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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:32 pm 
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If a Big East split is inevitable, which group of schools will keep the name Big East Conference? In my opinion:

-the football playing schools are the ones that really would like a split because it would allow them to add other football members they want, so they will likely collectively leave the Big East to start a new conference.
-this conference needs a marketable name, perhaps: Metro Conference, Eastern Athletic Conference, Big Atlantic Conference.

I see it less likely that the non-football schools break away from the football-playing schools. That group would continue as the Big East Conference.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:27 pm 
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I don't see the football teams as wanting the split. They've got their BCS bid protected under the Big East moniker and affiliation with a strong basketball conference. The main issue is the number of teams and scheduling. The football members want extra members to round out their schedules. But is replacing Army/Navy/MAC opponent and FCS squad on their schedules with Memphis and UMass worth the reduced dividend rate and losing the Big East basketball's TV contract? Not at all. And as you should know, each conference realignment sets up a domino effect, and the football-schools Big East would be too weak to fend off a Big Ten, SEC or ACC attack. Suddenly a solid conference of WV, Pitt, Syracuse, Memphis, UMass, Rutgers, UConn, WVU, Cincy and Louisville ends up Buffalo for Syracuse and ECU for Pittsburgh. That's a league no better than CUSA or MWC.

Oddly enough, the split will likely be over basketball and olympic sports issues, not the football that's driven recent conference changes. Its the smaller non-football schools that are paying a disproportionate share of the logistical challenges and financial implications that is the 16-team Big East. Its their schedule that is being screwed up, their rivalries compromised, mostly their TV and tournament dollars being split up. They hold significant leverage in picking off quality schools to form a new conference - Dayton, Xavier, Temple & St. Joe's (with Villanova's approval), St. Louis, Richmond, UMass (if stays FCS). Should they decide to split from the Big East, it will be them that establishes a new conference powerful enough to remain nationally relevant and secure in membership. Potentially football-schools like UConn and Syracuse would opt to remain in the strong all-sports conference and pair up as independents football-only members of the CUSA or conference of their former peers.

Every one seems to think there will be a split. You can't but imagine what the schools are planning. Due to the reasons above, I would expect the non-football schools to be the ones to organize first and formalize a new conference before the football teams do.
All this depends on what else is happening. The only significant FBS change potentially happening in the future is UMass and Charlotte (Notre Dame can always rely on the non-football schools to avoid joining for all sports). Basketball will be effected by how the A-10 reacts to changes at football at the FCS level. It's very doubtful Memphis can force a BE split by themselves.


Last edited by rferry on Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:28 pm 
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The main issue is the number of teams and scheduling. The football members want extra members to round out their schedules. But is replacing Army/Navy/MAC opponent and FCS squad on their schedules with Memphis and UMass worth the reduced dividend rate and losing the Big East basketball's TV contract? Not at all. And as you should know, each conference realignment sets up a domino effect, and the football-schools Big East would be too weak to fend off a Big Ten, SEC or ACC attack. Suddenly a solid conference of WV, Pitt, Syracuse, Memphis, UMass, Rutgers, UConn, WVU, Cincy and Louisville ends up Buffalo for Syracuse and ECU for Pittsburgh. That's a league no better than CUSA or MWC.


SEC and ACC are not going to add any more members, more than 12 members dilutes the money pool too much. And the Big East football schools IMO will pick two schools and expand to 10, and those schools each have something to bring to the table. Memphis brings a large share of their market, top-notch basketball, and can deliver the Liberty Bowl tie-in. Central Florida brings brand new facilities, including a new stadium that IMO could host one of the Orlando bowls in the near future if the Citrus Bowl Stadium continues to fall into disrepair (probably the Champs Sports Bowl). Central Florida allows for each of the conference's football schools to play once a year in the state of Florida (either UCF of USF). Dumping Army/Navy/FCS schools for this? You bet they'd want that.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:27 pm 
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The name will indeed be an issue. Got to think that with the basketball teams ordering the inclusion of Depaul and Marquette in the last expansion to keep the balance AND the fact that Big East basketball teams founded the conference (football conference added in 1991 with only Syracuse being a both-sports member then)...that the basketball schools intend to keep the name should a split happen.

It wouldn't be the end of the world either. These are large, big state 2 sport schools that would be forming something new. So basketball bids wouldn't be a problem.

More interesting will be basketball. They would be losing St. Johns and MSG. So there is a good chance that they would host their tourney in "New York" but actually play in Newark, NJ (Prudential center) or the new Nets arena in Brooklyn.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:52 pm 
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The question isn't if Memphis and UCF aren't better games than Army and Navy. If it were so simple, we'd see a 18-team Big East tomorrow. The question is if those games make it worth losing the Big East's basketball revenue and splitting potential BCS revenue by 10 rather than 8 ways. Hard to imagine a sufficient number of football schools WANT that.

By the way... UCF doesn't add much since the league already has USF. Besides if they split on their own, they risk losing their BCS bid. Adding Memphis and UCF isn't going to help any more than Army and Navy in that goal. The core of Big East football is enough to give the committee pause and listen to the demands of other (BCS and non-BCS) conferences and their political backers to open up another at-large spot.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:30 pm 
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Why did the SEC expand from 10 to 12 schools?
Why did the Big Ten expand from 10 to 11?
Why did the ACC expand from 9 to 12?
And why do you say the BE footballers won't expand from 8 to 10?
And why couldn't this new conference negotiate is own basketball contract; which would only need to be split 10 ways instead of 16?

Football is higher profile than basketball. The new conference would not lose its BCS bid...why do you say they will?


Last edited by dafoeberezin3494 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:34 pm 
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To answer your questions:
Championship game
Penn State was a perfect fit for many reasons unrelated to football
Championship game and secure its hold on football-centric members
Potential 9th and 10th new members don't offer much to the conference
It could, but with fewer marquee teams and markets, it wouldn't compare to the Big East's.
A new conference wouldn't be the Big East any more. In membership, not name. There were concerns whether the conference would retain its automatic bid when Miami and Virginia Tech left. Formation of a new conference allows the BCS an out that they may take.

Football's profit margins aren't that great. Texas, Michigan level great. A conference championship game or BCS game, great. Those were great revenue-generating events that drove the last round of conference realignment. In basketball, it's the tourney. That's what has encouraged most every conference affilation in recent years. Meanwhile there is another: television contracts. What you're proposing is that the league walk away from the Big East's for their own.
No such options for significant revenue generation exist for Big East football members. Its core is a hodgepodge collection of teams in areas they don't care about college sports (northeast) and face tough competition (west PA, TN, Florida). They will face problems bringing in TV revenue for football or basketball. They're mid-table in football and basketball in that set up. The league would no position to draw in Notre Dame or Maryland or Virginia Tech to improve the conference. A unspectacular 9th and 10th member isn't going to help do much but split up the revenue share. To get to 12 members and a conference championship, you're back to talking about Army, Navy and Buffalo again. And as I stated prior, the football decisions may not sway the the support of two of its most important members, UConn and Syracuse, in dropping Big East basketball. A successful Big East football conference is an if-everything-breaks-right situation, more likely to turn out to be a night mare than any one's dream conference.

In forming a new conference, the basketball members won't be giving up football revenue. So for giving up the official rights to the name, they double their revenue share without drastically undermining future revenue generation. That's why they'll be the ones to force the break-up, not the football members seeking insignificant/non-existent extra profits or extra conference members.


Last edited by rferry on Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:56 am 
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SEC and ACC are not going to add any more members, more than 12 members dilutes the money pool too much.


Why do you say this?


Last edited by panthersc97 on Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:04 am 
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A new conference wouldn't be the Big East any more. In membership, not name. There were concerns whether the conference would retain its automatic bid when Miami and Virginia Tech left. Formation of a new conference allows the BCS an out that they may take.


The previous BCS contract had the name Big East on it so there were valid concerns about losing it if the BE FB schools broke away and BE FB lost its marquee BCS teams (UM/VT).

This is no longer the case as the BE FB schools CLEARLY meet the criteria and would have no problem getting the auto BCS bid. IIRC that they way the wording is that a conference gets an auto bid if they are 'close' to the BCS conference with automatic tie ins to specifc BCS bowls (Big 10/Pac 10-Rose, Big 12-Fiesta, SEC - Sugar, ACC- Orange).

Therefore, losing the name 'Big East' won't be a problem for BCS purposes AND for the NCAA tournaments as BOTH the FB and BB schools would have been together for the required amount of time (6 schools for 5 years). Of course losing the Big East name may affect the identity of the schools because the BE name has value but this won't hold the FB schools back.

The biggest question is if the FB schools can make MORE money alone than with the BB schools they will break away.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:41 pm 
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The NCAA procedures for conference membership that allowed the Mountain West Conference champion an automatic bid to NCAA championships do not apply to this situation as the BCS is not regulated by the NCAA. The determination of what is a BCS conference is the same as always: it's all up to the conference commissioners of the BCS. What's new is a process of a conference losing their automatic bid. In addition to that conference no longer being in existence, a conference can lose their bid by placing too many sub-par champions too frequently. The rule was put in place with the Big East in mind. Their criteria of inclusion as an automatic-bid member isn't only about conference reputation, but also money and politics. The Big East being the 5th best football conference or close to the ACC in quality may not save their bid. Therefore leaving the question: if the other BCS conference commissioners will jump to remove their automatic bid should the opportunity present itself? From their perspective, it's not a hard decision to make: you're opening up a bid to a quality team open to all of 1A/FBS at the expense of a 8-4 secured-bid Big East champion. One can argue the likelihood of that scenario playing out, but it is a critical factor in the formation of a new Big East football conference. That unanswered question may encourage teams like Syracuse, Pittsburgh, UConn and Rutgers to not to support splitting off. The non-football members have much less to lose and much more to gain from splitting off.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:40 am 
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The NCAA procedures for conference membership that allowed the Mountain West Conference champion an automatic bid to NCAA championships do not apply to this situation as the BCS is not regulated by the NCAA.

Sorry about the confusion there. I realize now that the way I wrote that it can be read that way and it wasn't what I meant. What I meant is that if FB-BB schools split, then they won't lose their credits and autobid status to NCAA tournaments.

Obviously the BCS is a different animal as you note below.

But I disagree somewhat with what you post below


Quote:

The determination of what is a BCS conference is the same as always: it's all up to the conference commissioners of the BCS. What's new is a process of a conference losing their automatic bid. In addition to that conference no longer being in existence, a conference can lose their bid by placing too many sub-par champions too frequently. The rule was put in place with the Big East in mind. Their criteria of inclusion as an automatic-bid member isn't only about conference reputation, but also money and politics. The Big East being the 5th best football conference or close to the ACC in quality may not save their bid. Therefore leaving the question: if the other BCS conference commissioners will jump to remove their automatic bid should the opportunity present itself? From their perspective, it's not a hard decision to make: you're opening up a bid to a quality team open to all of 1A/FBS at the expense of a 8-4 secured-bid Big East champion. One can argue the likelihood of that scenario playing out, but it is a critical factor in the formation of a new Big East football conference. That unanswered question may encourage teams like Syracuse, Pittsburgh, UConn and Rutgers to not to support splitting off. The non-football members have much less to lose and much more to gain from splitting off.


While it's true that money and politics are involved in whether a conference gets a BCS bid, there is some sort of measure also. This was essentially brought on by the non-BCS schools. Now there are criteria - although it's not exactly clear how they measure certain things. There is also an appeals process that is also based on market and history if a conference may lose its automatic status (this part is also part of an article posted on this site - I think it was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

http://www.bcsfootball.org/bcsfb/faq
Each conference will be evaluated over a four-year period based on the three elements: the average rank of the highest ranked team, the average rank of all conference teams, and the number of teams in the top 25.

For example, how do they account for the number of teams in the top-25? Do they use a weighted system to account for the differences in conference size? Do they also use a point system for where they finish in the top-25 (ie #1 ranked team gets 25 points, #2 gets 24...... #25 gets 1 point).

If you think the BE would get booted out if they are ahead of the ACC - then we will have to respectfully disagree. That certainly would be a lawsuit right there.

Anyway, the point is simply that the BE is meeting the criteria placed on it with regards to the BCS. They dont need to use the appeals process and hope they will retain their bid (ie market size that the BE BB schools would help with). Will that continue in the future - I don't know.

If the BE FB schools want to stay with the BB schools, it won't be because of meeting the BCS criteria (at least right now), it won't be because of NCAA BB credits, it won't be because of NCAA tournament access - it would probably be because of the TV contracts and exposure with the other possibility that no other 'quality' teams are out there (a UL-type school) so a split makes sense.



Last edited by panthersc97 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:47 pm 
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I am not saying the Big East will lose their BCS bid. What I am saying is that the fear they will lose their BCS bid will not encourage its football members to seek a conference split. Their status as a conference and financial concerns matter a lot more than upgrading their strength of schedule.
If you're argument is that the Big East has nothing to fear, I remind you that the recent talk about what is and how should a BCS conference be determined was brought upon by as much the current formation of the Big East as the TCUs. The issue at the heart of the BCS is not what teams are in and out, but what conferences are aligning to separate themselves from the rest of D-1A and NCAA. The BCS has been trying to avoid that argument and pacify its opponents by expanding at-large opportunities. Letting the Big East go allows the big 5 to consolidate power and further expand at-large opportunities.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:24 am 
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The Big East often gets knocks for having a market impact less than the other BC$ conferences. I think there's a good arguement to be made that the new football conference to be close to that level of compeitition. The Big East compares well to several other BC$ conferences even after the loss of Miami and BC in terms of Market, Academic Reputation, Endowment and Alumni.

Let us not forget that while Miami may be long gone, Rutgers has awoken from its peaceful slumber. While both schools have outside interference in thier respective gigantic markets [Rutgers has to worry about Notre Dame and Syracuse while Florida, South Florida and Florida State haunt Miami] now both schools have taken the steps necessary to be the dominant college team [or close to it] in thier markets.

However, Rutgers is the program with more potential, as top-20 recrruiting classes in both bb and fb and the fasination of the New York media have shown. All it took was a couple 7-5 seasons in football, but what if Rutgers became one of the top 3 big east programs? The Alumni base, acadmeic reputation, and market suggest the university still has untapped potential. Could the Scarlet Knights one day be not only the class of NYC, but also get play in nearby Philly? Coud 2009's great recruiting in bb be a sign of things to come?

The Big East has two more northeastern football programs that have not lived up to their potential. Conneticut is a large state school with great support playing in the northeast, a region whose large population base is lacking in college football programs of UConns caliber. The Huskies, new to Division I, have built up thier football program from nothing in a matter of a decade and already have facilities on par with most BCS programs.

Another underaching program has been the Syracuse Orange. The school is without BCS-level compeition in several prime mid-sized northern markets: Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse are some of the examples. The orange have had several years of earlier success in both sports -- as a large, urban private with solid sports, why not? -- so why not predict a return to if not the 90's level of success, or atleast as an average Big East team.

The point being: Unless the ACC gains a heapload of prestige overnight, do they really outclass the new big east? Does the Big 12? The ACC is second in several markets, and dominant in only one or two (tidewater virginia/north carolina, Baltimore). The Big East is the same way with markets like Louisville, Tampa and Cincinatti and dominant in most of New England. New York is way bigger than Miami anyway, and while we're on subject, what market does Florida State bring other than being Florida's #2? Will Miami (Florida) or Florida State ever return to Glory?

Will any of the Big Twelve schools ever bring siginifigant market value other than the Texas schools? UMissouri would bring a nice market, but they've got to cope with Nebraska [kansas city] and Illinois [Saint Louis]. It's kind of hard to take a BCS conference seriously if its got that much dead weight [Baylor, Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State] that add nothing to conferene coffers.

I think the Big East, the ACC and the Big Twelve are all in the same boat: second to the Big Teneleven and the SEC. Both conferences not only rake in more green than the other competition. The SEC and B10 both make around 500,000 more per school in bowl pay out alone. And it's only gonna get worse. The Big Ten will rake in even more when they expand to 12 and host the crucial championship game, while the SEC will be an absolute force once they get thier conference tv network off the ground in a few years.

Would Florida State or Clemson hesitate if the SEC came calling if they were going to make several million more by switching allegiances? If the BTen came calling, would Kentucky not atleast consider a move? What about Texas and A&M, wouldn't they consider a new conference if the payouts were much better?

I think for one reason the Big East is actually a little bit better off than the ACC or the Big Twelve: They can field a suitable replacements within thier home region that have BCS-level acadmeics and developing athletic programs. UMASS, Delware and SUNY-Stony Brook [eventually] will all be FBS level. Delaware may one day be able to bring Philly, UMASS could bring boston and Stony Brook might just be a factor in New York City. Most of all, these programs have endowments, enrollments, great academics [all three are tier 1 usnews and vh research universities], and are located in or near markets suitable for D-1 football. Even more importantly, UMASS and UDel are state flagships. All these three schools need is a little success to kick start thier programs.

As long as the Big East can hold on to Rutgers, I think the conference will be fine in football. The Scarlet knights, those of huge endowment, gigantic enrollment, and the biggest media market in the United States literally just down the street, hold the future of the Big East within thier grasp. While I don't think the Big East will ever be like the SEC or B10, I think they could one day be above the Big Twelve or ACC.


Last edited by thelurker on Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Lash, et. al.,

The big concern for football only schools is the matter of housing their other sports. For some schools, C-USA is a pretty good home for sports such as basketball and baseball. Schools such as East Carolina and Temple (who is not a C-USA member) would probably take a BE fb only offer. Then there is Navy and Army who could handle their sports having more than one conference affiliation.

The Big East taking teams for single sports is essentially getting back, even deeper, in their old ways. It seems the real answer to find that ninth all-sports team for now. Otherwise, they need to decide to split and the all-sports may add whichever schools they prefer, from one to four.

The bb-only schools, including Notre Dame, evidently do not desire a split. The fear is, an all-Catholic urban conference, essentially for basketball, will diminish in prestige, TV contracts, etc. over time by not having the depth of attention associated with football institutions who get featured well during the fall. In various respects, the external revenue gets tied.

The Big East has this "balance" approach between all-sports and basketball. Inherent in this approach is to ensure equal weight for voting per critical decisions. A couple "all-sports" schools may be sitting on the fence about the possibility of a future split.

Perhaps the new Commissioner will work to resolve the complexities rather than maintain them. With the Big East design, a raid of just one key "all-sports" school by another BCS conference could upset the apple cart. TV and other investment entities cannot be fully comfortable with that possibility for the long-term.


Last edited by sec03 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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