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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 10:26 pm 
Interesting theories. I'd like to point out the major flaw I believe you missed.

Where does the Big 10 fit into all of this? Do you really think that they'll sit on the sidelines when everyone else is forming 12 team conferences and getting high profile championship games. A Big 10 title game would be worth more than the ACC to TV and possible more than the Big 12 or SEC.

Notre Dame will not join a conference unless they have 10 straight losing seasons and lose their NBC TV contract. So they're not likely to join the Big 10. The most likely candidate is Pitt. Many presidents of the Big 10 will be reluctant to invite another member, but Pitt would be the best fit among the teams available (assumning the ACC nabs Syracuse). It would give the rest of the Big 10 even more exposure to Pennsylvania, which is probably the 4th best state for producing football players (after CA, TX and FL).


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 6:54 am 
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The Big11 could have had Syracuse at any time in the past - and the lack of any attempt to "make a play" for them is most telling. At the time they added PennSt, the Big11 could have taken any other school in the east - but they didn't. Doesn't take much to put two and two together.

It's amazing to me that so many people think this BigEast team or that BigEast team would be of interest to the Big11 when the Big11 never made any effort to even test the waters with these schools - despite being just one team short of 12 - and a $12-$15 million championship game. There is a reason they stay at 11 teams - they want NotreDame - and aren't too interested in expansion if it isn't NotreDame.

Don't be so sure about that Nert. I've heard in the past that the Big Ten was interested in Missouri at one time. What do you have to say about that, eh?

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That makes the only reasonable explanation for the two never getting together is lack of interest on the Big11 side. Same can be said for Pitt.

Or Syracuse could have said, "Thanks, but no thanks, we're not interested in the Big Ten." Joe Paterno has been on record as saying he supports the Big Ten giving Pittsburgh an invitation, and unlike Syracuse, I can see Pittsburgh saying yes. However, this will be the Big Ten's third option on expansion, much like South Carolina was for the SEC back in '92. (see SEC invitations to Miami and FSU before South Carolina was invited). The Big Ten knows they can take Pittsburgh any time they want, so they want to go after some more attractive options first. Nothing wrong with that, because the SEC did the exact same thing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 7:39 am 
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The most likely candidate is Pitt. Many presidents of the Big 10 will be reluctant to invite another member, but Pitt would be the best fit among the teams available (assumning the ACC nabs Syracuse). It would give the rest of the Big 10 even more exposure to Pennsylvania, which is probably the 4th best state for producing football players (after CA, TX and FL).


Absolutely disagree. To be a "likely" - or the "most likely" candidate, you would have to be a team they would actually want - and Pitt isn't a team that they want.

Of course, you're also assuming they'll expand for the magic number 12 and a championship game. If that was such a driving force - wouldn't they have already done it? It's been about 10 years at 11 teams. 10 years at about $12-$15 million in foregone revenue per year. The Big11 has bypassed $120 - $150 million dollars in potential revenue over the last decade and you're saying that now, suddenly, Pitt is what they've been waiting for? They could have had Pitt at any time. JoePa's been in their corner since day 1 and they are no closer to adding Pitt than before PennSt arrived.

And you're looking at the effect of the new ACC alignment in the wrong direction for the Big11. The creation of the ACC12 - and the simultaneous elimination of the BigEast as a BCS conference - does not put pressure on the Big11 to expand (and then have to divide their money 12 ways). It actually just opens another BCS slot - making it more likely these 11 teams get 2 BCS slots each year - and raising the average yearly revenue for all 5 of the remaining BCS conferences. Why share additional revenue with someone you don't even want?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let's say expansion is all about money. [the Big11 decade long experience tells you that it can't be just about money - or they would have expanded to 12 a decade ago]

For this 12th team in, they would have to bring even more additional revenue into the Big11 than prior to the ACC raid - because the conference stands to make more per team anyway.

Let's say the elimination of the 6th BCS conference increases the average take in the Big11 from around $8 million (presently) to $10 million instead (on average more BCS bids per year). To maintain that take-home pay of each school - now the 12th team must add at least an additional $10 million to revenue - where prior to ACC expansion it only had to bring in an additional $8 million. Whether it could do it or not (and frankly any warm body could just by being the Big11's 12th team), the increase in expected per team pay from the BCS now makes it less likely that they bother - not more likely.

For example - if the championship game brings in an additonal $15 million, then when they averaged ~ $8 million (prior to the elimination of the BigEast) - that was $7 million extra (over and above paying for the 12th team's $8 million share). Now, when each team makes ~ $10 million anyway - that's only $5 million over and above the $10 million required to pay for the 12th team. The bonus pay for having a championship game just shrank.

It doesn't matter if the ~ $10 million is acurate or not. As long as the ACC raid of the BigEast raises the expected BCS revenue of the surviving BCS conferences (and it would have to), then that change makes it less profitable than before for the Big11 to expand. So if they were unwilling to expand before for ~7 million (divided 12 ways) , they would be less willing to now for ~ 5 million (divided 12 ways).

Finally, Pitt does not bring the "Pennsylvania market" anyway - nor does it help the Big11 schools recruit Pennsylvania. They've been doing that long before PennSt was even a member. Frankly, college FB fans in Pittsburgh are just as likely to be PennSt or OhioSt fans as they are to be Pitt fans. Pittsburgh is a pro-city and Pitt is a city college - neither of which "fits" the Big11.

So re-capping the reasons Pitt won't be added to the Big11:
  • Any team they add will give them a championship game - but Pitt does not raise the bar anymore than any other 12th team would.
  • They don't bring a significant untapped market.
  • They don't bring additional TV revenue over and above any other 12th team could (we know the Big11 could make more TV $$ by having a 12th team and a championship game - but any team could do that).
  • THIS ONE IS KEY - They don't bring any additonal FB respect to the conference (the Big11 will expand if it raises their FB reputation clearly above that of the SEC - Pitt doesn't do that - NotreDame, Nebraska, Texas, TexasA&M or Oklahoma could).


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 8:13 am 
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Don't be so sure about that Nert. I've heard in the past that the Big Ten was interested in Missouri at one time. What do you have to say about that, eh?


First - I would say, don't listen to people on the net as if they actually know some inside info. There are actually leaks and there is internet rumor. Internet rumor is wishful thinking - while actual leaks are premature announcements. Don't get them confused. Syracuse would have nearly quadrupled their yearly income by joining the Big11 with their old rival PennSt. There is no rational reason for them to have ever spurned a Big11 offer.

Second - Is there any printed, reliable, news resource -anywhere - that actually quotes anyone who might actually know what goes on at high level Big11 meetings (like a University president or AD or even an assistant to one) - that has ever said anything about the Big11 actually asking or considering Syracuse or Missouri (or anyone other than NotreDame) to join the Big11? I'll save you the research time - the answer is no.

Discussions like conference realignments always seem to get quotes and leaks about "we're looking into it" - just like the ACC raid of the BigEast was being commented on by ACC and BigEast officials as well as by officials from individual schools - well before anything happened.

Questions posed to individual coaches about whether they would like to see "suchandsuch state u" in their conference are not the same thing. To be polite and classy, they almost always answer questions like that with "they have a lot to offer ....". But coaches are neither "in the know" nor involved in that level of discussion until well after the discussions are very public anyway.

But neither the Big11 - nor the schools you're saying they once considered, have ever had any officials quoted saying that the Big11 actually inquired about anyone (save NotreDame - which was very public). Neither is there any school bragging that they were ever being courted by the Big11 and declined that invite. Don't you think Syracuse or Missouri would grab the free publicity and respect from being the team that turned the Big11 down? Yet you see none of that.

I don't know how you don't end up concluding that there was nothing to leak - when a school that your rumors say has turned away the Big11 would have no incentive to hide it afterward and tons of advantages to bringing it out in the open. Besides, universities are notoriously bad at keeping strategic secrets when it comes to big time athletics - why would the Big11 be able to hush teams that they unsuccessfully tried to court? During the process, they could threaten to end discussions if there was a premature leak I suppose - but afterwards?

For your rumors to be true, that would require that it continues to this day to be very "hush hush" - even after a team is ultimately rejected by the Big11 or rejected the Big11 - and that makes absolutely no sense.

Stop listening to 10 year olds in Missouri and up-state New York with a computer and a self-delusional sense of self-importance.

If a post starts with "I heard from this guy I know with inside connections..." scroll down to the next post.


Last edited by nert on Thu May 15, 2003 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:27 am 
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nert,

Granted, none of the rumors are verifiable, and many are just total bs. The Big 10 has also been above board in expansion talks (as far as we know). But I don't think its impossible that the Big 10 might have approached these guys to test the waters, unofficially. Why not gauge interest while waiting on Notre Dame? And why make such apparoaches public, when it might kill what little chance there is of bringing ND on board by putting pressure on them?

I don't think it's impossible that Missouri or Syracuse politely declined approaches from the Big 10. What else would a school that wants to show pride in itself and its current conference do in response to an unofficial invite, especially if they are concerned that the ambassador from the Big 10 might blab out their response? I doubt they'd go to the press with a public refusal, because who wants to burn bridges with the Big 10? Maybe a school like ND, but schools like Missouri and Syracuse probably wouldn't want to cut off diplomatic channels with the Big 10 until they have a better deal locked down somewhere.

Its not like it'd be all pluses for Missouri or Syracuse. They'd be the least valued member of the conference and an outsider. They'd get pounded in football and screwed in scheduling. They also might have recruiting problems (Syracuse might face some of Joe Pa's problems losing eastern recruits). Until they got some assurance about those concerns, they might wait for an official approach, or break off contact and leave their options open later.

I'm not saying any of this actually happenned. Never seen a legit source for any of these rumors either. It just isn't totally nonsensical. Not terribly likely and totally unverified, no argument there.

Re: Pitt to Big 11

Not gonna argue money with you, got no chance there. I'd only note that there might be some pressure to land the next best option to ND, depending on who is exerting pressure in the Big 10. Some of the power brokers over there may have changed since Penn State, and some may be a bit jumpy. I think they can stomach the Big 12 and SEC going to 12, but falling behind the ACC (I know that isn't necessarily the case in terms of pay outs) might be a little much. But I think these are the real concerns:

If ND is a no-go, they don't wnt to lose Pitt as a vaulable addition in athletics right now. If they acquire them later as a member of a lesser conference, they may not be worth the effort at all. I realize you don't think they add much to athletics, but they were one of the best bball teams in the country last year, they've been within a heartbeat of beating Miami two years in a row in football. They're a top 10 squad lately (took out UGA in a bowl game recently) and they have the best shot they've ever had of winning the BE this year and snagging a BCS bid. Granted, they're no ND, and it might be worth waiting ND out anyway, but Pitt right now could definitely bring an extra NCAA bid and probably cement that second BCS slot. I don't think the Big 10 can totally overlook giving Penn State a natural rival. Wouldn't hurt to keep them happy (granted, alone it is no decision maker). Sure, Pitt is not a massive draw, but the Pitt/PSU game would definitely become a big draw game, and I think adding another 5 or 6 quality games in the state of Pennsylvania will definitely help the Big 10 dig in to the Pennsylvania recruits. Right now, Joe Pa is losing many of his eastern recruits to Va Tech, Pitt, and BC. This would be a chance for the Big 10 to drill into PA and pull most of those recruits west, capitalizing on the death (possibly) of the Big East.

I think Pitt's potential in football, and the drop off that will occur if they don't nab them now, is dangerous to pass up. However, if they do pass on Pitt, it's either because, as you pointed out, financially there is no real incentive to move on anyone but Notre Dame, and because they want a western team to balance out the league. I think they could be missing out on a recruiting bonanza, though it is a gamble either way. If Pitt wins the BE and beats Miami and gets a BCS berth, they're gonna be awfully attractive. Pitt by itself may not be a huge draw, but I do think a very meaningful Pitt/PSU Big 10 game would be huge though. They certainly seemed big time when I was in my teens and Marino was leading the Panthers against Joe Pa's boys.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 10:26 am 
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So re-capping the reasons Pitt won't be added to the Big11:
  • Any team they add will give them a championship game - but Pitt does not raise the bar anymore than any other 12th team would.
  • They don't bring a significant untapped market.
  • They don't bring additional TV revenue over and above any other 12th team could (we know the Big11 could make more TV $$ by having a 12th team and a championship game - but any team could do that).
  • THIS ONE IS KEY - They don't bring any additonal FB respect to the conference (the Big11 will expand if it raises their FB reputation clearly above that of the SEC - Pitt doesn't do that - NotreDame, Nebraska, Texas, TexasA&M or Oklahoma could).

Nebraska and Oklahoma have academic standards waaay below that of the Big Ten. The Big Ten is very big on academics Nert, and you should know that since you live in Big Ten country!! Do we see a problem here? PSU's academics were one of the main reasons PSU was able to get into the Big Ten. Nebraska has academics comparable to that of Alabama, Ole Miss, Miss State, etc. Not exactly the kind of company the Big Ten wants to keep academically. Texas and TAMU, while academically compatible, are just too far of a stretch geographically. The Big Ten is very big on geography as well. What you're left with is ND, which really doesn't want to join the Big Ten at all. The Big Ten is going to have to expand, and I seriously doubt they want to be trumped by the ACC. This leaves teams like Missouri and Pittsburgh, like it or not.


Last edited by dawgnduckfan on Thu May 15, 2003 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 12:44 pm 
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Maybe the Big 10 will wait and see what happens with Nebraska nose diving and Iowa State, and especially Missouri, poised to move up in the world. They may do something similar with Pitt. If they do well enough they might get some attention. Missouri has one advantage over Pitt (though it may even out with the desire to get PSU a dance partner), being a team they could stick out west.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 12:44 pm 
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And you're looking at the effect of the new ACC alignment in the wrong direction for the Big11. The creation of the ACC12 - and the simultaneous elimination of the BigEast as a BCS conference - does not put pressure on the Big11 to expand (and then have to divide their money 12 ways). It actually just opens another BCS slot - making it more likely these 11 teams get 2 BCS slots each year - and raising the average yearly revenue for all 5 of the remaining BCS conferences. Why share additional revenue with someone you don't even want?


Thing is...if the BE loses it's auto BCS bid...then the BCS schools go from a slight majority to a minority of the football playing Div 1-A schools. By the time the expansion goes into effect..the BCS could be a thing of the past by NCAA regulation. What would take it's place is anybody's guess. It could be the much desired playoff (least likely) to going back to what it was before the creation of the Bowl Alliance and the BCS (most likely).


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 5:42 pm 
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The Big Ten is going to have to expand


Who exactly is going to make them?

Certainly not the BCS, the NCAA or a 12 team ACC.

The PAC10 and Big11 would be perfectly happy to go back to their RoseBowl match-up and watch the old Bowl Alliance wonder why they can't make that kind of money with their partial championship game.

The percieved slights in the past few years of PAC10 2nd place teams for lower performing teams from the Big12 in the BCS bowls just about split the BCS a year or two ago. And if the PAC10 pulls out, so would the Big11. As much as the SEC is a rival of the Big11 - the PAC10 is a partner.

This year's last minute shuffling to make sure Iowa and USC didn't get screwed again was a testiment of how important these two conferences are to the BCS - enough to leave NotreDame home. The BCS, the Big11 and or PAC10 even got the co-operation of the bowls - who they do not directly control. Any of the bowls would have made more $$ last year by inviting NotreDame instead of Iowa or USC - but they all passed. Ever wonder why?

Remember, even when the Pre-BCS Bowl Alliance (ACC, BigEast, SEC and Big12) was claiming national championship games (the Big11 and PAC10 were not participating in the Bowl Alliance), the Rose Bowl was still out-earning the Bowl Alliance game - by a lot!

A BCS bowl without the Big11 or PAC10 is just another big bowl game.

Again, the Big11 may never add a 12th team - unless NotreDame changes its mind on joining. The other schools that might interest them would have to be FB powerhouses - not a team on a temporary upswing. They have more than enough BB schools. The academics, of course, is also an issue - and that almost kept NotreDame from being invited in the first place.

========================================

ACCNole2: Tell me - when was the last time 11 seperate institutions, 11 seperate athletic departments, 11 seperate presidents' offices and an outside institution was able to keep a common secret? It isn't just that the official university stance would be to keep it out of the press - but you have to believe that no one - at any level - of any of the rumored schools - or any of the 11 Big11 member schools has ever said anything. The odds against keeping something THAT bog, THAT quiet, THAT long is not worth discussing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 5:46 pm 
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Thing is...if the BE loses it's auto BCS bid...then the BCS schools go from a slight majority to a minority of the football playing Div 1-A schools.


Doesn't matter - they could just pull out of the NCAA. It's a voluntary institution, afterall.

What kind of revenue could the NCAA manage without the ACC12, Big11, Big12, PAC10, SEC and NotreDame in either of the major sports? They could field a good BB tournament I suppose (like the NIT) but the football playoff they could enforce would be of slightly less interest to the national TV audience than the I-AA playoffs.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 7:41 am 
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nert,

For the record, there's no way I think if any approach was made to these schools that everyone was in on it and it was kept a secret. I totally agree. Biggest problem with conspiracy theories: no way will everyone keep their mouth shut!

My response would be that if any approach were made, it would be probably be by one or two proactive officials testing the waters, and not by agreement between the member schools or presidents. But if that occurred, it certainly wouldn't constitute an actual invitation, just an inquiry--"what if the whole gang decides to invite you guys to join?"

Since many of the rumors floating around (many I've heard from totally unconnected Big 10 guys) suggest an invite and a flat refusal, I'd agree those rumors must be total bs. But an appraoch by one or two officials is not unlikely, at least I don't think so. Lord knows the ACC must have been working on this deal with Syracuse for a while (but yeah, the Big 10 is not the ACC). For my part I've heard the same two rumors from nothing but Big 10 guys, five from Michigan, one from Wisconsin, one from Minnesota (which bodes well for attendance of Big 10 appearances in Florida), all said the Big 10 had approached Missouri and Syracuse unofficially and been rebuffed. Maybe they've all got the same bogus source. All it takes is a somewhat plausible lie on a posting board to get things started. They're a pretty diverse bunch though, so these are pervasive rumors. Probably bs, I just wonder why so many Big 10 folks I know treat them as gospel. They don't buy into every rumor--none of them think that ND will ever join the Big 10. Maybe my sample size is too small? Curious ho wmany people in the heart of Big 10 country have bought in to these rumors.

Anyway, we'll find out soon enough whether the Big 11 will stand pat. The ACC has to be eager to pull the trigger. I have to wonder though, what does the Big 10 think of the suggestions I've seen in many articles of Tranghese making a pitch to Penn St. to enter the BE and cement the conference together? Maybe they don't care. They may figure that on the off chance that PSU would actually leave, they can just go back to the old arrangement with the Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl. Interesting decision for PSU. I'm sure the institution will stay put, but if they entered the BE without Miami, they could probably guarantee a BCS spot to the conference champ, and they'd be odds on to win it every year. Pretty good money, and probably only 8 or 9 members in football a that point. If they plug in the three all-sports spots with Cincy, Lousiville, and possibly Memphis, they'e bball will actually be better than before. Could be a surprisingly good money move for Penn State, depending on what form the BE is in if and when they make their pitch. But even if the athletic department liked the idea, the faculty would probably revolt over leaving the Big 10 academic consortium.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 7:52 am 
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Apologies for the typing, looks like I had a stroke.

It's interesting, would the Big 10 necessarily be that concerned if PSU really did consider leaving? They'd probably hate the impact it would have on their tv deal, but it would ease some scheduling problems and they could go right back to the Rose Bowl arrangement. Might also make it easier to take their time and approach some western teams to fill out their membership. Since they'd want an impact team, that'd mean someone like Nebraska. Academic questions or not, they'd probably take them. But running the option, Nebraska would get murdered in Big 10 competition.

There were quite a few people who were positive the ACC would not expand because the money was so good with only 9 members. I'm more likely to believe that about the Big 10 now, but if Pitt and/or Missouri make alot of noise in football next year (both are proven in basketball), as both might (Pitt's probably a lock for the top 10, with an outside shot at beating Miami....Missouri is in a better position with talent returning and Nebraska on its heels) I think the Big 10 could surprise everyone. They'll probably wait til the end of the season though. The Pitt/Miami game was the highest rated ESPN college game last season (if the article I read this in was correct). That may say more about Miami, but it has to say something about Pitt's potential as a draw when they're winning. It's not like Miami has a huge natural fan base. They're a (private) city school, but they're a great tv draw when they're dominant. Pitt can deliver in the same way, especially with the upgrades they've made in their athletic facilities.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:22 am 
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Who exactly is going to make them?

Certainly not the BCS, the NCAA or a 12 team ACC.

The PAC10 and Big11 would be perfectly happy to go back to their RoseBowl match-up and watch the old Bowl Alliance wonder why they can't make that kind of money with their partial championship game.

The percieved slights in the past few years of PAC10 2nd place teams for lower performing teams from the Big12 in the BCS bowls just about split the BCS a year or two ago. And if the PAC10 pulls out, so would the Big11. As much as the SEC is a rival of the Big11 - the PAC10 is a partner.

That would be sheer stupidity on the part of the Big Ten. Just what does the matchup with the Pac 10 offer the Big Ten anyway? When has the Pac 10 ever been on par with the SEC?? ::)


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:43 am 
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That would be sheer stupidity on the part of the Big Ten. Just what does the matchup with the Pac 10 offer the Big Ten anyway? When has the Pac 10 ever been on par with the SEC?? ::)


Although I don't see the Big 10 pulling out jsut to follow the Pac 10, the "partnership" item is basically true.

Those two leagues have the highest academic standards of any I-A league when it comes to minimum standards required of conference members & average the schools' individual minimum standards.

They are major forces behind nearly every change in the NCAA that requires more academics from the student-athletes. These could be an altruistic moves to make sure students actually learn while in college or they could be self-interest moves given their higher standards.

If the NCAA set their minimum standards to match these two conferences, most sports programs in the SEC & Big 12 would have major problems getting large portions of each year's recruiting class eligible.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 6:28 pm 
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The Big12's inaugrial year was actually in 1996.


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