Monthly Archives: May 2012
I’ve decided to add a new post on Sundays and will update that during the week.
June 2, 2012
Honesty is the best policy…
…West Virginia was included in the Big 12’s 2011-12 bookkeeping, however. That’s because the school received $10 million in the form of a loan to help pay the settlement with the Big East. As reported back in February, the Big 12 gave the money to WVU with half to be repaid with interest and the other half to be forgiven.
…Until that time, WVU will get partial shares of Big 12 revenue sharing – a 50 percent share in 2012-13, rising to 67 percent the next year, then 85 percent and a full 100 percent in 2015-16.
Still, as Friday’s announcement of the Big 12 cuts show, even the smallest of those percentages is greater than what the school reaped from membership in the Big East. The expected $9 million share this year is actually on the high end as a matter of course, thanks to WVU’s Orange Bowl appearance and recent success in NCAA basketball tournaments. All of that – bowl revenue, NCAA tournament credits, etc. – is included in the revenue sharing doled out by conferences.
…To start a network, the SEC and ESPN would need an arrangement that makes it a viable financial risk for both parties. ESPN owns the majority of SEC football games for another 12 years, so the SEC can’t shop a channel on the open market until then. There would have to be added value on ESPN’s side as well to go in together.
The earliest an SEC channel could start is 2014, although there’s no given that it could be functional by then. That is the year ESPN receives back all of the syndication rights it sublicensed to Fox Sports and Comcast.
…Four years ago, ESPN provided groundbreaking money and exposure to the SEC in exchange for most of its content. The biggest asset was acquiring nearly every football game not owned by CBS (usually one per week) or each school (one per season).
ESPN constructed the arrangement specifically to prevent the SEC from starting its own channel. The SEC receives an average of $150 million a year from ESPN over 15 years, according to the SportsBusiness Journal, which first reported the channel discussions. “We sort of broke ground on major media contracts and I think the others have followed along and actually moved the ball a little bit further,” Machen said.
…Until the SEC expanded, it was riskier for the league to try a channel because the conference’s geographic footprint had about 21 million cable homes. The SEC’s states now have about 30 million households, rivaling the Big Ten’s cable population.
June 1, 2012
…“That’s total hogwash,” Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver told me Thursday. “I promise you there’s nothing going on with Virginia Tech and the SEC. … It’s just so stupid.”
So many networks will keep the value high for college sports. Will it keep going up?
…Is there enough viewer demand for multiple sports networks? And can the newer all-sports networks pose a challenge to ESPN as far as siphoning away viewers?
Sports fans have an unbelievable appetite for sports content. People laughed when ESPN launched as a standalone sports network [in 1979]. Then each time they started a new network like ESPN 2 and ESPNU, there were skeptics. But there is plenty of room for everybody. We have a fantastic opportunity to find an audience and grow.
So, really, why did the SEC — a conference with a five-year national championship streak, the nation’s biggest and most intense fanbase, and a record-smashing television contract that still hadn’t lost its “new car smell” — decide to fix what wasn’t broken and expand by two teams in 2011?
This one tweet from CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy explains almost everything:
…Lined up side-by-side, the SEC has increased its per-team payouts by a little more than $600,000 from last year to this year, while the Big Ten has done so by $1.8 million. Percentage-wise, that’s a 3 percent increase vs. a 7.9 percent increase–and in raw figures, a bump for the Big Ten three times that of the SEC. (For what it’s worth, the Big 12 announced Fridaythat it’s distributing some $19 million to its member schools.)
Neinas: “It’s no secret. We meet and talk about the Big 5.” That does not include Big East.
…Irish echoes may be waking up to conference affiliation sooner than they thought.
“I think they’re interested in what’s happening in the BCS, because that’s gonna impact their future,” Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said at Big 12 spring meetings. “They need to know what’s going on there before they decide if they’re gonna make any kind of adjustment in their affiliations.”
…“I’ve got really positive feelings about Notre Dame. The possibility of them being a part of our conference would be a great discussion to have.”
San Diego State and Boise State stand to earn about $7.8 million annually from the new TV deal coming up for the Big East Conference, according to estimates by an independent national market research firm.
…According to Navigate:
•Football-only members in the Big East stand to make $7.8 million per year. Basketball-only members would make $3.2 million per year, and full members in all sports would make $11 million. SDSU and Boise plan to join in football only on July 1, 2013.
•If SDSU and Boise State stayed in the Mountain West instead of joining the Big East, the Big East deal still probably would be at least double that of the Mountain West.
…•Even if Boise State decides not to join the Big East, SDSU and other football-only members of the Big East still would make about $7.3 million, according to Navigate.
…•If the Big East added BYU, the Big East would add value for all football members, though not by much. Navigate Research projects the TV revenue share for football-only members would jump from $7.8 to $8 million annually if it included BYU.
May 31, 2012
NCAA president Mark Emmert believes another round of conference realignment could be sparked by schools trying to position themselves to play in a proposed four-team college football playoff.
…”If there’s going to be significant movement by FBS institutions over the course of the summer,” Emmert said, ”it will be driven by that.”
Twice as much money to push realignment…
…One BCS source said the new television contract could “more than double” the current deal.
Walker does a good job of explaining what went down with the Sun Belt and where they stand.
…Here’s how it would work: If the Big 12 goes to a dozen teams (or 14, or 16) it would reinstall a conference championship game. That would crystallize what the Champions Bowl announcement helped formalize — that the base of power in college football exists with the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and Big 12.
“It absolutely does that …,” Dodds said of the bowl that kicks off in 2014. “It puts us in the role of being in the top four.”
In that scenario, the Big Four all would have conference title games. That means eight division winners playing off for four conference titles in leagues that have won national championships in 16 of the last 18 seasons. Given that history, each of those division winners, playing the top schedules in the country, could conceivably be in the running for the national championship.
See where this could be headed?
“That eliminates the ACC, Big East and Mountain West,” Dodds said. “That eliminates a lot of football teams, but you’re accurate in what you’re saying.”
…The new Big 12 TV deal is expected to be announced any day, perhaps here this week as a celebration of the league’s new-found strength. Within that deal is a clause that will give any new expansion candidates the same money as the current members (estimated to be at least $20 million per year).
One industry source said that number applies whether the Big 12 invites, “Appalachian State or Florida State.” And according to another industry source, ESPN wouldn’t stand in the way of Big 12 expansion even after negotiating a new deal with the ACC.
…“Yes, we did (discuss expansion),” Neinas said. “The athletic directors confirmed their position that they are content with 10 members at the present time.”
Neinas was asked if Florida State was discussed during the expansion conversation.
“No, the concentration was, ‘Are we happy and satisfied with 10?’” Neinas said.
…“We feel well positioned at this time with 10,” Pollard said. “At the same time, we recognize that the landscape continues to change. We’ll all wait to see what happens with the BCS. But at this point we feel that we are best positioned as a 10-member league.”
May 30, 2012
…–The money issue. SDSU football decided to move to Big East primarily because of a huge projected increase in TV revenue. The Aztecs expect to increase their annual TV revenue from about $1.2 million in the Mountain West to at least $6.4 million in the Big East, based on estimates from SDSU’s TV consultants. But what if those estimates are wrong and the real number comes in far lower?
“The way I would describe that in general terms is that this does have all the elements of a chess match in that each institution is trying to advance their athletic programs and academic programs, “ Hirshman said. “As different information comes in, we’re all going to be thinking about what we might do differently. We’ll have to evaluate that when it comes… if there are significant changes.”
Hirshman said the $6.4 million figure is the “most conservative estimate” SDSU received. Even if the deal is a few million less than that, it’s still likely to be worthwhile. Negotiations for the new Big East TV deal begin in September.
“While there is variability in some of the estimates, all the estimates continue to indicate a substantially greater number than is associated with our current Mountain West television contract,” Hirshman said.
May 29, 2012
Was there funny business involved in the ACC giving away the store to *SPN?
And Slive says the SEC isn’t expanding.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive on expansion: “Right now, we aren’t looking to get any bigger.”
According to Les, B12 expansion is a done deal.
…The latest denial of contact from a high-ranking FSU official comes ahead of the start of the Big 12′s annual meetings this week in Kansas City. Certainly the topic of expansion will come up at some point during the meetings, although it appears there’s no consensus among the current membership to add to its current 10-member league.
Is Delaware planning something?
…”We have not heard a thing and we have not approached them and they have not approached us,” said Andy Haggard, the chair of FSU‘s Board of Trustees. “If anybody approaches us, we are certainly going to listen to them. We have an obligation to Florida State to listen. You can’t close the door.”
The door to a possible relationship may begin to open this week when the Big 12 conducts its annual meetings in Kansas City, Mo.
…The Big 12’s television contract – and its payouts to member schools – is certainly a topic FSU stakeholders will find interesting.
The FSU athletics department’s board of directors approved earlier this month a 2012-13 budget that contains a $2.4-million shortfall.
Apparently, Florida State’s money woes run even deeper than that. The Democrat has learned that the department is unlikely to balance its 2011-12 budget, which closes June 30.
…Haggard, however, repeated to the Democrat that he has had no discussions with the Big 12 and would not comment specifically on any rumors linking FSU to the Big 12.
“There are so many rumors and so many things out there,” Haggard said. “There’s nothing to talk about really.”
May 28, 2012
I don’t remember this…
…The SEC already has lucrative broadcast deals with CBS and ESPN for football. But that was before expansion, and the conference has an opt-out clause.
May 27, 2012
…Athletics director Jim Weaver said the Hokies don’t plan to go anywhere.
In a perfect world, that would quiet the rumors that Virginia Tech is a SEC target and might be interested in membership.
Unfortunately, the college athletics world is far from perfect.
Weaver said Seth Greenberg was safe in his job of men’s basketball coach. Then he fired Greenberg.
…As for expansion, whether it’s Florida State or Clemson or Miami or Notre Dame, don’t look for anything soon. Acting commissioner Chuck Neinas was quoted in Saturday’s Dallas Morning News saying that losing four members and gaining two in a span of less than two years has given Big 12 membership reason to pause.
…Amid a series of routine announcements during a daily address to the small number of reporters covering the meetings, Kramer said:
“After meeting with the athletic directors and presidents, the conference will be expanding by two schools to 12 next year and we’ll go to divisions.”
May 26, 2012
…”Well, we continue to be amazed at the size of these deals,” said sports economist David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California. “What the landscape looked like a year or two ago has obviously changed dramatically. … But clearly they are now in a relatively disadvantageous position based on the comings and goings in their conference.”
But New York-based sports media consultant Lee Berke believes that history will show that the Big East was wise to wait.
“As tempting as it may have been, the marketplace has only gotten hotter in the interim,” Berke said. “There are only a relatively fixed number of major college and professional sports out there, but there is an increasing number of potential outlets bidding for those properties. … Honestly, I think there they are going to do substantially better. They’ve added some strong up-and-coming football schools in strong markets throughout the country. I think that’s going to pay off for them, with the caveat that they remain stable.”
And, indeed, representatives from NBC Sports and Fox met with Big East officials in Florida at the annual conference meetings last week. ESPN was also present, and it seems that all three outlets have strong interest in the conference.
The current deal with ESPN expires in June 2013 and ESPN has exclusive negotiating rights starting in September. The challenge for the Big East between now and then is to keep the conference structure in place.
San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk came away from the Big East meetings in Florida this week feeling more committed than ever to the conference and its future.
That’s largely because, during the meetings, Boise State reaffirmed its commitment to the Big East after bouts of uncertainty over the last month.
…ESPN, Fox and NBC have all expressed interest, but it remains uncertain how valuable the reconfigured Big East is. Media speculation ranges from a contract that would guarantee football-only members like San Diego State $6.5 million annually to one that would net closer to $3 million. Either figure would represent a significant increase over the $1.2 million the Aztecs receive from the Mountain West, but would be a far cry from the $17 million-plus that schools in every other BCS conference get, and might be offset by the rise in transportation costs.
“The Big East is the last major conference going to the marketplace, and there are multiple bidders that are interested in the property, so that lends itself to some good competition,” Sterk said. “And there may be partnerships with some of the sports networks.”
In other developments from the Big East meetings:
- The ADs voted to hold the conference championship game on the campus of the higher-ranked divisional winner starting in 2013, dropping a plan for a matchup in New York City.
- The Big East threw its weight behind a national playoff model that emphasizes conference champions over a selection committee to pick the four teams.
Thursday night, Clemson board of trustees chairman David Wilkins raised eyebrows across college football by saying that CU hadn’t received overtures from another league, but “if we receive a viable option, a viable proposal presented to us by any league, this board has the responsibility to consider it, and we will consider it. Until then we’re committed to work and we will work to make the ACC the strongest conference possible.”
…1. School presidents — The top dog at any school will want what’s best for his college athletically, academically and financially. He’s the official voice of the school. Any comment from one of these guys will likely be aimed at making sure his school doesn’t look like it’s just Jock U.
2. Trustees — While the president is the face of a school, he gets his power from the board of trustees. And trustees can be very easily influenced these days. Boards often include a school’s richest booster. They can include ex-athletes (Derrick Brooks served as an FSU trustee until recently). They can include some loose-lipped, reactionary folks who care more about football wins than the long-term good of their school as a whole. And they can include some pointy-heads who could give a flip about sports. They’re basically loose cannons and no one can know who’ll talk or what they’ll say next.
3. Athletic Boosters — These are the folks who can influence trustees. Their checks to a school’s athletic department help pay the bills and fund new facilities. They truly care more about football (or basketball at some schools) than educational rankings and membership in the exclusive AAU.
4. School Donors — The yin to the boosters’ yang, these folks can also exert pressure on board members. It’s their checks that pay for new libraries, new academic programs, and new classrooms. For this bunch, athletics is just a small part of what a university truly is.
5. Everyday Fans — Through the power of social media and their own wallets, Joe Grad and Steve Sidewalk-Alum now have more influence than ever before. They can shape opinions, spin tall tales, and stir up enough passion to influence boosters and trustees.
May 25, 2012
…“It’s not uncertainty for us,” Weis said. “A year ago, if I were the (Kansas) head coach, I’d probably be talking about uncertainty. Right now, it’s uncertainty for all the other teams that are outside the four conferences right now.”
Weis’ comments added credence to the growing belief that a four-conference power structure has emerged in college athletics: The SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12. And for now, Weis says, Kansas and the Big 12 appear to firmly among the elite.
“I’m just happy to be part of … one of the four conferences that everyone is looking to get in,” Weis said. “Because the Big 12, a year ago, was a mess. It was a mess. Everyone thought it was gonna dissolve. No one was gonna be there. Where was KU gonna end up? And now, KU ended up doing just fine.”
…There has been talk that Boise State and San Diego State are having second thoughts about joining the Big East Conference. Thompson has said he has had in-depth discussions with Boise State, but it ultimately decided to stick with its plan to go to the Big East in football. Thompson said Boise State has not yet submitted a letter of withdrawal to the Mountain West and that San Diego State withdrew in football only.
Very, very interesting. Want to understand Tier 3 and other income better? Read this! As always, TIFWIW:
I really hate to link to any WV rumor board, but can’t find the original source yet. Really try to avoid reposting entire posts, but there is just too much gold to excerpt. Chock full of info and offers a better and more nuanced understanding of all that gets inaccurately lumped into Tier 3. Legit? I dunno, but it sure sounds more knowledgeable than 99% of the lunkheads arguing over Tier 3 and related issues.
…• There will be competition for the Big East TV rights when negotiations begin in the fall as there is more demand in the market with NBC in play with Fox, ESPN and CBS. However, no industry sources believe the Big East will command more dollars then the other five major conferences (SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC).
• There remains a desire among some member schools to leave. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of their situations told ESPN.com that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school’s true intentions.
…• One veteran of the Big East said that had the league accepted ESPN’s nine-year offer last year, estimated at $1.4 billion, then Pitt and Syracuse would not have left for the ACC since it would have showed stability. Instead the offer was voted down by a 12-4 vote.
Post on Frank The Tank’s blog:
in response to zeek:
I’m not really sure we’ll ever see an ACC network. Outside of the Maryland to South Carolina region, would it be feasible? What parts of the Northeast do you get with BC, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh? Georgia Tech and Florida State/Miami would probably face coverage issues as well… It worked for the Big Ten because they’re […]
Just heard Swofford say the new 15 year contract allows for “look-ins” every 5 years to further enhance revenue such as the possibility of an ACC channel.
…For weeks and months, I had been told the Big 12 was good with 10 schools. Nine conference football games. Home-and-home in basketball league games. Good. No need for a Big 12 championship football game because it would only risk knocking a possible undefeated or one-loss team out of a national title shot with an upset.
But last week I talked to some people who said, “Well, if it’s the right two.” And that was different from what I had heard before.
I was also told that studies had been done looking at what value might be added if any of the original members of the Big East (Louisville, Cincinnati, etc.) would bring to the Big 12, and that report did not come back favorably, sources said.
That leaves some interesting candidates who could probably benefit from having the ability to launch their own network. The most likely to benefit from such an opportunity would be Notre Dame and Florida State.
- Clemson Trustee: Tigers have not received any viable conference option
– 20 hours ago
- Conference realignment? Blame someone else and pass the checks
– 1 day ago
- Rivalries replaced: Conference realignment in the FBS
– 7 hours ago
- Conference Catchup: Realignment, new personnel belie Big 12’s depth
– 6 hours ago
- Mountain West still tackling reality of conference realignment
– 1 day ago
- KU’s Weis calm as conference realignment again bursts forth
– 1 day ago
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, who has floated ideas for how a four-team college football playoff should be set up, said Wednesday that any new format shouldn’t include a team that doesn’t win its division.
“I don’t have a lot of regard for that team,” Delany said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I certainly wouldn’t have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents. If a poll doesn’t honor those teams and they’re conference champions, I do.”
The Big East’s interim commissioner said Wednesday the conference is working to dispel any perception that it is unraveling following the ouster of John Marinatto.
…In the meantime, he said he’s seen no split between football and basketball schools, and said the conference is focused on making sure the public doesn’t think it is falling apart.
…Bailey takes over at a critical time for the Big East, as talks continue over the future of a football playoff. The league is also preparing to negotiate a new media-rights package in the fall. Bailey said he does not plan to be involved in the negotiations for a new television deal, which he said will be handled by a consultant who will report directly to the league’s executive committee.
“I’ll probably be informed of how they go,” he said.
Sources: ESPN’s new ACC deal comes out to 15 years for $3.6 billion. That comes out to a whopping $17M per school.
…The BCS has been criticized for many reasons over the years, with some of the harshest words reserved for the lack of consistency and/or transparency involving the computer rankings.
The new system needs to be more transparent, and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez would welcome the four teams being chosen by a selection committee, similar to the system used in basketball.
“I like a committee and I like a committee that might be diverse enough that maybe you have some national sportswriters in it,” he said recently.
…Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, along with several other Pac-12 coaches, expressed their opinions on the four-team playoff propositions during their post-spring teleconference on Tuesday.
“Let’s go full fledged and get eight teams involved,” Whittingham said. “I want to get away from people voting to determine who will get a shot.”
New Arizona State head coach Todd Graham mentioned a format that would include six conference champions and two at-large teams, while California head coach Jeff Tedford suggested that no postseason will appease everyone.
“One of the sentiments was that the eight-team playoff would probably give everybody an equal chance,” Tedford said. “I don’t know if you’re ever going to have a situation where everyone is happy. Someone is always going to feel left out or slighted by a situation. If we’re going to do the playoff thing, then let’s do it whole-heartedly and go after it.”
ACC/ESPN deal includes right to televise 3 Friday ACC games, inc. commitment from BC & Syracuse to host 1 game on Thanksgiving Friday
The latest from Frank.
…Which is where the ACC enters the picture. As they did last year, industry sources believe that if the Irish were to forgo their football independence and join a league for all sports, the ACC is the likeliest destination.
Two reasons: First, while Notre Dame’s most natural geographic conference is the Big Ten, the school has long leaned toward the east. This dates to the 1920s, when “subway alumni” flocked to Irish football games at Yankee Stadium.
Second, Notre Dame and the ACC fit academically, a notion not to be dismissed when university presidents are making the decisions. Like Duke, Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest, Notre Dame is a private school with fewer than 10,000 undergraduates.
As with all realignment, money and television are paramount here. The Irish are renegotiating their football deal with NBC, while the ACC is revisiting its contract with ESPN in the wake of adding Syracuse and Pitt.
That means 11 of 14 schools must agree.
…1. We at MrSEC.com do not believe the Southeastern Conference has any interest in expanding again anytime soon. Sources at multiple schools across the conference — in both athletic departments and in university administrations — have told us as much. Repeatedly.
2. We do not believe there are secret discussions taking place now that would lead to any existing ACC schools moving to the SEC. That includes any combination of Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke or North Carolina.
3. We do not believe even a full-scale collapse of the Big East would lead to further SEC expansion. For argument’s sake, let’s say the Big 12 grabbed Cincinnati and Louisville from the Big East (to get to 12 schools). Let’s also say such a move would force Notre Dame into the Big Ten and that Jim Delany’s league would then grab either UConn or Rutgers from the Big East (to get to 14 schools) and tap into the New York television market. And for the sake of argument, let’s also say that the ACC would gobble up South Florida and either Rutgers or UConn (to get to 16 schools). Even if all that occurred — and we think it’s highly unlikely all that will occur — we still do not believe the SEC would expand further.
…Last summer there was some debate over whether or not SEC members Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina had banded together to keep out Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and/or Clemson from the SEC. Some said there was an official, yet unspoken SEC stance against expanding into states already making up the Southeastern Conference football. Others said there was an informal agreement among those schools and that everyone suspected they would stand together if forced. Still others said there were no such plans to block schools at all. (South Carolina officials said publicly, for instance, that they would have had no problem if Clemson had asked for an invitation… though that could have simply been a case of saying the right things in the press.)
Moving forward, even though the league has expanded, those same four schools — Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina — could still work together to prevent one or more of their in-state rivals from joining the SEC if they chose to do so. It would still only take four “nays” to vote down any proposed new member.
…VCU and George Mason seek upgrades for their men’s basketball programs from a CAA that some within the respective camps view as excessively football-centric in recent years. ODU sees C-USA as a potential home for its upwardly mobile football program, as well as most of its other athletic teams.
VCU and Mason honchos have been noodling a move for months, while ODU’s decision was accelerated by realignment elsewhere that created openings and a frenzy of movement one step below the marquee league level.
…ODU’s athletic budget is compatible with the newly-constituted C-USA, though football will require major upgrades in a move from the Football Championship Subdivision to Football Bowl Subdivision. According to U.S. Department of Education figures for 2010-11, the most recently available period, ODU spent $5 million on football, while C-USA’s eight current members spent an average of $8.2 million on football, ranging from Marshall’s $6.2 million to Rice’s $12.2 million.
The DOE’s Equity in Athletics figures provide a comparative snapshot of athletic departments and budgets, but by no means are the definitive measure, since many schools log revenues and expenses differently.
Anyway, a list of ODU’s athletic budget and those of the 13 present and future C-USA members. These numbers, rounded up, are for entertainment purposes only.
School Total Exp. Total Rev.
…What damaged the Big East was fear. It was a palpable fear with obvious origins. The shifting occurring in other leagues, principally the Big 12, created uncertainty about the long-term viability of the Big East. It was a fear that led members to forget their own decision just months earlier to decline an ESPN contract extension worth more than $1 billion — because they thought they could do better. That’s right.
…This is an area in which the Big East always has struggled. In the past, it was a tough sell because the money really was different, but the ESPN offer showed that Big East football no longer was to be undervalued. At least in terms of TV dollars.
…When the 2011 Big East football race came down to the final day, with five of the league’s eight members finishing tied for first or a game out, how much celebration of the league’s furious competition was there? How much was the Big East doing to sell its uncommonly balanced competition?
There were 28 Big East football games last fall; 43 percent were decided by a seven points or less, 32 percent by three points or less. There was genuine drama in the games.
In the SEC, only 27 percent of games were as close as a touchdown, and only 12 percent as close as a field goal. Essentially, the SEC was a series of lovely tailgate parties interrupted by blowout games.
It’s no surprise the Big East administration couldn’t sell this to the public, though. It couldn’t even reinforce this message to its members.
The announcement Monday morning that Big East commissioner John Marinatto resigned did not send shockwaves through the college athletic community. His departure, however, could signal more big changes in college sports with the possibility the Big East basketball schools could break away from the football schools to form their own league.
…The Big East retained the Boston Consulting Group to review its organizational design and structure.
Former Miami Dolphins CEO Joseph A. Bailey III has been appointed interim commissioner.
Bailey was also COO of the World League/NFL, and Vice President of Administration of the Dallas Cowboys.
If there is a common thread, it is that football once again is at the top of the agenda, which makes the core group of basketball-playing Catholic schools nervous; a split within the conference appears to be more of a possibility than ever before.
Pretty good read of what happened with the BE.
…The Big East sans West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse certainly isn’t true to Gavitt’s vision, and only someone with disturbed visions could conjure up the future behemoth that will partner SMU, Houston, Memphis and Central Florida on the basketball court alongside traditional powers such as Georgetown, Villanova, Seton Hall and St. John’s.
…The interests between the football and non-football schools in the Big East always have been difficult to manage (the in-house squabbles reportedly hit the biggest of snafus last year when Georgetown led a charge to vote down a TV deal that Marinatto had in front of him, a decision that now can be defined as the beginning of his end). Everyone knows and even admits that football drives the bus, but it’s asking an awful lot for someone like Jim Calhoun to ride along as a powerless passenger.
To manage the two, it takes diplomacy and delicacy. The Big East went for desperation. Following the lead of Marinatto, a man who previously was in charge of the league’s administrative operations and never charged with formulating a vision, the conference went 11th-hour prom-date hunting, taking whoever would say yes instead of who might make the league attractive.
Consequently, the Big East is left with this mishmashed mess, an Ellis Island of football expats, their basketball carry-ons and signs it could get worse before it gets better. There are rumors that San Diego State and Boise State want to make like Texas State and UT-San Antonio and bag their new league before even playing a game in it; and that Connecticut still has eyes for the ACC and Louisville for the Big 12.
McMurphy on Louisville Radio this morn’n…podcast linked
2. USF President blocked UCF entry around the same time they added TCU. The other league members went along.
3. League turned down more money that the ACC schools receive per school last year.
4. Marinatto being commissioner or not has no bearing on Boise State or SDSU…the people he talks to with those schools are 100% in. Boise State having some issues with Olympic Sports but they want in and AQ status or not it about the TV Money with them leaving and they knew this was a high possibility that AQ was gone.
5. Still not settled is BCS Revenue Formula, AQ, staggered or what…still up for negotiations. Only thing for certain is that the SEC & B1G gonna get a huge piece of the pie.http://www.mysports790.com/player/?stati…d=22069136
Huguenin has Indiana as the favorite and the B1G as the top conference.
1. Big Ten
Newcomers/departures: Same 12-team makeup
League RPI this past season: 1st
NCAA tourney teams this past season: 6
League title contenders next season: Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State
Buzz: Indiana seems likely to head into the season as the favorite to win it all. Yes, for the first time in a long time, there are immense expectations for the Hoosiers. IU returns its top five scorers and also is bringing in one of the nation’s best recruiting classes. If freshman PG Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell lives up to the hype, IU very well could be cutting down the nets next April. Michigan will have one of the best backcourts in the nation with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., but the Wolverines need freshmen Glenn Robinson Jr. and (especially) Mitch McGary to become important offensive weapons. Ohio State is going to miss Jared Sullinger and William Buford, but DeShaun Thomas has All-America talent and there is a deep group of complementary players. Wisconsin never will wow anyone with its athleticism, but coach Bo Ryan’s team always wins at least 20 and next season won’t be any different. Big things are expected from freshman F Sam Dekker. Michigan State won’t be able to replace do-everything F Draymond Green, which means the Spartans don’t have a shot at the league title. But the backcourt will be a good one, and coach Tom Izzo will find a way to coax production out of his big men. Minnesota is the sleeper. The Golden Gophers were without injured F Trevor Mbakwe, their best player, for most of last season, but still won 23 games. The Golden Gophers lose no one and get Mbakwe back. Iowa returns five of its top six scorers and could have its best team in a while. Illinois returns most of its top players, but the big question for the Illini is how the players mesh with new coach John Groce.
Has Thamel ever noted sources and reasons why he thinks ND will go to the ACC? I’ve seen plenty of discussions on message boards but don’t recall any details from him.
…“I thought that the basketball and football schools coexisted beautifully up to the point when Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia departed,” Tranghese said Monday in a telephone interview. “At that point, I thought the basketball schools ought to take a real hard look. Whether they’re going to, I don’t know.”
…Neal Pilson, a media consultant and former president of CBS Sports, predicted that the Big East could surpass the deal it turned down last year, which was considered similar in value to the A.C.C.’s $155 million annual deal.
“I think if they stay together and negotiate as a single unit, I think they can come away with a reasonably favorable result,” Pilson said. “Even more than what ESPN offered a year and a half ago. I think the competition will drive it.”
…The next critical Jenga piece is Notre Dame, which would definitely leave if the basketball universities left — and could possibly leave even if they don’t. The A.C.C. is the most likely destination. The Irish’s television contract with NBC, currently under negotiation, will go a long way in determining their future — as will how they fare as a stakeholder in the new college football playoff. That appears to be safe and stable for now.
If Notre Dame leaves for the A.C.C., its only realistic destination, the A.C.C. will take Connecticut or Rutgers to make it a 16-team league. And that would send all the Big East blocks tumbling.
Maybe “The Dude” has a clue.
Yesterday Cemetery Hill spoke with a Big 12 source regarding the new Big contract that was agreed in principle yesterday. Here is what we are told is expected when signed and finalized Thursday.
– $20 million per team per year with 10 teams
– An automatic escalator clause of $2 million per team added in expansion. This means if the Big 12 goes to 12 teams each team gets $24 million, 14 teams each team gets $28 miilion, 16 teams each team gets $32 million. This opens the door for it to be attractive for other teams to leave their conference and join the Big 12.
– We were told going to 14 teams was the goal for 2013.
He’s told us since January that the contract agreed in principle yesterday would be 20 million per team, new grant of rights and an escalator clause. That’s exactly what’s happened.
I don’t think this guy gets it. The BE football schools may benefit from the name recognition of the BE but might be better off long term taking Frank’s advice and calling themselves Big Country (IIRC).
…But with the conference looking more stable, other issues can be addressed, like expansion.
On a day when the Big East fired Commissioner John Marinatto and musical chairs continues in several conferences, expansion rumors continue to involve the Big 12.
But this time, they’re about prospective schools, not those looking to leave.
Louisville is the most often mentioned expansion target, but would the league add one to stand at 11? Other Big East schools like Cincinnati, Rutgers and Connecticut have been associated with other conferences, but although it’s unwise to assume a lid on expansionism the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 have given no indication of further growth.
…While that happens, the rumors will continue to churn. The latest involves Florida State and Clemson in outside-the-box speculation. The reasoning: The Seminoles and Tigers are football-first schools that would be happier in a conference with Texas and Oklahoma than one that just added Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Bowlsby wasn’t specific about Big 12 expansion possibilities but talked of conferences liked by an “electronic footprint,” as opposed to geographical.
Meaning, expansion can come from anywhere.
The big target would be Notre Dame in an all-in – football included – scenario. The Irish have repeated their desire for football independence but among the issues to be settled with college football headed toward a new postseason is how Notre Dame and Brigham Young, another rumored Big 12 target, would qualify for a playoff.
Is the WAC going to become a non-football conference? There doesn’t seem to be any schools interested in switching to the conference or moving up from fcs.
Last summer when the Western Athletic Conference presidents met to announce expansion plans, they turned down schools like Utah Valley University and Cal-State Bakersfield and instead chose to add Seattle University.
…With Utah State on its way out, UVU believes one of the roadblocks that kept the Wolverines from getting into the conference is gone.
“It definitely creates some space in the WAC for us and it eliminates some opposition that we’ve had,” said UVU Athletic Director Mike Jacobsen. “This is still very important to the president of our university to the university and to me.”
Jacobsen said he’s not heard anything from the WAC, but expects the conference to respond soon with news about its future.
…”I don’t think there’s any way the conference will fold and just go away, there’s too much history. I think the WAC will continue to be a viable conference in the NCAA,” Jacobsen said. “I think we fill every niche they need, but we have not yet been involved (in talks with the conference). I think in the past some of the school presidents were concerned with where our academics have been, but they don’t understand where we are and where we’re going.”
…“We’ve mostly talked about our great athletic facilities and success in football and other sports as our main selling points,” said Cobb, whose football program won consecutive FCS titles in 2005-07. “But what I’ve heard is that it seems like the geography is pretty important. We have to answer to the accessibility issue to our campus. It seems like we have to validate that now.”
One potential FBS option went by the boards Friday when Conference USA added Charlotte, Florida International, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio and Louisiana Tech.
C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said the decision to add those schools was based in part on the size of their media markets. Boone, obviously, doesn’t pack the same kind of television-market punch as Charlotte, Miami or Dallas.
…The Sun Belt could be another possibility for Appalachian State, but it just announced that it would add Georgia State – which is located in Atlanta.
Cobb said the Boone area is served by four large television markets – Charlotte, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Asheville/Greenville, S.C., and Johnson City, Tenn. He also said the roads to Boone now are mostly four-lane and travel time from major airports in Charlotte and Greensboro are about 2 1/2 hours.
Athletic officials with the University of Idaho and Big Sky Conference are talking about the Vandals rejoining the league.
Idaho is looking for a new home for its football team and other sports programs amid the apparent collapse of the Western Athletic Conference.
…Spear said he’s considering several options after failing to draw any interest from the Mountain West Conference.
The addition this week of five schools – Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio – brings Conference USA’s membership to 13 after the league lost Memphis, Central Florida, Southern Methodist and Houston to the Big East.
Here’s a look at the current membership, which could grow by one to 14. Only three schools – Alabama-Birmingham, Tulane and Southern Mississippi – remain as charter members from 1995.