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One thing to consider when it comes to academics:  If we operate under the assumption that conferences are expanding in the hopes of growing their influence in the D4 voting process, conferences will make damn sure those new members are on the same page with them about the votes they'll be taking.  So, the Big 12 won't be adding Rice if they are looking for another member who wants to prevent adding more academic restrictions.  

1 month, 1 week ago on If Division IV Comes, Which Schools Might Be Thrown A Lifeline?

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@OneSamuraiSword I was thinking the same thing.  Perhaps that BYU/Cincy/Boise/UCF or whoever else wouldn't be quite as bats*$t crazy as I thought it was.

1 month, 1 week ago on If A “Division IV” Is Created, Get Ready For More Conference Realignment

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It's been forever since I took statistics, but it might be interesting to see what the odds are that the champion is any team from X conference.  

ACC: 1, 7

Pac: 2

SEC: 3, T4, 8, 9

B1G: T4, T9

B12: 6

The SEC's odds overall should be much better than any other conference still.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Two Non-SEC Teams The Favorites To Grab First Playoff Title

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Have you written much about the graduate transfer rule?  The concept is to allow a kid to transfer one year of eligibility when they leave undergrad for graduate.  (A lot of fields encourage students to do grad studies at different schools than their undergrad, so the academic precedence is definitely there.)  Still, a lot of schools are getting 6 month rentals under the guise of graduate level study.  What do you think about forcing them to sit out a year while allowing the school to provide two years of athletic scholarships?  That would prevent the star QB from picking the best school for 6-months before going pro, but it would still allow undergrads to move to a different school for graduate study and still get to play a bit.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Dos, Don’ts And Should Have Dones From The SEC Meetings (Part Two)

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@adarpy Is there a reference somewhere that shows the percentage of players from each league (or each team) who actually do play professionally?  Clearly, more players come from the SEC than other leagues, but I'd bet there are still a lot of players from various SEC schools who don't.  (I just keep imagining those NCAA ads that air during March Madness -- most athletes go pro in something other than athletics.)  For those kids, there aren't a whole lot of options left after playing in college if they are forced to spend way too much time on athletics-related things.


And, don't forget, the issue of the time spent on athletics was a major piece of the Northwestern case which led the courts to say that those athletes should be considered employees. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Big Ten, Pac-12 Partnering Up On Autonomy Front; Who Will Dominate Future Decisions?

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I didn't see the original article before I followed your link to it, but I have to admit I never would have seen the positioning among Big Five leagues.  It really is striking that all five commissioners are positioning themselves with the assumption being this new subdivision will be formed.  They aren't so much arguing for autonomy (other than threatening to form division 4).  


I'm not totally convinced they will really break down per conference just yet.  It's very easy to look at the five conferences almost like caucuses in elected bodies, but it might not work out that cleanly.  We'll have to see!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Big Ten, Pac-12 Partnering Up On Autonomy Front; Who Will Dominate Future Decisions?

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The real trick would be to predict (or control) all of the chosen rivals.  

1 month, 3 weeks ago on SEC Adds Two More Permanent Rivals In Hoops (Just As We Suggested)

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My only concern about totally ruling out FCS opponents is the increasing cost of scheduling the mid-majors.  There are only so many mid-majors out there and they will be in higher demand among teams in the Big Five.  If all 65 Big Five teams need 2-4 games per year, there may not be enough to go around.  (Otherwise, totally agree, though.)  

1 month, 3 weeks ago on SEC Not Barring Members From Playing FCS Foes, But It Should

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This post looks like a work in progress. The real question to me is if adding one game really makes that much of a difference.  I think we all expect some disparities, but one more game won't be the equivalent of a full conference round-robin.  

2 months ago on SEC Strength Of Schedule: 2014-2025 Comparison

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Allow me to ask the really basic (and maybe obvious) question...  Is this a bad thing?  Sure, no conference *purposely* undermines its basketball.  But, does it really hurt the conference that is the ruling class in what is the most profitable sport?  Did they inadvertently prioritize the two sports correctly?  


If the large basketball tournament puts the most relevant TV money in the NCAA-driven tournament, would it not be smart to focus primarily on the sport that protects the conference-driven portion of the season?

2 months, 1 week ago on Wonder Why SEC Basketball Ain’t All That? Blame Football

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The biggest difference won't be a the "big dog" schools like the handful of B1G and 7-10 SEC members, it will be the secondary schools in the power five conferences.  They will be able to get deeper teams using players that today star in the MAC and SWC.  Guys like Jordan Lynch could prefer to go to one of those slightly lesser teams instead of NIU.  

5 months, 1 week ago on Report: NCAA Hopes To Give Big Conferences More Autonomy By August

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Truth be told, that school did a terrific job of preparing him for his professional career.  Back in '99, I would have been thrilled if I had such an obvious direct line from my degree to my first job -- even without salaries in the millions.  


And, if he's smart, the money he makes in the first few years of his playing career should help him pay for the remainder of his degree should he choose to go that route.  

5 months, 1 week ago on Ex-Gamecock Clowney: “I Would Have Probably Stayed In College” If I’d Been Paid

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Clearly, football rules the conference landscape, but what does such a weak basketball offering do to the overall health of the league?  Could this hurt the value of the SEC network once Thanksgiving rolls around if this keeps up?  I have to think just about any Kentucky and Florida game makes it to ESPN and the leftover content isn't of much value outside the two fanbases.  


Would this have consequences that a fan would fee or do you think success in all-powerful football outweigh anything that happens in basketball?

5 months, 3 weeks ago on The SEC A 2-Bid League? Latest Resumes Show 7 Fighting For Bid #3

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John, you've drawn a link between monetary exit fees and the Grant of Rights that all power conferences have now.  Can you explain that a bit more?  I don't see how a decision that an exit fee is an anti-trust violation would translate to the belief that Grant of Rights agreements would also be anti-trust violations as well.  

6 months, 1 week ago on Fire Up The Realignment Talk: Maryland Claims The ACC – With The Help Of ESPN – Tried To Swipe 2 Big Ten Schools

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I hate to say it, but I still wonder if this wasn't a whole lot of smoke and not all that much fire.  I could see how

*  "ESPN provided “counsel and direction” to the ACC in its attempts to fend off losses and instead grow." would otherwise be stated 

*  "the guys at ESPN gave us further details about the value of tv markets outside of our current footprint and the schools that they believe would deliver them."


Sure, it can sound like ESPN was playing all of the conferences like little minions to ESPN's benefit, but we'll never really know what kind of role they really had.  I guess the real question is how much was consultation and how much was direction.  

6 months, 1 week ago on Fire Up The Realignment Talk: Maryland Claims The ACC – With The Help Of ESPN – Tried To Swipe 2 Big Ten Schools

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How much of a difference would it be if we didn't have *any* rankings at all (AP/Coaches/BCS) until the4th or 5th week of the year?  Just block them off completely until a nice collection of football has been played.  Would that change the conversation enough?

7 months, 3 weeks ago on The BCS Title Game: Five Teams, Two Slots, One Test Of Blind Resumes

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A note to the editors here..  I 'd love to hear your take not just on what games are chosen by CBS or ESPN for the Tier 1 / Tier 2 / Tier 3 but also more about how EPSN distributes their games across game times and ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU.  You've proven to readers inside and outside the SEC that you have a lot of knowledge to share through the conference realignment changes and this could be one way to do it.

For example, I'm a Michigan State fan and I was intrigued about ESPN's decision to delay setting the kickoff time for this week's game against Nebraska until after the Mich/Nebraska game last Saturday.  For another interesting thought, take a look at ESPN's coverage maps for Iowa/Wisconsin and Virginia Tech/Boston College a few weeks back.  Everything made sense except for the NYC market, who saw the Big Ten game.  I know those are outside your footprint, but both could give some insight into the business of college football at any given time.  And, I bet you'll find some interesting things to talk about in Texas markets as the Big-12 and SEC fight for coverage there.  Sure, SEC games aren't on ABC, but maybe ESP moves to given time slots to better serve those markets.  

Just a thought. 

8 months, 1 week ago on SEC Odds And Television Listings – 11/11/13

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A quick note about cell coverage in stadiums.  You haven't done it here, but kids are made fun of for needing cell coverage in some places.  That's the wrong view.  Those kids who want to text, post to Facebook, and tweet are walking/talking/breathing marketing machines.  Schools should be looking to expand that cell coverage not just to get kids into the seats but to harness the raw marketing power of tweets and posts of pictures and even video of gameday.  Talk about great advertising!

10 months ago on Schools’ Greed Damaging The Future Of College Football

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I don't see much of a difference between 5 football divisions and 3 DI subdivisions in addition to DII and DIII.  I think we all knew the highest level teams would never ever restrict themselves from playing teams from conferences like the MAC, American, and Mountain West.  As long as they are still able to do some sort of payment in the 2-5K range without those conferences standing in the way, there isn't a huge difference.  I'm also guessing we'll see a bit more flexibility for schools to guarantee scholarships for kids who don't make the team or have career-limiting injuries.

10 months ago on Report: New Themes Emerge During NCAA, Athletic Directors Meeting

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I'd still prefer a stipend based payment based on the values that come along with academic scholarships, but your view is the closest thing to reasonable that any of the full-payment views have ever come.

10 months ago on MrSEC.com Says Go Ahead And Give College Players Cash (And All That Goes With It)

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@BAMANOLE26  The idea of only giving it to them when they graduate is intriguing!  I have to say I think it will never happen, but still, intriguing. 

10 months ago on MrSEC.com Says Go Ahead And Give College Players Cash (And All That Goes With It)

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Have you ever written anything that would tell us where agents could play a positive role with players who have not yet decided to go to the NFL?  Is it just as simple as getting more info to players who are considering going early?

10 months ago on Mike Slive: NCAA Needs To Change Agent Rules

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Do you imagine schools being able to schedule games against opponents in other divisions?  I see too much value in scheduling at least a few of the D1 vs D2 games (using your division names).  Maybe allow schools to schedule one step outside of their division.  

And I presume your Division 2 conferences are involved in the bowl system as well, correct?

12 months ago on With Talk Of A Super-Division Booming, Here’s How We’d Re-Work College Football From Top To Bottom

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@KyleTaft I'm not sure about the other mid-level leagues, but I'd be really surprised if there were any changes to the MAC at all.  Eastern plays a critical role of connecting a lot of MAC grads in the Detroit area to other MAC schools, so I doubt they'd be shown the door.  

 Other than the musical chair in the #12 spot, that's been a very stable league for a reason.  I don't know the politics of the schools, but maybe Youngstown fills that spot permanently at some point. 

12 months ago on With Talk Of A Super-Division Booming, Here’s How We’d Re-Work College Football From Top To Bottom

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Any word on how the SEC conference office will choose who goes where?  Will it be like the Big Ten's tiered system?  Or are they going to create a documented ranking/tiebreaker system ahead of time?

1 year ago on SEC Bowl LineUp Coming Into Focus; Be Ready For Griping

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I'd love to hear your take on how they'll handle the Title IX part of this.  Maybe they'll limit the number of players receiving money and then open up a few women's sports to make things even?  Open up money for *all* sports? Will that disparity be solved at the NCAA or solved per conference?  

Lot's of questions, obviously.

1 year ago on ACC Commish Talks “Need-Based” Funding Increases For Athletes

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@AM a Carolina fan That's the piece that has changed over the years.  We have so many more options for buying tickets than before.  It used to be your first call for bowl tickets was your school.  Now, it's stubhub. 

As a Big Ten fan who is used to playing games out of region, I hope there is some effort to group fans of the same team together to some extent.  It is always fun to sit in a far-away place like that with fans of your own team. 

1 year, 1 month ago on Florida’s Bowl Costs Show Why Major Conferences Are Changing The System

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Something in Dubai would be great if a service academy had a tie-in and plenty of troops serving near-by could be afforded some leave and short-distance travel to see it. 

1 year, 1 month ago on Bowl Games In Dublin And Dubai? There Must Be Plenty Of Cash On The Table

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Is this a short-term concern that will happen every time a school changes leagues where non-conf timing is different? 

1 year, 1 month ago on SEC Schedule Czar Templeton Reveals Domino Effect That Has Impacted SEC Slates

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What's really needed is some sort of variation on RPI for football.  Is there a reason they can't just duplicate the formula?  Is it because there are fewer games?

1 year, 1 month ago on Source: “I Guarantee The (Selection) Committee Will Do Everything It Can To Keep The SEC At One Team”

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I'd use this same logic in looking at non-conference scheduling.  Teams are looking to schedule opponents often a number of years in advance and have to guess just how good that team is going to be.  This is one of the reasons that scheduling arrangements are so appealing to me.  If there is some room to adjust opponents here and there during the summer, there's a better chance that lopsided games can be avoided. 

1 year, 1 month ago on Schedule Debate: Even Recent History Shows You Can’t Predict Schools’ Future Success

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You've said for a while that the Big Ten and SEC would slowly pull away from the Big 12 in terms of revenue in the coming years.  How does this year fit into that larger picture?  Is this a one-time instance where they are ahead? 

1 year, 1 month ago on Big XII Meetings Begin With Big Cash, Scheduling Alliances On The Agenda

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That article makes it sound like Raycom is the *key* roadblock holding the channel back.  Or, at least it is the first roadblock.  The article says there is no rush and that it could happen a few years after the SEC Network (if then), but it doens't say what would be if Raycom wasn't standing in the way.  (That's at least a little reassuring in that our logic saying they would create one wasn't totally off-base.)  

So, how crazy would it be for ESPN to buy Raycom Sports from Raycom?  They have all of the resources that ESPN is going to need to build the two networks and they are located in Charlotte with a heavy focus on the southeast. 

1 year, 2 months ago on That ACC Network Thing? Uh, Don’t Hold Your Breath

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@viciousdawg @DanHogan Yes, exactly, that was John's article at the time.  He wants to (or, at least wanted to) expand that arrangement to include all 14 teams on both sides. I see it as a way of *not* adding the 9th conference game and still lets everyone schedule one more tough BSC squad if they want.  And I assume other challenge games wouldn't have to be the last game of the year and could be defined by the conferences or even the ESPN. 

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Leaders Continue To Say All The Right Things About Scheduling; Is the SEC Listening?

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@John at MrSEC @SEC 1  If the SEC really is that strong (and, yes, for the time being I think it is), then beating all of that lower competition from other leagues should be easy.

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Leaders Continue To Say All The Right Things About Scheduling; Is the SEC Listening?

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@KellyJones2  I would think the target now should be 10 *BCS* games and not 10 conference games.  We'd effectively never see an SEC team play outside the SEC other than the bowl games.  


The 6-game requirement is an interesting component of this, though.  We've seen so many sub-par teams playing in December seeing that all they have to do is beat 4 push-overs and then steal 2 conference games.  If you force them to win 3 out of 8 conference games, that's a bit better.  But, if a team is playing 10 opponents at the BCS level, they're forced to win 4 times against reasonably good teams.  This will be the first time I've ever typed this, but I'm not sure the 6-win requirement should be increased at that point.  To go 6-6 with 10 BCS games, you'd almost have to beat another bowl eligible team or two along the way to get there.

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Leaders Continue To Say All The Right Things About Scheduling; Is the SEC Listening?

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 @SouthernBoiSB I personally doubt it will ever happen with so few non-conf games to spare, but I really like the concept.  Maybe an SEC/ACC alignment does make sense and could incorporate the existing in-state games (first read that idea on this site).  Otherwise, I'm not holding my breath. 

The fact that some teams would be forced into it is probably a good thing since the current way hasn't shown signs of working until now.  But, the real benefit to me is the idea that opponents could be finalized as late as the spring of the previous year.  There wouldn't be as much flexibility as the basketball challenges, but there would still be a reduced risk of a match-up between high-tier and mid- to low-tier BCS programs.  As an example, Michigan State has a series lined up with Oregon in a few years.  Imagine Oregon continues to fly high and MSU slides a bit more.  That match-up doesn't help either program -- or at least doesn't provide enough up-side to balance the loss of a home game.  

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Leaders Continue To Say All The Right Things About Scheduling; Is the SEC Listening?

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Do you have an opinion on how the bundling / a la carte debate will go?  At one end of the spectrum is the current tiered model with only a few bundles.  At the other end is the end-customer choosing one-by-one all of the individual channels.  I'd tend to think that neither extreme will work. 

And, no, you won't end up spending less -- at least not by a meaningful amount -- even with more choices to add/remove channels. 

1 year, 2 months ago on SEC Network Launching As More People Demand A La Carte Programming

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@John at MrSEC Gotcha.  I've read your thoughts on SEC's future earnings but I couldn't remember if you had said anything about the two conferences compared to each other..  other than the idea that they would be in the same ballpark.  

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Per-School Payout Tops $25 Million

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John, you've spelled out where you think the SEC money is going to be and why you think that.  Have you ever done the same for the Big Ten so we can see the two side-by-side?  Obviously, we're looking at a lot of uncertainty in numbers, but it would be interesting to see how you see the two doing head-to-head.

1 year, 2 months ago on Big Ten Per-School Payout Tops $25 Million

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@safety guy It isn't so much about wanting it or not wanting  it.  It's more about getting ESPN and the carrier to agree on a price.  Both will be looking for leverage.

1 year, 2 months ago on The SEC Network Is A Go, But Don’t Expect Accurate Financial Numbers Right Away (Plus Links)

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@John at MrSEC @BonzaiB A lot of people (I think incorrectly) tried similar logic in the NY area with Yes and BTN.  Perhaps the relationship between the provider and the carrier becomes that much more important to both, but I can't see any of the providers in the south not carrying ESPN.  I could see some small-time bundling happening in the interest of getting a deal done.  Maybe a deal for ESPN/ESPN2 gets extended, LHN finally finds its way to an a la cart, and SEC Net lands on basic.  But, I don't see any real strong-arming one way or the other. 

1 year, 2 months ago on The SEC Network Is A Go, But Don’t Expect Accurate Financial Numbers Right Away (Plus Links)

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So, this deal takes a few games per week away from the ESPN networks.  Are they following the Tier 3 model that gives CBS/ESPN the first choices?  Or are they following more of a Pac 12 Net model that reserves more higher valued content for the conference Net?

Has anyone crunched numbers yet to see if this takes more content away from ESPNU?  I'm still convinced that the ACC Network will either effectively kill ESPNU, or ESPNU will become the ACC Network.

1 year, 2 months ago on SEC Network Unveiled: Our Quick Takes, Our Rapid Responses

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@Jimisawesome Absolutely.  Due diligence.  And, to my knowledge, we don't know how much work they did on those 20 or so schools.  Really, "doing their homework" could be anywhere from deep ongoing discussions with university leadership to reading their Wikipedia page. 

1 year, 2 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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@sojourner Vandy and the B1G have a tremendous amount to offer one-another institutionally.  The CIC is a huge asset to the academic and research side of the schools (emphasis on schools).  To illustrate, Arkansas's research endowment is just above a billion dollars and is #5 in the SEC.  They would be in a virtual tie for #12 ahead of only Maryland and Rutgers if added to the B1G.  That's also why there has been some serious rumors about the B1G inviting Johns Hopkins Lacrosse to play in the conference and be the first associate member. 

I would imagine every university president in the Big Ten would demand that Delany and crew do their homework on Vandy before even considering  research small-timers like Maryland and Rutgers.  I certainly would. 

1 year, 2 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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@bhoop @mowens75 @SouthernBoiSB  I suspect the real domino was actually UNC to the B1G with UVA being the obvious #16.  B1G/UVA would not have gone anywhere until another partner was lined up. 

1 year, 3 months ago on ACC Grant Of Rights Deal Could End Realignment Madness For A While

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Whoa, wait.

*  In the years the Orange Bowl (ACC versus highest-ranked SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame), Rose Bowl (Big Ten versus Pac-12) and Sugar Bowl (SEC versus Big XII) are not part of the semifinal rotation, they will get the highest ranked team from their existing partners.

I'm assuming  they'll choose participants per league standings and tie-breakers and not a national ranking, right? 

1 year, 3 months ago on Ready For The First “College Football Playoff” Title Game At Cowboys Stadium?

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 @I4BamaVandy would be a tremendous asset to the Big Ten's CIC.  It could be more money (or savings of money) going to medical research, agriculture advancement, and new technology.  That's more than just TV eyeballs and football wins.  Do I get excited about a Vandy/Wisconsin match-up?  Of course not.  But there's a lot of non-athletics at state.  And, you know what?  The Northwestern/Vandy dynamic could be interesting...  But, I just see that as academic.  (<--- I'm truly sorry for the pun.  Couldn't resist.)

Remember, this is just the conference doing it's homework on other options that are out there.  I'd consider it irresponsible to not at least look at them.

1 year, 3 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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I doubt it would happen, but even if the Big Ten did steal a team or two, they wouldn't be deal-breakers for the SEC.  We're probably talking Mizzou and/or Vandy.  The SEC was doing awfully well before Mizzou was added and would do just as well in the weird circumstance where they left. 

And I don't think this is really about the Big Ten 'dreaming' about it.  It sounds more like due diligence.   If you are going to look at UMd or UNC or Nebraska or Texas or whoever, then you better look at Mizzou, Oklahoma, and Vandy.  

And don't forget, folks, the CIC brings in or saves a ton of money.  It's money that outweighs athletic money.  It would be crazy but not San-Diego-State-to-the-Big-East crazy.

1 year, 3 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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 @ezgame@DanHogan Well, everything I read says that no one will be able to leave a conference unless the conference lets them out.  So, no one really has any options on their own.  But....

A lot of the logic going into some of these moves has changed as realignment started and there are a number of moves that haven't really been proven yet.  The Big 12 isn't the mess that it was a few years ago.  WVU is on its own little island with no options for further expansion.  I don't know much about the reaction that Mizzou fans have had to the SEC culture, but maybe Mizzou fans aren't as enamored with the SEC Network as much as other parts of the SEC footprint. 

At the same time, the TV landscape with the SEC and ACC networks (I'm really assuming) is much more different now than it was when the conferences were created.  Maybe someone decides that it doesn't make sense for the ACC to saturate the state of North Carolina when they are still earning at the lower end of the BCS.  

Imagine this scenario:  The SEC Network is a total success across the board except in Missouri.  (1)  Other than their one game that's on the network, MIzzou fans aren't enamoured with Teir 3 SEC football like fans in the deep south are.  (2)  ACC execs looking at their network see that they are bringing in a decent amount of money with their network, but they feel they have too many mouths to feed.  Losing a school in NC would save more money than it lost.  (3) While the case isn't as strong, the same is true for the ACC in Virginia.  (4)  The SEC still has eyes on the state of NC and would love to get more SEC Network revenue there.  (5) BTN would add to their riches in Virginia.  

In this scenario, the ACC could release NC State and UVA from the grant of rights allowing UVA to go to the Big Ten and NC State to go to the SEC.  With the SEC not wanting to expand beyond 14 and the Big Ten perfectly happy at 16, Mizzou is "allowed" to leave the SEC to join the Big Ten.  The SEC and B1G get increased revenue and the ACC saves some cash by splitting the pie into fewer (and larger) pieces. 

Is that scenario likely?  Possible?  Probably not.  But, it does illustrate the only way that any big time moves would happen now -- with everyone on board and everyone being better off.  

1 year, 3 months ago on ACC Grant Of Rights Deal Could End Realignment Madness For A While

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Barron from FSU brings up an ACC Network making it seem to me that it will almost certainly be a reality in the near future.  (I've said for a while that ESPN should rebrand ESPNU to build it.)  Is there any reason to think otherwise?

With a network in place, I think we can start to see why FSU, Clem, UNC, NC St, UVA, and Virg Tech were willing to sign it finally. 

1 year, 3 months ago on What They’re Saying About The ACC’s Grant Of Rights Deal

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Any idea how much money an ACC Network could bring in?  I'm wondering if creating a network brings enough cash to keep everyone home.

1 year, 3 months ago on ACC Grant Of Rights Deal Could End Realignment Madness For A While

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2 Questions for you:  How will the two parties handle dividing revenues from non-tv components?  Does this mean ESPN will now start to get some revenue from SEC online advertisers?  Do they now share responsibilities for maintaining digital content?

How does this model compare to the Big Ten Network?  The Pac-12 Nets? 

1 year, 3 months ago on The New SEC-ESPN Partnership Is About Much More Than A TV Network

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@Thern   I've actually wished for a while now that the minor league/developmental leagues weren't as strong as they are today in hockey.  I'd love to see more of the high-quality hockey players making their way through the college ranks instead of minor leagues in the hopes of improving quality of play there.  

 If developmental leagues that pay players were available, we'd certainly lose the great players that we love to watch at the college level now.

1 year, 3 months ago on As Opposition To Stipends Increases, So Too Do The Chances Of A New Subdivision In College Sports

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@GatorGeek Don't forget, most stipend models being talked about now are built off the stipends given to kids who are on academic scholarships.  We're not talking a lot of money here.  The one that didn't quite get through a few months back was a few thousand a year.  Most kids could earn that taking a part-time job.  This isn't money to entice potential pro players into sticking around.  This is money that makes ends meet.

1 year, 3 months ago on As Opposition To Stipends Increases, So Too Do The Chances Of A New Subdivision In College Sports

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This could be a smart move..  This could make the other players want to win that much more.

1 year, 3 months ago on Burke & Hardaway, Jr. to leave Michigan after season

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 @AndrewMartin  John's point with the post was that the blow-back from Maryland's move has been much more than other moves.  We're not reading complaints former athletes or  board members from former Big East schools (no big surprise there) or Colorado or Nebraska.  For those who think UVA/UNC/FSU/Clemson are about to jump, those presidents and board members are watching what is happening at Maryland and wondering if the same thing could happen to them. John's point isn't what they are complaining about -- it's the fact that they are complaining. 

 

Still, though.  Reading this, I couldn't help but wonder what the process was like for the other schools that moved.  Were the boards forced to make these decisions in a weekend?  Were they provided one page of info that was taken away after the meeting?  Do those schools have copies of the contracts they signed?

1 year, 3 months ago on Realignment-Followers Hold Their Breath As Blowback Increases Against Maryland’s Move

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 @John at MrSEC First of all, I have no intention of driving traffic away from your site.  You have very knowledgeable readers here (because they read this site) and the few of them who hadn't read that WashPo article I'm sure clicked on it -- saw it open in a separate window/tab -- and debated reading it later. 

 

At any rate..  So the difference here isn't the fact that the deal was done in a weekend -- the process did go on for a few months and involved the AD and the chancellor from the get-go. And from there, there was a small inner circle in addition to the first level of Loh's administration who were involved within a week of the first discussions.  It's the Board of Regents, who I have to wonder might be the most likely to be a one of those leaks that both Loh and Delany felt could sabotage the deal, that wasn't included until that last weekend when it was discussed and approved.  (It is interesting to note that while rumors circulated in other places, the first real ESPN-quality rumors came out that Saturday in relatively close proximity to the regents meetings.  Were they the last leak that made ESPN confident there was something there?)  It was this group that had a single piece of paper that was taken away after the meeting I presume. 

 

The real question for me is how to juggle the need for these discussions to be secluded -- something that just about everyone at the top-line at conferences and schools states is really needed -- and for the discussions with regents to be long enough with enough depth for them to make the final decision.

1 year, 3 months ago on Realignment-Followers Hold Their Breath As Blowback Increases Against Maryland’s Move

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The implication that this move was done in a weekend isn't right.  It took a number of weeks and was done in secrecy because of the mess that the Big Ten's expansion efforts caused a few years earlier.

 

For those who didn't see the article at the time, WashPo covered the topic quite a bit here.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-12-11/sports/35767358_1_president-wallace-d-loh-college-athletics-acc-commissioner 

 

The fact that Maryland doesn't have a copy of the agreed contract after the fact is really...  odd.  Is it not public leading to UMd covering it up?

1 year, 3 months ago on Realignment-Followers Hold Their Breath As Blowback Increases Against Maryland’s Move

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Striking that Texas is the one with "hard feelings" after Texas worked so hard to destabilize the Big 12 and ship everyone out west.  Hard feelings?  You gotta be kidding me! 

1 year, 4 months ago on Texas A.D. Dodds Blames End Of A&M Series On A&M (Also Talks Expansion)

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 @Matthew James Conceivably, the SEC could charge nominally more for a network because both UF and FSU fans are highly interested.  But, I'd doubt that this number would be considerably different than they could get with UF and FSU in the same divisions but all fans clamoring for the station.  So, sure, I'd guess that it might be a little more but not enough to pay FSU's way like adding the state of Virginia would pay Virginia Tech's share. 

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @Seanbo  @JRsec  @JansonRoberts I'm not so sure that any conference that takes UNC will be going to 16.  The B1G could (and I hope will) stop at just UVA and UNC.  The SEC could offer UNC/VT or UNC/NC St, or UNC/FSU even.  My guess is B12 will eventually have FSU/Clem, B1G will have UVA/UNC, and SEC will have NC St and VT.  No one more than 16.

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @ppbrittain  @RT77 I don't think the AAU thing has been exaggerated as much as it has been misrepresented.  Big Ten presidents don't demand that members show up on that AAU website until they'll be associated with them.  I think it is more like they demand that member schools be solid academically (the measurement of such a thing can be debated) and solid research institutions.  Under the vast majority of cases, schools that fit this mode are AAU members because of their academics and research.  Notre Dame is an exception because it has very high academics and has just recently increased its research.  I recently compared Notre Dame with other schools across the country using the probably-not-exact-but-close-enough data on Wikipedia to find that they'd rank something like 3rd or 4th in the Big Ten.  I read a quote from the Notre Dame president stating that they'd like an AAU invitation but none has been in the offering yet. 

 

If you look at the full listing of schools' research endowments for all schools nationally, and look down the list until you see schools that could conceivably fit in the Big Ten, among the first ones you see are UNC, UVA, and Georgia Tech.  I'd suspect a similar academic list might just yield the same results.  I'd even wonder if "AAU" isn't the right metric because..  well..  it isn't stringent enough.  But it is an easy to look-up parameter for even non-professionals like all of us to find so it helps us understand who might be in and who out.

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @Matthew James A very interesting point re splitting the in-state rivals and its impact on interest level.  There's one problem though.  Increasing interest doesn't necessarily increase revenue.  Assuming the SEC maintains its incredibly high level of play, I dare to say tier 1 revenue can't go any higher based on interest level -- because the interest level is already sky high.  Now, in the event that cycles continue to..  well.. cycle, split divisions could keep interest levels up in Alabama, Florida, and SC and revenue levels up as well.  The tier 2 level is sky high as well (both interest and revenue) to the point that new members that have quality football would push still high quality games down into tier 3.  But, in the event that the SEC drops just a bit -- we are talking about a 50-year view here -- protecting tier 2 quality through interest in divisional races would be of some value.  The problem is the subscriber model that will be in place at the tier 3 level -- where your idea would help increase interest the most -- just plain doesn't work this way.  Fans will demand that carriers give them their SEC Network regardless of the interest level that they have in any individual game.  Now, if the subscriber model morphs into something that more closely matches day-to-day viewership, or the model more depends on advertisements than subscriber fees, then this would help a lot. 

 

The problem is your idea quite likely increases the number of games that viewers in those states will be interested in, it doesn't really translate into higher tv revenues.  At least not while the conference is so strong.

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @Roggespierre I'm actually less concerned about individual schools going out on their own with conference networks than I ever was before.  There are very, very few schools that will be in the just the right position to do that.  BYU is a great example.  I could see another low-yield network based on service academies, too.  But, if even Notre Dame can't find a way to build their own, I see little concern that any other school of consequence athletically will be able to.  We're at a point now that even the ACC can't seem to convince ESPN to build one for the entire conference because that market may end up being a little too saturated. 

 

If anything, we're ready for some kind of regionalization of conference networks with the Pac-12 Nets being the purest example.  Each pair of two schools gets it's own specialized network for its market.  I've been saying for months that I'd love to see the Big Ten create a Tier 3b of content for regional Fox broadcasters in the Big Ten footprint.  Then, Fox could move content back and forth between BTN and the regional channels as suits their needs just like ESPN moves content between ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2.  Who knows, maybe the Big 12 effectively heads in that same direction when schools sell their remaining rights to RSN's.  In that environment, I could see a conference office helping schools work with various RSN's to make those as valuable as they can. 

 

The next real question will be how to make use of these networks during times that sports aren't going on.  If you want an example of the problem, listen in on ESPN in the middle of the day.   zzzzzzz...  Conferences -- made up of academic/research institutions are in a good position to do just that.  They could probably give NOVA a run of its money -- just not in primetime.

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @Roggespierre Yeah, it's a not-so-subtle reminder that conference alignment is a 50-year decision. 

 

I'm not so sure the subscriber model will go away completely as long as conference network can keep programing interesting.  I bet subscribers will have more specific bundling choices with news/sports/movies packages, but sports should fare well in that environment.  Even if there are fewer subscribers, you'd think that a higher percentage of those subs would want and watch those channels. 

1 year, 4 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC

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 @JohnMartinJr What does the SEC GoR look like?  Just ongoing for as long as a member is in the league?  Or do they have long-term agreements like the one the Big 12 signed a couple of years ago?

1 year, 4 months ago on No Surprise: The ACC Would Welcome Notre Dame ASAP

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These schools made a commitment to one-another to form the league so they shouldn't be able to jump up and leave.  So, ND should be forced to either stick around until the notification period is over or negotiate something different. 

1 year, 4 months ago on No Surprise: The ACC Would Welcome Notre Dame ASAP

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 @Roggespierre The assumption is that the ACC is not ready for them yet.  It sounds like they explored that back when the C7 news first broke and it wasn't possible then.

1 year, 4 months ago on Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long

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What matters here is what the meaning of "aggressively" is.  And what the meaning of "pursuing" is.  And what the meaning of "anyone" is... 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4XT-l-_3y0

 

1 year, 4 months ago on OSU A.D. Smith Says Big Ten “Not Agressively Pursuing Anyone”

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I read an article on this subject on an ACC-focused site and something stuck with me.  It was a small thing at the time and I've since been unable to find that page (wish I could give credit).  Why not allow teams to stage a single exhibition game against an FCS opponent?  You align the games in about the same time frame as the spring intra-squad games and they can be televised to whatever extent the conferences and networks like. 

 

It solves any of the problems that come from playing a 13th in-season game or adding an exhibition game to the current 12-game season.  We all know that voters will use a game in their decision-making process regardless of being exhibition or not, and there's no extension to the length of the season.  And, these games would be of greater value to the teams themselves as opportunities to see their newest players on the field in that environment and provide a mid-spring evaluation point for players and units as a whole. 

 

Win, win.  No?

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Ten Throws Down The Gauntlet: No More FCS Opponents

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 @Roggespierre I actually hope that the nBE gives this contract to NBC.  The BE does deserve some level of coverage without being totally washed to the side by the big 5.  And if the BE is able to pick up Army, they'd be able to maintain the coverage to the Army/Navy game and all of the stuff that goes around it.  On the flip side, it provides just a little more competition to the WWL for the sheer volume of sports coverage.  That, and there will finally be some other coverage on NBC other than Notre Dame.  Maybe, some day, they'll finally be forced into a 3:30 timeslot like the rest of us are. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long

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Nice summary, and add me as a +1 to just about all of your conclusions.  I'd like to see more leeway given to conferences to test on-field officiating tools without need of say-so from the NCAA.  If the Big Ten finds that they keep screwing up calls in one part of the field, heck, allow them to add officials to that part of the field mid-season.  Sure, maybe these changes need to be restricted to conference play so visiting teams aren't at a disadvantage, but why would the NCAA impose restrictions on these?

 

Side question on #5 (color of field and unis).  Does this apply to green teams on grass fields?

1 year, 5 months ago on The Good And Bad Of Proposed Football Rule Changes

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 @John at MrSEC  @frug @John, to frug's point, you've articulated a litany of reasons why conferences will not be stable for the foreseeable future with unhappy low-power members being one of them.  We've never really seen unhappy low-tier members having much of a role in this unless a segment of a very large conference decides to split away (C7) or if individual schools threaten legal action against power programs within their state (Baylor/Texas).  If anything, that second example is a stabilizing force, albeit likely a weak one. 

 

What makes the ACC unstable now isn't the fact that Maryland just left, it's the fact that multiple power conferences could very possibly be looking at add more.  To illustrate that, consider this:  if the we could all be convinced that the B1G, SEC, and Big 12 were all stable and not looking to expand we would all be convinced that no new realignments were in our future.  On the flip side, had the B1G taken Rutgers and Louisville (for sake of argument) without touching the ACC with all indications being that more moves could be coming, we'd still be talking about instability of the ACC.  Granted, there wouldn't be a test case for the ACC exit fee, but that would be just as debatable then as it is now. 

 

The main causes of instability are powerful programs or powerful conferences looking to make changes -- and you've listed a lot of ways why that will likely continue.  But, the presence of low-quality members who don't like being dominated doesn't seem to be one of them. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long

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 @frug This is actually a pretty good point.  To argue instability, you have to show how that unhappiness could lead to change.  I don't think we have any cases where low-earners and low-spenders have wanted out from under their current home.  Schools like TTU, ISU, or add to the list Purdue, Vandy, and Wake Forest are still much better off in that higher earning environment.  Now, having low-earners in a large pool with high earners might be enough to make the big money schools look at making a change in some way.  Texas has already built their own network making many of its mates look for other homes.  (And I think the part-time addition of Notre Dame to that conference will give Texas a model to follow for their future.) 

 

Now, the break-up of the 30-member conference should be a warning, particularly to the Big Ten's plans.  A 20-member Big Ten could easily break into 12 and 8 (looking a lot like the current conference alignment) or 11 and 9 (losing Penn State to the east).  That's my main fear for the B1G growing past 16 right now..

1 year, 5 months ago on Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long

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 @Roggespierre  @edelswick  @mowens75  @JRsec  @AllTideUp And... to come full circle..  I could see ND doing some very small football-only scheduling arrangement with the Big East for November games.  That might help the Big East keep Navy and maybe get another service academy on board (if they are still interested).  It would be a great fit with the NBC deal they are working on.

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @edelswick  @mowens75  @JRsec  @AllTideUp  @Roggespierre With the research partnerships that come from conference affiliation, I'd think the C7 would be out for both Duke and UNC.  And, as bad as Duke has been in the past in football, they still do have football and need to get what they can from that investment. And I'd think that Duke couldn't survive as any kind of independent at all.  In a really weird world, maybe they could join the Big East in football only but that's seriously crazy talk.  Like, really nutty, even for conference realignment.

 

If anything, I'd think Notre Dame to the C7 is an interesting thought.  They'd be trading a football requirement that might be little more than they might want with potential trouble scheduling games in November.  I'd imagine even that won't happen before they'd join the Big 12 on a partial basis, but it isn't serious crazy talk.

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @ezgame I'd probably agreet with your lineup with some geographic adjustments.  In the midwest, hockey fits right where you put it (thanks for that) but baseball would probably be even lower.  In the south, baseball might be higher and hockey is non-existent.  In the mid-atlantic, lacrosse almost certainly sits at #3 with the others being well behind it. 

 

My point is this..  With realignment being so football-focused that schools like Kansas and UConn end up at the mercy of the stream.  The C7 had to change the rules of the game by leaving the football-focused world before they got any leverage at all.  If they weren't already in power leagues, I'd guess schools like Kentucky and Purdue would be out of luck too.  And, no, UNC and Duke aren't desired for their basketball prowess -- it's that research dough that conferences want a piece of.  If the clear #2 sport doesn't move the needle much in most cases, I'd be surprised if the debated #3 sport did anything at all.

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Ten To Add More Conference Games; Is This Another Lure For UVA, GT, UNC And Duke?

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Question about the SEC in general...  In the Big Ten, if you were to put together a list of the lowrer-quality opponents that fans actually wanted to see due to geographic proximity, you'd have a lot FBS teams.  Is the Big Ten losing as many lower-quality options as the SEC would by having this rule? 

 

A larger thought. If you replace definite wins against FCS teams with near-definite wins against low quality FBS teams, have you really lost anything?

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Ten Throws Down The Gauntlet: No More FCS Opponents

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I have to say that I really surprised to hear you putting LAX into the conference realignment puzzle  You've banged on the drums from the beginning that this is driven by academics/research and football to the extent that even basketball is a long-forgotten consequence.  Living in Maryland when Maryland basketball made a real run and later when multiple LAX teams were at the top, I can tell you that LAX plays a significant back seat to college basketball.  And this is in what I would think is one of the bigtime LAX centers in the country. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Ten To Add More Conference Games; Is This Another Lure For UVA, GT, UNC And Duke?

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John, I've suggested for a while that the B1G should look to regional Fox networks to play the role that the regional Pac-12 Nets are playing.  My thinking is that is would be something like the SEC's intent to get ESPN to nationally televise it's games so much that a conference network would be unnecessary.  Maybe there would be a similar approach with the SEC and regional nets in the south, but they wouldn't be owned by the same entity. Basically, it creates something of a Tier 4 or Tier 3b TV package. 

 

Thoughts?

1 year, 5 months ago on Which Conference Will Win The Realignment War? It Depends On Your Definition Of “Win”

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 @John at MrSEC  @BenGies Your comment implies that a conference would not want to make a scheduling agreement with the ACC in an effort to get better non-conf games on one side while still courting a current ACC member on the other.  I'm not sure that's a non-starter. 

 

On the other hand, I'd say that everyone should be hesitant to schedule something big with the ACC considering their uncertain future.  Exit clauses could let the stable league out of the agreement, but they'd still have to manage around the scheduling arrangements. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Which Conference Will Win The Realignment War? It Depends On Your Definition Of “Win”

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@AllTideUp @Roggespierre @mowens75 @JRsec As a Michigan State grad, the games on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend has been really cool.  But, Thursday eve of other weeks?  Nah.  That's Big East territory right there. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @WarHog38  You've made reference to Livefyre sites a number of times in this thread.  It should be noted that Livefyre is a web development/blogging tool and not a cohesive group of sites.  It's like saying that WordPress sites or Blogspot blogs all say something.  MrSEC has a long history of reporting what various sources are telling them as well as the conventional wisdom of what they hear.  They haven't been in favor of any major moves in some time and have only recently began talking about larger changes in realignment. 

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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 @WarHog38  @BruceMcF  @SouthernBoiSB Delany would also remind us that he made an announcement that the were looking into expansion and the whole landscape got nutty.  They got a lot of complaints from across the NCAA because schools even  had a hard time scheduling non-conf games. 

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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 @Roggespierre  @BruceMcF ND has made explicit comments that it values its games on the west coast more than the midwest games.  In fact, ND has already canceled its series with Mich.  The series with MSU takes a break for a year or two after the 2013 game and I'd expect a cancellation note shortly before or after that game. 

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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 @BruceMcF  @Roggespierre Yeah, this isn't a surprise.  (And, by the way, if BruceMcF and I agree on something, it MUST be true!)  The expectation when this was announced last years was that the move would be for 2014.  The only reason they would be screwed into going sooner would be if the Big East really imploded for next year.   The faster loss of the C7 and the total lack of a tv contract would do that.  Otherwise, it would not have been a debate.

 

That "buyer's remorse" comment is really odd.  One has to assume the ACC is a better landing spot than the BE.  The question is whether or not they jump a year early or not.  Neither article gives the context or that comment so we can only guess.  Maybe the ND exec wants another year for the folks throughout the school to get used to the change.

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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 @JRsec  @BruceMcF  @The regular guy It seems the cleanest route for all would be UVA and UNC to the Big Ten and NC State and VT to the SEC.  Then there's this crazy school called Duke...   As much as I hate the idea of conferences growing beyond 16, that right there might be the driver for it. 

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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Love it.  I want MSU to play a game there. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Northwestern & Wrigley Field: A marriage made in marketing heaven

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As a side note to the point of your post (that the ACC is destabilized if the Big 12 and SEC work together instead of with them), I'm a bit intrigued that you think Notre Dame would be willing to commit 5 games to Big 12 teams.  I thought the purpose of the 5-game commitment was to shore up their east coast presence.  You don't think ND would demand a lesser football commitment to a non-east coast league? 

1 year, 5 months ago on How An SEC-Big XII Scheduling Alliance Could Doom The ACC

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Has anyone taken a look at this challenge and the ACC/B1G version to see how they are different?  If that one were to go away, our fans would be up in arms (er, I certainly would be).  Forgive the ignorance, I know little about the SEC/BE variety.

1 year, 5 months ago on Big East Commissioner Says “Challenge” Series With SEC Ending

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 @Seanbo All these school admins use that kind of phrasing.  The better version would be "maximized" revenues.  It's technically true if you assume they plan on spending what they can take in maximally.

1 year, 5 months ago on Big Ten Considering A 9- Or 10-Game Conference Schedule

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 @AllTideUp This blogger brings up a good point.

http://www.bcinterruption.com/2013/1/26/3917270/big-12-expansion-acc-alliance-pac-12-football-basketball-scheduling

 

While I think TV agreements aren't appropriate to combine, but they could look at working together better to do tv scheduling.  Why put the B1G Championship, the ACC Championship, and the Big12 regular season finale up at the same time?  He also brings up ACC and Big 12 3rd Tier which sounds great assuming the ACC can wrestle them away from ESPN.  Another interesting note -- non-revenue sports like baseball. 

 

Interesting points.  I still think there football broadcast rights won't be a part of it, but maybe there's an array of other topics to be included. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Survivor, NCAA Style: Big 12 Talks Alliances, “Friends With Benefits”

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 @scottlester What do you think about players being paid stipends that are based on the stipends that are typically paid to academic scholarship holders?  Those stipends are intended to cover the misc costs that students tend to take on as being a student but aren't covered by typical room/board/books.  I think the number thrown around last summer was 2K per year.

1 year, 5 months ago on Fix The NCAA? There Are No Simple Answers (But We Do Have A Suggestion)

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 @AllTideUp We'll have to sit back and see what they are working on.  I'm not sure that the competition has been limited -- I'm not sure that is keeping with the ever-increasing TV contracts.  And individual conferences can build more into their conference networks based on how they build their supposed Tier 1/2/3 agreements.  Take a look at what the Pac-12 has done with their agreements with Fox.  The Pac Networks get very high choice of games for a handful of weeks every football season.  The other conferences could do that individually without multiple leagues working together.  The real trouble would be getting out of the deals that have been struck recently. 

 

The only leagues that have do have something to gain are the Big 12 and the ACC since both leagues are having trouble getting a lot of value from their Tier 3.  (I'd have to say that everyone seems to be doing well off their tier 1 and 2.)  Nine of the ten Big12 schools (what an odd phrase) are probably having trouble getting full market value from the one football game that they own.  The ACC certainly isn't getting what they could from Tier 3 -- the trouble is they don't own it anymore as they sold all their rights to ESPN. 

 

I'm not sure what the Big12 is cooking up here. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Survivor, NCAA Style: Big 12 Talks Alliances, “Friends With Benefits”

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 @AllTideUp I'm not so sure.  If the 5 top conferences have some kind of combined Tier 1/2 tv agreement, that interferes with basic competition in the marketplace.  Every conference except for the ACC has benefited by having agreements with multiple conferences and the ability to play them off one-another.  The B1G, for example, will likely force ESPN and Fox into a bidding war for at least tier 1 content. The Big East, before they lost the C7, was looking at selling at split package to two broadcasters at basically a Tier 2 line.

 

The best play right now for just about everyone is to talk to both Fox and ESPN and go to the highest bidder.  Some day, NBC will get into the game with more gusto and CBS will free up more top-line money when the CBS Network gets running.  Having too much organization among the top 5 could prevent them from taking their respective products to the highest respective bidder.

 

As a side note, there are benefits to a broadcaster owning pieces of two contiguous tiers so they can shift games between the two.  Doing that lets them get more value for their investment and, in turn, makes it more worthwhile for them to pay more.  For example, ESPN can slide games between ABC and ESPN and between noon and 3:30 to fit their needs. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Survivor, NCAA Style: Big 12 Talks Alliances, “Friends With Benefits”

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With only 4 teams in your serious tournament discussion, and two of them being expansion teams, you have to be happy about that expansion.  What would SEC hoops be without those two squads?

1 year, 5 months ago on With UK's Loss, SEC Looking More And More Like A 3-Bid League

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 @kelticreid As a B1G fan, I've been saying something very very similar about my conference in football.  I really think we could end up seeing a reduction in the resources and scholarships in Olympic sports in the coming years, particularly in the B1G.  Like, more than is the case now.

1 year, 5 months ago on With UK's Loss, SEC Looking More And More Like A 3-Bid League

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This sounds like the first step in your prediction that the top 5 leagues will form a new subdivision within the FBS.  I would be surprised if TV rights ended up being a part of it because of the conference networks (B1G, SEC, Pac, ACC*maybe) and the current disparity between tier 1/2 value amongst the five, but I could see a scheduling arrangement that becomes the process that improves non-conference scheduling even if conferences go to 9 or even 10 conference games.  (Boy, I hope it's 9 and not 10!) 

 

The real story to me -- provided I'm not reading too much into it -- is the fact that they've talked to *three* other conferences.  There are actually *four* other BCS conferences.  Who have they *not* talked to? 

1 year, 5 months ago on Survivor, NCAA Style: Big 12 Talks Alliances, “Friends With Benefits”

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 @Roggespierre  @Astakaderas UConn to B1G has been growing on me slowly, but only under a very specific circumstance.  If you assume (1) UVA is the next B1G school, (2) Virginia Tech doesn't provide that much greater access into Virginia than UVA already would, (3) B1G sees a hard limit at 16 and does not want to go above that, (4) UNC can't be had individually without Duke and/or NC State, (5) Georgia Tech is too far away from the remaining 15 members of the B1G, and (6) Notre Dame truly is unattainable as #16.  I personally think that 1, 3, 4, and 5 could be true even after reading John's article above.  (I'm just not buying this 18/20/24 member conference thing.  Not yet.)  That's a pretty specific set with lots of opportunities to fall through, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. 

 

UConn does a lot to lock up a large area of the northeast beyond the small state of Connecticut.  Now, there's been a lot of debate about how much Rutgers does to lock up NYC.  If you are bullish on Rutgers and bearish on UConn, that's not a huge difference.  But, if you have  a similar opinion of the two schools, whether it is positive/negative/neutral, there's a lot of ground to be gained by UConn.  The only competition up there would be BC and Syracuse of the now-weakened ACC.  Like Maryland and Rutgers, I tend to think that B1G football will make college football a lot more popular in the northeast than it is now.  If you have Virginia Tech, and you are going after a solid VA recruit in central VA, they have the option of going to UVA or another B1G school to their north or an SEC school to their nearby south.  If you have UConn/Rutgers and there's a bigtime recruit locally in the Boston market, he's solidly in B1G country with the only competition being the ACC.  The SEC is quite a distance. 

 

Not a lot of "likelies" there, but you know?  Well?  Okay.  Maybe. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @andycoppens Well, there's not much doubt in my mind that a 9-game schedule and an FCS rule would each increase the overall revenue that all B1G members get because it will increase conference-wide revenues any number of places.  But, I'm not buying your assumption that each of the schools would undoubtedly get rid of one of their cupcakes each year to make room for the extra conference game.

 

I didn't realize the schools shared a portion of either football or basketball ticket sales so I read up a bit on it.  (My best reference so far: http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/04/20/big-ten-ticket-revenue/)  Based on that reference, it is 35% per conference game (for items that are included) so it doesn't have an effect on non-conference scheduling once an 8-game or 9-game schedule is chosen.  Schools want 7 home games annually to maximize on-campus revenues -- and until B1G schools have big trouble filling the stadiums for these games, I don't see that changing.  In years when you have 5 road games in -conference, you only have one slot for a non-conf road game.  And some teams will still want to pad their schedule to ensure a bowl trip.

 

The debate between 8 games and 9 games is a meaningful one and I'm softly in the 9-game column.  But, if you go to 9 games I don't think you are trading Indiana/Bowling Green for Indiana/Minnesota.  I think in a lot of cases you are trading Indiana/Missouri for Indiana/Minnesota.

 

As a side note, I'm not sure I see a big difference between football and basketball revenue management other than scale.  All TV rights to home games are owned by the conference, sold, and revenues distributed evenly.  For the most part, on campus revenues are kept by the schools (don't discount parking fees, concession sales, and sales that occur outside the stadium) other than 25% or 35% of ticket sales which are distributed to all members evenly. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Lining up Big Ten realignment: Where we come down on division alignment

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 @andycoppens Oh, yes, definitely.  Here's the difference:  When individual schools create their schedules, they look to maximize their internal revenues and position themselves for the post-season.  The scheduling approach as it relates to post-season does depend on the quality of team that they plan on having when the games are scheduled -- often many years in advance.  But, realize that most B1G schools make almost as much turnstile and on-campus revenue from patsies as they get from quality opponents.  So, two cupcakes at home get them something approaching double what a home-and-home series with a quality opponent. 

 

Improved TV revenue -- something that comes from much better quality games -- get's diluted into the conference before it gets back to the school.  So, Purdue doesn't get more TV money from a home-and-home with another BCS school unless all conference teams do that.  That, and, the TV agreements have to have time to take those non-conference deals into account.  I doubt Delaney can call up ESPN and say "hey, Iowa just scheduled Clemson, give us more money for that one game!" 

 

That's why conference-level folks look for ways to get *all* FBS teams or *all* of their conference teams to schedule better games so they can take those agreements up to the broadcasters and get more money from them.  A FBS/FCS distinction would give Delaney (and every other commish) a better leg to stand on when squeezing more money from ESPN or Fox.  But, there's very little financial incentive for an individual school to avoid scheduling FCS schools. (And I'd bet Delaney sees the B1G as less likely to schedule FCS teams than his main competition, the SEC.)

 

That's why we have the Big Ten/ACC Challenge even though very very few of those games would be scheduled individually.  Ditto SEC/Big East Challenge.  The same rules apply.  The conference ensures that all schools effectively get some of that added tv revenue money by making sure many or all schools get a tough game. 

 

You remember that B1G/Pac12 challenge arrangement that fell through?  That was a replacement for a 9th game in a way that would benefit all 12 B1G schools.

1 year, 6 months ago on Lining up Big Ten realignment: Where we come down on division alignment

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 @SouthernBoiSB Yes, baseball is a big deal in the SEC but it isn't in the B1G.  Once, basketball and other spring sports are done, it's dead quiet.  Still, I don't expect ongoing sports to play much a role in when these things happen.  A number of these moves (Pitt/Syr, UMd/Rutgers to name two) hit the wires right in the middle of the season.

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @andycoppens As an MSU grad, I like that version with MSU in the east but the alternative alignment was proposed by folks who looked at division strength.  They typically like putting MSU out west as a "power" along with Wisconsin and Nebraska.  In the east, you get Mich, OSU, and PSU.  I certainly see more balance that way, so yeah, it could be argued that it's a bit better.  Granted, you've identified MSU as an unreliable power, but they've consistently been a step or two better than Purdue. 

 

You are right that that the new playoff will encourage schools to schedule tougher non-conference games, but a 9-game schedule will push them in the other direction.  For one, they'll want the full 7 home games for the revenue they bring in.  And most B1G teams have proven that they can still sell out cupcakes at home when other conferences may not be able to.  Will the two together be a net positive?  Yeah, probably.  But, an 8-game conference schedule in the new system will almost certainly yield more quality non-conference games than a 9-game schedule in the new system.  And what about mid-tier teams that are just trying to be bowl eligible so they can extend their practice time and get their guys to bowls like Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, and Iowa?  The playoff doesn't effect their thinking until they build their program more.  If they finish 3-6 in conference, they need all three non-conference games to hit 6-6 and practice through December.  FCS teams, here we come!  (Well, not all FCS, but lots of weak FBS games.)

1 year, 6 months ago on Lining up Big Ten realignment: Where we come down on division alignment

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Of all the East/West proposals out there, this is the one that will win.  Because it is better?  Not going there.  No, because this is the one that the BTN poll proposed.  Well, maybe the better answer is that this is the one that B1G decided to have BTN present in that poll.  Until then, everyone had MSU in the west and Indiana in the east.  I'd have the same issue with the cross-overs that many would have (and you alluded to).  I'd put MSU/Wisc to continue to grow that rivalry and leave Nebraska/PSU as a 'newcomers' game. 

 

Another note, don't expect conf game #9 to always replace a cup cake.  They'll always want that extra home game and half of the time, a team will have 5 conf road games.  Going to 9 games, with all of its advantages, will reduce the number of quality non-conf games. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Lining up Big Ten realignment: Where we come down on division alignment

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 @edelswick  @vp81955  @SouthernBoiSB Don't forget,GA does actually share some border with NC.  It happens where South Carolina doesn't extend as far to the west as NC and GA.  So, depending on the context, GA could be a contiguous state with other members. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @Roggespierre  @AllTideUp  @JRsec  @Transic I think I did see that somewhere along the way. The same mentality could apply to conference tv contracts.  You may not realize that a lot of the B1G coaches shows are broadcast on both BTN and the relevant regional Fox Sports Network. Fox purchasing a piece of MASN would make a lot of sense between O's/Nat's and Maryland sports. 

Fox Networks almost cover the full B1G footprint.  http://msn.foxsports.com/home/page/fsn  If you add Yes (49% owned), MSG (co-owned with MSG), MASN, Root Pittsburgh (formerly a Fox Network), and some sort of coverage for Illinois, they could put a whopper of a package together to cover content that has more local interest.  Take my list above and add all kinds of Olympic sports as well as women's basketball.  And, I'll say it again, wait for women's volleyball to finally get some attention. It can be really entertaining.  If you are looking for ideas, check out what the Pac-12 has done with their regional networks.  This would be a different model with the regional nets focusing their main efforts on higher profile professional teams.  But, all of those viewers watching the pro teams would see a fair number of ads for local college events that they otherwise wouldn't be exposed to.

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @AllTideUp  @Roggespierre  @JRsec  @Transic And don't forget the roles that the regional sports networks will play with the new basic cable sports networks.  NBC has a number of Comcast branded local networks that need to be integrated with the national networks and Fox has some very successful ones as well.  That's something that ABC/ESPN just can't compete with. 

 

To illustrate, I could see NBC signing a deal with MLB to use one evening a week for national baseball coverage.  They could do a reverse mirror using the off-air network and NBC Sports (just like ABC/ESPN will do for college football) and use resources that they use on a regular basis for Comcast Sports Net games. The potential for cross-promotion would rival anything ABC/ESPN or CBS can do.

 

At any rate, both NBC and Fox can offer all the way to a Tier 4 that could carry events that have enough interest within one college's footprint even if the larger conference footprint wouldn't be interested.  Think Hockey in the B1G, baseball in the SEC, and LAX in the Mid-Atlantic (assuming MASN or CSN-MA could fit in somehow). 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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As a side note..  Anyone who complains that the expansion process has been so secretive through all this should read Delaney's comments about the first round of expansion.  They started that round about as public as anyone could expect and all hell broke lose. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Ten Commissioner Talks Conference Expansion

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 @HoustonVol I think the jury is still out on whether or not Rutgers delivers NYC for the B1G.  Note, that is a different question than if they would deliver NYC for any other conference.  I think there are a lot of alumni from existing B1G in NYC in a way that may not be true of other conferences.  You know that population "loss" from the Midwest?  ("Loss" is in quotes because it really isn't losing population but not growing as fast as other places, but that's another story.)  A lot of the people leaving the Midwest are moving to places like Baltimore, DC, Philly, and...  NYC.  Rutgers gives the B1G a critical mass to build other alumni on top of to build a following for the network. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Ten Commissioner Talks Conference Expansion

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 @JRsec  @SouthernBoiSB Actually, that was me using the OTE fan blog tool.  I grabbed example teams just to illustrate the idea. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @SouthernBoiSB  @JRsec I'm assuming the Excel thing was the two of you, but I'll throw this in for fun.http://www.offtackleempire.com/2012/12/16/3773056/scheduling-in-a-16-member-b1g

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @NCarolina09 But...  a lesser football commitment to the Big 12 would free them up to renew the games with various B1G teams.  I find that scenario (an attempt for a better relationship with Notre Dame) more believable than an 18- or 20-member Big Ten.

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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I still contend that this talk of B1G expansion to 18 or 20 could be a head-fake by the league to weaken the ACC.  Another blogger clais that the talk of Mizzou joining was actually a head-fake to weaken the Big 12 in an effort to get Texas.  I'm not sure about the Texas part, but it certainly could have been done to get Nebraska.  The ACC took Notre Dame off the table not just for full membership but also as a regular opponent for Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue.  If it looks like the B1G is going to take 4 members from the league, then maybe FSU and Clemson finally go to the Big 12 and maybe the SEC makes a move for someone.  This article even says that maybe that shakes Notre Dame lose from the ACC.  Even if ND goes to the Big 12 as a partial member, maybe they do so with a lesser football commitment and have room for the Big Ten games again.  Best case scenario for the B1G, ND joins as a full member and they follow-up with UVA.  Worst case, they add UVA and one more (say, Virginia Tech or UNC).  They stop at 16 and create pods or whatever crazy system they want.  But, 16 is a more cohesive league than 18 or 20 would be.

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @JRsec  @vp19  @NCarolina09 I wouldn't see that as a non-starter for those schools.  B1G football and network money will more than make up for lost baseball money. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @JRsec I've been trying to track the ACC/UMd lawsuit.  Where can we watch for updates?

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @JRsec  @I4Bama Football makes the big bucks with tier 1 and 2 while basketball is a really great way to build a conference network.  Having said that, B1G did it very successfully with 11 schools, not 16, 18, or 20.  The SEC would have had a very successful network now if they had built one at the same time. And the ACC?  Man, they'd be rolling in the bucks with the tv markets and basketball product.  Had they done that then?  I bet Maryland has no reason to leave. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @John at MrSEC  @TheN8tureBoy  @Drx Doctor  @JackSchmidt John, you (and everyone else who say so) are absolutely correct that population is shifting from the midwest to the east and south.  But, often people equate that to population *loss*.  That just simply isn't happening.  When the auto industry took a massive decade-long hit recently, Michigan was one of the few states that actually did lose population but, if I'm not mistaken, that trend has reversed just recently.  As carefully worded as your reports are, it is well worthwhile to make sure you are getting that part right as well.  (I have to admit, I didn't scroll all the way up to see how you had phrased it this time around.)

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @vp19  @NCarolina09 FWIW, baseball is way, way down on the list of relevant sports in B1G.  If students were in town all summer things would be different, but there just isn't enough school time warm weather in the midwest for it.  B1G will be a nice addition to the sports line-up just like LAX has been in the east and baseball in the south. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)

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 @I4Bama  As a B1G fan, I'd rather get a better shot at watching more of our games.  I was stuck watching games that I didn't care as much about for almost a week leading up to that one day.  Then,  I couldn't keep up with all of the games I cared about.

1 year, 6 months ago on Why Were There Three SEC Games On TV At Once?

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FYI, I asked this of the B1G conference office last year.  They claimed they wanted all the B1G bowls to lead into the Rose and increase interest in that.  Their answer never made sense until I saw you explain this months ago. 

 

As a side note, I really wish the 6 BCS bowls would be spread over 3 days with each day having an open window for non-BCS games.  Say noon 12/30 (BCS at 4:30 and 8pm), 8pm NYE (BCS at noon and 4:30pm), and noon NYD (BCS at 4:30 and 8pm).  Who wants to watch a BCS game with an 8pm kickoff on NYE?

1 year, 6 months ago on Why Were There Three SEC Games On TV At Once?

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 @JansonRoberts  @BamaWahoo I'm a B1G grad and I'd actually put Georgia Tech on that surprise list. The culture may fit but that's an awful long distance for a member that really doesn't add that much athletically.  GT/B1G is no WVU/Big 12.  As far as the Slive/Delaney conspiracy idea goes, I think we are far more likely to see each school (say UVa/VT) talking to their prospective new homes but neither can come together until the other has. 

1 year, 7 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

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 @TwoSenseWorth  @John As a side note, it's always interesting to me that so many people are caught up on NIU making the BCS per that rule.  The real thing that everyone should focus on is the fact that the voters put them higher than 16.  That's a reasonable debate based on their season.  But, once you accept the two team conference limit (which is a bigger issue than the rule that let them in as well), a reasonably ranked #14 isn't that far out of place in the BCS group. 

 

At any rate, if the big-boy leagues expand by leaps and bounds, the remaining leagues won't have enough value to get that BCS auto-bid any longer.  But, my prediction is this:  B1G, SEC, Big 12 each add two and ACC is left with 8 + ND.  The ACC now has 8 football teams and 9 "all sports" teams.  I think they add UConn and stop -- they can play round-robins in football and basketball.  And man, is that bball league strong!  (I assume schools like FSU/Clem/VT/NC State joined BC in blocking them before, but they are gone now.)   In that world, there are enough mid-major teams left to be worth a single BCS-level invite.  They'd still have BSU, Cincy, ECU, Memphis, BYU, the 4 FL schools, MAC schools, etc.  Even if BSU falls from grace, there will be someone left from that group who can bring value to a Dec 31 BCS bowl.

1 year, 7 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

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 @John at MrSEC     My concern, among many, is the long-term stability.  If these conferences get really bloated, are we going to see a 20-member league split into two?  I'd feel better at 16 reasonably geographic leagues with pods/divisions that are as geographic as can be.

 

I'd definitely push you to draw out that point a bit more in your future posts.  (I push you on this and not other bloggers because, well, I'm not sure they are doing anything more than just moving around chess pieces.)  I'd be particularly interesting in what your sources say university presidents, regents, and AD's think about that 16 number 

1 year, 7 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

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 @AllTideUp  @MoKelly1 The other key in taking all three might be the idea that they are forced to by the politics at those three schools.  And, we may assume, NC is worth using three spots to get into.    My uninformed gut reaction is that we're more likely to see a more delayed rumor-mill period with the outcome being a state being split between the SEC and B1G.  ie. UVa to B1G/VT to SEC or UNC/Duke to B1G / NCState to SEC.  Whoever get's the private invite first has to wait for the other in-state schools to line up their exit before any of it is public.  Remember Baylor when the Pac was close to expanding?  Could be a similar routine with that school getting left out being a reasonable target for the other big-boy conference.

1 year, 7 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

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Very nice work.  Really interesting stuff. I feel like I've got my head around a lot of this because I didn't really read anything that surprised me. I even figured UVa/VT to B1G would be a part of the discussion.  <as I pull a muscle patting myself on the back>

 

A note for future posts, we talked about this earlier, but I still see the number 16 as a huge hurdle to cross -- and it isn't just the symmetry of 4 16-team leagues.  The conferences become so bloated that being associated with that large group doesn't mean as much.  And football teams would go forever without seeing each other.  As you look at things from the conference level, I'd be interested to hear more on why you think expansion to 18 or 20 could be advantageous.  I'm also curious what your sources at the schools say about that when the tv cameras aren't rolling!

1 year, 7 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

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From the other side of this, the B1G needs to start paying its coordinators more.  (I'm a B1G guy..)  That seems to have been problem #1 at Wisconsin.  I'm sick of seeing B1G coordinators take a head coaching job at an ACC school and see it as a step up.  That needs to be seen as a lateral move.

1 year, 7 months ago on Hogs’ Bielema Compares SEC To Big Ten (And Forces UW To Change Contract Language In Future)

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 @JamieThornton Sources?  Links?

1 year, 7 months ago on ACC Seeks To Quell Rumors

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Before everyone starts laughing in text form at this commitment..  Anyone see a chance the B1G would think about Florida State?

http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/if-youre-going-to-create-a-superconference-then-do-it-right-the-case-for-florida-state-to-the-big-ten/

1 year, 7 months ago on ACC Seeks To Quell Rumors

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Here's a more down-to-earth version of the draft bowl idea (hope you don't mind your system being portrayed as pie-in-the-sky).

 

A central party who has rights to multiple bowls, let's say ESPN, signs multiple bowl agreements from multiple conferences.  Say, ACC #2, Big Ten #3, SEC #3, B12 #2, Pac-12 #2, and Group of Five #3 (recall, these are lower in value than currently since 12 teams will be off the table before the pecking order even begins).   Then, they take those 6 teams and distribute them among 3 bowls of ostensibly equal value as they see fit.  They look for quality match-ups that haven't played in a while, travel distances/destinations that invite the most fans, interesting story lines, etc.   New sites, new match-ups, fans travel, everyone's happy!  (well, more than now, at least.)

1 year, 7 months ago on The Good And Bad Of The SEC’s Bowl Matchups

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I'm a Michigan State grad and I could have sworn we played Georgia in the Cap One last year.  Was it really the Outback?  You sure?  (Yeah, let's do something with these tie-ins.  Too repetitive.)

1 year, 7 months ago on The Good And Bad Of The SEC’s Bowl Matchups

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There are two stories that haven't been covered yet.  The first is divisions, but you guys don't care about that (Illinois moves over).  The other is number of conf games.  Don't be at all surprised if the B1G goes to 9 games.

1 year, 8 months ago on More Expansion? The SEC Should Just Leap To 20 Teams And Be Done With It

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I'm not sure UConn to the ACC would be all that hasty.  That's been debated for years.  The hastiness comes if the Big East makes another odd move here.  That whole thing feels like a house of cards that could go either way.

1 year, 8 months ago on More Expansion? The SEC Should Just Leap To 20 Teams And Be Done With It

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 @mikee4bama That's been my hope for both Champions (now Sugar) and Rose, but I can't find anything anywhere that would confirm that as an option.  Everything I've seen so far assumes those two bowls still get a semi a few times over the 12 years.  I can't figure out how much $$ the conferences get when a semi is there compared to the contract years.

1 year, 8 months ago on Report: "Champions" Bowl Goes To Sugar Bowl And New Orleans

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 @GrayGrantham That goes to my question.  Why host any at all?  Pick one bowl to host the champions every year and kick the semi back to the other bowls.  They probably want more of the semi's anyway.  (Been saying the same about the Rose too -- and maybe the Orange.)

1 year, 8 months ago on “Champions” Bowl Announcement Coming Soon

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Dumb question.  Would the SEC and Big XII want the semi to be there at all?  Why not keep all that New Year's Night cash for the conferences? 

1 year, 8 months ago on “Champions” Bowl Announcement Coming Soon

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Too bad.  The non-conference games are the only way to compare conferences against one-another.  And I have been hoping the new measuring stick would be 7 wins instead of 6 (with some sort of exception for teams that had not gone in a while - but that's another topic).  

 

I'd rather see teams have 8 conference games and 2 reasonably tough non-conference.  Maybe the conference challenge model that the B1G and Pac abandoned last year would be a better model.

1 year, 9 months ago on Vandy Takes Some Heat For Dumping A Pair Of Big Ten Foes

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Do you see any way that the ACC opponent and Big Five opponent go back to being open (other than Notre Dame at the Orange)?  

1 year, 9 months ago on Big XII Commish Talks Playoff, Make-Up Of Selection Committee, New "Champions" Bowl

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Wow, people love to rearrange the pieces on the chessboard, don't they.  The last few moves have been stabilization moves, particularly Notre Dame.  They have a better home now so long as the travel considerations for olympic sports aren't unreasonably high.  The Big 12 could conceivably add 2 to get back to 12 and a championship game.  Regardless of if that happens, the Big East has a few more stabilization moves to make to hit either 14 or 16 long-term so they can find short-term stability. Otherwise, the top 5 are stable for some time and #6 will either live or die on it's own.  There's probably a mess to be cleaned up downstream of that, but the likelyhood of major moves is just about gone.

1 year, 9 months ago on MU’s Alden Says He Expects More Conference Shuffling

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 @MoKelly1 I doubt the Big East can do much of anything to become a big budget conference.  Having said that, they are well on their way to becoming a very interesting conference #6 nationally.  Bringing in Navy for football never made sense to me but going after Army / Air Force makes it more interesting.  I also really like the idea of the service academies being able to play football at all sorts of tier 3 stadiums coast-to-coast on a yearly basis while still minimizing the travel expense for other sports. 

 

I see the BE doing a TV deal with NBC and televising 5-6 games nationally every week.  I see an NBC/NBC Sports reverse mirror at noon, Notre Dame at 3:30 on NBC (when at home) with a BE game on NBC Sports, and another reverse mirror in the evening.  Add a few games here and there on, say, Friday evening on NBC Sports and they could have some stuff to put up against ESPN/ABC.  It obviously won't beat ESPN, but it would be one more destination for the picture-in-picture. 

1 year, 9 months ago on MU’s Alden Says He Expects More Conference Shuffling

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Totally missed the date of the game when I read that on ESPN.  Why play it that late?  I suppose the 5th is too late.  Why not put it on the Friday the 9th at least?  

1 year, 10 months ago on First Playoff Title Game To Go To One Of Six Bowl Sites

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John says in about the middle of the article..  Plan on being asked by the league to reach out to your provider and ask them for the channel.  The league will leverage you against them to get more money out of them.  Some will relent and some won't.  The league will give on some and won't on others.  I'd yell at both to come to an agreement.  

1 year, 10 months ago on SBJ Report: SEC And ESPN Nearing Deal On New Network; No Other Partners Expected

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 @John at MrSEC  @kentatm I don't believe you mentioned this in this article, but wouldn't the SEC Network have considerably fewer games to broadcast than other conference networks?  My understanding of the Big Ten Network was that the conference reduced the size of the ESPN deal to leave more games for their network.  It also sounded like the Pac-12 left more of the high-quality matchups out of the broadcast contracts to build even more value into Pac-12 Net.  That has to play a role as well, right?

 

Because ESPN is the only partner creating the network, would they voluntarily move games off ESPNU and on to the new network?  I'm not sure what the distribution for ESPNU is like these days.  I'm on a cheap-skate plan from Dish and that is one of the stations that I don't get.  (Yeah, I don't get MSNBC, Bravo, AMC, or NBC Sports either.)

1 year, 10 months ago on SBJ Report: SEC And ESPN Nearing Deal On New Network; No Other Partners Expected

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Conference networks are great.  Really, we love BTN.  The quality of coverage from them is so much better than what we got from tier 3 before.  My only concern is that ESPN is taking over all of it.  I'd rather see NBC/NBC Sports start to compete with those guys a bit more.  

1 year, 10 months ago on SBJ Report: SEC And ESPN Nearing Deal On New Network; No Other Partners Expected

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 @GrayGrantham Here's an interesting question that I don't think I've heard yet...  Do the conferences make more money when the bowl is NOT a national semifinal?  The answer is probably 'yes'.  So, what about the bowl itself?  If everyone makes more when the semi is elsewhere, why host any of them??  Everyone wins.That said, I don't like the idea of splitting it, though.  It reduces the culture that you are building through that bowl.

1 year, 10 months ago on SEC Could Have Teams In Playoff, Champions Bowl And Orange Bowl Under Reported Deal

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I actually don't mind the complexity here other than the Notre Dame replacement in the Orange.  I'd rather just tell the committee to choose the best remaining at-large team for that spot - period.  Maybe the money is split between the ACC and the larger "BCS" at-large pot.  If Boise is the next best team, Boise/FSU becomes the game everyone wants to see anyway.  

 

I know I've said this before, but I really wish the Rose and "Champions" could buy their way into a semi-final if the top 4 includes a team from each of the appropriate conferences.  Imagine USC and Ohio State are both semifinalists and they play at the Rose.  Imagine it's a few years in and Texas and LSU are semifinalists and they could build on previous year's "Champions" bowls.  

1 year, 10 months ago on SEC Could Have Teams In Playoff, Champions Bowl And Orange Bowl Under Reported Deal

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Interesting comment about NBC in there.  Do you see NBC making a real play for SEC football in addition to being involved in the network?  I'm really intrigued by who will end up on NBC and their sports network.  I could see NBC and NBC Sports doing a reverse mirrored broadcast like ESPN does with ABC and ESPN2 at times.  Imagine mirrored/regional coverage of the Big East at noon, Notre Dame at 3:30, and then mirrored coverage of 2 SEC games in the evening.  That's not a bad line-up.  And if ND is on the road, they could air 2 Big East games at 3:30 instead.  

1 year, 10 months ago on What Notre Dame’s Move Means For The SEC

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 @John at MrSEC  @sojourner An interesting note here:  http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/college_sports/college_football/article/Notre-Dame-only-settled-for-ACC-to-avoid-Big-12-3861274.php

 

Quote:   Notre Dame now will play every ACC school at least once every three seasons in a football game and travel for a “road game” against them every sixth season. Look for a lot of those “road games” to be played in large NFL stadiums rather than on ACC campuses.

 

I can't tell if he knows the home/away will be balanced or if he's just assuming that.  Also assumed is that they would play each team an equal amount.  So, Duke and UNC as often as FSU and Clemson.  Why do that?  Interesting note about NFL stadiums instead of ACC stadiums.  I'm not a huge fan of pulling games away from the on-campus atmosphere, but when that on-campus atmosphere is in the ACC maybe it isn't as much to lose.

1 year, 10 months ago on Notre Dame To The ACC, Exit Fees Rising, “VT/NCSU To The SEC” Rumors As Dead As We Always Said

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 @sojourner Agreed if the deal didn't include 5 football games per year.  Having that part of the deal means the ACC gets to sell 2-3 of those games to ESPN.  

 

John, do we know if that deal specifies how many of those games are at the ACC school?  I just assumed it would alternate between 2 or 3.  Is that confirmed anywhere?

1 year, 10 months ago on Notre Dame To The ACC, Exit Fees Rising, “VT/NCSU To The SEC” Rumors As Dead As We Always Said

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New rule:  no billboards pertaining to institutions of higher learning are allowed to include the words "The best academics" and "WHOOP!" in the same line.  

1 year, 10 months ago on Got Stupid? A&M Taunts UF With Billboard In Gainesville

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Not a fan of this at all.  It basically takes a great return man out of the game by giving the kicking team an easier shot at getting the touchback.  And then when kicking teams do try to pin runners deep, it puts an even bigger bullseye on the runner than was there before.  So, I'm not convinced there will be a safety benefit.  

1 year, 10 months ago on LSU's Miles -- Like Other Coaches -- Making Plans For New Kickoff Rules

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Side comment...  Can a bowl sign a tie-in agreement with multiple conferences for just a single slot?  So, could the Outback Bowl sign and agreement with the Mountain West and Big East and Conf USA to choose just one team from any of those leagues?  And then split the money for that spot among all of them for that single spot?  That model could help provide some level of access to lesser leagues.  

1 year, 11 months ago on Forget Selection Committees And Conference Tie-Ins, It’s Time For A Bowl Draft

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I, for one, like the bowl line-up with conference tie-ins.  I like the idea of locking in bowl appearances as long as each team has enough wins to be worthwhile.  

 

And, yeah, 6 isn't enough.  If that gets pushed to 7 things get a bit better, even if a few bowls have to reach deeper to find a team or not have a game.  

 

We just need to shuffle those tie-ins.  I'm a Michigan State grad and I'm getting sick of playing an SEC team on NYD at 1pm in central Florida.  Seriously, enough of that.  I'd imagine SEC fans of teams just below the cusp are getting just as annoyed with it too.  We all want to play a Big 12 and Pac-12 teams just as often.  

1 year, 11 months ago on Forget Selection Committees And Conference Tie-Ins, It’s Time For A Bowl Draft

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 @Crayton Plan on seeing a significant reshuffling of other bowl games once this all shakes out.  In the Big Ten, we're sick of our other top teams going to Florida to play on New Years Day.  It just isn't special any more.  I bet other conferences have other things they want to change with their bowl schedules too.  

 

Choose the top bowl first based on main conference needs first then let the other lesser bowls fall in line from there.  So, if the SEC wants a presence in Texas during bowl season, you can always play a lesser bowl there if the #1 bowl doesn't happen to be there.

1 year, 11 months ago on Three Texas Cities (Plus Atlanta, New Orleans) Bid For "Champions" Bowl

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I really hope this thing gets a permanent home somewhere and takes over one of the existing bowls, even if it's in name and stadium only.  Fans in the B1G and PAC talk about "getting to Pasadena" and "playing in the Rose" year after year.

1 year, 11 months ago on A Closer Look At 10 Potential “Champions” Bowl Hosts

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 @Bob Burchel Emmert claims that he expects PSU to handle paying the fees without impacting other sports or academics at the school.  The real question is how much money will then lose on the revenue side.  TV revenues should be stable since they are split by the conference.  We'll just have to see how much money they lose from the home games.  They've already lost one sponsor but I would guess they will still fill up the stadium and everyone will still buy their hot dogs and hot chocolate.  If the revenue losses are not huge, other sports could conceivably not be impacted directly.  

1 year, 12 months ago on Can We Stop Saying The NCAA Isn't Penalizing Penn State's Players?

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I'm don't know how the NCAA could punish programs that break the rules without hurting all of the players who had nothing to do with it.  Money and money alone?  Force individual coaches to pay fines?  Or give the NCAA ability to remove coaches (we saw what happened after rumors that the B1G might be thinking about it)?  Reduce ability to recruit?  Those methods just don't seem to be enough.

 

When it comes to the system of sanctions, to say it is an imperfect system is an understatement.  But it seems to be the least worst alternative.  

1 year, 12 months ago on Can We Stop Saying The NCAA Isn't Penalizing Penn State's Players?

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John, does the new word that PSU seems to be in complete agreement with the findings of the NCAA and the resulting sanctions change your thinking any?  Let's just assume for the sake of argument that PSU isn't agreeing to more than it otherwise would in the interests of getting this over with.  

2 years ago on The NCAA Is About To Make A Big Mistake With Penn State

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 @BonzaiB This may have come out after your comment, but it now sounds as if PSU is in agreement with the NCAA as it pertains to the facts of the case and the sanctions imposed.  I'm not sure if we know what the process here was (maybe PSU and the NCAA sat down and decided on specifics or the NCAA presented specifics and PSU agreed or something else), but it appears PSU is in agreement with the NCAA.  This lets the NCAA bypass a lot of the process and get the whole thing over with.

2 years ago on The NCAA Is About To Make A Big Mistake With Penn State

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 @AllTideUp  @buddha22 I agree.  From the B1G standpoint, it's really a no brainer.  You get a 9th annual solid game and there are still 3 games left to schedule ND, maybe another BCS game, and then one or two cupcakes.  What's surprising is the fact that the Pac office was willing to agree to it from the start.  Maybe Larry Scott and Co overstepped.  

2 years ago on Big Ten/Pac-12 Scheduling Agreement Goes Bye-Bye; SEC Wins

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I'm a Michigan State grad and I'm really disappointed to see it fall apart.  It's like conference expansion without actually having to expand!  I actually prefer the idea of a challenge game over another conference game since you get a relatively even matchup for everyone instead of the next-in-line conference game that could end up including some blow-outs.  I just hope they find a way to still do some of this for other sports.  I'd love to see two game (one home/one away) challenge in basketball, actually.  As a side note, the reason the B1G wanted all 12 Pac-12 teams is because they didn't want to lose out on the big names from the Pac while the B1G was providing access to everyone.  Maybe a mid- to lower-tier arrangement could still be worked out.

 

To those of you who have suggested a B1G/ SEC arrangement, I'm fully on-board.  One thing to remember, the Big Ten was looking to get away from the multiple B1G/SEC bowl games to get bowls against other conferences.  After seeing my team in three or four Jan 1 bowl games in Florida against SEC teams, it's tough to get excited about another one of those.  That's nothing against the SEC, but it's just not as special.  I could see replacing some of the bowl games with the SEC with a regular season arrangement.   I just hope it goes beyond football only.  Line up some olympic sport matchups as a lead-up to the football game!  And play a two game challenge in basketball, too!  I wanna see Michigan State and Ohio State playing Kentucky and Florida!   And if you SEC fans want out of the baseball challenge, we'd totally understand.  It's not like we really watch our baseball anyway.  Or maybe we can be a warm-up non-con for you or something.

2 years ago on Big Ten/Pac-12 Scheduling Agreement Goes Bye-Bye; SEC Wins

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7:  expect to see bids from Indianapolis and Detroit for the final.  If they look to rotate it 'every' year, I expect to see both in rotation as to look impartial.  If they sign multi-year deals, or deals that rotate among a select few, neither will win.

 

10.  I don't know what to expect when it comes to what day the semi's will be.  The good news is the organizers get to decide that by choosing when the bowls are played.  They could follow the NFL model and put them on different days so they can build audience for other bowls or they can put them one after the other so they feed each other.  Putting them on different days adds more money to other bowls while putting one team at a potential disadvantage.  Putting them on the same day promotes fairness but leaves some $$ on the table.  I'm guessing they'll prefer different days when Championship Monday is on, say 1/9 or later and the same day if it falls earlier.  

2 years ago on Be Prepared, The New Playoff Will Lead To Even More Bickering

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Here's one that came after you posted it.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/19437352/rose-bowl-signs-12-year-extension-with-abcespn

Rose Bowl signed a new 12-year deal with ESPN (ABC).  Now, does this mean that in years that the Rose is a semi and if the other games have been awarded to another broadcaster, this game would still be on ESPN?  That's has to hurt the proposals by the other guys at least a little.

 

Another note from this:  there is speculation that the Rose could host as few as 2 semis (instead of the assumed 4) so they can have more B1G/Pac games.  Interesting.  

 

I'll say again, I'd love to see a process that allows the Rose to "buy-out" another bowl in years when the top 4 includes a B1G and Pac team.

2 years ago on SEC Headlines - 6/28/12

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 @John at MrSEC 

I'm not sure I like the idea of a bowl (or a bowl like entity) rotating sites from year to year.  I'd rather it look and feel like the other bowls at one site for an extended period of time.  I'd *really* like the conferences to muscle their way into the Sugar and take a more active role.  Maybe that will pave the way for other conferences to do the same with other bowls.  And it would prevent further bowl creep seeing that we can't even supply all of the existing bowls with winning teams.  

2 years ago on SEC Headlines - 6/27/12

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Is there any news on how the 'Champions Bowl' will work?  Is there any chance at all that it just becomes the Sugar Bowl?

2 years ago on SEC Headlines - 6/27/12

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The Pac-12 model is a very cool model.  I'd love to see the B1G explore something like this for future growth.  I could imagine sitting at home in metro Detroit getting pulled into an U-M/MSU volleyball game (shown only on "BTN-Michigan") followed by an Indiana/Wisconsin basketball game (shown across BTN).  The question is if the next tier -- we're basically creating something like a 4th tier of content -- is valuable enough to account for the extra cost of having the separate networks.  

2 years, 1 month ago on Pac-12 Releases Trailer For New Networks; Could The SEC Follow Suit In Lay-Out?

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 @TheN8tureBoy Ha!  No, actually, it was the fact that most other big-time teams will have at least 9 BCS-level opponents now or in the near future.  I usually get annoyed at the disparity between the tough games and the gimmies - more so in basketball, but still the case in football.  Michigan State plays Boise, then Central Michigan, then Notre Dame, then Eastern Michigan.  Seems silly.  I'm looking forward to replacing that Eastern game with Oregon or Stanford or USC or Utah or whoever.  

2 years, 1 month ago on Bama's Saban Favors A 9-Game SEC Slate

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The 12-game schedule is already long enough.  It starts about when the semester starts and lasts through November.  And, this Michigan State grad does not want to see games in East Lansing beyond 11/24.  And our last game of 2012?  At Minnesota.  Yeah, no later in the year, please.  We'll put the championship inside somewhere and then head down to Florida, Arizona, or California for our bowl, thank you very much.  

2 years, 1 month ago on Bama's Saban Favors A 9-Game SEC Slate

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I agree with your push for 9 games (er, you've convinced me).  But, I prefer the Big Ten's solution of pairing up with another conference over another game in-conference.  Strength of teams between conferences aside, you actually get a higher quality opponent for the teams who really need that.  Oregon gets Wisconsin, Michigan gets Stanford, MSU get's USC (or some iteration of that).  For the teams at the top of the line-up, that's the S-O-S they need.  For teams at the bottom, they at least get a fighting chance at getting an 6th win towards bowl eligibility - a number that I think will be pushed to 7 soon.  If an SEC/Big-12 pairing or SEC/ACC pairing could come together, it should be put together once this year's conference realignment does or doesn't happen.  

 

So..  the smart long-term decision is to effectively table the matter for a few years to see where conferences stand a year from now, and see if a conference agreement is in the offering.  Then revisit 9 games.  

2 years, 1 month ago on Bama's Saban Favors A 9-Game SEC Slate

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