So I was thinking about the words of Sun Tzu, and reflecting on how Jim Delany got the Bigtennetwork on basic cable at a profitable price by winning a pissing contest with comcast, and wondered if all this crazy expansion talk isn't just some big, awesome ploy.
Maybe there is no real desire to go to 16 teams. I can't fathom how that would even work. Maybe there is a half-hearted desire to go to 14 teams if the television markets are worth it.
But I tend to think all this talk is just smoke being blown up Jack Swarbrick's ass.
Here's how the meeting goes down: (imagine 1920's gangster voices for this)
JD: This is your last chance, Goldy. Join the big ten or else!
JS: Or else what? We don't need you! WE've got a TV contract with NBC!
JD: Yeah, you got NBC, "nothing but crap". Your little contract mighta looked good back when you signed it, but it's worth nothing more than a bag of fleas now, see.
JS: Whaduya mean? We're the richest school on the block. Kids grow up dreaming about playing for us. We're the stuff of legends.
JD: You know what legends have in common? They're all long dead and buried. Just like you're gonna be, if you turn us down again.
JS: You're bluffing. You got nothing.
JD: Nah, see, that's where you're wrong Goldy. It's you that's got nothing. Whaduya got? You got 25 hours on a network that likes to lose money on sports. They just spent all winter undressing the olympics. ND football, it's just like men's figure skating in their eyes. WE got a WHOLE FRIGGIN network. 24-7-365. WE could buy you out 6 times over. We could dump the stock just to watch you burn. But we happen to want to help you. This is your only option.
JS: IT'S NOT A TUMOR! We could still join the Big East in football, just like the rest of our sports.
JD: Naw, Goldy. You can't. They're ain't gonna be no Big East. Not when we get done with it...
JS: Whaduya gonna do?
JD: We're gonna take half their teams. We already had our accountants work up the papers, see. We're taking Pitt, Syracuse, Uconn, even friggen Rutgers. What's left will be absorbed into the ACC and some small fish will be thrown back into the conf. USA pond. It's over Goldy. You got no place to turn.
JS: We'll stay independent then! Ain't no way we'll be joining your Godless commie conference.
JD: Oh, sure. You could try that. But tell me something, Mr. Smartypants? Who ya gonna play? You won't be playing Pitt anymore. Or Syracuse or Rutgers or even friggen Purdue! You know that 20 year contract you signed with Michigan... ... CONFETTI! And remember that cute little blonde you been seeing out west in the pac10 every year? Well let's just say that she's gonna be busy with other suitors. MWAHAHAHAhaha
JD: You've been backed into a corner. There's no escape. Join us.
JS: NEVER! WE'LL NEVER JOIN YOU! OVER ROCKNE'S DEAD BODY!
JD: Rockne's dead, Goldy. Long dead. And there's something he never told you about us-
JS: He told us enough! He told us you were a giant suckhole!
JD: No, you are the giant suckhole.
JS: NOOOOO!! THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!
JD: Search your feelings. You know it to be true. How many bowl games have you won in the last 16 years? One friggen game. How old are your recruits? Exactly. You've been a giant suckhole for their entire lives.
JS: no... ... Lou... why didn't you tell me?
JD: But that can all change. Join us, and together we can rule the BCS as we were meant to.
Kinda shifted towards starwars at the end, but you get the idea.
I think Delaney has always had ND as target #1 but knew that they'd only say yes under DIRE circumstances. And so, he's spent the last year or so creating the impression of dire circumstances.
I'm sure there are real plan B's and C's. But I'm guessing none of them really involve 16 teams.
Anyway,I'm pretty interested to see how this all shakes out.