You could have three divisions in the WEST:
6. Oregon State
8. Washington State
2. Texas A&M
4. Oklahoma State
7. Texas Tech
10. Arizona State
1. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
5. Iowa State
And three divisions in the EAST
4. Ole Miss
5. Miss State
6. South Carolina
10. Kansas State
2. Florida State
5. Georgia Tech
7. Virginia Tech
8. North Carolina
9. North Carolina State
11. Wake Forest
1. Notre Dame
2. Penn State
4. West Virginia
5. Boston College
Two teams from each of the six divisions qualify for the 16-team playoff as well as four wildcard teams – two wildcards from the West and two from the East. Everyone's bottom line increases. Fans will eat it up so much they won't mind absorbing the increased costs for a College Football Channel as well as a DIRECTV type college football package or other games on pay-per-view.
What say you?
I'm not a big fan of this. It would basically eliminate conferences (history/tradition) and make college football NFL-lite.
The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents announced today that each of the current and future 15-member institutions has signed a grant of media rights, effective immediately.
What this means: The ACC will control the media rights for all the schools currently in the conference, even if they leave the conference.
Why this matters to us: Any expansion-to-16 speculation just took a hit for a while. Since B1G expansion focused solely on media rights, it doesn't make sense to add a school if you don't get to take over their media rights.
Any eastward expansion speculation pretty much starts at UConn now. But at least we already have an awkward 14-member conference with highly anticipated games against Rutgers and Maryland.
With the Big East imploding Matt Norlander at cbssportsline is suggesting Louisville and ND may go to the ACC a year early. Have to think Rutgers would do the same. That would leave the Big10 at 13 and the ACC at 15 for the 2013 season. I would think in that case Maryland and the ACC would come to an agreement that would see them in the Big10 in 2013.
A10 is thinking about taking the 7 non-football members of the Big East into their conference. That would leave the Big East with 8 basketball schools. Have to think they'd let Boise St. and SD St. in for basketball as well if that happened. Its strange they didn't let SD St in for basketball from the start considering how good their program is.
As the addition of realignment is thrust upon us, I remember a diary I wrote a couple of years ago contemplating four conferences of 18 teams, each with three divisions and a playoff. Lets call it for what it will become, the NFL minor leagues. The details are largely irrelevant. Saban's desire to shrink the number of D-1 participants and let only the big boys play each other seems to be well on its way to happening. I am confident that the four mega-conference concept will come to pass in some form or another. Teams are getting in now rather than be left out of the party
OK everyone, I've figured it out. I can see the pieces falling into place for the inevitable endgame for all this realignment. Bear with me here.
First, the era of 4 superconferences will dawn. As generally expected, those conferences will be based around the existing Pac 12, Big 12, Big 10, and SEC. Each conference will align itself around 4 smaller divisions instead of the current larger 2.
This will not put a stop to the arms race, however, as the Pac 12 and Big 12 will soon begin working on a collaborative scheduling agreement that will give the Pac 12 access to the lucrative Texas college football market, and give the Big 12 access to the West coast. This will prove to be a moneymaking success, and the Big 10 and SEC will start feeling the heat.
In response, the Big 10 and SEC will enter talks to form their own partnership. These talks begin with a simple scheduling agreement modeled after the Pac 12 and Big 12, but fearing to be one-uped again they decide to take things to another level and go full steam ahead with a conference merger, becoming the Big SEC. The Pac 12 and Big 12 feel their hand forced, and merge to form the Big Pac.
Meanwhile, in the mid-majors, trouble is brewing as outcasts from the Big East and ACC as well as programs from C-USA and the Mountain West struggle to find footing. They start adopting the superconference mentality as well, with C-USA absorbing much of the MAC and ACC castoffs, and the Mountain West taking on the WAC teams as well as Big East leftovers.
Back in the world of major-conference college football, the Big Pac is looking for its next opportunity to gain an advantage over their rival Big SEC. After watching the mid-major realignment shake out, they decide to drop one of the biggest bombs in all of realignment as they merge with the new Mountain West, creating the super-est of superconferences. The Big SEC sees no choice but to latch on to C-USA (as it is the only remaining college football conference at this point) and make a merger of their own.
In the end, we're left with 2 superconferences, each with 6 divisions made up of 8-12 teams. These divisions will be roughly apportioned to reflect geography, talent level, and history. For example, it's likely we'll see a division made up of the directional Michigans, as well as smaller schools from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The major Texas schools will probably band together with the Oklahoma and Kansas schools to form a division. Major programs in the Southeast will band together to form a division, as will those along the Pacific coast.
Lucky for us, Michigan will likely wind up in a division with 10-12 major programs throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes areas. Historical relationships will play a part, as that division will pull in teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, and others.
Each division will be a semi-autonomous unit within its conference, deciding for itself how its schedules will be made and how its champion will be selected, with division championship games a real possibility. The season will end with something resembling a 12-team playoff, as each conference selects its champion from among its 6 divisions, and the winners of each conference go on to play one another in a national championship game.
Brady Hoke spoke at the Agonis Club's 59th-annual awards banquet in his hometown of Kettering on Tuesday, He spoke on a number of topics including his time at Ball State, the supposed gentlemen's agreement between Big Ten coaches, conference realignment, Kaleb Ringer, and Roy Roundtree.
On his time at Ball St.:
“I had two goals at Ball State. One was to play football and the other was to drink every beer in Muncie, Ind.”
On the Gentlemen's agreement:
“No. 1, we have an actual signing day for a reason. That is, they can change their minds until they sign. This is competitive. This isn’t ... I’d like to say golf — don’t take offense. I’ve never heard of agreements or not agreements. Look, they’re 18 to 23 years old. They got a lot going on, more so now than when I was 18 to 23.”
On conference realignment:
“I think really in about three years you’ll see four super conferences, and I think the Big East will go away and maybe the ACC. But look, I’m just a coach. I don’t know all of it.”
On Kaleb Ringer:
“He had a great spring. He had over a 3.0 (GPA). He did a great job from the academic side of it. He did a nice job of learning the defense. He was awesome. I think he can be in the mix (for playing time).”
On Roy Roundtree:
“He’s doing great. He’s going to wear No. 21 in honor of (Heisman Trophy winner) Desmond Howard. It’s a big deal. Desmond is fired up. Roy is fired up. And I’m fired up.”
I found his comments on conference realignment to be particularly interesting, mainly because you'd think that he'd have some inside information on the topic, via discussion with Dave Brandon and what not. It'll be interesting to see what happens down the road.
An excellent primer from Black Shoe Diaries on the impetus behind all of the conference realignments that occurred from the early 1990s to today. That impetus is, of course, cash money.
...why are universities so eager to realign today? As best I can tell, there are five top reasons, as follows:
- Money, to fill gaps caused by bankrupt state budget cuts.
- Money, to fuel the fleet of university jets that universities can't afford not to have.
- Money, as future media rights payouts go through the roof. And,
- "Stability", defined as membership in a conference that will maintain its place at the (money) feeding trough.
More to the point, it's football driven TV money.
...the TV networks say that basketball sucks. ABC/ESPN told the ACC that they can have all the alley-oops they want; they can have a big alley-oop party in the middle of Tiananmen Square and it won't make a lick of difference, because basketball ads don't bring 30% of what football ads bring. Only football maters. Or, at least, that's how Clemson's Athletic Director explained it.
So what does this mean for the B1G?
...the payout to that 2-win Minnesota team (thanks, Hawkeyes!) is in the $20+ million range, and climbing. That's right, Tomahawk Nation. Minnesota and Indiana raked in north of $60 million over the last 3 years, winning an FCS-assisted average of a grand total of 3.57 football games, while you were making $11 - $12 million slogging it out against Oklahoma and Florida in your non-con. Doesn't that thought make you want to vomit? And that number is only going to increase, by the way.
The Big Ten Network is a cash cow that's only getting fatter; and, the Big Ten is the one power conference that has NOT renegotiated its first-tier (ABC/ESPN) football rights in the last couple of years, as far as I'm aware of. Yep - the Big Ten makes the most money today, with the oldest set of contracts, in a fast growth market. The ABC/ESPN deal expires in 2016/17. When that contract comes up for renegotiation, just watch out.
The post goes on to speculate about the desirability of several ACC schools and comes to the standard conclusion that Notre Dame is the only school that is worth the B1G's pursuit. My only comment to that is that perhaps it is, but if a next round of realignment occurs, the B1G will be looking for ND+1 or ND+3 or if ND stays steadfast in its desire to be an independent OR they go to the Big XII, the B1G will have to look for 2-4 candidates who may not be all that and a bag of doughnuts, at least from the straight cash, homie perspective. Candidate schools will have to:
- Help the B1G capture or solidify key TV markets (NYC, Washington, DC, Atlanta)
- Be good to semi-good in football
- Be good fits for the CIC
- Have intangibles that make up for something lacking in 1-3 (MBB, other sports) * +
Lots of ACC schools fit that profile to some degree or another, but especially Syracuse, Maryland, UVA, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech (geographically speaking (not only are these schools aligned north to south, but also east to west!)).
As a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a parent of UVA and VT students, my biases are plain. Get the B1G into the Old Dominion, Jim Corleone.