Sorta OT: Conference expansion merry-go-round starts again

Submitted by gopoohgo on May 13th, 2012 at 9:08 AM

FSU Board Member rips the new ACC deal; lowlights include $1 million per school increase; the big increase touted is back-ended.

Also, schools give up Tier3 football rights, but BBall schools (looking at you, Duke and UNC) individually kept their Tier3 Bball rights.

FSU to BigXII chatter commences.  Some say Clemson may come as well?

IF the ACC does asplode (losing FSU and Clemson, with Yes-That-Smoking-Crater-Miami on NCAA life support, VTech is the only consistent football power), does the B1G pick up a piece or two?

UVA would be my top choice...GaTech is too far away and would not 'bring' the Atlanta market, just like Rutgers would not 'bring' the New York market.

Adding UVA with all the PSU/Michigan/Ohio alumns running around the Baltimore/DC/Nova megaburb would capture this market.  Maryland would as well, but not as many people care about the Terps.

ND, as always, is the wild card.  To hell with them, though.



May 13th, 2012 at 9:21 AM ^

I honestly don't even know what schools are in the Big East or ACC anymore. And is West Virginia really in the Big XII now? Geographic nonsense.

His Dudeness

May 13th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

Before next season there should really be a post on the front page about the final teams in all of the conferences. It's a pool full of pudding with naked midgets in it right now. I have no idea what's going on.


May 13th, 2012 at 9:31 AM ^

I live in the DC area.  People care much more about Maryland than Virginia.  That's just how it is.  It's hard to find much UVA coverage.

But I would be happy with either.  They advance Delaney's goal of expanding the B1G footprint into areas of the country that are growing markets - Metro DC and the VA Tidewater areas - without being way off the map like Atlanta or Austin. 


May 13th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

I live in the area too; I'm not sure it was Edsall losing his mind or what, but excluding the UnderArmor uniform dress-up game, Maryland athletics seems to be a non-entity.  I work/live in Howard County tho, not NoVa...

Selfishly, I would want Maryland due to proximity.

I think Delaney's best case would be ND and one of either UVa or UMd.


May 14th, 2012 at 12:55 AM ^

Eh md football is only big when winning, between the redskins and ravens a lot of people don't have football money to spend on going to a small time football program.  However in terms of ratings and bringing the market MD is better than UVA, especially if you look beyond football and into basketball.  But UMD brings Nova DC and baltimore in tv market where as UVA at best brings nova and dc and doesn't even really bring dc.

One Inch Woody…

May 13th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

I was reading the Yahoo! Sports (I know, terrible source) article on this happening yesterday, and one of the justifications Florida State used for a potential leave from the ACC is that it would be "hard to bring fans to the Panhandle from such faraway locations as Syracuse and Pitt". But if they were to go to the Big 12, then... they would have just as hard of a time with Oklahoma, Ok St, Iowa St, etc.

But really this boils down to the fact that the ESPN deal doesn't add MORE money to the conference. 

Think about it, though - you're televising your top games nationally, and that attracts media attention and fans. Not to mention, since ESPN has the broadcast rights to the ACC, they're going to talk it up a bit more too. Given the fact that the conference's prestige will undoubtedly increase due to more media exposure, I believe that they all stand to benefit greatly in the long run. This is all in the face of a deal that doesn't cause any of the athletic departments to LOSE any money.

Also, no, the Big 10 is fine where it is. No crappy ACC teams please.


May 13th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

I love how you don't oversell the idea on a conference bringing in some TV market just because a school is close to one. As the NYT estimated, Rutgers does have viewership in the NYC area but the viewership is nowhere near what it is in big southern or midwestern cities. Besides, adding a school for TV markets is a terrible reason to change the conference (though it seems like that is what is driving it).

Virginia does seem like a good fit to me. From the article above, their fan base is estimated at around 835k which would put them below the conference median but they also have great academics and facilities in a very nice setting. It has a rich history and while their football and basketball would probably put them in the middle of the pack, their soccer, lacrosse, and baseball are very good. I would also argue that their basketball and football are getting better.

As for other schools, Notre Dame seems to make sense but they are stubborn. Texas will not happen. The SEC is just trying to get numbers so they probably won't want teams like Clemson or Georgia Tech. That said, I have come around to the idea of Georgia Tech joining the B1G. It seems kind of strange geographically but Atlanta is 709 miles from Ann Arbor. Minneapolis is 650. Yes, those are both midwestern states but Atlanta is not 100% a southern city. There are a lot of transplants here from the northeast and midwest.

Their fan base is nowhere near as passionate as Michigan or Nebraska fans. I would compare them to Purdue. They have a new basketball arena on the way and their football stadium opens up into the Atlanta skyline. They are very good academically and have a lot of foreign-born students. Plus, they are in a city with a very cheap cost to travel to. Flights to Atlanta from DTW or ORD are very cheap and hotels are inexpensive.


May 13th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

The original plan in '03 was to invite Syracuse instead of VaTech. Syracuse's then-AD claims that the ACC actually extended them a formal invitation and then revoked it. Apparently, the governor of Virginia and the UVA president lobbied the other ACC schools behind the scenes to get VaTech an invite, with UVA threatening to withdraw from the conference if VaTech wasn't invited.…

the Glove

May 13th, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

I don't see anything happening, FSU is just using these rumors to leverage money. Being spring sports can't travel by air it would be the stupidest thing that they could do. I'm confident that the big schools are done moving for a while. The only thing you'll see is the mountain west and conference usa refeeling there slots and the wac finally taking the bullet to the back of the head.


May 13th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

B1G has parts of the NY market, mostly us and PSU,  but not all.

Notre Dame has parts of the NY market, but not all.

Rutgers has 3 times as much fans in NY than the B1G or Notre Dame combined, but not all.

However, if Delany could rope the above 3 together, he COULD make a decent case for NY, imo. When you're talking about the largest media market in the world, where even a small chunk of a pro sports town is a huge amount of money, adding Rutgers may be worth it. 


May 13th, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

I'm not a New Yorker / from Jersey, but I have family there.  I think the statement "Rutgers has 3 times as much fans in NY" might be a littttle misleading... does Rutgers really have any real fans?  I can't say I've ever seen/met a Rutgers fan not in NJ and it has been established in the past that NYC just isn't a college sports town (outside of alum fans from big time schools). 

Plus, everything I've ever heard about Rutgers has been... bad.  No offense to any fans out there, but what would Rutgers add besides teams to get stomped and a financial failure in the athletic department?  I'd take Maryland/UVa/ND/GT anyday over Rutgers.


May 13th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

I think the statement "Rutgers has 3 times as much fans in NY" might be a littttle misleading... does Rutgers really have any real fans?  I can't say I've ever seen/met a Rutgers fan not in NJ and it has been established in the past that NYC just isn't a college sports town (outside of alum fans from big time schools). 

Plus, everything I've ever heard about Rutgers has been... bad.  No offense to any fans out there, but what would Rutgers add besides teams to get stomped and a huge financial failure in the athletic department?  I'd take Maryland/UVa/ND/GT any day over Rutgers.


May 13th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

Here's the link to an article that polled New Yorkers, by the New York Times. Rutgers has an estimated 600,000 fans, while ND is second with 250,000. So I guess my numbers were a bit off.

Rutgers isn't the sexiest name, but they do have some good things going for them:

  • Flagship state University
  • 50k Enrollment.
  • Very decent academics
  • AAU member
  • Very nice high school football, and would help recruiting in New York and Maryland as well.
  • New Jersey is the 3rd richest state in the U.S. by average. Sell those jersey's!
  • New Jersey alone has 9 million people even before counting New York
  • Has more college fans in New York than any other team.
  • Tons of B1G alumni in New York  that would come to Rutgers games. I swear I met as many students from Jersey as I did Michigan when I was a student.
  • The athletic dept might be bleeding, but at least they're actively trying to improve their facilities, rather than sit back doing nothing.
  • Mike Hart's state.




May 14th, 2012 at 1:03 AM ^

The big problem is that rutgers fans represent 3% of the population in new york, you aren't getting the big network on basic cable because of 3% of the population and that is where the money that makes it worth it would come from.  If rutgers can't gaurantee the big network on basic cable its not worth the invite.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

Exactly, U of Pittsburgh probably has about 600,000 fans in the Pittsburgh area (metro population is probably around 1.5 mil), but I never heard anyone screaming that the BIG10 should make sure to dominate the Pittsburgh market by adding the Panthers (granted PSU dominates).  You'd be adding about the same number of fans to the Big 10, adding a more respected/historic program, and essentially securing PA recruits to the Big 10 (W. Pa / Pittsburgh seem to be the hotbeds in the state).

Zone Left

May 13th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

In what way? It's obnoxious that teams are moving around, in particular the end of the Texas A&M vs Texas rivalry, but I'm willing to accept even the irritating changes in exchange for being able to watch every Michigan and otherwise relevant game on TV each week. We can't have everything we want and I'm willing to accept the former in exchange for the later.


May 13th, 2012 at 10:28 PM ^

It certainly isn't anything new, and I think looking back over the last several decades you can make a case that the movement was beneficial on the whole. There has to be some way to re-distribute the teams as the balance of power changes--does anyone wish Miami and Florida State were still minor independents, or that Houston, Rice and SMU were taking up spaces in Texas's conference and Oklahoma wasn't?

We go through this every couple of decades; I think it's unavoidable.


May 14th, 2012 at 10:18 AM ^

Probably, originally, it was as travel got easier, but it's continued.

The SWC had a very narrow geographic footprint and there was much lamentation when the Texas schools got split into two tiers. The ACC went from a narrow Maryland -> South Carolina focus to encompassing the whole atlantic seaboard and even one school on the gulf. The Big East went from being a Bos-Wash basketball conference to covering the whole eastern 1/3 of the US. All of that happened well before the current round.

If travel costs aren't material schools won't worry much about geography and they'll find their competitive/philosophical peers. If travel costs ever start to matter again, like they do for most schools in D3 and NAIA ball, you'll see this reversed.


May 14th, 2012 at 9:16 PM ^

The difference is that when the ACC expanded in 2005, or when the SWC disintegrated, they were generally just natural extensions of existing geography.  (Keeping in mind that Syracuse was originally supposed to be part of the ACC expansion, so BC wasn't supposed to be so isolated.)  What went on then was nothing like West Virginia playing in a southwestern conference or SDSU and Boise playing in an eastern one.


May 13th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

Geographically that would make more sense to add these schools. Plus it would boost basketball and probably make the big ten the best basketball conference.


May 13th, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

The only thing that can stop all this lunacy is an ever-expanding national playoff that includes as many teams as possible.  Schools are doing this only because they feel so much pressure to maximize their regular season dollar and to keep well-aligned in the post-season evolutions that are taking place.

A real system would provide the money and the necessary auto bids to keep schools from doing this silly moving around.  Conferences could then remain what they were supposed to be: regional, based on natural proximity, and similar academic values.

It will happen some day because the tv money for like a 16 team format will be so mind-blowing.


May 13th, 2012 at 10:42 AM ^

Can we please just stop screwing with the B1G? I really like it the way it is; it's a distinctly midwestern conference, along with PSU, which is a great fit academically, athletically, and (until recently) culturally. I could care less about bringing in money for the conference; I'd rather see a conference I can cheer for than a conference that kicks lots of money back to the schools.


May 13th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

It's interesting how the Big XII is already slowly moving east and the Big East is moving west. I am guessing that, if the current trend continues, the two conferences will pass one another on I-70 outside of Indianapolis in their efforts to lose further regional focus. 

There's also this:

"On the other hand, it will do very little for schools with a more traditional football following like FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Miami." - from the article

In the long run, however, I don't think this holds entirely - your conference in general gets a little boost in publicity with the deal, so eventually the efforts will pay off for other programs as well, although I am not sure it would be enough to satisfy Haggard. More potential revenue streams exist than just the TV deal, and what you don't see here you might see in other areas. 

I would be curious as to what Haggard believes the Big XII can offer FSU, other than perhaps a media deal more suitable to him, because in itself this is quite  frankly a horrible reason to make such a switch. Further, contrary to what he claims, being in a certain conference can very much boost at least the perception of your academics, so really, being in the ACC doesn't exactly hurt them in this regard. 



Moonlight Graham

May 13th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^


Actually, I do care. I know this is going to open up the floodgates of Charlie Weis jokes but I think the best fits to add two more are Kansas and Notre Dame. Kansas would solidify B10 as best in basketball and ND's intangibles (if not their recent performance) would put us a notch above the SEC in football. That has to have something positive to do with ratings and cable networks doesn't it?