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Thread: College Football Expansion 101

      
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    Default College Football Expansion 101

    Expansion 101: What's at stake?
    By Mark Schlabach
    ESPN.com
    June 9, 2010



    Nebraska to the Big Ten? Texas to the Pac-10?

    No more Big 12?

    Expansion rumors are flying around the college football world, and it's looking more and more possible that we might have some answers by the end of the week.

    Big 12 members Missouri and Nebraska are apparently weighing whether to remain in the Big 12. A jump to the Big Ten, which has already announced it's looking to expand, is possible if an invitation is extended.

    The Pac-10 is reportedly set to extend invitations to six other Big 12 schools -- Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and either Baylor or Colorado -- maybe as early as this week.

    Here are a few things you need to know about the possibility of college football's being turned upside down:

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Why are leagues looking to expand now?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Given the success of the 4-year-old Big Ten Network, Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany announced in December that his league would begin exploring expansion. With the conference receiving from its TV network reportedly as much as 88 cents per subscriber per month in Big Ten territory, there are obvious reasons to expand. Under NCAA rules, the conference also needs to have 12 teams to stage a conference championship game in football, which might be another financial windfall for the Big Ten.

    The Pac-10, under new commissioner Larry Scott, didn't wait long to announce its own plans to explore expansion. The Pac-10's current TV contracts for basketball and football with Fox Sports Net expire after the 2011-12 academic year. To receive a TV contract similar to those that the ACC and SEC recently negotiated, the Pac-10 would probably need to broaden its conference footprint. Adding a school such as Texas would certainly achieve that.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Which schools are most coveted in expansion plans?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds has said that he prefers that the Longhorns remain in the Big 12 -- if the league remains viable. Texas has one of the richest athletic departments in the country and receives about $10 million from the Big 12 in annual distribution payments for TV contracts and other revenue streams. Texas is trying to keep the Big 12 intact, but if Missouri or Nebraska or both leave for the Big Ten, the Longhorns might be forced to look for another home.

    Despite its recent struggles in football, Notre Dame is still the most coveted property in college sports. But to this point, Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick has said the Fighting Irish prefer to remain independent. Notre Dame has had its own TV contract with NBC since 1991, and the current agreement doesn't expire until after the 2015 season. According to a 2007 survey in Forbes Magazine, Notre Dame's contract with NBC helped the athletics program contribute $21.1 million to the school's academic programs, which was more than the survey's next five athletics programs combined.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Why is the Big Ten so attractive?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Thanks in part of the launching of the Big Ten Network, the league distributed $19.9 million to each of its members during the last fiscal year. About $15 million was generated through TV contracts, including $6.4 million from the Big Ten Network. Just as important, joining the Big Ten increases the academic profile of schools such as Missouri and Nebraska. Each of the Big Ten's current 11 schools is a member of the Association of American Universities, a highly regarded alliance of research-based institutions. The Big Ten has made it clear that it wants prospective new members to be of similar academic blueprints. (Missouri and Nebraska are both AAU members.)

    [HIGH-LIGHT]How quickly will it be resolved?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Delany initially set the Big Ten's exploration clock at 12 to 18 months, but the Pac-10's swift response might speed up the entire process. Reportedly, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe issued an ultimatum last week to Missouri and Nebraska to decide whether they're staying or going. It has been reported that the deadline could be as early as Friday or June 15. Other than that, no one is entirely sure when the dust will settle.

    "I expect whatever change will happen will occur in the next 45 to 60 days," Swarbrick said.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Will the ACC and SEC react to Big Ten and/or Pac-10 expansion?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Unless Texas is on the market, it seems unlikely the SEC will react. Adding the Longhorns and other Big 12 schools would expand the SEC's footprint west, but the Longhorns don't seem interested in joining the SEC at this point. It is believed that SEC commissioner Michael Slive's top targets for potential expansion would be Texas and possibly Virginia Tech. Adding schools such as Clemson, Florida State and Miami would improve the SEC's on-field product in football, but it would do little to strengthen its brand name in outside markets. One SEC official told ESPN.com this week that adding teams like the Seminoles and Hurricanes would only be adding schools "that would divide the pie even more." Also, Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley might be reluctant to add FSU and Miami because the Gators have tried to use their SEC membership as a recruiting advantage in their home state. Unless the Big East dissolves, it seems unlikely the ACC would do much in reaction, either.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Who are the major players?[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    1. Jim Delany: The Big Ten commissioner might hold as many as five invitations to join the Big Ten, which many schools covet because of the league's lofty annual payouts and the equally impressive academic standing of its members.

    2. Larry Scott: The Pac-10 commissioner was given authority by the Pac-10's presidents and chancellors on Sunday to explore expansion.

    3. Jack Swarbrick: The Fighting Irish are the most coveted prize in college athletics, and the Notre Dame athletic director's recommendation to join or not to join a conference might start the dominoes of realignment.

    4. Harvey Perlman: The chancellor of Nebraska will have much influence in deciding whether Nebraska leaves the Big 12 for the Big Ten, and the Cornhuskers' decision might determine the fate of their current conference.

    5. DeLoss Dodds: Texas is coveted by the Pac-10 and Big Ten, but Texas' athletic director has indicated so far that he prefers that the Longhorns remain in the Big 12.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/column...ark&id=5268212
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Lately I've been hearing Maryland as a Big 10 possibility too. Notre Dame better **** or get off the pot. If the Big 10 expands without them, teams like Michigan, MSU and Purdue may decide that their Conference schedule is so difficult that they don't want to play ND as a non conference opponent, every season, anymore. Couple that with ND's occasional home and home with Penn St, Northwestern, Ohio State, etc. and what's left of ND's schedule? Army, Navy, Air Force, a reeling USC, UConn and Nevada? I'm not so sure the other "super conferences" will want to play ND either. What will NBC pay for TV rights to ND football then?

    I guess that one of the sticking points with ND and the Big 10 is that ND is not a member of AAU. (odd?) All other Big 10 schools are.

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    I guess that one of the sticking points with ND and the Big 10 is that ND is not a member of AAU. (odd?) All other Big 10 schools are.
    After today's events (Nebraska/Colorado), I doubt that ND will be making any "affiliation" with any conference in college football, but I hope I'm wrong... Personally, I think it is complete bull**** that ND wreaps the rewards of being affiliated with the Big East in every other sport except football... If they do not want to be part of the conference, they should get the **** out... No more advantages to the basketball program, etc...

    ... But that's just me.

    I may not like ND, but that really isn't the motivation behind my comments... I just believe that if a school is affiliated with a conference in sports, it should be ALL sports, and not the ones they pick and choose... While I understand the advantages they have from not doing so, there should also be the commitment because of the other sports... They are the only ones to "have their cake and eat it too".... I just don't think it's right.
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    ...a reeling USC...
    They may be "reeling" with these sanctions, but I'll bet a breakfast that they are gonna remain a powerhouse on the field... Do not confuse the two... They still have a ****-ton of quality players to put on the field each Saturday...
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    I'm sure part of the reason ND can get away with it in the Big East is because not all Big East schools have football teams.

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    I'm sure part of the reason ND can get away with it in the Big East is because not all Big East schools have football teams.
    Agreed... The basketball programs pretty much rule the conference, and when they expanded, they added schools without football programs.

    ... But... If I were President for a day... I would say... Since ND was part of the conference BEFORE the expansion, they need to be a part of it in football as well!..... Yea, that's the ticket!....

    Hell man, all I know is that it ****es me off!.....
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    ... And yes, there were teams such as Georgetown, Seton Hall, and St Johns that didn't have D-1 football programs, that is the reason that they weren't in there... ND did...

    It still sticks in my craw that Penn St balked on joining the Big East in all sports except football back when the conference started, and they thold them "all or nothing".... What makes ND any different?... Yea, it's past history, but it still bothers me to an extent when it comes to talking about this subject.

    Anyway...

    I wouldn't be suprised to see the Pac-10 be the winner from all this in the long run... Add Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, and Colorado when it's all said and done will make them the "premiere" conference IMO...

    Lots more to happen, so I guess we just need to "stay tuned".....
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    At the end of the day, if there ends up being 4 "Super Conferences", you have the makings for a Final 4. The four conference champions could decide a National Champion in 3 games (basically 2 weekends.) If ND isn't in a "Super Conference" they'll have no shot at a national championship.

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Welcome to the Big 10 "Husker Nation!" ......AWESOME!!!!!

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    I'm thinking these super conferences might go to 16.. but ,long term, it would be good to have 4 conferences and all of them have 20 to 24 teams spread out over 2 divisions.

    Just think of this possibility of how this sets up a playoff. You play a 11 game schedule. The winners and two runner ups of each division get to play in a playoff in their conference that is seeded 1-4. Then, after a winner from the conference, they go on to play in the final 4 against the other conference winners.

    I think Nebraska bolting to the big 10 and Colorado bolting to the pac-11 is just the real real tip of the ice berg. A month from now, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Big 10, Pac 10, and SEC all have 16 teams, then it takes a year to decide how the other conferences merge or fall apart.

    I could see the SEC picking up Texas A&M, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson/Florida State or Miami).
    Pac 10 - Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Utah (eventually Hawaii, Nevada from the WAC as those schools gain better status academically)
    Big 10 - Missouri or Kansas, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse/Rutgers

    Whats left of the Big East and ACC merge again.

    I'd be willing to think that the Big East, WAC, and Big 12 are history. Whatever's left from the WAC will probably be dissolved into the Mountain West (and I would think that Utah and Hawaii eventually end up in the Pac10), or Sunbelt. Iowa State is gonna be a MAC team. And what's left of the Big East/ACC after their best teams are picked apart from the SEC/Big10 will probably band together. But, I could see the Mountain West and ACC/Big East not being a definite shot at being in the final 4 every year, since they would be the lesser of the 5 conferences. Instead, there would be a bcs type system selecting the 4 of the conference winners from the 5 major conferences (and the Mountain West and ACC/Big East merger will always be left in the dust).

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    I could see the SEC picking up Texas A&M,
    I could be wrong,but I don't see Texas and Texas A&M in different conferences,I believe they are a package deal
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    I could be wrong,but I don't see Texas and Texas A&M in different conferences,I believe they are a package deal
    I had heard the same thing, but I couldn't find it in print for the short time I looked for it...
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I had heard the same thing, but I couldn't find it in print for the short time I looked for it...
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/7050296.html

    Personally, I think Texas A&M would be better served in the western division of the SEC than they would being in the pac10. If they separate themselves from Texas I think it's a benefit to them. Them, like Texas Tech are always second fiddle to Texas.

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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Quote Originally Posted by foslrock View Post
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    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/7050296.html

    Personally, I think Texas A&M would be better served in the western division of the SEC than they would being in the pac10. If they separate themselves from Texas I think it's a benefit to them. Them, like Texas Tech are always second fiddle to Texas.
    Agreed... Pair them up with the likes of LSU and Miss, and it could work pretty good... I just think the folks in Texas would drop dead if you tried to separate the two.
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    Default Re: College Football Expansion 101

    Looks like Texass is staying put with Texass S&M, and the rest of the sheep herding skoools.

    Ohh well, they had a chance at creating a super league. But, only Colorado and Nebraska seem to get it. I kind of find the whole "The Big 12 is stronger together with the 10 schools than the Pac 11" argument to be nothing more than blind ego ribbing.

    Even if they pick up TCU, BYU or Houston.. that isn't an upgrade over Colorado and Nebraska, no matter how they cut it.

    The Pac-11 should offer Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii membership and take it to 14. The Big 10 should also add 2 more.

    The Big 12 - well, if Texas starts to become mediocre again, that conference is going to sink.

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