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Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 3)

BIG BANG THEORIES MRSEC BESTChristmas 2012 came and went without Santa delivering any new schools to new conferences.  But with talk growing that Boise State might just stay put in the MWC rather than jump to the Big East as it had planned, the expansion/realignment conversation continues.

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at what we believe to be the final countdown to a Big Bang.  The kind of Big Bang that leaves us with just four or five power conferences playing in their own super-division at the top of the current Football Bowl Subdivision.  The schools making up those leagues and that super-division will be the ones best able to provide full-cost-of-tuition scholarships for their athletes (or at least for their football players).

How this will all work out is anyone’s guess, but we don’t foresee a nice, neat, orderly endgame.  Look at the college landscape today.  Do the conferences all have an equal number of schools?  Do all leagues have the same type of divisional breakdowns or scheduling plans?  The answer, of course, is no and we don’t see why separate business entities all trying to grab as much cash as possible will someday agree that there should be four leagues of 16 teams each just because that’s what many fans want.

There’s an idea that each league — in such a four-league, 16-team scenario — could put two or four teams into a playoff and then we’d all have a mini-NFL to watch each December and January.  But the NFL is one business.  The FBS conferences are separate businesses.  And if the four-team playoff that kicks off in 2014 does expand at some point, it’s quite likely each conference will be angling to get as many teams into the mix as possible, not just a limited number of two or four.

In Part 1 of our Big Bang series, we looked at which schools we believe would be willing to move if a better offer came along from a new conference (based on athletic revenue and current conference stability).  In our view, there are only about 25 schools that would have any hope of drawing the interest of one of the power leagues.

In Part 2 of our Big Bang series, we broke down those 25 schools according to what they would add to a conference’s stash of cable households as well as a league’s academic reputation (which still matters to some conferences).

In Part 3, we now look at the options available for each of the current five power conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12, and SEC.  How can they survive?  How can they grow and make more money?  Which schools might interest them?

In putting this piece together, we reached out to administrators and athletic department personnel inside the SEC.  We spoke with people in the college sports industry who are familiar with media contracts all across the nation (as well as scuttlebutt regarding which leagues are talking to which schools).  We even chatted with a contact inside a major athletic equipment supplier who speaks with coaches and ADs on a regular basis, picking up plenty of gossip in the process.

The theories below are our own, but they’ve been shaped by the input of these people who were willing to talk off the record about what they’re hearing and what they believe to be happening.  We appreciate their help.

And without further ado, here’s what we see as each conference’s realistic options:

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Current Status:  Maryland is leaving for the Big Ten while Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville are scheduled to enter the ACC in all sports.  Notre Dame is currently scheduled to enter the league as a member in all sports but football.  The Irish will schedule five ACC schools per year on the gridiron, but those games will not count in the ACC standings.  The league will be a 15-school league — 14 teams in football — if things don’t change.  Big if.

Outlook/Goal:  The ACC’s outlook is shaky.  The Big Ten, Big XII and SEC are all rumored to have interest in multiple ACC members.  Example: An ACC source told The Sporting News last month that the SEC has been chasing Duke and North Carolina for “the last three years.”  John Swofford’s first goal has to be survival at this point.  The league’s schools aren’t believed to have much interest in signing a grant or rights agreement, so the best hope for avoiding the Big East’s fate is to shore up the football foundation of the league.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways for Swofford’s league to do that.  The ACC is the weakest of the five remaining power conferences.  Those schools willing to come aboard are most likely in smaller leagues now, meaning they likely won’t meet the demands of the ACC’s biggest football schools.

Possible Moves/Rumored Interests:

*  The best bet for the ACC would be for Notre Dame to join the league as an all-sports member including football.  Notre Dame is the brand in college football.  Love ‘em, hate ‘em, everyone watches ‘em.  The problem is Notre Dame’s football contract with NBC.  The Irish don’t want to give that away and the ACC is a revenue-sharing league.  If it meant adding a brand name like Notre Dame, would schools like Florida State and Clemson give a thumbs-up to allowing the Irish to forge their own unique deal with the league?  Doubtful.  As for Notre Dame’s desire to maintain its football independence, the breakup of the Big East could give the ACC a tiny bit of leverage.  “Sure, we’ll let you in early in all your other sports, but you have to sign on as a full-fledged football member, too.”  Sounds good, but a league like the Big XII might be able to offer up a “special” deal to Notre Dame and scuttle any ACC attempts to woo the Irish into a true marriage.  More on that in a minute.

*  Barring an every-sport deal with Notre Dame, the two schools most often rumored to be potential ACC targets are Cincinnati and Connecticut.  Cincinnati would provide a mid-America rival for new member Louisville.  UConn would give the ACC more pull in New England and in the New York City area, but current member Boston College has worked against the Huskies joining their league in the past.  Indeed, Louisville was given an invitation before Connecticut.  While Cincinnati and UConn have both been to BCS bowls in recent years, those schools are better known for their basketball than their football.  Would an FSU or Clemson be excited to add either school?  Probably not.  Would schools like Virginia or Georgia Tech be happy to further water down the league’s academic brand?  Probably not.  And if a school like Cincinnati got an offer from another conference, it’s likely the UC administration would choose to join the strongest league… which would not be the ACC.

 

Big Ten Conference

Current Status:  Maryland and Rutgers are scheduled to join the conference.  The Big Ten — along with the SEC — remains in the strongest position of all the remaining “Big Five” conferences.  No league boasts bigger schools and, therefore, bigger fanbases and alumni chapters.  No league can match the Big Ten top-to-bottom in terms of academic reputation as all but one Big Ten member (Nebraska) is a member of the AAU, a collection of the continent’s biggest-spending research institutions.  When Maryland and Rutgers enter, the Big Ten will feature 14 schools total.

Outlook/Goal:  The Big Ten’s outlook is strong.  Jim Delany’s league makes money hand over fist and most Big Ten schools have about 50,000 students.  With that many grads, interest in the Big Ten will remain high for many years to come.  However, as Delany himself has explained, population shifts are making it necessary for his league to try and reach farther south, to where state populations are still growing.  The Big Ten wants to guarantee that it remains cash rich by adding cable households for its Big Ten Network and that it maintains it’s academic reputation by adding well-respected schools.  (Nebraska was an AAU member, too, when the Big Ten lured them from the Big XII.)

Possible Moves/Rumored Interests:

*  It has been rumored for more than a year now that both Georgia Tech and Virginia are on the Big Ten’s radar.  Both are AAU schools.  Both would provide more television markets and more cable households for the league’s network.  Both would help the league extend its brand into the South.  That kind of advertising — Big Ten football and basketball games getting more exposure and carrying more weight in Southern markets — should drive more students from the South to the league’s Midwestern schools.  More than one source from inside the SEC and another source from inside the college athletics industry has told us that Virginia and Georgia Tech are believed to be done deals to the Big Ten, with the only hold-up being Maryland’s court battle to get out of the ACC.  Reportedly, Virginia and Georgia Tech officials want to know the cost of switching leagues before actually doing so.  Now, we’re not big on stories of “done deals,” because deals can fall through.  Last year, a rumor that Florida State and Clemson were jumping to the Big XII never amounted to anything.  So we want to make it clear — very clear — that we’re hearing from multiple sources that they believe Virginia and Georgia Tech will someday soon be the Big Ten’s 15th and 16 schools.  That isn’t our view.  We’re just passing along what we’ve heard from multiple sources.

*  But even if those schools do move at some point, that does not mean that the Big Ten will slam the brakes on expansion.  As we’ve discussed in previous pieces, leagues are making money off of their brand names and their content.  The more good games to sell (content), the more television money to be made.  For that reason, we firmly believe the rumblings we’ve heard about the Big Ten having an interest in Duke and North Carolina.  Currently, the Big Ten’s schools are all located in contiguous states.  If Georgia Tech is a target for the Big Ten and if form holds, the league will need to somehow connect the state of Virginia to the state of Georgia.  We don’t expect an SEC school — Vanderbilt — to be on the Big Ten’s list of invitees, so that leaves the state of North Carolina as the other option.  It just so happens that the crown jewels of the ACC in terms of name brands are located in the Tarheel State.  While the Big Ten is rumored to be eyeballing Virginia and Georgia Tech, don’t be surprised if Delany and company don’t attempt to add four more schools, all from the ACC — Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Duke.  All are AAU members.  The addition of all four would bring the league’s total number of schools to 18 and greatly increase the Big Ten’s area of influence.  The Big Ten Network would stretch from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota all the way into New York and then down the Eastern seaboard and into the SEC’s biggest natural TV market: Atlanta.  In addition, the more ACC schools the Big Ten goes after at once, the easier the sell might be for each school as it exits its old conference.  The administrators and fans of Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Duke might be more likely to move if they knew they’d still be seeing plenty of familiar faces in their new home.  And Maryland would already be waiting for them.

 

Big XII Conference

Current Status:  The Big XII is currently stable thanks to its long-discussed grant of media rights agreement.  Bob Bowlsby’s conference currently features just 10 teams and does not stage a conference championship game in football.  However, with new television contracts set to kick in, the Big XII’s schools will all begin to pull in massive revenue as the conference’s pie will only have to be split among 10 schools.  At least for now.

Outlook/Goal:  The Big XII is a unique beast.  Most believe the grant of rights deal inked by the league’s schools will act as the world’s largest pair of handcuffs, binding those institutions together for more than a decade.  All contracts are made to be broken, but the people we’ve spoken to believe this one is ironclad.  If School X up and leaves, its media rights — meaning its TV revenue — will remain with the Big XII.  Even if that were the beginning point for a negotiated exit fee the price for a school to leave may be so steep that no one would dare try it.  That said, the league still allows its members to own/operate their own television channels, like Texas’ Longhorn Network (which is technically owned by ESPN, but UT is still paid an enormous sum for its content).  That means that while league revenue will grow and be split more equitably among member institutions, there’s still a means for schools like Texas and Oklahoma to make beaucoups more cash than some of their smaller conference brethren.  That’s not the way to build one big happy family.

Possible Moves/Rumored Interests:

*  The Big XII has more options on the table than just about any other conference.  That’s in part due to the league’s location smack in the middle of the country.  The Big XII could move north, south, east or west.  The league could sit still with 10 teams, rake in big television dollars, and give its teams an easier path to college football’s soon-to-come playoff.  Or it could expand by two teams.  Or three.  Or Eight.  Or more.  The Big XII could do just about anything at this point.

*  Word leaked out in the past year that Big XII officials had been told flat out by television executives that the only school the league could add that would drive up media rights fees would be Notre Dame.  So let’s start with the Irish.  As mentioned above, the ACC must be looking at Notre Dame right now as its best chance for survival.  Grab the school now as a full-fledged member (finding a way to work around that NBC football contract) and other ACC schools contemplating an exit might just be convinced to hang around.  Like the Big Ten, Notre Dame wanted to expand its brand to the South.  The same population shifts that Delany’s league face are issues for the Irish as well.  The ACC offered the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.  The Big XII offered, basically, Texas.  When Pittsburgh joins, 11 ACC schools will rank among the top 100 schools in America in research spending.  The Big XII has just two of the top 100 research spenders (Texas and Iowa State).  But if Notre Dame feels its arm is being twisted by the ACC, it could still probably move to the Big XII and maintain independence in football.

*  Grabbing Notre Dame from the ACC might be part of a greater plan by Bowlsby and company.  If the Irish can be had, the ACC remains unstable.  Therefore, grabbing Notre Dame might make stealing Florida State, Clemson or Miami easier.  And if the Big XII swipes FSU, Clemson or Miami from the ACC, it will be able to offer Notre Dame greater exposure in both Texas and Florida.  While FSU and Clemson would provide two new states for the Big XII, making off with Florida State and Miami would give the Big XII more presence in the Sunshine State than the SEC currently has with Florida.  For those who’ll say that hasn’t helped the ACC, the Big XII plays a better brand of football and has a better product to sell to Floridians.  Our initial thought when this idea was floated to us by a single theorist who works with a number of schools across the nation was: Wouldn’t Miami’s NCAA issues drive other leagues away?  His response: The Big East and the ACC both chased The U and landed it despite it’s reputation for being a scofflaw.  Our response: Good point.

*  Now, if the Big XII chose to grow in a different direction — or chose to grow beyond the schools already mentioned — there are a number of possibilities.  Pittsburgh could provide a natural rival for West Virginia and stretch the league into Pennsylvania (for recruiting and TV market purposes).  Boise State has a strong football brand.  UNLV has a large athletic budget for a school currently living outside the power conferences.

*  If, however, there’s a school to the West that bears watching, it’s Brigham Young.  BYU is currently an independent in football and it has its own network (BYUtv) that is available to some 60 million cable and satellite households nationwide.  Meanwhile, the Big XII is the “we can make it work” league.  The conference already looks the other way regarding Texas’ Longhorn Network, so what’s another private channel?  And while there might be a culture clash between BYU and some other Big XII members, Bowlsby’s conference is already a hodge-podge of schools from the old Southwest Conference, the old Big 8 conference, the Big East, and the Mountain West Conference.  While a league like the SEC features 14 schools with — for the most part — similar cultures, the Big XII’s schools welcome the children of rednecks, liberals, farmers, and miners.  The Mormons might find a better fit in the Heinz 57-style Big XII than in any other conference.

 

Pac-12 Conference

Current Status:  Larry Scott’s league currently has 12 members with no further expansion on the horizon.  At least not from what we hear.

Outlook/Goal:  Scott made a major power play two summers back by trying to land six Big XII schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado.  In the end the Pac-12 stole Colorado and added Utah.  While the Pac-12 is stable having recently launched seven new league-owned networks and inked deals with ESPN and FOX worth $225 million a year, its location remains an issue.  The league tried to expand into the Midwest and has hosted a football media day event in New York City in an effort to raise awareness in the Central and Eastern time zones.  The Big Ten wants to expand south in order to keep up with population shifts.  The Pac-12 wants to expand east in order to stay on the radar in America’s largest media hubs.

Possible Moves/Rumored Interests:

*  Silence.  There are few rumors, few leaks suggesting that Scott and company are on the verge of any major move.  That’s worrisome as Scott might be the biggest visionary commissioner inside a power conference today.  The man tried to raid another league for half its members and came closer than anyone would have guessed to making it happen.  He’s currently pushing his product into Asian markets in the hopes of increasing merchandising sales and, perhaps someday, signing a broadcast deal with an overseas company.  As noted in previous pieces, we know that at least one Pac-12 athletic director has told all of his coaches in a closed-door meeting that the age of super-conferences is already upon us.  If Scott is plotting a move, he’ll probably try to aim big…

*  But he might hit small.  That’s what happened the last time, of course, and the Pac-12 still faces the same limitations due to geography.  While many Western states are growing population-wise, there just aren’t as many major football programs in that portion of the country.  The league’s options are limited (barring a major surprise move into the Midwest).  Schools in the Pac-12 region include Boise State, BYU, San Diego State, and UNLV.  Any other school is a long reach geographically or a long shot to gain an invite.  Those mentioned might be long shots, too, unless Scott feels his league must expand just to keep up with everyone else.  Boise State won’t wow the presidents at schools like Stanford and Cal.  BYU’s network might be a problem in the Pac-12.  With four Pac-12 schools already in California, adding San Diego State won’t move the needle much.  UNLV makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, but again, would Pac-12 pointy-heads be pleased with the addition of a school in — egads! — Las Vegas?

 

Southeastern Conference

Current Status:  Mike Slive’s league just added Missouri and Texas A&M and is currently home to 14 schools.  Florida president Bernie Machen and others — including Slive — have admitted that there have been “digestion” problems with regards to scheduling for a 14-team league.  Our sources across the SEC have told us that most everyone in the league would prefer to see how the latest additions play out before rushing to add more schools to the conference.  Yet there’s still that ACC source who told The Sporting News that the SEC has been angling for Duke and North Carolina for three years.

Outlook/Goal:  Like the Big Ten, the SEC is dealing from a position of strength.  Based in a region where professional sports really didn’t take root until the 1960s, the SEC’s schools can claim the most passionate, loyal fans in all America.  The league also rules the college football world at the moment having won six BCS titles in a row with a seventh on the table should Alabama beat Notre Dame a week from Monday.  Slive also brokered a pair of television contracts with CBS and ESPN that raised the bar for all other leagues, brought in an enormous new revenue stream for his schools, and gave his conference national exposure for almost every football game it plays.  In addition, the league is expected to launch its own SEC Network — at least one network — in 2014.  If there’s a goal for the SEC moving forward it’s to guarantee its position at the head of the college athletics table (alongside the Big Ten) while not diluting its current brand and product.  In addition, the league’s presidents definitely want to add schools with high-end academic reputations.  They’re tired of having people with ties to other conferences suggest that the SEC is inferior academically.

Possible Moves/Rumored Interests:

*  If forced to move quickly and if given two wishes, most of the people we’ve spoken with believe Slive would add Duke and North Carolina.  Such a move would open up the markets and households of the Tarheel State to the league’s broadcast partners and its own network.  Those schools would thrill the league’s presidents yet they would not frighten SEC football coaches.  They would also increase the SEC’s basketball reputation.  Ah, but would UNC and Duke opt to move to the SEC — lower travel costs, more natural rivals — over the Big Ten — a better academic reputation, a strong  academic consortium, possibly a few familiar faces from the ACC?

*  Virginia Tech has denied interest in moving to the SEC in the past, but if left behind in a weakened ACC the Hokies’ top brass might re-think things.  Tech is a natural fit for the Southeastern Conference as it would be yet another football-first school based in what amounts to a one-horse town where local businesses see their fortunes rise and fall depending on the results of VPI’s last game.  Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets would also provide a perfect bookend to Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets.

*  North Carolina State has been tied to the SEC as well as it’s believed that North Carolina and Duke are more tied together than UNC and NCSU.  But we’ve been told my more than one source that an easier pull would be taking all three Research Triangle schools together.  Toss in Virginia Tech and the SEC could offer what the Big Ten might offer — an open door for a group of rivals who might like to travel together.  Such a large-scale move to 18 would require knowledge that adding four schools (three from the same state) would generate far more revenue for the league via additional content, additional big name brands, better basketball, and complete and total dominance of the North Carolina college sports market.

*  Another possibility that has often been discussed is the option of adding schools from within the league’s current footprint.  We’ve been told there is nothing in writing that would lock schools like Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech or Louisville out, but in a world driven by television revenue, what does adding a school in a state currently occupied really add to the SEC’s coffers?  We’ve long stated that Florida State would make sense as the Seminoles are a major, major national brand.  But the only thing likely to open the SEC door to FSU is word from the league’s television partners that the Seminoles would seriously drive up revenue for everyone.  That’s because no one we’ve spoken to believes Slive will add schools for defensive purposes if/when his league expands again.  So while leagues like the Big XII and Big Ten might like to increase their reach into current SEC states, there’s no belief that Slive would attempt to block them from doing so.  As long as the SEC is increasing its revenues and staying at or near the top of the food chain, schools located in areas already claimed by the conference probably won’t be getting invitations.

 

In our next piece, we’ll set aside the rumors and scuttlebutt being passed along by others and tell you exactly what we believe each conference should do as the Big Bang nears.

 


209 comments
PAUL ZBaR
PAUL ZBaR

The only place to get "info" is on blogs because it's all made up for ad sales.  Nobody comments on the SEC basketball stuff.  Hence, if you don't write about expansion no ads to sell.  All the expansion stuff and my favorite source "Joe who sells athletic shoes in Virginia" is hype.  Song and dance.  That's it.

SloppyJoe
SloppyJoe

If Maryland can get through this unscathed, we might see this (my perfect storm):

 

1) Georgia Tech announce departure for B1G.

2) FSU and Clemson announce B12.

3) UVA and UNC declare SEC.

4) Duke announce B1G.

5) NC State and Va Tech also leave for B12.

6) Remaining ACC and Big East schools merge into non-BCS conference.

 

3 BCS conferences with 16 teams, 4 pods each.  That day can't come soon enough!

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

I think the AAU designation is important, but AAU membership doesn't appear completely objective and is sort of a private club. Looking at the latest research expenditures by institution, here are the rankings for the most discussed expansion targets and if they are part of the coveted AAU: #7 Duke (AAU), #19 UNC (AAU), #22 Pittsburgh (AAU), #22 GA Tech (AAU), #44 VA Tech, #47 NCST, #73 VA (AAU), #95 FSU, and #100 Clemson. UConn, BC, Syracuse, Miami, and Notre Dame are not ranked in the top 100 and are not likely to join that fraternity in near term. Wake Forest is ranked in the top 100, but not considered viable for SEC or Big 10 expansion. For comparison purposes, several current or future Big 10 members expenditure research rankings that already have an AAU designation are ranked similar to or lower than many expansion targets without the AAU designation: #41 MD (AAU), #50 MI State (AAU), #54 Rutgers (AAU), # 61 Iowa (AAU). In addition, NE lost its AAU status recently and is ranked #51 in research expenditures. Seems like the AAU needs more reviews to correct its membership and reflect today's leaders in academic research. As far as SEC schools, Texas A&M University (AAU) had the highest ranking at #20. Florida, Vanderbilt and Missouri also have the AAU designation.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

John kept us waiting nearly a week between Parts 2 and 3 of this series.  I hope he's getting read to debut Part 4 soon as I think my addition to this topic is getting worse...lol.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

There are 2 glaring RED flags that stand out to me when I think about the ACC conference.

#1 flag is that with Maryland leaving and all the talk of FUS to the Big 12 coupled now with rumors of GT /  UVA to the B1G, the ACC could not / would not get a GOR that could have possibly stablized their conference.

#2 flag is a cause in effect to the first flag. If the conference payouts are legit, there is know way these ACC schools can stand pat and let these other conferences gain such a large advantage in terms of money.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

Another question about scheduling:

 

When do you see the SEC expanding & by how many (each time)?

 

Just wondering if, say, we go to 16 by 2014, will there be a few years of "bridge/experimental" seasons before having to revamp it all again for an 18-24 team setup.

 

 

 

Some of y'all have posted that the more teams will basically require an all conference schedule.  While that does seem logical, what about those of us who have an OOC in-state team we play (UGA/GT, UF/FSU, USC(e)/Clemson, etc.)?

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

A honest thought about a 16 team 4X4 pod setup:

 

We know that Miss., MSU, Vandy, & Kentucky are usually the lower end of the SEC football spectrum.

 

IF the SOS (strength of schedule) is going to be a factor going forward, would it make more sense to put 1 of each of those schools in each pod?

Yes, the same holds true for the upper end of the spectrum - put the top 4 in a separate pod.

 

The logic behind this is that everybody has both variables factored into their season (instead of the yearly "You had an easy schedule" debate).

 

 

I came across this idea/question last night & figured it was the most logical solution for all.

The downside to this is how do you do scheduling?  I know Miss. & MSU will be an annual game, so those 2 could be perm. rivals.  By default, you would pair up Kentucky with Vandy.

Now, if you go to 1 perm. rival in each pod, these 4 would fill that requirement.  (Yes, I do know the problem with that is you're not helping boost THEIR SOS that way).

Big Bob Marley
Big Bob Marley

I honestly think that the SEC is going to end up adding North Carolina and N.C. State, I think government big-wigs won't allow one of their state universities be left out in the cold. Duke, they could care less because it's a private university. In the end, Silve will probably cave and go with N.C. State over Duke as North Carolina is the big catch and both universities have pretty good football programs for basketball centric schools.

 

It really comes down to the Maryland exit fee and I think they'll be able to pay less in the end. After that the ACC is primed to be poached by the Big XII. They'll go Clemson & Florida State first since that could get them to increase TV rights. After that I would assume Georgia Tech & Virginia Tech would be next and I would assume Duke after that. Then the Big XII is now the Big XVI. I think 16 team super-conferences is the future.

 

The funny thing is the Pac 12 will get weaker because of this because they don't have many choices, Colorado State is a natural choice, good academics and investing a lot into the athletic department right now. At that point, they'll have Nevada, UNLV, Utah State, New Mexico and even New Mexico State as options. I seriously don't think Boise State & San Diego State are real options. Maybe, Fresno or San Jose State with San Diego State but not Boise State, I think Idaho or Wyoming would get a look by the Pac 12 before Boise State because academics does play a role into this.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

There is a comment claiming that Texas Tech receives part of the Permanent University Fund from the State of Texas. That is incorrect. The state constitution and the board of regents at Texas A&M and Texas University control the fund. State law prohibits the use of these funds at any other public university.

dafreshness318
dafreshness318

1a. UNC and Duke. Academics, Prestige, Basketball, North Carolina Markets (Offense) If the Big 10 Grabs those than we have.......

1b. NCST and VA Tech. Football, North Carolina, VA, and DC Markets. 

Great options Slive has set himself up for. We are just waiting for the outcome of the Maryland Situation then we expand. (Missouri moves back to the Western Division, and Basketball gets split into divisions again.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @AndrewMartin This is a good question.  Could it be that the numbers vary significantly from year to year?  That's just a guess.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @AndrewMartin 

To ask the obvious questions:

 

A.  Does their AAU ranking really matter as long as they're AAU status?

B.  Does their AAU ranking change & what determines that?

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @AllTideUp Lol.  I know what you mean.  I wish we could just fast-forward to the Big Bang.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @SouthernBoiSB

I dont personally think the conferences will get to 24 teams which many have stated would require an all conference schedule. Based on a 12 game scheduling format for 24 teams. There is no legal way to get out of OOC in-state meetings that have been mandated within certain states. The only option in that type of situation would be to raise the number of games played to 13  and that is not going to happen. I will never say never, but I think the conferences that are going to the superconference era are probably going to stop at 20 maximum. I could be way wrong and it could in fact go to 24 but I think 20 is more realistic.

I think the SEC would love to add 2 more teams before the New SEC network is unvailed.   But Slive and company aren't desparate and could launch as is with 14 teams if the Schools that are in the crosshairs from expansion are not forthcoming before 2014.

As for bridge seasons, the SEC is having that scenario play out now I believe with A&M and Mizzou. My personal thought is that the next round will be a much larger endeavor with possibly having 4 to 6 schools crossing through to membership. Not necessarily all on the same day. LOL.  No one in the ACC is going to want to be left behind and they aren't going to want to go into a holding mode before they can get their share of the pie. SO I think if and when anything happens, it will be quite a rush effect with no one having to wait. But it is just my opinion more than anything, and of course my opinion is based more on what I would prefer rather than what the commishioner and presidents are looking to do in reality.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

While thinking about this over lunch, I thought about pairing 1 of the upper level teams with 1 of the lower levels.  This makes everybody on a more level playing field & doesn't put anybody way out in front or too far behind.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

@Big Bob Marley The SEC should insist that both UNC and NCST come to the SEC. UNC will not go to Big Ten and leave NCST hanging. The NC regents have a fiduciary responsibility to choose what is best for both schools and the Big Ten will not take both. Game theory says both or nothing for the SEC and then the SEC has even more control for future expansion by getting them both. The Big Ten will then take Duke.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Big Bob Marley

 You could be right, but I don't see any of the core ACC schools really leaving to go to the Big 12. Not with the SEC and B1G sitting in the power seats looking to enlarge their respective footprints. Clemson  fans want no part of having to deal with traveling in a Big 12 schedule. It is too far and there is no history for them in that move. There could be a real possibility of Lousiville and Cinninati going to the Big12  at some point maybe even Miami. The core schools want to stay in a strong vibrant ACC, but the money is not there to enable them to keep their unity. Reports show 2 if not 3 schools currently need to enlarge their athletic budgets to continue to upgrade facilities and grow their athletic departments.  You will see the B1G and the SEC target and get the main core schools to add to their network footprint.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @Big Bob Marley Gotta disagree with regards to Tech.  The academics there take their standing and AAU membership very seriously.  They're not going to the Big XII.  If Tech moves, it will be to the Big Ten.  Duke isn't going to the Big XII for the same reason.  If it moves, then it will be to the Big Ten or to the SEC.  Much will depend on state politics and the ultimate destination of UNC.

Transic
Transic

 @dafreshness318 I don't think the SEC would cede the Heels/Blue Devils until they've done their best wooing them. But, ultimately, the lure of the CIC and the possibility of being with peers who are more like them would win them out. There's still a chance that no more ACC teams leave, which is why no one should guarantee anything.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

@dafreshness318 The SEC settling for NCST and VT while losing NC, VA, and Duke is a disaster. Do you really believe the SEC is going to take the scraps and orphans? They should only allow the tag alongs IF they get the prizes. This smells like a Big Ten fan posting. Are you Jim Delaney?

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

@SouthernBoiSB Sorry, there is no AAU ranking per say. It is basically pass / fail. You are either a member or not. The ranking I provided is for the amount of research expenditures by individual school which is a key barometer for making the case to be or become an AAU school. The research expenditures are provided by the US Department of Education.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @Roggespierre Realignment as a whole has been a very interesting topic the last few years.  It's certainly fun to read about rumors, hypotheticals, and fan-devised scenarios; but I don't want all the instability of this period to last forever.  We need to reach the end game soon so we don't start losing casual fans of the game.  That and I want to get to the point where we have a system in place for scheduling rivals more frequently.  It's getting frustrating not knowing from year to year what the scheduling plan is.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @JansonRoberts 

So, you're saying that you expect to see 1 huge expansion between fb seasons instead of a few here/there?

 

&, as far as conf. size, who knows?  While it would be nice if everybody was uniform on schedule setup & # of members, it's still up in the air if even that will happen.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @AndrewMartin  @Big  That's exactly what I wish the SEC would do.  UNC and NC State are the best options in the long run anyway.  Duke would be a good addition academically, but probably won't have the opportunity to have relevant sports forever.  They already don't have a solid football program outside of a bowl appearance this year.  Duke is a small private school with alumni scattered all over.  Large state schools are the best way to go if you're looking to truly enlarge the footprint and increase viewership over time.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Transic  @dafreshness318

Until the Maryland exit fee is determined there will not be any movement from any teams in the ACC. There is no guarantee of anything except the fact that the B1G and the SEC are projected to make alot more money in the payouts to its members than the ACC will be paying its members. That is why Maryland left and if reports are to be believed, GT and FSU want / need more revenue to bolster their athletic budgets. Fear of being left behind especially those ACC schools with in state rivals from other conferences making substantially higher money will continue to build. If UF is projected to make 330 million dollars in SEC payouts over the next 10 years while FSU is projected to only get 200 mil over the same 10 year period, something will have to give. With those projections, Maryland felt it would take the chance hoping that they could wiggle out of some of the 52 million exit fee. But even if Maryland has to pay the 52 million, the 10 year payout from the B1G will still bring in a far larger payout to the University. Of course ESPN could end all this realignment talk tomorrow by renegotiating the ACC contract increasing the payouts to 24  million or 25 milion per team. Everyone stand pat in the ACC. DOes anyone think ESPN will be making any calls tomorrow in that regard? LOL

JRsec
JRsec

 @Transic  @dafreshness318 Who says the Big 10 would be peers?  Most of the ACC elite AAU members are ranked ahead of every school in the Big 10 save Northwestern.  They have endowments that nullify their need to pursue the CIC and their presence in the SEC as a group might generate the growth of a similar set up in the South.  Ultimately it comes down to where they want to play their sports and which direction and how far they wish to travel.  Recruiting might be another factor as well.  Especially for U.N.C..  I've lived in Michigan, Texas, and the Southeast.  Of those North Carolina has more in common with the South culturally.  Without the ACC schools the Big 10 stands at 13 AAU members.  With the ACC schools the SEC would stand at 8.  The SEC would then have more AAU members than any conference but the Big 10 and enough voting support to possibly land Georgia as the 9th.  Should the SEC decide to academically partner with Tulane and Rice we could make that 11.  What Big 10 folks like to call academics amounts to little more than years of lobbying power in Washington and the demographics are changing there too and that is why Delany wants in down here.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 I doubt that Jim Delany posts here, although he might lurk.  I admit that I am a Big Ten fan and argue that building your own television network means that you take the best that you can get.  Did Missouri become a scrap when it was passed over in favor of Nebraska by the Big Ten.  I would argue that it was not; the St. Louis and Kansas City markets made Mizzou an attractive candidate for the SEC.  The Big Ten just invited two much lesser lights in order to land cable subs.

 

In-house cable networks are the battle ground of competitive advantage in the emerging era.  The big conferences are going to earn comparable dollars from bowl games, NCAA Tourney shares, and regular season football games on the traditional cable and broadcast networks.  If "SEC Money" is to remain a competitive advantage, then the SEC had better be willing to hold its nose and take some stinkers (as the B1G just did) in order to add cable subs.

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

I meant the US Science Foundation not US Department of Education.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @torris187 

A different sport, but those against it is like saying Dodgers/Angels, Giants/A's, Mets/Yankees shouldn't play each other either.

 

Or, for those that had them, high school teams in the same city.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @Roggespierre 

Well, the main reason behind that is the whole "SEC's non-conf. games suck because they play nobodies" argument thrown out there by others (mostly those on the west coast).  SO.....if everybody is required to play 1 game against each other every season, that argument goes away.  &, with each conference, if nothing else, the same size (#'s of schools), then match them up & rotate every 2 years.

Ex.:  2014-2015  SEC/PAC  ACC/Big 12

2016-2017  SEC/ACC  PAC/Big 12

2018-2019  SEC/Big 12  ACC/PAC

 

 

This kind of goes along with my other post about putting 1 top level & 1 bottom level fb schools in each pod.  This allows everybody to get a balanced SOS (strength of schedule).  Now, as to how to manage yearly rivalry games with that, don't know.

 

 

Also, with everybody being a "cookie cutter" version of everybody else, it gives uniformity as to how everybody stacks up with everybody else in so many categories that we'll have a better way to see how teams stand & gives the playoff selection committee a clear picture.  Too many times in the BCS & NCG has there been debates as to who was chosen & why

torris187
torris187

I believe in State Rivals will try to find a way to play each other, even if they are in different conferences.  Here is my reasoning for that assumption. So worrying about playing an in-state rival in a different conference is just ridiculous.

 

1.  Ticket sales are a major concern for Football now, just look at how many of the bowl games are not selling out.  Since many people can now watch high-def football from their couch for virtually no money, and the cost of going to an away game out of state is relativley very high now.  These long distance games are having a big impact on filling up stadiums. 

2.  Since the cost of traveling in state to play a rival is very low for the fans, the fans will be more willing to go to these games.  Example, I graduated from USF, the attendance for the USF vs UCF series was higher than the attendance for the Rutgers vs USF or the WVU vs USF series, and those two schools are much more prestigious than UCF. 

3.  The current in state rival games for non-conferences almost always sell out (Clemson vs USC, UF vs FSU, GT vs UGA, etc.. ) 

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @SouthernBoiSB I agree that something like that would be the best solution, but I don't think it's possible.  The conferences are separate businesses that can't even agree on eligibility requirements (in excess of those instituted by the NCAA) and recruiting over-signs.  They'll never be able to get together on conference formatting and scheduling.  It's going to be up to the individual schools.

 

This makes some sense if you think about it.  Vanderbilt, for example, is on the upswing in football.  But it has a limited ceiling.  It isn't going to win a national championship.  Scheduling a relatively easy non-conference slate is key to getting to a bowl every year, which should probably be Vandy's goal.  Schools like Georgia and Florida already have in-state non-conference games.  One more game with somebody in the Big Ten or Big XII  would probably do it for those schools.

 

We might see another expansion of special games like the Cowboy Classic.  That's fine, but I really hope that the end game includes bringing traditional rivals like A&M/Texas and Oklahoma/Nebraska (slated to play in a few years) back together for good.

 

It could also temper the political push-back that would come with separating UNC/NC St and UVa/VT in different conferences.  If South Carolina and Clemson can play every year despite being in different conferences, why can't everybody?

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

Hince my proposal of every conference being set up the same way & having a mandatory game against another conference each season.

 

This way you can't say "You didn't play anybody".

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @AllTideUp Scheduling is going to be the next frontier of controversy, I think.  The selection committee model for the new playoff system will see to that.  It's one thing when you're trying to determine the 68th spot in the basketball tournament among teams that went 19-12 .  It's entirely another when you're choosing four teams for a football playoff.  Non-conference scheduling is going to become very important, particularly post-Big Bang.  Playoff candidates will be judged according to their performance against the opponents they actually played, rather than the strength of their respective conferences.  If the football committee is anything like the basketball committee, then non-conference road victories against quality opponents - the portion of the schedule that the schools control - will be at or near the top of the list of criteria.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @SouthernBoiSB

Well, I really doubt the SEC or B1G can just go to UVA and get them to accept an invitation straight up. The same for UNC. IF either the B1G or SEC were to just go to those 2 schools with invites, the chances of actually getting both of those 2 schools to leave everyone else the ACC behind is pure fantasy. To get those 2 schools to leave the ACC, there is going to have to be a big bang effect. UNC is the ACC, at least in the minds of those at UNC. In order to get UNC to leave, you have to take away any reason to stay. That is my reasoning on why we will see more than 1 or 2 trickle down effect in the next round. Once you get Universities moving out of the ACC, there will not be anyone that wants to be left behind holding the "bag". Just my personal thoughts. But other than FSU / Clemson, which it is has been said would jump quick for the SEC if given the chance, GT is the only other school which may be in a position to jump to the B1G as a stand alone depending upon the Maryland exit fee outcome. So again my thinking is take those 3, FSU / Clemson / GT in a big bang and Virginia / North Carolina Schools are jumping out without alot of delays.  

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @JRsec  @JansonRoberts  @Transic  FSU is the other member that did not vote for the new exit fee so it does make sense that they would be the next school out the door.  I've always been in favor of the SEC snatching them up so if that is the way it works out then I'm all for it.

JRsec
JRsec

 @JansonRoberts  @Transic  @dafreshness318 Some of the figures that the Big 10 used to lure Maryland showed projections of Big 10 earnings with the markets that Maryland and Rutgers would add.  Those figures were reported to be between 42 and 45 million beginning in 2016.  Maryland could pay the 52 million exit fee and still net 100 million more in their first ten years in the Big 10.  Understanding the the SEC athletic profit numbers given do not include gate receipts and contributions made to the athletic fund for the right to buy season books and understanding with two additions that would deliver the North Carolina and Virginia markets for the SEC network starting for the 2014 season, the SEC projections would be just a shade under those of the Big 10.  Add our gate and contributions and we will likely earn more.  I've read many viewpoints on realignment and there are only a few points that seem to remain the same no matter who you read.  One of those is that it will take F.S.U. or another core founding member leaving to bring down the ACC.

 

F.S.U. without Notre Dame's full inclusion diminishes their football product too severely to remain viable as a power conference in that sport.  It also increases the likelihood that Clemson will leave.  All of that brings pressure on Virginia Tech to act in self interest.

 

The loss of another core member would simply open the floodgates.  

 

As a diminished football product the ACC can not expect more revenue from ESPN or anyone for football.  The loss of a guaranteed Orange Bowl spot, or of a tie in to the playoffs would be the coup de grace.  If the Big 12 won't act to take F.S.U. & Clemson, the SEC will have to take at least F.S.U. to get the ball rolling on North Carolina and Virginia.  Then we are looking at 18.  If we have to take two from those states then we are looking at 20.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @JRsec  @Transic  @dafreshness318JRsec - please don't go there.  Lobbying power in Washington does not explain why North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida, and Kansas are AAU despite the fact that NC State, Georgia, Florida State and Kansas State are not.  This is not a north/south thing.  I work at a building that hands out more than $11 billion annually in federal grants to research universities.  Southern schools do quite well here, but many of them are not in the SEC.  Some (Ga Tech, UNC, Virginia) are included in this discussion.  Others (Emory, UAB) are not.  Those schools aren't in the SEC, but I think it's fair to say that they're southern.

 

In some cases, it has more to do with STATE politics.  Some friends who are Ohio University alums are still fuming at the state legislature for "realigning resources" to enhance Ohio State's profile as THE research university.  That happened in the 1980s.  Ohio U had grand ambitions and was well on track to become an AAU member until the state politicians yanked the rug out from under it and delivered it Columbus.

ruizhe
ruizhe

 @Roggespierre  @JansonRoberts  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 Also, this idea that the B10 currently loses local kids to the SEC simply doesn't jibe with reality.  In 2012, there were 9 Rivals top 100 recruits in the B10 states.  7 of them went to B10 schools.  Gunner Kiel committed to ND.  A PA kid went to Rutgers.  0 went to an SEC school.

 

As a comparison, the states with SEC schools produced 46 Rivals top 100 recruits.  26 went to SEC schools.  Most of the rest went to either ACC or B12 schools. 1 went to a B10 school.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Roggespierre  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318

 I would agree, I don't know about 4th tierkids, but I get what you are saying. Its just natural for me to immediately think recruiting when thinking about adding a new state. Speed kills down here in the south for sure. Good insight, thanks. I tend to think too much when this tpic of expansion starts churning. LOL

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @JansonRoberts  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 The SEC is already attractive to lots of kids in the north.  Remember, this is a Big Ten fan you're talking to here.  Many top players in the north believe strongly that the SEC is the place to be.  Ohio is the lone exception because the lure of the Buckeyes is so strong.  Kids in that state grow up dreaming of playing in the horseshoe.  Ohio State doesn't lose in-state blue chippers except for a few in the Toledo area that go to Michigan, which is actually closer to home.  The 4-star and 3-star Ohio kids tend to end up at other Big Ten schools.

 

That said, I don't believe that recruiting should have much to do with the SEC's decision-making.  The players in the north, by and large, simply aren't as good as the kids that you guys have access to in your own back yards.  There is a reason that Purdue passes up 1st team all-state Indiana kids and takes 3rd team all-district Florida kids.  The fourth tier Florida kids are more talented. 

 

If the SEC continues to lock up the best players in the south - and there is no reason to believe that it won't - then it should continue to dominate.  We can't compete with your talent.  That's all the more reason to shift the game to an area where we can compete - money.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Roggespierre  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318

 I am sure that Penn will still continue to get the blue chips  within the state there. But Penn can't take everyone, and not to bring a sore subject into the mix, but Penn will be taking a lot of the recruits for the next 4 years due to the sanctions. The SEC is strong and has won the last 6 NCG's. It has had more NFL draft picks the last few years than any other conference. I don't know the mind set of the type of recruits there in the North. So far, the Texas A&M and Mizzou recruiting has proven to be great by moving into the SEC. I just wonder if Pitt could have any reasonable success likewise. Could Kentucky, Tennessee and some of the southern schools gain any advantage in getting recruits in Pennsylvania if Pitt were to gain membership in the SEC? I would have to think that there would definately be some culture differences, but 18 and 19 year old kids still want to play with the best and the fact that there is alot of SEC players getting drafted every year may show an advantage to some of those young players.

I know it is about markets here, but as a fan, I personally want to gain other advantages such as recruiting in any expansion.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @JansonRoberts  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 On a per capita basis, it's not as good as Ohio but it's better than any other state in the traditional Big Ten footprint.  Most of the talent is in Pittsburgh and the surrounding suburbs.  The Philly area is similar to NYC in that it produces relatively few prospects for a city of its size.  Harrisburg and Dauphin County tend to produce a lot of solid prospects, almost all of whom have traditionally gone to Penn State.  They tend to be bruising, country boy offensive linemen types.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @JansonRoberts  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 I agree completely - it IS all about new cable markets.  The installed base is free money for those that are able to get on the first tier.  And I agree that Pitt makes a lot of sense for this SEC.  Heck, it was good to Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill.  And it would give the SEC another very strong AAU member.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Roggespierre  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318

 It is about new cable markets. One man's idea of scraps is another man's idea of  cable subscription gold. In a perfect world, yes the SEC will go after the AAU members. BUt I don't see the SEC limiting itself with that being the sole purpose of expansion. The SEC is not expanding to add AAU members. It is soon to kick off THE SEC NETWORK. For that reason it is looking to add new markets whereby adding $$$ to its bottom line. There are other factors for the SEC besides AAU. Of course the SEC will try like there is no tomorrow to get the AAU members within the target areas. No brainer there folks. But to say that the SEC will discount anyone other than AAU is just not reality. If UVA is B1G bound, the SEC will not blink in adding VT. If UNC is B1G bound, UNC would be crazy to do so IMO, but the SEC would not blink in adding NCST. Maybe even Duke would be easily invited to the SEC. Most private schools are non factors in this expansion, but there are those, such as Duke and ND of course which will have no problem getting a placement. If the SEC ended up with VT, NCST, DUKE, PITT and adding Clemson and FSU for inventory, how could anyone say the SEC took the scraps? The SEC would add the markets that it is wanting with a footprint that is awesome. On the field product (FOOTBALL) would have some hic-ups but who is to know with the amount of $$$$ and the right admin., that any of these schools could not improve itself. Duke of course in football would not become a powerhouse, but the other five could easily have very successful football programs, as all but Duke have had success in the past. Of course given a choice, the SEC would love to add only AAU, but that is not what is driving this bus folks. It is adding the new markets to create a footprint that ensures the SEC network a goldmine of $$$ and really geographically would keep the SEC balanced in travel schedules with only PITT being a slight push but their market and their AAU is anything but scraps.Look at their numbers and their tradition!!! If the SEC ended up with these 6 members I have listed, I would not have any problem adjusting. BTW until I saw the numbers given by John here on MrSEC.com, I would have screamed bloody murder at the mention of adding a northern team.

As a Georgia Dawg fan, I already hold my nose everytime we go down to those stinkers at Auburn, so I guess I can hold my nose to go play those stinkers at Clemson or Pitt or VT or NCST. Maybe I will even invest in a resperator to wear. LOL. Better yet, there is nothing that takes the smell of stink away like that sweet cologne called " La Victorious". Go Dawgs.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @ruizhe  I knew UCF had a huge enrollment, USF for that matter as well.  I knew Miami was a private school also although I figured with their name "brand" so to speak that they would at least be a solid 3rd on that list.  Oh well, that just continues to feed into my theory that Miami is not that relevant.  They are located in one of the top 10 largest metro areas in the country and can't fill half their stadium.  Amazing really.  Miami is more of a beach/party town anyway.  Even the big time pro-sports struggle there.

ruizhe
ruizhe

 @AllTideUp AllTideUp:  the numbers for TX and FL don't surprise me.  UCF has a huge enrollment & Miami is a relatively small private school.  In TX, TTech & Houston are much bigger schools than TCU, but TCU has made new fans out of neutrals in recent years with their recent success.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @ruizhe  I saw this a few months back, but had not thought of it in light of expansion.  Interesting numbers in FL especially, basically no difference between Miami and UCF.  I hope the polls were scientific though and not too random.  Also in TX, it's Texas, Texas A&M, then everyone else.  I didn't think TCU, TT, and Houston would all be in the same boat essentially.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Roggespierre  @ruizhe  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318

 If the ACC could somehow pul in my money for its members, then it would be a viable option. But the current TV deal that they just received has stunted that idea. Think about the difference in money pay outs that are projected. The B1G and the SEC (with the forthcoming SEC network) are prjected to make possibly 10 to 15 million a year more than those in the ACC. Of course it is only projections, but stil, Schools like FSU and Clemson are not going to willing to accept the fact that in state Schools like UF and USC are cashing checks that will give such a large advantage. Perception they won't be able to compete long term with higher paid schools and it will cause fear and hasten a change. That is one reason that last summer, FSU and Clemson really did consider the Big 12, butlevel heads prevailed I believe because even the Big 12 has issues that cause pause especially when you look a travel expense, GOR and leadership faults within that conference. This next round will focus on the B1G and the SEC given the strength that both of these conferences represent as well as the power bases that they offer. With all things equal, will geography help the SEC? But can we say that all things are equal? B1G projections are higher than the SEC, but the SEC has the all for one and one for all equality without the distances that will make it a struggle for some of these southern schools. AAU is a big bargaining chip for the B1G but is it enough? CIC could easily tip the scale for some of these larger research schools. There is sure to be much discussion moving forward. Can therse universities really look at making 100 year decisions? Or is it really more along the lines of 10 to 20 year decisions?

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @JansonRoberts  @ruizhe  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 We do not disagree.  In fact, it'll be interesting to see whether the Big Ten's AAU requirement is an advantage or a disadvantage going forward.  Will AAU schools like UNC, Virginia and Duke prefer to join other AAU schools if all else (money) is essentially equal?  Would lawmakers in Carolina and Virginia force their large state universities to stick together?  Would that deliver everyone to the SEC or - another viable option - keep the ACC together for the long term?  I don't pretend to know, but I can't wait to find out.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Roggespierre  @ruizhe  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318

 Of course the SEC is looking to add AAU, but the SEC is not limiting their list to AAU only. This is about new markets and adding the upcoming SEC Network footprint. AAU membership is important but it is not the stop gap for consideration that the B1G has placed on its consideration.

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

 @ruizhe  @AndrewMartin  @dafreshness318 It isn't daffy when the university presidents and trustees are the ones that will ultimately make the decisions.  They're interested in academics, even if fans aren't.  GT, Duke, UVa, and UNC are AAU members.  VPI and NCSU are not.  The Big Ten has never accepted a non-AAU institution.  The SEC is looking to add AAU institutions.

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