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With Seven Schools Exiting The Big East, Get Ready For The Big Bang

Earlier this week we told you that the revenue split coming from the new college football playoff would act as an accelerant for the drive to a new “super-division” of FBS-level heavyweights within the NCAA.  We also told you that we’d learned from a source inside the athletic supplier industry that at least one Pac-12 athletic director had already told all his coaches that the day of 16-school super-conferences is at hand.

Now toss in the word that seven non-FBS schools will be pulling out of the Big East — a conference that’s been plugging leaks for two straight years — and the chain reaction is clearly underway.  Whether NCAA presidents or conference commissioners want it or not, the countdown has begun and the race is on when it comes to landing new schools.  This is the Big Bang, folks.  With DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova planning their exit from the Big East, that league’s football roster is scheduled to look like this by 2015: Boise State, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, UCF.

Uh, yeah.

So the Big East — or whatever it will be called — will likely continue to lose schools before they even actually join.  That league will move forward as a new version of Conference USA at best.

It will be interesting to watch the ACC’s next move.  Will that league try to strengthen itself by adding Cincinnati or UConn, two schools that desperately want in?  Will Boston College finally drop its fight to keep UConn out if it feels it’s a matter of survival for the ACC?  And even if the ACC added those two schools, would it be enough to fend off raiding parties from elsewhere?  We’re looking at you, Big Ten (since you started this latest round of realignment by nabbing Maryland and Rutgers from the ACC and Big East, respectively).  We’re looking at you, Big XII.  And, yes, we’re looking at you, SEC.

While many believe we’ll end up with a nice, neat football universe consisting of four 16-school super-conferences — heck, that’s been talked about since the 1980s — there’s no guarantee that all leagues will balloon to 16 or that all conferences will stop growing at the point.

If the ACC is ripped apart by outside raids, then there will likely be a change in the way the new playoff revenue is split with four leagues — not five — taking home the lion’s share of the cash.  Would a league like the Big XII expand further in order to gain more cable households for its portfolio or would it hold at 10 schools with each receiving an enormous chunk of change each year?  After all, X divided by 10 is greater than X divided by 12, 14, 16, 18 or more.  (Also playing a role: Might X grow with new TV revenue if the league expanded?)

Where would the Pac-12 go next?  That league prides itself on academics, but Arizona, Arizona State and Washington State aren’t exactly on par with Stanford.  If there’s no one left to grab out west other than perceived low-brow schools like Boise State or UNLV, would that conference make such moves or would it stand still at 12 schools with each — again — taking home a bigger chunk of playoff revenue?  What moves would aid the Pac-12 from a television standpoint?  Adding the states of Idaho or Nevada certainly wouldn’t wow TV executives.

On top of those questions, what the heck happens if none of this goes as planned?  Assuming conferences are acting on plans and not just grabbing schools willy-nilly for television or survival purposes.  We’ve long said that our sources around the SEC did not want to race into another expansion so soon after making the leap to 14.  No one knows long-term how the new league will perform on the field, behind closed doors in meeting rooms, or financially.  We at MrSEC.com believe the answer will be well, but there are no guarantees of that.  And it’s not like Mike Slive and crew to hurriedly react to other leagues just for the sake of reacting.

But if all this recent motion really is the Big Bang that we believe it to be, the SEC may have no option but to move, expand and grow.  And everyone’s got a theory on how that growth may occur.

Here’s one from us.

Let’s assume all of the following schools are up for grabs at this point (and we’ll look only at schools in bigger conferences, with bigger names, or with bigger budgets)…

 

Boston College (ACC)

Clemson (ACC)

Duke (ACC)

Florida State (ACC)

Georgia Tech (ACC)

Miami (ACC)

North Carolina (ACC)

North Carolina State (ACC)

Virginia (ACC)

Virginia Tech (ACC)

Wake Forest (ACC)

 

Cincinnati (Big East)

Connecticut (Big East)

Louisville (currently Big East but moving to ACC)

Pittsburgh (currently Big East but moving to ACC)

South Florida (Big East)

Syracuse (currently Big East but moving to ACC)

Temple (Big East)

 

Notre Dame (independent but moving to ACC in non-football sports)

Navy (currently independent but moving to Big East)

Army (independent)

BYU (independent)

 

East Carolina (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

Houston (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

Marshall (C-USA)

Memphis (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

Rice (C-USA)

SMU (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

Southern Miss (C-USA)

Tulane (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

Tulsa (C-USA)

UAB (C-USA)

UCF (currently C-USA but moving to Big East)

UTEP (C-USA)

 

Air Force (MWC)

Boise State (currently MWC but moving to Big East)

Colorado State (MWC)

Fresno State (MWC)

Hawaii (MWC)

Nevada (MWC)

New Mexico (MWC)

San Diego State (currently MWC but moving to Big East)

Wyoming (MWC)

UNLV (MWC)

 

That’s 44 schools on the buffet table, but many of those schools still aren’t desirable for the biggest leagues.

Boston College brings the Boston television market, but UConn could provide as many eyeballs in the New England area if someone felt they needed them.  Wake Forest has too small a budget and is too small a TV draw.

Cincinnati, UConn, and South Florida would all offer some quality cable households, but no one’s beating down those schools’ doors at the moment.  Temple lacks big-time athletic clout.

Notre Dame might be the only school strong enough that one of the four major remaining leagues might allow it to be a sorta/kinda member while keeping its football program somewhat independent.  Navy and Army are doomed from a “super-division,” “super-conference” perspective.  BYU would make sense for someone, but the school’s unwillingness to play games on Sundays hurts it.

Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF might bring someone some cable households, but the rest of the C-USA roster lacks drawing power.

Boise State (football) and UNLV (budget) would likely be the only schools worth pulling from the Mountain West.  But that’s if a conference decides to ignore academic reputation and — in UNLV’s case — the proximity of gamblers to campus.  Egads.

 

Our guess — and that’s all it is at this point — is that the Big Ten will try to grow to at least 16 by adding Virginia and Georgia Tech.  Or North Carolina and Duke.  If Jim Delany’s league feels it can make more money and tie-up more households and provide more content for television networks (including its own) by taking all four, we believe it would.  Connecticut would remain a fallback option as the league has already grabbed the New York market by adding Rutgers and the DC and Baltimore markets by adding Maryland.  Boston might not be viewed as a necessity at all.  If it were, Boston College might get the call ahead of UConn.  But the Big Ten is looking to expand southward for reasons of population growth, television expansion and recruiting.  Needling the SEC probably wouldn’t bother Delany either.

The Big XII could look to expand further eastward by chasing schools like Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Memphis or some combination thereof.

If forced into another round of expansion, the SEC would love to land Duke and Carolina to get into the Tarheel State, to aid its basketball reputation, to aid its academic reputation, and to land two of the biggest athletic brands on the table.  Would the league grab NC State, too, if all three Research Triangle schools insisted on a move together?  Would the SEC pass on expanding into new territory and instead make a defensive move by wooing FSU, Clemson, or Georgia Tech in order to keep the Big Ten and/or Big XII out of its area?  If we’re talking about cable households, FSU, Clemson and Georgia Tech provide nothing as Florida, South Carolina and Georgia already allow the SEC to claim the households inside those states’ borders.  But if we’re talking about quality content and brand awareness, FSU and Clemson — especially the Seminoles — provide national pull.  Would the league go back to the future with Georgia Tech?  Would Slive try to grab Virginia Tech as a bookend for Texas A&M?

Out West, the Pac-12′s options are more limited.  As noted, Boise State and UNLV would be available.  So would BYU.  To date the Pac-12 has made no moves in those schools’ directions.  Houston and SMU might finally get Larry Scott into the Lone Star State, but with much less fanfare than would have been garnered by gobbling up Texas and Texas A&M a couple of summers ago.

As you can see, the tumblers could spin in dozens of different directions.  And not all leagues are suited to arrive at or stop at the magic 16-school barrier.

In terms of a summary, if the ACC goes bye-bye — and we believe it will barring a full-time football addition of Notre Dame plus UConn or Cincinnati to reach 16 schools — then we suspect the Big Ten will land Virginia and Georgia Tech.  Delany’s conference will also likely have an eye on North Carolina and Duke if the decision to aim for 18 schools is made.

If politics force NC State into the mix with Duke and UNC, pencil all three into the SEC along with Virginia Tech.  (The Big Ten would likely balk at adding NCSU due to its lack of Association of American Universities credentials.)  Yes, 18 schools for the SEC is a possibility.  And no, taking three schools from North Carolina wouldn’t be the perfect means of expanding, but if it meant landing Duke and UNC, we believe the SEC would take NC State, too.  Two nine-team divisions would be easy to schedule.

The Big XII will likely nab Florida State and Clemson to expand its “electronic footprint” and to get back in the business of holding a money-making conference championship game.  If the league looked to expand further, Cincinnati and Memphis would provide good basketball, pretty good football in Cincinnati’s case (Tommy Tuberville would just love that move, wouldn’t he?), some new recruiting territories and two decent television markets.

The Pac-12 would be looking at, well, uh, standing pat at 12.  Or grabbing some mix of Boise State, UNLV, BYU, Houston and SMU just to add television sets and build its content level.

And then there’s Notre Dame which will have its choice of entering the Big Ten or the Big XII.  If Notre Dame is interested in tapping into the South’s population boom, the Bob Bowlsby’s league would likely have the advantage.

Got all that?

Remember — and it should be clear as hell to you by now — that conference expansion and realignment has nothing to do with travel costs for secondary sports or packaging better games for fans.  It’s about business.  So when you’re charting out your own new world order on a cocktail napkin later today, remember that cable households, expanded television content, larger television markets, population growth, academics (at least in the case of the Big Ten), and larger slices of the new playoff revenue pie are all driving this bus on this.  Not tradition.  Not the simplicity of having four 16-school super-conferences in a new super-division.  Business.

Now break out your Rand McNallys and go to town.  The Big Bang is nearly upon us and we’re not talking about the Mayan calendar.  The next few weeks and months are going to get pretty bumpy.

Traditionalists, you’ve been warned.

 


80 comments
duanenjazz
duanenjazz

Throwing stuff against the wall man.  All of this is purely speculative.  No informational value at all.

vp19
vp19

The best split of the most valuable ACC schools would be for the Big Ten to take in Virginia and North Carolina, both AAU members, and for the SEC to add Virginia Tech and N.C. State. But while that's the most logical result, it doesn't mean it will happen. While many UNC administrators would prefer to land in the Big Ten (if Chapel Hill has to move), many casual Tar Heel fans would want to wind up in the SEC...not so much out of enthusiasm for that conference (most people deem it a terrible cultural fit), but if only to block NCSU from landing in the SEC and likely gaining the upper hand in in-state football recruiting. (Unlike UNC and State, which are both administered by the same state university system, UVa and Virginia Tech are relatively autonomous and have relatively little tradition of being in the same conference.) Duke really doesn't fit into the equation, except as a fallback option for the Big Ten if it can't find a more attractive partner for UVa or Georgia Tech..

JRsec
JRsec

Why surrender the best two television draws and attendance leaders in the ACC.  After the so called Big Bang the only new value for conferences will be found in content.  It's stupid and short sighted to leave the best two content adds behind just because you are focused on markets today. So I say let's go to 20:

SEC North:  Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia Tech

SEC East:  Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

SEC South:  Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Mississippi State, Tennessee

SEC West:  Arkansas, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas A&M

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

4 18 team conferences, with each division playing an 8 game round robin, plus one permanent opponent from the other division.

 

Which is really just 8 9 team conferences with a revenue sharing agreement

 

Which is pretty much where we freaking started minus the revenue sharing agreement.

 

Brilliant, boys. Feeling all Master of the Universe-y? You're not killing the goose that laid the golden egg - you're killing it, stripping it, gutting it, and roasting it.

USCTraveler
USCTraveler

As far as the PAC goes, they will most likely do one of two things:

 

1. Stay at 12.  They don't need to do anything, just because other conferences are going to 16 or 20.  The PAC dominates two time zones and a fast-growing area of the country.  As John pointed out, there are advantages to 12 if the schools needed to go to 16 don't make sense.  The PAC Presidents are very happy with their TV deal and the big $$$ that came with it.  (The PAC's media deals lagged the other conferences for years, so the new tv deal is a huge increase for the PAC schools.)  If there's no good available programs, they'll be happy to stay at 12.  

 

They won't add teams like Boise, UNLV etc just to go to 16 at this time.  

 

The PAC would rather stay at 12 for 13 years and see what the landscape looks like in 2025, when the B12's Grant of Rights expires.  

At that time, the PAC will certainly talk again with Texas, OU and friends.  

If the B!2 is stable and no one is leaving in 2025, and the PAC wants to up their TV $$$ at that time (which they probably will), they might look at schools like SMU and UH (if they've made enough academic progress by then) to get into DFW and Houston on basic cable, and perhaps New Mexico and a Nevada school to round it out, but all of that is a long way away and the $$$ would have to make sense to make those additions.  The PAC could very well simply stay at 12 long, long term.

 

A superconference world where a PAC12-BIG20 Rose Bowl winner played the SEC (16-20)/ B12(12-16) Sugar Bowl winner for the National Championship would make a lot of sense.

 

 

 

2.  As far as the current round of expansion, the only way I could see the PAC expanding is with an Eastern pod based around ND if all the dominoes fell the right way.

 

Let's say GT is the first domino to fall, going BIG.

FSU announces it's going B12.

ACC disintegrates.

UNC + Duke go SEC, leaving SEC at 16.

UVA joins GT in BIG, leaving BIG at 16.

Clemson, VT and NCState join FSU in the B12.  

 

The B12 then waits at 14 on a decision by ND, as well as Miami, who, due to their admin, is hesitant about B12.

 

ND and Miami say no to B12 due to academics, and instead form an Eastern pod in the PAC with Pitt and BC (both of whom ND wants to play).

 

If Miami joins the B12, Syracuse would be the 4th team in the PAC Eastern pod.

 

8-12 Eastern basketball schools (basically, the original Big East schools (Gtown, Nova, St Johns ) + some newcomers) join PAC for all sports besides football. 

 

PAC-Atlantic operates basically as two separate conferences, but PAC gets network carried at home state rates throughout the Northeast and in FL because of the Eastern additions, who receive a b-ball only cut of tv $$$.  B-ball schools get more money by having non-Tier 1 gams on PAC Net.

 

Or the four teams in the Eastern pod could join the PAC as football only members and put their Olympic sports with the old Big East schools in a separate conference.

 

All of that would require a lot of things to fall exactly the right way, but after what we've seen the last couple of years, it's certainly not out of the question.

USCTraveler
USCTraveler

John-

 

Great article. 

 

I completely agree that there is a very good chance the BIG and/or SEC go to 20 teams.  

 

16 is an arbitrary number that has gotten tossed around so much that some folks are acting like it's set in stone.

 

With the BIG and SEC network models, having more states in the footprint gives them not only more carriage $$$, but also higher advertising revenues.  

 

It also gives those conferences more top level brands for future Tier 1 negotiations and for content to fill up their networks.

 

I personally think the BIG's best move to have a shot at UNC (and even an outside shot at ND) would be to go to 20 now by taking FSU to start shaking things loose, then adding GT and UVA, with offers to UNC and Duke to come in as a package. Leave a last slot for ND, and if they're out, add Miami (or Syracuse) and be done. 

 

By doing it all at roughly the same time, they could get the reluctant-to-leave schools in the ACC to all join together. Even without ND, that would help the BIG's football product by giving them most of the best brands and the best recruiting territory out of the ACC, and would add a lot of $$$ for the BTN in carriage and advertising.

 

 

Similarly, it would probably be worth it for Mike Slive to go to 20 by adding UNC, Duke and VT along with FSU, GT and Clemson.  The SEC would completely lock down the South and keep the other conferences out, while adding great b-ball product for the SEC Network and adding new states in the footprint.  

 

I think there's just as good of a chance that we end up with two 12 team conferences and one or two 20 team conferences as there is we end up with 4x16.

 

 

 

On a side note, John.  One of the things I enjoy about reading your site (especially regarding expansion), is that you are level-headed and not prone to hype, but you're also not one of the people who have their heads stuck in the sand refusing to acknowledge the circumstances changing around them.  

 

 

Back in May, you and I had the following exchange:

 

"USCTraveler 7 pts

 

John-

 

the FSU and Clemson talk is being driven by the apparent disparity in the tv deals between the B12's new deal ($20m per school per year for Tier 1 and 2, with Tier 3 left for the schools) vs the ACC's new deal (supposedly only going to be around $13m for all 3 Tiers).

 

FSU, Clemson and Miami are all losing the monetary and facilities arms race to their in-state SEC rivals (as well as to Bama and UGA), and all are hurting for money.  FSU ran a $2.4m loss in their athletic department last year.  They're talking about having to cut back their recruiting budget by 10% as one example of how that plays out.

 

If the new tv deals come in as rumored, the money difference between the B12 and ACC is going to be too big for those schools not to seriously consider jumping.  After all, FSU and Miami are not old-line ACC schools, and Clemson, like the other two, has always been a football-first fish out of water in the basketball culture of the ACC.

 

Don't be surprised if there's fire underneath this smoke.  

 

After all, this time a year ago, Texas A&M to the SEC was nothing but messageboard chatter.

 

8 MONTHS AGOReplyLike

John at MrSEC 86 pts moderator

USCTraveler...

 

I'm aware that the TV talk is creating this buzz.  I still don't buy it.  But as I said, never say never."

 

 

I wasn't one of the people saying "FSU + Clemson to the B12 is a done deal", but I thought the dynamics were in place for ACC defections.

 

I understand why you were skeptical back then, because that's what your SEC and ACC sources were telling you, but your opinion has obviously evolved as the landscape has changed.

 

There are a lot of folks in the media, though, who would have held onto their previous position no matter how much the facts around them have changed.  A lot of ACC media types fall into this category.

 

Kudos to you, John,  for keeping an open mind about things, and keep up the good work.  Once again- great article.

 

Cheers,

 

Traveler

 

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

I don't understand why people think 4X4 or 4X5 pods need 3 games to determine the SEC winner.  You only need 1 game like it currently stands.

All it takes is pairing up the pods each season & taking the best team from there.

 

years 1/2 title game:  1st place pods A/B vrs. 1st place pods C/D

years 3/4 title game:  1st place pods A/C vrs. 1st place pods B/D

years 5/6 title game:  1st place pods A/D vrs. 1st place pods B/C

 

This guarantees every possible title game matchup every 3 or 6 years (depending if you alter the H/A schedule each year).

 

Depending on how many schools the SEC has (& if you have perm. rivals), you play everybody in the dual pods for that year.  The next year, the H/A flips.  Then the next set of pods are joined for 2 seasons with the lat set of pods joined the last 2 years.  & you have played every school H/A within 6 years.

DaveHenson
DaveHenson

First and foremost, I think it's time for the SEC to protect its turf and enhance its brand.  It marketing and advertising (and TV contracts), it's all about the BRAND.

 

I would add Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech for a total of 18, and then divide into THREE six-team divisions as so:

 

EAST

Virginia Tech

Clemson

South Carolina

Georgia

Georgia Tech

Florida

 

CENTRAL

Kentucky

Vanderbilt

Tennessee

Alabama

Auburn

FSU

 

WEST

Missouri

Arkansas

Mississippi

Mississippi State

LSU

Texas A&M

 

These divisions would be competitively equal and actually make geographic sense.

 

Perhaps as importantly, it would alleviate the scheduling bottleneck that having just two divisions is creating.  Each team plays the others in their divisions (5 games), a permanent opponent for each of the other divisions (2 games) and a rotating opponent from each of the other divisions (2 games).  With this nine game schedule format, all cross divisional rivalries are maintained and each team gets guaranteed annual exposure throughout the league's footprint.

 

The top two divisional champs (chosen by national rankings) will play in Atlanta for the SEC championship.  This improves the chances for a quality game - this setup would've had LSU and Alabama playing in Atlanta last season, not LSU and Georgia - and also lessens the chances that a top-rank team would not win its division (an argument that has been used against SEC teams in the past, and would be again at some point by the playoff selection committee).

 

Wow, SEC utopia.

 

Iluvatar
Iluvatar

I'd prefer to add just two schools (UNC+1) and call it quits. But if we were to go past 16, you almost have to go to 20 and play four 5 teams divisions. Play a 9 game schedule and play teams in your division plus a rotating division each year. 3 years to play each team and a 6 year cycle home and away for all teams in the conference. Best record of divisions playing each other meet in CCG or division winners play in 4 team playoff. South= Bama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, State West= LSU, A&M, Ark, Mizzou, Kentucky Central= Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Vandy, Duke East= UNC, USC, Clemson, VT, UVA Competitively balanced divisions, but does sacrifice a number of key rivalries. Could go to a 10 game schedule and include a protected rivalry (or at large team if divisions were playing each other) if that is what consensus wanted. SEC would own college football for the foreseeable future. 4 team conference playoff would be a huge moneymaker for the conference.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Also, is there a chance of the Pac 12 going crazy and creating some sort of Eastern division?  Notre Dame, GT, UNC, Duke, UVA, Pitt, Syracuse, Miami would all seem to be schools that would fit in that league if the trigger was pulled.  Would they bypass the whole Midwest and go to 20 in order to make something like this happen?  Not that I really think that would happen, but their prospects in the West are so meager. 

 

Or Hawaii perhaps for that league?  The market is about the same size, but UH has a better academic rep than Boise State don't they?

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

If the SEC goes to 16 then is there an NCAA rule against using rotating 4 team pods?  You don't have to have a 4 team conference playoff.  Essentially, all you need to do is change the makeup of your divisions every 2 years.  The "pods" would be more of a concept to maintain more regular scheduling across the conference than an official designation.  I don't see that the NCAA would have a rule against that, but maybe I'm wrong.  The same sort of system would work with 20 teams....5 team pods instead of 4.

AgStuckInNC
AgStuckInNC

Before we seriously start talking about picking apart the ACC, don't forget the $50M exit fee.  It's going to be interesting to see how the suit filed against Maryland by the ACC plays out.  The four schools that exited the B12 in the last three years all negotiated and paid reduced fees.  My gut is telling me the ACC is going to play hardball with MD.  They are fighting for their survival and making it hard for anyone to leave.

 

If the ACC does start crumbling, I would say the B1G makes the first move on Virginia, Duke, UNC, and GaTech.  Probably toss GaTech if they can talk ND into (finally) joining the B1G.  VaTech and NCSU are better cultural fits in the SEC.  Stop there.  As I said in my comment after Louisville joined the ACC (http://www.mrsec.com/2012/11/louisville-to-the-acc-but-whats-that-aftershock-mean-for-the-sec/), I really think the NC schools are a three pack.  But...I think Debbie Yow, AD @ NCSU would jump to the SEC over B1G, if UNC takes the first move to the B1G.  UNC is the tail that wags the ACC dog.  Remember that the ACC commish is a former UNC football player and AD.  He's going to take care of them first and foremost.  See how fast that $50M exit fee gets dropped in that situation!!!  In this scenario, FSU, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, and maybe GaTech and/or Pitt  move to the B12.  BC, Syracuse would probably fall back to the Big East.  I'm not sure what the Pac-12 would try to do, but Boise and UNLV makes sense.  Preliminary talks have probably already taken place.

Mr Bad Example
Mr Bad Example

My hope is that Notre Dame is forced to join a conference (really could care less which one) so this ridiculous favoritism and fawning over the bead stringers ends once and for all. Anyone who believes ND belongs in the National Championship game when they are given a free pass to blow off a conference championship game just because....well, JUST BECAUSE.... Doesn't believe in the idea that every team should play by the same set of rules as every other Division 1 team. If I were in control, every conference would play a championship and every team would be in a conference- the only exceptions being service academies in years when the country is at war. NO ONE has the right to a free pass to the National Championship game.

cjhadley
cjhadley

If The SEC does expand and has to go to at least 18 by taking Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, & North Carolina State, then I think they should just add Florida State and Clemson and get to 20. If they go to 20 they can have 4 division with 5 teams each.

 

Division 1: Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, & Vanderbilt.

 

Division 2: North Carolina, North Carolina St   South Carolina, Clemson, & Duke.

 

Division 3: Florida, Florida St, Georgia, Auburn, & Alabama.

 

Division 4: Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi St, Ole Miss. & Texas A&M.

 

Each team would play its 4 division opponents every year, 1 team from each of the other 3 divisions every year, and 1 permanent team every year. It would take each team about 10 years to home & Away against every team in the conference. If they wanted to have each team see each other in a shorter time period they can have each team play the teams from other divisions once every 5 years. for example who ever Alabama played in year 1 they would play them again in year 6 and the location would just change. The championship game would be determined by the best record from each pod and maybe have a mini playoff the last week of the regular season bringing the total number of conference games to 9.

JRsec
JRsec

 @duanenjazz Maryland leaving was hardly speculative.  Florida State's desire to do the same is hardly a secret.  Georgia Tech's communications with the Big 10 have been leaked on both ends.  The Big 10 is using projections of income in excess of 42 million to be generated by the Big 10 Network beginning in 2016.  The ACC's current payout is 15 million a year and is backloaded to average 17 million per year at the end of the 15 year contract.  The re-negotiations following N.D.'s announcement are expected to bump the ending average to between 19 & 20 million dollars.  That is 22 million short of the Big 10's projected income.  The SEC is expected to earn around 30 million next year before the SEC Network is up and running in 2014 at which time our projected income will be a touch below the 42 million of the Big 10.  The chasm in earnings between the SEC and Big 10 and that of the ACC is about to grow enormously wider. What part of this is lacking in informational value.  The numbers are not speculative and they are the reason the moves suggested here are quite possible.  Now when you peel that off of your wall and digest the information maybe the affects of your delusion will start to wear off.

JRsec
JRsec

 @DaveinExile Actually it's the networks looking for quick profit with the lowest cost of production for a marketable product that is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.  Live sports is the cheapest to produce, with the best guaranteed market share, and the highest yield in advertising dollars.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @DaveinExile But @ least with everybody in the same format, you will have more people agreeing about how everybody stacks up to each other rather than "Conf. A does this, but Conf. B does that.......while (insert school name here) is independent & gets a free pass to _______".

 

Also, a proposal I have is that we should also pair up the conferences for 1 game (alternate H/A each year).  This prevents people from saying "You didn't play us" arguments.

Ex.:  years 1-2:  Conf. A/Conf. B, & Conf. C/Conf. D

years 3-4:  Conf. A/Conf. C & Conf. B/Conf. D

years 5-6:  Conf. A/Conf. D & Conf. B/Conf. C

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @USCTraveler "ND and Miami say no to B12 due to academics, and instead form an Eastern pod in the PAC with Pitt and BC (both of whom ND wants to play)."

 

You seriously think the PAC (or any conference) is willing to have members on BOTH coasts?  Isn't that what killed the MAC's attempt a few years ago?

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

This also prevents the round-&-round we go through about strength of schedule since everybody's will alter each 2 years.

DaveHenson
DaveHenson

I doubt North Carolina politicians would allow any of the four ACC schools to leave without the others.  (They even have Wake Forest's back.)  Besides, why would any of them want to leave a conference that revolves around them and the state of North Carolina?  Just keep the league at 12 or more schools (and UConn and Cincy are eagerly waiting in the wings) and keep on, keeping on at the automatic qualifyer table.

 

On the other hand, Georgia Tech is ripe for the taking and is coveted by the Big 12 for its academics, television market and access to Southern football recruits.  Having the Big 10 in Atlanta would be a serious blow to SEC, period.  If given the chance, Georgia Tech would chose the natural rivalries in the SEC over Big 10 membership - and wisely so.  And don't underestimate Tech's academic value to the SEC as well.  (Tech-Vanderbilt would be an ideal, out-of-division permanent rivalry.)

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @DaveHenson

 Well darn it. I wanted to hate this idea the minute I saw the second sentence, but I think I like it too. I agree with AllTideUp that there has to be a Carolina team in there somewhere. Think Carolina brings the most bang for the buck, but nobody listens to me at my house, so why should anybody on this site?

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @DaveHenson I'd drop GT from that and add a team from North Carolina, but other than that I like it.

Sooner_Stampede
Sooner_Stampede

In order to have pods you would have to petition the NCAA to have more than 2 divisions in a conference. You could redue 2 divisions and interchange the schools using the "pod" like system but you would only really play each school 2 out of every 6 years whereas in a true 4 X 4 pod you would play more frequently, 2 out of every 4 years.

 

Also consider the potential for semifinal games. Yes, you would have to petition the NCAA but the potential revenue from that could be huge and could possibly double revenue received from the CCG/conference post season play. Not to mention make the regular season so much more important and entertaining. 

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @Mr Bad Example

 Unfortunately, as long as ND continues to get the $$$$ from its TV contract, we will never see them forced to a conference. I am wondering though from some of the $$$ numbers that are being thrown around with some of the BIG conferences, if ND will be able to justify staying Indy? I have seen B1G and SEC projection numbers as high as 40 million a year per team within the next 5 or 6 years. I understand if ND can go to the BCS every year and if NBC will increase their TV deal with ND, then perhaps they may be able to stay close to the big conference money that is being projected. But realistically, ND has not been able to maintain any kind of substance in football in alot of years until this year, so those are so big "ifs". It would be great if ND would join a conference and there could be a better method to our madness.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @cjhadley Why would they take all 3 NC schools, but only 1 VA?  I thought about it last night & if, this bizarre scenario happened, the SEC took UVA, VT, UNC, Duke, & NCSt., WHO would they have to grab to make 20?

I4Bama
I4Bama

 @cjhadley

 You really believe that FL, FL St, GA, AL, and AU would agree to being in the same division?  No way, no how.

cjhadley
cjhadley

I would rather the SEC stick with 16 and do something similar, but with 4 teams in 4 divisions. Add Virginia Tech and NC State and stop there.

cjhadley
cjhadley

The winner's of the two playoff games play each other in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

JRsec
JRsec

 @SouthernBoiSB I would think the more of them you could take as a group the better your chances would be.  They want to maintain rivalries as well.  I refer of course to the three Carolina schools & Virginia Tech.  Clemson and F.S.U. under those conditions would be very happy to come to the SEC.

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

 @JRsec The college presidents are the ones agreeing to this madness. None of them have worked in broadcasting, and none of them understand just how mercurial that market has been over the past 2 decades. A real shift in advertising dollars (which happens every 10 years or so) and/or a real shift in viewing technology (which happens every 5 years or so now) and/or a real regulatory shift in cable/telecommunications (not so likely, given the strength of that industry's lobbying groups) could make the economic justifications for most of these moves go *poof*. 2 out of 3 will leave people like Delaney looking incredibly short-sighted and stupid. At least the SEC has been careful to keep the quality of the product as strong as possible. Same with the P12. The others are throwing quality out the door in the name of distribution. Not a good idea in the long-term. It's a market plan predicated on the idea that demand will keep increasing no matter what. Any Econ 101 student can tell you how well that assumption works.

USCTraveler
USCTraveler

 @SouthernBoiSB 

If it was ND and friends, the PAC would jump on that in a heartbeat.

 

ND adds the biggest theoretically available brand, which would help the PAC's tier 1 value, as well as help them get the PAC Net carried in places they are currently having trouble.

 

Adding Miami, Pitt and BC would give the PAC Net high carriage rates in two big states and one medium size state.  That's a lot of $$$.

 

The PAC teams would only fly east once a year.  The Eastern pod would fly to the West coast twice a season and to the Rockies/AZ once a year.

 

It would be either a football-only pod, or they'd form an alliance to bring in the Big East b-ball schools as non-football members so that everyone made more money through the PAC net.

 

Either way, everyone would make too much money to pass it up if the dominoes fell that way.  Long way from that happening though.

 

JRsec
JRsec

 @DaveHenson Dave I generally agree with your remarks except for the one about having the Big 10 in Atlanta being a serious blow to the SEC.  At the end of the day Georgia owns Atlanta, not Tech.  What would happen is that Tech's recruiting would be in even more terrible straights than it is today.  With Virginia likely being the only other conference game evenly remotely close at hand the recruits would simply choose to play at schools who played teams within a reasonable driving distance.  In the end the Big 10 may plant their flag in Atlanta, but their reward will be negligible.  It will still be about product and the Big 10 product is simply lacking.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @Sooner_Stampede  You can alter the divisional makeup every season or every 2 years...just up to what the conference wants to do.  I don't think you would need an NCAA waiver to accomplish that.

 

You would probably need one to have semi-final games, but I'm not sure that's such a good idea.  I would rather add additional conference games to the regular season and play rivals more frequently.  Splitting everyone into 4 team pods will invariably separate some important rivals.  As far as the SEC is set up, there is no way to avoid that.

cjhadley
cjhadley

 @I4Bama  @cjhadley

 No and that's why I think 16 teams would be better.

 

Division 1: Florida, Georgia, S. Carolina, NC State

 

Division 2: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi St, Ole Miss

 

Division 3: LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas

 

Division 4: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Virginia Tech

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 @cjhadley

 If the B1G would take NC, UVA and Duke, I could see NC State and VThaving a clear path into the SEC. But then the B1G would be have to also take VT to have an even 18. 17 would definately not work. So then does the SEC take FSU and Clemson to match B1G? This is just so crazy to think about. 16 sounds great but I hate letting the Big 12 into the tradtional SEC footprint. Of course they already recruit now into Florida and Georgia, but recruiting without a team in the footprint is far different than say FSU and Clemson being a part of the Big 12.

JRsec
JRsec

 @AllTideUp The ideal way to handle it is for the SEC to form and operate a second conference for schools with less competitive football programs.  SEC Academic is what I would call it.  We could invite Duke, Wake Forest, Tulane, S.M.U., Tulsa, Rice, and the service academies.  That gains the network new markets.  All of these schools could compete in any or all sports other than football.  They would receive the same revenue for all other sports, and whatever TV money Slive could land them for their football conference.  It would still be more than Duke and Wake receive now.  Plus their associations in research would only strengthen in a set up like that.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @JRsec This is a very interesting approach and it may work although I would be a little hesitant to go that route.  With what has happened in the Big East with their unique arrangement, I would be a little afraid of repeating their mistakes. 

 

It also could get a little hairy when it comes to revenue distribution.  Duke and Wake are used to getting the same share as everyone else, but would that really be possible or fair for that matter with this sort of arrangement.  Basketball, even on its best day, doesn't create the sort of money that football does.  I'm not sure how the league would handle that.

JRsec
JRsec

 @AllTideUp There is a more creative way to handle the situation.  Accept Virginia Tech, N.C. State, and U.N.C. for all sports.  Accept Clemson, Pittsburgh, and Florida State for all sports.  That's 20 schools three large new state markets.  Then accept Wake Forest and Duke for all sports but football.  The 4 Carolina schools stay together for what they most want to preserve.  We don't have to suffer Duke in football and we add another 2.5 million per school with the Pennsylvania markets we would pick up.  The academicians would be happy having the associations of three new AAU schools and the Northern Division would be sound.

 

Also given the punitive sanctions against Penn State it might not take Pittsburgh long with SEC funding behind it to gain the upper hand in becoming the flagship school of their state.

 

If the Big 10 wants Virginia and Ga Tech it's no skin of our nose.  Our basketball market share would eclipse that of the Big 10 with the Heels, Blue Devils, and Wolf Pack and our football product would remain as strong given the additions of F.S.U. and Clemson to go with solid mid level additions in the other 4. 

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @JRsec  I think Clemson and FSU would probably want to be in the SEC anyway.  It's a little different for the others, but I agree with you.  The more of them have a safe landing spot, the more likely they are to forget the ACC and break away.

JRsec
JRsec

 @DaveinExile That's an interesting point of view Dave.  I agree the college presidents are in acquire mode when it comes to revenue streams.  They are motivated by fear.  Those you are accustomed to income from state funds and have never really had to consider how to earn it will jump at quick and easy solutions.  But for everyone panicking there are those who profit from the fear.  Wall Street has taught you this surely!  Those not panicking are the networks and they will profit.  As to your point of view that demand will keep going up is really a scary miscalculation, I agree.  It is a bubble and the indicators for the rise are lagging indicators.  The very process of realignment is killing interest in the sport.  That is why it would be the wise course of action to finish this mess as soon as possible and pray for the return of some of the disenchanted.  The ones that will not come back are the secondary and tertiary fans who graduated from the smaller schools that will be eliminated from the new structure.  Instead of adopting a larger school to follow they will simply tune out.  Their interest in the past was based upon the fantasy that one day their program would have an exceptional year and have the chance to play in a big game like NIU will this year against F.S.U..  Without that possibility they will abandon the fantasy tie ins they have all entertained.  That could reduce the viewing market for college football by 10 to 15 % which is not chump change in the advertising world.

 

Where I disagree with you is over the Econ 101 reference.  The only thing college economics prepares you for is to be a victim of the insiders on Wall Street.  The best thing anyone can ever study for economic direction is Sociology.  Find out where the herd is headed and invest in the pastures they will pass on the way to the slaughter house.  Econ 101 only teaches you to be part of the herd.  Sociology helps you get ahead of it, and avoid the slaughter house.  I got out of equities when I watched my first Di Tech commercial.  I wanted out of 401K's and 403B's when the government mandated them.  Legally it is nearly impossible to do so.  So, now my lost investments are the ones that are being annuitized because the government mandated retirement funds are insolvent unless they are annuitized.  The reason is simple.  The herd is arriving at retirement in mass and the slaughter has already begun.

 

That slaughter is why college presidents are running after TV money.  

USCTraveler
USCTraveler

 @SouthernBoiSB 

ND would join in order to not get locked out of a superconference playoff that consisted of the Big 4 conference champs.

 

The other schools would do it to not get left out of the big $$$ and exposure of being in one of the Big 4.

 

All would want to keep their olympic sports local.

 

ND has been doing this alreaady, with football independent and Olympic sports in a conference.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @USCTraveler But, to me, why would you join a conference just for FB if you're going to go somewhere else for all other sports?

 

To me, it's difficult to see somebody in 2 separate conferences.

USCTraveler
USCTraveler

 @SouthernBoiSB 

Pod system.  9 game schedule.

 

The Eastern teams would play the other three eastern teams plus two teams from each of the other pods (NW, CA, AZ/CO/UT).

 

One road game and one home game against the other pods..  So Eastern teams make two trips to CA, one to NW, one to AZ/CO/UT.

 

As for the other sports, read the original post again.  Two options covered in the the op.

SouthernBoiSB
SouthernBoiSB

 @USCTraveler I don't see how, depending on # of teams in conf., that they wouldn't be flying cross country more than that.

 

Also, it may be just me, but like people complaining that ND should go all in for a conference, but why join for a single sport?  What do you do with the rest of them (sports)?

JRsec
JRsec

 @AllTideUp  @DaveHenson You would simply split all revenue from all sports other than football and allow them to keep an equal share of the television money from their SECAC conference games for football.  They would still be FBS and eligible for bowls, just not for the playoff spot guaranteed to the SEC.   The new Big East football contract only came in at 40 million or 1.7 million per team.  I have to believe that Slive could get more than that for this secondary conference.  It would have regional interest and if it attracted the military schools it would have national armed forces network audience as well.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @JRsec  @DaveHenson I agree that GT is not that relevant in Atlanta or Georgia overall.  And that is the case with numerous regional rivals.  If they went to the Big Ten, the money would be better, but I don't see how they would become a better program.

 

I'm not against having them in SEC, but they don't really bring a lot to the table.  Tapping the VA and NC markets are incredibly important.  Clemson and FSU bring a lot to the table with regard to content and market share.  I'm still not sure about Pitt, but I could be talked into it I guess...

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @JRsec   @DaveHenson  It would definitely be an interesting idea and when you mentioned Duke and Wake being partial members earlier I did immediately think of Tulane and Rice, who are also AAU schools I believe.  Tulane already has the history with the SEC and I'm sure they regret leaving at this point.  Rice is also within the new footprint.

 

If there were to be partial members for basketball or academic purposes then it would make sense to open it up to others.  The thing I wonder here regarding these schools is what they might want to do with their football programs.  All 4 of these currently play in the FBS, along with Tulsa and SMU for that matter.  Partial memberships worked okay in the Big East for a time because the Catholic schools didn't have major football programs, but I doubt these particular schools would be willing to drop down to FCS or something like that especially seeing as how their programs have existed at the highest level for decades.  Independence wouldn't really work either.  Creating a smaller league, 6 team minimum I believe, wouldn't be a bad idea, but I still wonder about the revenue distribution there.  I assume even if something like that took place that some sort of scheduling agreement would still be required.  Something along the lines of each school being allowed to play at least 2 SEC teams each season or something like that along with a slate of home games rather than just being the cupcake of the week on the road.

 

It's the revenue side of that alignment that gives me pause.  Would it be possible to give out equal shares in that situation?  If not then what the distribution look like?  Either way, would there be disunity encouraged because of any disparity perceived or real?

 

I'm sure the league would love to be associated with a host of new AAU schools in the SECAC and that might even give additional encouragement to some of those ACC schools to bolt, but I would be hesitant to go that route.

JRsec
JRsec

 @vp19  @DaveHenson I know you are correct in your assessment of the cultural differences between U.N.C. and the SEC, but they would have them with the Big 10 as well, just of a different kind.  I truly believe the Carolina schools will be the last to realign themselves should the ACC find itself  breached again.  I believe the conference that comes up with the best solution for keeping them together will be the one that wins the state.  I also thing the best way to approach that problem is to offer full membership to U.N.C. & N.C. State and to offer Duke and Wake Forest inclusion in all sports other than football, where they would be either independent, or play in minor conference.  I've had the thought that perhaps the SEC should form an academic football conference under its supervision for teams like Tulsa, Rice, S.M.U., Tulane, Wake Forest, Duke, and the military academies.  They could negotiate their television contract for them and include them regionally in all other sports, while maintaining their academic alliances and helping them to form new ones.  That way they could preserve cultural ties without being excluded because of their football product.

vp19
vp19

 @JRsec  @DaveHenson  If Georgia Tech winds up in the Big Ten, it will be because the conference couldn't secure its two preferred #15-16 members, Virginia and North Carolina. More and more, I sense UNC wants to retain its "alpha dog" status, even if it means remaining in a sinking ship such as the ACC. That's a pretty foolish approach in Chapel Hill -- the Tar Heels aren't Texas. As I've stated earlier, UNC and the SEC would not be a strong cultural fit; N.C. State, like Virginia Tech, is simply a better match for Slive. But some Carolina fans (particularly the more casual ones, and no administrators) would prefer to land in the SEC if the Tar Heels had to move, but more out of spite than enthusiasm (their fear is that NCSU will get an SEC nod and thus gain an edge in football recruiting in-state). It's a weird soap opera in North Carolina, as the ACC continues to sink into financial quicksand.

Sooner_Stampede
Sooner_Stampede

 The Big 12 or even the B1G WILL get into the SEC footprint no matter what the SEC does. The B1G is after the northeast and eastcoast, maybe they go into the southeast with GT, and the Big 12 is going east and south. FSU and Clemson are big gets but even if they are unavailable Miami is still there along with other possibilities.

 

Slive along with other influential SEC administrators know the deal. The BTN is raking in the cash and with each new addition/market their network revenue grows and for the SEC to stay at the same level they will have to go after new markets, NC and VA, because double tapping the same markets, Florida and SC, nets no additional revenue. Also, going beyond 16 really dilutes what makes the big money in the first place, traditional marquee matchups.

 

The ACC has long occupied the SEC traditional footprint so I don't see why having the Big 12 in the footprint is a big deal. No matter what though, if the ACC does indeed fall apart, either the B1G or the Big 12 will get into the southeast territory.

Trackbacks

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