Blog Entry

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 7:45 am

Well, this is it.

Finally, some break in the ice pack that has frozen college athletics since the Big Ten maybe, kind of began exploring expansion in December. The Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Nebraska could go to the Big Ten by Friday.

Say goodbye to the Big 12.

Say hello to a bigger, bloated Pac-10.

Get used to two super conferences (Big Ten, Pac-10) -- at least.

Wish Nebraska luck in a strange, new world. The school was really forced into this move by Texas. Once Texas issued its "ultimatum" (or whatever you want to call it), Nebraska's fate was sealed. It could declare allegiance to the Big 12, but why? If the Big Ten offered, the money was too good. If Nebraska had to go back to the Big 12, the rancor was too much.

Imagine getting another deadline from the Horns in two years. Tom Osborne and Nebraska couldn't live like that. Now the school is the western boundary of the most powerful conference on earth. The bigger Big Ten will encompass more than 35 percent of the nation's population. Get used to Mike Rozier highlights on the Big Ten Network. Nebraska will be more attached to Chicago and New York than it will North Platte.

Is that a good thing? For Nebraska, it is the only thing. Twenty million is twenty million, reportedly poised to grow to $40 million per team if the Big Ten does this expansion right.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 6:25 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

Texas and it's little buddies won't go to the SEC for a simple reason: it makes no sense.  The way the Pac-10 will structure the 16-team league is keeping the entire Big 12 south together and adding ASU and Arizona.  Basically what it is saying to Texas is we will pay you 20+ million a year and all you have to do is play the same damn schedule you played before, with the exception of a trip to the west coast once every two years.  Moving to the SEC won't give you that much more money and there will be more travel involved.  I'll grant it isn't a big difference, but the Pac-10's deal is just so easy for them it's silly.  Twenty mill and play the same schedule you did with the big 12.  Smart!

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2010 6:17 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

Well its a nice thought but you are off base.

Colorado is a done deal to the Pac-10 as they have already been extended an invitation. The money in the Pac-10 is $20 million a year and the Oklahoma's and Texas's are going to do nothing but make it stronger. OU, Texas, Ok state, Texas A&M. Texas Tech, and Colorado make up one division along with ASU and U of Az. The other being USC, UCLA, Oregon, Or. St., Stanford, Cal, Wash, and Wash St. with a conference championship game at the end.

You forget that USC is about to take a big punch in the nose with the NCAA sanctions coming and I've heard that is a 2 season bowl ban and lost scholarships. That means the biggest draw can't get BCS money for two years and the conference is gonna want the income.

Baylor and Mizzou are gonna be in big trouble now. Baylor will not get a Pac-10 invite because they don't want the religious connection in Pac-10 country.

Watch it unfold.......

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2010 6:14 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

The PAC-16, The Big 16, The SEC-16, THE ACC-16, Naw SWC Conference-16, New WAC Conference-16, and a New Conference USA-16, would be a good deal, that's seven Conference Champs with three more teams in the Top Ten from those seven conferences......And then the NCAA can require any team that's wants to play in a Bowl game to be in one of those conferences. This forces Notre Dame and Navy to join  a conference, and relegates Army a few other remaining teams to Division-II status.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 6:12 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

thinking about it san diego state would be a strong candidate for the pac ten as well..big school, game sin the charges stadium and located in a prominent city along the california coast

After growing up a Pac-10 guy and spending 10 years in the San Diego area and marrying an Aztec, I'm not sure SDSU would come close the academic criteria of the Pac-10.  I've been on several campuses, even attending courses at Berkeley and SDSU, and it just seems like the Pac 10 schools put a whole different emphasis on academics that I didn't see at SDSU.  I could certainly be wrong, though - anyone have any insight there?

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 5:13 pm

Comparing potential super-conferences!!

It's a little premature to have this debate. But just for fun let's assume that Nebraska really does leave the Big 12 for the Big 10. From all accounts I have heard that would eliminate Notre Dame from Big 10 discussions because they only considered joining if they would be the only expansion and the conference capped at 12 teams. However, personally I think once Notre Dame takes a full look at the pending landscape of college football and the fact that they would be left out I think they would change their mind. If Nebraska does go to the Big 10 look for Notre Dame to jump on board and look for ND to insist that the final 3 spots be from the Big East due to their ties with that conference already in college basketball. I think those final 3 spots would probably end up being Pitt, Syracuse & UConn. Personally I think UConn is more attractive than Rutgers, (especially in basketball) and ND would likely prefer them so in the end I think those will be the teams. So, let's take a look at the new Big 16.

(ordered in my personal hierarchy for college football)

Ohio State
Penn State
Notre Dame
Michigan State

Likely conference split:

North: Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, UConn, Syracuse, Minnesota, Northwestern
South: Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern

What strikes me first of all about this super conference is how much of the country is covers. From Nebraska to UConn. That's a lot of area. There is very nice depth. But the other thing that jumps out at me is just how amazing a college basketball conference this would be. If the additions really do include Pitt, Syracuse & UConn the new Big 16 is not only a college football juggernaut, it's probably the best college basketball conference.

And let's also assume the dominos continue to fall and Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. & Colorado join forces with the Pac 10. Let's take a look.

Oregon State
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech
Arizona State
Washington State

Likely conference split:

West: USC, Oregon, Washington, California, Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford, Washington St.
East: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., Arizona, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Colorado

What strikes me as interesting is just how massive the TV deal will likely be for this super conference. We would be talking about very large TV markets in this conference with big cities such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and basically all of Texas & Oklahoma. That is massive. The depth for this conference would be on par with the Big 16 and if you take out Washington St. maybe even a little stronger depending on the season. And like the Big 16 this would be a huge boost to college basketball as Texas and the Oklahoma schools are traditionally very strong in basketball.

Most likely the ACC & SEC would pick off the remainder of the Big East and some others to form their own super conferences of 16 teams. I could see the SEC adding a couple teams from the Big 12 to fill out their western division and I think the 2 most logical choices would be Missouri & Kansas. These schools aren't that much farther west than Arkansas or LSU so geographically it's not as bad as it seems. Plus they are huge cross-state rivals that would fit nicely in the SEC. I think given a choice between hitching their wagon to Kansas St. & the Mountain West or Missouri and the SEC it will be an easy choice for Kansas. The final 2 spots to fill out the SEC east should be Louisville & West Virginia. I know that South Florida would make more since geographically than West Virgina, but really West Virginia is not that much more north than Kentucky & Louisville so it would work and would have much more appeal to the SEC. I just think South Florida isn't prestigious enough for the SEC. Here is how it would look.

West Virginia

South Carolina
Ole Miss
Mississippi State


Likely conference split:

East: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt
West: Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, Kansas

I think the addition of West Virginia & Louisville only makes the SEC stronger. However, I think the Pac 16 & Big 16 would have caught up some ground on the top dawg of college football. The SEC would still be king of college football, but not by much and maybe not for long.

The ACC would not want to be left behind. I think the 4 teams they would add would be Rutgers, Cincinnati, South Florida and (surprise) Navy! That's my darkhorse but I think it makes some since. With Notre Dame finding a conference I think Navy and Army will do the same. The ACC might look at a Conference USA team like East Carolina or Memphis but I just have a gut feeling that Navy will get the invite. And then I see Army being picked up by the Mid American conference. The new look ACC?

Virginia Tech
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Boston College
South Florida

North Carolina
North Carolina State
Wake Forest

Likely conference split:

North: Virginia Tech, Boston College, Cincinnati, Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia, Wake Forest, Navy
South: Miami, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Florida, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke

I think the addition of these 4 schools will be about as good as the ACC can do once the other 3 bigger and more prominent conference are done with first dibs. I think this will establish the ACC as one of the 4 super conferences. But let's take a look at some of the conferences left over.

With no more Big 12 or Big East I think the 5th best conference will easily be the Mountain West. And some years they might be better than the ACC. I see a couple possible scenarios with the Mountain West either expanding to 12 or 14 teams. In the end I think they'll make a big move and add 5 teams - Boise State, Fresno State, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor. Let's take a look:

Boise State
Kansas State
Fresno State
Iowa State

Colorado State
Air Force
San Diego State
New Mexico

Likely conference split:

West: Boise State, Utah, BYU, Fresno State, San Diego State, Wyoming, UNLV
East: TCU, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico

The Mountain West would certainly be one of the biggest winners if it plays out like this. Boise State would immediately become their flagship school and the addition of three prior Big 12 schools would add legitimacy to this conference. Fresno State is nothing to sneeze at either. This would elevate the Mountain West into a very good conference.

Well, that would be the new college football landscape. Time will tell if I'm right.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2010 4:50 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

gloine36 got it right...

Talk of expansion (which all started with the Big Ten), folks, this is NOT about football.  It is about money.  Pure and simple.  And when we are talking money, we aren't talking about ticket sales in a stadium--that's relatively minor income in the big picgure.  We are talking about the millions and millions in TV revenue.  And Nebraska alone doesn't add enough to the TV market.  It adds some, of course...just not enough (by itself) to justify a conference re-alignment.

The ONLY way the Big Ten expansion is restricted to one team if that team is Notre Dame, since the "TV market" they bring is a national one.  And even if they got ND to sign on, I'm not convinced the Big Ten would be satisfied leaving it at 12 teams. 

The Big Ten is looking for market penetration in major TV markets where it is not yet represented.  Right now the prettiest girl at the dance in that respect is NYC.  I don't think there's any way Big Ten expansion unfolds that doesn't include at least one New York area team.  Could be Rutgers, could be Syracuse, could be both, but that market is their #1 target.  Once they get their market penetration, then the talk of specfic school(s) may come down to the athletics and academics, etc.  But only secondarily, once the TV situation is addressed.

Assuming they don't get Notre Dame, I could see an expansion to 14 teams (adding Nebraska, Mizzou, and one of the NY teams) or to 16 (Neb, Mizzou, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse).  If they somehow do get Notre Dame, then they could either hold at 12 (adding only ND) or else go to 16, with the list being the same one I just put above except one of the three eastern schools (Pitt/Syr/Rut) gets left out.

In the above scenarios, the Big Ten is able to expand its television network in two directions; west into the heartland of the great plains (due to Nebraska & Mizzou) and east into NY and its environs.  And if you want a darkhorse candidate to be added to the list, I wouldn't entirely rule out a team that pushes at least in the general direction of SEC country... can you say Louisville, anyone?  (I have even seen Vanderbilt thrown around in some early discussions.)  It may sound absurd from a football standpoint (then again, is Ohio State - Vanderbilt any more absurd than Alabama - Vanderbilt or Florida - Vanderbilt?) but if you think of it under the rubric of "adding TV markets," well right now the Big Ten doesn't have anything south of Columbus, Ohio.  Something to ponder, at the very least. 

Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2010 4:48 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

"And Texas will not be part of the SEC! Texas will not survive being in a conference that they can not control and Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia will make sure Texas will be set in their place when it comes to revenue sharing and tv contracts." - that's a great point, i was all for texas joining the league and i didn't even think about that. all 12 of the SEC schools have a great relationship with each other (in spite of some the nasty rivalries that exist) and are more concerned about balance and the health of league as a whole. there's no way they let texas run all over them.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 4:46 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

I would probably watch both, but would be more ino the play-off games that actually mean something as opposed to the meaninless bowl games. Of course, I will always be a 'Canes fan, but I hate the system used to determine the national champion.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2010 4:02 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

I do agree with most of these scenarios in general. However, I don't see the real advantage for Notre Dame joining the Big 10. They have their own TV rights, they are considered a "BCS" school even if they are 9-3 (see Fiesta Bowl and subsequent mashing by Oregon St a few years back), they can make their own schedule and as weak as it can be, all they need to do is win 9-10 games and the major bowls have the opportunity to choose them over worthier teams because that bowl would make more money just for them showing up. Is it fair? Absolutely not. So for them to put themselves in a situation where they could lose multiple games against better teams and not every game guaranteed to be on TV, I don't see why they would want to do that. Unfortunately that's the way it is and probably always will be.

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 3:07 pm

Finally, some closure in expansion. Maybe.

The Big 12 sucks arse. It's ova! It has been TX/OU ever since its inception. Even the B10 has had more balance(in more ways than one) than that since the 70s(and earlier) when OSU and UM ruled. I hope the B10 ends up with 16 teams eventually. If they at least add ND I will be very happy.

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