Conference Realignment

#126      
I don't think the quality drop is a problem. Arguably, we're increasing it with acquisitions.

For me the problem is tradition. I'm just now beginning to feel like Penn State is a member of the conference.

I have no deep seated emotions about Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, or Penn State. So it takes some of the fun out of the conference thing for me.
I'd love to have some additional good brands for some good matchups each year, but fear that if we add any more teams it will feel less and less like the B1G conference. We and the rest of college football is just realizing that divisions pretty much suck and its the best for the collective whole to get rid of them (although I'd love to play in this B1G west forever!). If you get up to 20 teams, I feel like you have no choice but to divide up the teams. If you have two divisions, you will never play your cross division opponents. Even if you do a pod system its going to be very rare to play teams outside of your pod. That means that we are bound to have a team in a state that borders ours that will very rarely ever play us. That sucks.

For this reason, I hope we stick to 16 teams so that we can go divisionless and play every team in the conference fairly often to keep some of the tradition alive. Notre Dame + guest would be the one exception to get to 18, but otherwise I hope this is what we have for a good while.
 
#127      
I'd love to have some additional good brands for some good matchups each year, but fear that if we add any more teams it will feel less and less like the B1G conference. We and the rest of college football is just realizing that divisions pretty much suck and its the best for the collective whole to get rid of them (although I'd love to play in this B1G west forever!). If you get up to 20 teams, I feel like you have no choice but to divide up the teams. If you have two divisions, you will never play your cross division opponents. Even if you do a pod system its going to be very rare to play teams outside of your pod. That means that we are bound to have a team in a state that borders ours that will very rarely ever play us. That sucks.

For this reason, I hope we stick to 16 teams so that we can go divisionless and play every team in the conference fairly often to keep some of the tradition alive. Notre Dame + guest would be the one exception to get to 18, but otherwise I hope this is what we have for a good while.
With the B1G at 16 teams it would be pretty easy to change the logo. Just connect the G. B16
 
#129      
I don't think the quality drop is a problem. Arguably, we're increasing it with acquisitions.

For me the problem is tradition. I'm just now beginning to feel like Penn State is a member of the conference.

I have no deep seated emotions about Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, or Penn State. So it takes some of the fun out of the conference thing for me.
It's just gonna be a generational thing. I've only known Penn State as a big ten member so for me that's normal. My sons will never know anything other than a big ten which stretches from coast to coast so while that seems different to me, it will probably be normal to them.

I still cringe when I see nebby football from the 90s on BTN on Big Ten Classic games but for the generation who only know nebby in the BIG, this will probably just be normal. I don't think twice when I see a PSU game from the 80s on BTN classic games.
 
#137      
#143      
Zombie conferences are a thing now.
I kind of felt this way all along re: the Big 12. It's like people have said about Nebraska, passionate fan bases mostly in geographies without a pro team, so college ball gets 100% of the attention. Differs from the Pac-12, outside of a couple of schools I don't see the passion / intensity. Or the nationwide TV viewers, as the games are on so late for much of the country, and / or "I've already watched three games today and I'm not staying up for Oregon St vs. Cal".
 
#144      
I kind of felt this way all along re: the Big 12. It's like people have said about Nebraska, passionate fan bases mostly in geographies without a pro team, so college ball gets 100% of the attention. Differs from the Pac-12, outside of a couple of schools I don't see the passion / intensity. Or the nationwide TV viewers, as the games are on so late for much of the country, and / or "I've already watched three games today and I'm not staying up for Oregon St vs. Cal".
This is always hard to analyze, though ... we are seeing Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor at their absolute ceilings; there aren't dormant "casual fans" ready to hop on the bandwagon should they get even better, as those fans are choosing Oklahoma, Iowa and Texas/Texas A&M at an almost 90% clip. I think the networks/conference leadership definitely consider how high of a ceiling a program's fan base has (especially if they're covered in a major media market), and I feel the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the B1G make that clear ... what I DON'T know is how that is weighed vs. programs that have a more consistent fan base like those three Big XII schools. Pretty much a low floor/high ceiling vs. high floor/low ceiling argument. Sure, Rutgers' home games are empty now, but in 2006 they set the all-time record for college football ratings in the NYC media market; it just takes the right AD to hire the right coach, and the sky is the limit there ... look at Bielema and a similar "sleeping giant"-type program in Illinois!

I guess the golden question is CAN those high ceilings be achieved with the "right coach" at somewhere like Cal? I honestly don't know. On one hand, they're the flagship school located in a massively important media market ... on the other, they seem to be WAY less invested in sports than other state flagships, and the sports culture of the area seems to be working against college sports (none of this even mentions their massive budgetary problems). I find this fascinating even if I don't have all of the information that the powers-that-be do, but I will say this ... I don't think Iowa is more valuable to the Big Ten than Illinois or Maryland simply because their football ticket sales are high right now and their loyal fan base delivers consistently good-not-elite ratings in small markets ... if your value to the conference is entirely based on maintaining your current level of success, I'd argue you'd essentially have to be in the "Blue Blood" category for that to outweigh other factors like population and instate recruiting. JMO.
 
#145      
This is always hard to analyze, though ... we are seeing Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor at their absolute ceilings
Are we though? Depends on how you define 'ceiling' I suppose. This feels to me like Gritty's over-used / under-used Illinois fan metrics. Let's not lose sight of the joy of winning the West as we dream of making the playoff. Also let's not grouse about our 'easy' schedule hurting us, you play who you play, take the wins. Other schools took them from us for so many years.

By the same token, if you mean that OSU / ISU / Baylor will never be at the level of Texas or Oklahoma, I agree. But the post was about the viability of the Big 12. I can see the above programs continuing their (relative) strength in a conference without UT and OU. They will play the same number of games, and somebody has to get the wins.

I simply see a stronger and more intense fan base in Big 12 country than I do in Pac-12 country. And maybe I'm totally wrong about this since TV eyeballs count for more $$$ than butts in seats now. But based on the many posts here, it sure sounds like butts in seats are still important.
 
#146      
Are we though? Depends on how you define 'ceiling' I suppose. This feels to me like Gritty's over-used / under-used Illinois fan metrics. Let's not lose sight of the joy of winning the West as we dream of making the playoff. Also let's not grouse about our 'easy' schedule hurting us, you play who you play, take the wins. Other schools took them from us for so many years.

By the same token, if you mean that OSU / ISU / Baylor will never be at the level of Texas or Oklahoma, I agree. But the post was about the viability of the Big 12. I can see the above programs continuing their (relative) strength in a conference without UT and OU. They will play the same number of games, and somebody has to get the wins.

I simply see a stronger and more intense fan base in Big 12 country than I do in Pac-12 country. And maybe I'm totally wrong about this since TV eyeballs count for more $$$ than butts in seats now. But based on the many posts here, it sure sounds like butts in seats are still important.
To be clear, I am arguing (without any direct evidence, just anecdotally) that those teams have likely climbed relatively close to their viewers ceiling, as they have all been good lately and have significantly smaller fan bases than the "flagship teams" in their states. The drastic swings in viewers from a bad Illinois team on BTN vs. Rutgers, for example, to the ratings our half of the equation could deliver for the Michigan game later this year is a lot wider of a range, IMO. In other words, I think a much larger percent of the potential (why I used "ceiling") Iowa State fans that exist in the United States are already watching Iowa State. Having lived in Iowa, casual fans around the state who didn't go to either school and don't live in Ames or Iowa City probably break for Iowa 80%/20%, so there aren't nearly as many fans to pick up should they get even better. Compare that to Illinois, where I have (anecdotally) watched Illini gear in Chicago go from non-existent as we all hide in our shame to seeing it everywhere now.

However, I think the point where I almost agreed with you is that I'm not sure a school like Cal could even galvanize enough bandwagon/new support IF they got good to become more valuable to conferences and the networks than an Iowa State or Oklahoma State or Baylor ... whereas I am quite confident that Illinois could.
 
#147      
To be clear, I am arguing (without any direct evidence, just anecdotally) that those teams have likely climbed relatively close to their viewers ceiling, as they have all been good lately and have significantly smaller fan bases than the "flagship teams" in their states. The drastic swings in viewers from a bad Illinois team on BTN vs. Rutgers, for example, to the ratings our half of the equation could deliver for the Michigan game later this year is a lot wider of a range, IMO. In other words, I think a much larger percent of the potential (why I used "ceiling") Iowa State fans that exist in the United States are already watching Iowa State. Having lived in Iowa, casual fans around the state who didn't go to either school and don't live in Ames or Iowa City probably break for Iowa 80%/20%, so there aren't nearly as many fans to pick up should they get even better. Compare that to Illinois, where I have (anecdotally) watched Illini gear in Chicago go from non-existent as we all hide in our shame to seeing it everywhere now.

However, I think the point where I almost agreed with you is that I'm not sure a school like Cal could even galvanize enough bandwagon/new support IF they got good to become more valuable to conferences and the networks than an Iowa State or Oklahoma State or Baylor ... whereas I am quite confident that Illinois could.
Fair play. I've been here long enough to know the rules: you never debate Fighter on viewership or attendance, you stay away from Pru's stash (and his NLs), and that Denzel is always a welcome sight. :cool:
 
#149      

the national

the Front Range

Speaking of the big12…
 
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#150      

Mr. Tibbs

southeast DuPage

Speaking of the big12…
a pretty good addition for basketball to the B12, albeit it wont mean much in terms of revenue. just prestige