College Football Selling Out, In Real Time
June 6, 2010 12:16 PM   Subscribe

"It's a storm only a game theorist could love..." In the next few weeks, the NCAA College Football landscape may change completely. Or not. Either way there's a massive power struggle unfolding among college football conferences for big TV money, and an increasing gulf between the haves and have nots.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany sparked the latest round of conference realignment / expansion almost three years ago, but the pace picked up with this week's rumor that the Pac 10 would swallow half of the Big Twelve teams to create a 16-team mega-conference. The University of Texas is the biggest economic prize among the Big Twelve, and some Texas lawmakers are already trying to use that to the state's advantage.

Even before the Pac 16 rumors started, fans were imagining an expanded (14 team? 16 team?) Big Ten with increasingly fanciful playoff scenarios. For the Big Ten, the Great White Whale has always been Notre Dame (even though Bo may have disapproved), which has floated the idea of joining a conference to massive fan disapproval. Is this the "radical change" that will cause the Irish to abandon their freek-y independence?
posted by bbuda (101 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
College Football Selling Out

The NCAA sold out a long time ago. It seems they are just renegotiating the price.

I say PAY THE ATHLETES who work hard and suffer injury to earn all of this money for these greedy institutions and end the slavery that is American college sports.
posted by three blind mice at 12:24 PM on June 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


Man, college football is so weird.
posted by ghharr at 12:25 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gah. I begin to understand why a bracketed playoff system hasn't been created in NCAA football.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:10 PM on June 6, 2010


From the "or not" link: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon laid his cards on the table in December, saying his alma mater should be open to a switch because of the Big Ten's academics.

Um... What?

It never ceases to amaze and confuse me when my employer consistently holds up "other Big Ten universities" as its academic peer group. Sure, I expect to hear this from coaches and sports fans. But from the university president? At a faculty senate meeting? WTF?
posted by erniepan at 1:14 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any change that results in a 16-team playoff for the national championship is fine by me. That, however, will never happen because the BCS is the Magical Trough O' Cash.

So whatever happens, we'll still end up with the-best-of-the-rest playing the winner of the SEC championship game for a "BCS title" that'll exclude small-market teams that play exciting football.

I wouldn't mind seeing Oklahoma and Texas A&M in the SEC, though. That'd make for some good football games.

And yes: pay the players. For the love of all that is good and right, pay the players.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I say PAY THE ATHLETES who work hard and suffer injury to earn all of this money for these greedy institutions and end the slavery that is American college sports.

Virtually all of "these greedy institutions" run their athletic departments as a net loss, and the few that make a profit do so entirely on either football or men's basketball. All the other athletes are being paid -- with college degrees that will actually make them money over the course of their lives, rather than the sport that they'll never make a dime at.
posted by Etrigan at 1:21 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I say PAY THE ATHLETES who work hard and suffer injury to earn all of this money for these greedy institutions and end the slavery that is American college sports.

Pay the athletes, yes, because that will once and for all end the fiction of the "scholar-athlete". When it comes to American football and basketball, the NCAA Div 1 operates as nothing more than a minor-league system for the NFL and NBA. It's a giant moneymaker for everyone BUT the athletes.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:30 PM on June 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I support whatever changes end in playoffs.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:36 PM on June 6, 2010


All the other athletes are being paid -- with college degrees that will actually make them money over the course of their lives, rather than the sport that they'll never make a dime at.

The problem is that for the major sports like football and basketball, many (sometimes most) of the players don't earn a degree. Many of them have mediocre grades even with a massive support system. Often they take courses that don't prepare them well for a non-sports career. It's a charade and everyone knows it.

The simplest solution (and one that doesn't distinguish between sports) is to allow the schools to pay any and all of their athletes (including recruitment favors and bribes) and to allow organizations like professional teams to make donations to the school earmarked for paying athletes. Require some percentage of such donations to be skimmed off and given to the general scholarship fund or some other educational purpose and it's just about perfect.
posted by jedicus at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Football is the big moneymaker here but these conferences are not just the football conferences, they apply to the other sports as well. Basketball is being dragged along by the stirrup here.

The NCAA sold out a long time ago. It seems they are just renegotiating the price.

What does this have to do with the NCAA? The NCAA does not call all the shots in college athletics, and as far as I know they are pretty much the only institution trying to fulfill a non-venal mandate. This is a decisions the schools and BCS conferences are making, isn't it?

I say PAY THE ATHLETES who work hard and suffer injury to earn all of this money for these greedy institutions

Ugh I hate this point of view, but I feel market forces will make it inevitable. It's ripping off the fig leaf when you should be thinking it's actually time to stop and put on some clothes.
posted by fleacircus at 1:46 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw this headline just after Somerville was pelted with rain and couldn't help thinking "Nash equilibria? From the sky?"
posted by oonh at 1:51 PM on June 6, 2010


So who do you think of as UI-Urbana's academic peer group? Northwestern doesn't belong, but what do you think is wrong with grouping UI with other large Midwestern public universities?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:23 PM on June 6, 2010


This is maybe a stupid question - I went to a school that doesn't give athletic scholarships - but if these athletes were to be paid, should they then also get scholarships and room & board? (I also don't really understand what the relationship is between booster clubs at big-sport schools like these and the programs they support, and the university.)
posted by rtha at 2:35 PM on June 6, 2010


As an alumnus and fan of a team/school from the Mid-American Conference, it's been pretty clear to me that college football is heavily weighted towards schools that are not from the Midwest in terms of money, media coverage, and publicity. Realignment is all well and good, but until we get a real playoff system any realignment will only serve to consolidate more power in those bigger conferences.

As it stands, college football teams might as well not exist unless they're in the right conference, and that's very frustrating as a fan.
posted by HostBryan at 2:36 PM on June 6, 2010


(Note: the above rambling was absolutely written from a biased perspective. College football is all about bias, that's the point.)
posted by HostBryan at 2:37 PM on June 6, 2010


> What does this have to do with the NCAA? The NCAA does not call all the shots in college athletics, and as far as I know they are pretty much the only institution trying to fulfill a non-venal mandate. This is a decisions the schools and BCS conferences are making, isn't it?


Yeah, in most cases it would seem that the NCAA is about the only sanity checking device in the whole process. At any rate, most athletes get full or partial scholarships, room and board, deferential treatment, a chance to tour the country and meet lots of people, be on TV, and a shot at the pros (if they are good enough and want it). It seems like many of them are already getting paid quite a lot!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2010


As an alumnus and fan of a team/school from the Mid-American Conference, it's been pretty clear to me that college football is heavily weighted towards schools that are not from the Midwest in terms of money, media coverage, and publicity.

Really its the coasts and Texas. Just ask Boise State, Utah, TCU, etc.

Its not about geographic location its about TV revenue. There just aren't that many people in the midwest. Same with the Mountain West. It doesn't matter how good your team is, if your media market has less than 1M households no one cares.

That said it seems like its going to end up being organized into nationwide 16-team conferences anyways with 8-team divisions. They key for mid-major conferences is going to be trying to recruit 3-4 big name schools into your conference that a) have a large media market and fan base and b) will contend in the top 5 at least once every 5-10 years to bring enough credibility that you don't get put in tier 2 of the conferences.
posted by SirOmega at 3:03 PM on June 6, 2010


What does this have to do with the NCAA? The NCAA does not call all the shots in college athletics

No, they do call the shots, just not in college football, thanks to... a number of reasons that would be its own FPP if I had the time. But it had to do with the old NCAA TV contract in the 1980s that dictated which teams could be on TV any given Satruday.

I wouldn't mind seeing Oklahoma and Texas A&M in the SEC, though.

One scenario I've seen knocked around has Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State moving to the SEC, pushing the Alabama schools out of the SEC West into the SEC East. In one move, the SEC goes from power conference to the college football equivalent of the Premiership.

I really don't know how this is all going to play out. The Texas Legislature stapling Baylor to Bevo's behind will mess with ANY plan the other conferences devise. That suggests to me that if Nebraska and Missouri bolt the end result might not be the dissolution of the Big XII but the Big XII becoming the resurrected Southwest Conference. And that would mean yes, a single Texas college football network that would also include Oklahoma.

As a Colorado alum, I really hope they don't go to the Pac 10. Right now Colorado athletics is so atrocious I think I'd rather seem them join the Mountain West, which would instantly make them the marquee athletic and academic school of the conference and hook up with their small but lucrative Mtn. network.

As for paying athletes, it's always happened; it's just the dumb ones that get caught. If we do it, though, I'd like to see the NFL kick in some money as well, since they're benefiting from this system while paying nothing into it.
posted by dw at 3:10 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sigh. I'm an Old Californian who remembers when it was the Pac 8 (without the Arizona schools, truly Pacific Coast) and 4 were in California. A Pac 16 with four or five Texas teams would be deeply wrong to the spirit of the REAL West, not to mention a first big step toward getting those anti-science Texas schoolbooks shoved into California schools (yes, I know they're not COLLEGE textbooks, but you have no idea how evil those Texans can be... watch "Dallas" reruns; remember the Cowboys' run as "America's Team"; and Google Ron Paul but go past the first five pages of results!)

But semi-seriously, college football conferences are best at EIGHT teams; each team plays every other in the conference and have 4-5 regular season games left over to show off to the rest of the world. When the conferences started expanding, the Soul of College Sports was lost.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:12 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


HostBryan, SirOmega:

The big conferences have discovered the absurd revenue that can be gained from TV deals and getting your conference channel to be carried on cable and satellite providers. Much of the expansion talk is driven by the money being made on the Big Ten Network, which the Big Ten wants to expand and other conferences want to copy.

TV money is directly proportional to population, which is why the Big Ten wants to expand to either Texas (tons of rabid sports fans), Rutgers (to capture a piece of the New York City market) or to the south, where the population is rapidly expanding.

As a Michigan alum / fan, it's nice to be at the top of the heap here (even if we've sucked on the field for a few years), but there's no doubt that some of the regionalism and inclusiveness of college football is going to be lost in these changes.
posted by bbuda at 3:12 PM on June 6, 2010


As a happy alumnus of a school that is very much benefited by the current system,all that I can say is "GO GATORS!"
posted by oddman at 3:20 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pay the athletes, yes, because that will once and for all end the fiction of the "scholar-athlete". When it comes to American football and basketball, the NCAA Div 1 operates as nothing more than a minor-league system for the NFL and NBA.

While you are correct about the fiction of a scholar-athlete in a general sense, there are most definitely individual exceptions even in Div 1 football. Case in point: my lab partner in Organic Chemistry was the center for our Div 1a football team. Who went to the Rose Bowl. He, like me, was a biomedical engineering major. So it's quite possible to be both even if it is the exception rather than the rule.

p.s. fuck USC. And every team from Florida.
posted by Justinian at 3:32 PM on June 6, 2010


We don't have these problems in the Horizon League, and we actually have good basketball teams (sorry Big Ten).
posted by drezdn at 3:43 PM on June 6, 2010


When the ACC made a bold grab for football prestige by raiding the Big East a few years ago, they increased their revenue, but it was not good for those of who grew up eating, drinking and breathing ACC basketball. It killed the home-and-away with every other team in the conference, which was fantastic for really shaking out who was the best and not just lucky enough to play the cellar teams twice. Geographically, the kids from Boston College are a 8 hour bus ride at best from its nearest conference competitor, and of course they fly because with 2-3 games in a week, who is going to bus everywhere?

Also, that football glory? It didn't trickle down, and it's still thin at the top. But the institutions are making more money, so...
posted by julen at 4:07 PM on June 6, 2010


Please let there be one place on the internet where college football talk doesn't devolve into "FUCK YOUR TEAM! GO MY CONFERENCE!"

The race to conference expansion seems to have been fueled mostly by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, a staunch BCS supporter, who has stepped it up this year perhaps in response to political playoff pressure from the President, Congress and a recently formed Political Action Committee. If the BCS conferences further consolidate their power, surely their grip on college football's postseason will grow tighter.
posted by Team of Scientists at 4:20 PM on June 6, 2010


One scenario I've seen knocked around has Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State moving to the SEC, pushing the Alabama schools out of the SEC West into the SEC East. In one move, the SEC goes from power conference to the college football equivalent of the Premiership.

I don't think that's too likely to happen. The SEC has largely been absent from these conference discussions, because they've already got some multi-billion dollar long term TV deal from ESPN, so anyone they bring in just dilutes each member's cut.

As a Michigan alum / fan, it's nice to be at the top of the heap here

It is a little surprising that the Big 10 is becoming the model for the next generation of college sports conferences because the teams coming out of the Big 10 honestly haven't been that great the last few years, but that also shows just how much money is at stake here if they're raking in the cash from a network showing games like Purdue/Wisconsin in late October.
posted by Copronymus at 4:50 PM on June 6, 2010


As an alumnus and fan of a team/school from the Mid-American Conference, it's been pretty clear to me that college football is heavily weighted towards schools that are not from the Midwest in terms of money, media coverage, and publicity.

Have you seen the amounts that the Big Ten Network is pulling in? Did you notice that the most hyped regular-season game of the last decade was Michigan-Ohio State in 2006? Have you ever heard of a little Catholic school in South Bend, Indiana?

The Mid-American Conference is discriminated against not because it's in the Midwest, but because it's overlaid almost entirely by the Big Ten. Just like how Conference USA and the Sun Belt are overlaid by the Big 12 and the SEC.
posted by Etrigan at 5:49 PM on June 6, 2010


Copronymus: Actually, according to Mike Slive (SEC commish), the SEC could possibly see a rise in TV revenue if they expanded.

I'm a huge Longhorns fan, and I'd love to see a schedule that keeps them against A&M and Oklahoma every year and adds USC every other year. Other reports I've heard have said that the SEC might be out of the question for Texas because of "academic standards" (see the comments about the AAU here and here). I hadn't heard about swapping Baylor for Colorado until this thread, but I think that's kind of funny since the very first rumor I heard about PAC-10 expansion was focused on Colorado being the only team from the Big XII to move there.

It's times like this that I hate living in ACC country because all the local sports radio stations care about is who is leaving/joining the ACC.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:31 PM on June 6, 2010


It's a storm only a game theorist could love
None of the people I've heard discussing this are anywhere near game theorists.
posted by sanko at 7:06 PM on June 6, 2010


ACC fan here who thinks football screwed up a perfectly terrific basketball conference. Of course the 'Hoos are haviong their problems with both lately, but there is always next year.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:44 PM on June 6, 2010


Of course the 'Hoos are haviong their problems with both lately, but there is always next year.

Yeah, but they're favorites to make it to Omaha this year for baseball, and won 6 or 7 ACC championships in a bunch of other sports, just haven't been able to get over the hump with the national championship.
posted by LionIndex at 8:20 PM on June 6, 2010


The SEC has largely been absent from these conference discussions, because they've already got some multi-billion dollar long term TV deal from ESPN, so anyone they bring in just dilutes each member's cut.

True, but given what could be coming down the pike with the mega-conferences those ESPN and CBS deals may look like chump change -- and they won't be in a position to renegotiate since the money will have all been parceled out.

I hadn't heard about swapping Baylor for Colorado until this thread, but I think that's kind of funny since the very first rumor I heard about PAC-10 expansion was focused on Colorado being the only team from the Big XII to move there.

I think including Baylor may sink the Pac 10 deal. The Pac 10 would love to add the Denver and Colorado Springs markets; Waco-Temple-Kileen does nothing for them that adding Texas wouldn't already do. Ditto Texas to the Big 10 if Baylor must go with. This is the "Tech problem" that is referenced in this article.

ACC fan here who thinks football screwed up a perfectly terrific basketball conference.

There's one wrinkle in the Big XII implosion that would be of interest to ACC folks: There's no obvious destination for three teams -- Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State.

Imagine if the ACC added Kansas....
posted by dw at 9:09 PM on June 6, 2010


Kansas in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be an absurd hoot; the nearest school, GA Tech, is 15 hours away, just a little bit farther than the currently farthest Big 12 schools. Kansas fans would love to see conference games against UNC and Duke, but it seems unlikely.

If this stuff goes down, Kansas is going to have a tough time finding a chair before the music stops.
posted by fleacircus at 11:02 PM on June 6, 2010


Er, after... idiomfail.
posted by fleacircus at 11:02 PM on June 6, 2010


Kansas in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be an absurd hoot; the nearest school, GA Tech, is 15 hours away, just a little bit farther than the currently farthest Big 12 schools.

The Pac 10 and Big 10 are courting the Texas schools, all of which are about the same distance to UIUC. If we're moving into the time of super-regional conferences, Kansas would have to travel that much, anyway.

If this stuff goes down, Kansas is going to have a tough time finding a chair before the music stops.

At least Kansas has options. Kansas State and Iowa State aren't desired by any of the major conferences, so they'd have to choose between the Mountain West (and have zero nearby schools) and Conference USA (at least Tulsa is 9 hours from Manhattan, but not exactly a marquee conference).
posted by dw at 11:58 PM on June 6, 2010


I will not and cannot understand conference loyalty. I cheer for the team, not the conference. I am a Florida State fan, not an ACC fan.
posted by grubi at 8:58 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grubi, that might just be because FSU hasn't been in the ACC very long. FSU fans don't have much of a tradition of playing against the likes of Duke, Wake Forest, etc. Heck until the 90's FSU was an independent. So, you had no one else to root for.

But consider the Gators. We've been in the SEC from the beginning. We have a long tradition of competing with Auburn, Georgia, Vandy, etc. and we see ourselves as a part of the SEC. To us being a part of the SEC is a very real part of our athletic identity. And we realize that whenever the other teams succeed it's good for all of us. Our mindset is that we want all of the SEC teams to be undefeated except for when they play us. :)

(It makes it sweeter when we're the reason they aren't getting a championship.)
posted by oddman at 9:21 AM on June 7, 2010


In other words wait until you've been in the ACC for 80 years.
posted by oddman at 9:22 AM on June 7, 2010


I say PAY THE ATHLETES who work hard and suffer injury to earn all of this money for these greedy institutions and end the slavery that is American college sports.

my response, borrowed from one of my postings on an old thread in an old message board...

1) First, and most basically, college sports are separated from professional sports because of the fact that they are not paid… and college sports fandom, I believe, has such a loyal following because the players are in it merely for the love of the game. You put in the money, and the passion starts to dry up.

2) There are only three sports that yield a profit to universities: men’s basketball, football, and men’s hockey (at least at Wisconsin – I’m guessing schools that have baseball teams get revenue from that as well, but they probably don’t have hockey teams). This money is put into the pot at the athletic department, which uses it to fund the other varsity sports.

3) Continuing on with the last point, if you use that money to pay college basketball players, the money to fund the other sports has to come from another source, and at public universities, this is the state. As a taxpayer, I’m not willing to pay more to make that happen. And, given the economy, it’s not really a legitimate request.

4) Even if that last point was moot, pay the basketball players and you’ve got to pay all the athletes. I don’t care if only some of them are making money for the school. Women’s sports don’t make any money, nor do many other men’s sports – track, wrestling, tennis, etc., but their players work just as hard, and are just as passionate about what they do. Given regulations like Title IX, and the general principle of equality that has slowly creeped into our society, there is absolutely no way that you can only pay some of them.

5) Having been, ever so briefly, a college athlete myself, I am well aware that they are treated like GOLD. Platinum, even. I mean really – tuition, tutors, food, books, travel, and most of all, the facilities – no other students on campus get the same benefits, even with a full ride. Minus the 4am practices and the ensuing pain, it was a pretty sweet deal.

6) Most of all, it’s the principle of it all. College sports are such because they are not professional sports. It also puts an emphasis on education, and I find it absolutely disgusting that teams like Memphis, that routinely fail to graduate any of their players from any sport, are funded with the same vigor as schools like Duke and Wisconsin that make a conscious effort to file their student athletes through to graduation (that will be the last time you ever hear me say anything nice about Duke. Ever).

7) The final point (I promise!) is to look at what these student athletes are receiving: an opportunity to perform on a world stage, possibly (for few of them, anyway), a door to a whole line of work (professional sports), and an education that many of them could not afford, or would not be able to partake in based on past performance, had it not been for their talent. No other students are presented with this opportunity, and thus I think it’s important to recognize that by way of giving student athletes all that we give them, we value them tremendously.
posted by eenagy at 10:52 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


grubi: I am a Florida State fan, not an ACC fan.

oddman: In other words wait until you've been in the ACC for 80 years.

It has nothing to do with how long you've been in a conference. I'm a Florida State fan and I am absolutely an ACC fan...there is nothing more I'd like to see than other ACC teams succeed, because it means that we look better as a conference.

All of that will change if we move into the SEC, though, like I've been hearing a lot of rumors about. I genuinely like a lot of the ACC teams...but I don't know if I can cheer for the "we've been here forever, look at how superior we are" attitudes.
posted by kro at 12:39 PM on June 7, 2010


And we realize that whenever the other teams succeed it's good for all of us. Our mindset is that we want all of the SEC teams to be undefeated except for when they play us.

You know what? You're wrong, and you're what's wrong with college football.

I'm a USC alumnus and a UMich student. My six favorite things, in descending order, are:
1 -- USC victory.
2 -- Michigan victory.
3 -- Notre Dame loss.
4 -- UCLA loss.
5 -- Ohio State loss.
6 -- EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD TIES.

I don't care who the Irish, the Bruins or the Buckeyes lose to. I want them crushed, destroyed, decimated, annihilated. I want their fans to wail and gnash their teeth and peel the bumper stickers off their cars right there in the goddamn parking lot. If Notre Dame plays UCLA, the only acceptable outcome is a meteor strike, and it had better be in South Bend, because the Rose Bowl needs to be there for Michigan to play in January (USC will be in the National Championship). I want UCLA and OSU to be 0-11 before the last game of the year, and I want them to think they have a chance to pull it off in the 4th quarter before we win, because their tears will taste all the sweeter for the hope.

The rest of the Pac-10 and the Big Ten can go screw as far as I'm concerned. Penn State vs. Purdue? Don't care. Oregon vs. Oregon State for possession of the My State Is An Afterthought Because They Had To Have Something Between California And Washington Cup? Don't care. Conference boosters are losers who want their crappy team to "look good." You know what losing to the eventual national champion means? It means you LOST.
posted by Etrigan at 1:19 PM on June 7, 2010


My six favorite things, in descending order, are:
1 -- USC victory.
2 -- Michigan victory.


I don't have to read any farther to know that I hate you. And I hate UCLA and THE Ohio State University(TM) and The University Of Notre Dame Presented By NBC Universal A Division Of The Roman Catholic Church d/b/a Comcast Xfinity.
posted by dw at 1:30 PM on June 7, 2010


I don't have to read any farther to know that I hate you.

Good. I can respect that kind of reflexive hatred. Unless you start in about how Vanderbilt would go 8-1 in any other conference or some such nonsense.
posted by Etrigan at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2010


Etrigan, I guess that is the kind of attitude that comes about when your conference isn't all that great.

Let me tell you something, you have no idea what it means to detest your opponent. Have Cal or Ohio State ever done something like the Gator Stomp which led to The Revenge? Do you tell stories about half a hundred between the hedges? And that's just with one rival I'm not even thinking about how much we can't stand FSU, Auburn, or Tenessee.

At Florida we aren't happy unless we win by 50. We aren't happy unless the other team is complaining bitterly about us running up the score.

But we know that the top dog in a crappy conference gets no respect (see Ohio State).

Also Vandy wouldn't go 8-1 in any other conference, but I bet you it would finish over .500 most of the time, and I'm certain it would of beat UMich the last couple of years.
posted by oddman at 7:20 AM on June 8, 2010


Gosh darn it I'm itching for fall to get here already.
posted by oddman at 7:20 AM on June 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oddman is right on, with another SEC supporter here. The more the conference teams crush the schools outside the conference, the better the teams in that conference are seen.

I'm a Razorback fan, and while I will spit and hiss at Florida's win last year, I want them to dominate in every outof conference game they play. We want all the schools in the SEC to have the best reputations as it attracts the best players, which in turn means we get to watch some of the best college football in the nation every Saturday in a dozen college towns across the South, instead of just a few schools out of many in most other conferences.
posted by Atreides at 8:17 AM on June 8, 2010


But consider the Gators. We've been in the SEC from the beginning.

It took over 60 years for the gators to win the SEC. FSU, in the ACC since 1992, won it out of the gate.

Have Cal or Ohio State ever done something like the Gator Stomp which led to The Revenge? Do you tell stories about half a hundred between the hedges?

*cough*Choke in the Doke*cough*
posted by grubi at 9:00 AM on June 8, 2010


I wonder if it's a conference thing. Southerners tend to stick together in general. Maybe the SEC has a group mentality but the Big 10 doesn't? Can we hear from the Big East or Big 12?
posted by oddman at 9:08 AM on June 8, 2010


Hey Grubi, is that the same Doak Campbell Stadium where one might find Ron Zook Field?
posted by oddman at 9:12 AM on June 8, 2010


It took your team about 100 years to win a single national championship, it took mine about 50 to win two.

So, yeah, uh-huh.

Southerners tend to stick together in general.

And such beautiful success occurs when they do. *eyeroll*
posted by grubi at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2010


My my own observations, it's never seemed as if the other conferences have such a strong support along "conference as a whole" as the SEC. Note, I'm not saying the SEC is a better conference because of that support, it just has a stronger support. I've noticed on other websites, posters from other conferences always find the behavior somewhat bewildering. I'll go even farther and note that I'll cheer for the SEC West division over the SEC east division, even.

I suppose a comparison would be during the inter-league baseball games, whether someone cheers for the other teams in their league (American or National) or just for their team. Same goes for whomever one cheers for in the World Series, if they cheer for their league or what not between the two teams.

I don't follow professional football, but do people cheer in the Superbowl depending on the AFC or the NFC?
posted by Atreides at 12:56 PM on June 8, 2010


In expansion news, the Big Twelve has laid down an ultimatum:

"Nebraska has until 5 p.m. on Friday to tell us what they're going to do," one school official said, according to the The American-Statesman. "The same deal for Missouri. They have to tell us they're not going to the Big Ten."
posted by Atreides at 1:00 PM on June 8, 2010


Atreides, I totally cheer for east over west, definitely. Although I admit that I can't bring myself to cheer for the dawgs. I just can't do it. I will however cheer against whoever they might be playing.

It's not the same thing. Not at all. :)
posted by oddman at 1:44 PM on June 8, 2010


Can we hear from the Big East or Big 12?

In the Big XII, I think it depends on your division. In the South, there is a lot more team loyalty and a lot less division loyalty, and the bad blood between the South teams is very old and very hard to overcome. OU fans cheered on the demise of Texas against Colorado in 2001, for example.

The Big XII North, though, I think has less of that. While you have the oldest continually played rivalry game in the North (Kansas-Missouri, on the verge of extinction) and you have the newer, stranger Colorado-Nebraska rivalry (where Nebraska insists it's not a rivalry despite getting slapped around by Colorado quite a bit this last decade), the North has been so downtrodden by the South that there's a desire to see the South get its comeuppance, even at the hands of a hated division rival.

I wonder, too, given that the Big XII North is 3/4 of the old Big 8 if there's any sort of feeling that just as the Big 8 turned into the Big Two + Those Other Six in the 70s and 80s the Big XII has turned into the Big II and Those Other Ten.

"Nebraska has until 5 p.m. on Friday to tell us what they're going to do," one school official said, according to the The American-Statesman. "The same deal for Missouri. They have to tell us they're not going to the Big Ten."

Meanwhile, Iowa State had an ad on Craigslist earlier today.
posted by dw at 2:12 PM on June 8, 2010


Stewart Mandel offers 16 possible expansion scenarios.
posted by dw at 2:16 PM on June 8, 2010


That was a great ad.
posted by oddman at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2010


Some Kansas State guy sums it all up for us.
posted by Etrigan at 5:11 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we call it "The Revenge of Southwest Conference," if the big 12 falls apart?
posted by oddman at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2010


Good summary, except where the part where anyone listens to or gives a shit about K-State.
posted by fleacircus at 1:34 PM on June 9, 2010


Heh. Thanks for the link. Only two more days to go to know the fate of things (supposedly).
posted by Atreides at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2010


Orangebloods is officially saying that Nebraska will be leaving for the Big 10. Colorado to the Pac-10 (so Baylor's out), and I'm assuming that means the rest of the Big XII South is on the way to become the Pac-16 East.
posted by educatedslacker at 4:53 PM on June 9, 2010


And Etrigan, that link was awesome.
posted by educatedslacker at 4:53 PM on June 9, 2010


Now that I think of it, why wouldn't Texas and Omaha just add Bosie and Houston and call it a day? They'd still be the big dogs in a powerful conference. (Granted the sanctions that seem to be coming down on USC would mean that they are the big dogs in the PAC 16, too).
posted by oddman at 7:44 AM on June 10, 2010


And now SI reports that Texas A&M (and maybe just them, and not Texas) is a possible target for the SEC.
posted by oddman at 8:05 AM on June 10, 2010


I'm amazed at how much the possibility of Nebraska joining the Big 10 has reawakened my college football fandom. I was a giant Husker fan when I was young, but it's been like 10 years since I've cared at all. But suddenly, the prospect of getting to see the Huskers annihilate the Gophers every year really warms my blood in the best way. I hope this happens.

I never liked the Big 12 anyway; it all felt fake after they ditched the Big 8.
posted by COBRA! at 8:15 AM on June 10, 2010


I'm glad to find this thread that I must have missed the first time around before I asked the following question on AskMeta:

Big 12 school joins the other 11 schools in the Big 10:
So Nebraska is joining the Big 10, which I think is awesome. But can somebody with a more in depth knowledge of off-the-field college football dynamics let me know why Nebraska would do this? I've always thought of the Big 12 is a pretty big deal football-wise, but is that just tradition and something that hasn't transferred to the (even bigger) big money world?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:23 AM on June 10, 2010


So Nebraska is joining the Big 10, which I think is awesome. But can somebody with a more in depth knowledge of off-the-field college football dynamics let me know why Nebraska would do this?

Well, there's the potential of more natural-feeling rivalries, the ability to join a conference with more storied football programs, possibly a more favorable and intriguing divisional breakdown, a certain component of grass-is-greener syndrome, the--

It's money. Just say money.

The Big Ten Network is making more money per school than pretty much every other school in the country that ain't Texas is making. Purdue makes more than Nebraska. Northwestern makes more than Nebraska. Part of this is because Nebraska was on top of the heap the last time the Big 12 figured out its revenue-sharing agreement and helped Texas and Oklahoma push through a system that rewarded the schools that were on TV more. Years later, Nebraska has lost a lot of its luster and doesn't get on TV as much anymore, which means it doesn't make nearly as much money as it used to.
posted by Etrigan at 9:42 AM on June 10, 2010


The first domino has fallen, and it's a big, hairy, smelly domino.
posted by Etrigan at 10:21 AM on June 10, 2010


The first domino has fallen, and it's a big, hairy, smelly domino.

If you wanna call Ralphie that, smile.
posted by dw at 11:15 AM on June 10, 2010


Good for Colorado (if only because it might mess with UT's plans).

In all reality, the next few days to week may be off the wall. Sources claim that Nebraska has already decided to leave for the Big 10 and will formally announce it tomorrow (Big 12 given notice to do anything to retain them?). Colorado leaving also messes up the Texas plan to sort of shift all the Texas teams en mass to the Pac 10 (as it seemed it was either Baylor or Colorado).

It's one of those things where you just get to sit back and enjoy the ride (unless you're a Big 12 fan - then you're clinging to the railing and screaming).
posted by Atreides at 12:19 PM on June 10, 2010


Current rumors are that the Pac 10 has extended an invite to Oklahoma State, though that's being denied in Stillwater.

Also, the SEC has offered invites to Texas A&M and Florida State. The A&M one is very interesting, since they full well know Texas can't go anywhere without A&M.
posted by dw at 1:11 PM on June 10, 2010


Good for the Buffs; they've wanted out forever.

I never liked the Big 12 anyway; it all felt fake after they ditched the Big 8.

Yeah that was a serious dick move by Texas; bring in 4 schools (with their weird hand signs) and tell the other 8 they have to pretend to wipe out their history, move the HQ down to Texas, trying to get the championship games in Texas all the time, have this commissioner with no other apparent job than to keep Texas happy like Bib Fortuna servicing Jabba.

Whichever conference winds up with the Texas schools, I wish them better luck.
posted by fleacircus at 2:04 PM on June 10, 2010


Former SEC commissioner, Roy Kramer, thinks in one scenario of collateral results of this mess will be the SEC snagging Florida State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Georgia Tech. One would then wonder what the ACC would do to make up for that loss (if it happened that way). Part of that above scenario involved the ACC picking up a few teams from the Big East - which had fallen apart thanks to the Big East.

It seems for some commentators that Notre Dame will eventually have to give up it's independent status and join the Big Ten.
posted by Atreides at 2:30 PM on June 10, 2010


Nebraska just jumped ship. Mizzou to hold a press conference later today.
posted by fleacircus at 12:49 PM on June 11, 2010


Yep. Additionally, Boise State moved over to Mountain West, while either Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State U have decided to go to the PAC 10 and will announce Tuesday, or they'll make up their mind by Tuesday - depending on what sources you want to believe.

There at least appears to be a strong sentiment over at Texas A&M to consider joining the SEC. On one board I frequent, some have suggested Missouri join the SEC to allow for entry into the Missouri television market. (Presently, if you live north of Springfield, you're out of luck for SEC football on the tv).
posted by Atreides at 1:12 PM on June 11, 2010


I think there's just enough time to note that at this moment, the Big 12 has 10 schools in it, and the Big 10 has 12.
posted by fleacircus at 2:17 PM on June 11, 2010


Is it Tuesday yet? I'm getting antsy waiting for all the Pac-10 move announcements to take place.

Also, do you think Texas will stand by its threat to not schedule any games against A&M if A&M actually is SEC-bound?
posted by educatedslacker at 6:16 PM on June 12, 2010


Well, if Texas does that, then the SEC can (and trust me, we absolutely will) claim that they are just scared to play teams in the SEC.
posted by oddman at 6:16 AM on June 13, 2010


I expect that Texas and A&M will play each other for years to come -- the Texas Legislature will ensure it.

Everyone Aggie I know says they will go to SEC, that the money people want it and the alumni want it.

The SEC is entertaining the idea because they know courting A&M gives them a shot at Texas. And where Texas goes, the Oklahoma schools will go. And even if they land just A&M, they have a door into the Houston and Dallas markets.
posted by dw at 7:58 AM on June 13, 2010


So who do you think of as UI-Urbana's academic peer group? Northwestern doesn't belong, but what do you think is wrong with grouping UI with other large Midwestern public universities?

As a first approximation, the top 10 schools on this list: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/national-top-public
posted by erniepan at 12:38 PM on June 13, 2010


Perhaps Texas is loaded enough that they can sell both Aggie-flavored cable and Longhorn-flavored cable as part of the package; having one, you wouldn't really get any deeper market penetration by adding the other? So splitting a rivalry is a way to make an audience pay twice?

Kansas City might end up in a similar situation if Mizzou and KU end up in different conferences.
posted by fleacircus at 1:44 PM on June 13, 2010


It seems increasingly likely that Texas A&M will be joining the SEC, further destabilizing the Big 12. Unless something is announced today, I expect tomorrow will be the "end" of the Big 12 if Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, decide to head off to the Pac 10. That'd be if the frantic work by the Big 12 to salvage the conference fails to work or not. With what amounts to the southern division disappearing and a glaring hole in the north division, I'm not sure if the Big 12 could simply replace those teams and carry on. Regardless, even if it did, then it'll be a much reduced conference with regard to prestige or skill.

I thank my stars I don't cheer Jayhawks or Tigers!

Another rising question is whether the SEC will try to add another team or not. There were rumors of Georgia Tech, which I feel wouldn't really add that much compared to other possibilities.
posted by Atreides at 4:51 AM on June 14, 2010


If the SEC is solely interested in money than one of the Virginia schools would seem to be the way to go. However Tech was a founding member and I would love to see their triple option in the Swamp every other year. That would be a nice break from all of the copy-cat spread-option offenses that keep coming in here. Also it would probably piss off Georgia fans as much as letting FSU in would piss off Uf fans. So, that's a nice bonus.

(FYI we would hate to see FSU join the SEC. )
posted by oddman at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2010


FSU in the SEC would be as bad as nonsensical to me as UF in the PAC-10 ... PAC-12 ... PAC-16 ... whatever they are.

The thing that's most annoying about all this hubbub -- at least from the POV of a Gator in Los Angeles -- is that this entire story doesn't even get a mention on the nightly news out here. If it wasn't for Twitter, MeFi, and the rest of the intertubes, I wouldn't have any way to know any of this was happening.

The NCAA sanctions against SC(West) -- sorry, USC means Gamecocks to me, not Trojans -- were headline news for about 36 hours and then the story disappeared beneath the Lakers and the Dodgers v. Angels series.

College football in the West is pathetic.

(Go SEC!)
posted by GatorDavid at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2010


Supposedly the rapidly sinking ship that was the Big 12 has righted itself, albeit with the loss of some of its ballast. They're looking at a ten, yes, a ten team conference without a championship game. Somehow this is equating to more money for everyone.

Will this be the state of things at the end of the week? Three years from now?

Anyhoot, it has been fun watching from the sideline.
posted by Atreides at 5:05 PM on June 14, 2010


More money with fewer schools because Fox realized that paying a small premium for Big 12 and Pac-10 games separately would be cheaper than the rights to a Pac-16 conference's games. Also, Nebraska and Colorado have to pay their buyouts from leaving, so there's another $20 million to be split.

Besides, Texas will get its own tv network and still keep the money from local channels. Pac-The 16 wasn't going to allow that to happen, and Texas wants its money.

Is it wrong that I really want Delany to send an invitation to Mizzou on, say, Thursday afternoon?
posted by educatedslacker at 8:23 AM on June 15, 2010


Did you all see this? Stewart Mandell tweets: "Unbelievable. The five "leftovers" (KU, KSU, ISU, BU, Mizzou) agreed to sign over their share of CU/NU's buyout money to UT/OU/A&M."
posted by oddman at 10:52 AM on June 15, 2010


FSU in the SEC would be as bad as nonsensical to me as UF in the PAC-10 ... PAC-12 ... PAC-16 ... whatever they are.

Yeah, because somehow, Tallahassee is further away from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn, Mississippi than Gainesville is.

Oh wait. Tallahassee is actually closer. Hm. So how does that compare to a Gainesville team being in a West Coast conference, exactly?

And they're both in North Florida, for crying out loud. Why would it not make sense for a North Florida team to be located in the Southeastern Conference?
posted by grubi at 10:57 AM on June 15, 2010


Grubi, it would make sense, sure. But being the SEC school in the state gives Florida a certain cache. Adding FSU would dilute that and the attendant recruiting edge.

Also, we really, really enjoy detesting all things Seminole. If they joined the SEC, then we would be required to be pleased when they do well and promote the conference (and vice versa). Such an event would destroy the universe.

So really, it's good for everyone that they stay in that lesser conference of theirs.
posted by oddman at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2010


"Unbelievable. The five "leftovers" (KU, KSU, ISU, BU, Mizzou) agreed to sign over their share of CU/NU's buyout money to UT/OU/A&M."

Holy crap. If there was any doubt who ran the conference, it should be gone now.

Mizzou really made themselves look stupid. Keep talking about the invite, don't get it, then end up getting nothing out of it money-wise.
posted by dw at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2010


But being the SEC school in the state gives Florida a certain cache.

Would that be the cachet that didn't get you a national championship until we got one in half the time?
posted by grubi at 12:18 PM on June 15, 2010


Done much this century?
posted by oddman at 12:29 PM on June 15, 2010


No, our quarterback didn't sue the school district his parents refused to participate in in order for him to have a career in between trips to foreign lands to lead the way in modern genital mutilation.

So, I guess we've *suffered*. Of course, one decade of mediocrity is bad enough, but nearly six decades of mediocrity... that's a vital part of UF HISTORY.
posted by grubi at 12:52 PM on June 15, 2010


OK, so now we've reached the point of sheer stupidity, spurious insults and name calling? Your school sucks, your jealous of the flagship university of the state. Whatever, go back to clown college.

Can we end the derail then?
posted by oddman at 1:37 PM on June 15, 2010


Did your feelings get hurt before or after you started with the namecalling?
posted by grubi at 1:57 PM on June 15, 2010


I'd jump into an argument too, but I haven't found an Aggie yet that knows how to use a computer.
posted by educatedslacker at 4:48 PM on June 15, 2010


Don't worry, with the money from Nebraska and Colorado, they can afford to teach 'em how to use it.

Apparently the "northern" division of the Big 12 will pretty much line up to be the wins for the Texas and Oklahoma teams and take far less $$$ for the privilege. I agree, Mizzou came out of this looking completely foolish.

It's hard to say that the Big 12 will survive through the next decade with their current arrangement. A&M lost a lot of face with their almost attempt at independence from the stranglehold of UT.

The question remains if the Pac 10 will be adding one more team (Utah?) or will just keep things odd.

Anyhoots, National Championships come and go. If you got 'em yesterday or fifty years ago, it doesn't really matter.
posted by Atreides at 6:07 PM on June 15, 2010


If you were the six remaining Big 8 teams in the Big 12 wouldn't you be sorely tempted to convince Boise, BYU, Utah, and TCU to form a new conference free from the yoke of UTex? That would be a pretty good conference wouldn't it? Between Oklahoma, Boise, TCU and Utah, you'd have a pretty good set of football schools, although, granted, not much in the way of TV markets.

I agree Atreides the Big 12 can't survive. Everyone except Oklahoma and Baylor has to be pretty bitter and resentful toward Texas right now. Those feelings are just gonna fester.

I imagine that if the SEC can find a good school for the eastern division (so that they don't have to move the Alabama teams out of the west), they'll be able to sweet talk A&M into jumping ship.
posted by oddman at 7:36 PM on June 15, 2010


If you were the six remaining Big 8 teams in the Big 12 wouldn't you be sorely tempted to convince Boise, BYU, Utah, and TCU to form a new conference free from the yoke of UTex?

(I think it's interesting how OU has been joined at the hip to UT throughout this.)

I hear BYU is the UT of its conference, and the rest of those are pretty far-flung small fry. Lots of moving parts to a plan that wouldn't top out so great.

There's been a funny video of T. Boon Pickens talking about what's gone on.

"Unbelievable. The five "leftovers" (KU, KSU, ISU, BU, Mizzou) agreed to sign over their share of CU/NU's buyout money to UT/OU/A&M."

It also looks like the Big 12 leftovers only pledged the NU/CU "penalty money" if it would guarantee UT/OU/A&M a certain amount of money overall (i.e. more than the Pac-10 or SEC could offer), but with the supposed TV deal that pledged money will not be necessary. So this may not be quite as drastically self-negating as it seems.
posted by fleacircus at 8:39 PM on June 15, 2010


A recap of the entire Big 12 Missile Crisis as reported by the site that broke the news about Texas going to the Pac-10 and then broke the news that Texas was staying.

And it couldn't have ended soon enough for Joe Schad from ESPN since he's getting married this weekend.
posted by educatedslacker at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2010


Though note that Chip Brown was earning a rather Drudge-like reputation, and might be way wrong about the distribution of the withdrawal fees.
posted by fleacircus at 1:24 PM on June 16, 2010


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