Tag:Jim Delany
Posted on: September 18, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Report: Rutgers in contact with ACC and Big Ten

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the monumental shift of the college football landscape this weekend thanks to Pitt and Syracuse bolting the Big East for the ACC, it leaves a lot of Big East schools scrambling to find a new home while the conference seemingly collapses around them. One of those schools happens to be Rutgers, who had been reported to be one of two other Big East teams, UConn being the other, that may also join Pitt and Syracuse in a new 16-school ACC.

Which could still happen, as a report in The Star-Ledger says that Rutgers is talking to the ACC. Of course, it also says that the ACC isn't the only conference that Rutgers has been talking to, and that the Big Ten is in play as well.
Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC about possible membership over the past two days and its lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained opened and "are active," according to a highly-placed college official.

"Rutgers has been in contact with both conferences," the person said.
The news that Rutgers is talking to the Big Ten shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Rutgers was mentioned as a possible target for Big Ten expansion last year before things cooled down and the Big Ten stood pat after adding Nebraska. When the Big Ten was still considering expansion it was looking east, but two of the conference's supposed targets were Pitt and Syracuse.

Two options no longer on the table.

While the Big Ten might be content to stay at 12 teams, it is somewhat hard to believe that Jim Delany would sit still while the SEC, Pac-12 and ACC all tried to expand to 16 schools apiece. The question is, where would the Big Ten go now? Rutgers seems to fit what the Big Ten is looking for both academically and market wise, as the conference believes adding the New York/New Jersey market for the Big Ten Network could increase revenue.

How much, exactly, I can't be sure. Yes, Rutgers is in a wonderful media market, but I'm not sure how much interest that market truly has in Rutgers. Either way, thanks to that market, Rutgers seems to find itself in a nice position at the moment.
Posted on: September 18, 2011 5:32 am
Edited on: September 18, 2011 5:56 am
 

What I learned from the Big Ten (Sep. 17)



Posted by Adam Jacobi

1. It's Wisconsin, then everybody else. In a week where Ohio State and Michigan State both flunked their first major tests and Nebraska looked increasingly like a three-loss team in the making, Wisconsin blew out yet another opponent, this time working NIU 49-7. And yes, Northern Illinois is a MAC team, but a good one at that, and one that was expected by Vegas to keep the game within three scores. That went out the window by halftime, and the Huskies never looked capable of challenging Wisconsin. Russell Wilson (pictured above, striking a perhaps prophetic figure) looked fantastic once again, and now it's down to him and Denard Robinson in early consideration for first team All-Big Ten at QB.

As for things that aren't perfect about Wisconsin, it's a pretty short list. Russell Wilson did finally threw an interception, so he's clearly mortal, but even that's bad news for the Big Ten -- if he's mortal, then the rest of the Big Ten can't play its games against Wisconsin under protest (because immortal QBs have to be illegal, right?). We'll know way more once Nebraska comes to Madison on October 1, but until then, this is a one-team race.

2. It's Ohio State's turn to have no quarterbacks: Last week, Penn State's duo of Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin combined for a horrific 12-39, 144-yard passing tally in a 27-11 loss to Alabama. McGloin in particular submitted a near-impossible 1-10, 0-yard performance. But hey, at least it was against Alabama; facing Temple on Saturday, PSU went a much more reasonable 22-37 through the air for 216 yards (and confoundingly, McGloin looked far better than Bolden). Not great, but not awful.

No, awful had somewhere else to be, and this week, that was "under center for Ohio State." Ohio State lost to Miami under the lights at Sun Life Stadium, 24-6, and it looked capital-B Bad in the process. Facing Miami's secondary, which certainly isn't as good as Alabama's, QBs Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller combined for the following line, which contains no typos: 4-18, 35 yards, 1 INT. Passer rating: 27.4. HELPFUL POINT OF COMPARISON: Penn State's passer rating vs. Alabama was 56.7. Yes, for as awful as Penn State look against the Crimson Tide defense, Ohio State was way, way worse on Saturday.

Needless to say, the OSU tailbacks weren't thrilled at the result. "I felt like me and Jordan were doing a great job in the run game, so I felt we should have just come out and ran at them," OSU tailback Carlos Hyde said after the game. "We should have manned up and ran straight at them, see if they could stop us. I think it would have worked. I mean, to me, I don't think they were stopping us on the run, so I feel like it probably would have worked."

Just as with Penn State last week, there will be better days for both OSU QBs over the rest of the season. There just has to be. Otherwise, we'll have two stadiums on the east side of the Big Ten, filled with 100,000+ fans who'll have nothing to say. And for once, neither will be the Big House. I KID, I KID, Michigan. You're a peach.

3. The Big Ten is almost certainly not expanding east: If one continues to subscribe to the theory that the Big Ten will join the ranks of the 16-team superconferences, one would have thought recently that its expansion would be largely eastward, with both the Big East and ACC seemingly vulnerable. Slight problem for that plan, though: the ACC is getting proactive in a hurry, and now the main suspects for Big Ten expansion to the northeast are all off the table. Syracuse and Pitt are in the ACC, and if the USA Today report is correct, UConn and Rutgers are next for the ACC. That basically dooms Big East football, and of the five football-participating conference members left (TCU, South Florida, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville), none look like strong candidates for Big Ten membership and all that entails, to say nothing of their limited geographical desirability.

Moreover, even the potential big-ticket schools out there have severe challenges for fitting in the Big Ten. Texas and Notre Dame have their own lucrative television deals already, and thus probably zero interest in equal revenue sharing in the Big Ten Network's plan. The remaining Big 12 North teams are more likely to join the rest of the Big East's football programs en masse than to split entirely off of their traditional base of rivals and go it alone in a new conference. And after all that, there just aren't a lot of schools that would bring more value to the Big Ten than they'd command in an equal revenue sharing program -- at which point it makes no sense to expand at all.

So when Jim Delany says the Big Ten's "as comfortable as we could be" staying at 12 teams... he probably means it.

4. Even Michigan State can disappear on offense: I mentioned in the Big Ten Bullet Points that MSU had to put up large amounts of points to hang with Notre Dame, because the Irish were going to get theirs pretty much no matter what. Notre Dame held up its end of the bargain, racking up 31 points in a variety of ways. MSU? Not so much. The Spartans managed 13 points of their own, and that's almost entirely due to Notre Dame's rushing defense coming up big. The vaunted Spartan rushing attack managed just 29 yards on 23 carries, and MSU effectively abandoned the run in the second half after Notre Dame established a double-digit lead.

That's a shocking result for a backfield that was universally regarded as the second-best in the Big Ten, and the only one even close to matching the potency of Wisconsin's ground game. MSU's got plenty more tough road dates coming its way once conference play starts, and plenty more stout front sevens to face. If this is the way Michigan State responds to tough defenses, it's going to be a long year in East Lansing. 

5. James Vandenberg and Iowa are not dead (yet): When Pittsburgh took a 24-3 lead at Iowa late in the third quarter, Hawkeye fans began panicking; this was the worst deficit the Hawkeyes had faced in four years, and a larger deficit than Iowa had ever overcome for a win. Ever. Quarterback James Vandenberg looked out of sorts for most of the first three quarters, and announcers were wondering for the second straight week if he just couldn't overcome a shaky set of nerves. All of this on top of a three-overtime loss to rival Iowa State the week prior made the outlook dim and grim for Iowa.

All of a sudden, Vandenberg and the Iowa offense sprang to life, racing to a 60-yard touchdown drive in 1:55 of play, and when Pittsburgh could only manage a field goal in response after achieving a first and goal at Iowa's 3-yard line, Iowa smelled blood. The Hawkeyes stayed in a hurry-up offense for the rest of the game, and Vandenberg engineered three fast but sustained touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to bring Iowa back for the 31-27 victory. Vandenberg went 14-17 for 153 yards and three TDs in the 4th quarter alone, and none of his last four touchdown drives lasted any longer than 2:11 -- or went for any fewer than 60 yards.

Iowa can't rely on 153-yard, 3-TD quarters from its quarterbacks, ever, so this will almost certainly be a result in isolation from the rest of the season -- especially since there were a lot of recurring problems that Pitt exploited in both Iowa's pass rush and its secondary. But at the very least Iowa's not 1-2 right now, and it's not on the ledge of disaster and/or apathy before the conference season even begins. Whether the Hawkeyes can parlay this comeback into big things down the line remains to be seen, but it was a magical afternoon at Kinnick Stadium either way.

6. Northwestern is not kidding about bringing Dan Persa back slowly: Northwestern put Dan Persa in uniform for its Week 3 matchup against Army, and Persa warmed up with the offense, but when the Wildcats struggled for most of the contest, it was Trevor Siemian why came in to spell Kain Colter, not Persa. Siemian would throw a game-tying pass to Jeremy Ebert, but Army still ended up prevailing in a stunner, 21-14. With a bye week next for Northwestern, Persa should be ready to go for the next game on October 1. If so, that's a merciful end to the Kain Colter era for the time being, and Persa can probably right the Good Ship Northwestern just a tad.

One does have to wonder, though -- shouldn't someone in the football program have notified the athletic department that Persa probably wasn't going to play a snap until October before the department put up Persa For Heisman billboards? The billboards came down after just two weeks; did nobody know he'd still be out today? And here Northwestern was supposed to be the "smart" member of the Big Ten.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:25 am
Edited on: September 7, 2011 12:34 am
 

Imagining the Big Ten's worst-case scenario

Posted by Adam Jacobi

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That makes sense, especially if you don't overthink it (who came up with such an arbitrary number? Is that a hard cutoff? Can we apply for waivers if we want it to be worth 1500 words?). Sometimes, though, a picture only needs to be worth one very long word. Like this picture, for example:

In this instance, for all twelve Big Ten members and their athletic departments' accountants, that one very long word is "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

We kid, we kid. We kid Iowa State because we care. 

In all actuality, the Big 12 is on the brink of collapse, and that's theoretically going to leave a lot of programs up in the air. But odds are very good that between the SEC, Pac-12/16, and Big East, there are enough willing participants in expansion that nobody's going to get "left behind" and end up in a non-BCS conference -- not even ISU or KSU.

But for as much of an arms race as the collegiate alignment landscape is about to become, one conference that we can't quite imagine scooping up a bloc of expat Big 12 programs would be the Big Ten, which had several opportunities to push its membership past 12 last year and this year. Remember all the Big East schools that were associated with the Big Ten, only for Jim Delany to hold firm with adding just Nebraska? Think of it like this: Delany decided not to invite schools like Pitt and Syracuse, and not because he was saving a spot for Iowa State instead.

Man, though. Can you imagine? Iowa State to the Big Ten, and Jim Delany proudly bragging to reporters at the press conference that he had just bolstered all the media markets in the western half of Iowa? The stuff of cold-sweat nightmares for everyone involved in the conference, that is.

 

Thanks to the enterprising reader who sent that terrifying vision of a dystopian future in. It is a work of art. With any luck, Jim Delany will see it, and the fright will cause the rest of his hair to fall out and he won't have that weird long Power Donut 'do going on anymore. The Power Donut works in one length only: tastefully short but conspicuous. Otherwise you start to look like '80s Larry David or Kevin from The Office or Jon Miller and none of these are good looks whatsoever.

Posted on: August 31, 2011 3:00 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Even post-A&M, 16-team conferences are no lock

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



Texas A&M
announced Wednesday it would apply to join "another conference," a conference that even the tubeworms living without sunlight at the bottom of the Pacific could tell you* is the SEC. The Aggies will certainly-as-certainly-gets make 13 for Mike Slive's league, and since a 13-team conference with one 6-team division and one 7-team division is the college football equivalent of a table with one leg an inch too short, expect the SEC to find a 14th team sooner rather than later.

The question begged by A&M's arrival is this: why now? During Expansionpalooza 2010, Slive and the SEC seemed more than happy to stand pat with the same 12 teams and two divisions that have made them the sport's proverbial 500-pound gorilla, the elephant no one has proven capable of shoving out of the room. But come 2011, when the Aggies called griping about the changes in their neighborhood, Slive was happy to ask them to move into his.

Ask many fans and pundits, and they'll tell you the A&M invite is Slive's preemptive strike against Larry Scott and the Pac-12 and Jim Delany and the Big Ten, the two commissioners and conferences that -- the argument goes -- are poised to usher in the era of 16-team "superconferences," wresting away control of the sport ... if Slive doesn't beat them to the punch.

But adding Texas A&M isn't about what Scott and Delany might have in the future. It's about what they have right now.

Namely, it's about the television networks that those conference have or will have, and that the SEC version that Slive shortsightedly passed on when he signed the league's current deals with CBS and (more to the point where the league network is concerned) ESPN. While the Big Ten Network's revenues skyrocket and the Pac-12's TV revenues are set outdo the SEC's even before the league's network starts airing, the SEC is scheduled to earn the exact same amount in TV money in 2023 they are today ... when the league's contract is already below market value.

Whether the SEC's expansion will give them enough re-negotiation leverage to either get an SEC network off the ground -- or just keep pace with the Pac-12 in base contract value -- remains a matter of conjecture. But if any expansion choice could do it, you'd think Texas A&M would. The Aggies expand the league's "footprint" into Texas, have close ties to the major-major Houston market, have a massive alumni base, and have traditionally been a highly competitive, nationally relevant football program.

But even the Aggies might make not that much of an impact on the SEC's bottom line. Former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson told CNBC this week that "there are smart people at both ESPN and CBS and I would anticipate that they foresaw this type of contingency ... if there's any adjustment to the TV deals, I would anticipate that it would be a very modest adjustment." Pilson wouldn't even guarantee that after A&M's addition, the SEC's per-school revenue distribution would match what it is now.

That may be selling the Aggies short. But it nonetheless speaks to why even after the A&M-SEC marriage, the age of the 16-team superconference is not yet upon us. Conference expansion isn't as simple as adding a team, sitting back, and watching the bottom line swell; that team has to add enough value to offset the significant division of league profits by 13 (and then, inevitably, 14) rather than 12. There's other substantial drawbacks, too: increased travel costs, fewer games for current members against their existing rivals**, stiffer competition for the league's limited number of national broadcasts (and, you know, championships).

Which is why "superconferences" likely remain firmly in the distant -- rather than the near -- future. If it takes adding Syracuse and Rutgers for the Big Ten to get up to 16 teams, why would they bother? If the new-look Pac-16 includes the likes of Fresno State or even Boise State -- still not exactly a major-market media powerhouse -- that's not exactly going to force Slive's hand. And assuming the SEC's "gentleman's agreement" not to expand into current SEC states is still intact, who would Slive pull for teams No. 15 and 16? The current whispers are that if Virginia Tech stands by its ACC man (as they say they will), the SEC could look at N.C. State--a member that would give the SEC the Raleigh TV market but (with all due respect) wouldn't have Scott and Delany crying into their respective beers.

The one scenario that could overturn the whole apple cart is Texas deciding to listen to Scott's overtures this go-round and dragging the likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State with them. But given the Longhorns' already-substantial investment in the Longhorn Network, here's a guess that neither they nor ESPN is going to like sharing their rare live content with the partially Fox-owned Pac-12 Network. And if the Longhorns either stay committed to the Big 12 or go independent, the Pac-12 could add some value by snapping up the Sooners and Cowboys ... but again, are there enough schools out there to justify going to 16?

When even adding A&M to go from 12 to 13 isn't a hands-down slam-dunk for the SEC -- and given that it's a backwards-looking desperation move motivated by the need to repair an earlier mistake, not a forward-looking "gotta do it" type of decision, how can it be? -- the guess here is that no, those schools are not.

14 may indeed be the new 12, but 16 remains what 14 was when the SEC first expanded in 1992--a number major college football will probably reach at some point in the future, but one that's not more than an intriguing hypothetical in the present.

*Trust me, I asked them. They added they were sick of hearing about expansion and scandal and just wanted the season to start.

**In the particular case of A&M and the SEC, this doesn't apply to LSU and Arkansas; the Tigers and Razorbacks have more history with A&M than they do many of their current SEC brethren.



Posted on: August 24, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Brian Kelly won't rule out joining a conference

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Though the fires have cooled off a bit on Conferenceageddon 2K11 as we all sit and wait for Texas A&M to officially announce its plans on joining the SEC, that doesn't mean that the superconferences of the future are dead. We're all likely to see a lot of changes in the college football landscape in the coming years as conferences expand.

One school that's name has already been tossed around plenty when it comes to expansion is Notre Dame. The school has been courted by the Big Ten for years, and has also been tabbed as a potential replacement for Texas A&M in the Big 12. The problem is that at no point has Notre Dame ever seemed eager to give up its independent status. Though that feeling could be changing, or at least it is on the Notre Dame coaching staff.

While appearing on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday morning, Brian Kelly said that he wouldn't rule out Notre Dame one day joining a conference.

"You can't rule out anything with college football" Kelly said on the show. "We have to be prepared for anything."

Kelly then went on to talk about conference expansion in college football, saying that things are "only going to continue to go in this route" and that one day Notre Dame may not have any other choice but to join a conference.

Of course, there's a huge difference between Kelly saying this on a radio show and Notre Dame actually having any plans to follow through on it. Still, I can't help but feel like Jim Delany hopped on the phone the second he heard Kelly's comments.

 
Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:56 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Big Ten has "closed down conference expansion"

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Big Ten announced on Friday that despite all the whispers about 16-team superconferences, anyone expecting the Big Ten to make a seismic shift in the conference alignment landscape is probably going to be left waiting. As the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) noted in a statement, the conference is "not actively engaged in conference expansion at this time, or at any time in the foreseeable future, barring a significant shift in the current intercollegiate athletic landscape."

That significant shift might be just the SEC swelling to 14-16 teams, but considering the usually staid nature of the conference when it comes to realignment, one or two defections down south might not be enough to get the ball rolling for Jim Delany and his member schools. 

Here is the statement issued Friday, in full:

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) met recently to discuss reform issues and expansion. The following statement is issued by the Big Ten office on behalf of the COP/C.

In response to a number of recent media inquiries received by several Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors regarding the likelihood of further expansion by the Big Ten, the COP/C would like to reiterate that it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion at this time, or at any time in the foreseeable future, barring a significant shift in the current intercollegiate athletic landscape.

The COP/C is aware that speculation about the possibility of expansion by the Big Ten Conference continues despite a statement from COP/C Chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie on December 5, 2010, indicating that the COP/C believed the expansion process had reached its natural conclusion, that it was pleased with the addition of Nebraska, and that it looked forward to working with its new colleagues in the years ahead.

The conference has spent the past 14 months actively engaged in incorporating Nebraska, academically and athletically, into the fabric of the conference. "We're about as comfortable as we can be with where we are,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We've said that we will continue to monitor the landscape, but we have closed down active expansion and have no plans to seek new members.”

This is a pretty unequivocal statement, provided the conference alignment landscape stays roughly the same. Whether the Texas A&M-to-SEC move (provided it actually happens) sets off a chain of more defections and additions -- or remains more isolated like the Nebraska and Colorado moves of 2010 -- will likely determine whether the Big Ten stays set at 12 or whether this statement will be rendered quaint by the new state of college athletics.

The message from Delany and his presidents/chancellors is clear, though -- the other conferences might force expansion, but the Big Ten won't be the first to go down that road.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Big 12 may want to make things 'legally binding'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After the Big 12 narrowly escaped its demise last summer, the remaining ten schools in the conference came to a gentlemen's agreement about staying together and keeping the Big 12 alive. Now that Texas A&M seems intent on leaving for the SEC, we can all see how binding that verbal agreemement between the schools last summer was.

Which is why Texas Tech president Guy Bailey feels that the conference needs to come up with something a bit more solid. As in signing your name on a sheet of paper and agreeing to a contract solid.

"It's incumbent on us to be aggressive in assuring the future of the conference," Bailey told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If not, we're going to be in the same boat again next year or the year after.

"We do have to do get something to secure our future... and that probably means putting your name on the dotted line. Doing that in a legally binding way is pretty important." 

In other words, this way when a school decides it wants to leave the Big 12 in the future, it's going to cost that school quite a bit of money to do so.

As for where the conference is now, Bailey said that the Big 12 needs to plan on Texas A&M leaving, and that means finding a school to replace the Aggies. The list of candidates are the same ones you've heard before: BYU, Houston, Notre Dame -- that noise you hear is Jim Delany laughing and saying "good luck with that" -- Air Force and TCU.

I'd say the most likely candidate to eventually join the Big 12 would be Houston. There's no doubt that Houston would like to move up from Conference USA to a BCS conference, and the state of Texas would love to add another one of its schools to a BCS conference as well. The concern with Houston is the school's athletic facilities, though the possiblity of both the basketball team and football team playing in the professional venues of the Houston Rockets and Houston Texans has been proposed as a solution.
Posted on: August 13, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Jim Delany is here to crush your dreams

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Lost in the madness that is conference realignment talk was a report on Friday night that the athletic directors of the Pac-12 and Big Ten took a straw poll and were in favor of the BCS adopting a plus one system. The proposed system would add a fifth BCS bowl, and the top four teams in the BCS rankings would partake in a mini-playoff to determine the national champion.

Well, before you playoff supporters go about throwing a party in the streets, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wanted to make sure he showed up at your little shindig to dump a bucket of cold water over your heads. Delany told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday morning that any reports of the Big Ten being in favor of a plus one system is "erroneus."

“To describe the ADs as supportive, I would call that erroneous,” Delany told the Chicago Tribune.

“I’m not going to go into the guts of the meeting and where our ADs are or are not. I can just tell you they are happy with the Rose Bowl and happy with the status quo.”

What this means for the report, I'm not entirely sure. I have a hard time believing that it came from no where, but it should be pointed out that there were no Big Ten athletic directors quoted in the original story. Still, there's also a quote from Bill Hancock, the executive director of the BCS, in the story where he says that the topic was discussed.

Which leads me to question whether or not Delany is being completely forthright in his quote. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com