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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:53 pm 
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I am going to try to run through the sub BCS conferences later and see if I can come up with a plan that would get Utah and BYU into the BCS together.

I think to get in they would have to have a conference of schools that give doctorates, are either tier 1 or 2 in the US News academic rankings, and average over say 20K (This assumes relative football health and that in a BCS conference, said school would pull a healthy 30K.).

Their conference would have to have almost uniform academic excellence. It would have to be glaring that the conference is BCS quality in academic terms.

More to come.


Last edited by finiteman on Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:49 pm 
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1. Pac 10 decides to expand (in wake of Big 10 expansion) and adds BYU & Utah - 10% chance
2. Pac 10 takes Colorado and Texas and BYU/Utah go to Big 12 (5%)
3. MWC adds BSU, Fresno St, UTEP or Hawaii and somehow gets in BCS (20%)
4. Nothing happens (60%)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:27 pm 
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Well I wan't really looking for the odds of something happening, but I'll throw in my two cents and then get to the body of what I am talking about.

1. Pac 10 decides to expand (in wake of Big 10 expansion) and adds BYU & Utah - 5% chance
As Big 10 expansion seems tied to ND admission (.001%) or the Big 10 getting sick of ND and moving on to plan 3 (rutgers), I can't see the odds being more than 5%.

2. Pac 10 takes Colorado and Texas and BYU/Utah go to Big 12 (0%)
Pac 10 isn't going to expand on it's own and even it they were, the idea of Texas going to a different conference than A&M is no longer a possiblity in Texas. The days of the SWC and the thoughts of that time are quite different from the thoughts today.

3. MWC adds BSU, Fresno St, UTEP or Hawaii and somehow gets in BCS (0%)
What is lost in this equation is that the BCS is a collection of elite academic schools that are also at least average the BUSINESS of football. The MWC is considered inadequate today. Adding 4 schools perceived to be academically, financially, and from a buisness standpoint athletically weak is not going to help their BCS chances.

4. Nothing happens (50%)
I think for something to happen, BYU and Utah would have to be ready to make something happen quickly at whatever the upfront costs. I can see that. I think they also have to recognize opportunity. Not sure if I see that. The status quo is easy and somewhat profitable and as such might be hard to risk.

5. Something else happens (45%)
This is where things could get interesting.


Last edited by finiteman on Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:08 pm 
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Non-BCS Schools and their average football attendance over 2004-2006


Brigham Young 60K
Utah 39.9K
Fresno St. 38.8K
Air Force 37.8K
Memphis 36.8K
Hawaii 36.7K
UTEP 35.9K
East Caro. 34.4K
Army 33K
TCU 33.2K
Navy 32K
New Mexico 32.8K
Boise St. 29.5K
San Diego St. 29.3K
Southern Miss. 28.5K
Colorado St. 28.2K
Marshall 26.7K
Tulsa 22K
Toledo 22.2K
Northern Ill. 22.2K
UAB 22.2K
Cincinnati 21.4K
UNLV 21.2K
Troy 20.3K
Houston 19.8K
Tulane 19.6K
Duke 19.1K
Bowling Green 18K
Nevada 18K
Western Mich. 18.6K
Miami (Ohio) 18.5K
Wyoming 18.3K
Arkansas St. 18.3K
Temple 17.6K
Louisiana Tech 17.2K
Southern Methodist 17.1K
La.-Monroe 16K
Central Mich. 16.9K
North Texas 16.9K
Ohio 16.7K
San Jose St. 15.8K
Middle Tenn. St. 15.5K
Rice 15.4K
New Mexico St. 15.4K
La.-Lafayette 15.2K
Florida Int'l 15.1K
Idaho 13.8K
Akron 13.6K
Ball St. 13.5K
Buffalo 12.5K
Utah St. 12.3K
Kent St. 10.5K
Eastern Mich. 10.5K
Fla. Atlantic 9.2K

At a glance this should tell you that attendance is a quick and easy way to judge an FBS school's health. Notice that aside from BYU, there isn't a school on that list that averages 40K. These are clearly the bottom end of what I call IA "football financial health".

Lets draw the line at 28K. I don't think a BSC conference is going to want to add a school to their league that isn't "healthy". (I think adding a conference would follow the same terms.) I think 28K is a reasonable point in that it eliminates all schools where attendance would definitely be an issue.

Brigham Young 60K
Utah 39.9K
Fresno St. 38.8K
Air Force 37.8K
Memphis 36.8K
Hawaii 36.7K
UTEP 35.9K
East Caro. 34.4K
Army 33K
TCU 33.2K
Navy 32K
New Mexico 32.8K
Boise St. 29.5K
San Diego St. 29.3K
Southern Miss. 28.5K
Colorado St. 28.2K

The vast majority of BCS schools are tier 1 or 2 national Universities (ie. they give doctorates). I am not going to do the math, but I'd guess ~56 or so of the 65 or so members fit that criteria. Of the 55 non-BCS members, 10 are (the MWC has 3 and CUSA has 4). That right there should tell you something. Academics do matter as well.

Of our shortened list there are 4 universities and 3 acadamies (who would be considered academically similar) on the list.

Brigham Young 60K
Utah 39.9K
Air Force 37.8K
Army 33K
TCU 33.2K
Navy 32K
Colorado St. 28.2K

7 regionally diverse schools. Not enough to creat a conference if they were willing to without admitting another school who would not satisfy the previous criteria. Only argueably 4 BCS caliber universities.

(This gets to the heart of the MWC. It exists because it affords BYU, Utah, and CSU the best financial deal -TV- they could make in their region.)

Finally, one additional factor to consider. Why was the MWC not given BCS recognition after the Big East defections. A number of reasons IMO.

1) The gutted Big East was still stronger than the expanded MWC. 4 universities of academic and football note vs the Big East's 5. (If the acadamies were a factor the BE would have offered Army and Navy a home, winning that 2 to 1.)

2) Basketball influencing football. The Big East is a media power in basketball. Thier basketball schools also include a number of top tier academic schools. Even if it somehow was a 5 v. 5 tie, the BE would have more influence and more votes.

3) Tradition, alliances, past associations, and guilt. I think all of the ACC schools would vote* for the Big East over the MWC. Frankly there are a lot more schools in the east. The numbers would be on the BE's side.

(*I use the concept of "voting" very loosely throughout this. By voting, for the most part, I really mean advocating although at some point voting among BCS universities could potentially come into play----"should we encourage the BCS to drop the ACC?" for example. The BCS Alliance is an agreement by the bowls to bend a little to allow a championship game. It is also a basic standardization of the top Bowl's BCS practices/exeperiences. The bowl games are in the business of putting together games that excite the TV networks by promising good markets and loyal fan viewership (or at least football junky curiosity viewership) and that sell out their stadiums. BCS schools have richer fans who travel in larger numbers, so it should be no suprise the Bowls have cast their lot with them. This is why it makes sense to give the SEC 17M and the WAC 9M. In general, the SEC is going to fill a stadium and have the more enthusiatic viewship --- not the WAC. The best thing a non-BCS school can do to break the system is promote thier football team and try to raise attendance over 40K. Although the BCS conferences are about Academics, the BCS bowls are about TV markets and football team support (ie. attendance).)

So no conference could be built from scratch from the BCS rejects to pass the Big East... Moving on to other possibilities.


Last edited by finiteman on Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Would the BCS consider a second tier of conference? By this I mean, a BCS conference gets a guaranteed 17M from a bowl. Would they consider adding the MWC as a "Jr. BCS" conference?

Now that IS possible. While I cannot see the BCS giving the MWC an equal share, I could see them considering a plan that splits the BE's spot with the MWC.

Both conferences have pretty much 50/50 BCS/non-BCS caliber memberships. That is very un-BCS conference like.

Consider the numbers.

"Each BCS conference is guaranteed approximately $17 million, plus an additional $4.5 million should a second conference team be selected. Although each conference has its own arrangement for the distribution of these funds, the average income per school in each conference is as follows (One team selected/Two teams selected):

Atlantic Coast (12 teams): $1.417M / $1.792M
Big East (8 teams): $2.125M / $2.688M
Big Ten (11 teams): $1.545M / $1.955M
Big 12 (12 teams): $1.417M / $1.792M
Pacific 10 (10 teams): $1.7M / $2.15M
Southeastern (12 teams): $1.417M / $1.792M"

Soooo... The Big East, which is a 50/50 conference pays their members $2.125M or $2.688M a season vs. 100% Big 10's $1.545M or $1.955M share.

That WILL be changed, sooner, rather than later.

I would not be suprised to hear talks about the Big East and MWC getting say 9 M each and an automatic bid in a move designed to divide the non-BCS troops and squelch lawsuits.

As it stands a Non-BCS conference gets 9M for a BCS bowl when they make it. So by giving the MWC a bid they are just giving them a non-BCS share. This loss of revenue could be covered by the money the full BCS members get by splitting up the 8M they recover from reducing the Big Easts share. The full BCS conferences could split it with the 5 conferences getting an additional 1.6 M making their guranteed share 18.6M each.

This would drop the BE share down to the lowest in the BCS and would not cost the BCS schools much at all if each conference produced a single school.

Big East (8 teams): $1.125M / $1.688M
MWC (9 teams): $1.0M / $1.5M

Now the Big East could just accept it as their lot in life and take it. The MWC would likely be thrilled with it, and the lower level IA teams' lawsuit would lose a lot of teeth without the MWC and this move would be to kill a lawsuit.

I'd say there is about a 20% chance that a reevaluation of the BE's per share leads to the BE's conference share being cut in half and the path of least resistance would be to award the other half to the MWC.

But the MWC has to make some national noise in football. BYU, Utah, or CSU has to become an annual 1-2 loss team to generate momentum for the idea.


Last edited by finiteman on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:39 pm 
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Now is there a scenario that would land BYU and Utah in the BCS as members of a full BCS conference?

Yes, but they are a lot more exotic.

The BCS schools will address the Big East imbalance soon. If the Big East does nothing, it will probably be addressed by my "jr. Member conference" scenario (whether or not the MWC gets admitted).

(The other option available to the BCS schools is to guarantee EACH MEMBER of each BCS conference a guaranteed equal share of the automatic money. That won't happen because Ohio State is not going to agree to have an equal share with Cinncinnati. Additionally, if you do it that way, you have to start assigning values to each conference or even each school and that would break the solidarity of the group and create too much unrest. Addressing the Big East alone is an easier problem.)

The threat of a reduced share for the Big East would not be that bad for the BE 5. The spectre of being considered a Jr. member conference is. I think that will lead the Big East football schools to strongly consider breaking away, but then come crashing back to reality in realizing that there isn't a regionally sensible arrangement for them. The current Big East football (+ say UCF) is likely pretty much the best they could do. Any gains they'd make TV wise in football, would be lost in breaking away in Basketball.

In many ways they are in the same scenario as the MWC schools with regards to a football conference. They can generate better TV coverage and money by expanding into good TV markets, but they become less and less of a "BCS" caliber academic conference.

In addition, they lose the votes the top BE basketball schools can curry in their defense.

So the idea of a breakaway conference is a nice fantasy, but might not be financially viable.


BUT... There is a third option. The Big East 5 might be open to a merger with the MWC 4 to create a football only full BCS caliber member conference. Consider this:

(tute79 is sourced and paraphrased in this paragraph) "By 2010 (or 2011), whenever it is....the 8 Big East football schools will consist of a group of at least 6 schools that have been conference mates for at least 5 years. Therefore, the new conference would immediately be recognized as a conference by the NCAA, without any transitional period. And by this magic date, the NCAA basketball tourney funds that the football 8 have earned will be entirely portable."

So TECHNICALLY, the BIG East 5 and Louisville could break away and start their own conference and be recognized immediately as the heir to the football big east which would be effectively defeunct at that point. That said, I think the power BCS conferences would threaten to bolt the BCS if a 6 team conference was going to get an equal share to a 12 team conference, so they would need to expand to 10 or 12. While technically they could add Army, Navy, Memphis, and UCF and be at a TV profitable 12, they would be seen as a bush-league BCS conference.

But supposing they invite 6 FOOTBALL HEALTHY MWC members....

9 top academic schools
1 most financially developed athletic program at a sub-elite academic university in the nation
1 highly regarded academically and football healthy academy
1 solid flagship in the conference footprint.

The Mountain East conference
Mountain
BYU
Utah
Colorado St.
Air Force
TCU
UNM


East
WV
Pittsburg
Syracuse
UConn
Rutgers
Louisville

This would be a cinch to replace the Big East as the 6th BCS conference as the BE core conference would satisfy the 5 year 6 member rule, increase the Big East BCS slots membership to be split 12 ways (easing mounting frustrations with the conference), and making up a very BCS confererence-like membership of top academic schools. The conference would be a quick and easy replacement for the Big East,


Mountain East (12 teams): $1.417M / $1.792M

The MWC 6 would be happy to be in the BCS at all.
The Big East 5 would be happy to be in the BCS as a full member and all 6 would still be in the Big East in Basketball. The Big East might very well jettison Cinnci and USF as their football markets would no longer be required, and the issue of keeping a football school/basketball school voting balance would be moot.
All 12 schools would be happy to have the split conference to reduce travel costs, with only a conference championship game played in at the homefeild of the higher ranked division champion or a centrally located stadium like Mile High in Denver or maybe even a neutral site (although I'd argue that is a bad idea) like Dallas in the Revamped Cotton Bowl or Jerry Dome in Arlington.

All schools would be content with the TV potential of the conference.

Odds 15%
The Big East 5 would demand UNM over the precarious small market Wyoming. Deal killer? I doubt it.

Wyoming would either join the WAC or drop to IAA and remain a non-football member of the non-football conference MWC. SDSU would probably entirely bolt for the WAC, but Denver would be an excellent replacement as a non-football member that strengthen's the MWC brand name in the main city of their #2 market and reinforce the MWC schools BCS academic credentials.




Last edited by finiteman on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:43 pm 
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There is another scenario, but one that is not going to happen in the next 5 years. If the University of Texas does succeed in escaping the Big XII and starting their own top level conference of Mid American Flagship Universities (similar to the Big 10), that would leave Iowa St., Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Texas Tech looking for a home. (UT and A&M deliver the Texas TV markets, OU delivers Oklahoma, Colorado delivers CO, Kansas delivers KS, Missou delivers MO, Nebraska delivers NE. --- 7 schools deliver almost the same TV viewership as 12 and would certainly retain the Big XII BCS invite. 7 schools splitting that hoard rather than 12...consider Arkansas the #8--- why exactly is there a belief that the Big XII is rock solid?)

If BYU and Utah moved quickly, they could pull the dumped members in to a large conference of longtime BCS members and good academic or football candidates that might have the national support among BCS powerbrokers to become a BCS conference. Especailly if the membership was at 14, rendering their per school share as a defacto "Jr. Conference".

For example, Even though UT would probably not want them in their conference A&M might want Tech and TCU in the BCS club. Iowa might want Iowa State in. Kansas might push for Kansas State. Oklahoma for OSU and maybe Tulsa. Colorado for CSU. LSU and the SEC could even possibly push for Tulane with the sponsor bowls.


New Southwest Conference?
Mountain Division
BYU ATT AC MM
Utah ATT AC MM
Colorado State ATT AC MM
Air Force ATT MM AC
Kansas State ATT AC EXBCS
Iowa State ATT AC MM EXBCS
Miami Oxford AC MM

Texas Division
Tulane AC MM
Texas Tech ATT AC EXBCS
TCU ATT AC MM
Rice AC MM
Baylor ATT AC MM EXBCS
Oklahoma State ATT AC MM EXBCS
Tulsa AC MM

ATT = 28K+ Stadium Attendance
AC= tier 1 or 2 National University academics
MM= Noteworthy Media Market (300K + TV households)
(It would be argued that Texas Tech is the number 1 school in the Amarillo, Abeline, Lubbock, and Odessa Markets ~600 TV households. Likewise a Kansas State would be considered a likely deliverer of both their native Topeka as well as the neighboring Wichita market ~620 households.)

EXBCS = Former BCS member of the Big XII

I didn't put odds on this because timewise the Big 12 meltdown is probably at least 7-10 years out. The Big East correction is much closer at hand.


Last edited by finiteman on Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:42 pm 
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Good data there, FM.


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