Tag:Conference realignment
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Big 12 TV partners didn't want BYU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the Big 12 was looking for a school to replace Texas A&M, the one school that was mentioned frequently was BYU. It made some sense in the fact that since BYU was already an independent in football, it might not have to make a lot of changes to bring its football program to the Big 12. Of course, TCU was then named the newest member of the Big 12, and now you're not hearing all that much about BYU as much as you do schools like West Virginia and Louisville should the Big 12 add more teams.

Why is that? Well, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Big 12's television partners put the kibosh on BYU.
Although BYU’s flirtation with the Big 12 may yet be renewed at some point beyond next year, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed what the Tulsa World first reported on Oct. 7: Big 12 talks with BYU hit a snag last week and the league, at the behest of its television partners, quickly moved to invite TCU.

“There is some rigidity at BYU in terms of what they will and won’t do,” Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler wrote, quoting a Big 12 source. “Some of it has to do with [LDS Church] rules, and also the way they engage with media partners.”
It seems both ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports also had problems with BYU's policy of not playing sports on Sundays. Not for football as much as any other sports the networks might want to televise.

In addition the report also says that BYU wanted assurances that an unspecified minimum of the school's games would be televised nationally, and it also wanted the ability to show BYU games that weren't picked up by Fox or ESPN on BYUtv.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 12:08 pm
 

SEC: We have three options for 13-team schedule

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With Missouri locked into the Big 12 for another year, the SEC is in turn all-but-locked into a 13-team schedule for the 2012 football season. But as the league is finding out, scheduling with unbalanced divisions is easier said than done.

Larry Templeton, chair of the conference's "transition committee" for Texas A&M's move to the SEC, told the Birmingham News Friday that the league is considering three "conceptual scheduling options" for a 13-team slate. The "least disruptive" plan would be the have the incoming Aggies play four teams from the West and four teams from the East.

The other options, Templeton said, are for the SEC to play the NCAA-mandated intra-division round-robins -- with West teams playing six divisional games and East teams five -- or to simply assign the Aggies eight games regardless of divisional affiliation.

There's a major issue with the divisional round-robin plan, though. "I'm not prepared to say we wouldn't do that," Templeton said. "But mathematically, I don't think it can be done." By which he means that it can't--in a 13-team conference, it's mathematically impossible for every team in a seven-team division to play all other divisional opponents in an eight-game schedule.

The 13-team MAC has worked around this problem by having some members of its seven-team division only play five divisional games, a move that has required an NCAA waiver from the bylaw demanding a round-robin.

Thanks to the math and the "least disruptive" nature of the 4-4 split for Texas A&M, the SEC will likely require that same waiver in the near future. Why would that split be so much less disruptive? Templeton declines to spell it out for the News, but as explained in this blog post at Vanderbilt blog Anchor of Gold, that's the plan which allows the SEC to complete all of the cross-divisional home-and-home rotations that began this year. 

For instance, this week Florida travels to Auburn and South Carolina visits Mississippi State. By assigning the Aggies four West games and four East games (and canceling the new cross-divisional rotations scheduled to start in 2012) the SEC would maintain enough flexibility to keep the return trips like Auburn's to Gainesville and Mississippi State's to Columbia intact.

Per Anchor of Gold, that plan would also necessitate A&M hosting all of their East games and going on the road for all of their West games. Assuming the SEC would limit their travel costs as much as possible (and not send them to Auburn or Alabama, the two most distant West campuses), A&M's initial SEC schedule would look something like: at Arkansas, at LSU, at Ole Miss, at Mississippi State, vs Georgia, vs. South Carolina, vs. Vanderbilt, vs. Florida.

That schedule would be so different from the rest of the West's, there's no question it would damage the division's competitive balance--and cause more than a few complaints if/when it affected which team won the division's eventual championship. But because of the importance of those cross-divisional return games (and the fairness of completing the rotations), it remains the "least disruptive" scheduling path for the SEC ... and the one it's most likely to pursue.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 11:46 am
 

Everyone is writing letters to Missouri

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week the Kansas City Sports Commission took out an ad in the Kansas City Star so that it could publish an open letter to Missouri asking it to stay in the Big 12 and not leave for the SEC, as many believe the school plans on doing. Well, now the mayor of Kansas City is getting onto the letter writing bandwagon as well.

Sly James, which is a great name for a mayor, sent his letter to chancellor Brady Deaton and the Missouri Board of Curators last Friday. Much like the letter from the K.C. Sports Commission, it asked the school to stay in the Big 12.
The University of Missouri fan base is abundant in the Kansas City area. More than 20,000 MU alumni call this area home, and the local chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association has the third-largest membership in the nation.

Keeping Big 12 competition in or near Kansas City makes sense — for you, your fans and the state of Missouri. The Big 12 Basketball Championships at Sprint Center and Municipal Auditorium are prime examples. The Championship is an important economic engine for our region, generating more than $14 million a year, and scheduled to remain in this state through 2014. It is imperative for that money should remain in the Show-Me State.

We strongly encourage you to weigh this decision with care. Kansas City gains a lot from its affiliation with the University of Missouri. Conversely, we also stand to lose a lot should that change. We believe this region collectively values University of Missouri athletics — has, does and will — to a degree that won’t be replicated elsewhere. And that staying here, in the Big 12 Conference, within your home region and among your fans and rivals is the right decision to honor your history, fulfill your present, and secure your future.
You can read the full letter here.

To be honest, I'm feeling kind of left out here. My primary responsibility here on the Eye On College Football blog is to cover the Big 12, so I feel like I should write a letter to Missouri myself.  So here it is.

Dear Missouri,

Listen, I don't want to lie to you, Missouri. I didn't go to your school, and I don't live in Missouri, so your tradition and history don't really mean all that much to me. So if you go to the SEC the only thing that will change for me is that I'm not going to watch as many of your games as I have the last few seasons. If you stay in the Big 12, that's cool too. I have nothing against you.

Just make up your mind and do it soon so we can all move on. I'd much rather be covering actual football right now, and with that in mind, don't even think about making an announcement on a Saturday during the season.

Thanks,
Tom Fornelli
Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 10:40 am
 

Report: Big East voting on exit fees Friday

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the Big East pursues a conference model that includes 12 football-playing schools, one obstacle that seems to be holding up the process is the league's exit fees. With an unknown future, the six remaining football schools have been noncommittal towards increasing the exit fees, which would make it more difficult to leave. At the same time, potential Big East targets such as Navy and Boise State would like to see some more commitment from the conference before joining.

According to a Sporting News report the conference has scheduled a call on Friday that would include a vote on "dramatically increasing the exit fee for universities wishing to leave for other conferences."
A source close to the league told Sporting News the meeting will ask schools to approve a change in the league bylaws that would require a school to pay three times its annual share of league television revenue in order to depart.

Under the league’s current deal, that would raise the buyout to between $15-17 million. If the league were able to gain a TV contract even close to the one it recently declined from ESPN -- $1.4 billion over 9 years – that escape clause would become even more substantial.
The report also includes a detail that Louisville may decline to participate in the call. The Cardinals have been the most realistic defector of the remaining six, as they have targeted as a potential replacement for MIssouri should the Tigers leave the Big 12. Louisville's vote is not needed to issue a change in the withdrawal fees, Big East bylaws require just a 75 percent vote for approval.

Until the exit fees are raised, it will be near impossible to convince other schools to join arguably the most volatile conference in FBS play. However, the addition of the service academies would be a big step forward towards securing the league's future. Once you get the service academies you can start working towards bringing in programs that would help maintain the Big East's status as a BCS automatic qualifier.

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:27 am
 

Report: San Diego State looking for Big 12 invite

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Memphis has been looking for an invitation to the SEC (really) but they're not the only program looking to take a big step up in competition.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State is all but begging for an invite to the Big 12. Athletic director Jim Sterk has passed information about the school and surrounding television market to Big 12 officials, including interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

“We’ve been proactive as far as getting information out and just making sure their folks know what a valuable commodity San Diego State is,” Sterk told the Union-Tribune. “We’ve been able to show how well we capture the San Diego television market in the last couple of years and have a program that’s really on the rise and have a lot of things going for it. We’re a member of the Mountain West Conference, and we think it’s a very good conference. But if things realign, you never know how the sands are moving.”

The Big 12 officially welcomed TCU to the league on Monday, adding the school in the wake of Texas A&M's departure to the SEC in 2012. The league may continue to expand, possibly back to 12 members, or choose to remain at 10. Leaders are still waiting on a decision from Missouri, which is mulling their conference affiliation options and could choose to follow the Aggies to the SEC.

BYU, Louisville and West Virginia are the schools frequently brought up if the Big 12 is to expand again but Sterk wanted to make officials aware that San Diego State is just as close geographically to schools such as Texas as BYU is.

“If they look west, who knows what happens?” Sterk said.

Neinas is familiar with the school, having advised former athletic director Jeff Schemmel to hire football coach Rocky Long in 2006 as part of his consulting business.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 7:42 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 8:51 pm
 

TCU and the Big 12 make it official



Posted by Tom Fornelli


While we've known it was going to happen for nearly a week now, the Big 12 and TCU made things official on Monday, announcing that TCU would join the conference and replace the soon-to-depart Texas A&M.

“Joining the Big 12 connects us not only to schools with whom we share a rich tradition in sports, but also to schools committed to academic excellence,” TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said in a release. “Over the past six years, TCU has seen unprecedented success in academics and athletics.  Participating in this conference allows us to strengthen the core of the TCU experience, which includes providing students with major opportunities in a personalized environment. It is very much in line with our overall goal to create a world-class university.” 

“We are excited to add TCU to our lineup of prestigious members,” said Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas.  “Not only do they bring an excellent football program to our Conference, but numerous other programs that have been successful on a national level as well.”

TCU will officially become a member of the Big 12 on July 1, 2012 and be the conference's tenth member. Of course, that could change by the time July 2012 gets here, as nobody is really sure what Missouri plans on doing before then. Should Missouri leave the Big 12 for the SEC, then odds are that TCU won't be the only school joining the Big 12 when next July gets here.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Memphis AD: "We deserve to be" a member of SEC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In an interview with local television station WMC-TV this week, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson was asked about conference realignment rumors and his school's potential future conference affiliation.

He had this to say (emphasis added):
"We want to try to get ourselves in the best possible place," Johnson said. "Ultimately we would like to be in the SEC. That's where we think we belong geographically. We think we deserve to be."
We applaud Johnson's ambition and forward-thinkingness. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the "gentleman's agreement" in place amongst SEC schools to not admit members located in existing SEC states will no doubt prevent the conference from accepting his institution's application.

This is the only reason we can think of Memphis would not be admitted to the SEC.

Yep. The only one.

No other reasons. For Memphis not to join the SEC.

Memphis. The SEC.

Well ... maybe there's a few more reasons that that. Maybe.
Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Air Force AD: Interest 'high' in Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

Following the news of TCU's plans to accept an invitation to join the Big 12, the presidents of the remaining Big East schools participated in a conference call Friday morning to discuss the league's future. Contrary to some reports no official decisions or announcements came from the meeting, but all signs point to the conference extending invitations to membership in the near future.

One of the schools frequently listed as a target for football is Air Force. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that the conference was targeting Navy and Air Force before Syracuse and Pittsburgh bolted for the ACC. Even with the league now looking at only six football programs moving forward, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh is still interested in the idea of joining the Big East.

"Our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say," Mueh told The Denver Post on Saturday. "This stuff is moving fast."

Mueh pointed out that his ideal scenario involves Air Force, Navy and Army all making the move to participating in the Big East for football, but there were no certainties in the discussions. The Falcons were listed by some as a possible target for Big 12 expansion after Texas and Oklahoma announced their intentions to stay in the league. Mueh confirmed on Saturday the school was approached by the Big 12, to which the AD said "no thanks."

"We were approached by the Big 12, and I told them we're not a good fit for that conference. In the Big 12, geography makes sense, the economics make sense, but the recruiting makes no sense for us. I can't recruit against Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State," Mueh explained.

"That's why I turned down the Big 12. I can't do that to my kids, because they'll get beat up. I'd love the extra $12 million or whatever it would be per year from the TV money. And I know how I'd spend the money. I'd build a new soccer stadium, and I'd build a new baseball facility, all in one year. But I can't do that."

Interesting take from the Air Force AD. He also said the Big East "absolutely" wants Army. But there are strong sentiments within the Army community that making the move to Big East conference play may be detrimental to the program in similar ways the Falcons were concerned about the Big East.

Action is expected from the league in the coming weeks regarding football expansion. In addition to the service academies, East Carolina, Central Florida, and Temple have been listed as candidates. The key for the league will be to find a program that fits with the other schools, while still maintaining the football success necessary to retain their automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

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