OT: Has expansion finally come to an end?

Submitted by the Glove on May 2nd, 2013 at 2:30 PM
With the new ACC media restriction and now the new SEC network, do you feel that expansion will finally stop? All of the good teams from the AAC (Big East) have been picked clean and would seem less appealing to the Big Ten. The ACC has no interest in taking UConn and the Big 12 has made it clear that they are happy with staying at 10 teams. One could think that if the Big Ten was still really interested in expanding maybe they would be interested in adding Missouri, but that doesn't seem feasible with the rumors jumping around that each SEC team could pull in 30Mil a year off of the TV contract (purely rumors and speculation). Granted I am only talking about the major conferences and not the likes of Conference USA. Your thoughts? Edit: let me reiterate that I mean for the present time, not forever.



May 2nd, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

until the Big XII's GoR is up for renewal.  I can see the Big Ten making another run at Texas and see how that turns out.

Personally I would like to see a modified verson of the Big Ten - Pac 12 alliance to be back on.  Now that the Big Ten has more teams than the Pac 12, I would imagine they would be more amenable to a setup where each side commits to 6-7 games a year instead of insisting on a full 12 game slate, which was the big hang up originally.


May 2nd, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

Not sure if serious.

Expansion is going to continue until there are super conferences.

I have a feeling we may see Oklahoma and OK State join. But that's just me.

Perkis-Size Me

May 2nd, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

From an academic standpoint, the Big Ten would never allow Oklahoma State to join. Oklahoma might be a little bit of a stretch, too. But if they ever came as a package deal with Texas, hypothetically speaking, we'd take them both in a heartbeat.


May 2nd, 2013 at 5:16 PM ^

It may seem arbitrary to you, but it's not to the conference presidents, who are the ultimate decision makers on expansion. Nebraska only got booted after they joined the conference, and then only because a pissed-off Texas orchestrated Nebraska's ejection from the AAU. The only non-AAU school that has a ghost of a chance of joining the B1G is Notre Dame, and their admission would be tied to ramping up their research expenditures so that they could apply for admission to the AAU. Anybody who spends five seconds thinking about other non-AAU members joining the conference is wasting his time, but I guess that doesn't deter people from fantasizing about programs like Cincy joining.


May 2nd, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

If there was some new super league started, and Dave Brandon thought M could make more money there, he would ditch the BIG in a second.  Never mind the schools that still would be happy to jump to the BIG.  Don't kid yourself, expansion is never over, simply paused.


May 2nd, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

Georgia Tech and one other ACC team like perhaps Virginia/Carolina...or Notre Dame and Ga Tech..ND is about to get squeezed out of the BCS..


May 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 PM ^

Kick the crappy teams out of all power leagues and set up elitist TV contracts and playoffs.  Then the Vagina Bowl will be stuck with the leftovers.  The unimaginatively named "College Football Playoff" could call itself "Sloppy Seconds".


May 2nd, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

... Expansion will continue. There is currently money to be chased, so expansion may not even be paused.

As far as the ACC media rights deal, it is obviously aimed at keeping the conference together. I am only a rules lawyer and not an actual one, but I'll bet that lasts until

A. Someone challenges it in court because they want to leave.
B. the ACC revokes it because all their members want to leave.
C. Some conference or conferences pays the breakup fee to poach the schools anyway.


May 2nd, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

I'll start with this from the Washington Post, which I thought was interesting - LINK

Essentially, there is a hearing on May 23rd which pertains to the lawsuit over the ACC exit fee, which Maryland does not wish to pay, of course. One of the arguments that may come up actually is the grant of rights as well as the additions of Louisville and Notre Dame (sort of anyway). The idea here, it seems, is that the ACC is not really in a position to claim much financial injury from Maryland's exit, other things considered, or at least that's how the state of Maryland would like to approach it. The grant of rights here, in the case of the ACC, might very well bring down or mitigate other disincentives to exit, if that's what a team really wanted to do. 

It seems like even if a grant of rights were to stick, and the precedent became that conferences could enact them (there is a feeling some of these agreements might get challenged in court), I still think the major conferences are in position to make moves based on perceived future value.

Of course, there may not be a lot of teams that have sufficient future value to the major conferences to get a sniff, if you will, so perhaps it makes realignment a slower, more deliberate process with far more legal potholes potentially (such as negotiating the reacquisition of media rights, which would be pricey, I would imagine), but I don't see it ending necessarily. I have a feeling there might be some moves at least studied to make television contracts more lucrative in the next few years. 

the Glove

May 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

Good response. I kind of have a hard time seeing a high caliber ACC team that the Big Ten would be interested in wanting to go through all the legal proceedings. I would have to say no with North Carolina because of the rivalry with Duke, but would a Georgia Tech be interested in something like that? Or would a Virginia even can be worth it for the conference?


May 2nd, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

but an extremely long pause.

i think there is some fatigue from the whole thing and the playoff gives something for everyone to look forward to. i think all the major players can stand pat, the little guys might make some moves, cinci and the rest of the conference nomads.

i think that it will be about 3-4 playoff champioship years before we see some sort of flaw in the system and need a knee jerk reaction. so that gives us what, 6 years or so?


May 2nd, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

They don’t get a conference championship game.  While they have a large TV contract I don’t think it has the growth potential offered by conference networks.  As the SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12 continue to see revenues increase based on cable subscriptions I wonder if Oklahoma and others will feel they are major programs missing out on the gravy train.  If Texas A&M is successful in the SEC while raking in 30 million a year from the SEC network that may also lead to some discontent.



May 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

"Agreements" only last as long as the next school or conference that finds a better deal.  Wherever there's a contract, there's a lawsuit.  If anyone is interested in expanding, like the Big Ten, they will find more schools, and the schools will be as ruthless with their former conferences as they are when they try to extract money from former coaches or weasel out of buyouts when they fire them. 


May 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

would probably love to join any 'BCS' Conference - Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12 or Pac-12.  Those are the two schools that are going to be hit the hardest from the demise of the Big East. 



May 2nd, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

I think we'll see a 4-5 year stop on expansion, at least as long as MD is in court with the ACC. How that goes will determine the future of the conferences. I get the feeling that the ACC is going to lose this one, but a lot can happen.

I could see the B1G trying to pick up Mizzou (no GoR in SEC) and Kansas when the Big 12 GoR is up, if only to get to 16. Otherwise, I think we'll wait until it's economically viable to get GTech or UVA.


May 2nd, 2013 at 6:03 PM ^

Rutgers. The Big Ten took the dreck of the east coast and a bankrupt disaster. I think it's over until the B1G offers Bucknell next.


May 2nd, 2013 at 6:06 PM ^

Maybe for a minute, but as soon as Texas believes that staying in the Big XII is no longer in their best interests. They’re gone.

IMO the B1G end’s up with KU and another team from the Big XII, during the next realignment cycle.


May 2nd, 2013 at 8:16 PM ^

I think there's one more domino to fall and that's Cincinnati.  They and somebody will be in either the Big 12 or the ACC before this is all over.  I think either the Big 12 takes Cincinnati and Boise State or the ACC gets over their fight with Connecticut and takes UConn and UC.  IMO.


May 2nd, 2013 at 8:59 PM ^

UT thinks its natural place is to be the dominant player in whatever conference it's in, which means it ain't going to the SEC or the B1G or PAC12. That attitude is a big part of why Nebraska, TA&M, and Missouri all left. If Texas leaves the Big 12, it will be to a new conference with the Longhorns as the big shit on the block and in control of most of the money.

The B1G needs Texas like it needs a cancerous tumor.


May 3rd, 2013 at 8:49 AM ^

At this point anyone saying, "no way man, it's not over" is being willfully blind.  "But the grant of rights isn't enforceable in court!"  Why is the ACC's GOR any less enforceable than anyone else's, I wonder?  Maryland's case in the exit fee lawsuit is based almost entirely on the fact that they voted against raising it.  Nobody voted against the GOR.  Yes, lawyers are bright, sneaky people adept at fighting court battles, but they're going to have a hard time convincing a court to decide that a contract that their client agreed to and signed is in fact not enforceable.

In other words, you're gonna have to do better than "well they'll just lawyer their way out" as a reason.  That's expensive, time-consuming, and meanwhile the school you want is worthless to its new conference until such time as every appeals court up the chain makes the decision you're shooting for.

It's not happening.  Vote me down if you don't like the cold water being thrown on your dreams, but neither UVA, UNC, GT, nor any other ACC school will be in the Big Ten in 2014, or in 2020, or in 2025.  As long as the Big 12 GOR is in effect, the same holds true for them.

Der Alte

May 3rd, 2013 at 9:05 AM ^

Well the SEC and ESPN --- the last and biggest pieces of the college athletics puzzle --- have finally consummated their marriage.  This seems an appropriate time for college presidents and athletic departments to step back and assess where college athletics is and where it's going.

Netflix just posted strong 1Q profits from --- in part --- renting movies over the Internet. Video streaming technology will only improve and, as more people sign up for it, more businesses will get into that market, given that the entry costs are not that daunting. Amazon is already in, and Apple, with more money that God, has to be looking at the video streaming market very closely.  And new-technology, new-product cycles are now so rapid that no one really knows how soon the day will come when consumers will ditch cable (many already have) and download and watch (and pay for) only what they want when they want it.

The point here is that the business model on which the current college football cable TV networks are premised seems more and more like one from the VHS-era rather than the content-on-demand world unfolding before us.

As we learned from the housing crash just a few years ago, nothing is so hot that it can't eventually cool down. It just might be that the SEC and ESPN signed their deal at the very height of the college athletics-cable network boom.


May 3rd, 2013 at 10:10 AM ^

We will also see, within the next couple of months, a similar arrangement for the ACC.  Both the SEC and ACC are firing up their own networks.  If either are half as successful as the BTN, they'll further solidify things east of the Mississippi.  I don't think these conference networks require the current model's status quo in order to stay profitable and relevant - but the conferences will hopefully have to make decisions based on something other than how many people live in close proximity to a school's campus.