The end game for the B1G (and the SEC)?

NedFromYork

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bJqAdyb.jpg

Works for me.
Agree, something like that is where we are headed. Hoping Virginia is in B1G.
 

NedFromYork

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I’ve read several articles from Boston College beat writers, and they are pretty concerned. They are not sure that BC will bring the high powered football program, recent success, and name that the BIG will seek. So what does this mean for little brother? never see their name mentioned. Will they be headed to the MAC?😉
I think BC has a good shot in the end. The consolidation to two conferences and a "Super Bowl" has changed my thinking some. Before I saw only big state schools being attractive, and still do. I thought city schools would be squeezed out. But with a two conference configuration being more like a pro minor league, "pro" towns might bring in good dollars as the casual pro market fan might now become interested in "college" football since they can now undestand it better. That COULD body well for Boston College and say Houston.
 

Katatonic

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Oct 23, 2004
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I'm thinking if you want a "SUPER" conference, there are have to be teams that need to leave. Or else it really won't be super!

If a conference is only comprised of traditional football powers (that haven't fallen way off), over time, some of them would end up like a Mississippi St. or Purdue (somebody has got to lose in such a conference).

Take for instance, OU, which has pretty much dominated the B12 over the past decade.

How many division championships, much less SEC Championships will they win?

If the SEC kicked out schools like Vandy, Mississippi St., Mizzou, Kentucky (which to be fair, has turned into a competitive program), OU may very well finish middle of the pack most years.

Powers are powers because they don't play each other all the time; that's why SEC schools play a patsy before their rivalry game.


Given the fact that Kevin Warren and Gene Smith (Ohio St AD) have talked about expansion is driven by TV contracts (# of TV sets in the market), look for the Big10 to add Houston. Houston is the 4th biggest market in the US.

Just because it's in a large market doesn't mean it drives that market.

GT is in Atlanta and is at best, the 4th most popular school there.

Plus, Houston wouldn't meet the Academic criteria.

Even a school like FSU may not pass muster despite being in the 50's in USNWR latest rankings, better than a good # of B1G schools.

Plus, the whole point of expanding to 24 was to devalue the remaining P5 conferences so much that the $$ that would have gone to them would now be redirected to the B1G and SEC, while keeping the most important (on a national basis) rivalries intact.

Houston would be on a island by themselves and their AAU value is not anywhere close to that of a typical Pac 12 school.


Kat, great analysis/thoughts. Let me throw this out: why not poach Georgia and Florida from the SEC? Florida is an AAU school, Georgia is not, but they are "close." Why would they leave? Money and academic prestige. If you want to put the SEC on notice that they are decidedly "second-tier," take two of their crown jewels. Why not?
Aside from that, I agree, 24 teams is a good number. It divides nicely into 4 divisions (as you surmise above, and BTW I like your division titles!) and sets up an 11 conference game schedule (5 in your division and 2 each from the other 3 divisions). My picks for the "additional eight:" Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona (or Utah), Georgia, Florida, Notre Dame, and UNC if they can get past the ACC GOR. Thus your Atlantic division would be PSU, Rutgers, MD, UGA, Florida, and UNC. Midwest would be OSU, UM, MSU, Notre Dame, Purdue, and I'd say Northwestern. Fun to speculate. I will say that I'll be disappointed if the B1G just adds the 2 Cali schools. The B1G needs to go bigger!


Doubt that they would ever leave and want to keep a certain geographic integrity between the B1G and SEC.

Not only would this continue, if not foster more regional rivalries (say, Penn State against UNC or UVa), would just give that much more juice to the title game when the B1G and SEC champs collide.

A slightly more likely prospect would be UT - as they haven't joined the SEC yet.

But they wouldn't leave w/o OU, and even if the B1G presidents and chancellors were amenable to accepting the Sooners, those 2 schools would still basically be on a geographic island to themselves.

Plus, think a major reason why UT decided to bite the bullet was because TAMU had gained parity, if not exceeding the Longhorns on the recruiting trail.

Recruits in that region, for the most part, want to stay/play in SEC territory.

The SEC is crucial in being the partner for both conferences to hit the 24 school mark and fir each to have their own playoffs with the winners meeting in the collegiate version of the Super Bowl.

That doesn't happen if you raid or even try to raid the SEC.

Getting to 24 requires each conference to pick off the best achools/programs in the ACC and P12.

There's actually a way to get around the ACC's GoR; that would be if the conference dissolves (think it would take 8 schools).

So, if 8 ACC schools decide that there is no long term future to the ACC without being a Tier 2 conference, the 8 most desirable schools may decide to seek out the B1G and SEC (where I have 3 headed to the B1G and 5 headed to the SEC).

But the linchpin in all of this would be ND.

If ND decided that now was the time to join the B1G, you can be sure that schools like Clemson, UNC, FSU are bailing.

But if the Domers hold off, the ACC will probably remain intact until we get close to 2036.

If ND did join the B1G, they absolutely will insist on not being placed in a midwest division, as they do not want to be seen as a midwestern school.
 
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Katatonic

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The more I think about it the more the B1G should just stick to the “AAU plan” plus ND. I will be shocked if the SEC gets ND. It’s not a fit academically or athletically. Absorbing the rest of the P5 AAU schools in the PAC 12, ACC, Big 12, and ND would happen over the next 5-10 yrs. and if so, you could have a 30 team conference setup up with three 10 team divisions.

30 schools would be too many.

Whole point is to maximize value by cutting the fat (so to speak), and there is no school left in the B12 that offers any real value aside from KU, if ESPN wants to shore up their BB schedule (if the B1G ends up w/ UNC and maybe Duke).



Great analysis! A few comments:

The Heartland pod is super weak, essentially the B10 West now. Not sure the B10 wants that again. I see Cal and Stanford sticking together. I don't think Colorado will go to the B10 but not out of the realm of possibility (see below).

I don't see ND joining the B10 or any conference soon. They will stubbornly hold out for as long as possible. Nothing of significance if anything related to poaching ACC schools will happen until ND moves.

The B10 needs to build up their west coast schools and so more expansion will come from there to also block any impending B12 and Pac 10 teaming up to keep the best of the rest in the Pac 10 like Oregon, Washington and Stanford.

I don't see east coast expansion until the ND mystery is solved. When it does I feel Duke, UNC and UVA will move together. Duke has clout due to academics.

The other region is the NE. I don't think Rutgers is going to be the only NE B10 school but it is possible. I can see BC coming in. I think Va Tech matches up more like a B10 school so they could be in the mix.

Ultimately you could get to 26....

16 now plus...
Oregon
Washington
Stanford
Cal
Duke
UVA
UNC
Va Tech
ND
BC

But that doesn't work so if you drop two then it is Va Tech and BC. If you add two then maybe it is Colorado and Kansas to get to 28.

Agree that ND is the linchpin to the ACC opening up for the B1G and SEC, and for that matter, any further B1G expansion out west.

Actually think that ESPN/Disney will try to keep the ACC afloat as long as they can b/c they don't want to lose the BB programming and going to a 24 school B1G and SEC conferences basically means admitting that FS1 /Fox is their equal when it comes to college sports.

Don't see BC being an option as BC didn't add value to the ACC, nor KU (maybe the SEC if ESPN wants better BB programming; they would also add Arizona if that were the case).


I expect the West Coast buildup. It makes sense for USC & UCLA to smooth out some travel issues and also allow for a true far west pod. I would like to see B1G add Oregon, Washington, Stanford and either Colorado or Utah. I don't think the B1G has to have ND. B1G should pursue the west expansion now and give ND an ultimatum, join or the relationship is done, no ice hockey and no scheduling for other sports.

Biggest travel issue will be for the sports that play 2-3x a week.

By adding Stanford/Cal, UNC/Duke and Wash/Oregon - to go along with the LA schools, can mitigate things by having the schools travel together when they go cross country.

For instance, UCLA/USC can fly a charter together to NC for a long weekend with each school playing Inc and Dook.




bJqAdyb.jpg



The changes would make would be to make VA and NC green - with UVA and UNC/Duke in the B1G and VT and NCST in the SEC.

WV would probably be green as well just for having a split interest; not that their state university would end up in either conference.
 
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Wallace Breen

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Agree, something like that is where we are headed. Hoping Virginia is in B1G.
I think you need to carve out Missouri, Virginia, Texas and Arizona. At the end of the day, when the dust is settled, I think you are going to see the SEC footprint remain roughly the same as they are isolated to the Southeast while the Big Ten covers the majority of the Union as Arizona and Arizona State will ally with their former Pac-10 institutions and Texas, A&M and Missouri ditch the SEC because they have more in common with the western and northern schools than they do the SEC. You might as well add UVA, Va Tech, UNC and Duke to that list as well.
 

wilbury

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All of these discussions need to include the "grant of rights" in place for the ACC. Schools would have left the ACC already but it's not financially viable for them to do it right now. And probably won't be for many years. If the ACC makes some moves and adds teams or partners with another conference, I think there could be a legal argument made that the current agreement is null and void so teams could then leave. That remains to be seen.

So don't expect much from the ACC right now. And the SEC really doesn't need to make any moves. If the Big Ten can add ND, then I expect them to add several more Pac 12 teams to placate USC and UCLA. Then maybe the Big 12 and PAC 12 join up or something. It's going to be wild ride.

I'm equally interested in what the NCAA does. There will be a ton of teams of teams on the outside looking in. Many of these teams have pretty good college football history. Do they look to reduce scholarship limits to try to balance the playing field? Who knows.
 

OaktonDave

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I'm equally interested in what the NCAA does. There will be a ton of teams of teams on the outside looking in. Many of these teams have pretty good college football history. Do they look to reduce scholarship limits to try to balance the playing field? Who knows.
With or without the NCAA, I think this is an interesting question. From the outset, I think it's reasonable to assume that the current B10 and SEC schools plus the incoming four are "in." If, as many believe, we are moving toward a 48 team FBS+ level, there are going to be fewer than 20 open slots and more than 20 P5 programs looking for a place and level to play. Even if schools like Northwestern and Vandy decide the new era of top tier CFB isn't for them, some schools that would like to play at the highest level are going to be left out. I have little doubt that Pittsburgh, West Virginia, NC State and the Arizona schools would like to be involved, but I'm not sure that will be an option for them.
 

lazydave841

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Movement into the Big 10 and SEC is probably done for now unless ND decides they want in somewhere. Until the next chip falls (something playoff related is my guess), there is literally zero need to keep adding teams. The financially viable movers and shakers have done moved.
 
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heckmans

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And for that matter, FS1/Fox and ESPN/Disney.

Posted this last week on the NU board, but repost a more concise version here.

If ND decides that it's in their best interest to join a conference (the scuttlebutt is that they are leaning towards staying independent for as long as they can make it work), it'll be the B1G and the conference may very well stop there.

No other school would bring in the additional revenue to keep the slice of the pie for each school as big as it would be with just the addition of the Domers - not Clemson, not FSU (not that the B1G presidents and chancellors would be inclined to accept those 2 schools).

The wildcard here would be Oregon with the financial backing of Uncle Phil.

Word is that Knight is determined to get Oregon into the B1G, and failing that, the SEC (and failing that, he'll probably turn to the ACC).

Conference expansion is all about the $$ and Nike could offer the B1G a 9 or even 10 figure sponsorship deal.

In addition, PSU, dOSU, USC, UM, MSU and Iowa are all Nike schools.

Nike can always also sweeten the pot to those schools (while USC is annoyed with the Ducks for coming into their backyard and snaring recruits, they seem to have no problem taking Nike $$).

So if Uncle Phil is willing to pony up, the B1G could stop at 18 for maximum payouts to each member school.

But 17/18 schools is kinda an unwieldy number with the LA schools (and possibly Oregon) being relegated to a far away outpost.

To offset this, going to a 24 school conference made up of 4 divisions (which would keep intact most of the important regional rivalries and help mitigate a good part of the travel issues for the non-revenue sports) may be the answer.

In this scenario, each school would play the 5 teams within its own division, 6 teams from another division (on a rotating basis) and a protected rivalry (which need at least a rotation of protected rivals) game - making up the 12 game season schedule.

There would be no OOC games.

Here is a possible breakdown of schools/divisions.


Atlantic
Maryland
Penn State
North Carolina
Notre Dame
Rutgers?
Duke or UVA?


Midwest
Ohio State
Michigan
Michigan State
Indiana
Purdue
Rutgers?


Heartland
Northwestern
Illinois
Wisconsin
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska


Pacific
USC
UCLA
Oregon
Washington
Stanford?
Cal or Colorado?


Geographically, makes the most sense to stick the ND in the Midwest division, but one of the prime reasons the Domers have resisted joining the B1G is because they do not want to be seen as a midwestern school, plus the majority of their fan base resides along the NE/Atlantic corridor.

Can then just stick Penn State in the Midwest division, but that would make the division too top heavy and likewise, the bulk of the fan base lives in the NE/Atlantic corridor (plus, this would finally quiet the fans who wished PSU had joined the ACC instead of the B1G, or maybe not).

If the B1G invites only one of UVA/Duke, then the make up of the Atlantic is fairly cut and dry, but if they decide to add both, it becomes a bit oroblematic.

Think at the end of the day, the result would be to move Rutgers to the Midwest despite it being a geography anomaly, since this would make the schools in the Midwest happy by giving them more exposure in the NYC market (ND would not like that the subway Domers wouldn't get an annual, easy trip to see the fighting Irish play, but ND can't get everything they want, plus State College and College Park are manageable trips and ND gets to continue playing ACC schools that are academic peers).

For the Pacific, the B1G probably takes 1 Bay area school (every school in the B1G has from 1% to 5% of it alums living in area w/ the exception of Northwestern which is greater than 5%).

Plus, the B1G would want a vehicle (by the way of having home games) to schmooze the tech companies execs (like Apple) who will be players when it comes to streaming rights.

The last slot out west will likely be between Cal (does UCLA have enough juice to bring Cal into the fold) or would the B1G want a presence in a different market, Colorado?

An alternative would to take both Cal and Colorado, put the Buffs in the Heartland with their old rivals, the Huskers and move Illinois to the Midwest, and Rutgers to the Atlantic.

But this would mean leaving either UVA or Duke on the outside looking in.

Whichever way it ends up, this would give the B1G a national footprint across the northern part of the country, which would include many of the largest population centers while keeping the most desirable (from a national viewership standpoint) regional rivalries intact.

In addition, by adding more teams in the Pacific or Mountain timezone, have more options/variety for having a late start Friday night game (can't have USC and UCLA host every late game on Fridays).

The sanctity of reserving Friday evenings for high school football has been done away with for some time now.

The B1G (and I'm sure, the SEC as well) can make Friday night like Monday or Thursday night football as the NFL has done.

But it would be a 2 game slate with the early game starting at 6:30 or 7 pm Eastern time and the late game at 9:30 pm.

As has been pointed out, all of this is about money...obviously. But in order for there to be money, there needs to be interest from fans. The question that remains for me is whether enough people will care in the end. I've laid out the case before that amateurism has appeal and no one cares about the minor leagues in any sport. The more CFB moves toward professionalism, the less interest there will be IMHO. Will CFB, comprised of free agent players with endorsement deals, ultimately continue to generate the money it currently does.

The assessment also seems to be that whatever the B1G and SEC are doing will ultimately lead to a CFB competition outside of the NCAA. So that means completely reconstituting the bylaws that govern the competition. Does that involve reconstituting an NCAA-like body or something else? If the SEC and BIG intend to remain separate organizations, they will likely need some sort of impartial body to enforce whatever rules there are that govern competition.
 

lazydave841

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I've laid out the case before that amateurism has appeal and no one cares about the minor leagues in any sport. The more CFB moves toward professionalism

Will CFB, comprised of free agent players with endorsement deals, ultimately continue to generate the money it currently does.

College football has always been the minor league for the NFL. The only difference is the kids are cashing in legitimately vs all of the under the table cash, cars, $750k homes, etc.

The interest is likely to stay on its current trajectory. If the conference realignment leads to a true playoff, where teams have a set criteria to gain their spot, vs being eye tested in by a room of 15, I think interest increases.
 
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