... and keeping to 10 members to avoid an unnecessary championship game. 9 conference games would more than make up TV revenue from a championship game. Anyone want to no why the ACC was so against the 12 regular season because they new they made a mistake by expanding with 12 when they could have just settled for Miami and had the same national perception.
I'm not grasping. Honestly, I don't see how the 9th conference game = the same/more money than a conference championship. At least, not for a league that can get $5+ M for said game.
a) If the 9th conference game is so valuable the Pac 10 would've moved in that direction long ago and the Big Ten wouldn't have recently turned down the measure. The Pac 10 is now moving to a 9th game but they said they were doing so only because it could allow for a clear champion without
costing them a non-conference game now that the 12th game was available. Plus they're not high on match-ups with the WAC and MWC and have fewer minor teams to schedule against compared to the east coast, where travel costs are cheaper for La Monroe to visit Bama.
b) A 9th conference game doesn't equate to a bigger TV contract. Not much bigger, anyway. The SEC was hard pressed to move from 6 to 8 conference games, let alone consider 9. Securing a 7th home game can yield an additional $3+M... for each school. No TV contract can compete with that.
c) A 9th conference game equates to a 5th road game in conference every other year. This means most name programs, who we know will NEVER have 6 road games, will only have 1 road date every other year to offer for inter-conference home-and-home contests. When you consider that many teams already have an annual rival out of conference (FSUvUF, MichvND...) that further prohibits the options for non-con games for most clubs. So in lieu of a requirement for 5-6 road games per year, this wouldn't pan out, IMO.
d) That it was the ACC that made the objection after their expansion is indeed hypocritcial, but it did have some (veil thin) validity. The concern was that having the 12th game IN ADDITION to the growing post-season would have negative results. Conf championships involve only a few teams rather than everyone, and the 12th game would elminate a free week often used for recuperation. One coach assumed everyone was gravitating toward a conference championship and that would be the mechanism of choice for raising revenue, not the 12th game. An error in their thinking.
e) The Conference Championships are a very powerful marketing tool. CUSA expanded to 12 for the purposes of such a game despite the fact they won't make near as much money off of it. Why? Exposure. Britton Banowsky(sp?) said (roughly) that it would be good for CUSA to have a showcase game on national TV right there with the name conferences.
That first Saturday in December has almost become a second New Year's Day in terms of quality football, and I can assure you most every sports bar in the country will have some type of celebration or promotion tied in with spending the day watching the games. Moreover, the SEC and B12 make multi-day festivals of the event, something the ACC hopes to mimic. The host city is usually littered with banners and promotionals similar to a super bowl, while a convention center hosts exhibits, games and other stuff for visiting and local fans to stop in, learn of the conference and its members and celebrate all things SEC/B12/ACC. It does the same for football as the conference tourney's do for basketball.
Which is an interesting comparison. ACC introduced the conference tourney for basketball despite not having a need since the regular season produced a clear champ. Now even the Big Ten does the same, and we all know what the value of the BE basketball tourney is.
I agree that expanding to 12 just to hold the game can be ludicrous. MWC didn't find a model worth the $, and CUSA and MAC are gambling with the viability of theirs. We'll see how those pan out. But for the power conferences who can secure multi-million paydays I wouldn't dismiss the value of the games, either.