Blog Entry

More expansion: A proposed new look

Posted on: February 10, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 2:02 pm

The Mountain West is on notice.

The Big East too.

Don’t forget the Big 12 which could be ripped asunder.

One or all of those conferences are going to be impacted if, as expected, the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand in the near future.

After writing about the big picture on Wednesday, we’re here to speculate freely about how other conferences might be impacted.

Mountain West: After leading his league to the brink of BCS automatic qualifying status, commissioner Craig Thompson has to be concerned.

A BYU-Utah defection to the Pac-10 makes a lot of sense. In basketball, the league has travel partners (Washington-Washington State, Arizona-Arizona State). The Utes and Cougars are bitter rivals but would be make ideal additions due to the far-flung nature of the league.

I still don’t know how the Pac-10 views the academic aspect of expansion, so I’m not sure how it views the combination of a state school (Utah) and what amounts to a private school (BYU). If there is a fallback, it could be San Diego State.

If the Big Ten were to take Missouri, that’s a potential three teams ripped from the Mountain West and could mean the end of the league.  The three most likely replacements would be Boise State, Fresno State and Texas-El Paso.

The best non-BCS league could find itself teetering on the edge of existence, or at least relevance.

Big 12: The biggest hit comes if both Colorado (Pac-10) and Missouri (Big Ten) leave.

If Missouri or Colorado leave, the Big 12 would go get TCU from the Mountain West. While that would wound the MWC, the league would most likely then invite Boise State.

If both Colorado and Missouri left, the Big 12 would get TCU and, maybe, Houston? Either way, the Big 12’s TV stature would shrink.

Big East: The league was almost wiped out when the ACC expanded five years ago. What happens if Pittsburgh, Syracuse or Rutgers is taken by the Big Ten?

Most likely the Big East would raid Conference USA for Central Florida. That would get the league further into Florida. UCF is third-largest school in the country (53,000) behind Ohio State and Arizona State. There's got to be some football players in there somewhere. Plus, the school has made a huge commitment to facilities.

Sooner or later doesn’t Big East football and basketball have to split? The unwieldy existence between the two sides (16 teams in basketball, only eight of which play football).

After the wounds caused by the ACC, another hit could cause the end of the Big East in football.

My latest look on how the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and MWC might look in the future.

Schembechler Division

Michigan State

Grange Division
Ohio State
Penn State

BIG 12
North Division
Kansas State
Iowa State

South Division
Texas Tech
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State


North Division
Oregon State
Washington State

South Division
Arizona State

Fresno State
Boise State
Texas-El Paso
Air Force
San Diego State
New Mexico
Colorado State




Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2010 12:39 pm

BYU & Politics

My other comment is concerning the perception of BYU's TV market draw.  All the athletic directors in the PAC-10 know that BYU puts an additional 10,000 to 20,000 people in the stands in any of the PAC-10 stadiums.  BYU has a fan base that is through the mountain and pacific time zones.  To size up BYU's TV market as SLC/Provo is shortsighted and naive.

Why isn't this accounted for when it is broadly understood by athletic departments throughout the West?!

The major obstacle in BYU being invited to the Pac-10 is cultural.  BYU's conservative, religious based institution is a favorite pariah and target of left-wing Berkeley, Stanford, etc.  BYU doesn't fall short athletically and everyone concedes that.  In fact, in the "conference of champions" BYU's excellence in multiple sports is a classic fit frankly.  Additionally, BYU has an acedemic profile that is superior to some institutions already in the conference.

Concerning BYU and the PAC-10, it's political, plain and simple.

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2010 12:29 pm

More expansion: A proposed new look

The argument taht there are more USC and UCLA fans in San Diego than the local college is one of the biggest fallacies I have heard in the sporting world.   In my travels, I have come to learn that most San Diegans dow not want to have anything at all to do with the gang banger mentality of the Los Angeles basin.  With the exception of a few members of the San Diego press corps that think they are bigger than San Diego because they can smell the smog,  nobody from the Pac-10 has more than a slight door opening in the San Diego area. 

Even the people from Orange County try to distance themselves from the Los Angeles basin.  They would rather call themselves Anteaters or Titans or 49ers or even dirtbag fans before they will call themselves Trojan or Bruin fans.

Maybe after the good people of the Los Angeles basin decide to clean up their streets, they may be able to then start laying claim to fans in San Diego or even Orange County but until then it is only a pipe dream than anybody other than gang members or big headed press reporters from those areas want any association with Los Angeles.

And, for whatever it is worth, there are probably more BYU and Notre Dame fans in San Diego than fans of the local colleges and with the San Diego police dpartment cracking down on gang activity, there are fewer Trojan and Bruin fans than in the past.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2010 12:29 pm


Can someone please explain to me, why, if conference expansion or replacements are about cash revenue, TV deals, etc, why everyone, including Dodd, makes the automatic assumption that the BIG 12 would choose TCU as a member?

The school enrollment is like 8,000, they have one sport, football, which admittedly they are excellent in, but they have no additional TV draw being in Texas.

Same goes for Houston with the TV money deals.

It would seem to me that the better choice would be to go after BYU or Utah if one is left over after the PAC 10 expands and potentially CU and/or Mizzou leaves.

Can someone help understand this nearly universal assumption about TCU?  Don't get me wrong, I love the Frogs and Gary Patterson.  It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2010 10:24 am

More expansion: A proposed new look

Oh also, dont think Pitt.  The B10 already owns Pennsylvania (PSU) for tv revenue.  Why would they want a team that would not add another tv market?

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2010 10:20 am

More expansion: A proposed new look

Missouri not only would jump, but its president hs hinted lately tht he is chomping to jump.  B10 made 220+ million last year in its television deal, spread out over 11 teams,  11 mil per team.  The B12 made about 6 mil per team.  Now you tell me, why wouldnt you want to jump, maybe you dont want to because of your anti-B10 bias, but for any university president, its a no brainer!

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2010 3:27 am

More expansion: A proposed new look

You're nuts if you think the Pac 10 would ever invite BYU to their club. First of all, it makes no sense to invite Utah and BYU, as you only add one TV market and you have to split the money with two more teams. Better add Colorado which brings in Denver. Secondly, political and religious differences (not to mention academic ones) would keep several schools in the Pac 10 (you know which ones they are) from ever voting to accept an LDS school into their club. The Pac 10 won't invite SDSU either. They're already on TV in San Diego--doesn't do them any good to add them. (Besides, there are probably more USC and UCLA fans in San Diego than SDSU ones.) For the Pac 10, it's probably Utah and Colorado or they'll forget the whole thing. (Unless they get Texas of course.)
And you've got to consider Texas bolting for the Big 10. If Colorado and Missouri (which might get a Big 10 invite if Texas were to decline) leave the Big 12, then Texas is stuck looking at a conference, in terms of financial strength, that looks pretty similar to the old SWC that they tried so desperately to get out of back in the 90s. They looked into joining both the Big 10 and Pac 10 back then, and they've got to consider bolting again. Unless the Texas state legislature gets involved to stop it, Texas is going to at least look at joining both conferences.  The Big 10 is more likely, but the Pac 10 could more easily offer A&M membership also, which would probably get the legislature to back off.

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2010 1:25 am

More expansion: A proposed new look

Give me a break.  Oklahoma winning their bowl games.  They have only won 1 bowl game in the ten years it seems like.  I would rather have Pitt join the Big Ten than Mizzu anyway, they are not built for the big ten coference.

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2010 12:23 am

No way does Missouri jump, Doddster...

As logical as it sounds, they'd be basicallyi moving to a "parallel" jump (Big-12 to Big-10).    The money increase would not be worth the loss of giving up Texas and Oklahoma to go to Ohio State and Michigan.

Winners of the bowls get more of the money for their conferences, and you're more likely to get a share of a winner's cup with Texas/OK (more likely to win their bowls) than OhSt/Mich (more likely to lose their bowls)

Of course, if TCU gets left in the lurch with a Pac-10 expansion ... I get to laugh my butt off, considering what they did to C-USA with the MWC conference jump...

THe pac-10 jump i see happening (but I'm not sure it'll be utah and byu).. I was thinking Fresno State and BYU (despite the utah pairings).

Now i just need the Big East to make up their mind on expansion (and soon), so I can go back to wishing USM would be relevant on the national stage, instead of being an "also-ran".

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