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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.  

4 months, 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.

4 months, 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.

4 months, 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.

4 months, 3 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. 

4 months, 3 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!

4 months, 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.  

4 months, 4 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.)  

4 months, 4 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.  

5 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?

5 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.  

8 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.  

8 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?

8 months, 4 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.  

9 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.  

9 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?

10 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. 

11 months, 2 weeks 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!

1 year 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.

1 year 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.

1 year, 1 month 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. 

1 year, 1 month 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?

1 year, 1 month 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?

1 year, 3 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. 

1 year, 3 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, 3 months 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, 3 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 5 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, 6 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, 6 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, 6 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, 6 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, 6 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, 6 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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