****This an excerpt from a post on www.utefans.net
(university of utah). the posters name was colo ute and I did get permission to post excerpts that I think are relevant to the discussion. obviously since this poster is Utah fan his post talks about Utah ***
Now, I thought Virginia Tech would be included in the ACC expansion rather than BC, but when I look at it, it really makes more sense this way. As a no-brainer, which media market would you prefer - Boston or Blacksburg?
On a bit more subtle note, Virginia Tech is really a "one trick pony" and hasn't had the cleanest of reputations over the past decade. They're a great football program, and Beamer is fantastic coach, but, from a total athletic standpoint, and, more to the point, academically, do they really fit in with Duke, Virginia, et. al. BC and Syracuse are both top notch academic institutions, and Donna Shalala is turning Miami into one of the best academic institutions in the country.
- So, what does the ACC expansion have to do with Utah? Well, nothing.....yet. Other dominoes have to fall first, and the program in the key position right now is.....(drum roll please)......Notre Dame.
If everything goes down as expected with these 3 programs and the ACC, Notre Dame is going to start being pulled in several directions. First, Tranghese, sensing his sweet BcS gig being in serious jeopardy, will give the Domers an ultimatum to either bring their football program into the fold, or take their other athletic programs and go elsewhere.
The Domers joining the Big East as a full member is exactly what we DON'T want to happen. The addition of Notre Dame to the Big East in football, along with probably Louisville and maybe Marshall, is enough to keep it as a viable BcS conference. If that occurs, most likely, the other conference would pretty much stand pat, and I wouldn't bet on another round of conference expansion to occur anytime in the foreseeable future.
- That said, I'm not sure joining the Big East is in the Domers' best interest either. I am sure that the Domers are smart enough to recognize Tranghese's ultimatum as a bluff, and treat it accordingly. If the Big East kicked Notre Dame's other sports out, they could just grab Georgetown, St Johns, and every other basketball only member of the Big East and go form their own league. Notre Dame might have just enough stroke to pull that off.
They just need to do a bit of math. In the Big East, they can get to a BCS bowl probably 4 or more times every 10 years simply because the conference champ gets and automatic bid, and they'd be in the mix for that spot with Virginia Tech every year - with someone else winning the title a couple of times each decade. More importantly, they'd get a 1/10 split of the BCS - and 4 other bowls - every single year.
The thing Notre Dame has to consider is that they still only get the 1/10 split in years where they're the participant in the Bowl. Therefore, in any given decade, they get one full BcS game revenue as a member of the Big East - regardless of how many times they play in BcS bowls. Wereas, if they remain independent in football, if they play in 2 BcS games in a decade - an achievable goal for them - they double their take since they don't have to share. Financially, I don't think it makes sense for them to join a conference unless....
- ...they have trouble renegotiating their own TV contract. Notre Dame is still one of the most respected names in all of college football, but, to be honest, I'm not sure they're the draw they used to be. However, if they were in the Big 10 - a conference with an already lucrative TV contract, but don't think for one minute that ABC/ESPN wouldn't up the ante considerably if they could get a piece of the Domers and a Big 10 Conference Championship game - it's possible that they could make it financially worth their while.
(for those who would argue that the Big East TV contract would also be upped with Notre Dame, consider that the Big East just lost the New York, Boston, and Miami markets, and replaced them with Louisville and West Virginia. Notre Dame isn't going to make up that big a difference.)
So, anyway, in the Big 10 with 12 teams now, they'll have to split the BcS pie 12 ways every year, but in the Big 10 with 12 teams, there's a much greater probability of having 2 BcS teams in a given year than the Big East. So, instead of having 1 full share of a BcS payout every decade, they'd get 1.2-1.4 share every decade.
That's still less than the possible 2-3 payout in a decade they may be able to get on their own, but the Big 10 with 11 teams could have some leverage if they threaten to stop scheduling them every year - the Domers play at least 4 Big 10 teams a year - or if the revised BcS decides makes it more difficult for them to qualify for a BcS game.
Notre Dame joining the Big 10 with more than 10 teams is exactly what we (utah fans) DO want to happen.
- Actually, the Big 10 with 11 teams expanding is what we want, but I don't see it making sense to them unless they can get Notre Dame. They could get a Pitt or a Missouri and expand even without the Domers, but I'm not sure they would.
Anyway, the reason we want the Big Midwestern conference with an ever changing number of teams to expand is because the 12 team conferences will then put pressure on the PAC to expand. They're not going to want to keep splitting the pie up equally for each conference. They aren't going to be overly enamored with splitting their 1/6 of the pie 12 ways when the PAC is splitting it 10. They're going to demand that in every bowl that they play a PAC opponent, they're going to want 12 shares of the take where the PAC will only get 10 - or a 55/45 split.
Basically, that costs the PAC $750K per bowl appearance, and that's not going to sit well. But what are they going to do when they're voting against 4 and maybe 5 other 12 team conferences. The only way to keep their equal piece of the whole BcS pie is to expand - and the conference championship game revenues won't suck either.
- So, the formal logic is for the PAC to expand to bring in the best possible football programs available. Puh-lease. If it gets to this point, football history is about as irrelevant as Cougie's little research project. This is now about money. Not TV money like most speculate - because lest we forget, the PAC doesn't have an ESPN contract. They're a Fox conference, and I don't see Fox upping their deal for any media outlet that the PAC doesn't already own - and yes, I still consider that the PAC has San Diego as more folks there care about USC and UCLA than they do SDSU. It's also not about additional bowl revenues as the PAC is contracted for 6 bowl games and that's not going to change with expansion. This is simply about the money associated with expansion, a conference championship game, and getting to keep their fair share of the BcS pie.
Frankly, the PAC could care less if the expansion teams are able to compete right away. They need two teams, and frankly, two warm bodies will do it. What they really need are teams who will politically and academically apease their boosters. So, I guess what I'm saying is that the PAC doesn't need someone to excite their fan base as much as they need teams who won't piss off anyone important.
- This is what I think BYU really has going against it. Athletically, they'd probably be a slam dunk. But how are PAC Big Donors going to react to bringing in a school that won't play on Sundays, expels active homosexuals, and fires professors for teaching subjects that aren't within a specific doctorine? I think it's the last one that'll be the big bugaboo.
- So, anyway if all of these things happen, I agree that Utah should be a lock. I can't see any other candidate in the West who would fit in with the academic and polical demands of the PAC better than Utah.
- As for the divisions, just one thing to keep in mind. Oregon and Washington schools aren't going to be too keen on not getting recruiting exposure in California every year. As such, they're not going to like a division where there are no California teams, so a northern/southern division won't work. I like the idea of splitting up traditional rivals, but I don't know how folks will react to that. Of course, all of this is putting the cart about 3 timezones ahead of the horse."