Dallas Morning News: Big 12 Source said "We Might Be Moving Toward 4 Superconferences"

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on May 19th, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Well I guess it's that time of year again to play, "Superconference rumors sprouting from Big 12 country".

At least it's not OrangeBloods.com again.


Remember the idea of the superconference? When conference realignment first started to take off two summers ago, there was talk of college football eventually cannabilizing itself to create four 16-team super-conferences.

Well, following the news that the SEC and Big 12 have gotten together and agreed on a plan to have their conference champions face off in a bowl game should they not be involved in the new playoff, much like the Big Ten and Pac-12 do in the Rose Bowl, it seems the idea of superconferences has been rekindled.

In fact, one Big 12 source even told the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton that he thinks that's exactly where the sport is headed.

"I really can't believe I'm saying this," the source told the paper. "We might be moving to four super-conferences -- and the Big 12 would be one of those."

The other three, obviously, would be the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12. Those four conferences distanced themselves from the ACC and Big East with this latest bowl announcement, and the fact that this announcement came after rumors that Florida State was interested in jumping from the ACC to the Big 12 doesn't help the situation.

At the moment the ACC and Big East, along with independents like Notre Dame face an uncertain future. Sure, the odds of both the Big 12 champion and SEC champion not being involved in whatever format playoff is decided upon aren't great, but the plan also includes conference runner-ups.

Which means that if the playoffs aren't a part of the current bowl system, a bowl like the Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl could become the defacto host of this new bowl game. Which would eliminate ACC and Big East teams from consideration.

None of this makes super-conferences a certainty by any means, but anybody who is paying attention has to realize that the concept is a lot more likely now than it was even a week ago.




May 19th, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

Good chance they beg into a big conference, but no doubt they are in trouble. Their decision to stay outside and maintain their independence to this point, I feel leaves them vulnerable... It would be weird to have a national championship without ND included. But I dont feel that its impossible...


May 20th, 2012 at 12:00 AM ^

This is what I have really wanted all along.  An elite division which consists of four superconferences would produce a de facto eight-team playoff, counting conference championship games.  I would be quite excited to see it actually come to fruition. 

It's obvious that the Big 12 is leaking a lot of stuff and trying to leverage themselves ahead of the Big East and ACC to be the "fourth superconference."  It's also obvious who the other three are going to be.

The BCS has long stated that the bowls aren't there to determine a champion, so let the bowls be exactly what they claim to be when it's convenient for them to do so: exhibition games staged as "rewards" to the parcipating teams for "good" regular seasons.  

the Glove

May 20th, 2012 at 9:10 AM ^

I find it interesting that the big 12 was minutes away from not existing a few years ago. To now being considered one of the super conference potentials. I interned at a conference hq and remember them talking to big 12 employees, and you could hear a nervousness in their voices those few days when Texas was deciding if it would go to the pac 10 or not.

Wolverine Devotee

May 20th, 2012 at 12:46 AM ^

4 Super Conferences


Illinois                            East       
Indiana                          East
Iowa                              West
Michigan                       West
State                             West
Minnesota                     West
Nebraska                      West
Northwestern               West
Notre Dame                 West
Ohio                             East
Penn State                   East
Purdue                         East
Syracuse                      East
Virginia                        East
Virginia Tech               East
Wisconsin                   West

                        Big 16
Baylor                                  West
Clemson                              East
Florida State                        East
Iowa State                           East
Kansas                                 West
Kansas State                       West
Louisville                             East
Maryland                             East
North Carolina                     East
North Carolina State            East
Oklahoma                            West
Oklahoma State                   West
TCU                                      West
Texas                                    West
Texas Tech                            West
West Virginia                        East

Alabama                                 West
Arkansas                                West
Auburn                                    West
Florida                                     East
Georgia                                   East
Georgia Tech                           East
Kentucky                                 East
LSU                                         West
Miami                                      East
Mississippi                              West
Mississippi State                    West
Missouri                                  West
South Carolina                        East
Tennessee                               East
Texas A&M                              West
Vanderbilt                                East

Arizona                               South
Arizona State                      South
Boise State                         North
BYU                                    South
Cal                                      North
Colorado                             South
Fresno State                       South
Oregon                                North
Oregon State                        North
San Diego State                 South
Stanford                               North                 
UCLA                                  South
USC                                    South
Utah                                    South
Washington                        North
Washington State              North


May 20th, 2012 at 1:21 AM ^

I live in North Carolina and have often wodered about NCSU moving to the SEC.  It gets them out from under the shadow of UNC and Duke in basketball.  It also gives the SEC inroads to a Top 10 state in terms of population.  GA Tech and Miami don't bring much to the table for the SEC because they don't have great fan bases....and the SEC is already in Florida and Georgia.

I wonder what happens to schools like Duke in this scenario?  Do they play football in Conference USA.  What about basketball?  I guess that Memphis competes at a high level in basketball without having a strong conference.  Maybe Duke could do the same.


May 20th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

...for some form of promotion/relegation if we go this route. We're going to draw a hard, divisional line at 64, and the struggle over who makes the cut is going to be brutal, and if successful is going to cause instability down the line if there's no pressure valve built in.

Look at your list: we're going to include SDSU and Texas Tech, or even Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and leave out an historical power like Pitt, who's been a traditional rival of two schools (West Virginia, Penn St.) that make the cut without question? I know the Big East football experience hasn't been great for Pitt and it's not a national championship contender any more, but to force Pitt (or anyone else on this list in their place) into a lower division without hope of parole seems harsh. Were Dorsett and Marino and Fitzgerald really that long ago?

And it's not just Pitt. Why is Louisville in and Cincinnati out, to take two schools that are traditional rivals with similar histories and, for that matter, current status?

As things stand, schools decide for themselves which division they want to compete in. If you think the BCS has had antitrust problems, wait until D1 sets a hard 64-team limit and schools like Cincinnati are told to take a hike. They've put a lot of resources into building up their programs so they can compete at a high level; they've won their conference championship three of the last four years. You do this, they'll put together a coalition of teams in the same boat and go to litigation.

If there's no clear and objective criteria for selection this will be hard to get off the ground; if there's no procedure for redistributing the teams as fortunes change the pressure will build until it blows up.

Mr. Yost

May 20th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

And I was thinking the same thing yesterday...

How does anyone justify the bottom of the 64?

How do you pick N'Western or Indiana or Boston College and UConn?

Do you take Fresno St. and SDSU over UCF and USF just because you need west coast schools?

What happens to service academies?

Do Duke or Wake Forest get preference over the Louisville's or Syracuse's of the world?


It is for this reason (and the one mentioned) above, that I'm not positive you go to 64 teams. I think it could be a lot more exclusive. Or I think they could go the other route and make it more INclusive and go with 8 directional conferences of 12. If you do that, you've got 96 teams and you're really just eliminating Sun Belt, WAC and MAC schools. Not BCS schools.


May 20th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

1. Establish an objective criterion, like SOS-weighted records over the last 30 years with progressively greater weighting given to recent seasons. Any reasonable criterion will do, it's just important that one be chosen and that it be chosen before it's certain which teams it will select. It needs to be set up at least a couple of years in advance so schools have a chance to improve their standing and play their way in.

2. Set up a second tier of schools mirroring the four major groupings. Winner of each group in the second tier each year moves up, last place in the first tier groups moves down. This is not just a European solution--the Chicago Public League has been doing this for years in basketball.


May 20th, 2012 at 1:20 AM ^

we should just merge with the Pac-12 and let the SEC and Big 12 merge. Play out the seasons just like now only meet up in the Rose/Cotton Bowls for a real conference title game afterward. And the ACC/Big East can do the same, right along with the MWC/CUSA.

That's your 4-team playoff, America. 


May 20th, 2012 at 11:40 PM ^

This is exactly what I thought would happen a long time ago.  It would be the equivalent of a 4 team playoff after the traditional New Years Day bowl games.   A  blend of the best of old (traditional New Year's Day bowls) and new (4 team playoff).


May 20th, 2012 at 2:03 AM ^

No one we could potentially add (save Notre Dame) seems to be able to bring the academic and athletic clout that we're looking for while also being in the same general geographic area. It seems like if we add another team, they should add a great deal to the conference in exchange for us letting them swim in our money vault with all of us and the BTN. I don't see that in any of the ISU's, Syracuse's, Pittsburgh's, UVA's/VT's, etc. All of those get 4 'meh's out of 5

Nebraska was a slam-dunk and I think we should be good with that


May 20th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

I love how people are ready to carve up the ACC again (despite the fact that it did not die all the other times it was supposed to) based on the incoherent ramblings of "a source" who may or may not be the shoeshine boy, and who certainly isn't inside the negotiations for the new BCS, because if he were, the paper would have said so.

There are people talking about the future of college football who are not discussing it with the outside world except to leak just enough of the information to stir the pot.  So the media runs with a half-assed, totally incomplete story and you have idiots like Schlabach gleefully sounding the bell for the ACC for the fifth time - pay no attention to all the times we were wrong about the dominoes last time, this time for real!  And everybody nods their heads and says, gee, that makes sense.

Essentially, this is exactly what's going on right now:


Leaders And Best

May 20th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

If anything about a decade ago, everyone expected it to be what the SEC is now.  I agree that some of the speculation of superconferences is a bit much with the details of the new playoff still to be determined, but the issue still remains that the ACC is in some danger of becoming the new Big East.  I think the stories coming out of FSU are warning signs not to be ignored (this is exactly how the Mizzou saga started). If FSU leaves the ACC, that conference is in serious trouble similar to when Miami decided to bolt the Big East.

The ACC as a conference may not die if FSU leaves, but it may cease to be a real player in competing for national championships like the Big East.


May 20th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

When was the ACC ever in danger of dying before?

Truthfully, never.  But remember when it was going to be carved up by the B1G and SEC so the B1G could get to 16 teams?  And then it was going to be carved up by the SEC to add to its Big 12 collection.  And now it's supposedly the Big 12's turn.  We've seen this play before and nothing happens.

FSU is not going anywhere.  Here is why.  It's nothing like Mizzou - they left the Big 12 for the same reason A&M, Nebraska, and Colorado did: to get the hell away from Texas.  FSU - or specifically, their ninny-headed ignoramus of a trustee - is complaining about third-tier media rights.  The important part:

Haggard is lobbying for the Noles to ditch the ACC in favor of the Big 12 where one football game is kept by the schools as part of their third-tier rights. ...  If FSU left the ACC for the Big 12 the only additional athletic inventory it would have to offer a TV network is its worst football game and three or four additional men’s basketball games. How much money do you think the Seminoles stand to gain from the ability to sell their football game vs. Savannah State and men’s basketball games against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Georgia Southwestern, Jacksonville, and UNC-Greensboro?

Yes, I'm just sure they can recoup the $20 million exit fee by selling the rights to their Savannah State game.  The whole FSU thing will blow over. In fact, it probably already has, with the statement that their president came out with. FSU's head of the board of trustees is nothing more than the highest-ranking speculator so far, and all of these speculators from Andy Haggard to Mark Schlabach to message-board denizens are flapping their gums based on incomplete info.

Leaders And Best

May 20th, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

FSU AD operating in the red is the red flag here.  Potential revenue from a new Big 12 would dwarf the new ACC TV deal.  If FSU bolted for the Big 12, the Big 12 would be able to repoen TV negotiations for a bigger deal and add a conference championship game.  FSU would make more money in a new Big 12 than staying in the ACC (the reverse is true as well--the ACC would make more money if Texas joined).  I don't think a $20 million exit fee is huge roadblock.  The ACC has no grant of rights like the Big 12.

The biggest mistake the ACC made was adding Pittsburgh & Syracuse.  It did not add much to their TV deal and diluted the pot even more.  The initial reports from their new TV deal are underwhelming ($17 mil per school and that is at the backend), and I think that is the central problem.  Their new TV deal puts it below the Big 10, SEC, Pac-12, and Big 12.


May 20th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

All of which are based on rumors and speculation.  "Potential" revenue.  "Initial reports."  Just a couple of the many, many "ifs" involved in this.  All of which would have to point the same direction for FSU to leave.  One or two pointing the wrong way, and FSU stays.  FSU would have to sort out the travel costs - they would have to get on a plane for everything - and you can't brush aside the $20 million that easily.

Their president is very much opposed to the move.  That's all you really need to know.

Leaders And Best

May 20th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

Fact: FSU AD is running in the red. This is supposed to be the flagship football school of the ACC.  This is a major red flag.

Fact: The details that have been leaked from the new ACC TV deal puts it fifth behind the B1G, SEC, Pac-12, and Big 12.  FSU will make more revenue from a TV deal in the Big 12.  I don't know how a move would affect expenses, but FSU has to pretty much fly everywhere in the ACC (they are in the same division as Boston College & Syracuse--both longer road trips than any would be in the Big 12.)  BC, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Maryland, UVa, and VT are equivalent to road trips would be in the Big 12.  The closest school to FSU is GT (about 300 miles), and the others are not at all (even Miami is 500 miles away).

Fact: ACC has no grant of rights.  This makes it extremely susceptible to be raided.  The Big 12 has now overcome this by adding it for 13 years in its new TV deal.  The ACC has not which raises the question: Why hasn't the ACC added grant of rights to create stability?  There is only one logical explanation: some schools are not completely sold on staying long term.

Fact: $20 million buyout is not a roadblock to move.  West Virginia just had to pay that exact sum to get out of the Big East early.  A conference can loan you money which the school can pay back over time.



May 20th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

And again, fact: The FSU prez is opposed to the move.

Also fact: They bus their teams (as noted by the president himself) to a lot of places in the ACC.  They do bus many of their teams to Miami, GT, Clemson.  They probably bus some lower-budget teams to the schools in North Carolina.  They couldn't do any of this in the Big 12.  Some ACC teams are far away - all Big 12 teams are.


May 20th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

Well, all I can say is never has a sig been more apropos to a post than just now.  If this does come to fruition, I hope FSU falls into a pit and is never heard from again.  If the ACC can't get a decent TV contract, it's FSU's fault to begin with - they were supposed to be the marquee program, the ACC bent over backwards in the 2004/5 round of expansion to accommodate them, and we were repaid with cheating scandals and mediocrity.  So if they go to the Big 12, fuck them, I hope they get bent over a pole by Texas and Oklahoma and finish every year 4-8, I hope they sink further into the red thanks to travel costs and have to cut programs and then I hope the spurned athletes form an angry mob and torch their football stadium.


May 20th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

That article was really good by the way. I highly encourage everyone to read it.

There are two other issues however. One is power. There seems to be a belief, and I have no idea if it's true or not, that the North Carolina schools run the conference (particularly UNC). I can imagine that other teams, particularly the football powers, would have an issue with that. It seems to have come out in the media deal the ACC just signed.

The other thing is the new Big XII / SEC bowl game. The ACC needs to find a post-BCS home bowl game. Does the Orange really want to re-up with the ACC? It hasn't exactly worked out well for them the past 10 or so years. The ACC NEVER had a major bowl agreement until the Bowl Alliance / Coalition in 1992. Before that, their champion was locked into the Citrus Bowl. Now they have football powers in the conference that they didn't have in 1990, but they HAVE to get themselves a major bowl for their champion with big-time money.


May 20th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Well, if you're worried about someone else running the show and you being their second fiddle, you don't join a conference with Texas. I suppose the difference is that Tobacco Road is hoops and Texas and FSU are football, but Texas is still Texas and not likely to brook any challengers to their hegemony.

You're absolutely right about the bowl. But if the conference plays its cards right, they can hook up their champion in the Orange Bowl with the SEC. Just because it's not their champion, doesn't really mean much. Better deal for everyone, really, I'm sure the Orange Bowl is tired of matching up the ACC with the Big East and not remotely interested in San Diego State or Rutgers.


May 20th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

I don't think it's happening as soon and as conveniently as everyone is thinking. There are no strong forces pushing for 16-team conferences, at least not strong enough to overcome the obvious and severe disadvantages:

Super-conferences absolutely destroy the importance of the regular season and the dear rivalries of each school. If you just need to get into your conference playoff in order to qualify for the national playoff, having a great regular season is even more meaningless. A 9-3 team can win their conference and advance into the national championship the same way a 12-0 team can. Also, the do-or-die nature of rivalries like the Game are also devalued because it will never decide anything like who will go to the Rose Bowl, only maybe who gets into the national playoff structure. There will probably be no more games like 1969, 1995, 1996, and 2006 in a super-conference world.

Second, 16 team conferences are barely even a conference any more. With 12 teams, it's possible to go 4 years without playing a conference-mate. With 14, the SEC will have an even longer time between games. All the expansion erodes the important ties between schools that holds a conference together. Freshman last season will never get a chance to visit Madison to play, and will only play Wisconsin if they happen to meet in the B1GCG. That's terrible for a conference--the idea is that the schools are close-knit and similar. Super-conferences destroy that concept. Also, if schools are added in big blocks (the B1G suddenly taking 4 ACC schools, for instance), there is little chance for socialization and introduction. Nebraska was famous, obvious, and we had a whole year to get to know them. If all of a sudden UMD, UVa, VT, and Syracuse were invited to the B1G, I think there would be issues in terms of the harmonious relationship between members. When the 4 Texas schools joined the Big 8 (XII), it clearly didn't work, and the conference almsot asploded because of it.

Finally, it's easy to assign different schools to new conferences from here, but in real life, it would be much more difficult for each conference to get to 16. There are territory, academic, and TV money issues, among many others. Conferences want to expand outside the footprint: it doesn't do SEC much good to add Miami, or the Pac-12 to add more California schools. Also, the B1G and Pac-12 have some academic arrogance--they don't want bad schools just for the sake of football. To pick on Wolverine Devotee's set-up above, there is no chance that Boise State will ever join the Pac-??. Ever. Also, if you think the existing schools in the conferences are going to want to share their piles of cash with the SDSUs, Louisvilles, and VaTechs of the world, I think you're wrong. Almost all expansion past what has happened so far probably decreases each school's share of the money, which means it won't happen. The B1G and Pac-12 seem happy at 12, and I see no reason for that to change any time soon.


May 20th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

 If all of a sudden UMD, UVa, VT, and Syracuse were invited to the B1G, I think there would be issues in terms of the harmonious relationship between members. When the 4 Texas schools joined the Big 8 (XII), it clearly didn't work, and the conference almsot asploded because of it.

A very underrated point IMO.  People have visions of 4 16-team superconferences because it's neat, clean, and tidy.  Very orderly.  But in order to bring that kind of grand project to fruition, you need dictatorial oversight of the whole thing.  You need a central organizing agency, otherwise everyone will look out for #1.  The NCAA is not that central organizing agency.  It's not going to dictate to the conferences what they should do, nor will it dictate to the schools who they'll associate with.  The conferences will continue to negotiate their own media rights and rules and so on, and the more voices at the table, the more disagreement there'll be.

People think the neat and clean 4x16 model is so inevitable, failing to ask themselves how sustainable it is.


May 20th, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

First off, the Michigan-Ohio State game has already been devalued in terms of winning the conference championship or going to the Rose Bowl.  It's not the Big 2/Little 8 anymore--a number of other teams have gotten better and made the UM-OSU game a non-factor in the title.  In recent history, we've seen Michigan beat Ohio State and end up in the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl and also lose to OSU and still end up in the Rose Bowl.  

Secondly, if a 16-team conference uses a pod system and constructs it in such a way to make sure that rivalry or regional teams are in the same 4-team pod, then all the relationships that you'd like to see regarding trophy game, etc. can still be kept intact.

Third, you completely discount the importance of a team having a strong regular season in terms of seeding for a post-season game.  Yes, a program could go 9-3 in the regular season, win the conference championship game and end up with a 10-3 record as the Big Ten champion.  But that program would likely be the last seed playing at an unfriendly site against the top seeded team in the country.

Fourth, you also discount the strength of schedule component in making your assessment.  If the hypothetical 9-3 team had a top five SOS and a 12-0 or 11-1 team had a SOS in the thirties, which team is better?  You can figure it out a couple of ways using a computer or a poll or a committee.  I have a better solution--let's see them in a playoff if they both won their conferences and decide it on the field.

I actually do agree with you that getting each of the conferences to an equal number would be difficult.  They all act out of their own interest and their membership does fluctuate.  The Pac 12 is going to have an exceptionally difficult time getting four more members as long as the Big XII remains intact.

But the trend as of late has been for larger conferences and barring any major changes, we'll see the five major ones having 64 teams in them (SEC & ACC with 14, Big Ten and Pac with 12 and Big XII with ten).  Add in two independents (BYU and ND) and that's 66 teams.  If Division 1-A/FBS were to downsize to 80 teams, we might see five 16-team conferences or four 20-team conferences that have two 10-team divisions.  

In the latter case, those divisions would be the same size as the current Big XII or the pre-1993 Big Ten or the old Pac 10.  Play a round robin of nine division games plus three non-conference, then put together a conference championship game that would act as a de facto eight-team playoff quarter final. 



May 20th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

The idea the conferences will expand in their own regions isn't a reality.  The conferences, with their own networks, will be looking to expand their footprint.  Why do you think the Big 12 loked at WVU?  To get into the East Coast of course.  The Big 12, being the weakest of the four being looked at in this report, needs to bring in teams outside Texas and the Great Plains.  If this super expansion happens, and it is the Big 12 that gets in, look for them to expand solely into the East.  If they do get FSU and Clemson, watch them go after schools like NC State, VTU, and maybe even Miami.  Will they get all of those schools?  No, but they will get some and push their influence to a wider market while giving WVU and, assuming they pull South Carolina and FSU, more regional teams.

Think how each conference could go about expanding and keep in mind that there are many ways for schools to fit.  As far as the Big 10 goes, they potentially will take from many different areas.  Just taking 4 ACC schools isn't in the cards, IMO.  They want markets, mainly the NY market, the DC market, and a Southern market.  I think they look at wanting to take ND, Rutgers, Maryland, and Geargia Tech.  I think that the NY market is ripe for the B1G network, but need a local team to solidify it.  Adding ND with Rutgers solidifies it, I think.  Maryland, along with PSU, brings the DC market.  With all of the Northern transplants, I think all they need a big school to bring the Atlanta market.  All of the above schools are good academic schools with the potential to bring in other markets.  

Again, this only fits if a team is willing to leave their conferences.  I think  that traditional ACC teams like UNC, UVA, NCST, and Duke will never leave.  They value the academic closeness and the basketball rivalries to much to break free.  If the superconferences do come to fruition, I believe ND will be forced to join one.  Rutgers is the new Nebraska in Maize and Brews College Football High School post.  They are just waiting for their invite.  A report out earlier in the year stated that Rutgers was telling recruits that they will be in the B1G shortly.  Maryland and GTU are the stretches.  They both fit what the B1G wants, but do they want to leave.  Who knows, but if they can solidify their standing with one of the conferences, than they may jump. 

Remember, the Big 12 wasn't expansion, it was a merger and one of need.  The Bis XIII and the SWC were falling apart.  They joined to make themselves stronger by puttingNebraska, UT and Oklahoma together.  The superconfeences can pick and choose the best fits for them.

Hardware Sushi

May 20th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

This is idiots talking to themselves. The Big 12 was falling apart 12 months ago.

Something they put in the plains is full of stupid. Don't get me wrong, I'd be OK with that so long as we add the right teams, but no - I don't believe a damn thing coming out of the Texas news.

Jim Delany is a smart guy and I believe him when he says it's better to play in our 12-team league when we can play teams with regularity. SEC fans are pissed about the new schedule at 14 teams; imagine the schedule at 16.


May 20th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

This thread has ignited the whole playoff/how to organize the season debate again.  It has got me thinking, “are we asking too much of football players?”

Between the schools, the networks and the fans there seems to be a desire for the following:

  • 12 games for all teams to generate the required revenue.
  • 3 or 4 of those 12 are non conference games with at least two ideally not against baby seal U so it is fun to watch.
  • A conference championship game
  • A minimum of a 4 team playoff but a real desire for a 16 team playoff, which would be really cool to watch I will admit
  • If everybody gets what they want the champion is playing 17 games.
  • Don’t pay players (they get a free education).  We must also look at the economics of the typical program and realize that the money is not really there to pay them anyway.
  • Players go to real classes and get a real degree

I think back to the section of three and out that talked about Denard’s day.  These guys work hard and get the hell beat out of them for 4 months per year already.  They also do a lot in the off season.  In the end they are just 18 to 22 year old college students who play a game and get a free education for it.  A small percentage will go on to the NFL and make millions.  Most won’t.  A free education is a very nice benefit but don’t they do enough already? 

From a pure fan perspective I would like to see all of the above elements of a college football season occur.   It would be very fun to watch.  I am beginning to feel that we need to make some choices that don’t involve more games.  I love college football but we may have to accept that it is not the NFL and will not have as clear a way to determine a champion. There is also the risk that at some point things like super conferences and large playoffs are going to ruin what makes college football great.



May 20th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

If the NCAA went from 85 to 95 scholarships per team, it might spread out the attrition that you mention taking place.  It doesn't set aside the commitment these players have to the sport, but it does at least allow teams to not have to play guys who are injured because there's really no good suitable substitute on the bench waiting to take his place.

I'll also add that I don't know if there's a really strong appetite for a 16-team playoff.  I suspect the logical cutoff most people will see is eight teams because going beyond that number means the bowl system is going to have a hard time surviving in its current form (although with a seven win requirement and now a four-team playoff on the horizon, we know the bowl system is going to change).

Given the current structure of college football, it's inevitable that some of the teams that participate in an eight-team playoff won't be conference champions.  There might be autobids for the top five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC) plus three at large bids that may or may not be in a conference championship game.

Let's assume that an eight-team playoff.  That means four of those teams may play up to 14 games that season--twelve in the regular season, one possible conference championship game plus the quarter-final game.  There would be up to three weeks of so between the conference championship game and the quarter-finals.

That leaves four teams left, two of which will play one more additional game (#15 of the season) and two that will participate in the final (Game #16).  Depending on when those games are played, the season could extend into early or mid-January for two teams.

Is that asking too much of these guys?  When you're looking at four teams playing one or two more games than they normally would, then I'm hard pressed to say yes.  Now if we went to a 16-team playoff, then yes, we might be getting to the tipping point where we're asking too much.

One of the happy circumstances of an eight-team playoff is that it will provide college football additional revenue from the television networks.  I've seen estimates of perhaps $700M per annum.  

If college football contracted to 64 teams that had 95 scholarships and paid an additional $3K per year additional to the players, then the price tag would be $18.24M.  If there were 80 teams, then the amount goes to $22.8M for the football teams alone.  That leaves another $680M or so to be given to the other scholarship athletes at these schools as stipends or cost of living scholarships.


Wolverine Devotee

May 20th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

I LOVE my scenario of the B1G. I think MaizeAndBlueWahoo does too.

I would love to see virginia tech come to The Big House or go to lane stadium.

Can you imagine the basketball? You would have Michigan, wisconsin, indiana, state, ohio, purdue, syracuse and virginia.

Not to mention illinois who is gonna be back eventually since they have a good program. ND has an average program, who makes the tournament consistently. Hell, even northwestern is a dangerous, dangerous team who I do not like to see Michigan play. But I pull for them every year to make the NCAA tournament. 

Plus you would add some GOOD lacrosse schools in ND, virginia (who are facing off as I type this) and syracuse who has the most national titles. Put them with Michigan, penn state and ohio you could form a B1G Lacrosse Conference which would do wonders to the sport.




May 20th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

I LOVE my scenario of the B1G. I think MaizeAndBlueWahoo does too.

I would hate it.  Absolutely despise it.  There's a reason I didn't apply to any Big Ten schools except as a last resort.  I like when UVA and Michigan play occasionally, not as yearly rivals.  Not interested in having to choose between them on a regular basis.

Plus, you are looking at it from the standpoint of "what can UVA do for the Big Ten?"  I look at it from the standpoint of "what can the Big Ten do for UVA?"  Your answer would be "duh, more money, silly" but what good is the money when everyone else has the same cash stream?  UVA athletics is already highly profitable.  In comparison to our ACC conferencemates, we're in great shape.  In the Big Ten, we would lose that advantage.

UVA is a mid-Atlantic/southern school in a mid-Atlantic/southern conference.  The Big Ten is a midwestern conference.  There's no fit.  In what world are Virginia and Wisconsin cultural matches?

Plus, in the past I've detailed why I think UVA athletics would die on the vine in the Big Ten.  The last thing we need is Michigan and Ohio State getting their recruiting hooks into the state of Virginia.  The last thing we need is to lose the name "ACC" in basketball recruiting.  Big Ten lacrosse?  Again, you speak of "what UVA could do for the Big Ten" but what can the Big Ten do for our lacrosse team when we're not with our usual rivals any more?  You come to UVA to play lacrosse against Hopkins, UNC, Duke, Maryland, not Ohio State and Penn State.

Taking us away from two of our three biggest rivals and putting us in a conference where we'd be mediocre at everything and only there to give the conference academic cred is not my idea of a good thing.  It sucks. 


May 20th, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

You are absolutley correct in that UVA wouldn't leave, nor should they.  UVA, UNC, NC State, and Duke are the mainstays of the ACC.  They set the tone of what the ACC is about.  My question is how the other ACC schools fit the culture of those 4?  What does Pitt, Srycuse, BC and Miami have in common with UVA, UNC, NCST, and Duke?  Why are they acceptable in the ACC and Maryland, UVA, GTU or UNC not acceptable in the Big 10?  


May 20th, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

I didn't exactly ask for BC and Miami and the like to join.  I liked things fine as they were.  The moneygrab changed things.  But however tenuous the cultural ties between BC and Cuse and Pitt and the rest of the ACC, you have to honestly admit to yourself that the "core" ACC schools are a much better cultural match to them than to the Big Ten.  UVA/Syracuse or UVA/BC still makes more sense than UVA/Illinois or UVA/Nebraska.

At any rate, my primary argument is this: UVA in the Big Ten would be doomed to mediocrity.  I don't see even one reason to like the idea.  Not one.


May 20th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

When the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) had 16 teams, it utilized the pod setup in order to ensure that at least every team played the other in the conference home and away over a four-year period.

The Big Ten or any other conference could have the same sort of setup.  If you go by basic geography and add four teams (Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Notre Dame for this example), then the B10 pods could go like this:

Pod A - Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin

Pod B - Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue

Pod C - Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State

Pod D - Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers

With a nine-game conference schedule, Michigan would play MSU, ND and OSU each year (which is what happens now) plus two teams from each of Pod A, B and D in Years 1 and 2.  In Years 3 and 4, UM plays the other two teams from those three pods.

Since this structure doesn't have divisions, a conference championship game could be set up between the top two teams record wise in the B10.  

If you want to have a division structure in place, then put Pods A and B together for two years in one division, with Pods C and D in another.  Play seven games within your division plus two teams from one of the other pods.  In two years, Pods B and C become a division and Pods A and D become the second division with teams play two games from one of the other pods.

For example, if Pods C & D were put together for two years, Michigan would play Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and two teams from Pod A--let's say Iowa and Wisconsin.

In the next two years, Pods B & C would be put together and Michigan would continue to play MSU, ND and OSU, but the other teams would come from Pod B (Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue) and Pod A (Nebraska and Minnesota).

That allows Michigan to play each team in the conference at least two times over a four year period, but sets up temporary divisions so that you can have a conference championship game between the two division winners.

The WAC had three problems in its adoption of the pod system.  The first is that their system broke up the conference rivalries, but this set up here actually ensures that most of the rivalry and/or trophy games are intact (although the Little Brown Jug game with Minnesota is now played two years out of every four).

The second problem the WAC had was geography because that conference was really spread out.  The expanded Big Ten I have above has the pods within a more confined goegraphical footprint and PSU is happy because of its eastern presence.

The third problem people had with the WAC was keepin track of the divisions because they changed every couple of years.  To be frank, there's not much you can do about that with a pod system.  But if B10 fans have managed to master the Legends and Leaders Division titles, I suppose they can figure out the pod system.







Blue Ninja

May 20th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

A college friend of mine is a blog writer for Clemson and he said things could get very interesting around July. His feeling is either join B12 or stay ACC. They would prefer SEC but that won't happen with South Carolina.


May 20th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

Texas has what Notre Dame wants: a financial sweetheart deal in a conference it is basically a lock to dominate on the field.

As much as this goes against my B1G sensibilities, if Notre Dame were smart, at this point, they should lobby HARD to be allowed to "save" the ACC by joining, and get asymmetric revenue like Texas in return.

ND should simply visit the ACC offices, point to the Big12's Texas deal, and say, "I'll have what they're having."

If FSU or Miami protests, simply offer them the same opportunity to make their OWN revenue streams. Either way, it'll be at WORST the same (if not better) deal than they'd be getting if they joined th "BigTXII."

Hey, I think I just coined a new thing: "BigTXII."

Better TM it.