Conference Realignment

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#401      
Cal, not Colorado. For a lot of reasons, not the least of which is no chance UCLA leaves the Pac 12 w/o them.

Switching gears, Gritty's proposal has appeal. Wonder what the revenue #s would look like?
Why not skip UCLA and Cal and go for Kansas instead? Add 5 teams from the PAC (Washington, Oregon, USC, Stanford and Colorado) and then Kansas as well.

You avoid the public schools in California which means there is less chance the state would get involved. Cal’s athletic department is deeply in debt and a bit of a mess. UCLA is somewhat like KU in that they have a historic basketball and mediocre football program but they would be the second team in the LA market. KU adds an additional media market. Adding KU along with CU adds some historical Big 8 rivals for Nebraska.
 
#402      
Connecticut
Assuming adding USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Stanford as mentioned above, how would a 20-team, 5-pod conference play out hypothetically (football-wise)? Something similar to this (I guess):

Pod-A --> USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, and Stanford
Pod B --> Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Pod C --> Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan St.
Pod D --> Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St., Maryland, Rutgers

Then what? Pods play all teams in their pod once and rotate through the rest of the pods on a three year cycle? in that regards, for football at least, you're not looking at a lot of extra travel. For the teams that play Pod-A, you have two or three games that require travel out west once every three years. The bigger difference is that every team in Pod-A now has a guaranteed two or three game schedule out "east" every season. I don't imagine that's going to be a hold up in any sort of negotiation like this.

Now, beyond football (because, as many people have mentioned, there are like 296 other sports that exist besides just football), how in god's name is a 20-team conference from coast to coast going to work?! Even on a map it looks ridiculous... let alone in practicality.
If you suspend the thought that all teams' schedules need to be same in terms of in-pod / out-of-pod and allow for more regional scheduling (and, more importantly, more marquee matchups, e.g. USC-OSU), you can make this work and add to the value of the 'New B1G' in $ per school.

As far as other sports...even more regional flavor to the schedules and allow for out of conference games to fill up the slates for teams out west. As I said a smart scheduler with some leeway re: scheduling equity could make this work and create an attractive solution for the networks
 
#403      
South Carolina
Long time no see fellas. Had a moment of clarity on this subject and thought this was the right place to put it.

The notion that the Big Ten ought to carve up the Pac 12 has the whole thing entirely backwards. The contest to shred all tradition and rootedness from college sports in order to create the most valuable rights package for the next TV rights deal and blanket the most valuable recruiting territory in the country to create a football conference to end all football conferences is over, it concluded today, the SEC has won.

Luckily, the SEC (and the rest of the Power Five) has been playing the wrong game this whole time and they've left themselves exposed.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 ensure their mutual doom fighting to the death trying to play that game. The opportunity lies in working together, and seizing this rare opportunity.

Start with two premises, both of which are totally rejected by the emergent SEC project:

1. Tradition, broadly defined, is what separates US college sports from every other minor league on earth, it is the secret sauce, the thing from which the super-brands emerged.
2. There is more to college sports as a business than the elite handful of football programs.

With those as your starting point, the grand traditions of college sports and the demands of modern commerce and marketing are no longer in tension. Here's what you do:

1. The Big Ten and Pac 12 absorb the remaining Big 12 teams, and combine to form a single entity strictly for the purpose of selling media rights.
2. Since these conversations are always about hypothetical divisions anyway, here goes:

Pac 12 West
USC
UCLA
Stanford
Cal
Oregon
Oregon State
Washington
Washington State

Pac 12 East
Arizona
Arizona State
Utah
Colorado
Texas Tech
Baylor
TCU
Oklahoma State

Big Ten West
Illinois
Northwestern
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Iowa
Iowa State
Nebraska
Kansas
Kansas State

Big Ten East
Michigan
Michigan State
Indiana
Purdue
Ohio State
Penn State
West Virginia
Rutgers
Maryland

(Four time zones, four divisions, you do the math TV scheduling-wise)

3. I'd avoid it if I could, but the winners of these divisions will play in conference championship games.
4. The winners of which will meet in the Rose Bowl Game, played between these two conference champions every January 1 at 3:30 PM like God intended.
5. These leagues will exit the College Football Playoff, which will be left as a rump, regional competition. But will be happy to discuss any post-bowl opponent for the Rose Bowl champion.
6. The combined entity will mandate that all games must be played at campus sites (or the usual home stadia of its teams). They will not serve as opponents for one-offs in Atlanta and Dallas.

7. Use the NIL rules to redirect as much of the combined entity's revenue to players as you can, particularly in basketball, baseball, soccer, and hockey (at least for the Big Ten side).

The SEC (and ACC who are probably trapped on this path), are engaged in a race to the bottom to dominate one region in one sport. They will succeed.

The two conferences who have always been likeliest to at least consider the less cynical view of the college sports world need to have the courage of their convictions enough to place their bet on a nationally dominant entity in everything else. We've entered the nuclear war phase in college sports history, and the only winning move is not to play.
J. Whitman, is that you?
 
#404      
So if that demand exists, who is going to serve it? The logical answer is some kind of combination of the B1G and the PAC-12.

Failed to notice this before I posted lol. I'm back to my old ways of saying the same thing as Matt in excruciatingly more words.

Switching gears, Gritty's proposal has appeal. Wonder what the revenue #s would look like?
Pac-12: the problem with a benevolent merger is that revenue (per school) will be diluted or at best stay the same. If we go full Machiavelli (raid 6 schools), ca-ching!

It's true that the next TV deal would be bigger if we separated the wheat from the chaff. But if you can't see the cable bubble deflating by now, I don't know what to tell you.

The idea is that by offering a coast-to-coast all sports TV package and reinvesting that in growing beyond just football, you're creating something that has an eye toward the future and development over time, rather than just harvesting and eating the seed corn of college football's enormous current popularity to the maximum extent possible. Giving viewers and fans a reason to care rather than exploiting and leveraging the fact that they already care.

There will always be lots of attention for college football in the South, it's not like the SEC is going to go bankrupt. But I genuinely believe that over time the Mechagodzilla Conference is not going to be the commercial behemoth it thinks it will. If everything goes in that direction college sports is going to be a shrinking pie.

J. Whitman, is that you?

I sure hope so.
 
#405      
To Gritty's point, the SEC's gambit is that football will continue to be the dominant force in college sports over the long term. They may be right. If they are, they've already won. The Big Ten could go along with that logic, in which case the move is to try and beat out the ACC and eke out an existence as the clear 2nd level of college football and pray the SEC never decides to expand to 24. It's not even a given that the Big Ten beats out the ACC if it goes this route, to be honest

Or as Gritty has already illustrated, bet on the other sports bouncing back a bit and try to be the premier destination for everything other than football. It's not a bad idea. Given the dwindling youth participation in football, it's not a given that the sport maintains its dominance in the long term.
 
#406      
Long time no see fellas. Had a moment of clarity on this subject and thought this was the right place to put it.

The notion that the Big Ten ought to carve up the Pac 12 has the whole thing entirely backwards. The contest to shred all tradition and rootedness from college sports in order to create the most valuable rights package for the next TV rights deal and blanket the most valuable recruiting territory in the country to create a football conference to end all football conferences is over, it concluded today, the SEC has won.

Luckily, the SEC (and the rest of the Power Five) has been playing the wrong game this whole time and they've left themselves exposed.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 ensure their mutual doom fighting to the death trying to play that game. The opportunity lies in working together, and seizing this rare opportunity.

Start with two premises, both of which are totally rejected by the emergent SEC project:

1. Tradition, broadly defined, is what separates US college sports from every other minor league on earth, it is the secret sauce, the thing from which the super-brands emerged.
2. There is more to college sports as a business than the elite handful of football programs.

With those as your starting point, the grand traditions of college sports and the demands of modern commerce and marketing are no longer in tension. Here's what you do:

1. The Big Ten and Pac 12 absorb the remaining Big 12 teams, and combine to form a single entity strictly for the purpose of selling media rights.
2. Since these conversations are always about hypothetical divisions anyway, here goes:

Pac 12 West
USC
UCLA
Stanford
Cal
Oregon
Oregon State
Washington
Washington State

Pac 12 East
Arizona
Arizona State
Utah
Colorado
Texas Tech
Baylor
TCU
Oklahoma State

Big Ten West
Illinois
Northwestern
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Iowa
Iowa State
Nebraska
Kansas
Kansas State

Big Ten East
Michigan
Michigan State
Indiana
Purdue
Ohio State
Penn State
West Virginia
Rutgers
Maryland

(Four time zones, four divisions, you do the math TV scheduling-wise)

3. I'd avoid it if I could, but the winners of these divisions will play in conference championship games.
4. The winners of which will meet in the Rose Bowl Game, played between these two conference champions every January 1 at 3:30 PM like God intended.
5. These leagues will exit the College Football Playoff, which will be left as a rump, regional competition. But will be happy to discuss any post-bowl opponent for the Rose Bowl champion.
6. The combined entity will mandate that all games must be played at campus sites (or the usual home stadia of its teams). They will not serve as opponents for one-offs in Atlanta and Dallas.

7. Use the NIL rules to redirect as much of the combined entity's revenue to players as you can, particularly in basketball, baseball, soccer, and hockey (at least for the Big Ten side).

The SEC (and ACC who are probably trapped on this path), are engaged in a race to the bottom to dominate one region in one sport. They will succeed.

The two conferences who have always been likeliest to at least consider the less cynical view of the college sports world need to have the courage of their convictions enough to place their bet on a nationally dominant entity in everything else. We've entered the nuclear war phase in college sports history, and the only winning move is not to play.
This is honestly the best post I have ever seen on this site. You are absolutely right that the arms race for college football supremacy has ended with the move of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. There are no other moves to be made and to try would likely make matters worse, not better. However, the folly in the SEC's plan is that they left much of the game board available.

The Big 10/Pac-12 merger would create a literal coast-to-coast footprint encompassing the vast majority of major markets north of the Mason-Dixon line (Boston and perhaps Philly come to mind as missing), stretching west to include Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver (even if it's not really a CU town), and south to include Kansas City, the state of Oklahoma and whichever scraps of Texas remain after UT and A&M.

While the SEC undoubtedly will reign supreme in football, as you pointed out, it is one sport in one (admittedly now-expanded) region. But they left so much more on the table geographically, financially, and with other sports.

I nominate Chief Gritty to replace Kevin Warren, effective 7/27/2021.
 
#408      
The Transfer Portal
Failed to notice this before I posted lol. I'm back to my old ways of saying the same thing as Matt in excruciatingly more words.

Ha, it's nice to be working with proper villains again.

To Gritty's point, the SEC's gambit is that football will continue to be the dominant force in college sports over the long term. They may be right. If they are, they've already won. The Big Ten could go along with that logic, in which case the move is to try and beat out the ACC and eke out an existence as the clear 2nd level of college football and pray the SEC never decides to expand to 24. It's not even a given that the Big Ten beats out the ACC if it goes this route, to be honest

Or as Gritty has already illustrated, bet on the other sports bouncing back a bit and try to be the premier destination for everything other than football. It's not a bad idea. Given the dwindling youth participation in football, it's not a given that the sport maintains its dominance in the long term.

Building on this - nobody would *ever* beat the SEC in a "football uber alles" college sports environment. They've got it right with the "It Means More" motto (but again, only for football). Even if football fell out of favor in most of the country, they'd continue playing it in front of full stadiums. (Candidly, I think OSU, PSU and Nebraska would bolt under the Gritty Model(TM) - they are by far the closest to SEC football culture. Will gladly give their spots to Syracuse, North Carolina, and Virginia.)

Meanwhile, the B1G led the nation in basketball attendance for the 44th year in a row. The conventional wisdom of "all that matters is money, which means TV, which means FOOTBAW" is divorced from reality for most of the country.
 
#409      
Orange Krush '04 & '05
The difficulty with any major merger always ends up being the merger of the administrations and who gets to be top dog. If egos could be put aside, the new B1G PAC conference could be successful.
 
#410      
Glenview, IL
Oklahoma and Texas have formally notified the SEC they are seeking "an invitation for membership" beginning July 1, 2025. I don't recall seeing the information that it could occur before then.

"If it happens earlier, each university would have to pay a penalty of at least $75 million to $80 million to break that agreement; or hope that the Big 12 dissolves before the grant of rights contract expires.

One Big 12 source suggested the possibility that OU and Texas are banking on a relationship that turns so sour over the next few years, the Big 12 agrees to cut them loose for less."

 
#412      
Failed to notice this before I posted lol. I'm back to my old ways of saying the same thing as Matt in excruciatingly more words.




It's true that the next TV deal would be bigger if we separated the wheat from the chaff. But if you can't see the cable bubble deflating by now, I don't know what to tell you.

The idea is that by offering a coast-to-coast all sports TV package and reinvesting that in growing beyond just football, you're creating something that has an eye toward the future and development over time, rather than just harvesting and eating the seed corn of college football's enormous current popularity to the maximum extent possible. Giving viewers and fans a reason to care rather than exploiting and leveraging the fact that they already care.

There will always be lots of attention for college football in the South, it's not like the SEC is going to go bankrupt. But I genuinely believe that over time the Mechagodzilla Conference is not going to be the commercial behemoth it thinks it will. If everything goes in that direction college sports is going to be a shrinking pie.



I sure hope so.

Great comments, but John Maynard Keynes famously said in the long run, we're all dead. Presidents and everyone else up the food chain have incentives based on the short term, so I think you're looking at exactly what you appear to fear will happen.

I can see a future where the education model is heavily disrupted because young people and their parents realize how over-priced it is given the technology and access to great instructors that's available today. OTOH, the value of an education is almost entirely in the exclusivity and screening for getting in, plus the network it gives you access to. Neither of those will be disrupted at the higher level institutions, so the disruption is not likely IMO to hit BIGTEN schools anytime soon.

Ergo, Mechagozilla Conference. Better get used to it.
 
#415      
Is The Big Ten About to Raid The Pac-12 in Conference Realignment?

This 18+ minute podcast by Tom Orr of Morning Scoop where he is talking with Nevada Buck re:
- AAU significance,
- what 4 Pac-12 schools are talking with B1G
- when TX and OK approached B1G re membership
- Kevin Warren...
I really love the addition of PAC teams more and more. While I know they mentioned USC, UCLA, Colorado and Oregon - rounding that out to 20 teams with the addition of Stanford and Washington would be great, and give the West Coast six teams. Maybe even Cal and Utah - I think they are both AAU as well, even though I know Cal's athletic dept. is a trainwreck.
 
#416      
Paducah, Ky
The more I read into all this, the more frightening it becomes that Kevin Warren is leading the B1G.
kw06.jpg


Illinois University Foosball anyone ?????.....anyone ?????

kw05.gif
 
#418      
The Transfer Portal
The more I read into all this, the more frightening it becomes that Kevin Warren is leading the B1G.

Look, the digs at Kevin Warren are well-earned, but....it's not like the fate of the B1G rests on one guy. Do you think the university presidents, Fox Sports, etc. are all just sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for Kevin Warren to do something?
 
#421      
AAU money trumps football money. That's why the AAU membership is so important and why they will likely not take a non-AAU school, besides Notre Dame.
 
#422      
Being in a conference with Texas sounds like a really fun experience.
Talk to most any Cornhusker fan about how being in a conference with Texas as Top Dog works out. The Big Red were screwed out of a League title years ago when time was added to the clock for the Horns to kick a title-winning field goal against the Huskers.

The Huskers were furious about this at the time (still are) but it was a valuable lesson for the future about who counts and who doesn't. And when the Big 12 got shaky a few years back, that along with the Texas experience/lesson was enough to send the Huskers into the arms of The Ten. And this is just about the time when Nebraska stopped being a national football powerhouse. They have been a shell of their old program ever since.

Joining the Big Ten has remained a constant point of division among Husker fans. Some feel they had no choice. Others see this as a bad fit that will never work out. And time will show...this will never work out. They'll enjoy counting the big yearly cash pile but at the expense of Husker fans sports experience.

The Big Ten must grow or accept being the "Not SEC Level". It's up to them.

Tradition in college ball is what it made it special. But that ship has sailed. Media reports show that ESPN was behind the Texas/OU move to the SEC because ESPN got the SEC media rights. And ESPN totally runs college sports now. What ESPN wants... ESPN gets. Tradition doesn't have a prayer against the power of ESPN and big money going into the pockets of the right people.
 
#423      
B1G was still the cash king of college athletics, lets not act like the sky is falling on the B1G. Also the SEC will continue to be better than the B1G as long as the best prep players are from their states, that's just how it is. B1G fans can still have a great time watching amateur sports and occasionally competing for a ring when the stars align (after all Ohio State is a top 3 program), but I don't need that from Illinois football.
 
#424      
Talk to most any Cornhusker fan about how being in a conference with Texas as Top Dog works out. The Big Red were screwed out of a League title years ago when time was added to the clock for the Horns to kick a title-winning field goal against the Huskers.

The Huskers were furious about this at the time (still are) but it was a valuable lesson for the future about who counts and who doesn't. And when the Big 12 got shaky a few years back, that along with the Texas experience/lesson was enough to send the Huskers into the arms of The Ten. And this is just about the time when Nebraska stopped being a national football powerhouse. They have been a shell of their old program ever since.

Joining the Big Ten has remained a constant point of division among Husker fans. Some feel they had no choice. Others see this as a bad fit that will never work out. And time will show...this will never work out. They'll enjoy counting the big yearly cash pile but at the expense of Husker fans sports experience.

The Big Ten must grow or accept being the "Not SEC Level". It's up to them.

Tradition in college ball is what it made it special. But that ship has sailed. Media reports show that ESPN was behind the Texas/OU move to the SEC because ESPN got the SEC media rights. And ESPN totally runs college sports now. What ESPN wants... ESPN gets. Tradition doesn't have a prayer against the power of ESPN and big money going into the pockets of the right people.
How is that different from the way the BigTen treats tOSU and Michigan? They’re “governed” by a separate set of rules.
 
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