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@WarHog38 Florida [hits palm on forehead], how could I forget Florida? Just because they play competitive football doesn't mean they AREN'T an elite research university. After Maryland leaves, it will be 5 AAU schools in the ACC, four in the SEC. If UNC switched to the SEC, the SEC would have *more* AAU schools than the ACC. If after the ACC being destabilized UVA and/or GTech moved to the Big Ten, the ACC would have no more, and possibly fewer, AAU schools than the SEC.
That could well be the "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore" moment for UNC. But, paradoxically, if both the Big Ten and the SEC are waiting for that to happen, it might never happen, because it seems unlikely that the ACC schools that the Big12 want agree to go to the Big12 unless the ACC is already destabilized, which means its either the SEC or Big Ten who have to move first.
Anyway, people who have oversimplified views of the world have an unfortunate advantage in web forums, because they can come up with an immediate response without any additional thought, while people who have more awareness of how complex, and sometimes contradictory, the real world is are still thinking things through.
@Roggespierre I take the US News and World Report grad school rankings with a grain of salt, but if trying to get an overall view of a school's overall academic status, and not putting too much weight on any individual position, they are still workable. But not only do a lot of schools game the system for their undergraduate rankings, but even more, academic status is not ABOUT undergraduate education, so even if it were 100% accurate, it still would be beside the point.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Which Conference Will Win The Realignment War? It Depends On Your Definition Of “Win”
@WarHog38 @Roggespierre Bear down on every advantage ~ Duke football may be lackluster, but its a top-10 national research university with millions of research grants and lots of top-25 grad school programs. Many people talking about academic status on conference discussion boards go to the US News and World Report site and quote the headline ranking ~ but that is the undergraduate ranking, because of the $$$ that USNWR makes every year selling those profiles to HS seniors. The real story in terms of academic status comes when you click through to the ranking of the grad school programs.
Its not JUST about money ~ its partly about academic snobbery. Notre Dame is not a big money research university, but it has top-25 law and business schools, so while academics in a top flight research university would not be popping the corks to get Notre Dame in a conference, they wouldn't look down their nose on Notre Dame either.
@ezgame Private school, NOT a national brand, not a traditional football contender (never mind "King"), not a research university and graduate school academic powerhouse, doesn't guarantee cable carriage across most or all of its state ... Wake Forest is hoping that the ACC hangs together and remains a Major conference, because its not getting an invite from any other Major conference. Its got great undergraduate academics, but that is not a major criteria for anybody.
@Roggespierre Well, one fantastic AAU school, and also Missouri.
@WarHog38 @AllTideUp The SEC may be full of fine educational institutions, but not with elite research universities that "rank with any conference".
But the SEC and ACC are not as different on that front as a lot of people remember. When I was living in Knoxville, there was only one AAU school in the SEC, but the last two adds have been AAU schools. With Maryland leaving, there's only going to be ffive AAU schools in the ACC. So if UNC moved to the SEC, the two conferences would have an equal number of AAU schools.
As a side note, I'd disagree with those who figure that the AAU status is WHY the SEC invited Texas A&M and Mizzou. Both add bigger "home" TV markets than the middle SEC schools. East Texas is the most "southern" part of Texas. And while the majority of Missouri is midwestern, there is a distinctly "southern" section in the southeast corner of the state that makes up about a quarter to a third of the state population.
@WarHog38 In the end though trash talk on an online discussion group is mostly hot air by a small number of loudmouths. I still do not think you can lump UVA and VTech in particular in the same boat. They've got different cultures. If VTech made the jump, they'd not be "anti-SEC" for twenty or thirty years. They could well turn into bigger SEC braggarts than A&M fans talking to UTX fans.
@WarHog38 If an fan of an SEC school goes onto boards of any other conference school, they are going to attract SEC bashing. Haters gonna hate, after all, that's just the way internet forums work, and as the top football conference, SEC backers are going to attract more than their fair share.
But its UVA that attracts more of the academic snootiness, and my impression about VTech fans is they are more football first. Northern VA may be the southern end of the Northeast Corridor, but that's still a big part of why many of them are VTech fans instead of Cavalier fans.
The main worry about NC State would be how much of a step up in class it would be ~ at least in Fall ~ for a program that only spends about $12m on football.
@WarHog38 My impression was that if you did a survey of t-shirt fans of VTech between the SEC and the Big Ten, the SEC would win by a fair margin, but unlike East Tennessee, I've never lived any substantial length of time in either Virginia or North Carolina, so that's just an outside impression.
@WarHog38 Or VTech and Clemson, if Florida, UT, and Georgia are leery of adding FSU.
@ezgame No, its not the Big Ten NETWORK that is in the "catbird seat", its the Big Ten CONFERENCE itself. The first tier contract with ABC/ESPN goes up for renegotiation soon, likely to be split into a broadcast network first tier and cable network second tier. Fox, CBS and ABC will be in the running for the first tier contract, and ESPN and the new "Fox Sports One" or whatever they are going to call it will be in the running for the second tier contract.
The Big Ten Network is not like that, it is a revenue sharing arrangement, so if it generates a larger surplus in a year, it yields more revenue to the Big Ten schools that year. And the contracts it has are with the carriers, which are each on their own terms, so those contracts are not going to be coming up for renewal all in the same year.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Big Ten To Add More Conference Games; Is This Another Lure For UVA, GT, UNC And Duke?
@DanHogan @ezgame But that's confusing two different types of influence. Conference realignment is so football focused because of the different economics of football and basketball ~ more of the media value in basketball is in championship tourneys, and only a relatively small fraction of media revenue from the the NCAA tournament gets paid out to participants. Indeed, since part gets paid out to schools based on number of athletic scholarships, and football is the most scholarship hungry sport, basketball media money subsidizes football directly.
But that does not mean that the influence at all schools is anywhere nearly so football focused. Basketball has a lot of clout with alumni givers at UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and etc.
The main reason both the SEC and the Big Ten are lusting after UNC in their hearts is because of already important and relatively rapidly growing media markets. But because they are both wooing UNC, what is of interest to UNC becomes of interest to those conferences. The fact that the Big Ten is a more diverse all-sports conference than the SEC is an additional point of differentiation it will use in selling itself to UNC, alongside more prestigious academics, Major as opposed to Mid-Major level basketball strength of schedule and a higher conference payout.
@John at MrSEC @ChaseTheTrainWarren This would seem to push schools to spend the extra money to step up to the FBS, rather than thin out the FBS ~ if an Appalachian State wants to keep getting payday games, and Major Conference schools stop scheduling revenue games with FCS schools, then Appalachian State has to get itself into the Sunbelt, right quick.
3 months ago on Big Ten Throws Down The Gauntlet: No More FCS Opponents
@adarpy @AGator For the academic politicians that run the University of Florida, the revolt of t-shirt fans may or may not be such a big deal. However, for the long time members of the SEC, the revolt would extend to academic donors and to political supporters in state legislatures, and that part of the revolt threatens to have a much deeper bite.
A President of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Bama, etc. ... just is not going to flirt with that idea. They are going to let those sleeping dogs lie.
So while the answer to the hypothetical question, "if Florida was thinking about moving interested, would the Big Ten be interested" is a resounding "yes", under anything like current conditions it aint gonna happen, and doesn't need to be considered as a possible move.
3 months ago on Which Conference Will Win The Realignment War? It Depends On Your Definition Of “Win”
@GatorBuc2 @AGator If you start from Florida and list "wouldn't go anywhere without, in the end you'll be describing the core of the SEC. Its simpler to boil it down to a simple rule: schools don't leave the SEC, Big Ten or Pac-12. Don't waste any time on scenarios that assue that they do, since the conference commissioners certainly aren't investing a lot of time in any of those scenarios.
Or, as Frank the Tank might say, in conference realignment, sh!t always rolls downhill.
In the end, since multiple AAA minor leagues for football IS a sustainable outcome, the odds are that the SEC and Big Ten both win. The Pac-12 is hemmed in by the Rockies and the paucity of population in the Mountain time zone, otherwise they'd be better positioned to also win from conference realignment, as opposed to just treading water.
@BTN est 2007 I remember my first time going on forums while drunk, though back then it was Usenet rather than World Wide Web. I hope your hangover wasn't too bad.
3 months ago on Big Ten To Add More Conference Games; Is This Another Lure For UVA, GT, UNC And Duke?
@Roggespierre @Jimisawesome @JRsec @Seanbo If they were fully fungible, if the value of the commodity followed the commodity wherever it went, then Pitt would have the same value to the Big12, SEC and Big Ten, but clearly Pitt has much less value to the Big Ten than to the other two.
If they were fully fungible, it wouldn't much matter whether realignment was going to occur before, during or after contract negotiation, but since they aren't fully fungible, it does matter. The kind of issues you raise about using contract negotiations with ESPN to ensure that ESPN does not make a move to counter a desired add only works if the contract negotiation is taking place while the realignment negotiations are taking place.
Indeed, to look at an example where that exact kind of thing has happened, look at the NuBigEast and the departure of the C7. Because of the NO vote by 4 schools that are no longer in the NuBigEast or are leaving next year, the BigEast turned down $130m a year. So the Big East was stuck with negotiating realignment while also negotiating a TV contract, and in the process, Fox stepped in and made a side deal with the Catholic 7 instead, resulting in the hybrid Big East league collapsing into a total shambles.
But the Big Ten is going to have a set conference alignment already worked out when its contract comes up for renegotiation. Its either going to have UNC already, or be negotiating its TV deal on the basis of not having UNC.
In the scenarios where the Big Ten is negotiating a move by UNC in the next two years, ESPN is not going to want to screw the Big Ten over and make it likely that the Big Ten would be biased toward the Fox Sport Network rather than to their existing contract partner.
In the scenarios where the collapse of the ACC goes in slow motion, the UNC may move after the new deal is in place, but in that case, the additional value to the existing schools of the Big Ten taking its contract to the open market is likely greater than the additional value of possibly adding UNC sometime in the future and dividing the conference payout by 18 instead of 16. So any concern that there would be blowback for the chance of getting UNC would not prevent the Big Ten from taking it to the open market.
In the scenario where both negotiations are taking place simultaneously, what you raise could well interfere with contract negotiations. But the Big Ten has more sense than to open the door to that, and they can avoid it by not doing both at the same time.
@The regular guy If UNC was available, it would be a bigger revenue win than either NC State or VTech, so if its about $ports money feeding the member universities, the SEC at least has to try to land the biggest pile of money available.
It would be a lot easier for the SEC if the SEC was a Major rather than Mid-Major conference for college basketball, since UNC BBall swings a lot of stick in the UNC community. Those who care about academics and those don't but who care about BBall could make allies in pushing for a move to the Big Ten.
@AGator Would the Big Ten be interested in Florida. Yes, obviously: they have the advantages of FSU, and as the premier public research university in the state of Florida, they do not have the downside of being an academic "fixer-upper". Compared to UVA / UNC / GTech / Duke or UVA / UNC / GTech / FSU, UVA / UNC / GTech / Florida makes the best of both worlds.
As far as the chances of Florida leaving the SEC, serious people could differ in that assessment. Some would say the likelihood is nil, others that the likelihood is negligible. I tend toward the "nil" side. Or to paraphrase Dumb and Dumber, "The odds are less than one in a thousand", "so you are saying there IS a chance!"
@vol66 @Roggespierre We saw that when Maryland couldn't balance its Athletics Department budget, it cut sports. A big part of the appeal of increasing athletics revenue to academics as the big universities is the promise of an Athletics Department budget that is free-standing without requiring a student activities fee to balance its budget.
If the cost per scholarship goes up, without any resulting increase in revenues as a result, athletic departments will be under pressure to cut costs somewhere. Cutting back non-revenue sports is certainly going to be among the ways that budgets are balanced.
@Roggespierre @Jimisawesome @JRsec Why not? Research status is about grad programs, not about undergraduate academics. And graduate schools need to find stipend funding to attract the higher quality graduate students. If for a particular school's circumstances that includes being a Graduate Teaching Associate teaching a night school class, well, money's money.