Blog Entry

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

Posted on: May 17, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2010 9:50 pm

...for the Big Ten spring meetings

Buried in a recent story Chronicle of Higher Education story is the basic reason the Big Ten is expanding. Jim Delany and his BCS commissioner peers don't want to share the equity and brands they've built up over decades with programs that have been good for mere years.

Delany: "Essentially these decisions are local ... The schools are serving stakeholders -- coaches, athletes and fans, in some respects, not stockholders. And so there is always a stakeholder to make a claim on resources. Whether it's to have the best law school or the best medical school, no one questions that kind of competition. No one questions that Harvard or Texas have a [big] endowment and don't share it with Hofstra and South Alabama.

"But intercollegiate athletics is sort of unique in that institutions that have certain advantages -- based on demographics or history or tradition or fan base -- somehow are seen as the source of resources for others that do not [have them].

 "I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, but there's certainly a lot of gnashing of teeth, like why doesn't the Rose bowl spread its revenue around to Boise State? Well, partially because we developed it. We built it, it's our tradition, and to the extent that it's successful, it's successful for our institutions. So that's essentially a home-rule approach. I think it's an honest approach. I don't think there's anything wrong with money, but life's a lot easier when you have than when you don't."

 Several reports state the Mountain West presidents will consider inviting Boise State from the WAC next month. The presidents will meet in early June with the Boise State issue high on the agenda.

The Mountain West is seeking to bolster its BCS profile and could get a huge boost by adding the Broncos. The conference could earn a temporary, automatic BCS bid in 2012 and 2013. On the other side of that is possible attrition. Boise State could be joining a league that could possibly lose any one or all of the following: Utah, TCU and BYU.

Boise would have to be invited by July 1 for its record to count toward that 2012-2013 BCS goal.

 The Fiesta Bowl and University of Phoenix Stadium are diving into the neutral site pool.

 Here is Big 12 revenue distribution as of 2007. Note that no two schools in the league equal what one Big Ten school per year these days, $22 million.

1. Texas, $10.2 million
2. Oklahoma, $9.8 million
3. Kansas, $9.24 million
4. Texas A&M, $9.22 million
5. Nebraska, $9.1 million
6. Missouri, $8.4 million
7. Texas Tech, $8.23 million
8. Kansas State, $8.21 million
9. Oklahoma State, $8.1 million
10. Colorado, $8 million
11. Iowa State, $7.4 million
12. Baylor, $7.1 million

Source: Omaha World-Herald

 The Chicago Tribune said last week that the $22 million in revenue earned each year by each Big Ten school could double by 2015-16. Also, according to the Trib, look for more weeknight games by the Big Ten.  The league traditionally didn't play weeknight games but recently changed its stance because of the advantage of stand-alone game/commercials promoting the Big Ten. Both Ohio State and Indiana will kick off the season with games on the night of Sept. 2.


Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: May 22, 2010 12:14 pm

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

Oh come on, now.  You are making a lot of assumptions here, and the implication that school research funding dollars are at stake here is over the top.  But let me explain my logic to avoid the attacks... By the way, I did attend a Big Ten school, but I think that people are excessively thinking that one factor will rule the discussion when there is so much that needs to be considered.

1.  The Big Ten does not exist solely as a means of bringing in research money.  Federal grants are not being sent to do medical research at Michigan's medical school because they are in the Big Ten.  They are being sent there because they have skilled researchers, brilliant professors, and ideas that have merit on their own standing.

2.  Research money is NOT divvied between these schools.  Michigan competes with Northwestern, Ohio State, and the rest of the Big Ten.  They also compete with Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and everyone else in the country.  It's not like a grant is given based on an athletic conference affiliation.  If that were the case, then why would Harvard and Yale be given the most money year after year?  The reason why academics are brought into this argument is to bring an "appropriate" member to the game.  The CIC exists more as a forum to exchange ideas and to curry favor in enhancing that reputation.  So, yes, that does mean that academics do come into the argument.  But it does not mean that academics are behind this.  Michigan's academic reputation is so high that if academics were behind this, they would only really gain by the Big Ten inviting a school like.... Duke.... or Stanford... or some other insanely good research university.  Really what this comes to is the Big Ten inviting schools that pass the academic "smell test."  If the school stinks in academics, they've got no shot.  So, they use this approximation of research funding and academic reputation as a baseline to consider schools.  Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Notre Dame, Rutgers, etc... they all pass with no problem.  They are all more than capable of holding their own.

3.  Your math is wrong because it presumes that the new school brings in zero research.  They may have lower research funding than the Big Ten schools, but they certainly do more than zero.  More likely is that the schools bring up the added school than it brings the Big Ten down.  Again, once they pass the "smell test," you're really just adding a bunch of schools that are pretty similar.  None of these schools is less impressive than say, Indiana.

4.  The Big Ten is not looking at this from today's perspective.  They're looking at it from the perspective of 10, 15, 20, even 50 years down the road.  I know this might come out of left field, but the Big Ten commissioner has emphasized the changing demographics of the country as a factor.  Now, I'm no population expert, and this is by no means precise, but in the next census, the following midwestern states will LOSE representatives: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio (2).   People are moving instead to the South and the West.  Now, when you talk about losing population steadily over a period of time, for jobs or whatever, then you see that subscriber base stagnating or shrinking steadily over a period of time.  Then over the next decade or two, it does become a concern.  How does the Big Ten maintain growth?  You can stem that tide by either adding schools in states that are growing (Missouri) or states that give you more national exposure (Nebraska, Notre Dame), or schools that just add a huge population base (Syracuse, Rutgers, Notre Dame).  When I think about expansion for the Big Ten, I don't think about the now.  I think about the future.  This is the last move that the Big Ten will likely make for a very, very, very long time.  It should be reasoned, and it should not think about things lightly.  Expansion is not an "if," it's a "when."  Once a school passes the smell test, then really, all they're going to care about is athletics and money.  And over 10, 15, 20, or 50 years, a little bit of money becomes a lot of money very quickly.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2010 12:46 pm

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

I like your post and your ideas.
I think the Big East ill actually be good.  I think the Big East in its current form will not survive 16 school in basketball and only 8 football school.  I think the football schools Plus Villanova moves up to be the 9th team; is going to happen in the next ten years I bet they then go after Memphis. to be 10. this scenario still has pitt still there. the craziest idea is the Ohio University (11th) and some other school. I still think Miami and BC should have stayed with the Big East.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:25 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

I meant Loophole's idea!

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:24 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

I like your idea better!

Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:17 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

I agree about the Mountain West. They have to be grinding their collective teeth over all this expansion talk, because it's a little like working to build a great sandcastle on the beach, and then here comes someone running by to kick it down. They are - as things stand now - on the cusp of AQ status, but just as sure as the sun rises in the east, the Big XII will be knocking on their door...right after the Big Ten knocks on the Big XII's door. The Mountain West is sure to lose its strongest, most bankable programs, and then they'll be back to the drawing board. And that's how conference realignment works.

Since we're still in Fantasy Conference Realignment mode, and all this is just a speculation game, I fancy one theory above all others.

Since TV is driving all this, I don't think the Big Ten, Big XII, SEC or ACC will be looking to non-AQ conferences to add schools. My thinking is that the Big Ten will probably not get Notre Dame, but they will probably add Pitt to their Big East raid. So with Rutgers and Pitt to the Big Ten, that reduces the Big East football schools to six. But wait...before the Big East can plug the holes, Mike Slive and his SEC gang will probably hustle over to the ACC and lure Clemson and Georgia Tech away. The ACC isn't happy about that, of course, so they haul off and grab Syracuse and Uconn...two more Big East schools. So now the Big East is down to four football schools. And if the ACC decides to go beyond 12, they just might (emphasize "might") grab South Florida for a piece of that real East is now down to Louisville, Cincinnati, and West Virginia.

So how about this: Conference USA and the battered b*stards of the Big East get together again. Conference USA, while still a non-AQ league, is suddenly about as close to getting AQ status as the Mountain West is TODAY.

Ain't this fun?

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:05 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

The Big Ten Network is generating $6 million per team per year. The balance of the $22 million (22-6 = 16) is from ESPN, ABC, Fox, etc., the other white meat.

Adding a 12th team will increase the football content of the BTN by 9 percent (1/11). All things being equal (meaning the same amount of advertising revenue per game), that would bring in $6.5 million which is a bit more than is needed to give a 12th team an equal share without reducing what the current members receive.

Split the extra $545k into 12 slices and each team gains $45k. w00t.

Best a 12th team bring some serious research money. $5.6 billion (BILLION) divided by 12 (Bit Ten plus U of Chicago) is about $467 million per school. Divide it by 13 and the per school share reduces to about $431 million. That is a loss of $36 million per school to cover the new member.


Difficult choice?

Whatever might be going on, it is not driven by athletics. While it is quite true that higher TV ratings translates into higher TV revenues and more games also and add to it the combination effect of ESPN and BTN and Fox and etc., etc., and internet streaming video revenues and higher ticket sales at Big Ten school stadiums for home games and more sky boxes sold and more T-shirts and other gear and all of it and adding a one or a bunch of teams still is not going to substantially change how much athletic revenue is generated for each school.

I'm not convinced any one of us can say with any clarity what the Big Ten would "love" to do, at least not until a business case is published.

Oops. Forgot. The Big Ten would love to make more money. That one we all agree on.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:13 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

I agree with you that expansion in the midwest would be better (i.e., more Big-Ten like) than expansion in the east.  But I think Nebraska would fit nicely.  They have rabid fans just like most Big Ten schools.  They are one of the winningest teams of all time.  They get good TV ratings.  Nebraska is a midwestern state that borders Iowa.  Nebraska is in the AAU.  Nebraska would have great rivalries with Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State.  If Missouri and Nebraska join together, which I expect, then the geography would make even more sense.

If I was in charge, the three schools I would add to get the Big Ten up to 14 would be Nebraska and Missouri in the west and Pitt in the east. 

The east division would be:

The west division would be:
This would still feel like the Big Ten and probably would not destroy any other conferences.  The Big East could add Temple or Memphis or Central Florida.

The Big XII could add BYU, TCU, Houston, SMU or Memphis

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2010 12:40 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

nebraska is a flashy name, though, it has 666,000 house holds the state is a third of Missouri, plus Missouri has Two Big Cities with Professional sports.

I agree that notre dame will never stop whining, if it joins, but on the other hand the Big Ten never has stopped whining since their last chit-chat in the 90's

You might not have caught this scenario, The big ten threatens to go to 16 teams to scare ND into reconsidering, ND wouldn't budge. So Then we threaten the Big East to snatch up have there conference distroying there right to be a BCS Conference and losing out on millions of dollars, to block that from happening the Big East Kicks out ND because it is not a conference Football school. big ten backs off maybe still lures Rutgers to tap into NYC TV's.

I would Like the Big Ten to stay put maybe take one school Ideally in Midwest, the further out the harder it will be for the conference to stay together, (e.g. WAC 16) Nebraska vs. Indiana still seems far for me. The Idea of expansion raises tough questions about motives. we are so used to changes in business to make money we may not realize the ramifications down the road, of consolidating power for increased revinue for a few. Big Ten gains while most others losses out.

Even adding a 12th team in the big ten would probably lead to a championship game that would probably bring about a playoff system for all of college football.  That would be historic changes. if playoff system turns out to be boring like SEC winning literally every year people may want to go back to the tradition bowl games, but they are considered unconstitional and we are now stuck with one maybe two conferences with winners and everyone else well below the pecking order.



Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2010 12:18 am

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

do you have a point? these forums are for fans to debate the articles and ideas that surround the sports world. I would like to see what a "realistic prediction".

Yes I am a fan of the Big Ten.

Could you please add some realistic predictions, or thoughts.  I hope its nothing spewed out 500,000,000 over the internet. do you have a Scenario that is "CLEARLY" what is going to happen and the world just hasn't asked you what you what will happen? 

Back to may post.
I know there would have to be some far out things to happen.  I understand like 99.9% of people that spreading the network to bring in more money is the primary incentive.  That saddens me a bit.  Big Ten is trying a corperate take over of Notre Dame. As Conferences get bigger and bigger and more and more teams are brought in for what ever excuse. The sport is cheepened and the power over the sport is more concentrated. right now there is 6 BCS conferences if the Big Ten adds 5 teams they could destroy Big 12 and Big East. Giving them even more control. SEC would do the same. suddenly 6 voices widdles down to 4.  We see this in business, look up Newscorp, General Electric, Walt Disney, Inc., Comcast, Viacom These companies buy out other companies. I know I am getting a little out there but, the big picture is always this "utopia" "I'm fixing the problems we face" by neglecting to see what we are doing.

With all this being said, I think that if the Big Ten goes after Nebraska, and Rutgers it will be the worst case scenario. Missouri or pitt could fit nicely. missouri would cause some stir but not the same ways.  New York City to Omaha to a big distance and cultural even further apart.

And I don't think Notre Dame will ever fit nicely into the Big Ten. they simply are not met for each other. if they merge it will always be Notre Dame vs. Big Ten.

I think the big ten is mostly motivated by $$$ Notre Dame would open up big catholic population centers like Boston New Orleans, NYC, maybe even LA, Miami, etc.

Please Tell Me what you think?

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2010 11:35 pm

Expansion notes while heading to Chicago

Almost all of your contentions are off base or unrealistic, coming from a fan and not someone who is up on what will occur in college football.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or