1. In a struggle the weaker power is the one usually making defensive moves. That's the Big 10.
2. In the end television money is about a maximizing a byproduct of content and markets. Delany's strategy will gain him markets, but adds little to nothing to his content in the one area in which it needs content, football.
3. Research needs to be actually done by most bloggers on the CIC. It helps in lobby for grants. It helps in coordinating grant money to schools working on different aspects of the same research project and it does have advantages. But, it does not really garner a research University like North Carolina that much more money than they get already, especially when cooperating within the research triangle with other neighboring North Carolina schools. In fact the ways in which they are called upon to share within the CIC might even become a slight detriment to those schools.
4. Most of the Big 10 advantage is in the visionary network that they started a couple of years ago. But, even that is dependent upon a model of broadcasting and collection of advertising money that may not be an appropriate model in a rapidly changing market that is heavily influenced by innovations in technology. So is moving to the Big 10 a short term net positive with large potential downside? It's possible, but unclear.
5. In the end as long as the SEC increases its lobby strength within the AAC (especially if through expansion the SEC garners 4 more AAU schools to become the clear #2 conference in that regard) and maintains its athletic prowess which is what garners the nations interest in viewing, then they will only continue to gain ground on the Big 10.
In this game the Big 10 has markets, research money, and academic standing. They should be looking for content. The SEC has content, they are looking to add markets and increase academic standing thereby increasing research dollars. Texas A&M delivered a competitive athletic program that increased market size and academic reputation. Missouri strengthened basketball, increased markets and added academic reputation. So far the SEC has gotten what it needs without sacrificing its athletic reputation to get it. So far the Big 10 hasn't acquired what it needs most, in fact it has weakened its strength athletically with Rutgers and Maryland. If it adds Virginia, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina it will have only added one significant sports program and that in basketball, a Big 10 strength, not a Big 10 need.
I think Slive is playing his hand beautifully. If Delany pursues his course he will have tremendous market penetration, tremendous academics, tremendous research grant connections, and not one danged thing worth watching on his network outside of hoops!