Conference Realignment Thread

StuckOnYouk

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Jun 26, 2006
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CT
Will there ever be a point in conference realigment where schools go back to their geographic homes, even if its for all sports except football?
For example, the old Big East gets back together for all "Olympic Sports" but Cuse and Pitt continue to call the ACC home for a football only league?
Full disclosure, I'm a UConn fan who misses the old Big East. Goddammit.
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
22,865
Will there ever be a point in conference realigment where schools go back to their geographic homes, even if its for all sports except football?
For example, the old Big East gets back together for all "Olympic Sports" but Cuse and Pitt continue to call the ACC home for a football only league?
Full disclosure, I'm a UConn fan who misses the old Big East. Goddammit.
I don't see it happening, but it would make a ton of sense for the non revenue sports.
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
Will there ever be a point in conference realigment where schools go back to their geographic homes, even if its for all sports except football?
For example, the old Big East gets back together for all "Olympic Sports" but Cuse and Pitt continue to call the ACC home for a football only league?
Full disclosure, I'm a UConn fan who misses the old Big East. Goddammit.
If anything it's going the other direction. Big Ten recently started hockey and lacrosse, ACC restarted fencing after a long layoff. As the conferences get bigger and add schools with sports that the league doesn't sponsor, sports that other schools in the league have to play in other leagues, or sports that current members want to add, if they meet the minimum number of teams necessary, they'll just start sponsoring it.
 

grsharky7

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Jul 15, 2005
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Berlin, PA
I think the whole conference thing will become interesting when all of the current tv contracts are up. I know most of the GOR run for a long while yet, however ESPN is hemorrhaging money left and right. ESPN has been the driving force behind all of the conference changes at the major college level and of course all of these schools are chasing the tv money. What is going to happen when all of this money dries up?

Take a look at the building projects these programs are undertaking, it is almost ludicrous (training facilities, stadium upgrades, coaches salaries, etc). That is mostly being backed by the tv dollars. At the same time a lot of these programs are going into debt. Bloomberg had a recent article that highlighted how in the red some of these schools are.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-04/college-football-s-top-teams-are-built-on-crippling-debt

If the tv money dries up (which also is used to fund olympic sports) I wonder if we will see conferences shift back to more geographical regions due to budget constraints. Schools won't be able to afford to send the smaller teams the consistently long distances needed to compete. On the flip side might we see some schools contract a good deal of mens olympic teams and keep mostly the women teams for Title IX reasons to make up the deficit.

Conference realignment has been good for some and bad for others. It has ripped apart some of the great geographical rivalries but it has also created new opportunities for some schools. Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia are all within three hours of each other yet they are in three different conferences. PSU is in a midwestern conference, Pitt in a southeastern conference, and WVU in a southwestern one. It makes no real sense. I think Maryland and Rutgers being in the Big 10 is fairly asinine as well.
 
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Drocca

darrell foster wallace
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Jul 21, 2005
17,585
Raleigh, NC
That's going to be rough on the Olympic sport travel.

Mid-majors are officially dead. Sad day for college basketball
Wichita State is going from one mid-major to another. How then are mid-majors "dead?"

A mid-major just made the championship game. How are mid-majors "dead?"
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
22,540
The 718
I think the whole conference thing will become interesting when all of the current tv contracts are up. I know most of the GOR run for a long while yet, however ESPN is hemorrhaging money left and right. ESPN has been the driving force behind all of the conference changes at the major college level and of course all of these schools are chasing the tv money. What is going to happen when all of this money dries up?

Take a look at the building projects these programs are undertaking, it is almost ludicrous (training facilities, stadium upgrades, coaches salaries, etc). That is mostly being backed by the tv dollars. At the same time a lot of these programs are going into debt. Bloomberg had a recent article that highlighted how in the red some of these schools are.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-04/college-football-s-top-teams-are-built-on-crippling-debt

If the tv money dries up (which also is used to fund olympic sports) I wonder if we will see conferences shift back to more geographical regions due to budget constraints. Schools won't be able to afford to send the smaller teams the consistently long distances needed to compete. On the flip side might we see some schools contract a good deal of mens olympic teams and keep mostly the women teams for Title IX reasons to make up the deficit.

Conference realignment has been good for some and bad for others. It has ripped apart some of the great geographical rivalries but it has also created knew opportunities for some schools. Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia are all within three hours of each other yet they are in three different conferences. PSU is in a midwestern conference, Pitt in a southeastern conference, and WVU in a southwestern one. It makes no real sense. I think Maryland and Rutgers being in the Big 10 is fairly asinine as well.
I agree that it makes no sense, it's driven by TV money, and it's not sustainable- so I think we're looking at the equivalent of a speculative bubble that's about to pop, which will leave the UCFs of the world holding the bag on lavish new facilities that may not be used as intended and may even stall mid construction if funds dry up.
 

Awesome Fossum

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SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
3,018
Austin, TX
Regarding non-revenue sports organizing themselves differently than basketball/football, I think it depends in large part on how these conference-specific television networks are faring. I believe the Big 10 added hockey to give them more content to broadcast. But with the Pac 12 Network never getting off the ground and the SEC and ACC doing their networks through ESPN, maybe that's not going to be a factor in the future?
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
I think the whole conference thing will become interesting when all of the current tv contracts are up. I know most of the GOR run for a long while yet, however ESPN is hemorrhaging money left and right. ESPN has been the driving force behind all of the conference changes at the major college level and of course all of these schools are chasing the tv money. What is going to happen when all of this money dries up?

Take a look at the building projects these programs are undertaking, it is almost ludicrous (training facilities, stadium upgrades, coaches salaries, etc). That is mostly being backed by the tv dollars. At the same time a lot of these programs are going into debt. Bloomberg had a recent article that highlighted how in the red some of these schools are.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-04/college-football-s-top-teams-are-built-on-crippling-debt

If the tv money dries up (which also is used to fund olympic sports) I wonder if we will see conferences shift back to more geographical regions due to budget constraints. Schools won't be able to afford to send the smaller teams the consistently long distances needed to compete. On the flip side might we see some schools contract a good deal of mens olympic teams and keep mostly the women teams for Title IX reasons to make up the deficit.

Conference realignment has been good for some and bad for others. It has ripped apart some of the great geographical rivalries but it has also created new opportunities for some schools. Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia are all within three hours of each other yet they are in three different conferences. PSU is in a midwestern conference, Pitt in a southeastern conference, and WVU in a southwestern one. It makes no real sense. I think Maryland and Rutgers being in the Big 10 is fairly asinine as well.
NBC and Fox will have a lot to say about how big the pie will be. I think the pie will shrink, ESPN's share will be smaller, but how much it all shrinks depends on how much NBC and Fox bid to provide content for NBCSN and FS1/FS2. Both have time to fill (Fox moreso because they have two channels).

ESPN outbid NBC/Fox for most properties the last go-round, or like with the AAC matched offer sheets when they held matching rights. NBC bid on AAC last time, and wanted to nationally broadcast all 90% of the games, with some noon kickoffs leading into Notre Dame games on NBC, but ESPN matched the deal. It wasn't a ton of money, like $25m/yr for the whole conference, peanuts compared to the P5. Then ESPN realized they weren't going to have enough capacity since they have, what, all or at least a half of the schedules for the other nine conferences, so they sub-licensed a few AAC games per week CBSSN, for pennies on the dollar. AAC was annoyed because, although CBSSN counts as national, in a lot of places it's on a sports tier, and regardless, they have crappier production values and marketing. The move hurt ESPN because they wasted money on a product they didn't have capacity for, it hurt NBCSN because they were left with Ivy League as their top CFB offering (no offense Ivy Leaguers), and hurt AAC because they would have had higher priority on NBCSN than on ESPN. It benefited ESPN was reducing competition, but at a disproportionate cost.

Fox could try to capitalize on ESPN losing money, and offer exclusive deals for Big 10 or Pac 12? They already have a chunk of those conferences' schedules, and own 49% of the Big 10 network. I think the only P5 with an exclusive deal is ACC with ESPN?
 
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