. That may work out for OSU, but an extra loss for WI/MSU/etc. could easily be the difference in their postseason destination. And that extra loss also could mean playing a road CFP game rather than hosting or getting a bye.

          ” – plus I’d wager everything it was Michigan that complained the most about parity based scheduling since they (and PSU) were most heavily punished by it in Leaders/Legends, and then also in East/West since 10-2 is NY6 by 9-3 is Citrus Bowl; also Iowa probably complained because Barta whines about everything.”

          https://nebraska.rivals.com/news/moos-talks-future-of-black-friday-games-and-big-ten-scheduling-philosophies

          Actually Nebraska was the loudest voice, as I recall. MI had other issues during that period.

          “We might have some other schedule news here in a week or so in regards to 2022, on,” Moos said. “It was something I really became a bulldog on in regards to Nebraska and some of the traditional power programs in the Big Ten not beating each other up so bad. Because in my opinion the strength of schedule really hasn’t had much impact on who’s being selected for the College Football Playoff. We are in the process of addressing that to hopefully mine another satisfaction.”

          And Moos is not saying Big Ten teams should back down from non-conference scheduling.

          He feels the league needs to evaluate their approach and look at what’s best for the long-term health of the conference.

          “First of all, we play nine conference games,” Moos said. “Six in the division, and then the crossovers. Like I said, in recent years those crossovers have pitted the powerhouses against each other on a consistent basis. …

          “I should clarify, it’s not specific to maximizing rating for the LA schools, just maximizing ratings in the 4 years after they arrive.”

          I think the B10’s focus will be integrating them into the B10, and showcasing them in games against the big brands is part of that. Fans in LA know OSU, MI, PSU, etc. Those games will help sell season tickets and ease the loss of their usual foes. It’s the same reason PSU needs to be locked with RU and UMD, no matter how much PSU dislikes it.

          “Yeah I agree and initially didn’t lock RU/UMD. It just kept ending up as a de facto lock because they are a zipper pair and also it seems like it should be a rivalry 50 years from now when both teams aren’t getting pummeled in the B1G East every year. I figure I could have not locked it but I don’t see a scenario where that’s not scheduled every year so figured meh, might as well.

          NE-MN was the pair that I couldn’t decide what to do with. I think Nebraska would prefer playing more national games against UCLA and PSU than playing MN. And I think MN would like more games vs Michigan. So ultimately I wouldn’t lock it but I’d wager that NE-MN is a common flex pair.”

          Well, I locked them with UCLA so they’d still get some of that. On paper, NE would rather play PSU more. But only after they start winning 9+ games a year again. For now, I bet they’d rather take their chances with MN.

          Overall, our lists had most of the same locks. Reasonable people will disagree on the edges, and the B10 will doing something slightly different from either of our lists.

          “Eh, it’s one home game every 4 years they are missing out on, and I’d wager they come out ahead from playing a 50/50 game with UIUC or NU instead of taking the near 100% guaranteed L from PSU.”

          They can’t sell tickets as is. Taking away PSU games hurts them and reduces fan interest even more. A winnable game against IL isn’t a viable substitute for them.

          “I think the money works out better to have PSU have 4 games to play against other big names instead of RU/UMD – simply because I’d assume that’s 15k tickets at $100/pop (PSU @ RU/UMD) once every 4 years so that’s like $1.5M incremental for each of those two schools but that works out to only $375k/yr.”

          I still don’t see the money increase from having PSU not locked with them. The TV deal isn’t changing value either way. PSU sells out at home either way. The other big brands can play the western schools more so PSU can appease the eastern fans that one extra time. It’s not just ticket sales, either. It’s fan morale, donations, merchandise, concessions, parking, local restaurants and hotels, taxes, …

          [preserving rivalries and neighbor games]

          “I agree with you however I think the B1G crossed the Rubicon on that when it invited RU/UMD, then burned the bridge when adding USC/UCLA. The Little Brown Jug (UM MN), the Brass Spittoon (MSU IU), the Illibuck (OH UIUC), heck even the new George Jewitt trophy (UM NU) are just casualties here. If this was important to the B1G, then the 6-yr cross division locks from 2014 to 2019 would have been trophy games instead of UM/UW, OSU/NE, MSU/MN, etc, and like UM/MN and MSU/UW were RIGHT THERE and they didn’t go with that. So basically history now shows us these secondary rivalries/neighbors games are nice to haves but aren’t a priority, so I’m going to presume TV ratings trumps.”

          But they did listen to MSU about playing NW, and some of these minor rivalries were kept in division. You can’t keep them all, and many of them haven’t been annual for a long time. Except in 1983-84, the B10 hasn’t played a round robin schedule. But when given an easy chance to keep more of them under 3-6-6, why not? Many of them have the lesser programs playing each other more, which let’s the big brands play each other more. Isn’t that what your goal was? By not locking games like IL/PU, you give them more games against the big brands.

          “Yeah that’s a good point on MN/MSU. I think MI/USC draws more views than MI/UCLA, but I thought that MI/UCLA + USC/UW draws more total views than MI/USC + UCLA/UW. But hey, let’s make USC play both MI and OSU in all of their first 4 years (and also ND), that is must see TV and probably more in line with what I’m expecting from the B1G here. ”

          That’s exactly what my plan was. UCLA gets NE and WI so they have big brands, but the games are more winnable.

          “I think my main point is that these pairings will be optimized for TV ratings and we won’t know exact pairings until fall 2023.”

          I think they’ll do more of spreading games around the schedule to appease TV than adjust the frequency of scheduling. If you already lock a lot of big brand games, you don’t want to also rotate them through the other big brands too much. At some point everyone goes 9-3 and 8-4.

          “Actually, lol, given how the zippers work these schedules are going to be awesome. Look at these conference + big OOC game schedules that are possible:”

          Yes, at least on paper it looks like they should be very exciting. I wonder if the fans of the smaller programs also feel that way. Are they excited to have another king to play?

          “The TV deal is signed with certain expectations from the TV partners.”

          And that is largely based on past experience, and how the B10 normally schedules. They trust the B10 won’t screw them. That doesn’t mean they expect the B10 to crush their top teams with SOS.

          “If the B1G schedules a pair of games that are projected at 4M total viewers combined (say PSU/UMD and USC/RU) instead of flipping the pair and getting 7M combined (PSU/USC and UMD/RU) then those TV partners are going to be very unhappy at the money they aren’t making, which will effect the next contract. ”

          I don’t think it works on that micro-scale. You have to look at all 72 B10 games, and several years of schedules. They don’t expect USC to play OSU, MI, PSU, NE, WI, IA, MSU and UCLA every year with 1 rotating game for everyone else. They want enough good games to fill at least 3 slots each week.

          “I don’t have the information to run all the scenarios, but it’s clear to me that if I can flip one set of matchups and create $15M more value for just that year (3M incremental viewers * $5/viewer) then we have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake with scheduling decisions and thus that’s what will happen.”

          This assumes there aren’t other good games. What about the chance for non-USC schools to get some exposure for their big games while USC plays a lesser program? What about the other tough games USC is already scheduled to play?

          No conference has ever been forced by TV to try to have all their top brands play each other annually. The networks understand there has to be a balance. The B10 playing 9 games gives them a lot of what they want.

          Like

          1. Scout

            We’re saying like 99% the same stuff which is nice and means we’re pretty much in agreement. It’s fun to pick around the edges though so I do have a couple thoughts:

            The B10 has played played some terrible teams OOC for decades. TV didn’t drive that, the demand for 7 home games did.

            Yeah but TV makes it so much worse. I remember attending those noon games in the early 00’s and they were snoozers that ended by 3pm. Personally I’d trade 2 snoozer buy games (1 per year) for a H&H that matters. I’d happily pay more than double the ticket price for the 1 game than 2 boring beatdowns. The restaurants and hotels in the area will be fine with one less game every 2 years, I worked in hospitality, those surges on game days just end up in the owner’s pockets and a little bit more tipped cash goes to the service staff.

            Plenty of fans are complaining already, like you. That’s why you avoid unnecessary aggravations.

            I don’t think fans complaining about playing better games or playing more winnable games is really anything that moves the needle. If anything it’s going to increase their consumption of the product, which is good, vs my complaints about a horrid experience watching live or on TV, which is bad.

            Fans and the schools complained last time the B10 tried it. Bigger games are great for the other teams, but unfair when it’s your team forced to play them just for TV money. And easier SOS for teams that end of doing well is decried as favoritism that got someone to a CCG.

            I watch my team smash Rutgers out of obligation, I’d prefer they play another top team so there’s some stake in the game. It seems hollow to complain about playing 1 extra game against a King instead of a Prince because it hurts your win total. I’m kind of not worried about someone sneaking into the CCG because they had an easier schedule. It’s just something sore losers say – besides if the argument is that you got jumped for 2nd in the B1G because that team played an easier game, congrats you’re probably 10-2 and going to the CFP anyway, possibly ahead of the 2nd place team which is going to lose the B1GCG anyway.

            You mean like keeping RU and UMD and PSU’s eastern alumni happy at the expense of them being locked with MSU, a game neither side cares about all that much?

            I’ll take your word for it, but are RU and UMD alumni going to grumble about getting a 2 yr break from their annual 30 point beat down by Penn State? I’ve never met a PSU fan that cares at all about either of those teams and mostly are just annoyed at them.

            No. Just no. That was true in the Big 2 Little 8 years, but not in the CFB CCG era.
            From 1993-2004, OSU and/or MI were the only champs just twice.

            93 – OSU/UW split the title. OSU wins outright if they beat UM. UW and OSU tied in their game against each other.
            94 – PSU at 8-0
            95 – NU at 8-0. NU beat Michigan, Michigan beat 7-1 OSU.
            96 – NU/OSU split the title at 7-1. NU beat UM, Michigan beat 7-1 OSU.
            97 – Michigan 8-0
            98 – UM/OSU/UW all 7-1. OSU beat Michigan, Michigan beat Wisconsin.
            99 – UW 7-1
            00 – UM/NU/Purdue all 6-2
            01 – UIUC 7-1. 6-2 Michigan lost to OSU and therefore a share of the title (UM beat UIUC…also also this was the Clockgate season).
            02 – Iowa/OSU split at 8-0.
            03 – Michigan 7-1. Beat 6-2 OSU for the title.

            Looks like 98 and 03 were the only outright game where either winner would be the B1G champ. But I see a lot of games where OSU/UM changed the champ or co-champ. Also OSU has 4 co-champs in this period and UM has 2 outright and 2 co-champs.

            Also 04 Michigan lost an outright title due to a loss to the buckeyes and in 05 Ohio beat Michigan to share with PSU, and in 06 and 07 were games where the winner is the outright champ. I think that’s 3 years from 93 to 07 where the OSU/UM game didn’t determine at least a share of the B1G title. You’re right that’s it not exactly a de facto CCG, but it’s pretttaaayyyy close.

            [All the comments about parity scheduling/tough games]

            The Nebraska thing cracks me up. I don’t even get what Moos is complaining about, here’s Nebraska’s B1G records in the preceding 5 years:

            2013 5-3 + OOC loss to UCLA
            2014 5-3 + OOC win over Miami (didn’t play OSU or UM)
            2015 3-5 + OOC losses to BYU and Miami (didn’t play OSU or UM or PSU)
            2016 6-3 + OOC win over Oregon (didn’t play UM or PSU)
            2017 3-6 + OOC losses to Oregon and Northern Illinois (didn’t play UM)

            You could say hey, what about their 7-1 season in 2012 and I’ll chuckle because they lost OOC to UCLA and they only won the division because Denard Robinson got hurt and then 4-4 UW obliterated them 70-31 in the CCG.

            Also the B1G had CFP reps in 2014, 2015, and 2016, so that’s 3 of 4. There wasn’t one in 2017 because 12-0 UW lost to 10-2 OSU. Is Moos making this entire whine because in 2017 OSU didn’t make the CFB because they scheduled Oklahoma and lost to them at home before getting embarrassed against Iowa later in the year? Please, someone explain to me what he heck Moos is whining about here because I cannot make heads or tails of it.

            [Lots of stuff about PSU/RU/UMD]

            Look, I just don’t get this. You point out RU/UMD cannot sell tickets as is. I’d argue that’s because they have at least 4 guaranteed losses on their schedule in OSU/UM/PSU/MSU. But I also don’t get at all how their fans are jazzed to pay to watch PSU kill them instead of a winnable game against IL. Like, is the argument that RU/UMD fans buy their season tickets to enjoy getting smoked by PSU? That PSU fans buy season tickets on the years they play in RU/UMD? Help me understand this I feel like only Nebraska fans have a reputation for selling out year after year to get punched in the dong repeatedly for 4 hours at home every Saturday.

            [preserving rivalries and neighbor games]

            I think we’re saying the same thing. All things equal, MSU/MN and MSU/NU have the same ratings (as you point out), so that can happen with flex games if NU is agreeable to play MSU more instead of whoever else. But I presume that given the choice (which is what fewer locks does) if you can create 2 games of a spicy TV matchup instead of a minor rival boost (they still play 2 out of 4 years) I think TV wins.

            I like that we’re on the same page basically though. I think the only difference we really have is that I think the B1G schedules more games between top programs than you do and that I think the B1G can muzzle the complains with the 2x every 4 years zipper model for all schools whereas the 2x every 6 years was far more untenable.

            Like

          2. Brian

            Scout,

            “We’re saying like 99% the same stuff which is nice and means we’re pretty much in agreement. It’s fun to pick around the edges though so I do have a couple thoughts:”

            Agreed. The mandatory locks are pretty obvious, and the TV-friendly games are too. We may get there in different ways, but I think all of the various ideas end up fairly similar in the end.

            “Yeah but TV makes it so much worse. I remember attending those noon games in the early 00’s and they were snoozers that ended by 3pm.”

            Yes, the TV timeouts are killers. And that only has gotten worse. But a lot of it is the increase in the passing game, so we shouldn’t put all the blame on TV. 3 yards and a cloud of dust runs more clock. Fans want their schools to get paid more, the extra timeouts are the part of that cost.

            “Personally I’d trade 2 snoozer buy games (1 per year) for a H&H that matters.”

            I wouldn’t, because the current system rewards a better record over SOS. Before the BCS, the B10 played more big OOC games. But once you had to be perfect, teams cut back to 1 good OOC game. With 9 B10 games, they are already running more risks. In the past, the goal was just to win the B10 so OOC games couldn’t really hurt you.

            Also, ADs need the 7th home game. Local businesses need that revenue, too.

            “The restaurants and hotels in the area will be fine with one less game every 2 years, I worked in hospitality, those surges on game days just end up in the owner’s pockets and a little bit more tipped cash goes to the service staff.”

            It depends on the location. Some of these businesses literally live or die based on CFB weekends. Part of that’s a bad business model, but the school also makes more money from the 7th game (tickets, concessions, merchandise, parking, donations). Where is the upside to the AD for giving that away?

            “I don’t think fans complaining about playing better games or playing more winnable games is really anything that moves the needle.”

            Fans complaining about anything doesn’t move the needle. Nobody listens to us.

            “If anything it’s going to increase their consumption of the product, which is good, vs my complaints about a horrid experience watching live or on TV, which is bad.”

            Does it increase total consumption? And if so, do the ADs care? They sell fewer tickets if they give up 2 sell outs for 1. The TV payout stays as written in the contract even if the viewers increase. And what is the consequence of more losses? It diminishes the rest of the season. The SEC gets the best viewership with 8 SEC games, 1 P5 OOC game, and 3 buy games.

            “I watch my team smash Rutgers out of obligation, I’d prefer they play another top team so there’s some stake in the game.”

            Would the coach prefer that? I’m guessing he thinks OSU, MI, and MSU are challenging enough that they deserve some RU/UMD/IN games as compensation. This isn’t the NFL. Eventually RU won’t be complete garbage on the field, too.

            “It seems hollow to complain about playing 1 extra game against a King instead of a Prince because it hurts your win total.”

            It may be, but people that matter (ADs) did complain last time. They know there needs to be a balance. Fans want all big games all the time, and coaches want 12 cupcakes so they keep their job.

            “I’m kind of not worried about someone sneaking into the CCG because they had an easier schedule. It’s just something sore losers say – besides if the argument is that you got jumped for 2nd in the B1G because that team played an easier game, congrats you’re probably 10-2 and going to the CFP anyway, possibly ahead of the 2nd place team which is going to lose the B1GCG anyway.”

            When divisions go away, I agree it is much less likely. But people complained in the 11-team days when someone won the B10 but missed the other top teams. People complained in the 12-team and 14-team days about disparities in the crossover games.

            3rd is decent, but at best it’s a road CFP game. 2nd and hosting a game sounds much better. I think the committee will try to continue the trend of not punishing CCG losers much, if at all, for a risk the other team didn’t have to face.

            “I’ll take your word for it, but are RU and UMD alumni going to grumble about getting a 2 yr break from their annual 30 point beat down by Penn State? I’ve never met a PSU fan that cares at all about either of those teams and mostly are just annoyed at them.”

            It’s not the alumni nearly as much as the ADs. They need to sell tickets, keep season ticket holders excited, get sponsors, etc. Nobody has ever claimed that anyone on the PSU side cares about these games beyond them being convenient road games for those living in NYC/NJ or near DC. But there are a lot of PSU fans/alumni on the coast they may not easily make it to State College, but can make it to the road game.

            “Looks like 98 and 03 were the only outright game where either winner would be the B1G champ. But I see a lot of games where OSU/UM changed the champ or co-champ. Also OSU has 4 co-champs in this period and UM has 2 outright and 2 co-champs.”

            I’m not denying The Game has often been important to the title race, but it’s unfair to the other teams that were in the running to say The Game was the de facto CCG.

            “You’re right that’s it not exactly a de facto CCG, but it’s pretttaaayyyy close.”

            Agreed. But as an OSU fan, I don’t want to be the guy that arrogantly ignores what others have done. OSU has enough true success to not need to inflate its importance.

            “The Nebraska thing cracks me up. I don’t even get what Moos is complaining about, here’s Nebraska’s B1G records in the preceding 5 years:

            Please, someone explain to me what he heck Moos is whining about here because I cannot make heads or tails of it.”

            He’s complaining about having OSU as their locked crossover game for 6 years under the parity-based scheduling plan (started in 2016, but ended early) when OSU was elite and NE was struggling anyway.

            “Look, I just don’t get this. You point out RU/UMD cannot sell tickets as is. I’d argue that’s because they have at least 4 guaranteed losses on their schedule in OSU/UM/PSU/MSU.”

            Getting blown out doesn’t help, but that’s going away already when divisions go away. We’re talking about locking 1 of them, not 4. But they also can’t sell tickets for games against IL, IN, and PU because nobody cares about those teams.

            “But I also don’t get at all how their fans are jazzed to pay to watch PSU kill them instead of a winnable game against IL. Like, is the argument that RU/UMD fans buy their season tickets to enjoy getting smoked by PSU? That PSU fans buy season tickets on the years they play in RU/UMD?”

            They buy tickets and sell the PSU game tickets to PSU fans. And some PSU fans will buy the season ticket for just that 1 game and try to sell the rest, because it’s cheaper than getting tickets to a PSU home game. OSU and MI fans do the same thing.

            “Help me understand this I feel like only Nebraska fans have a reputation for selling out year after year to get punched in the dong repeatedly for 4 hours at home every Saturday.”

            Well, IA fans keep showing up to watch that offense every year. Maybe it’s a corn thing.

            “I think we’re saying the same thing.”

            Similar things, at least.

            “But I presume that given the choice (which is what fewer locks does) if you can create 2 games of a spicy TV matchup instead of a minor rival boost (they still play 2 out of 4 years) I think TV wins.”

            I doubt TV will much care at that level of game, and I doubt the B10 would let them dictate the schedule for it. I think TV is more focused on the elite games (one reason to lock USC with OSU and MI for a few years), because there are too many variables for other games. How good is each team? What other games are that week? What are the national storylines? Even OSU/MI varies considerably in viewership from year to year. TV also cares more about how games are spread across the season, because that is controllable.

            “I like that we’re on the same page basically though. I think the only difference we really have is that I think the B1G schedules more games between top programs than you do and that I think the B1G can muzzle the complains with the 2x every 4 years zipper model for all schools whereas the 2x every 6 years was far more untenable.”

            I’m not even sure we differ that much on how many big games, so much as which games those will be and why/how they will be chosen. After all, any unlocked game is still played half the time so these are fairly minor differences. I do think they will use a 3-6-6 model, but some of those games will be chosen for big brands to play each other more. I also think certain lesser games will be locked for other reasons, but those also benefit the B10. And I do believe the 3-6-6 plan for 2024 will be modified after 4-10 years (once USC and UCLA are assimilated) even without expansion. Over time, RU and UMD will become less dependent on PSU for example. Getting out of divisions will help them a bit, and Schiano should get RU back to mediocre. That will help them tremendously.

            Like

    4. Scout wins the message board, for this blog post. Sometimes simple is stupid; the 3-6-6 format leads to awkward and unnecessary forced “rivalries.” Scout’s “flex pairs” offer games that fans will want to watch and TV executives will want to program. However, the apparent money grab – “maximizing for TV” – will draw some ire. Running scared from fans who might get angry over unnecessary complications is not a good way to run a multi-billion dollar entity. But, a slightly different approach might muzzle the ignorami, especially if couched in noble and [still-]cherished[?] American values: liberty [for schools to choose their own protected rivalries] and meritocracy [where winners play winners]:

      First, divide the schools into quartiles, annually, based upon recent on-field performance, and have each quartile play a round robin [3 games], over the course of each season. This will help to maximize marquee games, but in a way that is merit-based and dynamic. There are myriad ways to divide the schools. My preferences would be to use a weighted, 4-year time frame, and to use an advanced metric, such as Football Outsiders’ F+. Doing so would’ve yielded the following round robins, if this system was in place for the 2022 season:

      (1) OSU, UW, UMich, PSU
      (2) Iowa, UMinn, USC, UNL
      (3) PU, MSU, UCLA, IU
      (4) UMary, NU, UI’nois, RU.

      This metric also allows a reasonable amount of movement between quartiles. [Note: For the knee-jerkers among us – not Jersey Bernie – I’m purposely not referring to this as promotion-and-relegation. Oops.] In the 11 most recent seasons, for which there is sufficient F+ data to calculate 4-year weighted-averages, the median number of schools switching quartiles would’ve been 4 [i.e. 2 teams promoted from one quartile to another; 2 relegated], the mode would’ve been 4, and the mean would’ve been 3.82, with a maximum of 8 [once, in 2014] and a minimum of 2 [four times]. Perhaps unsurprisingly, OSU would’ve remained in the upper-quartile throughout the past dozen years. Perhaps surprisingly, Bucky would’ve been right there with the Buckeyes, for the past 11 seasons, while Michigan and USC would’ve been the only other schools to never drop into the lower-quartiles, with Iowa (1 season in the 3rd-quartile), PSU (2), MSU (2), and UNL (5) spending some time down below. Conversely, Illinois (10 seasons in the bottom-quartile), RU (9), UMary (9), and PU (8) would’ve spent most of their past dozen seasons among the dregs. In other words, it’s dynamic, but not chaotic; choose a conservative metric, such as all-time CFB wins, if you want more elasticity, or a radical metric, such as the previous season’s conference win%, if you want more dynamism.

      Second, allow schools to protect up to three rivalries [zero to 3 games]. Both schools would have to agree to enter into a protected rivalry, and schools could cancel or create protected rivalries, prior to each season. Thus, some schools may have three protected rivalries (i.e. Iowa), while others may have zero (UMary? RU?). Of course, some protected rivalries will be fulfilled through the round robin, as described above, in which case most teams will likely have less than 6 games on their schedule, after this step.

      Third, have each school play at least one school from each of the other three quartiles [3 to 6 games]. These inter-quartile matches will ensure a degree of competitive balance, with individual matches selected with an emphasis on visiting campuses that haven’t been visited recently.

      Such a system could be scaled-up, in the event of additional expansion. For example, a 20-team league could still use quartiles, with 4 round robin games, up to 2 protected rivalries, and 3+ inter-quartile games: 4-[2]-[3]. A 24-team league would also work, but with only one protected rivalry…unless shifting to a 10-game conference schedule: 5-[2]-[3]!?!

      Like

      1. Brian

        You lock the 3 game round robin – okay. That locks the 6 worst possible games every year, but that’s your choice. It also means the lower programs get less access to the big brands that sell out their stadiums for them and get them better TV exposure. I’m not sure they want that.

        Then it’s 0-3 rivalries, which require mutual agreement annually. If they’re rivalries, shouldn’t they last more than 1 year? So now everyone has 3-6 games.

        Third, have each school play at least one school from each of the other three quartiles [3 to 6 games]. These inter-quartile matches will ensure a degree of competitive balance, with individual matches selected with an emphasis on visiting campuses that haven’t been visited recently.

        Another one from each quartile, or they need at least 1 from each in the final schedule? If they have a locked rival in that quartile, is that sufficient?

        Wouldn’t any sort of rotation among the remaining schools also guarantee some competitive balance? I ran the numbers above for my 3-6-6 set up.

        In the long run, this seems like a lot of effort to end up with a very similar schedule to what a 3-6-6 would generate.

        Games from my list above that your plan would also seem to lock:
        RU – UMD, PSU?
        UMD – RU, PSU?
        PSU – OSU, RU?, UMD?
        OSU – MI, PSU,
        MI – OSU, MSU,
        MSU – MI, IN, NW?
        IN – PU, MSU, IL?
        PU – IN, IL?,
        IL – NW, PU?, IN?
        NW – IL, RU, MSU?
        WI – MN, IA,
        MN – WI, IA, NE
        IA – NE, WI, MN
        NE – IA, MN,
        UCLA – USC,
        USC – UCLA,

        ? are for potential locked rivalries. Not all of them would be kept.

        That’s about 2 per school vs my 3, but some of that is dependent on the quartiles. And the differing games would happen 50% of the time in my plan. So in the end, don’t you get about the same schedule?

        You could take just your second step above and have a much simpler plan, and one which others have proposed (like Marc). I’m not convinced locking all the quartile games is a net benefit. And I really doubt the B10 would lock UCLA vs both IN and PU when they join the B10.

        Like

        1. Maybe I wasn’t clear. The quartiles are not locked. They’re dynamic, based upon recent on-field performance. The only games that are locked are those that two consenting schools agree to lock. Presumably, schools won’t decouple, annually. But, it’s a free country. So, to clarify, what’s your objection?

          Like

          1. Brian

            No, I understand the quartiles aren’t locked long term. But they are locked for that year (to distinguish from the games scheduled against the pool of remaining teams).

            My objection to 1-year rivalries? That’s not a rivalry, and it isn’t even a home and home. If a game is important enough to lock in, then it should be that important for multiple years. If it isn’t a game they want for 10 straight years, then don’t lock it at all.

            Other objections:
            * Quartiles based on advanced metrics. Few people have heard of those stats, and even fewer understand them. Most fans distrust advanced stats and think they are biased against their team.

            * Changing quartiles (and thus opponents) annually. The scheduling default should be home and homes, or every other year, not random 1 offs as some stat dictates. It could be really bad for a team like NW which tends to yo-yo in performance.

            * It’s fundamentally the same concept as the parity-based scheduling that multiple schools pushed back against just 4 years ago. We should learn from history and have better reasons for scheduling those games.

            * It’s s college conference. The goal should be to play everyone frequently and close to equally, but with more important games (rivalries) being annual.

            * It seems like an unnecessarily complicated method to achieve essentially the same end result as a simple 3-6-6 plan. What is the upside?

            Like

          2. Think of locked rivals as a marriage. The 3-6-6 format that seems to be the consensus around here inevitably leads to arranged marriages that no one really wants: “UMD – PU (good engineering schools? – it’s forced,” as Brian acknowledged. Similarly, Frank concludes, that, “Everyone wants 3 perfectly matched annual games, but that’s impossible for all members.” The latter point is correct; the former is not. I’m simply suggesting that schools should be able to marry whomever they want, and end those marriages whenever they want. Maybe RU and/or UMD doesn’t want to keep their long, storied, 12-game rivalry going. [They played 4 times, before joining the B1G, and 8 consecutive seasons since then.] Apparently, everyone around here would continue to bless that shotgun wedding–even Colin M and Scout, both of whom offer better options than 3-6-6. What if RU and/or UMD decides that ’til-death is too long? Admittedly, it may only be 10-years-to-life, if using Brian’s apparent minimum for a marriage–err, rivalry.

            Calling one-off games “locked,” using Brian’s sleight of hand, is like calling a Tinder hook-up a marriage. Yes, “That’s not a rivalry, and it isn’t even a home and home.” You surely didn’t intend the pun; I surely did. A slight tweak could limit promotion-and-relegation – err, tier realignment – to a biennial exercise, to allow for home-and-home matches among the quartiles. But, that isn’t necessary and this is my zig; continue to zag, if that’s your bailiwick.

            I will concede that a maximalist position on liberty and meritocracy would not include forcing schools into quartiles, even as a one-off scheduling mechanism. But, that road leads to dissolution of the B1G and independence for all, and not a very interesting comment board post. Instead, think of the quartiles as swinging foursomes. The top-tier round robin includes the two hottest couples in town; that’s premium content that people will pay to watch. The bottom-tier might get some doom-scrolling eyeballs. But, you’d want to maximize the former, if you’re making money off of this analogy.

            Misc. pedantry:
            –Yes, “locking” – and doom-scrolling – 6 of the worst possible games (i.e. a round robin, involving the bottom-quartile: currently UMary, NU, UI’nois, RU) is a natural outcome of “locking” 6 of the best possible games (i.e. a round robin, involving the top-quartile: OSU, UW, UMich, PSU). But, those bottom-quartile schools are incentivized to improve their standing, and they arguably have the resources to do so. They might climb the ladder and earn better TV exposure, if they find the next Barry Alvarez or P.J. Fleck.

            –Brian included 10 question marks next to 5 “rivalries” that he apparently locks. I wouldn’t keep any of those, but it doesn’t matter what I would do, and that’s the point: Would RU and PSU both agree to a marriage? UMD and PSU? MSU and NW? IN and IL? PU and IL? That’s for those schools to decide.

            –Using an advanced metric allows for comparing USC and UCLA to the B1G schools, retroactively. Pick a simpler metric, if it suits you or if you fear fans’ distrust; 4-year conference win% would probably work just fine, 4 years after USC and UCLA join.

            –We agree that, “The goal should be to play everyone frequently and close to equally, but with more important games (rivalries) being annual.” My proposal does that better than 3-6-6, partly by replacing shotgun weddings with pigskin porn.

            –What is the upside? Liberty. Meritocracy. We should learn from history.

            Like

          3. Brian

            Schools don’t join a conference to have liberty in scheduling. It’s the exact opposite, actually.

            A meritocracy wouldn’t lock any games based on performance in prior years. Every year is a different team, with huge roster turnover. Giving better teams tougher schedules also goes against that philosophy.

            Your plan just locks other “forced marriages,” it doesn’t eliminate them. I see no benefit.

            As for RU and UMD, I honestly don’t care if they want to keep playing annually or not. Nobody else wants to play them either. They can always leave the B10 if they don’t like it.

            Like

        1. My kids start enough of their sentences with “Bro” that I’ve learned to be dubious of what comes next. Still, I had to Google “Adderall” and “MATLAB,” to make sure that I wasn’t missing some deeper meaning. Regardless, and to your points, words matter and Bourbon may have been involved, when I typed that. I wouldn’t advise that Kevin Warren ever utter “quartiles,” when standing at a podium, but I was confident that this group wouldn’t get distracted by it. “Tiers” might work, if we think that “zipper” will fly.

          Like

  21. Jersey Bernie

    Scout, your proposal is actually a form of relegation within the B1G that really could work. I have said that relegation to a different league in college football is impossible for several reasons. (Lower league is less money, loss of coaches, recruits, etc, and virtually no way back up).

    Here the weaker teams “drop down” by playing more games against weaker teams, but still get their money and plenty of games among the top teams. If one of the weaker teams, eg Purdue, starts to consistently win 9 or 10 games a year, then their schedule improves, but at all times everything is still the B1G.

    Like

    1. Brian

      Bernie,

      The B10 already tried that with parity-based scheduling. We dropped it because schools complained it was unfair. I’m not saying they can’t or won’t try it again, but it’s not unheard of for the B10.

      Like

    2. For fun, and after floating promotion-and-relegation [shh!] by quartiles, the following would’ve been the annual quartiles, using 4-year weighted-F+, with the previous seasons weighted at 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% [and with promoted/relegated schools listed in brackets]. In other words, each quartile would’ve played a round robin, in a 3-[3]-[3] format:

      2011
      OSU, USC, UNL, PSU
      Iowa, UW, MSU, UMich
      UI’nois, UMary, UCLA, RU
      PU, NU, UMinn, IU

      2012
      [UW+], USC, OSU, UNL
      Iowa, MSU, [PSU-], UMich
      UI’nois, UCLA, RU, [NU+]
      PU, [UMary-], UMinn, IU

      2013
      UW, USC, OSU, UNL
      UMich, MSU, PSU, Iowa
      UCLA, NU, RU, [PU+]
      [UI’nois-], UMary, UMinn, IU

      2014
      UW, OSU, USC, [MSU+]
      UMich, [UNL-], [UCLA+], Iowa
      [PSU-], NU, [UMinn+], [UMary+]
      [RU-], UI’nois, IU, [PU-]

      2015
      OSU, UW, MSU, USC
      UCLA, UNL, UMich, [PSU+]
      [Iowa-], NU, UMinn, UMary
      RU, IU, UI’nois, PU

      2016
      OSU, MSU, USC, UW
      UCLA, UMich, UNL, [Iowa+]
      [PSU-], UMinn, NU, [IU+]
      [UMary-], UI’nois, RU, PU

      2017
      OSU, USC, [UMich+], UW
      [MSU-], [PSU+], UCLA, Iowa
      [UNL-], UMinn, NU, IU
      UMary, UI’nois, RU, PU

      2018
      OSU, UW, UMich, [PSU+]
      [USC-], MSU, Iowa, UCLA
      NU, UNL, UMinn, IU
      UMary, PU, UI’nois, RU

      2019
      OSU, UMich, PSU, UW
      Iowa, USC, MSU, [NU+]
      UMinn, IU, UNL, [UCLA-]
      PU, UMary, UI’nois, RU

      2020
      OSU, PSU, UMich, UW
      Iowa, USC, [UMinn+], MSU
      IU, UNL, [NU-], [PU+]
      [UCLA-], UMary, UI’nois, RU

      2021
      OSU, UW, PSU, [Iowa+]
      [UMich-], USC, [IU+], UMinn
      NU, [MSU-], PU, UNL
      UCLA, UMary, UI’nois, RU

      2022
      OSU, UW, [UMich+], PSU
      [Iowa-], UMinn, USC, [UNL+]
      PU, MSU, [UCLA+], [IU-]
      UMary, [NU-], UI’nois, RU

      Like

  22. Marc

    Last week’s inaugural Thursday Night Football drew 13.03m viewers, roughly comparable to last year’s Thursday night average of 12.84m per game. Subtracting the local OTA broadcast, the Amazon stream alone attracted 11.87m (according to Neilson).

    I do not expect every game to do as well, but it was a good start.

    Like

  23. jb

    https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2022/09/amazon-thursday-night-football-ratings-impressive-debut-chargers-chiefs/

    I said in the other thread that I think adding at least two teams (Stanford + Washington?) makes sense. Interested to follow this given the cbs article saying it is still on the table. With the impressive debut from Amazon, plus cross promotional abilities for a Friday and/or Saturday night game, I really think this makes tons of sense, assuming Amazon can sustain the ratings.

    Amazon presumably overpays for the last available window. Reduced buy in, plus Amazon, plus the other benefits (expanded playoff payouts, B1G carriage fees, etc)–think this makes a lot of sense for the B1G.

    The last window available that B1G can lock down forever, and Amazon will overpay for that. Exposure doesnt seem to be negatively impacted, and the demographics tilt younger.

    Like

      1. manifestodeluxe

        Richard: “Yes, but will Amazon overpay forever?”

        I think that’s a more important point than people are acknowledging, at least in the hypothetical situation where Amazon’s overpaying is what drives the B10 to add more teams right now. Once the B10 needs Amazon to have 18-20 teams, Amazon has less incentive to keep overpaying.

        Like

    1. vp0819

      I maintain the Big Ten will go whole hog on absorbing the West Coast by adding Washington, Oregon, Cal and Stanford for an even 20, and let Notre Dame become member #21 if it eventually so desires, possibly in the early 2030s. As Frank so often notes, think like a university president; omitting Cal’s elite academics and decent athletics from this equation merely to placate ND’s possible future desires would lead to all sorts of political turmoil. (witness the UC Regents and UCLA). And new media sources will come along that the B1G can financially take advantage of.

      Like

      1. Marc

        I maintain the Big Ten will go whole hog on absorbing the West Coast by adding Washington, Oregon, Cal and Stanford for an even 20….

        The fact they have not done this already suggests that the numbers currently are not persuasive.

        As Frank so often notes, think like a university president; omitting Cal’s elite academics and decent athletics from this equation merely to placate ND’s possible future desires would lead to all sorts of political turmoil. (witness the UC Regents and UCLA).

        Despite the UC Regents political turmoil, nobody thinks that UCLA will actually be prevented from joining the Big Ten. A decade from now, most will not remember that the Regents raised a stink for a couple of months and then gave up. Expansion is forever. You don’t do it because a few minor politicians made an empty protest.

        To my knowledge, no conference yet has expanded for academic reasons if the TV revenue wasn’t there. Nobody who has analyzed it has figured out a way to make four more West Coast schools financially accretive if ND does not join.

        Like

        1. Brian

          I suppose the one consideration is the Pac 4 coming at a reduced payout for a while. Slowly equalize them so they full shares in the next deal. That gives time for the expanded CFP numbers to be known.

          I still don’t think it’s likely, but that’s the only path I see for it right now.

          Like

          1. Marc

            Reduced payouts are only a bridge to full payouts eventually. So if the conference invites those schools, they have to be sure they’d eventually come out ahead.

            Like

    2. Marc

      Interested to follow this given the cbs article saying it is still on the table.

      The article said that Kevin Warren is pursuing it, but he has not persuaded the presidents yet.

      I really think this makes tons of sense, assuming Amazon can sustain the ratings.

      It probably makes sense to wait a few years and see if the enthusiasm for Thursday Night Football lasts. All we know is they have had one good game.

      Exposure doesn’t seem to be negatively impacted, and the demographics tilt younger.

      Exposure would be negatively impacted for sure, as it’s another service you are asking people to pay for, so that they can see the maybe one or at most two games per year that their team is on.

      Like

      1. Richard

        Yes, 2 is hard. 4 is impossible. And the original 14 (especially the original 10) would have little desire to fly their non-revenue sports to the West Coast more often and play other Original 10 schools less if the money isn’t there.

        I personally wouldn’t mind adding the Bay Area school at all but it’s tough to see how to make the money work unless those schools manage to grow their fanbases a ton.

        Like

  24. EndeavorWMEdani

    At the risk of a heapin’-helpin’ of crow-emoji, I have declared with Indesputable! Irrefutable! certainty that Washington and Oregon WILL be admitted to the B1G (at a bargain price) BEFORE signing any sort of PAC grant of rights. Yes, brothers & brothers, I said OREGON!! the scoffed-at-scourge of the Frank the Tank set (and only bonfire brand of the bunch). Match-ups are all that matter, and the Ducks are good TV. I also believe my beloved Cardinal will be invited, coupled with a yet-to-be determined suitor: the noble Ashley Wilkes (UNC) the Roguish Rhett Butler (Miami), the insufferable Scarlett herself (ND) or the ethereal Melanie (Cal). I tend to think Warren already knows the direction the ACC targets are leaning.

    Like

    1. Jersey Bernie

      You are certainly excited. Is there any factual basis for this excitement?

      If the CA Bd of Regents blocks UCLA, I could see the B1G taking Stanford and then maybe also WA and OR, or only Stanford. That could leave the two U Calfornia schools hoping for an invite together from the B1g 12 or leaves them trying to maintain a league with WaState and OrState. It would be amusing to see how the Bd of Regents would explain the last fiasco.

      I would hope that the B1G would never take Cal because of pressure from the Bd of Regents.

      Other than that scenario, why are you excited now?

      Like

      1. EndeavorWMEdani

        Although I do believe W/O will end up in the B1G, I’m not ‘excited’ at all; just having fun at the expense of the outrage brigade who can’t abide an opinion that differs from their own. That Board of Regents isn’t blocking anything.

        Like

    2. Brian

      Well, the P12 is mid-negotiations now so we shall soon find out. Or do you anticipate no GoR for the P12 in their new deal?

      I don’t think the money and TV windows make sense for adding them at this point, but anything could happen. I don’t see how Stanford + Cal makes much sense for the B10 (just Stanford maybe), but UNC and Miami are stuck in purgatory for a while and ND isn’t joining any conference.

      I will dispute your claim that UO is the only real brand in that bunch. UW has more history and draws similar viewers. UO’s brand has faded since the Kelly era as they’ve been losing more, and more schools wear alternate uniforms.

      Like

  25. manifestodeluxe

    https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/unc/article264799339.html

    ““Had a long call with Jim Delany tonight,” Cunningham wrote in his text to Guskiewicz, referencing the former Big Ten commissioner who led that conference from 1989 through 2020. “He preaches patience and planning. No need to rush right now.””

    “One of the talking points, as Cunningham described it: “Should we explore a partnership with the Big 12 or Pac 12(?)” Guskiewicz was intrigued: “We could have a super conference both athletically and academically,” he responded. “Probably would need to be called the Atlantic-Pacific Athletic Conference (APAC). Maybe that’s crazy, but if it would get us a better TV deal, it may be worth considering.” “We need to think about what outcomes we want?” Cunningham wrote back. “What are our priorities? Do we want to maintain all teams in the ACC? Is this a new league? Do we want to have the same number of teams at each school? “Should we play a national schedule or regional schedule?””

    NC paper got a bunch of text messages via FOIA requests. Nothing really earth shattering, but kind of interesting that it makes clear Delany was talking with UNC this summer in some capacity.

    Like

  26. EndeavorWMEdani

    In advance, yes I realize the Presidents decide. Yes I realize ‘indisputable’ has an ‘i’ 😊, and yes I know the precarious nature of Oregon’s AAU status. It’s still happening.

    Like

    1. Mike

      Ha!
      Indeed UW and UO, added to USC and UCLA, flips the athletic competition and eyeballs equation.
      I keep wondering if there are enough media demand dollars today to make it happen now. The per school payout estimates are already huge and it appears ND is the only one by itself capable of drawing such new $ today as well as come 2030s time. Each BIG school will expect at a minimum what they received in prior contract years.

      Like

      1. Richard

        The top ACC football programs (FSU, Clemson, and probably likely Miami) also draw enough eyeballs to merit addition.
        But no one else in the PAC or B12, really.

        For the B10 to take 2 PAC schools, they would have to be able to convince someone to pay $150mm for an After Dark package (say of 15 games). At $4/viewer, that’s an average of 2.5mm viewers. At $5/viewer, that’s 2mm viewers, and note that even the NFL isn’t getting $5/viewer.
        The big problem is that in 2021, a total of a big fat zero of the 21 After Dark (10PM or later) games hosted by the PAC drew even 2mm viewers. In 2019, it was 0/19. UW-Stanford drew 1.88mm.

        Like

        1. Marc

          I don’t expect the B10 to take two more schools in this cycle, but for argument’s sake I think they have a couple more levers. Their existing deals can be re-opened for more money if the conference composition changes. Also, BTN revenue would go up because they would get carriage in new markets. Maybe playoff revenue too, depending on how that is calculated.

          Not saying this will happen, but if we imagine it did, the After Dark package would not have to pay full freight.

          Like

          1. Richard

            The big problem is that none of the remaining schools in the PAC or B12 are slam dunk ratings draws. The 1 borderline program (Oregon) has zero other qualities that recommend it (its a borderline AAU uni in a small state with few B10 grads and little in the way of recruiting grounds and doesn’t even have traveling fans to buy tickets like UNL does). Miami is a similar TV draw but has a lot of compelling ancillary pluses. Stanford and Cal are terrific in all the ancillary aspects but don’t draw enough eyeballs (though Stanford might be close and would come in if ND does).

            Like

          2. Brian

            Marc,

            I agree that the CFP revenue sharing might make it more possible in the future. Until that structure is set, you can’t count on it.

            Fundamentally I think the problem is the lack of valuable CFB TV windows. The value on Saturday is limited to the 3 eastern windows. The late window is worth considerably less. The NFL has Thursday, Sunday and Monday. Friday’s are normally bad for TV. I don’t think Tuesday and Wednesday are being seriously considered at this point (doable with a bye before and after, I suppose).

            What might be an option eventually is shortening CFB games so they fit in smaller windows. If games fit in 3 hour windows, you gain an additional window if you don’t have down time for local news and post-game/pre-game stuff. Shorter games might keep more viewers, helping to balance the loss of time per game. And it would make a blowout less damaging to the entire slate on a network. 11-2, 2-5, 5-8, 8-11 with the late night PT window as a 5th slot. Plus they can try overlapping games (have counter windows at 12, 3, 6, and 9 so there is always action). I just don’t know how much this might be worth – probably very little or they’d be trying it already.

            Like

          3. Marc

            What might be an option eventually is shortening CFB games so they fit in smaller windows.

            They have tried a few ways of shortening the games, but they keep failing because the conferences make TV deals that add more commercial breaks. I am surprised they have not eliminated the clock stoppage after first downs, which could shorten the games considerably.

            Replay has also made the games a lot longer, or at least the potential if there are a lot of reviews. Some people have suggested that if the replay official does not see overwhelming evidence within 30 seconds, the call on the field should stand. Or maybe go to the NFL model where coaches have a limited number of challenges per game, instead of the booth deciding what to review.

            If games fit in 3 hour windows, you gain an additional window if you don’t have down time for local news and post-game/pre-game stuff.

            I have always understood that the local news break is something the network affiliates insist on. (Not an issue, of course, for cable and streaming channels.)

            Like

          4. Brian

            Marc,

            “They have tried a few ways of shortening the games, but they keep failing because the conferences make TV deals that add more commercial breaks. I am surprised they have not eliminated the clock stoppage after first downs, which could shorten the games considerably.”

            I think the only thing that could work is a running clock like in soccer. Have 4 40-minute quarters with a 20 minute halftime, and you have 3 hours. Or use 30-minute quarters with stoppage time for injuries.

            “I have always understood that the local news break is something the network affiliates insist on. (Not an issue, of course, for cable and streaming channels.)”

            Yes, that’s my understanding as well. But maybe Saturday news is less important/valuable now than it used to be? Maybe they can make more money from showing CFB, and put news on an alternate digital channel? With games at the current length, there’s no reason not to have the break.

            Like

        2. bullet

          They just give a lower take for 6 of the 7 years and all the big 10 schools come out ahead in this cycle. So do Washington and Oregon. I think they do it for strategic reasons, expecting it to pay off in the long run. If it doesn’t, the dilution is still minimal (maybe 4%) and it won’t be noticed because the next contract will be even higher.

          I think one thing that is clear is that Cal isn’t getting much interest. Since I think it likely Notre Dame sits this one out, the Big 10 is looking at Washington and either Oregon or Stanford. And I think its pretty likely Warren does find the votes to add 2. We should know before next August and probably much sooner.

          Like

          1. Marc

            They just give a lower take for 6 of the 7 years and all the big 10 schools come out ahead in this cycle. So do Washington and Oregon. I think they do it for strategic reasons, expecting it to pay off in the long run. If it doesn’t, the dilution is still minimal (maybe 4%) and it won’t be noticed because the next contract will be even higher.

            The next contract is going up regardless, whether they add W & O or not. It needs to not only go up—but to go up at least 12.5% more than it otherwise would. Otherwise, the rest of the Big Ten is just feeding those two schools forever.

            Nobody knows the exact numbers of a contract that is six years in the future, but those are the projections the Big Ten presidents would need to see, and with a healthy margin of safety, since you don’t expand to break even.

            I think its pretty likely Warren does find the votes to add 2. We should know before next August and probably much sooner.

            The Pac-12 is almost certainly going to have a new TV deal before then, so I cannot see this lasting anywhere near that long.

            Like

          2. Richard

            I’m pretty certain the current B10 schools have little desire to subsidize 2 new additions forever after the new deal ends but who knows?

            Possibly for 2 Stanfords (great in all the ancillary aspects and pretty close in the TV money aspect) but there aren’t 2 Stanfords left in the Pac. Cal is also great in all the ancillary categories but terrible as a TV draw. UO is pretty close as a TV draw but terrible in all the ancillary aspects. UW is pretty good in the ancillary aspects, not terrible as a TV draw but not good either.

            Like

          3. bullet

            Ohio St., Michigan, Penn St., Nebraska and probably Wisconsin are subsidizing 9 schools forever. UW is probably less of a subsidy than any of those 9.

            Like

          4. Brian

            MSU is a strong brand on its own
            IA is a strong brand and brings a small state
            MN brings a state with a decent market in MSP – valuable for BTN and OTA
            RU adds NJ and NYC – valuable for BTN and OTA
            UMD adds MD and DC – valuable for BTN and OTA
            IL and NW combine to bring a big state and Chicago – valuable for BTN and OTA
            IN and PU brings hoops success and a medium state

            There is some subsidizing going on, but that will always be true unless every school goes independent. And each school brings other forms of value (academic/research, etc.).

            I agree UW would probably be in the upper half in terms of value. This is exactly why they should’ve been added with USC and UCLA if the B10 actually wanted them. That way the number doesn’t go up, then back down. Maybe at the start of the next deal, assuming the value will jump again.

            Like

          5. Richard

            Bullet, only OSU and UMich are really subsidizing a lot. The B10 average is pretty high. Yet PSU, UNL, Wisconsin, MSU, and Iowa are all above (or at least at) that median. Northwestern, UIUC, RU and UMD are being subsidized but also bring huge metros and a lot of population. That leaves only IU, PU, UMTC, and they’re all in decent-sized states and so actually draw good viewership when they are good.

            However, as the bar has been raised, probably not both of IU/PU would be brought in to the B10 if they were not already inside. My point is that the B10 would have little reason to add 2 new schools from the Pac that draw as many eyeballs as IU and PU.

            Like

          6. Richard

            To build on my point, Bullet and Brian:
            Iowa draws more eyeballs than any school left in the Pac:
            View at Medium.com

            IU outdraws all of the remaining Pac schools besides UW, UO, and Stanford.

            That’s why none of them are slamdunks. If the B10 isn’t going to add another IU and Iowa is about the median (7th in the 14 school B10), that makes all of UW/UO/Stanford borderline and breakeven at best.

            So the B10 _could_ potentially add 2 breakeven schools that aren’t additive and will increase travel for all the original 14, and maybe they would if there were 2 Stanfords (excellent ancillary qualities and close enough to breakeven) in the Pac, but there aren’t, so that makes further expansion (without ND or an ACC power or several) more unlikely than not.

            Like

          7. Brian

            No need to persuade me. I have never believed the numbers favor adding more P12 teams. If it had happened all at once I would understand, but not after signing the new TV deal.

            I think people are underestimating the downside of expanding to 18 or more schools. The travel, the reduced frequency of playing traditional foes, the difficulty in keeping everyone on board for conference decisions.

            You don’t do it to break even financially (or lose money with travel costs) unless there is a huge intangible gain for the conference. I don’t see that in this case. At best there are some minor gains for USC and UCLA by retaining familiar opponents that are closer to home.

            Going to 18 for ND +1, sure. Maybe for 2 ACC schools for the southern access (recruiting, etc.). Otherwise, something structural needs to change for it to make sense.

            Like

          8. Alan from Baton Rouge

            I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert on the history of Wisconsin football, but I don’t recall them being relevant to the national conversation pre-Alverez.

            Like

          9. Brian

            Alan,

            WI was a laughingstock before Alvarez. Only having NW in the B10 kept them from being the worst B10 program. From 1964-1992, WI went 0.376 (#98). IN went 0.406 (#91). But NW went 0.235 (#112 and dead last in I-A), including their 34-game losing streak. WI only had 6 winning records in those 29 years.

            Like

          10. Richard

            Greg and Alan, note what I said:

            IU, PU, and UMTC are all in decent-sized states and so actually draw good viewership when they are good. If they had runs of success like the Badgers have, I’m pretty certain their viewership numbers would be up there too. Same for UIUC. Maybe even Northwestern, RU, and UMD.

            And what has to concern the B10 about adding any of UO/UW/Stanford is that while they have had recent success (a bunch of divisional and conference titles as well as playoff appearances by UW and UO), their TV numbers _aren’t_ as good as Wisconsin’s. In fact, their viewership numbers haven’t been as good as UNL and Iowa’s even though those schools are in small population states and neither have done as well recently as UO/UW/Stanford (Iowa’s been alright but UNL has been a trainwreck).

            Like

          11. Richard

            Greg, Alan, etc.:

            To illustrate my point, let’s compare a couple rivalry games: In 2019, in a meeting of 2 princes that have won conference and divisional titles recently and made the playoffs, #12 UO vs #25 Washington drew 3.6mm viewers. Not very shabby.

            But in 2021, unranked non-prince UMTC (that hasn’t won any title in a while) met 18th ranked Wisconsin and drew over 5mm viewers.

            It seems that in B10 country, It Just Means More (at least, when compared to the West Coast).

            Like

  27. Marc

    The NY Times reports that George Kliavkoff wrote a 3-page letter to the California Board of Regents urging it to block UCLA’s move to the Big Ten.

    The NYT says it has the letter, but it did not print the text; it mostly paraphrased. The story is behind a paywall, but here are the most relevant asserted facts:

    U.C.L.A. athletes would more than double their time spent in airplanes and increase by nearly half their time on buses traveling to the Central and Eastern time zones, which would affect their physical and mental health and hurt their academic performance

    with 70 percent of U.C.L.A.’s alumni on the West Coast…it would be more arduous and expensive for them — and athletes’ families — to attend away games

    much of the increased TV revenue…would be eaten up by increased salaries for coaches and administrators that would be required to remain competitive, and by the need to charter flights to ensure that softball players are treated the same as football players when they travel.

    U.C.L.A.’s travel costs, which are $8.1 million for its teams to travel in the Pac-12, would nearly triple — to $23.7 million — if all its flights were chartered

    If the regents instructed U.C.L.A. to remain in the Pac-12…it would offset more than half the damage done to Cal in the Pac-12’s impending media-rights deal

    increased travel contradicts the U.C. system’s objectives of helping to reverse climate change

    Note that Kliavkoff says that much of the increased TV revenue would be eaten up by travel costs and salaries. He does not actually say that UCLA would lose money by moving, as he apparently said a few days ago.

    He also says that if UCLA remained, it would offset “more than half the damage done to Cal.” But apparently he does not address the damage if a different Pac-12 school replaced UCLA in the Big Ten, as would very likely happen.

    Like

      1. Richard

        You know, Stanford actually isn’t a bad TV draw. Better than UCLA. Close to UO (playing ND helps).

        In the ‘30’s, if the B10 can only get Miami from the ACC and ND still refuses to come, if Stanford football is still good, the Cardinal may be added with the Canes.

        Like

        1. Marc

          Stanford actually isn’t a bad TV draw. Better than UCLA.

          I think USC and UCLA were presented as a package deal, which they were happy to take. But if someone told the Big Ten, “take any two West Coast schools you want,” I am not sure UCLA would have been the second one.

          Like

          1. SideshowBob

            In the past year, after the Texas/Oklahoma move, when it was obvious the next reasonable option for the Big Ten to consider was USC, I pictured in my head that USC/Washington was the most compelling add. Could see Stanford as an alternative to Washington for certain reasons but would be confident that the Big Ten would get one of those two as an alternative to UCLA if the Reagents forced them to decline the invite.

            But the point is that UCLA wasn’t the main point here, USC was. UCLA not joining the Big Ten doesn’t change much beyond making things more annoying for USC in particular by losing a local team they can bus to.

            Like

          2. Marc

            UCLA not joining the Big Ten doesn’t change much beyond making things more annoying for USC in particular by losing a local team they can bus to.

            I think the Big Ten would plan road trips (aside from football) so that USC and UCLA teams could sometimes travel together — one of the rare cases where the oft-abused term “travel partner” actually means something. You don’t get that if the second team is Washington or Stanford.

            I don’t know how much the two schools care about their football rivalry, but they would almost certainly have to give that up, since USC wants to keep playing Notre Dame.

            Like

    1. Brian

      I think he put as negative an assumption in every calculation he could. He doesn’t know the B10’s scheduling plans, nor how UCLA would travel to various competitions. We already saw the analysis that many of their teams would barely be impacted at all.

      Would it hurt their academic performance? Athletes traditionally outperform the regular student body, and they already have to travel more. Buses and airplanes have wifi. Students use online system for much of their work. They could study while they travel.

      https://alumni.ucla.edu/affinity-partners/

      As for the alumni, 80% of UCLA alumni live in CA with 60% in SoCal. I don’t see a huge impact there. They can travel to LA for games instead of SF for the 20% not in SoCal.

      And he is slamming the P12 at the same time. Why should UCLA need more expensive coaches and administrators to compete in the B10 vs the P12? Is he openly saying they don’t compete as hard or at the same level as the B10?

      Why would UCLA need to charter all flights? Airlines exist for a reason.

      He’s guessing on the money, and ignores the damage done to UCLA by not going. And as you say, the damage done to both if USC and Stanford leave instead.

      Every trip anyone at a UC makes contradicts reversing climate change. Has their faculty stopped attending conferences? Do all the administrators stay in LA 365 days a year and ride public transit to work? Airlines are moving toward green(er) fuels, and electrification. They could drive on green buses. Heck, the midwest is where the corn for their E85 comes from.

      If this does work, how does Kliavkoff expect UCLA to feel about him and the conference afterward? They will be a prisoner. Having a member that unhappy is not a good strategy. They will find ways to get back at you.

      I’m surprised the NYT didn’t post the letter online if they have it (I understand not printing it).

      Like

      1. Scout

        It’s hilarious to me that his argument is basically, “The PAC sucks and UCLA cannot go be more national competitive with more money, and also the UCLA administration that made this decision is stupid and cannot be trusted to look after their athletes health or welfare.” How in the world does he expect this to be a good thing for him, UCLA, or the PAC?

        He also makes absurd emotional appeals to gender equity, “It would cost triple to charter all flights in the B1G so that the softball team is treated like the football team.” and climate change “More CO2 emissions are bad.” Which, no one expects the softball team to be treated like the football team and also they aren’t treated that way now so what are you going for here?

        He also says that if UCLA remained, it would offset “more than half the damage done to Cal.”

        Lol. Alternatively UCLA B1G money + Cal Pac12 money >> UCLA Pac 12 money + Cal Pac12 money. It’s a net gain for the UC system, if anything he’s arguing that UCLA should go and then subsidize Cal. Also, Cal damaged itself since nobody cares about them, not even their alumni, in football or basketball.

        Finally, how stupid is Cal here? Do they not remember when UCONN sued BC? How’d that work out for UCONN in the long haul?

        Like

        1. Marc

          Finally, how stupid is Cal here? Do they not remember when UCONN sued BC? How’d that work out for UCONN in the long haul?

          It is quite likely they don’t remember that, as the regents and administrators are not necessarily sports historians. (I am not sure the UConn–BC dispute is really analogous anyway.)

          But yeah, I would expect a very toxic conference if Kliavkoff succeeds here. Maybe he is trying to send a shot across the bow of Washington and Oregon, which would also be leaving behind in-state sister schools if they move.

          Like

        2. Jersey Bernie

          Many of you have followed this realignment carousel for far longer than I have.

          Has there ever been a league commissioner come out and attack a school for moving in the way that Kliavkoff has?

          While the UConn litigation may make it seem like something similar happened with the Big East, it did not.

          When the Big East exploded that was very different than this. First the league offices were not attacking a school. Second the attacks came from other schools who felt stabbed in the back, particularly by Miami and BC.

          The president of Miami, Donna Shalala, had given a major speech about how joining the BE saved Miami football. Miami had really fallen into a funk. Even worse than recent years. Joining the BE was the catalyst for the return to the glory years of Hurricane football. About a year later, Miami was gone with VaTech and the football league was on the way to being dissolved. The general opinion was that Shalala was a piece of garbage who could not be trusted and by the way, “what have you done for me lately?”.

          BC had also pledged its loyalty to the Big East. Partially in reliance on the actions of if big rival, UConn spent a lot of money upgrading its football program. That is why CT Attorney General Blumenthal (now Senator) filed the ill fated action against BC.

          No one in the BE actually objected to VaTech going to the ACC, since even though the league was losing a major team, it was pretty well acknowledged by Big East teams that the ACC was the proper home for VaTech.

          Syracuse and Pitt were almost an afterthought, since with the other teams all gone, they were simply extra dominos and they fell when it became clear that the basketball schools were going to ignore football.

          Like

          1. z33k

            I don’t think any of us can recall a situation like this. There’s a couple of issues here that make it unprecedented including a sister school of a system leaving the flagship behind in a worse situation.

            But this kind of broadside attack by a conference commissioner that a move was completely misguided is one we’ve never seen before.

            And that too in an attempt to keep the school in the conference.

            Like

          2. Marc

            Has there ever been a league commissioner come out and attack a school for moving in the way that Kliavkoff has?

            Definitely not, and I wonder how the other schools feel about that — given that they would gladly have taken the same deal if it were offered to them?

            Like

          3. bullet

            Even though I think it would never happen, just imagine the relationship afterwards. Every meeting–Any new business-yes UCLA–Fire the commissioner.

            Like

  28. z33k

    Schools that get added have to be “additive” to the conference in the long-term, not just the next TV contract. Marc has been making this point above, but I want to restate it:

    It’s never just about the next 7 years and making the numbers work financially for 7 years. Yes, 4 schools can take pay cuts for 7 years… but then what? Everyone takes a permanent reduction in distributions at some point? Because you’re not leaving any school at a permanent distribution discount. That may happen eventually regardless, but Northwestern/Purdue/Indiana/etc. are not going to bring that Trojan horse through the gates right now.

    Even if cable goes away entirely, Maryland/Rutgers was a good addition for a variety of reasons: gets the Big Ten into two of the biggest markets on the East Coast (which is far more valuable than the West Coast due to the reality of how TV windows work and that 75% of the population is in the East/Central time zones) and all sorts of other reasons related to demographics/fit/location with the Big Ten’s 3 schools in the East being the most prominent in their states.

    Saying that ‘sure Amazon will give us a 4th After Dark” window for $200 million a year for 7 years’ so we should take up to 4 more schools isn’t that compelling when you realize that there’s every possibility that Amazon can decide in the future to just drop the 4th window and only offer for the 3 main windows as they just did with the Big Ten in this recent negotiation.

    The After Dark window is never going to be as valuable as the main 3 windows. And it is the one most at danger of losing its value at any given time. That also relates to streaming:

    We just saw NFLX’s market valuation implode over the past year; that tells you what markets think about the value of the streaming business right now. Doesn’t mean markets are more right now than they were when NFLX was worth 3 times as much, but it’s worth noting that the bubble has collapsed in terms of valuing those companies as “forever growth” businesses.

    The NFL producing terrific numbers on Amazon isn’t that compelling. There’s no competition for the NFL. There will be competition for the Pac-12 for their Saturday Amazon games.

    There’s upside in terms of Amazon overpaying the Pac-12 but there’s also risk. The risk being that the viewership numbers are bad and everyone seeing that. 7 years later, disastrous ratings on Amazon will matter when it comes time to negotiate the next contract.

    Finally, I just don’t see the value in adding 4 more schools right now.

    If the UC regents stop UCLA’s move (which still seems extremely unlikely), just grab Washington or Stanford. USC/Washington might even be more valuable a duo than USC/UCLA though it’ll hurt USC a bit to lose that.

    Nothing has changed: the next most valuable schools to the TV contracts are ND, FSU, Miami and Clemson. Washington and Oregon come after those and as we already have seen aren’t necessarily additive alone.

    Like

    1. SideshowBob

      When it comes to the idea of an “after dark” window – just as a concept, forgetting about whether it’s really in play – I keep wondering why people talk about grabbing four more teams for that. I would think it would work just fine if the Big Ten were to grab just two more teams from the PAC-12 (presumably two of Washington, Oregon or Stanford). That would add ~14 addition games a year to the inventory which would be enough for 1 after dark game a week and you could sell off a few extra games in the BTN package if needed to make the numbers work (15 games sounds like a reasonable solid number). The after dark games would be coming from four teams at that point (USC/UCLA/two additional ones) which is enough to spread them around so no individual team gets stuck with too many of them. Maybe you could have a provision where some of the after dark could be at 9PM eastern and have some central teams be able to host say 1 a year if needed.

      I just think adding two more teams makes this a conceivable endeavor (don’t expect it regardless) but 4 would be far too many mouths to feed.

      Like

      1. z33k

        Agreed 100%.

        Just gets very hard to spread the money among 4 more if you’re not getting ND or some major ACC football brand as well.

        2 more though can work as you suggest.

        Wouldn’t he hard to imagine 14 extra home games and then a mix of 14 After Dark games out of the 28 home games of USC/UCLA + 2 more schools.

        Adding 3 is probably the limit out west, as in ND + 3 from the Pac 12.

        Like

        1. bullet

          And do you really want to go beyond 20? If you aren’t committed to that, why go to 20 without Notre Dame? Washington and Oregon or Cal or Stanford would allow you to blanket the west coast. And with 4 west coast schools, you could do 8 “after dark” games with just 2 night games per school. You could do 12 if they were willing to do 3. Dilution with 2 is also pretty insignificant. With 4 it gets bigger.

          Like

      2. Richard

        Right, 2 more is possible for an After Dark window so a possibility. I think it’s impossible to break even while adding 4 more. But even 2 more Pac schools almost certainly wouldn’t be additive, so would the B10 add 2 more just to break even?

        Like

      3. Donald

        SideshowBob, I also agree 100% with your comments. I hope that the Big Ten invites Stanford and Washington for the reasons you mentioned, plus their academics and markets are great long-term assets for the conference.

        Like

  29. z33k

    Separate point to the above:

    Since the Big Ten/Pac-12 relationship is basically dead after this USC/UCLA situation, why won’t the Big Ten just play hardball with the Rose Bowl situation in the expanded CFP.

    Originally it was suggested that whichever champion was higher in the top 4 would take the Rose Bowl quarterfinal slot (if either was in the top 4 champions):

    Why shouldn’t the Big Ten just say, we’ll take the Rose Bowl spot if our champion is in the top 4 regardless of what the Pac-12 champion is ranked. Pac-12 can take the slot if the Big Ten champion doesn’t get a bye.

    Pretty sure the Rose Bowl is going to lean to the Big Ten’s wishes at this point.

    Like

    1. Marc

      They have been pretty careful (so far) to avoid doing things that are blatantly anti-competitive. The Big Ten champ has outranked the Pac-12 champ in seven of the Playoff’s eight years. There is no assurance this will continue, but it is fairly likely to. It’s better to let the Pac-12 have the Rose Bowl slot in the rare years they earn it than to do anything that could prompt regulators to get involved.

      Like

      1. z33k

        Yeah, I can see that as a rationale.

        I wonder more about SEC/Big 12 and the Sugar Bowl.

        Does that relationship continue? Though hard to ever imagine an SEC champ ranked below a Big 12 champ once Texas/OU.

        Once divisions are gone, won’t have 3 or 4 loss teams in championship games.

        Like

        1. Alan from Baton Rouge

          z33k – the Sugar Bowl’s relationship with the B12 is only a recent development. I think it only runs through current CFP agreement. The Sugar Bowl’s relationship with the SEC informally runs back to the 1930s. I’m sure the Sugar Bowl will do whatever the SEC tells them to do.

          Like

  30. z33k

    UNC may lean Big Ten over SEC based on the rumblings out of Chapel Hill from this summer based on that Observer report:

    UNC AD/Prez discussed potential ACC-Pac 12 scenarios:

    “Guskiewicz was intrigued: “We could have a super conference both athletically and academically,” he responded. “Probably would need to be called the Atlantic-Pacific Athletic Conference (APAC). Maybe that’s crazy, but if it would get us a better TV deal, it may be worth considering.””

    Obviously a lot will be made of the Jim Delany angle but more important than that in my mind was the academic prestige of the conference mattering to the leaders there.

    Obviously that can change in 10 years. But realistically how much?

    Even though their fans may lean towards the SEC, could easily see the leadership pointing to the Big Ten if joining the more prestigious academic grouping matters with the rest of the factors equal.

    But I still think it may be impossible for them to move given the size of the Tobacco Road grouping and especially NC State needing to be taken care of along with all their close rivalries.

    Like

    1. Richard

      Eh, the university presidents talk about academic prestige a lot, but conference realignment is still driven by money. If academic prestige mattered a ton, both Stanford and Cal would be in the B10 by now.

      In any case, I don’t think the NC and VA schools break from the ACC, but mostly because now (and in the future) they aren’t additive any more to either the SEC or B10. And I can only see the SEC being willing to make nonadditive additions of UNC and UVa for academic prestige (and basketball and reforming the old Confederacy).

      Like

      1. z33k

        Yeah, I meant that more for schools that have a possible choice of where to go.

        UNC is probably first and foremost wanting the ACC to work. But if they have to leave, it’s just an interesting discussion.

        FSU I can see leaning towards the SEC because of their location/relationship with UF and proximity of other schools in the SEC.

        Though the notion of selling FSU on being the “national Big Ten south brand” might appeal to them.

        Different schools have different wants and needs. UNC’s wants/needs are very different from FSU or Miami or Clemson.

        Like

        1. Richard

          Yep, FSU could choose to be the premier southern program in the only truly national conference or one of many similar programs located in the same area of the country in the SEC.

          Like

      2. Marc

        I can only see the SEC being willing to make nonadditive additions of UNC and UVa for academic prestige (and basketball and reforming the old Confederacy).

        But as you said earlier, realignment is driven by money, not prestige. Nobody in authority talks about reforming the confederacy anymore.

        Like

      3. Alan from Baton Rouge

        Richard – I am in agreement with most everything in your post, but please stop with this reforming the Confederacy BS.

        If Ohio State or Notre Dame called Sankey today and asked to join the SEC, do you think the New York native Sankey would say, “Sorry, Mr. Buckeye and Mr. Irish, but your ancestors fought to keep the South in the Union 160 years ago, therefore NO THANKS!”?

        Like

    2. Alan from Baton Rouge

      z33k – I’m sure the NC Regents and the NC State supporters in the legislature are watching what’s going on in California. I would expect that if the the NC Regents doesn’t have oversight of conference movement now, they will by 2030. NC State and UNC will stay in the same conference, either the ACC or SEC.

      In the unlikely event UNC has the freedom to choose B1G or SEC, the administrators that would prefer the B1G will find out the same thing that the eggheads at Texas found out – that the fans, politicians & recruits prefer the SEC. Ultimately, these are athletic conferences comprised of athletic departments affiliated with academic institutions.

      Nobody in the state of North Carolina is going to get blindsided by UNC like the folks in California did with UCLA.

      Like

      1. Marc

        NC State and UNC will stay in the same conference, either the ACC or SEC.

        That has been said for multiple states. I recall there was “no way” Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would be separated. Also “no way” Texas would leave Texas Tech behind. I suppose if people say it enough, sooner or later it will be true. So far, it has been wrong every time.

        Like

      2. Mike

        Kansas doing something similar right now.

        Members of the Kansas Board of Regents are in the process of creating a new policy that would require any Regents university — KU, K-State, Wichita State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State and Emporia State — to get approvals from at least three non-university officials before moving to a new athletic conference.

        [snip]

        Under the proposed policy, [Regents Chair Jon] Rolph, [Regent President and CEO Blake] Flanders and Carl Ice, the Regents’ vice chair, who also is a leader of the Kansas State University Foundation, would be the three people required to grant approval for a conference change.

        https://m.kusports.com/news/2022/sep/16/kansas-regents-taking-steps-ensure-ku-other-school/

        via @MattBrownEP

        Like

      3. psuhockey

        “In the unlikely event UNC has the freedom to choose B1G or SEC, the administrators that would prefer the B1G will find out the same thing that the eggheads at Texas found out – that the fans, politicians & recruits prefer the SEC.”

        Texas is a football school and UNC is a basketball school. That’s a bold statement to make about fan preference between the SEC and Big Ten for UNC fans.

        Like

      4. Jersey Bernie

        If the NC legislature pretty much makes it a matter of law that NC and NC State stick together, then the ACC will survive, though almost certainly without the schools which seem to get mentioned here in every other post, Clemson, FSU and Miami.

        It does not seem conceivable to me that the SEC would want both NC teams and the B1G will not either.

        The ACC will then be a basketball league with a P5 football status attached. This would also save Wake, BC, Syracuse, and perhaps others, from oblivion.

        There is another wild card with the State of NC. I am sure that both Duke and Wake have some (perhaps a lot of) influence in the legislature and they will also both be pushing to keep Tobacco Road together in the ACC by packaging NC and NC State.

        If the state of NC acts in that direction, I wonder if the VA legislature will do that with UVa and VaTech.

        Like

        1. Alan from Baton Rouge

          Bernie & PSU hockey – As I wrote previously, I think the ACC in some form with the VA/NC schools stay together.

          I agree that UNC is a basketball school that plays football. Their football value doesn’t move the needle for either the SEC or B1G. Perhaps the game of the season involved UNC & App State in week #1. The programmers at Disney, while they couldn’t foresee the crazy game it turned out to be, surely knew it would be a better game than Colorado State/Michigan that they put on ABC. UNC/App State got the U.

          After a decade of getting lapped by the bottom-rung B1G and SEC schools, all of the ACC schools will be shells of their current form (which isn’t great), except for the regular playoff participants.

          UNC & UVA have only had passing success at football and don’t appear to have a strong commitment to changing that trajectory. With the state of North Carolina’s football rooting interests so Balkanized, its hard to see how any school delivers the state.

          Sure UVA and UNC are great schools, but if academics really that important to the B1G, they wouldn’t have the #1 P5 academic school (Stanford) and the #1 public school (Cal) twisting in the wind.

          As I have discussed numerous times, IF the SEC and B1G decide to go to 22 or 24, THEN the SEC is the only conference situated to make UNC an offer they can’t refuse: NC Sate, UVA & Duke all get a spot in the SEC along with UNC.

          The decision to go to 24, would only be feasible if the SEC & Disney determined that it would be cheaper (for Disney) to not renew the ACC contract in 2036 AND worth it to the SEC to take all the worthwhile parts of the ACC (FSU, Miami, Clemson, UNC, NC State, Duke, UVA & VA Tech) and stick them in the SEC.

          Like

          1. Marc

            I think the ACC in some form with the VA/NC schools stay together.

            That is my base case as well, but not because the state will intervene to keep them together. As you say, none of them really delivers the state, and none are good enough football brands.

            I think FSU will leave the ACC as soon as it can, taking Clemson along if it joins the SEC. If it joins the Big Ten, I am less sure who the +1 will be, but for argument’s sake let’s suppose Miami. Either way, the rest of the ACC likely stays together.

            Like

  31. Brian

    https://www.chronicle.com/article/just-5-universities-produce-one-eighth-of-the-nations-tenure-track-professors

    Speaking of academic prestige, this ranking may be as good as any for that.

    Just five universities have produced one-eighth of the tenure-track professors at American doctoral institutions, and 80 percent of such professors earned their Ph.D.s at just 20 percent of the nation’s universities.

    The table is here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05222-x/tables/3

    Quintile 1
    1. Cal
    2. Harvard
    3. MI
    4. WI
    5. Stanford
    6. IL
    7. MIT
    8. UT

    Quintile 2
    9. Cornell
    10. Columbia

    13, MN
    14. UCLA
    15. OSU
    19. PU
    20. PSU

    Quintile 3
    22. IN
    23. MSU
    24. NW
    25. JHU*
    29. UMD
    34. IA
    36. USC
    41. RU

    Quintile 4
    62. NE

    The quintiles of faculty production include 8, 13, 20, 38 and 308 schools.

    Like

    1. Marc

      Among plausible expansion candidates:
      1. Cal
      5. Stanford
      18. Washington
      21. UNC
      30. Arizona
      31. Duke
      38. Virginia
      39. FSU
      42. Arizona State
      44. Colorado
      57. Georgia Tech
      61. Utah
      77. Oregon
      84. Notre Dame
      87. Miami

      Like

    2. bullet

      I sure remember a lot of Cal, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford and Illinois PhDs as professors when I went to Texas. I think if you looked at the top 20 in production, you would find an even higher % getting their PhDs from the elite schools.

      Like

  32. EndeavorWMEdani

    Obviously brand value (the only thing national audiences/media companies care about) gets short shrift here, but they alone will dictate a conferences rights-value going forward (in the age of streaming). This brings us back to Oregon v Washington. I like Washington as a second-tier brand. I think they would be a great long-term asset to the B1G. They’re very similar to Wisconsin. Steady and reliable with decent national appeal. Still, there is no brand metric I’ve seen, from ratings, to recruiting, to apparel sales to Q score (brand perception) where they score higher that Oregon. Some here claim the Oregon brand is fading. Just the opposite. Oregon’s brand equity rating has actually increased over the last decade in both the 18-24 and 25-34 demographic. This is nationally. People who hold the brand in high regard, irregardless of being an alumni or having a local affiliation. Could their admission be thwarted by the B1G’s weak sisters not wanting the competition, or some academic apprehension on behalf of the Presidents? Yes, but FSU/ND/Clemson notwithstanding, they are the biggest draw left on the board and I have no doubt Warren will find a way to bring them in. We’ll see!

    Like

    1. Brian

      That first statement seems a bit circular. How are you defining brand value, apart from what the conference gets paid for the school? I think a lot of components go into “brand value,” and they don’t apply equally in all cases.

      I agree, UW is solidly second tier. Nobody has claimed otherwise, I don’t think.

      Still, there is no brand metric I’ve seen, from ratings, to recruiting, to apparel sales to Q score (brand perception) where they score higher that Oregon.

      View at Medium.com

      Most watched teams over 5 years:
      26. Oregon (1.34M)
      28. Washington (1.32M)

      They are essentially the same.

      https://247sports.com/LongFormArticle/College-football-recruiting-development-NFL-Draft-picks-results-Development-Rating-2021-166233526/#166233526_1

      UW was #3 for developing elite talent for the NFL, UO was unlisted.

      https://247sports.com/LongFormArticle/Blue-chip-ratio-college-football-2020-Bud-Elliott-15-teams-who-can-win-a-national-title-148079661/#148079661_1

      As recently as 2020, UW was ahead of UO on the blue-chip ratio, meaning they were recruiting better for years. Now UO is ahead while UW is rebuilding. These things fluctuate.

      I have no doubt Nike sells more UO gear. That’s what the whole program is built around. But since they have different licensing companies (UO isn’t with CLC), it’s hard to find good comparative stats.

      They rank similarly in many things.

      Brand perception is a lagging indicator of success on the field. If Lanning can’t get them winning a lot again, their brand will slide.

      Like

      1. EndeavorWMEdani

        Recruiting 2021: O #6 W#30
        Recruiting 2022: O #13 W #97
        If using a time machine or talking about the NFL makes you feel better, go for it. Oregon leads in every category I listed.

        Like

        1. Marc

          University presidents have a more than two-year horizon when deciding which schools to invite. If it happened, those would not be the numbers that made the case.

          Like

        2. Brian

          Petersen retired after 2019. Lake lasted 13 games over 2 seasons before being fired. Gregory was interim coach to finish the 2021 season. DeBoer took over this year. I think that might explain UW’s recruiting being a little down lately.

          UW is back to the top 25 in 2023 recruiting at the moment (UO #13, UW #25). You also have to factor in retaining players. UO signed 16 more recruits since 2018 than UW. More players equals a higher score for the rankings. UW was #97 last year because they only signed 10 players as a new coach scrambled to fill up a class.

          Like

      2. Brian

        I also want to note, I’m not claiming UO isn’t a brand. I simply disagree when you say it’s the only brand left in the P12. And UO’s brand value was higher when they were winning more. Making the CFP and NCG boost the brand. Just like UW’s is now sliding as they try to recover from Petersen leaving.

        Like

    2. Marc

      The other problem with Oregon is the recency of their brand appeal. Before this century, they were a consistently middling team, with an average finish somewhere around 5th in their conference, and just three all-time Rose Bowl appearances. Are they now perennial contenders: Or will they revert to their historical average once the Phil Knight gravy train dries up, as it eventually must?

      Like

    3. Richard

      So, I have to give props to Dani here for being in touch with what the kiddies think.

      UO definitely is seen as cool by HS recruits (hence why they’re ranked by the kiddies in the top 10). But how much of that is empheral?

      UNLV basketball and Miami football were cool once upon a time too. Miami at least is a stone’s throw away from crazy amounts of local talent so you can see how they can come back. But UO’s brand is really propped up by Uncle Phil’s largess. When Uncle Phil goes to the Great Beyond, will Nike or someone else still pay for the UO marketing machine? It’s not like UO has much in the way of local talent or really any other good ancillary qualities. They’re like a cooler Nebraska without the history and dependence on one guy instead of a die-hard fanbase. Or UNLV basketball during the Tark era. And even at their current high point, UO has such a terrific brand that their viewership numbers make them a marginal borderline candidate below Iowa.

      Stanford’s actually more sustainable (IMO) because they have more crazy rich alums, a few who even care about sports. UW is marginal too but at least in a growing metro and state.

      Like

  33. Jersey Bernie

    Perhaps I misunderstood your use of “notwithstanding”, but do you actually believe that Oregon would be picked by the B1G ahead of FSU or ND? Everyone knows that ND is the first choice.

    Even if Oregon were otherwise a superior choice to FSU (which I do not believe at all), the B1G entry into Florida would eliminate any other comparison. Much bigger market, wonderful recruiting, etc. etc.

    Like

      1. Jersey Bernie

        It is not a petty semantic game. You wrote that you prefer Oregon over ND or FSU. I was hoping that you did not mean that. I did not even mention your use of irregardless. That would have been a petty semantic game.

        Like

  34. Longhorn McLonghornFace

    As to claims by the Pac10 commish about travel costs, it sure looks like UCLA could travel commercial to most B1G schools. A quick check shows nonstop flights from LAX to:

    Chicago 21+ a day
    Newark 38+
    Baltimore 14+ (BWI, Reagan, Dulles)
    Detroit 7+
    Minneapolis 7+

    So 5 schools for starters, but wait, there’s more! Several schools are within a relatively short bus rides from those air hubs, comparable to the 1.5 to 2 hour bus rides required to reach Oregon St and Washington St from the airports in Portland and Spokane (the latter having just 1 nonstop a day to LA). Air hub to bus for these is probably similar or better timewise than a connecting flight:

    Mich St less than 1.5 hours from Detroit on a bus
    Wisconsin about 2 hours from Chicago O’Hare
    Illinois, and Purdue about 2.5 hours from Chicago

    So that’s 9 of the 14 existing B1G schools should be able to reach fairly easily via commercial air. And Ohio St has 4 non-stop options a day if you include Columbus and 2 hour bus rides to Cleveland and Cincy airports.

    Indy has 1 nonstop, same for Omaha (KC has 3 more at 3 hours away), Iowa is a 3.5 hour bus ride from Chicago, Penn St 3 hours from Pittsburgh (1 nonstop) or 3.5 hours from Philly (6+ nonstops).

    And of course all these have connecting flights. From Chi there are 3 (nonstop) to State Penn, 6 to Cedar Rapids, 8 to Columbus, and 9 to Indy (then an hour on a bus to Bloomington). Lincoln has 3 nonstops to Denver and Omaha has 7 (17 nonstops LAX to Denver).

    The point being that while not every B1G school is easy to get to without charter flights, most are. So the P10 commish is full of crap.

    Like

    1. Marc

      As to claims by the Pac10 commish about travel costs, it sure looks like UCLA could travel commercial to most B1G schools.

      As Brian noted, he made the most pessimistic assumptions you could imagine.

      Like

  35. Richard

    BTW, I was thinking about the B10 going to 10 conference games as there really aren’t that many B10-controlled OOC games that are top-45 quality (about 5 a year).
    But the B10 almost certainly won’t go to 10 conference games until it adds 1-2 southern schools to get some regular trips to the south (realistically, either Miami or FSU+Miami). But going to 10 conference games allows the B10 to stop at 19 (say, Miami, ND, and Stanford) or some other odd number. You could also do parity-based scheduling for 2-3 games a year while still keeping 3 annual series in that case.

    One concern is running out of TV slots as the kings (and princes & NU) really don’t want to play on weeknights after Labor Day and before Black Friday. But with Week 0 becoming a regular week, you’d have 14 Saturdays, then you could have a full 3-game slate on Black Friday, 6 more extra slots on Labor Day weekend (spread over Th, F, Sun, and M), and 3 more games Th, F, and M (or W?) Week Zero Week. That gets you up to 18X3=54.

    With 10 conference games, the B10 may ask schools to schedule more M3 buy games too (which they start doing anyway for ticket sales as few people want to see games vs G5/FCS).

    Like

    1. Brian

      I would expect a lot of pushback about going to 10 B10 games. It has all the same negatives as going to 9 while the ACC and SEC stuck at 8 (fewer CFP spots, fewer bowl-eligible teams), plus the loss of all the good OOC games. IA and USC would be stuck with 11 games scheduled for them. The other brands want the chance for big OOC games against opponents of their own choosing, and they want 7 home games. I think it would take a lot to convince the schools to move to 10 games in a 12-game schedule.

      Not only do the kings not want to play weeknights, the B10 and the networks don’t want to waste those games on weeknights.

      Is there reason to think the M3 would agree to buy games? That’s a big blow to their ego, especially the better M3 programs. I think G5 games will last for a long time.

      Like

      1. Richard

        1. Some current B10 schools already want to go to 10 conference games (you can probably surmise that these are not the king/prince programs) even before any expansion.
        2. By the time the B10 goes to 10 conference games, the SEC will already have been at 9 conference games for a while.
        3. Some M3 programs like ORST and CU already accept buy games. Obviously so have a bunch of the G5 programs joining the B12. Granted, it’s likely that it’s mostly the brands with destination stadiums who can regularly convince M3 schools to accept buy games but by this time (in a Big19/20), schools like USF and Memphis (possibly Boise and/or SDSU too) would also be M3 programs.

        Like

      2. Richard

        Mind you, I don’t think G5 and FCS OOC games would go away. Most OOC games would still be G5/FCS in a B10 with 10 conference games, but also a handful of M3 buy games as well (and a few HaHs).

        Oh, and unlike pollsters, I don’t believe the CFP committee would just blindly look at number of losses when picking the 12-team playoff. Plus, if the 10th B10 conference game replaces a OOC P5 game (which would be the case in most instances), I don’t see why the schedule difficulty would increase that much.

        Like

  36. vp0819

    I doubt you’ll 10 conference games for any Div I league, whether FBS or FCS, until the schedule is expanded to 13 games. As the NFL now has a 17-game slate, the concept isn’t so far-fetched.

    Like

    1. Richard

      Yeah, it probably won’t fly. There some B10 teams who want a 10-game B10 slate (Iowa is the median B10 program and the IN schools, RU, UMD, NU, UIUC, and UMTC generally can’t find OOC opponents for HaH better than Iowa). Though PSU (and UMD; maybe RU) want to schedule more Eastern teams, Iowa has ISU, if ND joined, they would want more OOC games rather than less, the Pacific schools would want to schedule western opponents, UNL would want to schedule OU OOC often, Northwestern has alums all over the country (as does UMich) and OSU and UMich could do better than Iowa OOC.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s