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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Here's something I've been thinking about for some time.

* Florida is projecting a SEC per school tv revenue increase of about $6.2 million for 2009-2010, putting each SEC school around $11 million in SEC television money for 2009-2010.
* Notre Dame will make approximately $12 million for 2009-2010
* The Big Ten schools will make an estimated $15 million per school + for 2009-2010

So my thoughts have been fairly basic: if you're a top school in the SEC or Big Ten, and you are dealing with so much money, when do you decide that it's a business and make the types of conference moves that would increase that?


For instance, in the SEC, there are schools like Florida, Georgia and Alabama that would likely command a higher per school share than say Vanderbilt or Mississippi St.

In the Big 12, Texas, Oklahoma, and even Nebraska that would command a higher price than Baylor, Kansas St, etc.

And in the Big Ten, Ohio St. and Michigan would command more than Northeastern or say, Minnesota.


So the question is, if TV contracts are really dictating much of the on-field issues now (SEC pays it's football assistants as much as many other FBS head coaches), would these top $$$ conferences make moves to cut the fat and actually go smaller when it would make sense? Or perhaps having lower revenue generating schools leave to be replaced with schools that would increase the overall school revenue.

For instance:
If the SEC were to drop from 12 schools to 8, they could possibly increase their per-school revenue.
Alabama
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
Tennessee
Kentucky
LSU
Arkansas

Drop: Mississippi, MSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina

They could remain at 8 schools and potentially increase their own revenue, or add schools that would increase the per-school payout.
Options: Florida St., Miami (Miami toyed with the idea of going independent with a Notre Dame like TV arrangement with Fox years ago while in the Big East still).


The Big 12 could do the same by pushing some members out:

Big 12:
Texas
Texas A&M
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
Missouri
Kansas
Nebraska
Colorado

Drop: Baylor, Iowa St, Kansas St, Texas Tech



And the Big Ten, could do the same with a change:

Ohio St
Michigan
Michigan St
Illinois
Indiana
Penn st
Purdue
Wisconsin




This goes against the popular concept of expanding to add markets. But for some conferences, the SEC in particular, it's likely that the TV contract they would be offered with these 8 schools would be a similar total dollar figure to the current contract...but split only 8 ways instead of 12.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:11 pm 
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You have factor in while doing this the affect less games being shown will be. That will make the contract go down as well in addition to the loss of markets. The only point where I see this is a problem is when you go from 9 to 8 teams and end up going from 8 to 7 conference games. Then even your best drawing teams are going to have one less game for the network to show. Also there is the loss of money from a conference championship game.

It is a very interesting concept.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:13 pm 
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hickory_cornhusker wrote:
You have factor in while doing this the affect less games being shown will be. That will make the contract go down as well in addition to the loss of markets. The only point where I see this is a problem is when you go from 9 to 8 teams and end up going from 8 to 7 conference games. Then even your best drawing teams are going to have one less game for the network to show. Also there is the loss of money from a conference championship game.

It is a very interesting concept.



I actually did think about that. But I figure that this TV network would rather air a Florida vs UCF, Alabama vs UAB, of Georgia vs ECU game to the entire region/nation than Mississippi vs Vanderbilt or Mississippi St. vs south carolina for those weeks. The contract would essentially include, say, 1 OOC game per SEC-8 school. If part of the overall package, the per game for these few OOC games would likely be more than the schools would get on their own.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:43 pm 
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This is an interesting concept Quinn. I have often thought about the BCS conferences removing some of the “less worthy” schools. Removing the schools or reforming the conferences without some schools would be an ugly process, which would garner a lot of negative publicity.

The Big Ten channel programming is more than just athletics. All of the “targeted” Big Ten schools bring something to the table and I would be astonished if this came to pass for the Big Ten. All of the Big Ten schools begin targeted were original conference members and/or have been in the same conferences for more than 100 years.

Northwestern is the highest ranked Big Ten school academically and they are located in one of the highest rated DMA areas in the Big Ten. Minnesota is a large land grant university, with a storied football past, does well in the director’s cup rankings and much of the state of Minnesota is in a mid-tier DMA area. Iowa has been respectable recently in football and has all those wrestling championships. All of these schools are members of the AAU with above average academic ratings.

For the other conferences you mentioned, I wonder if television might not indeed drive this behavior, as they have manipulated college football ever since they started broadcasting college football in 1945.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:11 pm 
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While Northwestern does have it's history, I don't think the Big Ten would miss them as much as they would Minnesota. The Twin Cities are the third biggest Media area in the Big 10 and with no instate competition, draws in quite a bit of viewership. Even academically, the Big Ten isn't a conference that needs a school like Northwestern to boost their academics; Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, and most of the others are ranked very high academically.

I think if conferences went this route, they shouldn't just drop schools that bring in less money, instead they should strive to replace them with schools that could help the conference bring in even more money.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:53 pm 
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The Sports business Journal is posting an article today about the possibility of the ACC, SEC and Pac 10 forming a joint network. As only a former subscriber, i can't read the body of that article, but maybe someone else can.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Well, if eight is ideal, then the Big East is perfect, at least for football.

The thesis is that reducing to 8 from 12 will leave more for the remaining elite. There is the assumption of parity of excellence. A flaw to this logic is that even with eight, some will still distance themselves from others. Would, say, Arkansas and/or Kentucky, be next on the chopping block? Revenue among 6 beats 8?

I do believe that athletic budgets, number and types of sponsored sports, and reasonable competitiveness should exist among all conference members. Obviously within any conference, some schools are going to be richer than others.

If perspectives center solely on monetary resources and immediate markets, elements are missing in assessing full viability. Rivalries, tradition, history, footprints, compliances, etc. are important. Make all this on professional models, and demise begins. Just root for the Steelers, not their prep camps and junior/feeder leagues!

I get perplexed when some suggest, for example, kicking out Vanderbilt from the SEC.
This school has been a loyal member without the long cheating log. And charter member Mississippi State? Their vote is good as any other.

The move toward super conferences has gone far enough. Isn't that's what the BCS is all about? And we all know that is just free of controversy????


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Another point - the Big Ten is not just an athletics conference, but an academic consortium.

Throwing out conference members without cause will only result in a slew of ugly lawsuits.
If the college presidents / ADs decide that it must be done, for legal reasons, they would likely have to have the surviving 8 withdraw and then form a new conference. This could then result in the 4 or so schools left behind reeling in some nice goodies (from pre-existing contracts) for an interim duration.

If 8 is ideal, it is more practical to expand to 16 and split into two 8's. That should avoid a lot of the legal obstacles.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Good point, Tute79, per the Big 10 and academics. There is too much tendancy to focus on the fb dimension alone.

With 8 teams in a conference, that's 7 conference games in fb. That leaves the Big East problem of finding 5 OOC games per season, and unbalance home and away conference games.

Does one think the Big 10, for example, is going to schedule 5 lofty or premier games for OOC? Perhaps more lovely games such as Michigan vs Delaware State on October 17, 2009 among the current 4 OOC games for this coming season? Or maybe a more competitive example such as Ohio State vs New Mexico State on October 31, 2009?

Near all the big conference schools play one or two "cupcake" games per season. I am not opposed to that considering the challenges in scheduling and the pressure to have a healthy menu of home games. However, to increase this activity, rather than have an additional conference game or two, makes less sense from multiple angles.

The Ohio State-Texas series the last couple of years made for great games. But neither are going to do it for the long-term and certainly without equity in return games or monetary balance. Also, many schools shy away from big-time OOC games fearing burn-out and a potential loss that shall put a damper on bowl chances.

Conferences are unequal in numbers, with some having championship games and others not. The PAC 10 plays round-robin while some take multiple seasons to have fb games with all their conference brethern.

Given individual conference preferences, i would not call the system as much unfair as it is inconsistent. Personally, i would rather see conferences consistent in numbers, and all or none have championship games. There are pro and con arguments for each conference model, and location, tradition, availability, economic prudence, and even weather plays into such decisions.

Quinn, you generated an interesting dicussion here.


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