Blog Entry

Boiling down the expansion issue

Posted on: May 5, 2010 10:35 am
Near the end of this Columbus Dispatch story, noted economist Andrew Zimbalist shrinks the expansion issue down to a couple of sentences. I would have taken Zimbalist's quote and made it the angle for this story but that's me. Much of the rest of the story is rehash but Zimbalist tells the world why expansion is happening:

Subscriber fees and advertising.

Yeah, it's fairly mundane stuff but if you're going to have an intelligent conversation on expansion in the future, you need to read this.

Also, note that it has been 2,356 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State in football.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: May 11, 2010 7:28 am

Boiling down the expansion issue

You're correct that the line "the same Missouri team that beats Bruce Weber every year" was ridiculous, and shows the poster hasn't watched much basketball.  However, if they had posted "the same Missouri team that beats the Illini in football every year", that would be a more valid point.

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2010 1:49 pm

Boiling down the expansion issue


Mizzou top three in Big ten hoops?

Wisconsin are way more accomplished programs that make Final Fours and are NCAA title winners or threats.

HOMER, what's on Mzzou resume?

After that comment, we dont want Mizzou in the Big Ten.

Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2010 2:53 pm

Boiling down the expansion issue

When expansion comes down to subscriber fees and advertising -- it's time to revoke the NCAA tax-exempt status and pay the players.

Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2010 2:40 pm

Boiling down the expansion issue

I like the idea of a Big Ten Super Conference made up of a 20 teams in 4 regional divisions. This would then allow a mini playoff with the 4 division winners creating a Final Four type playoff. The revenue could be huge and would also be great for economies in each area if they were to alternate Championship sites each year. Example one year in Lucas Oil in Indy, the next in Soldiers in Chicago, the next in Ford Field Detroit. The 9 teams would all have the academic standards the Big Ten requires and also open up markets for the Big Ten Network. The schools in which I feel would meet those standards would be Boston College, Syracuse, Uconn, Notre Dame, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Imagine divisions like...East- Boston College, Syracuse, UConn, Penn State, Ohio StateNorth- Michigan, Michigan St., Purdue, ND, IndianaSouth- Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, KansasWest- Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa
And then a 4 team playoff of Division winners.... Wow I would pay to see that 

Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2010 2:17 pm

Boiling down the expansion issue

What's interesting is that the Big Ten expension question has always been framed at 11 teams +1, +3, or +5.  But what if subtraction was part of the equation?

Personally, I'd love to see the Big Ten add Missouri, Nebraska, Oaklahoma, Syracuse, U Conn, and Notre Dame...  then drop Northwestern.  The loss of N'Western would allow the conference to put N'Western's share of revenue toward attracting a team from another TV market while costing the conference nothing in terms of TV eyeballs in Chicago (Illinios and ND would keep that city's attention).

11 + 6 - 1 = one helluva conference.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2010 4:24 am

Boiling down the expansion issue

Could turn the KC market away from rock choke jayhawk if they had some Big 10 battles to cheer for.  I think the future would be very bright for Mizzou in the Big 10. Not likely. Missouri would suddenly be playing teams it has no history with. If anything, unless the Big 12 blows up as a result, a move to the Big Ten would likely turn the KC market even further toward Kansas and probably send Missouri to third behind K-State.

Since: Feb 19, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2010 4:17 am

Boiling down the expansion issue

Dennis, I know I've mentioned it several times...

And I know you have responded with two points.

1. This is the preimenent conversation in college football right now; i.e. its a huge story


2. I shouldn't read if I don't want to hear or I find it passe

My response still remains, I think it is a huge story amongst CFB journalist but seems mostly hyped by journalists and the most plausible scenario is that the Big 10 and Pac 10 expand to meet a 12 conference championship format.  MOst fans don't want to anythng but and the superconference talk just seems like a ridiculous scenario that leaves much to conjecture in prgnosticating future alignments.  As far as the "not reading the article" talk that you throw out; I will always, and have always said that as far as digital media, CBS Sports leads the way.  CBS sports thogh sometimes behind on stories has a huge following as far as message boards, fantasy leagues, etc...   CBS has far exceeded most sports reporting agencies as far as user interface, so I do useually come here first for sports.  You being a senior writer, I read your articles....

That being said I have read nothing but your first story about expansion and your story about the rivalry in LA between USC and UCLA....

I find it tiresome that you seem unwilling and unable to share your access to the sports world in some better way than to conjecture about what are the thousands of different possibilities that might happen in the CFB structure over the next 3 years....

I would rather hear about what is new at Ole Miss now that Snead is gone, or what Pryor has done to develop his skills at QB or how Bo Pelini might be able to take the next step with Nebraska next year.  I think that as much as it is talked about, when it happens it will surprise everyone; even those who have written about it constantly.  Then I think it would be a great time to write many stories on it. But now you dont know, I don't know, nobody knows, not even Delaney, not any random university president.... nobody.  All we know is that they are looking into it.

Just write about real stuff....

Not hypotheticals, like I said I can deal with one or two articles about the possibility, but you have literally tied 8 of your last 9 stories into conference expansion; the lone exception being the UCLA/USC article.

I prefer more of that, just my opinion and I think that there has been huge activity on the message boards versus the reporting boards because at some point this talk becomes hugely redundant.

I am not talking bad about the writing as I have not read any of it.  I just lack interest in 8 articles in the last two or three weks on the same subject.

Please report something that is happening besides one press release and a press conference that said nothing has changed since the press release.

Give me something; how the U is back or how Butch Davis is building the state of Chapel Hill, or Wanstedt might crash the BCS...

something please... it is a dead zone of sports news in CFB and you are stomping on a horse that won't die for a year....

Just my two cents and I hope you take it for what its worth; a fan CFB, a fan of CBS as a digital media source, and a fan of the many different facets and opinions that make CFB what it is...


Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 1:33 pm

10M a year per school is about $250 per student

I was ready to accuse the University Presidents of selling their souls for the big dollars of the Big 10 network but then I did the math.   If a school has 40,000 students, most of the current Big 10 Schools do then that comes out to $250 per student per year, which is peanuts.   

The endowments at each school are between 7.1 Billion (Michigan) and 1.0 Billion (Iowa) which is of much more importance to the school than a mere 10 Million. 

Put in other words an endowment of $200M returning 5% a year would equal the 10M switching to the Big Ten Conference would provide.

My uneducated guess is that the University of Texas the lack of giving to the endowment would cost more than the new money, but for most other schools it would not.     Would most Big East schools consider the Big 10 a step up?    

This is another way to look at the issue. 

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 1:16 pm

Boiling down the expansion issue

Columbia Missouri is not the only market for the Big 10 and its persuit of Cable Money.   According to the Big 10 Network they are already on St. Louis, MO – AT&T U-Verse, NewWave cable systems.   If the Big 10 Network already had subscribers in Cincinnati, South Bend, Pittsburgh, PA – Comcast, Verizon FiOS.

Heck they on basic cable (Verizon in Baltimore County, MD) and we are 200 miles from a Big 10 School.  

Maybe the real truth is were can they get more money from like being on basic cable, not the extra sports package.   So if they want to make the most money, I say they expand to:
Atlanta (Georgia or Georgia Tech)
Houston and Dallas (U of Texas or two others)
Denver (Colorado)
Florida (Miami, FL, Florida, or Florida St)

New York and Boston were excluded because they really do not care that much about college football and the Big 10 Network is already there.   Boston – Comcast, Verizon FiOS   New York City – Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner   New Jersey (statewide) – Cablevision, Comcast, Service Electric

Academic Integrity, travel costs, natural rivalaries, welfare of the student athletes are not a part of this calculation, only the extra 10M per school the Big 10 seems to be wanting to shower on these University Presidents. 

Since: Sep 14, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2010 11:05 am

Boiling down the expansion issue

If I'm the Big 10 commish, here's my wish list:  ND, Mizzou, and Nebraska.  That adds the ND national following and the KC and Omaha markets.  Mizzou and Nebraska have decent enuf academics to be a good fit.

But the SEC stands to gain more.  If I'm the SEC commish, I go after Texas, A&M, Oklahoma, and O-State.  That gives me even more market share:  DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, OKC, and Tulsa.  Those 4 give me academics and athletics and I get to keep the reputation as being the strongest conference in the country.

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