An interesting point in the latest Big East moves to include all 16 basketball schools in football discussions. This could only be for one reason to build support for expansion. The big football announcement could be Gator bowl related or something in the bowl lineup, however, a great announcement would be the decision to expand in football. After watching the Big East men's basketball tournament in NYC, there is no question the Big East is a premiere sports league.
Both basketball and football schools gain from the affiliation with the Big East.
The Big East could make a very bold move by expanding to 18 members and taking on two football playing schools. This would all by put to rest any need to split in the future and protect the league on any future moves by the Big Ten or for that matter any other league that desires more BCS members.
Negotiating is one of the most important skills. If the football schools could negotiate with the basketball schools to expand with two football schools, the perception of this league in football would change over night. The football schools could agree to split all non football revenue in half allowing the basketball schools to take a greater cut of basketball revenue and at the same time pick up two viable football members. Sharing the basketball revenue by 10 would be less than current sharing with eight members, however, the conference would gain so much more.
I say take Memphis and Central Florida and expand to 18. Split basketball revenue in half with one half split by the 8 basketball schools and the other half split by ten football members.
The net gain of football membership increased to ten would be much improved and would be sure pick up of the Liberty and most likely the Champs bowl as well.
The commish stated the Liberty bowl is a good possibility and Memphis is probably part of the equation for this part of the negotiations.
If the Big East could expand to 10 football members and continue with the other sports in tact, there is no question this conference would be on the coat tails of the other five BCS conferences in revenue potential and stability for the long term future.
It is just hope that both groups can just see what benefits are gained by helping each other and football needs more membership and should be the top priority of this conference. Bowl lineups are the second most important item facing Big East football future health.
Take care of expansion and the bowl issues sorts it self out in the process.
I've been working on a piece that covers some of this, but with the focus on a Big East split. Thought I'd wait for the tournament to end since most people are focused on that. But I like where you're going with this.
What I don't see happening is the football schools giving the basketball schools a bigger cut of the basketball money. I think it would have to continue to be split on a per team basis. So you're probably wondering what could the football schools use to convince the basketball schools to allow 2 new all-sports members? Well, I think the football schools have all the leverage right now in all sports (Louisville, UConn, Pitt, Syracuse, WVU...only Cincy, Rutgers and USF are riding coattails. The leverage to get two all-sports teams is simple: we won't leave. The Big East basketball schools need the football powers now.
Quinn, one of the most important benefits of being affiliated with a conference is the ability for all members to thrive and be successful. The Big East is always going to be at a disadvantage if the there is a football school mentality verses the basketball schools. This issue does not occur in conferences that have all members play both major revenue sports of football and basketball. The Big East is unique in this manner and this is where negotiating has a different benefit than say the Big Ten expanding with a potential 12 member.
The one concern the Big East has is the BCS football schools get more money and most likely will create a greater gap among the members. Granted football is more expensive, however, the revenue of the football schools far outnumber the revenue generated by the non playing FBS Big East football schools. To offset the balance a create a more fair playing field (again all members in this scenario are equally important to the conference regardless if the member plays football), the Big East football schools could channel revenue benefits to the basketball schools by splitting half of all non football revenue.
I do not think anyone can ignore the benefit of the band name of "Big East". You only have to look at the recent men's basketball tournament to verify the importance of this entity. The football schools could split, however, giving up the name of Big East would be a major blow in marketing. This fact can not or should not be ignored by both groups of schools.
If there is an ability to negotiate some revenue and it does not have to be forever, this could persuade some votes for expansion of additional football members. This could be a 10 year period to allow the basketball schools to absorb the loss of additional revenue by expanding with one to two football members.
The football schools would gain by having more long term security, balanced schedules or less OOC games required, potentially better bowl sites.
If the football schools could avoid having to split and get one or two full football members, this would be a much better and less risky situation.
Until the ACC improves in the championship game attendance, every conference should be cautious about expanding to 12 members just to have this type of game. The NCAA was so narrow minded to enforce this stupid rule and force conference to expand to 12 to play a championship game. There is no reason a conference could not split into 4 or 5 team divisions and play a game if necessary. This is one of the reasons I think conference football championship games are not ideal for most conferences. Outside of the SEC and possibly the Big 12, most conference can not afford this type of game. The Big Ten is a cold climate and really does not have an ideal situation as well.
Again the Big East football probably only needs to get to 10 regardless if split has to occur. I do not see the football schools expanding to 12 because the benefits are not that great.
If you can get to 10 football members and avoid a split, this has to be the best of all worlds and significantly reduces any risks especially concerning BCS membership.