Conference Realignment

Status
Not open for further replies.
#701      
Yep. I say include every team that is .500 overall and .500 in their conference.
I was being serious.

How do Div 3 schools do their playoffs? I really don’t know but I do know that they have more than 4 teams.

Edit: Dump the bowls and have the playoffs run into two weeks before the Super Bowl at the latest.
Keep in mind, that each game requires a week off before the next, so it's easy to see how many teams could feasibly do this by working backwards. Assuming December 4 is conference championship weekend, and January 11 is the Championship game....

January 11 - Championship game --> two teams
January 1 - Semi-finals --> four teams
December 25 - Quarter-finals --> eight teams
December 18 - Eighth-finals --> 16 teams
December 11 - Sixteenth-finals --> 32 teams

At best, you're looking at 32 teams, and that's assuming no byes. In 2019 (forget 2020), there were 67 teams that finished .500 or better both in conference and overall. I'm not saying one way or another than a tournament with that many teams is impossible, but it'd be a nightmare to schedule and determine seeding.

Also, I don't see any way an NCAA football tournament is running two weeks before the Super Bowl. IMO at least.
 
#702      
One factor to consider in playoff expansion is the effect of said expansion on the product. If the result of the expansion is a ton of huge blowouts when Bama and Clemson play teams like Coastal Carolina in the first round, there may be a negative ratings effect. That's already been a problem for the CFP. A large percentage of the games are uncompetitive, and TV ratings have been dropping, and hit an all-time low this past championship game. In fact, the CFP championship game this year got about 7.5 million fewer viewers than the last BCS national championship game. I'm thinking these games are losing interest because 1) same teams every year and 2) the majority of these games are blowouts. Expansion of the playoff would help with concern #1 by allowing more teams in, but would likely exacerbate #2 by adding a bunch of non-competitive games. And sure, more games means more viewers in the aggregate, but at a certain point there's diminishing returns. It's a bit of a balancing act, and unless we see increased parity in college football, I think expansion beyond 8 or 12 teams is pretty unlikely for this reason.

Here's a link with some ratings info:


Noticed two other interesting things here:

1. There's a huge drop off in viewership for the major bowls that do not serve as CFP semi-final games in a given year, compared to their viewership numbers in the BCS era. I'm a little surprised, as in either case these bowl games are not crowning a champion. The Fiesta Bowl, for example, had 11.2 million viewers in 2013-2014, with a matchup of UCF vs. Baylor. The next season they drew 7.4 million with Arizona vs. Boise St, then they got a dream matchup of ND vs. OSU and got only about 9.8 million viewers. Based on this, I wonder to what extent CFP is actually expanding the college football TV pie.

2. Competitive games generally do seem to have better ratings numbers. It would really be in the interest of college football to increase parity. Unless the endgame is college football = SEC football and the SEC basically becomes the NFL of college football (which honestly is probably the thought process), then further SEC expansion is not the path to the increased revenue for the sport.
 
#703      
@the juiceman cometh above, it’s been talked about that with the same teams showing up in the cfp, all the talent goes to those schools, so they keep showing up in the cfp. A pretty vicious cycle that leads to those uncompetitive and predictable games.

Coming off the bcs era, I thought there were more good teams, a little more talent spread out. That’s why I really wanted 8 (to answer gritty’s question). I thought that at the beginning of the playoff system, the 8th team could give the top team a run for its money, and 7th seed give problems to the 2. Thought at that time it could be similar to the 12v5 tourney matchup where the last at large teams get those bids and make great games. I think that was also the same year an 8th ranked a&m either beat or gave #1 bama a run for its money.

But now, I don’t know if I feel that way. Bama and Clemson are a level between a good college team and the nfl. Almost like semi pro teams. I don’t know who can’t touch them besides each other.
 
#704      
Morrison, CO
@the juiceman cometh above, it’s been talked about that with the same teams showing up in the cfp, all the talent goes to those schools, so they keep showing up in the cfp. A pretty vicious cycle that leads to those uncompetitive and predictable games.

Coming off the bcs era, I thought there were more good teams, a little more talent spread out. That’s why I really wanted 8 (to answer gritty’s question). I thought that at the beginning of the playoff system, the 8th team could give the top team a run for its money, and 7th seed give problems to the 2. Thought at that time it could be similar to the 12v5 tourney matchup where the last at large teams get those bids and make great games. I think that was also the same year an 8th ranked a&m either beat or gave #1 bama a run for its money.

But now, I don’t know if I feel that way. Bama and Clemson are a level between a good college team and the nfl. Almost like semi pro teams. I don’t know who can’t touch them besides each other.
Shocked Oh My GIF
 
#705      
TV ratings have been dropping, and hit an all-time low this past championship game. In fact, the CFP championship game this year got about 7.5 million fewer viewers than the last BCS national championship game.
There's a huge drop off in viewership for the major bowls that do not serve as CFP semi-final games in a given year, compared to their viewership numbers in the BCS era.
...Based on this, I wonder to what extent CFP is actually expanding the college football TV pie.
above, it’s been talked about that with the same teams showing up in the cfp, all the talent goes to those schools, so they keep showing up in the cfp. A pretty vicious cycle
Connect these threads together!

The secret sauce of college football is that compared to other sports, the overall national championship isn't the whole story. That created an ecosystem that can support more big teams and more fan interest than minor league college town football "should" in common sense terms.

The playoff is an invasive species in that ecosystem, centralizing the dollars and the interest in a self-perpetuating elite, and the bigger the playoff gets, the more self-perpetuating that elite will become.

It's the only American sport with a regular season that isn't basically meaningless on a game-by-game basis, and we're so used to eating gruel we can't see it as it's being taken away from us.
 
#706      
One factor to consider in playoff expansion is the effect of said expansion on the product. If the result of the expansion is a ton of huge blowouts when Bama and Clemson play teams like Coastal Carolina in the first round, there may be a negative ratings effect. That's already been a problem for the CFP. A large percentage of the games are uncompetitive, and TV ratings have been dropping, and hit an all-time low this past championship game. In fact, the CFP championship game this year got about 7.5 million fewer viewers than the last BCS national championship game. I'm thinking these games are losing interest because 1) same teams every year and 2) the majority of these games are blowouts. Expansion of the playoff would help with concern #1 by allowing more teams in, but would likely exacerbate #2 by adding a bunch of non-competitive games. And sure, more games means more viewers in the aggregate, but at a certain point there's diminishing returns. It's a bit of a balancing act, and unless we see increased parity in college football, I think expansion beyond 8 or 12 teams is pretty unlikely for this reason.

Here's a link with some ratings info:


Noticed two other interesting things here:

1. There's a huge drop off in viewership for the major bowls that do not serve as CFP semi-final games in a given year, compared to their viewership numbers in the BCS era. I'm a little surprised, as in either case these bowl games are not crowning a champion. The Fiesta Bowl, for example, had 11.2 million viewers in 2013-2014, with a matchup of UCF vs. Baylor. The next season they drew 7.4 million with Arizona vs. Boise St, then they got a dream matchup of ND vs. OSU and got only about 9.8 million viewers. Based on this, I wonder to what extent CFP is actually expanding the college football TV pie.

2. Competitive games generally do seem to have better ratings numbers. It would really be in the interest of college football to increase parity. Unless the endgame is college football = SEC football and the SEC basically becomes the NFL of college football (which honestly is probably the thought process), then further SEC expansion is not the path to the increased revenue for the sport.

I think you've hit some really important points on how this will shake out.

I don't see parity getting consideration --there's no (financial) reason to move in that direction, at least in the short term, and if anything, programs are self-selecting where they fall in the scheme of college football. It's a league with no salary cap, and the selection committee has made it so that winning games against cupcakes is a lot less attractive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it used to be the case that a cupcake could make a couple million by traveling to a place like tOSU, where they would get hammered but sell out the stadium, giving the strong team a glorified practice and padding their win total. Those games are still needed by teams that want to get bowl eligible, but the business model for that is slowly deteriorating as bowl games become less relevant, and interest focuses more on the top teams and watchable games.

The long term trend has played itself out in dozens of sports leagues:

Owners seek more money in longer seasons and expanded playoffs
Regular season games become less interesting. In some leagues, even the opening rounds of the playoffs generate little interest
For all but hard-core fans, overall attendance and ratings drop

In this case the owners are essentially the college presidents and regents, who generally have a time horizon of a few years. They don't really care if they're doing long term damage to the product if they can get more money now. One of the great things about college football has been the relevance of the regular season, but you can feel that changing. If you go to a 12 team playoff, I'd expect that interest will mostly hold, but that would make it a slam dunk for programs like Clemson, tOSU, OK, which currently have to be very careful to make sure they're in the top-4.

It's possible that conference realignment addresses parity to some degree, but I think that concern is way down the list of factors that are driving the train. To my thinking, the whole landscape is unpredictable with the exception of the financial incentives moving more to a pro sports league. And a rather odd sports league at that, given the wide mix of academic institutions, budgets, fanbases, etc.
 
#707      
They don't really care if they're doing long term damage to the product if they can get more money now.
I don't mean to pick on you, because your analysis of the situation is very good, but this is a bad thing to say on two levels.

First of all, the powers that be are failing and making mistakes if they are damaging the future of the sport in exchange for short term revenue juicing. A CEO of a company making decisions like that ought to be and in a well managed business would be fired. Excessively discounting the future versus the present isn't savvy or clever, it's just incorrect, it's a logical fallacy.

Second, and I think more importantly, we have to get rid of the tendency for people like us to privilege talking about things with this sort of snooty omniscient remove. "Oh, well, we sophisticates can see that the incentives are arranged for the college presidents to erode the sport to get short-term revenue, aren't we clever for being able to see that." WE ARE STAKEHOLDERS TOO. Stop playing armchair college president or armchair conference commissioner and understand that we as fans and - critically - customers have a role to play too. This sucks! We should oppose it in our own voice!

It was mentioned earlier in the thread about the European Super League thing in soccer collapsing. For non-soccer people this was a money-grabbing breakaway league for the biggest brands in European soccer. And the fans, acting and self-conceptualizing as fans, as a collective stakeholding group, rapidly mobilized, literal protests in the streets, and the thing collapsed in 72 hours.

There are differences. For one thing, the ESL was universally unpopular whereas playoff expansion isn't (more popular than I realized based on the responses here, to be totally honest). But the wake up call of the ability of fans to act collectively in their own interests is something we should take a lesson from.

Doing long term damage to college football is bad, it's absolutely what's happening right in front of our noses, and we should try to stop it!
 
#708      
Don't know why this "partnership" idea is more appealing than a poach of KU and a couple desirable Pac and ACC schools. IF we can get the desirable schools that is.
 
#710      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
Don't know why this "partnership" idea is more appealing than a poach of KU and a couple desirable Pac and ACC schools. IF we can get the desirable schools that is.
Serious question--what's the attraction with KU? To me if the B1G is going to poach a school they should go after one that's relevant in more than 1 sport and doesn't have the stink of innuendo, allegation, and ticket scandals on them. I say all this with full respect for KUs history in the pantheon of college basketball, and with full disdain of what KU has done to get and remain there.
 
#711      
For everyone who was saying a couple of weeks ago that the B1G shouldn't consider Iowa State because they don't really add anything to the conference, how about a top-10 finish last season, and a #5 preseason ranking now? Because football seems to be the prime consideration in all of this reshuffling, why wouldn't the B1G bring in a school that is the hated rival of another member, and an ascendant program?

 
#712      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
For everyone who was saying a couple of weeks ago that the B1G shouldn't consider Iowa State because they don't really add anything to the conference, how about a top-10 finish last season, and a #5 preseason ranking now? Because football seems to be the prime consideration in all of this reshuffling, why wouldn't the B1G bring in a school that is the hated rival of another member, and an ascendant program?

New TV markets is the driving force. Football is the carrot for those TV markets, and the BTN is probably already on every set in Iowa as it is. ISU adds competitive teams, no argument, but they don't add pennies to the piggy bank.
 
#713      
New TV markets is the driving force. Football is the carrot for those TV markets, and the BTN is probably already on every set in Iowa as it is. ISU adds competitive teams, no argument, but they don't add pennies to the piggy bank.
This, we all knew how good ISU was last year and how good they will be again this year, this is not new information.
 
#714      
For everyone who was saying a couple of weeks ago that the B1G shouldn't consider Iowa State because they don't really add anything to the conference, how about a top-10 finish last season, and a #5 preseason ranking now? Because football seems to be the prime consideration in all of this reshuffling, why wouldn't the B1G bring in a school that is the hated rival of another member, and an ascendant program?

Iowa State doesn't bring what the conference wants.
 
#715      
I don't mean to pick on you, because your analysis of the situation is very good, but this is a bad thing to say on two levels.

First of all, the powers that be are failing and making mistakes if they are damaging the future of the sport in exchange for short term revenue juicing. A CEO of a company making decisions like that ought to be and in a well managed business would be fired. Excessively discounting the future versus the present isn't savvy or clever, it's just incorrect, it's a logical fallacy.

Second, and I think more importantly, we have to get rid of the tendency for people like us to privilege talking about things with this sort of snooty omniscient remove. "Oh, well, we sophisticates can see that the incentives are arranged for the college presidents to erode the sport to get short-term revenue, aren't we clever for being able to see that." WE ARE STAKEHOLDERS TOO. Stop playing armchair college president or armchair conference commissioner and understand that we as fans and - critically - customers have a role to play too. This sucks! We should oppose it in our own voice!

It was mentioned earlier in the thread about the European Super League thing in soccer collapsing. For non-soccer people this was a money-grabbing breakaway league for the biggest brands in European soccer. And the fans, acting and self-conceptualizing as fans, as a collective stakeholding group, rapidly mobilized, literal protests in the streets, and the thing collapsed in 72 hours.

There are differences. For one thing, the ESL was universally unpopular whereas playoff expansion isn't (more popular than I realized based on the responses here, to be totally honest). But the wake up call of the ability of fans to act collectively in their own interests is something we should take a lesson from.

Doing long term damage to college football is bad, it's absolutely what's happening right in front of our noses, and we should try to stop it!

Reasonable sentiments. I still believe that if you don't understand how the money is flowing, then you don't really understand what's happening or how to influence it. As you say, most people want an expanded playoff, so there's no resistance. In fact, there's enthusiasm for the change.
 
#716      
Can I just ask the group, as general viewers of college football, do you want an expanded playoff?

Leave your savvy guy "what the TV networks want is an inevitability, get with the future, man" hats off for a second. Are you interested in watching this?
Just make it an extension of the conference playoff. There are 10 FBS conferences, and some independents. So, the winner of the conference playoff goes on to compete for the national playoff. Six at-large bids would make up for any teams that should be in the playoffs and independents that qualify.

Of course, another way to go is taking only conference winners. Independents could join conference tournaments. That would discourage the current moves for super conferences because only one team from the conference contends for the national title.
 
#718      
New TV markets is the driving force.
This opinion passed its sell-by date years ago.

20190511_WBC864.png


Now let's all point out the spot on the graph where Jim Delany thought it was a genius move to add Rutgers and Maryland in order to scam NYC and DC cable subscribers out of $1 per month.

(I like this graph for the way it breaks out "virtual" from traditional wired cable. Those virtual services do provide revenue to the BTN, but not all of them and frequently not in a geographically bounded "footprint" way.)

(This has continued to plummet btw. It's like 72 million traditional cable subscribers now, losing darn near 2 million a quarter.)
 
Last edited:
#719      

You can see the wheels spinning around in their brains. Getting closer...
How does this alliance increase revenue for All alliance members significantly enough to compete with the SEC plus TX and OU? Boycotting the SEC would motivate them to aggressively pursue new high value members like USC and the LA market which would be a big step toward building their Premier League. If that happens I think the BIG is in trouble.
 
#720      
How does this alliance increase revenue for All alliance members significantly enough to compete with the SEC plus TX and OU? Boycotting the SEC would motivate them to aggressively pursue new high value members like USC and the LA market which would be a big step toward building their Premier League. If that happens I think the BIG is in trouble.
What makes you think the SEC will do anything but aggressively pursue high value members and their Premier League, no matter what the other conferences do? That process is already underway. I think the choice is either try to beat them at their own game, or play a different game. Maybe the right move for the Big 10 is to raid the Pac-12. If that happens, do you think the SEC just watches? Or does the SEC make moves towards some Pac-12 teams as well, or ACC teams, or even Michigan and OSU? When ACC teams watch the Pac-12 crumble, after watching the Big 12 crumble, think maybe some of the more valuable teams wonder what the SEC might have to offer? At this point I don't think we're going to beat the SEC at their game. Likely the best the Big 10 could do is to be the second tier of college football, with the SEC being the first tier (think English Championship vs. Premier League). I think this alliance is basically a way to try and prevent any of that from happening. If the Pac-12, ACC and Big 10 all stay intact and coordinated, perhaps they can wield enough leverage to avoid SEC hegemony.
 
#721      
This opinion passed its sell-by date years ago.

20190511_WBC864.png


Now let's all point out the spot on the graph where Jim Delany thought it was a genius move to add Rutgers and Maryland in order to scam NYC and DC cable subscribers out of $1 per month.

(I like this graph for the way it breaks out "virtual" from traditional wired cable. Those virtual services do provide revenue to the BTN, but not all of them and frequently not in a geographically bounded "footprint" way.)

(This has continued to plummet btw. It's like 72 million traditional cable subscribers now, losing darn near 2 million a quarter.)
I have to disagree with you once again. You are still ignoring the fact that the bulk of the television revenue comes from Fox/FoxSports and ABC/ESPN. And adding Rutgers and Maryland helped the conference to essentially double their revenues from those two networks. And I'm sure you realize that all those virtual providers still pay Fox/FoxSports and ABC/ESPN, just like the cable companies, so why so much emphasis on the dwindling cable subscribers? Are there numbers showing revenues from BTN declining (excluding 2019)? Maybe they are getting more from the virtual providers than you think. (I have no idea, btw, but I suspect that the contracts with the virtual providers are similar to cable.)
 
#722      
This opinion passed its sell-by date years ago.

20190511_WBC864.png


Now let's all point out the spot on the graph where Jim Delany thought it was a genius move to add Rutgers and Maryland in order to scam NYC and DC cable subscribers out of $1 per month.

(I like this graph for the way it breaks out "virtual" from traditional wired cable. Those virtual services do provide revenue to the BTN, but not all of them and frequently not in a geographically bounded "footprint" way.)

(This has continued to plummet btw. It's like 72 million traditional cable subscribers now, losing darn near 2 million a quarter.)
So if you include the streaming services the number of subscribers is roughly the same as 2007. The reality is any loss in subscribers are people that don't watch sports so it's kind of irrelevant to this discussion. Most (could be all I didn't look it up) of those virtual offerings have the BTN so there is revenue coming in from there. I don't think that is regionally based so they are actually helping the BTN get more money. This is the argument for not looking at "footprint" with expansion. The counter is that there is still ~85 million cable subscribers so increasing your penetration is worth something. For example if the B1G were to grab a couple of teams to span California they would be on an additional 6-7 million televisions. Gotta imagine there is value in that.
 
#723      
So if you include the streaming services the number of subscribers is roughly the same as 2007.
Completely false. As of Q1 2021 the total cable subscriber base (including the "virtual" options) is at 78.7 million, and even the virtual options have started to decline. That overall number plummets every quarter.

To that latter point, the initial boom in those virtual options like YoutubeTV, Sling TV, etc was based on loss leader pricing, just offering an introductory rate to get people hooked. It was a great deal, I cut the cord and got YoutubeTV during that period. I've now switched to FuboTV because it's the only one that gets Marquee Network for the Cubs, but it's now $70.99 a month (YoutubeTV was $35 when I first signed up, for the same thing), combined with my internet service approaching what I was paying before. These services do have lower fixed costs because they don't have the physical infrastructure to worry about, but there's still the issue of paying these fees to all the networks, especially sports networks. That's where all the cost growth has been.

The only people I know who have cable anymore, "virtual" or otherwise, are nutcase sports geeks like me, and old people (don't tell my Mom I said that ;)).

Cable is a dying industry. Sports isn't, or at least it shouldn't be. But the two are in an extremely codependent relationship (especially college sports and baseball, the two entities that fattened themselves the most with the subscriber fee bubble) and it's going to take some creativity and probably some willingness to invest and be far-sighted to enable the transition to a new revenue generation model. Everything you're seeing in sports now though (conference Game of Thrones in CFB, expanding the NFL season, baseball's ongoing nervous breakdown, etc) is just desperately trying to squeeze one last drop out of the cable stone.
 
#724      
Completely false. As of Q1 2021 the total cable subscriber base (including the "virtual" options) is at 78.7 million, and even the virtual options have started to decline. That overall number plummets every quarter.

To that latter point, the initial boom in those virtual options like YoutubeTV, Sling TV, etc was based on loss leader pricing, just offering an introductory rate to get people hooked. It was a great deal, I cut the cord and got YoutubeTV during that period. I've now switched to FuboTV because it's the only one that gets Marquee Network for the Cubs, but it's now $70.99 a month (YoutubeTV was $35 when I first signed up, for the same thing), combined with my internet service approaching what I was paying before. These services do have lower fixed costs because they don't have the physical infrastructure to worry about, but there's still the issue of paying these fees to all the networks, especially sports networks. That's where all the cost growth has been.

The only people I know who have cable anymore, "virtual" or otherwise, are nutcase sports geeks like me, and old people (don't tell my Mom I said that ;)).

Cable is a dying industry. Sports isn't, or at least it shouldn't be. But the two are in an extremely codependent relationship (especially college sports and baseball, the two entities that fattened themselves the most with the subscriber fee bubble) and it's going to take some creativity and probably some willingness to invest and be far-sighted to enable the transition to a new revenue generation model. Everything you're seeing in sports now though (conference Game of Thrones in CFB, expanding the NFL season, baseball's ongoing nervous breakdown, etc) is just desperately trying to squeeze one last drop out of the cable stone.
From the very article you referenced...

Nathanson also pointed out that the vMVPD services tend to show seasonal strength and weakness, with some signing up just for football season.

People sign up just for the season and then drop the service, so there is still value there. Do you really think the casual viewer back in 2007 was paying extra for the Big 10 network on traditional cable? The same people that would watch games are still watching games. Having about 5 teams with a shot at a national title is hurting viewership more than conference realignment. Live events are the only reason people have these services or cable. The erosion is from people that don't watch live events or seasonal as the article mentions.

I think you also have to qualify 2020 and 2021 data due to the pandemic as well.
 
#725      
Serious question--what's the attraction with KU? To me if the B1G is going to poach a school they should go after one that's relevant in more than 1 sport and doesn't have the stink of innuendo, allegation, and ticket scandals on them. I say all this with full respect for KUs history in the pantheon of college basketball, and with full disdain of what KU has done to get and remain there.
We're fans and I personally am a bigger basketball fan than football. I get this is a business decision and football is the driver but purely from a fan perspective, KU is much more appealing. A regularly scheduled blue blood and another consistent tournament performer for the B1G sounds great to me. I also like the idea of playing another team I hate. Those games are fun and will get more national media attention.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.