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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:05 pm 
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I was thinking recently...

If the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand to 12, both of these power wielding conferneces would be at 12 like the SEC, ACC and Big 12.

Something tells me that if these 2 conferences make these moves to 12, that there is no way they don't pressure the Big East to make a similar move.

In the past, since both conferences were below 12, they had no reason to push for all BCS conferences to be 12 members. As we know it's an unfair financial advantage if a conference gets an equal share but only has to split it say 8 ways instead of 12.

If such a move was forced, it might actually create the Big East split we've discussed, as well as bring in 4 current non-BCS schools into the BCS.

In all liklihood, regardless of who was taken (we know replacements would need to come from non-BCs conferences), we would see a total of 7 new BCS schools if all conferences were at 12. It makes sense as there are only about 10 non-BCS schools that are right on the bubble.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:43 pm 
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If both the Pac-10 and Big X do end up expanding to 12 teams, I think it affects the BCS layout quite a bit. With the current 4 year evaluation in process to be a BCS conference, the Mountain West is in a pretty good position to become a BCS conference if no other conferences make any changes. However if the Pac 10 expands, that likely means the Mountain West loses two of their best schools (Either going to Pac10 or replacing a school in the Big 12) which obviously would mean the MWC would not become a BCS conference.

Depending on which way the Big Ten expands, either the Mountain West gets hit again or the Big East does. In a world where $$$ is king, I think both conferences do end up expanding, with the Big Ten raiding the Big East. If they can keep the MWC from becoming BCS, and perhaps make the Big East no longer a BCS conference, you now only have 5 conferences with AQ status to the 5 BCS bowls, which would likely cause the rule of no more than 2 per conference goes the BCS, which then means more money to each of the 5 BCS conferences.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:51 pm 
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As I said in the Big Ten thread...

I don't think this ushers in a "Super Conference" era with the BCS conferences expanding to four or five conferences of 16.

#1 - The Big Ten Network.
As stated previously, the Big Ten Network is the reason that conference can go past 12. Simply put, more teams means more markets with higher prices and more revenue.

Ideal for the Big Ten: Texas, Rutgers and Syracuse. This adds 18 million households to the Big Ten Networks primary markets. Getting on primary cable in those two markets (NY/Texas) would mean about $18 million more in revenue in just carriage fees. Not to mention an increase in advertising revenue as more companies want to reach their wider audience.

The Big Ten has the ability to make more money with more teams that other conferences (as of yet) do not have.

#2 - The law of diminishing returns.
For other conferences, adding more schools means slicing their pie two more ways. This means each school has to bring in their share to the pot of revenue. There's only so many institutions out there who can do that.

Short of carving up the carcass of the Big East and Big 12, who can the Pac 10 add if Texas is gone and after Colorado and Utah climb on board who can bring in their weight in revenue?

#3 - So Who's out There?
TCU, BYU, UNLV, Colorado State, Boise State, Houston... they can't bring the Pac 10 or Big 12 enough bang for their buck for them to go to 14 or 16.

Either their markets are too small, or they are the second or third (or fourth or fifth) fiddle in their state.

The Big East is already up against this problem, where Memphis, UCF and ECU are not desireable for their conference even though they need a 9th football team.

#4 - The SEC TV contract is locked in
They aren't expanding to divide their pie 2 or 4 more ways for another 15 years. No reason to.
Even if Texas and Texas A&M said "Hey, we'll join you." The SEC would say "Sure, in 13 years when we're negotiating our next TV deal"

So, realistically....
IF the Big Ten lands Texas, Syracuse and Rutgers (their ideal); the Pac 10 takes Colorado and Utah, the only real expansion beyond 12 for the rest of the conferences would be what, exactly?

The ACC could go after UConn, Notre Dame. No one else is going to bring enough revenue to the table for them to consider.
The Pac 10? Oklahoma and Oklahoma State?

For the Super Conference Era to start, the Pac 10 and/or ACC are going to have to SUCCESSFULLY launch TV networks.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:36 pm 
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I hear ya.

TV networks seem to be the key. The Pac-10 could very well get a better TV deal on ESPN if they added CU, Ut or TX without a new TV network. But a TV network would be a slam dunk.

As for the ACC, I think they could really use a TV network. And in doing so, it could mean a 2 team expansion up north for those markets. I just think they need them more than the B10 needs new markets at this point. Adding 2 from Uconn, Rutgers or Syracuse would be huge on a new network.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:32 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
As I said in the Big Ten thread...

I don't think this ushers in a "Super Conference" era with the BCS conferences expanding to four or five conferences of 16.

#1 - The Big Ten Network.
As stated previously, the Big Ten Network is the reason that conference can go past 12. Simply put, more teams means more markets with higher prices and more revenue.

Ideal for the Big Ten: Texas, Rutgers and Syracuse. This adds 18 million households to the Big Ten Networks primary markets. Getting on primary cable in those two markets (NY/Texas) would mean about $18 million more in revenue in just carriage fees. Not to mention an increase in advertising revenue as more companies want to reach their wider audience.

The Big Ten has the ability to make more money with more teams that other conferences (as of yet) do not have.

#2 - The law of diminishing returns.
For other conferences, adding more schools means slicing their pie two more ways. This means each school has to bring in their share to the pot of revenue. There's only so many institutions out there who can do that.

Short of carving up the carcass of the Big East and Big 12, who can the Pac 10 add if Texas is gone and after Colorado and Utah climb on board who can bring in their weight in revenue?

#3 - So Who's out There?
TCU, BYU, UNLV, Colorado State, Boise State, Houston... they can't bring the Pac 10 or Big 12 enough bang for their buck for them to go to 14 or 16.

Either their markets are too small, or they are the second or third (or fourth or fifth) fiddle in their state.

The Big East is already up against this problem, where Memphis, UCF and ECU are not desireable for their conference even though they need a 9th football team.

#4 - The SEC TV contract is locked in
They aren't expanding to divide their pie 2 or 4 more ways for another 15 years. No reason to.
Even if Texas and Texas A&M said "Hey, we'll join you." The SEC would say "Sure, in 13 years when we're negotiating our next TV deal"

So, realistically....
IF the Big Ten lands Texas, Syracuse and Rutgers (their ideal); the Pac 10 takes Colorado and Utah, the only real expansion beyond 12 for the rest of the conferences would be what, exactly?

The ACC could go after UConn, Notre Dame. No one else is going to bring enough revenue to the table for them to consider.
The Pac 10? Oklahoma and Oklahoma State?

For the Super Conference Era to start, the Pac 10 and/or ACC are going to have to SUCCESSFULLY launch TV networks.


We'd really need to read the fine print in these contracts to know for sure that anyone is "locked in". Do you really think that an exodus by Texas wouldn't trigger a renegotiation or other adjustement of the Big XII contract?

Do you think that if the SEC, for example, could add Texas that the networkds wouldn't be willing to take a new look at that 15 year contract?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:03 pm 
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One thing to keep in mind is that the BCS contacts expire Jan 2014. No one knows what will happen after that. Right now, conferences get ~ $20 million per BCS game. What if those numbers were significantly increased by cutting out the BE and MWC - 5 BCS conferences with 5 to 14 teams? Would that be enough to make expansion to 14 worthwhile? Essentially, you are cutting the TV viewers 'dead weight' - conferences in which BCS TV viewers historically don't want to watch.

My initial reaction is NO.... but you never know what deals will be on the horizon to try and maximize TV contract values (ie 'plus one'?)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Orlando Sentinel has been banging their drum regarding 16 school superconferences for awhile.Here is latest installment to include the Texas to Big Ten story at http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports ... ealignment


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:20 am 
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The 16-team super conference model is thrown out there by a lot of media types...

but no one has been able to adequately explain how a 16-team conference benefits everyone from a financial sense. Yes, I saw the Orlando Sentinel "Why 16 is better than 12"

Except it ignores the fact that the Big East (A) is the lowest revenue league of the BCS conferences (b) is together only out of necessity when the truth is, they would have split if they could back in 2003. This is shown in the minutes of the BE's meetings from 2003, when a 16-team hybrid model was voted against 6-0 by the remaining football members. They did an about face only because Trangese explained the issues with splitting (the hoops 5 wouldn't be a conference, and therefore would probably sue the football schools).

The A 16-team format preserves rivalries? That's clearly a lie for the Pac 10. They've played everyone EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 1978. They'd stop doing that with divisions.

The improvement of TV inventory is a good reason... except:
A) it's improved at the cost of more shareholders dividing the pot.
B) the networks still have a relatively set number of time slots.

There's really zero evidence that more inventory means more TV dollars, because the TV schedule is made to put on the best games each conference has available for the number of time slots.

For example, the Big East 16-team model features tons of awesome games... But they are still limited by the number of time slots ESPN/CBS wants to utilize. It's not like Big Monday added an 11 p.m. game when the Big East expanded. They are merely showing Louisville vs Syracuse instead of Syracuse vs Seton Hall. Now, the Louisville game is more enticing to TV, so they pay a little extra. But is that enough to offset the additional schools?

The 14-team Big East (pre-ACC raid) gave each football school $1.875 mil and $1.67 mil for the hoops schools.
The 16-team Big East (post-raid) gives all 16 schools $2 mil for basketball. And $3 mil each for football.
That number could be attributed more to inflation than to inventory, considering the Big East deal is THE SMALLEST OF ALL THE BCS CONFERENCES.

The inventory could be improved by simply having two conferences form a TV network jointly (like the Pac 10 and ACC have discussed). That's actually the smartest idea out of all of this, because not only does it give them ample programming, but it gives them the maximum number of time slots by having East and West Coast games.

Basketball, for example. Using today's schedule, they could have put Duke vs Maryland (ESPN), UNC vs NC State (ESPN).
Then on their own network:
Miami vs Clemson (noon ET, 9 am PT)
Virginia vs Va Tech (2 ET, 11 am PT)
Washington St vs Cal (4 ET, 1 PT)
Ore St vs Arizona (6 ET, 3 PT)
Ga Tech vs Wake (8 ET, 5 PT)
Oregon vs Ariz St (10 ET, 7 PT)
Wash vs Stanford (12 ET, 9 PT)

And basketball gives you the most flexibility for time slots, because you can stagger games to be every single night, and the two-hour window gives you 10 potential time slots M-F, and another 10 on Sat-Sun. That's 20 games a week you can put on TV.

Football? There's three time slots per network, per day. Your own network can only show four games on a Saturday, max. What are you doing in September when you have 16 games going on during one Saturday? You gotta hope you can get 12 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ABC.


I don't buy that 16 is better than 12 unless you're a basketball only league, or run your own TV network. And even then I have reservations of going past 14.

The law of diminishing returns is never discussed.

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