Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: May 3, 2010 11:35 am

Nebraska and the Big Ten

Good column here from the Omaha World-Herald on Nebraska's interest in the Big Ten.

Pay particular attention to Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman's answer when asked if contact has been made with the Big Ten. "I'm not going to answer that," Perlman said. Wow, interpret that as you wish. I know how I read it.

Nebraska and Missouri to the Big Ten if the Large 11 goes to at least 14. Don't ask me who the other teams would be.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: April 28, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:20 pm

How expansion could be stalled

Let's say the Big Ten doesn't have all the leverage in expansion.

Let's say the conference has been warned. Warned beyond Mike Slive's cryptic threat last week in Phoenix.

Let's say that if the Big Ten gets too big, too quick it could be met with a crippling retaliatory strike from the SEC. Let's say that strike could vault the SEC past the Big Ten in the current revenue pecking order.

That's what this is all about in the first place -- the Big Ten pumping $22 million per year to its teams and keeping the SEC in second place ($17 million per team). If the Big Ten senses that it could lose its position in the marketplace then expansion could be off, or extremely limited.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that Notre Dame is out of play for the Big Ten. The question I've asked from the beginning still exists: What combination of teams bring at least $22 million a year to the table for the Big Ten? I can't think of a combo although the Chicago Tribune quoted a league source a while ago saying, "We can all get richer if we get the right team or teams."

Richer, maybe, but not richer than the SEC?

What that source didn't point out was the SEC may be able to call and raise the Big Ten in this high stakes game of Hold 'Em. Make that Texas Hold 'Em. If the SEC can potentially out-earn the Big Ten that tells me that Texas may be in play for the SEC. If not the Longhorns then certainly Miami and Florida State. Maybe Miami, Florida State and Texas.

Look at this way: If the SEC can get Miami, Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M that potentially brings the South Florida and state of Texas markets into the league. The SEC would own the South even more than it does now. It would reach from Texas to the Deep South to South Florida. Think a league that contained the Gators, Noles and Canes be any good?

According to industry sources, most television contracts in these cases can be re-opened and renegotiated in cases of such radical membership change.

 Would such a move be enough to pass whatever expansion package the Big Ten can put together? Let's say the Big Ten has been warned. Facing that kind of uncertainty, the league might back off. Call it mutual disarmament.

Posted on: April 19, 2010 11:35 am

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany travels to the Arizona desert this week which is kind of fitting. For some unlucky schools, there is going to be a college football wasteland once the Big Ten gets done expanding. The BCS meetings this week in Phoenix could be where it all starts. Out of public view, mind you, but it could start. Delany could begin the process of notifying affected conferences that he is about to raid them.

With that in mind, it's time to rating the Big Ten expansion candidates in terms of relevance:

1. Notre Dame: If the Big 16 (or whatever) is able to lure/coerce ND into joining, the other schools don't really matter. Notre Dame brings everything -- class, quality football, eyeballs to the Big Ten Network. The two parties will have to figure out how to do deal with the NBC contract. That's really just a detail once the school decides to join, though. At issue: ND must decide that after 22 years without a national championship, it's better chasing a Rose Bowl every year than hoping for a BCS bowl in some years.

2. Connecticut: A UConn/Syracuse/Rutgers triumvirate maybe makes New York care enough about the Big Ten for the region's big cable carriers to start putting the Big Ten Network on the basic tier. Theoretically, you get New Jersey, New England and, maybe, New York. Taking UConn would be a big of a departure for the Big Ten because it is not an AAU school.

3. Missouri: Outside of getting Notre Dame and turning on New York, Missouri is the next biggest "get" for the Big Ten. It is virgin territory from which the BTN could reap a big profit. Kansas City is a Kansas town (followed closely by Missouri), but St. Louis is a Big Ten/Illinois/Mizzou town. With the likes of Ohio State and Michigan coming to Columbia on a regular basis, cable carriers would have to consider  featuring the BTN on the basic tier. If it's five teams, then count Missouri in. Delany could boast of having markets from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean to New England.

4. Rutgers: By itself, Rutgers does little in the New York market. If the Big Ten took just Rutgers, it could be taking it on the come. We all remember how the region got turned on 3 1/2 years ago. It could happen again. Most likely, Rutgers needs a partner or partners in expansion.

5. Syracuse:  Almost a tag-along at this point. The 'Cuse by itself doesn't make sense because it doesn't bring a market or consistent football. Basketball is great, but that's not what this expansion is about at all. 'Cuse football is going to be better. We all know that. But does the Big Ten expand hoping Syracuse will get good? No, the school would be  a throw-in with Rutgers and UConn if Delany chooses to influence New York (see No. 1) 

6. Pittsburgh: There is little buzz about Pittsburgh at this point. The Big Ten is already in Pennsylvania with Penn State. When Joe Paterno talks about adding another school in the East, that kind of eliminates Western Pennsylvania.

Posted on: April 18, 2010 6:52 am
Edited on: April 18, 2010 4:17 pm

Big Ten expansion timetable moving up?

The timetable for Big Ten expansion may have moved up to today (April 18), the Chicago Tribune has reported.

The conference said in December it would take 12-18 months to research the expansion issue. Now, the Trib suggests, it could happen as soon as this week beginning with a Sunday meeting in Washington, D.C.. All the I-A conference commissioners will meet in Phoenix for the annual BCS meetings. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany could inform impacted conferences at that time.

The Trib also reports, as I have suggested in recent stories, that the expansion could be by as many as three to five teams. 

You can read about more Big Ten expansion developments here.  

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big Ten
Posted on: March 11, 2010 12:25 pm

How a 96-team field would look

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NCAA laid out what a 96-team bracket would look like to Big 12 administrators on Wednesday.

--The first, second (and third) round would extend from Tuesday through Sunday. That means first, second and third-round games would be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in some sites. Other sites would have Wednesday, Friday, Sunday games.

It's kind of the same as we have now with first and second round games Thursday and Saturday and Friday and Sunday.

--The 32 teams in the top half of the bracket would have to win six games to win the national championship. The bottom 64 would have to win seven.

--Concern about missed class time is negligible. We're basically talking about the 32 games from the NIT. Those games are far flung and on different days. With 96 teams, we'd still end up with a Sweet 16 after the first week.

--There was no mention of revenue distribution. That's a key point. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, among other, are on record as saying schools will have to make more than they do per "unit" in the current setup. To prevent "the $100,000 free throw", the NCAA long ago went to paying schools equal-share "units" for every game they win in the tournament.

--Depending on who you talk to, this is a) a done deal and will start next season; b) could be folded in over a period of years or c) will come in three years after the current CBS contract expires.


Category: NCAAB
Tags: Big 12, Big Ten, NCAA
Posted on: March 9, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2010 11:58 pm

Notre Dame shows crack in independent wall

Not quite to sure what to make of Jack Swarbrick's comments Tuesday in New York. The Notre Dame AD told reporters, "you can each come up with a scenario" that would cause ND to evaluate its independent status.

Swarbrick suggested that major upheaval in conference realignment could force the school to reconsider its independent status. It's obvious what would make Notre Dame reconsider: Money.

If the Big Ten expands and gets a deal that is worth, say, $25 million per school and is regularly getting two schools in the BCS, that might be a deal breaker for Notre Dame. The school's deal with NBC runs out after this season. it reportedly pays between $8 million and $9 million per season. A new five-year deal begins in 2011. What would that mean if if ND joined the Big Ten? A mere detail. If ND and the Big Ten want to mate, they can figure everything else out later.

The thing is, Notre Dame can't wait around to see what the Big Ten does. It must tell the conference yes or no. It can't raise its hand after Rutgers is admitted and say, "We want in too." Or can it? It is Notre Dame.

The biggest news out of New York is that there are cracks in ND's brick wall blocking conference affiliation.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 9, 2010 11:18 am
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Posted on: February 11, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: February 11, 2010 12:02 pm

It's finally out there: Texas to the Big Ten

Respected Lawrence (Kan.) Journald-World columnist Tom Keegan reported Thursday morning that "preliminary exchanges" between Texas and the Big Ten have been made regarding expansion.

This could be nothing more than the Large Eleven doing it's due diligence. Make Texas say no before moving on. Or, it could be serious. I mentioned in December that the only two slam dunks that made sense for the Big Ten were Notre Dame and Texas. ND isn't coming. Texas?

I doubt Texas would leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten. First, it would literally take an act of the state legislature to move. Second, I hear that Texas is going to start its own network. It already makes approximately $10 million a year in Big 12 revenue. It would make at least $16 million per year in the Big Ten but the school has so many revenue streams at the moment that difference might not matter.

Anyway, good get by Tommy K.

Category: NCAAF
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