Expansion was inevitable and is more than football

Submitted by mi93 on November 19th, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Apologies for the new thread, but I wanted thoughts on this and know it would have been lost in the mix.

Does the expansion water down football?  You bet.  Does it reek of a market/money grab?  Uh-huh, but a for-real playoff forced that hand and this is another pre-emptive strike.  Four teams is already assured and getting to 8 requires bigger conferences to create defacto early rounds.  And the conference will likely now add Men's and Women's Lacrosse to make a total of 28 Big Teh(14)n sports with content that the East coast will enjoy.

This is also about academic standards - believe it or not.  The conference still holds that as criteria and we just added two research universities - the big dogs in their states - that are members of the American Association of Universities.  Only Nebraska is not a member (and only because the AAU chose to no longer recognize their medical center as a research entity for the NU-L campus).

Those standards are why ND will NEVER be asked to join the Big Ten.  They are not a respected research university - just a cash demanding whore.  When the conference moves to 16 teams, expect Missouri, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Kansas and Virginia (regardless of recent moves by some of them) on the short list.  And unless Syracuse can demonstrate a Nebraska-like research bounty, they won't be part of the conversation.

Delany's madman visions aside, the presiden't have final say, and they're not all Gordon Gee.



November 19th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

people mention 26 other sports besides Football and Basketball that no one anywhere gives a fuck about.

What I really hate is that this all distracts from the true purpose of this week: BEAT OHIO.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

I mean the acc added pitt and syracuse of wvu because the presidents would have never allowed wvu to join due to academics, they aren't the driving force but they play a role.


November 19th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

How much smaller we are than you... Notre Dame is a really small private school.  Institutionally we have the same level of cachet as bigger schools like Harvard or Michigan, but the entire student body here is less than 12 thousand.  To put that in perspective, Michigan has almost 4000 more grad students than the entire student body of Notre Dame. 


November 19th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

Undergrad?  Of course not.

Grad schools & research dollars?  


Federal funding excluding medical centers from 2009, (fair in that since ND doesn't have a medical center, it would be even further behind).

Rutgers is in tier 3 (51-75).  ND is in tier 6 (126-150).

ND is a liberal arts school with good sports.  The rest of the B1G & CIC have a significant graduate research mission, none of which ND has.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

Those standards are why ND will NEVER be asked to join the Big Ten.  They are not a respected research university - just a cash demanding whore.

Yeah okay.  Keep telling yourself that if ND wanted to be a part of the B1G, that we'd be adding Rutgers and Maryland right now. 


November 19th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

people all across New Jersey and NoVa will be turning their cable tuners to BTN to bask in the glow of reserach.

bad news, the only research for you on there is how to remedy a queso emergency and it starts with running into a beauty shop.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

They don't have to watch a single game for the BigTen network to make more money, especially if Fox really does bundle YES (Yankees) network together with the B1G Network.

All the B1G has to do is establish that WITH the addition of Rutgers/Maryland to the rest of the alumni in the respective areas, it deserves a larger carrier fee/month.  

From a football perspective this isn't great: but for all the people bitching about this, what was the expansion alternative?  Especially once ND (fu*ck them, always) added onto the ACC for everything else besides football, there aren't other schools that fit the profile (land grant, AAU, new markets) unless the ACC were to fall apart.

From a business perspective, this was necessary.  If the ACC were to expand, they would eat  Rutgers, and Penn State would look awfully tempting.  Now, we start to destabilize the ACC, shore up Penn State, and take away the ACC's obvious replacement.  If they try to swap Maryland with UConn, the football continengent of the ACC (FSU, Clemson, Miami) get's even more pissed, and starts flirting more with the Big 12.

I really think Delaney is shooting for UVA & UNC as 15, 16 when the expansion wheel stop turning...and neither would leave the ACC until it is crumbling.  VaTech would goto the B12 to partner with WVU.  NCState to the SEC to get them to 15.  Once those two schools are safely in a BCS supergroup, UVA and UNC would be free to choose.


November 19th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

a few things:

1) the big ten conference is not a corporation, and while it needs to be proactive to create the best climate for its members, it also is one of the pillars of college football. college football would not move on to something like playoffs or whatever without the inclusion of the big ten. i would not have minded if the conference had chosen to use some of its might to stay above the fray, rather than dilute the brand. what is the point of being Goliath if the conference has the power to determine its own amibtions, if that is to get more tvs than another guy by changing the fundamental nature of what an althetic conference is, then i guess that is what it is.

2) i think it is highly unlikely that state politics in Virginia or North Carolina will allow those state's football programs to separate, since that is what brought them together in the first place.

3) personally, i am ashamed of the big ten with this. every system that college football has ever had or will ever have is imperfect, that is just the nature of sports. this whole idea that there is some simple tournament solution that will make everyone happy is ridiculous. they are chasing piles of cash and when you have your piles of cash, then what? what happens when you have monetized every aspect of your operation? the conference, whatever that is anymore, is not going to say, we have our pile of cash, let's sit pat. they are going to find new piles and most of those piles are in our pockets. and the one thing that i even care about any of this for, the experience of going to a game with my family and singing as loud as a i can when things go well and crying as hard as a can when they don't has not benefitted from this in the least.

4) i am not a nascar fan, but this whole college football goldrush for marketing seems to reek of what happened to them. there is a niche sport, quaint, cozy, well loved by milions of dedicated fans - something that CEOs consider under-utilized. so they get their hands into it, try to broaden the appeal, try to make the championship more exciting, polish it up with cell phones instead of cigarettes, build huge facilities around the country with luxury boxes and charge insane new psls and ticket prices. after that balloon is puffed up and the casual fans wander to the next casual thing, and tv ratings fall apart and advertisers look elsewhere, the people left holding the bag are the ones that were there in the beginning, although now they are paying three times as much for a worse product. this is what this is and i pity the people who will never know the joy of piling into the car to drive to west lafayette for a simple fall day just because you can and i regret that i may never be able to do that again.


November 19th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

Thanks re; the mgopoints.  Got Bolivia'd on election night, I think.

1) Like it or not, it has become a business.  Like banking in the 1990s, when merger-mania hit the financial industry, creating giants such as Citi and JPMorganChase.  Mergers/expansion increased depositor size, providing funding for both more acquisitions, in addition to investment opportunities.

Citi has had a pretty piss-poor return.  JPM is the industry titan by far in the banking sector.  Expansion for expansion's sake is a stupid idea; Delaney at least has shown in the past some vision (PSU and Nebraska were great gets, and the B1G network was brilliant, Legends/Leaders, logo were/are awful) so I'm willing to believe there is some sort of master plan in his muppet-like head.

2) From reading UNC/UVa boards last night, the NC and Va legislatures are more worried that NCState and VaTech aren't frozen out of a BCS conference, and are willing to dangle state funding as a sword of Damocles over the flagship schools as leverage.  If NCState and VaTech were to find homes in the Big12 and SEC, i think the legislatures would be happy to let UVa and UNC find their own way.

3/4) It sounds cliche, but think of the airline industry.  Once upon a time, you had PanAm serving 5 star dinners with impeccably dressed stewardesses and passengers in formal evening wear.  Now you have slobs like me wearing cargo shorts and sandals.

Heck back when I was an undergrad (93-7), the student section was packed, even for the sacrificial lamb games.  Now, not so much.  Times change.  The 60 Minutes interview was a little alarming; Brandon views the fans as a revenue stream, trying various ways to expand both branding and ensuring generational loyalty; lots of corporate speak.

Ultimately, I think the B1G had to expand or be left in the dust....


November 19th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

I don't buy that expansion was inevitable. Maybe way down the line, but it seemed like things had settled down for the most part, and then we lit everything on fire again.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

ND is a cash demanding whore, no doubt. They'd also be a much better addition than Maryland or Rutgers. Also better additions than Maryland and Rutgers: pretty much anyone else in the ACC.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

Expansion does not bother me. Absolutely screwing my school with divisional alignments that give it hardest road possible to the championship while simultaneously making it easy for our rivals infuriates me.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

Sorry, but what gets me is that Maryland and Rutgers bring nothing to the table academically. They are fine, not a drag, but they arent worth bringing it for academic reasons given their terrible sports.

I'd MUCH rather have a place like UVA that has mediocre sports but would definitely increase the academic prestige of the conference. If a school isn't at least in the top-5 of the conference academically it is not worth sacrificing sports.

Either be a UVA or Northwestern academically or be a Nebraska/Ohio State athletically. Maryland and Rutgers bring nothing to the table besides the fiction that DC or NYC will suddenly care about those programs.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:23 PM ^

Right, but the key difference is that UVA and UNC are top notch undergrad schools.

You haven't listed a single thing Rutgers/Maryland bring.

Equal or less research dollars brought in.

Worse sports.

MUCH WORSE undergrad reputation.

Nothing except the fiction that people in NYC care about Rutgers or DC (check my login name) care about Maryland.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

...but I believe they get a considerable amount of Federal funds for agricultural research (no longer counted by the AAU).  I don't know enough about the Orange to know if they have a similar Federally funded research program that led to their AAU departure.

Despite being voted out of the AAU, the Big Ten still approved NU for admission, likely because aside from football, there's synergy with other B10 universities in that research space (via the CIC).

Wolverine Devotee

November 19th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

I think that we still aren't done here. I still have a gut feeling we will see UNC and duke. Laugh if you want at duke football, but they are bowl eligible for the first time in awhile.

And need I say more about the basketball history between Michigan & those 2 schools? I smell a Fab Five legacy uniform game against them both. Dave Brandon is salivating at that idea. Bald heads mandatory.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

Fuck this shit.  

First off, these fanbases do not give us either city.  You want NYC, you get major programs whose alums get jobs in Manhattan.  Then you have current B1G grads + new guys all screaming for the BTN Network.  That gets you the NYC TV market.  

Secondly, neither state has that large of a Congressional footprint.  In terms of access to Congressmen (to ask for sweet federal research funding) you don't get that much.  We would have been better going with say 'Cuse and at least get the ear of some NYC folk.

Thirdly, academics.  Hooray two middle of the pack public schools who don't fit the land grand culture.  Big fucking deal.  

Had we come up with say UVa and 'Cuse this would have been acceptable in terms of academic and political gains.  However all we did was add mediocrity to the conference, meh.  Fuck Delany and fuck the new additions.  


November 19th, 2012 at 5:36 PM ^

Regarding TV, I think the point is this:

Rutgers brings NYC's market into the B10 footprint, which means that the BTN will improve it's chances of getting cable carriage fees from the NY market - which is immense.

It doesn't matter that nobody will turn the BTN on - BTN will still be getting $ for the cable companies including the channel in their basic package.

Ed Shuttlesworth

November 19th, 2012 at 5:46 PM ^

No, adding Rutgers does not improve the chances of BTN getting cable carriage fees.  First and foremost, because literally no one gives a damn about Rutgers football in the NYC area but more importantly, because the BTN is already on the basic tier of more than half the providers.  I live in NYC.  No one here cares about Rutgers football. 

You're talking maybe a couple million dollars a year, tops, anyway, which isn't close to enough to justify adding Rutgers(The Situation) University to the Big Ten.

Others have said it already, but it bears repeating:  If Rutgers could bring big NYC area TV dollars, and Maryland could bring big DC area TV dollars, their leagues would already have reaped those dollars.  Jim Delaney didn't invent the idea of telling TV buyers, "Geez, you know, Rutgers is one of our teams and they're in New York City.  Pay us MOAR!!!"

The premises of conference realignment have all become self-ratifying.  There's no there there.


November 19th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

You realize that the cable companies first have to agree to pick up BTN, correct?  We're basing this entire transaction on whether there are enough Rutgers fans (haha, I know already a longshot) living in NYC/NJ who are willing to lobby/change cable providers to watch maybe six Rutgers games a year, and those are the lesser Rutgers-Indiana games! 


November 19th, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

Rutgers alone won't do it.  A combo of Rutgers (still the biggest college draw in the NYC Market) along with PSU, Michigan, and OSU just might.  Michigan, PSU, and OSU have the largest fan bases in college football and one of the largest in NYC (according to commoncensus sports profile project).  What does that mean?  It means that there are close to 1,000,000 B10 fans in the metro NYC area.  That may not seem a lot, but that may just be enough to get the BTN on the basic package.  The metro NYC area has 20 million people.  At 50 cents a pop, that's quite a nice chunk of change.  

As for Maryland, they might bring in DC and Baltimore.  There are many who believe they will.  Who knows? 


November 20th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Fits the geographic and academic profile.  Agreed they don't add a major market or are better choices than the others, but the list of schools I named were only focused on the geographic and academic profiles.  If by glaring omissions you're including schools in NC, GA or other non-contiguous states, those by Delaney's admission are not in the running.


November 19th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

Delany and company know this and are just making sure UM has the NE locked down. One of the ESPN writers said it best when he said the B1G didn't want to be flanked and basically cemented itself as the midwest and east coast conference from now on. Not a bad move IMO. WIth its recruiting base and the B1G funds, Rutgers will pass Minny, Iowa, NW, ILL, and IU in football prety quickly IMO. They already recruit OK as it is. By OK I mean better than all those teams I listed. and then Maryland has the Under-Armour connection which is more than any of the above schools can claim.

The B1G is also positioning itself to to pick up another ACC piece (UNC/UVA) and probably holding out for one other marque name when the crap really starts hitting the fan.

SEC will probably be able to scoop up FSU and/or Clemson to round out there conference. I imagine the rest of the ACC will just be screwed.



Swang on These

November 19th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

I actually am OK with Maryland. They have a very good fan base (although mainly for basketball at this point) that I think will be excited by the change and rally around the football team more. The Rutgers move on the other hand is just shit, pure shit.