Agree this is likely just some spin, to rationalize the ugly hybrid situation that the Big East finds itself in.
And in a vacuum, right now, given the BCS structure and money as currently exists, no power conference feels any urge to expand with schools that lower the average revenue per school within that conferenece.
Having said that, one of us could easily construct a business model built around a 16-team tournament bracket and appropriate realignment of the various conferences that would SIGNIFICANTLY increase the PER SCHOOL revenue for all of the D-I FBS football schools (for any given team, for any given conference, for the entire D-I FBS) !!!
There is THAT MUCH money being left on the table when you compare the TV rights to a well-structured 16-team NCAA D-I FBS football tournament vs. the current BCS + minor bowls.
During the recent renewal of the BCS (when ABC/ESPN took the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, NC games away from Fox, to go along with the Rose (which ABC already had), Fox offered considerably more money to televise a 5 + 1 format.
How / why are the colleges electing to preserve the staus quo, when there is so much more money out there ?
Some how the Bowls are dishing a ton of kick-backs and perks to the proper college presidents who make such decisions.
It's absolutely irrational how the current set-up is being perpetuated.
The talking points of Harvey Perlman, John Swofford, etc. are so stale and inane -
Save the Bowls (Who cares ??? the colleges owe them NOTHING !!!)
What about our student athletes and their academics ? (D-1 FBS did not hesistate to add a 12th game every year + conference championship for SEC, Big XII, ACC, CUSA, MAC)...
When you see the situation defying common economic logic, something is clearly afoul.
If I'm a President of an SEC school, and somebody offers me twice as much money to change the BCS format, I'm all over that idea. Would it likely grant greater access to a MWC school ? Well yes, in all likelihood. But most of the at-large slots will continue to go to the power conferences (just look at the NCAA basketball tourney). So if the overall money is DOUBLED (let's say), and the SEC's share of the total drops by 5-10 %, my school still comes out WAY ahead (like .9 X 200 % = 180% = an 80% increase in revenue). You can quibble with the exact numbers, but it's hard to miss the point.
Is there that much money there ?
I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and love the Steelers. But if the NFL season ended with bowls, I only would definitely watch the bowl my Steelers play in, and have only a passing interest in the others. However, the NFL has a well-structured tournament, so I DEFINITELY have an interest in AT LEAST all of the AFC playoff games. I watch them, and the advertisers sell me cars, beer, soda, fritos, shaving cream, Viagara, Cialis, Levitra, Flo-Max (I'm getting aroused now !).
I watch 'em all !!!! With that kind of viewership, you betcha the TV rights will be way higher !!!
A playoff just seems inevitable at some point here, and if the conferences have to do some restructuring to make it happen, it'll happen EVENTUALLY.