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Here We Go Again: As Summer Starts, Realignment Chatter Heats Up

Wow.

Shocking.

Just as soon as football and basketball and recruiting and spring practice are put to bed, talk of conference expansion and realignment goes from a simmer to a boil.  Funny how that works.  My email box is currently filled with questions and rumors and “mark this downs.”

Granted the current discussions on a new postseason playoff format as well as the Big 12′s own cloudy future are helping to feed the messageboard chatter, but we’re not so sure at least some — read: all — of this buzz hasn’t been ginned up in an effort to drive fans to websites all summer long.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with recent internet whispers, the Big 12 formed an exploratory committee on expansion way back in January.  Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione let everyone know about it, too, which set off a bit of a panic.  Soon after, word began to spread that Clemson, Florida State, and maybe even Georgia Tech might join the Big 12 from the East.  Louisville and Cincinnati might climb aboard from the Midwest.  And the powers-that-be at Notre Dame — oh, sweet, succulent, delectable Notre Dame — were reportedly so tight with Texas’ brass that the Irish would surely become Team 16 in the Big 12′s new mega-design.

And for those who’ve forgotten, Arkansas was also mentioned as a potential Big 12 target for the umpteenth time.

Depending on the “insider” or “big money donor” you choose to listen to, the Big 12 could land any combination of those teams.  Clemson and FSU are ready to move to the Big 12 for the 2013 season!  Florida State needs to leave the ACC due to poor finances!  The television networks are secretly working behind the scenes to bring this whole thing together!

Closer to the homefront, some will tell you that the SEC is still having under-the-table chats with Virginia Tech and NC State as a backup plan, too (even though we’ve actually done the research and found it’d be pretty tough politically for those schools to leave their current friends and family).

 

Sorry, I’m not buying this latest noise and I’ll list five reasons why in a second.  But the first thing we all need to remember is just how many of these rumors and reports have come true in the past — and that’s not many.  How ’bout that done deal of a 16-team Big Ten with Missouri being the first lock?  What about the reports that Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Georgia Tech were SEC done deals?  That Pac-10/Big 12 semi-merger?  West Virginia to the SEC?  West Virginia to the ACC?

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

Now some will defend the messageboards as being the place where word first spread of Texas A&M moving to the SEC and of Missouri being a possible expansion target, too.  Well, uh, no.  Anyone who’d done their research on the subject knew full well that A&M AD John David Crow and LSU AD Joe Dean had actually tried to bring the Aggies to Harvey Schiller’s SEC a quarter-century ago.  The SEC and A&M had played footsie for years and there was no doubt in our minds here at MrSEC — even when A&M said in 2010 they’d be staying the Big 12 — that they would indeed one day partner up with the league that they were predestined to join.  And that was long before the messageboards warmed to such talk last summer.

As for Mizzou, again, this site first tossed the Tigers out as possibility — due to television markets, population size, etc — back in May of 2010, long before anyone else considered them to be an option at all.  In fact, the messageboards we read after the fact poked quite a bit of fun at our suggestion that MU would be just as good an option for SEC expansion as Virginia Tech.  We fielded a number of “yoo’re a mo-ron” emails from folks just sure that Mike Slive and company would add Texas and Oklahoma and Clemson and Florida State instead of A&M and, and… Missouri.

And that leads into the list of reasons I don’t believe you’ll be seeing FSU or Clemson in the Big 12 anytime soon:

 

1.  Messageboards

Ever notice how folks on the boards are always quoting “big boosters” and “top money donors?”  Well, I’ve learned over the years that for the most part, the bigger the booster, the more he keeps his mouth shut.  Oh, there are exceptions to the rule, of course.  A tip o’ the hat to you, T. Boone Pickens.  But most of the true power brokers at a school — and there are usually just one or two mega-boosters at each school — like to keep their business to themselves.  They don’t type messages in internet chat rooms.  They don’t leak info to the guy gassing up their private plane.

In fact, the folks who I’ve found do the most talking are the guys who want you to think they’re in a position of power. Mid-level boosters talk a lot more than the actual, school-driving boosters.  And mid-level boosters aren’t the guys State U’s president calls to ask for advice.

Now, that’s not to say messageboards are useless.  Sometimes stories can really break in those kinds of places.  But we’re usually talking about “Our quarterback got busted for smoking dope” type stories and not “Clemson will sign a binding letter of agreement with the Big 12 in Dallas on May 20th” type stories.

We take ‘em with a grain of salt.  Many feel the same way about the myriad of websites out there.  We do, too.  We feel our own track record is solid enough at this point that you should know a) we’ve got some good contacts out there, b) we don’t throw a lot of crap at the wall just to see what sticks, and c) we also have no problem admitting when we’re wrong.  Example: We fully expected — and still expect — that the SEC will someday be forced to go to a nine-game conference football schedule.  But it looks like that might be 12 years down the road.  Consider that a miscalculation on our part regarding the leadership of Slive.  He’s off base on this issue, we were off base to expect him to override his ADs this summer.

When we’re right — which is more often than not — we’ll tell you.  When we’re wrong, we’ll admit that, too.  Some sites are worse than us, some are better (hey, we’re humble).  But just as you shouldn’t believe everything you read at “TechIsGonnaWin.com,” you shouldn’t believe every “high-level booster” you hear from on a messageboard.

 

2.  Television Networks

Television money has been the number one driving factor of conference realignment dating back to the CFA’s landmark Supreme Court win over the NCAA way back in the 1980s.  But to think the TV networks are hoping to further shift the college landscape now?  That seems a bit out of left field.

ESPN and Fox have pretty much cut the 10-team Big 12 better deals than the league deserves simply to hold the thing together.  If the Big 12 blew completely apart, teams would have scattered hither and yon and the networks would have been forced to rework nearly all of their contracts in major ways all at once.  That’s not a good negotiating strategy.

So the idea that the networks would aid the Big 12 in destroying the ACC, for example, doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface.  So far, the ESPNs of the world have simply reacted when the five big leagues have acted.  Oh, they might have given the ACC a knowing wink before that league’s raid of the Big East for Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but the Big East’s football deal is the smallest of the BCS leagues.  No harm, no foul from an ESPN standpoint.

If ESPN and/or Fox is aiding a Big 12 raid of the ACC those networks would have to know that John Swofford’s league would be destabilized.  That would open it up to raids from the Big Ten or SEC.  That might mean some sort of hodge-podge’d union with a weakened Big East.  That’s a lot of TV deals to hammer out in a short time.

 

3.  Notre Dame

As we wrote earlier this week, the current playoff talks are about a lot more than just playoffs.  Both the Big Ten and the Big 12 lust after Notre Dame.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Irish remain America’s top college sports brand name more than two decades since their last national title.  They bring prestige academically and athletically.  They bring clout to the negotiating table and they would bring big dinero to any league that landed them.

So Jim Delany of the Big Ten and now Bob Bowlsby of the Big 12 have reason to tweak Notre Dame in the ongoing playoff talks.  If the Irish aren’t given the same kind of special treatment they’ve received under the old BCS format — both in money and in opportunity — then the school might find itself finally backed far enough into a corner that it will have to join a conference, much to its administration’s chagrin.  The Big Ten and Big 12 believe they would be the likeliest landing spots.  The ACC has been mentioned as a potential landing zone as well (which would make ESPN and Fox and the other TV networks have to work even harder on the contract renegotiation front, by the way).

Here’s the question then: Would Delany and Bowlsby be willing to blow up the entire current landscape in an effort to possibly land Notre Dame?  Because if Notre Dame moves, there’s a good chance other schools will move.  Do the leagues really, really want that?  Or do they simply want Notre Dame?  If the answer is the latter, then we think Delany and Bowlsby will blink before Notre Dame’s leadership.  After all, the other nine commissioners involved in the current playoff talk would prefer expansion and realignment slow down long enough for everyone to catch their collective breath and assess the gains and losses of their many recent moves.

 

4.  Clemson’s AD

People in power lie.  They lie all the time.  It’s part of business.  You keep your cards to your chest, you bluff, and you lie when forced into it.  That said, Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips issued a pretty strong denial back in February when his school was first being mentioned in connection with the Big 12.  ”… I can say for sure with Clemson there is no substance to that,” he said before adding that no Clemson officials had been contacted by Big 12 representatives at all.

Today at Orangebloods.com — the Rivals site covering the University of Texas — those good folks posted behind a paywall that they’ve been told by Clemson people that they have still not been contacted “in any way, shape or form” by the Big 12 and that their school would only entertain a possible move if Florida State acted first.  For a site that many believe to be a pro-Texas, pro-Big 12 mouthpiece that’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the “done deal” theory.

(Sidenote — Orangebloods also reports that the Big 12 will extend its current six-year shared media rights deal to 13 years when ESPN’s new contract with the league is announced this summer.  If that comes to pass it will do wonders for the stability of the Big 12.)

 

5.  Our Sources

I talk to sources — some better than others — at every school in the current SEC.  You’d be surprised how many times a school administrator wants “the real story” put out by someone in the press and — thankfully — because we have three times the average number of college grads reading our site, a lot of those academicians will drop us notes and texts and tips from time to time.

I also know media folks from across the country who are tapped into these same schools on the local level.  In addition, this site has connections to some of the biggest companies in college sports (companies that handle everything from schools’ local media deals to their ticket sales to their public relations).

That’s not to brag, everyone’s got sources and — as noted above — some are better than others.  But I mention those sources for this reason: I’ve yet to speak to anyone who seriously believes Clemson and Florida State will wind up in the Big 12.  Or that another Big Bang of conference expansion is on the way.

Anything is possible.  ”Never say never,” is our mantra around here and our longtime readers know that.  Situations change and evolve.  That could happen in this case and the Big 12 could be the Big 20 by tomorrow.  If so, we’ll admit that we were scooped.

For now, though, we’re not buying all the talk.  We think it’s driven more by the slow news period and conjecture than by actual, already held conversations.

But did we mention, “Never say never?”

 


95 comments
big12source
big12source

Question for John, How many votes does it take to admit a school into the SEC?

 

From everything I've heard and read, some say everyone has to agree to admit the school, others say 2/3rds, and some say half. Do you know which one it is John?

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @big12source A 3 second search on the web will get you to the 2010 SEC Constitution. Section 3.1.2 states three quarters of the existing membership must vote for admittance. That is 75%. Multiply .75 x 12 and you'll get the number of votes A&M and Mizzou had to get. Next member will require .75 x 14, which will require rounding up, unless of course they vote to amend that paragraph. Still nothing in there about exit fees or grant of rights, but maybe in a fit of stupidity, they will vote to put one in.

WryObserver
WryObserver

 @OldArmy  @big12source

 The way Mike Slive seems to operate, he builds the case so that it is unanimous. If it isn't it will likely not happen. While that technically gives any school a veto, in reality it means that all the minds have to wrok to come together to understand the advantage of adding any school.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @WryObserver  Seems to work, and I know this sounds like the same verse again, but it doesn't work in some other conferences because the individual institutions do not have a common baseline. The SEC,  the Big 10 and the PAC 12 seem pretty happy with each other, but there seems to be a general agreement among conference watchers that the SEC leadership is just comfortable with the institutions and vice versa. That is a very big advantage. At any rate, Slive has got to be a very happy camper this year.

big12source
big12source

Big 12 announced the grant of rights for 13 years today. Guess you can say it is stable. 

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @big12source That clears up the issue the B12 had when Nebraska left, no television contract. Wow, those Cornhuskers gotta be be down on themselves today. If only they had stayed, they could have been part of a conference that all of a sudden was stable because it has a TV contract. And everybody knows, the longer the contract, the more stable the conference. Colorado is probably kicking itself in its collective butt because the B12 now has a TV contract, unlike when they left.

 

A&M and Mizzou now look pretty dumb, leaving a conference that now has a longer TV contract than the one they moved to. 

 

Congratulations to the B12 for figuring out all you need to do to become stable is get a long term TV contract. And as fans of college ball, we should all write the CEO of ESPN for figuring out this ingenious solution to the stability issues of all college football conferences. Wow, how simple, just give a bunch of schools a TV contract and they will not have any issues at all, for the length of the contract. Brilliant solution. And all this time I thought the answer to the question, "What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything>" was 42.

 

Its actually, "A 13 year TV contract.!

big12source
big12source

 @OldArmy Actually, aTm, Missouri, Colorado, and Probably Nebraska are all fine with it.

 

Nebraska and Colorado make just as much and probably more than what the Big 12 just got, so I don't see why they are kicking themselves. Now Missouri and aTm, the SEC will get a new deal within the next year or two and it should be worth more than the Big 12 deal. So they wouldn't be kicking themselves either. 

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @big12source Sorry, maybe I should label my replies to you that contain sarcasm with a warning label that says, "Danger to those without a sense of humor or reading comprehension difficulties, this post contains sarcasm."

 

To boil it down to  monosyllabic language: A TV deal does not en - sure a sta - ble con - fer - ence. If it did, Ne - bras - ka, Co - lo - ra - d0, Tex - as A - & - M and Mis - sou - ri would still be in the Big 12.

 

And to save you the trouble, the Webster definition of sarcasm, as applied to my post you did not understand is: 

 

sarcasm: a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter,caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual.

 

There are other dictionaries whose authors dispute the inclusion of irony as part of sarcasm, but I thought a definition with the most flexibility in application would be best for a biggener just learning how to use it.

 

There are actually a few good sites on the web that can provide you with examples of how to use sarcasm, sort of the same way your first grade teachers ran you through the "See Dick run," drills.

 

Just trying to be helpful......

 

 

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

The "dude" is full of cow poop

 

On December 10th had Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and South Florida heading to the B12

 

On December 15th he did an interview with Allen Keeney who runs a Sooner site. In respect to John @ Mr SEC I will not link the interview, but you can google it

 

This guy is a total WVU homer that flip flops more than Chip Brown @ OB - both are telling folks what they want to hear and sidestep the big questions of who owns the current media rights? for how long? what is the cost of breaching said contracts?

jan stenerud
jan stenerud

Before WVU left the big east, THE DUDE reported that syracuse and pitt left because the big east denied applications from BC and Maryland.  I mean, what more do you need to know, he obviously throws any piece of crap against the wall that sheds WVU or their agenda in a better light.  And almost none of it sticks.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @jan stenerud Am I missing something here? Not having a lot of contact with WVU, not sure if its just The Dude you guys are hitting (with sledge hammers it looks like), or is The Dude AND WVU? Sorry, but I don't think I have ever seen an entire WVU sporting event so not sure if I get the lay of the political landscape here......

OldArmy
OldArmy

Thanks, that will take a second reading. Lot in there. Not a fan of tu sites, and I generally ignore most of what I hear from any site that has the words "orange, burnt or that mistakenly say, University of Texas," but to be fair I also avoid TexAgs and similar sites. Not because I think those are bad folks going to the site, but too much garbage on them. Takes the fun out of reading.

 

But learning that making peoples heads explode with deliberate misinformation is actually a business. And from what you folks are telling me, a pretty big business. Who would have thunk it, someone deliberately scamming other folks for their own good. And surprise, surprise, universities have people who use that to their benefit.

 

Proves your point. Not noble academics being pursued here, but dirty, money grubbing capitalism. (the pirate in me sort of likes that at some level, Avast ye scurvy dogs, prepare to be boarded the Bank of America is going Belly Up!)

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @OldArmy The issue is Alabama, Florida, Penn State, and Southern Cal are NOT going anywhere, nor would anybody believe they were. You have to work where someone has an agenda and both sides can stir the pot to their advantage. Look at it by conference :

 

B1G = has not been poached (schools gain no benefit from "wild" rumors) - stable

PAC = has not been poached (schools gain no benefit from "wild" rumors) - stable

SEC = has not been poached (schools gain no benefit from "wild" rumors) - stable

 

ACC = has not been poached (schools gain no benefit from "wild" rumors) - less stable

 

BigE = has been poached (schools gain benefit from "wild" rumors) - unstable

Schools can feed bloggers for plausible deniability to fester discontent and fear of future

B12 = has been poached (schools gain benefit from "wild" rumors) - unstable

Schools can feed bloggers for plausible deniability to fester discontent and fear of future

 

If say the University of Texas (who has seen 4 schools voluntarily leave) knows their conference is perceived as weak or unstable they can feed storylines to a blogger like Chip Brown and his paywall at OrangeBloods that Texas can not start themselves for liability issues, like getting sued. Chip can quote a "source" without actually checking it the same way a newspaper would (because they can get sued) and places it behind a paywall. The school starts the rumor, and allows Chip to make money by charging for "inside" information. Both sides get what they want in the bargain.

 

If this is just recruits, and where they are going to school, that is one thing. However, if it is causing multi year instability with billion dollar state institutions that is a whole different ballgame. If you look at the information Chip puts out, he has been wrong more than he has been right, but he can appear right based on the spin. In order to contradict him or raise doubts you have to pay, and your comments can be deleted. Which brings us back to folks like Mr SEC and other sites that offer open communication and the ability to challenge what John and others write. It is why I think this site, and others like it, are the better method as it leads to generally better thoughts and opinions and less homerism.

 

Are there homers on any site? Sure, but I would rather see real research and the ability to offer valid counterpoints to the wild mob mentality that you see when say the B12 folks raid the WVU boards like Jehova Witness Pitbulls on why the B12 is the greatest conference in the land. 5 years ago with 7 AAU schools, 3 solid brands, and a CCG I would say they were a solid #2 to the SEC in college football, but that was then and this is now. 4 AAU schools, 1 solid brand, and the conference CCG are gone, and they have been replaced by a small private in-state school in the existing footprint, and a small state school in a small state population. Neither are AAU schools, and neither show any ability to become AAU schools in the long term future.

 

This means starting a rumor campaign that flows from the B12 blog sites to WVU sites to add "credibility" and on to Clemson and Florida State sites like a virus gaining steam. Who cares if the facts are wrong if it fills the landing sites in the ACC with fear or discontent. The B12 is not looking to help these schools, but rather to fix their own issues. I am willing to guess Clemson and Florida State have played the current B12 members (10 schools total) maybe a dozen or so times, while the ACC + SEC have common games with Clemson + Florida State maybe approaching 1,000. These are guesses, and can be easily verified, but it shows why root questions should be addressed in the ongoing discussions, but they get tossed aside with the promise of riches and power. The first question is why Clemson and FSU are not dominating their own conference first, before addressing why moving fixes it. God forbid the Texas, Baylor, and West Virginia bloggers raise that issue first!

 

This is my issue with paywall vs freewall in an information age. Mr SEC and sites like this seem to do well enough to keep their doors open with frank and honest (reasonably) discussion that goes both ways. The paywalls seem to feed on distrust and dirt over reality in a "us" vs "them" mentality over a "we the people" mentality. Not to get political but it is like Rush Limbuagh in that you are feeding both sides to get ratings for personal gain over getting both sides to reach a common solution that is good for all parties involved. Don't get me wrong I am passionate about college sports, but it is still a game! Educating scientists, engineers, artists, and architects is still more valuable to the long term success of a society than their ability to produce entertainers. When Rome let the spectacles of entertainment and court intrigue take over they fell from within.

OldArmy
OldArmy

Got it Bubba, but that generates another question. If you were going to design a paywall site that makes money off of stirring the pot, wouldn't an intelligent hustler pick a university that would generate a lot of interest. No offense, seriously, to WVU, but seriously. If you have guys who know the game you are in dong the digital equivalent of spitting on the ground every time your name gets mentioned, I think I would pick, I dunno, Alabama, Florida, Penn State (could have made a killing this year), tu, Southern Cal,..... ? Just askin, not trying to start anything.....I know it may be his back yard......

 

Sports networks like ESPN, and its 8,000 hours per month of talk shows, commentary, etc, get close to the edge of "yellow" sometimes, but at least ESPN has the excuse that they basically have a license to print money. (Like ESPN's coverage of the games, but there are times.......)

 

Any hoooo, thanks for the tutorial. When you are not the smartest guy in the room, you get to learn things.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

 @OldArmy The issue is paywall sites that tow the company line vs old fashioned reporters who did their research. In the modern world of Twit(ter) you have web side getting media access based on promoting a universities athletic spin. If the website is wrong, nobody calls foul, and if the website incites a point of view that the university wants out there without getting its own hands dirty, well it a win for everybody except the actual fans.

 

We had "yellow journalism" in the early age of newspapers, and maybe this is just the modern form, but it can not be good long term, when sources turn out not to be sources at all. Now a school lets a web site stir the pot so they get their message out and the web site gets massive hits for their own pockets. It seems more and more like "the dude" and others like him are the internet versions of street agents who hustle for the short term without thought to the long term effect.

mizzoujack1
mizzoujack1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Wow, so glad Mizzou is no longer part of the Big 12-2...

 

Roll Tribe
Roll Tribe

I realize that Mr. Pennington and MRSEC.com never flat-out said that Florida State was going to the SEC, but wasn't that what you, Mr. Pennington, implied last year on September 21st, 2011?  http://mrsec.com/2011/09/fsu-negotiated-down-the-accs-new-exit-fee/  

Your article pointed out how FSU President Barron had fought to increase the ACC exit fee only to $20 million, instead of the proposed $34 million.  It also pointed out how then-chairman of the board of trustees Andy Haggard had stated that FSU had formed an expansion exploratory committee, and later recanted this statement, but ended his statement, "I don’t see any SEC possibilities.  But hey, we’ll listen.”  You continued by adding a list of "things we know" which pointed a certain direction, but smartly ended with "Add it all up and… hell if I know."  

 

I also found it strange at that time how in the first article you continuously praised FSU as being a "perfect fit" for the SEC, and that "Florida State is the biggest name in the South not already in the SEC."  Two days later, you posted this article, http://mrsec.com/2011/09/fsu-is-it-better-to-reign-in-football-hell-or-serve-in-gridiron-heaven/, in which the tone was somewhat changed.  While still seemingly in favor of FSU-to-the-SEC, it wasn't quite as complimentary, suggesting FSU should go, but that they wouldn't amount to much in the mighty SEC as they would in the weaker ACC.  Did rumors change in the two days, and this article was written to offer reason why maybe they wouldn't go after all?  Just curious.  

 

I just find it odd that while it's true you never flat-out said FSU was moving, you certainly suggested the possibility, and even highlighted the "evidence" which could have been viewed as supporting the assumption.  Yet, in this article, you completely write-off the rumors of a move to the Big XII as bunk.  Why?  What is the difference?  Is it that a Big XII move would not be beneficial to the SEC?  I truly respect the SEC, and the SEC will always be the SEC - I am not knocking it.  I also am not delusional in thinking the SEC "needs" FSU or any other one school.  I AM saying that while the SEC would still be a great, super-competitive conference, that perhaps it wouldn't be quite as convenient with other major players recruiting SEC country, and another major conference that would appeal to a lot of the recruits who generally would go SEC to play with and against the toughest.  If I were in a position of power with the SEC or one of it's member schools, I would not want to believe in the possibility of Florida State and Clemson to the Big XII either.  Those two schools alone already recruit well enough against the SEC, but bringing Oklahoma and Texas, not to mention West Virginia and Oklahoma State into SEC country to recruit as well?  Well, I suppose that would be a nightmare!  

 

Is it really that hard to believe that if *most* people involved with the Big XII, Florida State and Clemson were trying to keep a lid on things for the time being, is it THAT improbable that no one called up one of your sources to notify the mighty SEC?   

 

 

With true respect to the SEC and their powerhouse members, Mr. Slive as a shrewd businessman, and all of the national championships (let alone the streak of six) I do realize that a conference of Florida State, Clemson, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Okie State, etc. and possibly other decent brands would be quite a brand in and of itself, and may seem somewhat a threat to the death-grip the SEC has held on the southeast for so long.  God-forbid another conference close-by dare to rival the mighty SEC in TV deals.   

 

Reading this article felt simply like you were just knocking "the competition," or "colleagues" or however you want to put it - people who do the same job as yourself - when in reality, they don't know your sources, and you don't know theirs either.  Much information is coming from Horus "The Dude" Sneed of West Virginia site Eerinsider.com, and many people have written him off simply based on the playful nickname, but the Mr. Sneed has sworn on Twitter that if these things don't happen, he will quit writing for Eerinsider and quit Tweeting.  Granted, people make promises like this all the time and don't follow through (Celebrities swearing to leave the country if certain candidates are elected, etc.), but I certainly wouldn't set myself up to look like a fool over something if I made it up or had questionable sources.  Mr. Sneed's most recent article on the subject is here: 

http://www.eerinsider.com/2012-articles/may/are-clemson-a-fsu-leaving-the-acc.html

Another article, even more interesting is by Cory Fravel of Clemson's Cemetery-hill.com: 

http://cemetery-hill.com/2012-articles/may/details-of-rumored-big-12-expansion-with-clemson-a-fsu-emerge.html

 

I have no idea if these schools will move or not.  I have no idea how reliable the "sources" of the people making these claims.  I would say that it seems there is just enough valid points that imply the move as truth as there is that makes it appear false.  I also know that the writers on these pages are flat-out risking all credibility and their reputation by posting this information.  My point is simply, these are not all random anonymous posters on message boards, and in reality, whether they are right or wrong, Mr. Sneed and Mr. Fravel - as well as their sources - seem every bit as credible as yourself and your sources, with the exception that I haven't seen them act two completely different ways depending on which conference would benefit most in realignment (and all silly nicknames aside).   

 

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

RollTribe...

 

I've said before FSU was mentioned that they would be the perfect fit for the SEC.  When they were mentioned, I said they would be the perfect fit.  When it seemed they were heading in a direction -- and when we were admittedly trying to read the tea leaves -- I said they'd be a perfect fit.  And I still think they'd be a perfect fit.

 

I don't think they'd have any trouble whatsoever long-term in the SEC.  However, even Bobby Bowden has admitted that when he had the chance, he didn't want to go to the big, bad SEC.  You might want to take that up with him.  If Arkansas and South Carolina can become Top 10 programs in the SEC, I see no reason why FSU couldn't.

 

I get tired of ugly posts from fans looking for things to be upset about.

 

If I didn't kiss FSU's rump enough for your liking, that's your problem.

 

As for the difference between those rumors and these:

 

1.  The SEC is closer to FSU than the Big 12 and is more of a natural fit.

 

2.  FSU reportedly was looking around back then.  Now they are RUMORED to be looking around but no one of any substance has commented on the issue at all... or presented any proof.

 

3.  The SEC is simply more stable than the Big 12.  That's not bias, that's a fact.  One league has had to scrap to survive and has been teetering on the brink (though I think they'll now survive... and if they get FSU, Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincinnati, etc, I think they'll be fine).  The other league has no exit fees.

 

If you don't see why the SEC seemed more likely then than the Big 12 does now, again, that's your issue.

 

I think it's pretty clear and I stand by what I wrote then and what I've written in the piece above.  I may turn out to be wrong.  But I've spoken to no one in the athletic world who believes FSU is truly going to the Big 12.  If I'm wrong, I'll say it.  It's an opinion... based on what I've been told by others who I trust -- some at universities, some at the highest level of network television, and some in the media management/agency business.

 

John

Hmmm
Hmmm

The irony of this is that Mr. SEC touched upon the ethics behind such a realignment...only .right after the SEC poached the bottom feeder aTm and downward spiral Mizzou. Nice(???).

WryObserver
WryObserver like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

"right after the SEC poached the bottom feeder aTm and downward spiral Mizzou. Nice(???)."

 

Nothing says "downward spiral Missouri" better than seven straight bowls, lol. During that seven years they won 63 games, which is an average of 9 wins a year. A year ago they had two juniors taken in the top 10 of the NFL draft. So if that's a downward spiral maybe you should wish for your team to downward spiral like that.

 

You sound like a butthurt Big 12 fan.

 

Sucks to be you.

 

 

 

OldArmy
OldArmy like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

 @WryObserver I find it amusing the number of "fans of the game" posting on the quality of the two newbies in the SEC. A&M has a better record, for example, against tu in the last 30 years than most any other university, but the thread is "Aggies have an inferiority complex" and can't exist in tu's shadow. Nonsense. Missouri, like Arkansas years ago, was seen as a tough opponent, but was not ever talked about as perennial powerhouse. And yet you look at their record over the years and it is better than many of the "legendary" programs, against as good or better opponents.

 

Mizzou for whatever reason has not gotten the press buzz off its wins that others have, and I think that has to do with geography and population demographics that drive media coverage. Mizzou was a great get for the SEC, Its going to be another Arkansas. A smaller, but still good sized university from a state that has less population turmoil (a tight fan base that has the support of virtually the entire state) that has performed much better than folks outside the state have noticed. I think Mizzou will do much better in the East than A&M will do in the West in the short term, but A&M as a "bottom feeder?" That's just trash talk. Baylor, Tech, OSU, ISU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, et al, all made more money playing A&M than they did with three quarters of their other opponents.

 

Just from an economic hill top, A&M brings more potential revenue (media market share) than just about any other school the SEC could have realistically signed this expansion season, but Mizzou stands to gain economically (as a percentage of gross profit gain), more than any other school in all of the conference realignment shuffles going on out there, AND provides the SEC leverage to renegotiate a BILLION dollars more in  its next media contract. Who's the dummies, the school administrators who at best got status quo this year, or Mizzou, A&M and the SEC?

OldArmy
OldArmy

Well, Wry, what we are discovering is college ball is not a zero sum game. The SEC figured that out decades ago and the original members, plus the next two,were smart enough to get folks in leadership who understand how the South works. And the SEC is a Southern conference, and that means something. Culturally, Mizzou and A&M are a good fit. Texas is a Southern state, and Missouri's historical ties bind itself more to the South than the Midwest, West, North or East.. In his letter on the move to the SEC, A&M President Loftin put the importance of cultural affiliation in the SEC in the first paragraph, and that was the thread all the way through. No accident, and not fluff.

 

The first post I got from a Bama grad on our acceptance said, "Great to have you as part of the family, and in our family we go out in the back yard and beat up on each other. But anyone outside of the family messes with you, and the rest of us are going back you up. We expect the same." That kind of attitude permeates the conference, but it starts at the bottom and goes up. So, while Slive builds consensus, its the fact that before he got here every institution in the SEC has worked a long time, and very hard, to build on the SEC cultural dynamic. That is why there is no exit fee. Anybody ever hear of Alabama, Florida, Georgia or LSU blackmailing the rest of the conference by trying to get a better share with threats of leaving? Ever? Hear of that where we just came from?

 

Slive is doing a great job from where I sit, but the million or more graduates within the SEC, like my Bama buddy, makes his job a lot easier. 

WryObserver
WryObserver

 @OldArmy

 Agree with everything you said there Old Army. Both A&M and Mizzou were excellent "gets" for the SEC that will put more money into everyone's pockets and make the SEC even more competitive athletically and academically, both of which continue to build the brand. The thing that people don't want to acknowledge is that Mike Slive has so far proven himself to be the smartest man at the table with regard to conference realignment and television contracts. He has a stategic plan which leads to an SEC network, greater revenue than any other conference, and a continued advantage over other competitors.

 

The SEC has no penalty whatsoever for anyone leaving the conference. Why? It is because Mke Slive builds concensus and makes the right moves for the benefit of every member. That says something important.

 

In my view also, membership comes with responsibilities for schools to continue to invest and build their programs, and I believe that was part of the negotiation process between A&M, Mizzou and the SEC. Why would Mike Slive and other conference members want this? It builds the brand and therefore notoriety and revenue.

 

For those who see college athletics as a zero sum game, Mike Slive is proving that instead, a rising tide will lift everyone's boat. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Hmmm...

 

Where did I touch on ethics?  And, for the record, the site is MrSEC.com... I'm just one of the site's writers.

 

John

Hmmm
Hmmm

Besides....Big XII>>>>>>>>>>>>ACC

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

As a FSU fan I would not be happy if Florida State went to the B12. Geographically it wouldn't make sense nor would it culturally. FSU fans and alums are getting fed up with the ACC and the seeming lack of attention paid to football playing schools and the lack of input that FSU has had on the decisions that have been made. As fans, we would much rather go to the SEC and have been wanting that for years. I think that in the next few years that might actually happen since UF's influence has waned somewhat and also since we have strong ties to other member institusions such as UGA (Richt was a fromer FSU assistant coach) LSU (Jimbo Fisher coached there and won a title under Saban) and so on. All I know is what I've gathered talking to other fans and alums that I know personally, and the only thing I do know is that a move to the B12 would be greeted more with boos than with cheers. 

 

big12source
big12source

 @BAMANOLE26 Sorry to say this, (once again, only from what I've heard) the FSU to the SEC is dead. There is no way with South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida all forming a pact to make sure FSU can't join (Georgia doesn't want GT to join, and SC doesn't want Clemson to join). Florida is scared that if FSU joins the ACC, FSU will steal all of Florida's recruits and with them both making the same amount of money, there is nothing to stop the recruits from doing just that. FSU would have gotten in if it wasn't for this last summer. FSU would have been grabbed after aTm or even before aTm was grabbed. FSU doesn't have a shot to join the SEC because of Florida. 

 

Now I understand the traveling is a lot farther than what you would hope, but I do ask you this, Would you rather travel have to travel to WVU and your athletic department making more money to where they aren't budget cutting and can improve facilities, or would you rather continue traveling to Maryland with your athletic department cutting money?

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

 @big12source If you read what i wrote I said that "I think in the next few years" a move might open up. You have to remember that even if 3 out of 14 schools have a "pact" then there are still 11 schools who might want them. If expansion starts up again, which I doubt, and the SEC decides to make a move it would have to take from another "major" conference. If they were to take from another conference then the two most logical choices to take from would be the B12 and the ACC. Either way, FSU gets invited to join the SEC or the B12 crumbles. So either way, a move to the B12 wouldn't make sense for the long haul. Secondly, I always love the talk about how UF doesn't want FSU in the SEC because of recruiting. They recreuit the same territory anyway. FSU has been a top 10 recruiting team over the past 25-30 years just like UF. If FSU were to join the SEC then it would mean absolutely nothing in terms of recruiting, since they are recruiting against each other all the time anyway.  Lastly, the budget shortfall has not been a continual problem. One year does not represent a trend. So you can't infer that FSU will continue to lose money. As a fan, I would rather stay in the ACC and travel to Syracuse and play Miami and Clemson every year than join the B12 and travel to Ames or Lubbock and be in a conference with no championship game. 

Mike S
Mike S

@BAMANOLE26 @big12source FSU to the SEC will never happen. Quite simply put they will not add value to the conference because the SEC is already in Florida. So if the SEC were to add FSU and Clemson they add two mouths and no TV money meaning the same money split 16 ways instead of 14. I'm thinking UF and USC want nothing to do with taking less so in state recruiting rivals can make more.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @big12source I'm a Gator, and I don't think it would make one hoot in blazes for FSU and Florida in recruiting for FSU to be in the SEC, the Big 12, or to become an independent. Not every school fits into the box of, if you move to another conference, your recruiting picture changes dramatically. FSU is tough to match up against in recruiting because they hire good recruiters and there is a strong, and I mean strong, pull in the state of Florida (which produces a boatload of great football players every year who want to stay in state) for students to pick between two major football powers, FSU and Florida. There are others in the state, but those are the two heavy weights, and conference alignment is not going to change that much.

 

FSU is gonna be Gatorbait some years, and gonna carry home our scalps in others, but in the big scheme of things, conference realignment is not going to affect your game. Who you hire to recruit is much more important. You have a solid name brand, a great fan base, a top tier high school system to recruit from, etc, etc, etc. We'll butting heads with the Noles for ever (hopefully), and it will be tough, on both sides. 

Seminole
Seminole

 @big12source I gotta say that the SEC's #1 goal should be and is to make the most money and do its best to guarantee the long term financial stability of its programs. If that means bringing on FSU in another round of expansion they'll do it.

 

I don't know if there is a true pact between USC, UF and UGA (and possibly UK), but like someone else said, that is just 3 of 11 potential voting members, which I don't think would be enough to prevent an invite. Secondly, as for recruiting, FSU is recruiting pretty well regardless of conference and it probably always will. Just this year Jimbo went into Alabama and got Jameis Winston, Chris Casher and Justin Shanks right out from under Nick Saban, not to mention Eddie Goldman who Alabama wanted bad as well. Conference affiliation matters in recruiting, but not as much as you'd think, especially for kids in Florida. For Miami kids they get to play UF and Miami. It matters to them and no one in the SEC can offer them that.

 

Not a fan of the Big XII idea, but if it is the best option, then by all means. I'd still much rather prefer to be in the SEC or even stay in the ACC but add Notre Dame and one of Rutgers, UConn or Navy. Whatever gets the Irish on board. Then realign the divisions so that we play GT, Clemson, Miami and Notre Dame every year.

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @OldArmy I'd be more than happy to give a good ole Florid boy some info on FSU's roster. I agree with you that I wish Bowden had exited sooner and a bit more gracefully, but after seeing what happened to JoPa and The Bear after they left the game, I can't really blame the man for wanting to stick around. 

big12source
big12source

 @BAMANOLE26 I'm saying FSU isn't getting even more of the top recruits (even the ones from Bama) because they aren't in the SEC.

 

Florida is already battling everyone in the SEC for recruits. FSU joining the SEC is not going to happen. Once again, it would have already happened this last time in expansion. FSU is a desirable team, and SEC would have already gotten FSU if they were going too. 

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @BAMANOLE26 Well, as a football fan, you have to respect what Bobby did at FSU. What an incredible career. I do wish he had gracefully bowed out 5 years sooner, but even past his prime he still did great things for Florida (the state, not the school) football. As a Gator, could not wait for the guy to go. He was tough to beat. On the plus side, the generations of players he positively impacted is impressive. And the effect he had on old time Gators is funny.  My brother, who is a died in the wool, bleeds blue and orange, never say die Gator, still spits on the ground when Bowden is mentioned...... and he is a deacon in a Baptist Church.

 

You gotta love a coach that has that kind of effect on people. Its a sign the rivalry is a great one, and Bobby sort of defined it. I mean, he was coaching at that game when the earth was just starting to cool. I just love it. Have only missed the game 4 times since I graduated from HS, and that was because I was in Germany and or Korea. I'll keep watching for ya on this blog. As the game approaches I'd like your take on who to watch. I have to admit I do not have as good a feel for FSU's team this year, and unfortunately my FSU buds are starting to talk serious side bets this year, and I don't trust them to feed me good info.... even though we are life long friends, they are a bunch of greedy lawyer types....

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

 @OldArmy Sorry I misread some of what you had written. I grew up in Tallahassee and cannot stand UF on the playing field. That being said, I have great respect for their university and have many friends who are UF fans (hell, my granddad was a gator). I love the game every year and would love to see it spiced up even more with conference implications. Just wish it could have happened when Bobby and the OBC were still there. How much fun would those games have been?

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

 @big12source Your assumption that FSU and Clemson would jump to the B12 to be the 2 teams to get them to the championship game is just that. An assumption. Logically they could also want to wait until the B12 has already gained 2 more members to achieve a CCG instead of leaving a conference with an established CCG. The big question with that is who else would they get to possibly entice FSU and Clemson to join? Also, the SEC and ACC both just went to 14 teams and the BigLeast just expanded to keep up as well. To me that means that the B12 is at even more of a disadvantage on many fronts, including renegotiated TV deals and rankings.  

Thinking that FSU is at a disadvantage in recruiting to UF simply because UF is in the SEC is just laughable. Ask any UGA, UF or BAMA coaching staff and they'll tell you that FSU recruits just fine against them.Top 10 every year. Even after the lost decade, we are still recruiting top classes every year. So what would be the threat to them coming to the SEC? They stay in the top 10? It makes no sense. 

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @BAMANOLE26 No, it was directed at you. I was agreeing with you, hardily (which is why I probably restated too much of what you said). I'm a native Texan, but Florida is my second home and where my family is from. Half of my high school went to FSU and the other half went to UF. I went off to A&M and then did grad school at UF, but in my home town you gotta learn to get along with Noles, they are like friggin' rabbits, they multiply...... Actually I love the school. The game is incredibly fun, its a great campus, and its in UF's best interest for FSU to be at the top of its game and vice versa. So, while one game a year I just can't pull for you, the rest of the time, go get 'em. Also, I don't like posts from guys who think that a major university with a few hundred thousand graduates is going belly up somehow because of conference realignment. This conference chatter is amusing and interesting, but FSU ain't a backwater college somewhere riding the coat tails of a minor school or two on the Eastern Seaboard (okay, that was a cheap shot, but could not resist). As a Floridian, that is insulting. Have a great week.

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

 @OldArmy That's pretty much what I said LOL. I think you meant that to be more directed at big12source

 

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @BAMANOLE26   Bamanole26, FSU is going to be fine coming out of the current turmoil. I graduated from UF and Texas A&M LONG time ago, and seen the "demise" of FSU predicted for this reason or that since I was catching rattlesnakes in my back yard when there were only 3 million people in the state. FSU is not an "obvious  fit" for any conference I can think of right now, but can't see how that affects FSU in the near term. The ACC is as good a place as any to park it for a while. Still a lot of good ball in that conference, and I think the top tier in the ACC compete pretty well any place.

 

Lots of smart guys working on how to fix the blip of a small loss in profitability in one year, and anybody betting against the Noles on this one just don't get how much support that school really has. Great fan base. You are correct, FSU will find a home and I don't see the Big 12 as a clear choice (although, if FSU makes that move, it should do fine, but the Big 12? Seriously not seeing the love....). I personally would love to see FSU end up playing in its natural environment, the Southeast. Heads up ball against FSU for Florida is a must, but would LOVE to see FSU go head to head with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee every year. I know that is not how the SEC is structured, and all that won't happen, but as a fan of college ball, FSU against TCU, Baylor, and T.T. just ain't getting my heart pumping. Texas vs FSU on a regular basis would be fun though, you gotta admit.

 

And as a UF grad, who looks forward to the game every year, can you imagine how much better the game would be if it were for conference blood? Katie bar the door, hubba, hubba, hubba, and game on. Hang in there Nole, think you are gonna have fun this season. (Of course, you can't tell anybody in my family, that I said good things about FSU........)

big12source
big12source

 @BAMANOLE26 First of all, this statement, If expansion starts up again, which I doubt, is completely wrong. I understand it is your opinion and I respect that, but the reason I say it is wrong is because the Big 12 has to get back to 12 for a conference championship game. They need that game to add more money to the pot.

 

Secondly

 

They recreuit the same territory anyway. FSU has been a top 10 recruiting team over the past 25-30 years just like UF. If FSU were to join the SEC then it would mean absolutely nothing in terms of recruiting

 

There is a HUGE difference. You don't think UF gets some of their recruits by saying, "Hey, were in the SEC, you can go to FSU and play, but that won't get you a National Title." Every recruit in the nation wants to play for a National Championship, and I will give you the fact that FSU has had great recruiting classes, but if the playoff system goes as designed, the ACC will most likely never get someone in the final four spot. The ACC has had 1 team finish in the top 6 which was VT back a few years ago. That has been the only time. The ACC will have a hard time getting a team into the National Championship that way. Back to FSU recruiting. FSU has done a terrific job, but the reason UF finishes up in the top 10 so much is because they are in the SEC. 

 

You say 3 teams don't make up a the rest of the 11, but you forget how much power those three teams have. If 3 teams are already locked saying no, you don't think other schools are going to listen? Someone with the power as UF has, has already convinced other teams to not even think about FSU. 

 

If UF wasn't blocking FSU, FSU would have already been in the SEC and I think John would agree with that. 

 

Lastly, I think you are confused. 

 

As a fan, I would rather stay in the ACC and travel to Syracuse and play Miami and Clemson every year than join the B12 and travel to Ames or Lubbock and be in a conference with no championship game. 

 

The only part you are confused on is the last part. If FSU and CU join, there will be a Championship game. All you need is 12 teams and with FSU and CU, that would equal 12. The Championship game would be in Jerry World (Cowboys Stadium)

 

Here are the facts that they are reporting, (some are true, others from what I've heard is false)

 

- Per these sources Clemson and Florida State will likely join the Big 12 in all sports effective in 2013. At this time the Big 12 will only expand by two teams, and possibly look to add additional teams in 2014 or beyond. 

- The new Big 12 commisioner will be announced on Friday as Bob Bowlsby, who is leaving his post as AD at Stanford. We would not expect Bowlsby or anyone associated with this rumored expansion to acknowledge anything right away.

- The new Big 12 TV contract with the two new schools to be added we're told will approach 30 million per team.

- Approximately 3.5 million of the 30 million will be derived from the conference championship game.

-The first Big 12 Championship with the two new teams will be played at Cowboy Stadium aka Jerry World.

- The Big 12 is expected to contribute 10 million dollars per team to the ACC's buyout of 20 million. This is similar to what the Big 12 did with West Virginia. (This part is false to a certain degree. The Big 12 has stated, per my sources, that they will help the buyout cause, but they have not stated how much. They have also talked about getting FSU and CU to get the ACC to reduce those fees when they leave, sorta like what everyone does)

- Rumors of Clemson and Florida State using the Big 12 as leverage for an invitation to the SEC have been charaterized as pure speculation by sources, who indicated these programs are Big 12 bound. We were also told that a move could be very swift after the BCS meetings in June. (Another false point, the move will most likely be in July, and towards the end of the month. The Big 12 wants to make sure everything is in line with the T.V. contracts, which are almost done, still working out the FSU and CU part of it, and wants to make sure there are no last second changes)

 

Once again, nothing is finalized yet, but only time will tell. 

 

 

big12source
big12source

FYI

 

Dodds confirmed tonight on the Longhorn extra that the Presidents have agreed to extend the Grant of Rights 13 more years

 

Orangebloods also reports that the Big 12 will extend its current six-year shared media rights deal to 13 years when ESPN’s new contract with the league is announced this summer.  If that comes to pass it will do wonders for the stability of the Big 12.

big12source
big12source

Everyone realizes that Conference realignment doesn't have much (has a little bit, but not much) influence by academics, but it is all about football. FSU has to cut 2.5 million in athletic travels because the ACC T.V. deal is terrible, and if you do your research, the NEW Big 12 is equal with the NEW SEC in academics wide, and both are right there with the Big 1G. 

 

FSU needs money and the ACC doesn't offer it. If they were to stay because of Academics, then they will be forced to continue to cut athletic spending and allow Florida to continue building up their facilities and start watching recruits go to Florida over FSU. 

 

You don't think Florida says to recruits, yeah you could go to FSU and be in the ACC (who has only finished in the top 6 in the BCS standing ONCE), or you could join the SEC. 

They try using that argument about FSU in the Big 12 and it doesn't work as well. 

 

All I can say is, wait 2 months, see if these "Rumors" are true (and the rumors are now stating that FSU and Clemson are a DONE DEAL and will be announced as soon as the BCS finializes the playoff deal, that is expected to come in this next meeting which is in a month) and if they are, I really hope MrSEC comes out and states he was COMPLETELY WRONG.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

big12source...

 

I've already stated that I have no problem admitting when I have an opinion that turns out to be incorrect.  I actually gave an example in the piece above.

 

But here's a better question for the you, anonymous guy who's been so ugly on this site: If FSU and Clemson do NOT wind up in the Big 12 as you suggest, will YOU come back here and apologize to me and to the others you've insulted and cursed?  And will you do so by signing your real name like an adult?

 

It seems that if you want me -- a man who had no qualms signing his name to the above post and who still can't see why it was viewed as "anti-Big12" -- to admit if he was "COMPLETELY WRONG," it would only be fair that you man up and do likewise if you are wrong.

 

Alas, I think everyone reading knows the answer to that question.

 

John

big12source
big12source

 @John at MrSEC Yes, I will be perfectly happy coming back on this Site and saying I was wrong. 

 

I will come back to this site first, and say, MrSec was 100% right and I was 100% wrong. I will be glad to do that on your most recent page as well. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

big12source...

 

Doesn't mean much unless you sign your name.

 

John

StanTxAg
StanTxAg

@"mystery" Guest When I first read your post I couldn't figure out if you were drunk or just really stupid.  I read it the second time and I realized you're both.  So, asyou tell it, A&M was holding the  Big12-2 hostage demanding unequal rev-share and when OU and texas opened their wallets to Iowa and Kansas, A&M left for the SEC, a  conference that REVENUE shares.  Idiotic.  PAC didn'twant OU because of their AAU standing and the bundling with Okie State.  PAC didn't take texas because texas doesn't rev share and clings to the failing HornNetwork.  Facts.  No one hates the Big12 or whatever, play football.  It's amazing that after Colorado, Nebraska, Mizzou and A&M walk away, you don't realize the stink you smell is you.  If rationalizing A&M is your "little brother" complex, knock yourself out, whatever get you through the night. 

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

People forget the academic side of conference alignments. That was the major driving reason for TAMU leaving for the SEC. There is a reason that TAMU called up Slive right after Texas passed a new state budget that gutted funding from the state. Loftin saw a future for A&M in a conference that had no academic partnerships. It also only had 3 other universities that averaged over $200 million dollars a year in Academic research funding; Mizzou,  ISU and Texas. Kansas might be AAU, but they do not exceed $200 million a year in Research funding. Texas does not share - and has no reason to share academically. Texas and their sister campuses (UTHSC, UTMDA, UTAlington, UTD, UTSA, etc) exceed the research funding of every conference but three - the ACC, B1G, and SEC by themselves. TAMU saw a future in a conference that had no academic network, no partnerships, and only two other schools that was on their level in the conference - Mizzou and ISU. It also saw a future with declining state budgets. It looked over at the SEC and saw 8 (everyone but Ark, MSU, Ole Miss and USC) universities that averaged more than $200 million in academic research funding, a formal conference partnership, and universities that work together, and decided to move. The Longhorn network gave Loftin a easy sell to the masses. Even OU president said that he wanted to be in a conference that worked together on and off the field and excelled academically as well as athletically. An academic partnership was one of the demands that he made to stay. There is a reason the two most unstable major conferences this past year were the B12 and BE - They were the only major conferences without any formal or informal academic agreements.  The B12 is now building an academic network with the conference, and was sited by Luck at WVU as one of the major benefits to joining the B12. That is why I find it hard to believe that FSU and Clemson would go from the ACC to the B12, or even the SEC. They would be downgrading the quality of the academic conference that they would belong. While an additional 10 million a year sounds like a lot, it is peanuts compared to the amount of research funding that those schools are a part of with other ACC schools. Funding that would have to be replaced if they change conferences. No school in the B12 would be able to assist in replacing that funding except Texas, and Texas does not need to partner with any other university to achieve their research goals.

 

As John stated in his re-alignment series - in the history of conference changes, no school has ever down graded the quality of the academic conference that they associate. I don't expect FSU and Clemson to be the first.

Mark
Mark

 @MiloMoon

 Just because A&M changed conferences doesn't mean that suddenly they're going to stop working with Big 12 schools.  Remember, most faculty members don't care squat about athletics period.  (Especially in the science and engineering fields where the majority of the professors are foreign-born.)  Just recently A&M opened a data center which allows it to access certain data sets from the Census Bureau that are not publicly available.  The center is a consortium that not only includes the much-hated "t.u." (which, although hated on the field, is respected in the classroom) but also Rice (for whom athletics is a way of showcasing the Marching Owl Band) and Baylor (if you think A&M hates Texas, after last year's events Baylor may be Public Enemy #1 in Aggieland).

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @MiloMoon All that is true, but conference alignment does increase contact between institutions at the senior level. If you think all they talk about is football or basketball at those meetings, you are mistaken. The true academic benefit to A&M joining the SEC is that 8 of the original 12 SEC members are land grant institutions, A&M makes 9 and the University of Missouri makes 10 out of 14. A&M's contact with Rice, Tech, tu, etc. is natural, as they all receive funding for projects from the state, and the schools work hard to get synergy on those projects, which means sharing the wealth.

 

Admission into the SEC puts A&M in direct contact with 9 (we already know Mizzou) more land grant universities we have not pressed the flesh with (and that is important), and 4 other schools who have figured out how to work with land grant institutions. So, new friends does not mean you get rid of the guys who have been good partners in research (no one is going to dis tu's academic credentials, they do good work, over football), but hey, Alabama, LSU, UF, UT, and the rest of the SEC are not research slouches. So I look at this as a real win. A&M is still a huge research center in Texas, but now we have new contacts. How could that not work out to everybody's benefit? Loftin will have sidebars before or after the meetings with the other Presidents. You think these guys are going to stay focused on football after the gavel ends the session? Nah, they'll University presidents, not Football presidents. They'll talk politics, which means money, for academic issues too.

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