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.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'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!
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.Agree, something like that is where we are headed. Hoping Virginia is in B1G.
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.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.
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.
Duke or UVA?
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.
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.