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As Folks Work To Figure Out The Big Ten’s Moves, It’s Time For The SEC To Focus In On Six Possible Expansion Partners

Across the college sports landscape, folks are trying to make sense of what the Big Ten has just done.  While smack in the middle of negotiating a new playoff with all the other major football conferences, Jim Delany’s league was secretly negotiating with Maryland and Rutgers on the side.  Until the weekend, very few saw the Big Ten’s move coming.

Now that the Big Ten is a 14-team league and it’s caught most everyone off guard, what comes next?

 

*  Mark Schlabach of ESPN believes the age of the super-conference might finally be at hand.

*  Dennis Dodd of CBS says that television insiders are having trouble wrapping their heads around the Big Ten’s move.

*  Some folks are calling the Big Ten’s move “dumb” and “greedy.”

*  UConn and Louisville are the favorites to replace Maryland in the ACC.

*  Boise State, San Diego State and BYU could all join the Mountain West Conference.  (You know things have gone crazy when schools exit conferences as soon as they enter them.)

*  The Big Ten could target all sorts of southern schools.

*  Even Nate Silver — The New York Times blogger who nailed this year’s election projections — weighs in to say that the Big Ten’s move east could dilute the league’s brand.

 

The reality is pretty simple: The biggest schools want the biggest share of television revenue from college football and its new playoff.  Period.  End of story.

Academics play some role in all this — the Big Ten added two more AAU schools in Maryland and Rutgers, for example — and geography matters, too, if only in terms of adding cable households.  In addition, the biggest schools would like to pay their athletes “full-cost-of-tuition scholarships.” But all of those issues tie back to money.

So if we’re all headed into a super-conference era, you need to ask yourself two questions:

 

1.  Which schools can afford to give full-cost-of-tuition scholarships?

2.  Which schools can provide an increase in cable households for a conference?

 

We’ve already got the answers for you.

The 75 biggest-spending athletic programs in the country — according to the US Department of Education’s 2010-11 numbers — belong to:

 

ACC (14 of 14, with Maryland definitely leaving)

12.  Florida State

23.  Notre Dame (joining as part-time member)

24.  Virginia

26.  North Carolina

31.  Duke

35.  Boston College

37.  Clemson

43.  Miami

45.  Virginia Tech

49.  Pittsburgh (joining)

54.  NC State

56.  Syracuse (joining)

62.  Georgia Tech

66.  Wake Forest

 

Big East (8 of expected 11 schools, with Rutgers definitely leaving)

14.  Louisville

36.  Connecticut

65.  South Florida

67.  Memphis (joining)

70.  Central Florida (joining)

71.  SMU (joining)

72.  Cincinnati

75.  San Diego State

 

Big Ten (14 of 14 schools)

2.  Ohio State

8.  Michigan

9.  Wisconsin

11.  Iowa

13.  Penn State

20.  Minnesota

21.  Nebraska

30.  Michigan State

33.  Indiana

39.  Purdue

44.  Maryland (joining)

48.  Northwestern

52.  Illinois

55.  Rutgers (joining)

 

Big XII (10 of 10 schools)

1.  Texas

6.  Oklahoma

27.  Kansas

38.  Baylor

42.  West Virginia

47.  TCU

51.  Oklahoma State

60.  Iowa State

61.  Texas Tech

63.  Kansas State

 

Pac-12 (12 of 12 schools)

18.  Stanford

22.  Southern Cal

28.  Oregon

29.  Washington

32.  UCLA

34.  California

40.  Colorado

46.  Arizona

53.  Arizona State

57.  Oregon State

69.  Washington State

73.  Utah

 

SEC (14 of 14 schools)

3.  Florida

4.  Tennessee

5.  Auburn

7.  LSU

10.  Alabama

15.  South Carolina

16.  Georgia

17.  Kentucky

19.  Arkansas

25.  Texas A&M

41.  Missouri

58.  Vanderbilt

59.  Ole Miss

64.  Mississippi State

 

OTHER

50.  UNLV (Mountain West)

68.  BYU (Independent)

74.  Yale (Ivy League)

 

Now, some of those budgets will rise and fall depending on new television contracts.  Also, you’ll note that there’s no room for Air Force, Army or Navy in a “full-cost-of-tuition” world.  There’s been debate over whether or not the military academies could legally offer up extra cash even if they so desired.

You’ll also notice that schools like Houston (77), Hawaii (80), East Carolina (82), and Boise State (96) aren’t throwing cash around like their neighbors.  They’re not currently in big-time conferences, either, which means they probably won’t be landing in big-time leagues if/when the super-conferences rise.  It’s hard to imagine any major conference extending an invitation for membership to any school not on the above list.

The major conferences are determined by television revenue at this point.  In terms of the current television contracts, the leagues in the best shape are and will continue to be the Big Ten, the Big XII, the Pac-12 and the SEC.  The ACC just doesn’t play good enough football to bring in big TV dollars.  The remaining conferences are in even worse shape.

If super-conferences are coming, we believe they’ll be 16-, 18-, or even 20-schools in size.  A 20-team league would basically be two conferences with a scheduling arrangement and a much better bargaining position for television deals.  (For the record, we suspect — and you heard it here first — that schools will indeed form super-conferences, those behemoths won’t work as well as expected, and they will eventually split back up into smaller leagues.  If you think politics in 12-team leagues are rough just wait’ll some poor commish tries to keep 16 to 20 schools all on the same page.)

The idea that everyone will move to 16-teams and stop seems rather silly at this point.  There’s no sign of anyone stopping.  The Big Ten’s surprise move has torn the lid off expansion/realignment again and it’s clear with teams bouncing from league to league that there are no expansion caps.  If Commissioner X thinks his league can make more cash with 17 schools or 18 schools or more, don’t expect him to pass on that cash just because 16 is a nice number.

So assuming super-conferences are coming and knowing that conferences’ goals are to run up the number of cable households and expand their footprints with big brands, there are really only six schools that fit the criteria for the SEC… and all are currently in or will soon be in the ACC:

 

Duke – If the ACC goes bye-bye, Duke would be a top get.  The Blue Devils bring a national brand that would flip dials across the country during hoops season.  Football?  Meh.  But grabbing Duke could help land…

North Carolina – UNC would be a coup.  Like Duke, Carolina is an AAU school (SEC presidents would love both) and it would upgrade the SEC’s basketball reputation.  Most importantly, Carolina has the biggest following in the state of North Carolina.  All those cable households and the big markets of Charlotte and Raleigh would increase the value of the SEC’s television deals.

NC State – Adding NCSU would put the state of North Carolina into play, but not to the extent that UNC alone or a UNC/Duke combo would.  If the SEC had to take all three, would it?  If the money was right, probably.  And that’s why we think leagues could grow past 16 schools in size — package deals.

Pittsburgh – Pitt would open up Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia and Ohio to the SEC in terms of television ratings and cable households.  It’s also an AAU school which would please SEC presidents.  For those who wanted West Virginia in the SEC, Pitt’s not much farther north for WVU.  And if the goal is to grab new territory, “north” has no bearing on these decisions.  That’s why the Big Ten now stretches from Nebraska to New Jersey and what’s left of the Big East reaches from Connecticut to California.  Rand McNally isn’t a consultant on conference expansion.

Virginia – A big-budget school with a tremendous academic reputation (it’s another AAU school) located in fertile recruiting grounds.  While the Cavaliers haven’t been great in football, UVA is the state school and that means viewership and cable households from one end of the state to the other.

Virginia Tech – Tech is probably the most SEC-like of all the schools mentioned above.  The Hokies are good in football and they play in a town where there’s little else going on (much like every SEC school not named Vanderbilt).  But like the North Carolina schools, there might have to be some packaging involved to land UVA or Tech.

 

From a budgetary standpoint, all of those schools would be A-OK in a super-conference world in which programs would hand out full-cost-of-tuition scholarships.

In terms of increasing the television footprint, the SEC could conceivably add the states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia to its portfolio, depending on which schools it could land.  SEC games would also get higher ratings in top 30 television markets like DC, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte with the right additions and that, too, would equal more television revenue.

If the Big Ten is eyeballing UNC, Duke, Virginia or others on that list, then the SEC should probably be laying the groundwork for potential moves right now.  (As much as we hate to say it.)  And if it means cutting package deals that would expand the league past 16 schools, unfortunately, that has to be up for discussion, too.

The only rule in all this mess is that there are no rules.  It’s a pure money grab and whoever collects the most cable households will — theoretically — win in the end.  If the Big Ten has started the ball rolling toward super-conferences, the SEC had better be taking a good long look at the six schools listed above and figuring out which ones and how many of them it can grab.

 


45 comments
RaymondMoore
RaymondMoore

UH is on the cusp of your list of 75 at 77.  UH also has excellent TV ratings in the 4th largest city in the United States.  I predict the Coogs will land nicely in Super Conferences. 

KarlDecker
KarlDecker

If Houston had Big12 or SEC money coming in, I think that without any doubt the spending number would go up.   When you are on a CUSA budget, you can't spend like you are making SEC dollars.

Catfish
Catfish

Why doesn't the NCAA set a limit on the size of conferences to prevent all this stupidity?

redav
redav

Let's not talk about the ACC or Big East collapsing. They won't. We've already seen the casualties of conf expansion, and it's not them.

 

The ACC & Big East earn more money than C-USA, Sun Belt, MWC, etc. That means they can always tempt schools to 'move up' to keep their conference going. It's the smallest, poorest conferences that die (e.g., WAC).

redav
redav

The B1G *WILL NOT* expand into the south any time soon. Their bylaws prohibit them from accepting any school not in a state contiguous with their existing footprint. Anyone who posts otherwise clearly doesn't know enough about the situation to have a realistic opinion.

 

 

RAB83
RAB83

What if this is all about Notre Dame?  Delaney is a chess master.  He was caught off-guard by Notre Dame's semi-affiliation with the ACC.  The B1G has long coveted the Irish and figured if they ever decided to hook up with a conference, it would be with them.  So Delaney snags Maryland, whose administration has long lusted after the B1G.  Behind the scenes he tells them not to worry about the $50 million.  If necessary, he'll help.

 

In a heartbeat, the ACC has gone from stable in mediocre to shaky and the Big East is in cardiac arrest.  With the potential for his new world disintegrating beneath his feet, what's an Irishman to do?  Return to the old country?  Maybe that's what Delaney hopes.  There's no Big East for the Olympic sports.  The ACC is looking unstable and Delaney could further destabilize it. by picking off UNC and Duke, now that the B1G looks more like a premier basketball conference than a football conference (plus all of the AAU pointy heads).

 

Who knows?  Maybe Delaney's on the phone to Indiana now asking, "So where are you guys gonna live?  You know your new neighborhood's starting to look like Detroit."

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I'm gonna throw out a wild and crazy idea here.  Don't stop at 20.....you want at least 24.  I batted around this idea with some other posters a few weeks ago.  Shift the paradigm from simply growing your footprint to increasing your potential content when you form your own network.  Combine the bargaining power of super-conferences with the increased ad sales and other revenue generated by keeping more of the cash in house and the size of the footprint starts not to matter as much.  The 6 teams that John named above along with Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Louisville would consolidate every relevant program in the region.

 

Everything divides nicely for practical purposes and competitive purposes, but you also get the advantage of retaining a large amount of quality football and basketball content under the conference umbrella.  If/when an SEC Network emerges that could produce the same quality of content that an ESPN2 or a comparable network have then you've really changed the game.  ESPN, CBS, and others will still have to bid for your product because they can't risk losing too much quality programming from so many different sources.  It will be easier to distribute the new network because of the greater demand and the ad sales(roughly about half the revenue generated from the current Big Ten network anyway) should create a huge windfall.

 

Other leagues will pick up on the new model and all of a sudden you won't have the same 3 or 4 networks with so much leverage over 5 leagues that are all competing for the same airtime on the same networks.  Why fight each other when you don't have to?

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

I would love NC to join for 2 reasons:  You'ld have the annual "Champion Of The Carolinas" rival started;  that & would be enjoyable seeing Spurrier pick on somebody other than UGA all time time!  *chuckle8

ATL14ESQ
ATL14ESQ

Good article John. Glad to see you've finally crossed Florida State of the "Suspects list. This is straight up about the TV sets, demographics and dollars. Florida State nor any other school in a state with a presiding SEC member will be considered.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

For people that are mocking the product of Maryland and Rutgers - just ask yourself where South Carolina was 20 years ago when the SEC added them?

Many people had the same reaction back then. I think John did a piece a while ago about schools that would blossom in the right conference - say Memphis in the B12. Keep that in mind. The B1G is not looking at next year, but next decade.

 

When you start moving around all of these chess pieces you have to keep in mind academics. The rule of thumb still applies; No school as downgraded the quality of academic conference and association in any of these moves. The moves by Maryland and Rutgers still supports this. The B1G is the only conference that has the Academic strength in addition to Athletic money to pull teams from the ACC. Unless the ACC completely becomes unstable, no school will voluntarily move from the ACC to the SEC or B12. Even before TAMU and Mizzou joined the SEC, the SEC was well ahead of the B12 in terms of research funding and resources. AAU membership is one thing, but that is not the only way to judge a school.

 

Eventually in all of this shuffling that rule will break, but as long as the bowties call the shots expect that to hold true.

historyphdguy
historyphdguy

I could see the SEC going to 16 teams but not any further as not to dilute the product and financial pie. I know Va Tech has been mentioned for years as a natural addition to the SEC but Tennessee isn't crazy about the idea because they consider upper East TN & SW Va "their" territory and don't want to directly compete with the Hokies there. UVa would be a nice get and would add Virginia and the DC area to the SEC. I am not sure about the North Carolina teams. North Carolina alone maybe but not with NC State & Duke. Football is the driver for the SEC and basketball is secondary is why I say that. I think Florida State would be a great addition but Florida would have the same issue that Tennessee has with Va Tech. No one wants their turf encroached upon but $$$ always trumps any one school's protests. So for the best football success I would add FSU & Va Tech. North Carolina would be welcome if we could let Vandy go to the ACC in trade to keep our total at 16. SEC East would add FSU & Va Tech and would move Vandy & Kentucky to the West. Or they could go with the SEC North and South to divide teams and talent. Vandy, UK, UT, Va Tech, Mizzou, UGa, SCar, Ark in the North, Florida, FSU, LSU, Bama, Ole Miss, MSU, Texas A&M, Auburn in the South. 7 games against your division & 3 rotating opponents from other division with 2 non-conference games. It is fun to speculate but only time will tell how these conference realignments work out.

Wahoo Lon
Wahoo Lon

What about a trade: NCState to SEC would give SEC a foothold in North Carolina and a media presence there without really eroding the ACC presence.  And Vanderbilt to the ACC for a nashville presence for them, but at no cost for the SEC as Tennessee dominates the state.

 

there's a cost hanging on to these "legacy programs" schools that joined a league under the rules of the old logic, but are redundant under the current logic.  That's to say, if you were starting conferences from scratch some of each conference's schools would belong with another group.  Tulane has more value for a conference that doesn't already have LSU.  economics would say everyone's going to end up in the conference where they add the most value.

KY_Daktari
KY_Daktari

Hopefully SEC will continue to be slow about change and let cooler heads prevail and stay steady at 14 no matter what goes on.

 

Why increase?  The SEC already has the best football product out there.  For TV eyes... then what, add 3 NC schools to split money with for 1 state?  If football is king, that doesn't make sense.  As a UK fan, I'd welcome them all as teams we could compete with, and would love the basketball competition (except Duke, I really just don't like Duke), but basketball doesn't really compare in the expansion discussion, else the ACC would be fine.  The NC Schools don't significantly improve football, and with the NC market, it will cost the SEC 3 shares of the pie.

 

mthfvnc
mthfvnc

Statement about schools spending too little not being accepted is a difficult pill.  They can't spend what they don't have.  What about potential? Give them access to the funds and see what they do.   Example, ECU is only 10 spots or so lower than the lowest ranked teams in your list.  Even with the lower ranking, the Pirates dominate local TV markets with very strong audiences in four of the top 50 US media markets. These four markets located in NC/VA combined make the fourth-largest DMA in the country. The Pirates consistently deliver solid ratings in North Carolina; one of the fastest-growing states in the US and is second only to UNC in Average Ratings Against BCS AQ Opponents Airing on ESPN/ESPN2. Yes considerably ahead of "big sister NCSU".  In 2010 ECU was second in the nation for average attendance among BCS non-AQ teams behind BYU and significantly ahead of Utah, TCU, Air Force and Boise State. Take a look at ECU's facilities (all sports) which are top notch. The football game day atmosphere has been described by national media outlets as on par with the SEC. VaTech shot up when given Big East money/exposure.  The same would happen for ECU, the only North Carolina/FBS program truly committed to football.  Not going to happen but place ECU in the SEC.  Not only would the money be spent and spent well but the Pirates would be competing in the middle of SEC within a just a few years.   Just consider the potential: http://www.ecu.edu/undaunted/

XEN610
XEN610

Personally, give me Virginia & VA Tech.  As a Mizzou guy, we could move to the West and make our cross-divisional rival Virginia.  All I ask is that Mke Anderson comes to Columbia once a year and we only have to play a Frank Martin coached team once.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Auburn outspends Bama? That's surprising.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

This is interesting stuff. One question --- why would the SEC want 3 schools from North Carolina yet not want Florid State? Is it because (like you said) it would have to be a package deal to get into North Carolina and Florida would veto another university in their state? Wouldn't Florida State's addition add more $$$ per school than adding 3 from North Carolina?

birddog01
birddog01

Va Tech would make a great permanent cross division east rival for TAMU since they are the only other BCS caliber senior military college and the two schools have a lot in common.

 

kentatm
kentatm

20 teams would make for 9 game division slates with no cross over games.  May as well go to a 12 game SEC schedule if that happens.

BamaWahoo
BamaWahoo

I am (un)authorized to speak for UVA. Where do we sign?

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @redav Fair point, but bylaws can be changed just as conference rosters can be changed.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

@redav That clearly is not a big sticking point. The Big Ten was courting the State of Texas before Nebraska was selected. They would have made that happen regardless of the by laws and they would not have added multiple other states to make it all contiguous in my opinion.

Clarence
Clarence

 @RAB83 Moore Hall, you are spot on.  Irish is probably on the phone with Deloss to see how they both can be "independent" and sponge off a band of weaklings for non-revenue sports and sell their mega-network star power to ESPN  or NBC for a cool billion.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @AllTideUp How do you break that down:  1x24, 2x12, 3x8, 4x6, or 6x4?

 

How would the scheduling work out?  Right now, the SEC's plan has 5-6 YEARS before a rematch against some schools.  What would this create?

 

Along that, who gets the in the CG & how do you figure that?

Clarence
Clarence

 @AllTideUp I like it.  Add a twist from the B1G divisions.... Legends, Leaders and a new Losers division.  Have the Loser division be a group of perennially weak football schools combined with those football powers that are a little down on their luck at the moment.  The legends and leaders get to play all the Losers and their pick of a couple fellow Legends and Leaders and maybe one FCS school. :-)

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @KY_Daktari 

 

Are Maryland and Rutgers traditional football powers?  No.  But the Big Ten just grabbed them because they open the Baltimore, DC, and New York City TV markets as well as those states' cable households for the Big Ten Network.

 

If the SEC is forced to expand -- and here's hoping it isn't and everyone just calms the heck down -- then it will likely try to expand for the same reasons as everyone else and that's cable households for the purpose of driving up TV revenue.

 

Getting into North Carolina or Virginia (or even Pennsylvania) would make money for the league.  And IF the money were enough to cover the additions and IF several schools said we'll come as a package deal, then the SEC would have to consider making such a move.  That's all I was trying to show.

 

I don't want the SEC to expand further.  But if it does, those six schools I mentioned would be the ones that add cable households and new territory... which is the name of the game.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @mthfvnc 

 

I wondered how long it would take an ECU fan to push the Pirates.  I've got nothing against ECU, but if the Big East doesn't want you -- the Big East! -- that should tell you that ECU's program still needs to grow.  And while ECU is located in North Carolina, no television execs are going to think ECU will really drive television numbers.  If Pirate games did, they'd already be in a bigger conference.

 

If it's any consolation, I don't see the SEC chasing Wake Forest, either.

 

No offense.  I'm not pushing an agenda here, just trying to show folks which schools seem to make the most sense if the SEC is a) forced to expand again and b) expands for the same reasons everyone else does.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @GeoffDawg 

 

It did in 2010-11 according to the Dept. of Education stats.  But remember, every school cooks its books differently.  Still, the ballpark numbers show that Auburn is a big spender.

 

Thanks for reading,John 

Clarence
Clarence

 @MoKelly1 John has pointed out before that it is driven by TV eyeballs.  FSU (or Clemson, Miami, or Georgia Tech) does not add TV eyeballs.  New SEC states adds eyeballs and the TV dollars.  Also seems to be a preference (but not hard and fast rule) to not add to existing SEC states for recruiting traditions.  The new states (NC, VA, PA) would just carry on with their existing recruiting turf battles in that region.

genericusername
genericusername

 @AllTideUp  They would have to change their bylaws, at which point everyone will know what they are about to do. If they don't change their bylaws, you know it isn't coming, so there's no point in speculating about it.

 

For all the talk about Texas, I honestly believe that's all it ever was--talk. Just like an employer will interview several people that they know they won't hire, I believe conferences 'interview' schools. You could easily say there was a first date, but it never got serious, and certainly never progressed to courting.

RAB83
RAB83

 @Clarence Forgot about the Big 12ish.  That's their safety valve.  Deloss will order the commissioner to extend an offer and they'll run an 11 team conference, playing 9 conference games so they can continue to avoid a championship.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @SouthernBoiSB It would be weird, but with conference consolidation everything would get weird so you can throw out some of the old conventions.

 

I would go with 4x6 with each division being regional and made up of traditional rivals/neighbors.  That's 5 division games a year.  Next you can give each team 3 permanent rivals from any of the other 3 divisions in order to help maintain traditions.  Now you're up to 8.  Next thing is you add 3 more "conference" games.  With conference consolidation you don't have to worry so much about the OOC schedule.  Many of those teams that would have made great feature OOC games in the past would now be league games.  You don't see those teams very often so it still has the feel of a great inter-regional OOC game.  The bonus is that these games now count towards the division title so now they've got the extra cache of helping to determine something more tangible than bragging rights.  You also add more quality competition to the schedule rather than allowing everyone to play a bunch of cupcakes(fans are increasingly unhappy with this part of scheduling and I think the downtrend in attendance testifies to that).  Cycling through the other 15 teams using 3 games would indeed take a while, but with the feel of playing teams from other regions in these slots instead of traditional conference rivals then it takes on a new role.  You would play a H/A series with these other 15 teams at least once every 10 years which would not be a ridiculous figure if we're talking about teams from other regions that you rarely ever saw anyway.

 

Cap the regular season at 11 games although all games are now against quality opponents rather than 3 or 4 cupcakes out of 12.  When you cap the regular season this also gives you the opportunity to create a conference playoff.  Put the winners of the 4 divisions in a playoff like a conference level Final 4.  That's also a ratings monster much like the conference championship games themselves.  With this model, you can also do it without adding any games to the schedule.  Conference championship participants would still play no more than 13 excluding the bowl games.

 

The real boon to the financials is the ability to bundle schools together in the marketplace rather than competing against each other in the current model.  Some of that would remain in a new order, but it will be decreased.  I actually proposed this idea a while back as the result of a merger between the SEC and Big 12.  With those leagues I thought the traditional rivalries were maintained to a greater degree, but it could still work adding portions of the ACC.

John Angler
John Angler

That must include the money Auburn paid to the Newtons.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

@Clarence @MoKelly1 As someone who works extensively with brands, I beg to differ on the conclusion that FSU doesn't add eyeballs. It's all about FL wanting a competitive advantage and monopoly, which is fine. Branding is about both being available in the market and how well the product sells. Anytime you can get a big time program or teams from huge markets playing then revenue rises. FL or TX A&M does not play every weekend, which means more teams from those markets will likely drive revenue. For the record, I am not an FSU fan and don't live in FL.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

 @Clarence Are you saying FSU fans already watch Florida/SEC games rather than their own team/ACC games? Somehow, I find that hard to believe. Otherwise, why would the Big 12 have so many teams in Texas if only having UT would lock in that state? Seems to me FSU would pull in more football fan eyeballs than North Carloina divided by 3.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @SouthernBoiSB I don't think you have to toss out the new playoff system at all, but I think this sort of conference consolidation would give us the larger playoff that most of us want.  The trick is that half of the playoffs take place within the conferences themselves rather than in the bowl season after the conference championship games.  Fewer cupcakes + more quality games + playoff + done with the same number of games.

 

It's possible this sort of mega-conference would drag in some extra teams just because of the sheer weight of it...maybe 28 or even 32.  With larger numbers you could focus even more on the regional element.  You might have a similar consolidation of the PAC 12 and the Big Ten.  With 2 large mega-conferences picking up the leftovers elsewhere then the postseason, as far as establishing a national champion, is pretty easy.  Rather than just selecting the top 4 teams through rankings or a selection committee, you have an objective way of getting these 4 teams into their position.

 

You don't have to get rid of the extra bowl games if you don't want to and I would prefer to keep some of the tradition rich games.  My gut says though that there will be fewer in the future anyway.  Match up teams from each of the super-conferences in the bigger games.  The bowl season then becomes a way in which schools from opposite ends of the country finally do meet rather than in scheduled OOC games during the regular season.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @AllTideUp 4X6 pods:  5 pod opponents + 3 perm. rivals + 3 rest of conf. = 11 games

 

"When you cap the regular season this also gives you the opportunity to create a conference playoff"

 

So, 20 teams have 11 games, 2 @ 12, & 2 @ 13 just to get conf. winner.

 

 

How do you do the bowls (if they even exist with a 24 team conference?  & are you tossing out the new playoff system (from 2014)?

Clarence
Clarence

 @AndrewMartin  @Clarence  @MoKelly1 I think FSU would help add national eyeballs, too, but there seems to be reluctance to add teams from existing SEC states, maybe to the point where the eyeball increase does not get weighed appropriately.  But there seems to be such a large amount of harmony with the way they have handled expansion so far and how they run the league that the members will let Slive continue to call the shots.    If it came to the point where it was in the overwhelming interest of the entire SEC membership to add FSU, it would probably happen.  At this point, there seem to be other options, namely growing the footprint that will be pursued first.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @MoKelly1  @Clarence The BigXII was a hastely designed conglomeration after the SEC rapidly dissolved. The SWC used to be all Texas schools save Arkansas. The Big XII was not configured for a television market (neither was the SWC), it was configured for survival of those left without a home. Texas has two major, and many mid-level media markets (Houston and the DFW metroplex being the major markets), and are all dominated by A&M and Texas. So, if you want to lock up Texas, you have to have both those schools (that will give you 80% or more of the tv sets in the state for any given Saturday). There are many other schools that play ball in the state, but even those guys who watch and pay for bowl games to see one of three options when either the Ags or the Horns play; 1) A&M to slaughter the Horns, 2) the Horns to humiliate the Ags, or 3) the most popular option for that remaining 20%, watch in the prayer a meteor will strike the stadium right at kick off.

the_samdingo
the_samdingo

 @John at MrSEC  @MoKelly1  @Clarence 

As far as they eyeball thing goes, I think some people are kinda underestimating the SEC's influence in North Carolina, without actually even having any schools in the state. South Carolina delivers metro-Charlotte about as well as or better than NCSU would. And as for the Raleigh area, while there are no SEC schools there, I think it is important to note that as far as the product is concerned, what the SEC is selling is second to none. Regardless of where you are in America, if your team isn't playing or there isn't a conference game of note for your team, you are probably gonna be watching whatever is on CBS or ESPN which is most likely Alabama-LSU, South Carolina-Georgia, Florida-Tennessee, etc. In other words a good SEC game. Every game is already available in Raleigh as it is through the SEC network, CBS, ESPN/2/U and FSN. Raleigh is also a college town along with being an ACC town. At 3:30 you think most people there are watching FSU-Boston College or the SEC game?

 

Hard to say it definitively as Texas-aTm, Utah-BYU, KU-Missouri among others have been lost due to expansion. Now Maryland ditches ACC basketball, though I do have to say that I think they're going to come to regret it, at least from an athletics standpoint. I'd be absolutely shocked if Wake, UVA, UNC, NCSU, Duke and I suppose Va Tech now end up anywhere not together. Football isn't really that big a deal among those schools outside of Va Tech and maybe NCSU and UNC, though it still takes a back seat to basketball with all of them. They could just stick together, add Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, keep Miami, Ga Tech and BC and be totally content. The sanctity of ACC hoops could not only be restored, but enhanced. No more 'football' schools messing things up for Coach K and Roy and co. 

Clarence
Clarence

 @John at MrSEC  @MoKelly1 John, Any political insight into the apparant attack on the ACC?  Is it just considered the slow wildebeest amogst the football hyenas, or is there some backstory here?   Seems like Notre Dame may rethink their ACC plans and maybe that's what B1G really wants.

 

Clarence
Clarence

Incrementally, FSU would add some eyeballs, but not as many as adding a whole new state and TV market.  B12 has so many teams in Texas so Deloss can have enough yes men to get what he wants.     He also needs them to rotate coming to Austin for an away game each Thanksgiving because he does not want to play A&M.  Of course, he has to have Kansas and Iowa State around to play games with the Longhorns on the Longhorn Network that nobody will see.  Sorry, I digress.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @MoKelly1  @Clarence 

 

If you look at moves many of these conferences have been making -- including the Big Ten's grab of Maryland and Rutgers -- the moves have been made for the purpose of adding cable households to each league's "media" footprint.

 

The SEC can already claim the state of Florida.  The league has the flagship program in the state and therefore an SEC Network would likely get carriage on cable systems across that state with or without Florida State.  The same goes for Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, etc.

 

If the goal is simply to collect cable households, then North Carolina is the next logical stop for the SEC.  The only reason I tossed out the idea of taking UNC, Duke and NC State is to show that to get into North Carolina, a league like the SEC might have to make a package deal to take all three schools.

 

If the SEC could simply cherry pick schools, I'm guessing it would add North Carolina and Virginia -- if all the dominoes start to fall and it's forced to move.  But it might not be able to cherry pick those two schools and grab all those cable households without taking another school in the same state.

 

Florida State doesn't have any leverage with the SEC.  If UNC/Duke/NCSU all partnered up and said "we'll come but only together," they would have some leverage.  And if the SEC thought adding North Carolina to its footprint would drive up the television revenue enough to cover those three new entrants... I bet the league would do it.  It sure looks like other leagues would at this point.

 

Now, I have nothing against Florida State as the Seminoles are probably the best "fit" and biggest brand name the SEC could land.  But as things roll 95% in the direction of "cable households," fit and brand mean little.  Example: Maryland and Rutgers are joining the Big Ten.

 

All that said, here's hoping everyone just taps the brakes at this point.  

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

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