Conference Realignment Thread

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
One positive is that they get to avoid directly competing against Texas/OU for a BCS spot.
I kinda thought this would be a reason the Big East should have invited the remaining Big 12 North teams last summer, since A) they all just lost their biggest rival (Nebraska), and B) they avoid competing with OU and Texas


I also thought TCU would wait until after the 2011 season to see if the Mountain West, as constructed, would receive a BCS spot. With TCU and Boise, and Nevada and Hawaii, they'd have a good shot. Competitively, Boise and Utah are a wash, and so are BYU and Nevada. If they got the BCS bid, the MWC is a better conference to be in than the Big East


This is also another blow to the WAC, since the MWC will likely grab Houston and Hawaii to replace TCU, then C-USA grabs LaTech from the WAC to replace Houston, leaving the WAC with 4 teams
 

RedSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 30, 2001
4,400
This is also another blow to the WAC, since the MWC will likely grab Houston and Hawaii to replace TCU, then C-USA grabs LaTech from the WAC to replace Houston, leaving the WAC with 4 teams
I bet Utah State is kicking themselves right now for declining an invite to the MWC. I wonder if they get another chance.
 

gopats84

lurker
Jul 20, 2005
77
Maine
Any chance that Boise State looks to get out of its deal with the Mountain West and looks elsewhere? Virtually no chance the MWC gets an auto bid now with TCU gone. Boise could fit in with the Big 12 if it looks to add two schools to get back to 12.
 

axx

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
7,306
Any chance that Boise State looks to get out of its deal with the Mountain West and looks elsewhere? Virtually no chance the MWC gets an auto bid now with TCU gone. Boise could fit in with the Big 12 if it looks to add two schools to get back to 12.
You know, I was thinking about that as well, but after doing some searching it's pretty obvious why that's not going to happen. Boise State is a very shitty school. That must be part of the reason Peterson can recruit so well - he can get kids who even the schools that only pay lip service to academics won't touch.
 

DukeSox

Rick Derris
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
11,388
You know, I was thinking about that as well, but after doing some searching it's pretty obvious why that's not going to happen. Boise State is a very shitty school. That must be part of the reason Peterson can recruit so well - he can get kids who even the schools that only pay lip service to academics won't touch.
Yep. He gets the kids that can't meet academic qualifications at Pac-10 schools and want to stay West Coast-ish.
 

Sea Dog

lurker
Sep 9, 2006
2,140
Portland, Maine
Kind of a bizarre choice since you have to think that the Big 12, whatever they may say, is going to be looking to add two teams in the not too distant future.
Yeah, but the Big 12 would never invite TCU, because they already have a stranglehold on the Texas market with Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, etc. TCU wouldn't expand the conference footprint or grow the money to be made, but the Horned Frogs do provide both to the Big East, not to mention possible better access to Texas high school recruits.

If anything, Notre Dame and BYU should be the two the Big 12 look at. Notre Dame could benefit from the Texas blueprint -- own TV network (NBC), unequal revenue sharing, etc. -- not to mention schedule a conference game against a Big 12 South opponent at Jerryworld every season. Basically, try to sell Notre Dame that they could make more money within a conference structure. I'm sure they will be trading notes with Texas the next couple years as a possible anchor to the Big 12 North, replacing Nebraska.

BYU, I would presume, would be an easier sell. Big 12's ABC/ESPN contract expires in 2016.
 

SoxScout

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 19, 2003
30,149
In a move that would alter the college sports landscape in New England, UMass plans to upgrade its football program to Football Bowl Subdivision status.

Moreover, the Amherst school has had talks with the Patriots [team stats] about playing several home games each season in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium, which in effect would give Greater Boston two competing FBS programs, the other being Boston College.

According to several sources, UMass would take its program, currently in the Football Championship Subdivision, to the Mid-American Conference, whose football schools include Temple, Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a MAC spokesman would say only that the conference is “exploring” the possibility of adding the Minutemen for football.

UMass would play a “provisional” FBS schedule in 2011 and ’12, and make the full jump to FBS status in ’13.
http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1299775&srvc=sports&position=3
 

hawaiirsn

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 22, 2006
736
Honolulu, HI
Hawaii made the move to the Mountain West as a football only member official yesterday, as well as moving to the Big West for all other sports (except swimming, sailing and Men's Volleyball).

ESPN Link

As a Hawaii fan, I have to be extremely pleased. There was absolutely nothing left for Hawaii in the shambles of the WAC, which adds Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, and a non-football member, Denver, for 2012. Even with the loss of TCU, BYU, and Utah, the MWC is a huge upgrade with Boise, Nevada and Fresno joining. I never thought this would happen, but it has been discussed ever since that 1996 midnight secret conference when the MWC was formed without Hawaii's knowledge, one of my first sports memories. There has been lots of speculation in the Hawaii press as to the future of the MWC, and this has included talk of BYU potentially coming back, or teams like Utah State (would be helpful except for the fact their football team has been dreadful), Houston, SMU, etc. Will be interesting to see what happens and if the MWC decide to go to a 12 team format for football. Hawaii is going to pay a lot in travel subsidies, but thats better than flying to Louisiana and Texas for conference games.

As for the Big West, I am genuinely pleased that Hawaii will be joining them for other sports. This will save Hawaii a lot of money in travel expenses, as all the games are within a single, shorter flight and a couple hours of driving. It is a downgrade for Men's Basketball, but the excitement in that program with the new coach is still high, and hopefully they can dominate the Big West for years to come. It is an upgrade for the most profitable and popular Women's Volleyball team in the country, as well as for the Baseball team and some other sports.

Hopefully with a big win in the Hawaii bowl, Hawaii and Boise, and maybe Nevada (although they lose Kaepernick and a bunch of other pieces) can start next season in the top 20, and keep winning and recruiting well until they all join the MWC. Got to expect Hawaii to win the trimmed down WAC next year, but that will be somewhat meaningless.

Also interesting to point out that with this move, the MWC picks up another bowl affiliation, the Hawaii Bowl, which is obligated to offer Hawaii a spot every year they are bowl eligible.
 

Sea Dog

lurker
Sep 9, 2006
2,140
Portland, Maine
Leave it to the Big 12 to help this thread come back ...

So Texas A&M is talking about the SEC. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said "conversations have been had," but are they among Aggies themselves or between the Aggies and the SEC? Doesn't say, doesn't know. But there's been an awful lot of smoke blowing from College Station this week, and they already played the SEC card 12 months ago during the Pac-10 crisis, so I would think they're serious about this.

I'm sure the SEC would love Oklahoma, too, but I've read a lot of stories claiming the SEC doesn't want to take Oklahoma State. Given how they're a pair, that won't happen, so the Sooners and Cowboys might be looking west to the Pac-12 again, maybe with Texas Tech. But not Texas, because allegedly, the Pac-12 wants Texas on its own terms -- and good for someone, anyone dictating to Texas how things should go -- so Texas isn't interested, of course. But AD DeLoss Dodds did say if there was not sentiment to hold the Big 12 together by the remaining members that Texas and Notre Dame could create a new conference. How could there be a more perfect marriage that those two?

As a KU guy, I think what gets me is this: This can't be pegged on a jealous Nebraska -- which was just as bad as Texas -- anymore. This is a Texas-sized battle. Longhorns-Aggies. The rest of the conference, from Oklahoma to Iowa State, was fine once they told Texas no to high school games and set guidelines as to how Texas would get a conference game on the Longhorn Network. Problems solved, crisis averted again, let's have another missile crisis next summer for old time's sake. This, however ... this seems deeper, much more dark-rooted than anything than happened last summer. 2010, that was business. 2011, this is personal.

Big East Western Division -- KU, K-State, Mizzou, TCU, Louisville and Cincy
Big East Eastern Division -- Pitt, WVU, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn and USF

I could get used to that. The hope is, I don't have to and the Big 12 carries on, either with A&M or with BYU stepping in to replace A&M. Amazing how we're into two-a-days and still having to discuss conference realignment, superconferences, the Longhorn Network and the like.
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
Well, there's only a moratorium on high school games. The Big 12 could allow them next year, or if Texas really wants it, they'll go independent.

The thing about A&M in the SEC is, the SEC would likely get a team in the east to pair it up, which almost certainly means Clemson. That's where all hell breaks loose: everyone wants to get to 14. The ACC raids three teams from the Big East to get to 14, Big Ten grabs a team each from Big East and Big 12, Pac-12 gets the Oklahoma schools, and the remains of the Big East and Big 12 merge.

Schools want to recruit in Texas, without having to deal with UT and the Longhorn Network. Oklahoma gives the Pac-12 a foothold in Texas, and also gets the RedRiverRivalry every other year on their network. SEC gets in with Texas A&M. Big East is in with TCU, and Baylor/TTech. Plus, those schools don't have to pay an exit fee if the Big 12 ceases to exist.

The conferences see two things: Big 12 TV money becoming available, and likely a 3-team conference limit for the ten BCS spots (instead of 2).

IF the SEC expands, this is how I think it shapes up

Realignment (again)
PAC EAST SEC EAST BIG TEN EAST ACC NORTH BIG EAST* EASTERN INDEPENDENT
Utah Florida Ohio St Boston College Connecticut Notre Dame
UCLA Georgia Penn St Maryland South Florida BYU
Colorado South Carolina Michigan Virginia Cincinnatti Army
Arizona Tennessee Michigan St Virginia Tech Louisville Navy
Arizona St Vanderbilt Indiana West Virginia UCF/So. Miss/ECU Texas
Oklahoma Kentucky Purdue Pittsburgh Massachusetts
Oklahoma St Clemson Syracuse Rutgers
PAC WEST SEC WEST BIG TEN WEST ACC SOUTH BIG EAST MIDWEST
Washington Alabama Wisconsin Florida St TCU
Washington St Auburn Minnesota Miami Baylor
Oregon Mississippi St Iowa Georgia Tech Missouri
Oregon St Mississippi Northwestern North Carolina Kansas St
Stanford Louisiana St Illinois Duke Iowa St
California Arkansas Nebraska North Carolina St Texas Tech
USC Texas A and M Kansas Wake Forest
 

bowiac

Caveat: I know nothing about what I speak
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
12,768
New York, NY
I think the Big Ten would pass on both Kansas and Syracuse there. They're a football conference first, and neither of those schools adds much. They'd probably rather leave the spot open so as to eventually pressure ND to join.
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
II, I don't think the SEC would grab Clemson. They would want Florida State before anyone IMO.
yeah, one or the other. I don't think anyone else is as attractive on the east coast.

I was reading earlier about Georgia Tech's and Tulane's departures from the SEC in the 60s.

Tulane couldn't compete because their president cut scholarships, but Georgia Tech would likely still be in the SEC if Bobby Dodd weren't such shortsighted ninny. I can't imagine a coach having so much power to pull his team from a conference. Those were certainly different times.
 

JMDurron

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,944
II, I don't think the SEC would grab Clemson. They would want Florida State before anyone IMO.
The SEC has an interesting decision to make if A&M joins and they need just a single other team, because it's essentially a choice between media market math and the football tradition of the conference. Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Florida State all bring geographic logic and football tradition, but add absolutely nothing in terms of media markets. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida already bring coverage in the areas represented from those teams. If money is still king, the SEC is forced to look further North or West for a team that would bring in some additional eyeballs that aren't already watching most SEC games. If the traditionalists win out and just go for the best nearby football school/tradition, then it's pretty much a matter of picking whoever the SEC wants from the ACC.

I think this is all pretty theoretical right now, because I'm not convinced that Texas state politics wouldn't effectively prevent A&M and Texas from splitting into different conferences anyway. Didn't we already have this conversation last year, with one or both schools effectively having their state funding threatened if they split up? A&M is pissed about the Longhorn Network and doesn't have any other card to play than this one, and I'm not convinced that it is a meaningful one at this stage.
 

Chemistry Schmemistry

has been programmed to get funky/cry human tears
SoSH Member
Apr 1, 2002
7,868
Michigan
The television money says otherwise. The ACC recently signed for reportedly about $13 million per year per school. The Big East is looking at closer to $8 million, but football schools will get a bigger slice.

I'm skeptical of the value of going to 14 schools. If you play an 8-game conference schedule, and you play every team in your division every year, you're looking at seeing a former rival in your home stadium once every 14 years. That strains the concept of "conference" - it becomes more like a loosely affiliated pair of conferences.

And that's two more mouths to feed from your expansion. So that school had better be worth it - there's no taking a school purely to add one.

We're pretty much out of schools that can jump from mid-major to major and add a lot. I'd say Fresno State (moving to the Mountain West next year) is a west-coast candidate. Maybe Tulsa? But these are schools subsisting on athletic budgets half the size of a current Big East school. Memphis and Central Florida are also possibilities. This is more a solution to get from 11 to 12 so you can hold a championship game. Or from 7 to 8 to prevent being decertified.

There's such a sharp drop-off once you get out the realm of the majors. Conference USA just renegotiated its rights, and supposedly each school receives a little more than $1 million per season. There are only so many schools that draw enough attention to make them of national or even major regional interest on television.

That's why if a major conference wants to move to 14, it had better do so by taking a rain-maker from another major conference. Not a Mississippi State or an Oklahoma State.

I think the SEC, the Pac Twelve and the Big Ten are solid in that they wouldn't lose schools to anyone. So the possible world of schools that could be used to create larger conferences is very small. I did some work last year to rank the 120 FBS (I-A) schools by their potential value to a conference. The ranking takes into account history, recent history, budget, attendance and academics.

I set a cutoff at the 60th-ranked school. Below that, you're looking at filler that can't possibly add enough revenue (the lowest current major, Mississippi State, ranks 74th). More realistically, I'd set a cutoff at 40th for a major, 25th for one of the big three.

Here's that list:

3. Texas
8. Notre Dame
12. Oklahoma
17. Virginia Tech
18. Texas A&M
21. Georgia Tech
23. Clemson
24. Pittsburgh
28. West Virginia
31. Miami (Florida)
32. Virginia
33. Maryland
34. Missouri
36. Boston College
38. North Carolina
40. North Carolina State
41. Kansas
43. Florida State
46. Brigham Young
47. Rutgers
48. Oklahoma State
51. Texas Christian
52. Cincinnati
55. Texas Tech
56. Hawaii
57. Syracuse
58. Connecticut
59. Kansas State
60. Louisville

With 10 of 12 schools in the top 43, the ACC is solid. The Big East has two, the Big Twelve has five.

If the SEC is going to make a move, Texas A&M is a strong candidate. There's talk of Missouri as well as Clemson. Oklahoma would be a stronger move, but if it means taking Oklahoma State as well and moving to 16, it's not possible right now. I think Clemson is the better fit if Oklahoma can't move alone.

The Big Ten probably isn't going to 14 unless Notre Dame is involved. Then it's Pittsburgh or Maryland, with Missouri also a possibility. I don't see the Big Ten reacting to the SEC based on this alone, though.

The Pac Twelve has a more difficult decision, because geography greatly limits their candidates. I don't see that happening without Texas. And I don't see Texas switching unless Oklahoma is already gone. Texas as an independent is pure posturing.

If the ACC loses anyone, it can (and will) still raid the Big East.

So... if anything happens in the next couple of years, it probably will be the SEC seeing what life is like at 14. Since the SEC has more deadweight (Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt) than the other majors, it's easier to make that economic case than with a more balanced conference like the ACC or the Big Ten.

The ACC will simply take Pitt, Rutgers or West Virginia from the Big East. And I think the Big Twelve would be content at nine schools. Not an ideal situation. Maybe if the money were much greater at 12, they'd look at TCU, Louisville and Cincinnati, but I think that would be a stretch under the circumstances, and require a ridiculous split to keep Texas and Oklahoma happy.

The only wild card is whether a top three conference is willing to drop a school to get a "better" 12. That makes no sense for the Pac Twelve, which just added Utah, certainly the best mid-major in the FBS but hardly in the top half of its new conference. I don't think the Big Ten would do it - Indiana and Northwestern are the only two candidates, and there's too much tradition involved. And I really don't see the SEC dropping anyone, though it makes the most financial sense there, especially with Mississippi State.
 

ethangl

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2007
2,375
Austin
I think this is all pretty theoretical right now, because I'm not convinced that Texas state politics wouldn't effectively prevent A&M and Texas from splitting into different conferences anyway. Didn't we already have this conversation last year, with one or both schools effectively having their state funding threatened if they split up? A&M is pissed about the Longhorn Network and doesn't have any other card to play than this one, and I'm not convinced that it is a meaningful one at this stage.
Not exactly -- it's not about splitting up A&M and Texas. Alumni in the state legislature will not allow Baylor and Tech to be left without a conference. If A&M's plan to leave the Big 12 were to be seen as a threat to TT/Baylor's existence in a major (I use this term loosely) conference, and it probably will be, A&M won't be allowed to leave. The legislature controls this through the funding of the public schools.

These politics are the only reason why Tech and Baylor were ever members of the Big 12 in the first place -- Ann Richards (Baylor) and Bob Bullock (Tech) being the Gov and Lt Gov at the time.

 

Kremlin Watcher

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
4,557
Houston, TX
An A&M move to the SEC, if it happens, is only one piece in a much larger puzzle, which I believe will end up with either four or six super-conferences with 16 teams each (so 64 to 96 of existing FBS teams), then the institution of a playoff system that includes the winners of the division conferences playing for a spot in a seeded playoff. The question to me is: how do we get there from here?

On the one hand, one can envision conferences like the SEC and the PAC and the Big 10 preempting this development and expanding to sixteen in the next couple of years. In this scenario, it's pretty easy to see A&M going to the SEC and Texas to the PAC, and you'd probably see the Texas legislature support that, as it would give the Texas schools entry and access into these large and lucrative markets. I think OU probably goes where Texas goes as they are complementary in ways and their rivalry is important to both institutions and states. But as mentioned upthread, there are political issues involved, primarily what happens to the smaller Texas schools. I think OSU could in this scenario hitch a ride with OU, the remaining big state schools (Tech, ISU, KU, KSU, Mizzou) could all find a home in a 96-team scenario, while some of them might be left behind in a 64-team scenario. Baylor ends up in a minor conference, which is where it should be in the first place. Eventually this 64- or 96-team superleague effectively secedes from the NCAA in football and the NCAA is left to oversee the other sports.

On the other hand, one can also see this going along a pretty messy path, with A&M going to the SEC, and a lame-duck, nine-team Big XII trying to limp along for some time before either folding the tent and allowing current members to do what they can to find another home, or trying to lure some other major names (Notre Dame was mentioned today, but I don't see ND joining a weakened Big XII). In this case, I think Texas shops for the best deal for itself given its TV power with the LHN. By the time Texas would need to join another conference, most major conferences will have nice TV deals in place, and Texas will have to negotiate some exceptions to any conference TV deal, which will complicate matters as sides haggle over money and broadcasting rights. But Texas has proven to be a pretty savvy negotiator, and I think they get the right deal in an existing conference, which if I was a betting man I would put money on the PAC. OU goes with Texas, as well as perhaps OSU (although I only say this based on reading other boards that say OSU and OU are inseparable due to Okie politics, of which I know nothing). The rest of the Big XII is left to fend for itself as the conference dissolves and everyone scrambles for a new home. The Texas legislature puts what pressure they can on Texas and A&M to find a place for Baylor and Tech, but they end up in Conference USA or the Mountain West or something like that.

In the end, this is where college football is headed, and the train has already departed; the Texas legislature can only affect it at the margin by using its funding leverage to get the best deals for the smaller schools. But Rick Perry isn't going to call up the commissioner of the PAC or the SEC and force them to accept Baylor and Tech. They are not BCS-competitive schools and don't have enough leverage in the TV money discussions to be anything other than non-BCS schools.
 

berniecarbo1

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2008
1,518
Los Angeles, CA
yeah, one or the other. I don't think anyone else is as attractive on the east coast.

I was reading earlier about Georgia Tech's and Tulane's departures from the SEC in the 60s.

Tulane couldn't compete because their president cut scholarships, but Georgia Tech would likely still be in the SEC if Bobby Dodd weren't such shortsighted ninny. I can't imagine a coach having so much power to pull his team from a conference. Those were certainly different times.
Clemson was in the SEC but left it. The only school I think the SEC would go after in the ACC is FSU. It has the in state rivalry with Florida and would make a strong conference even stronger.

Interesting that you brought up Tulane. They made two very bad decisions in their evolvement to a second tier athletic program and first rate academic institution. The first is that they left the SEC in 1966. Indeed they could very easlily have been the Vandy of the SEC West (taking the place of Arkansas). Yes they would have been challenged and they did face issues in the 50's and 60's as the state universities, especially down South, really bulked up their football programs. But they would have been receiving a ton of revenue from the conference and could have built a nice 8-9000 seat on campus arena for basketball and really built up an already impressive baseball program. Although football would perhaps be in the shadows of LSU, its other sports I beleive would have been competitive with the majority of SEC schools. The second thing they did wrong was tear down Tulane Stadium and move their home football games to the Superdome. No city based D1 football programs have long lasting success when they play their football games off campus in a pro stadium. They just don't. The message is that the program doesn't mean that much. If they had been in the SEC, they would have had the $$$ to reconfigure Tulane Stadium and upgrade it, thereby keeping the program on campus.

There is a good lesson to learn from the Tulane football legacy. Other than the service schools, Notre Dame and perhpas now Texas, no program long term thrives as an independent...and if at all possible, play your football games on campus as much as possible. It will pay dividends throughout the entire athletic program. If Tulane had an on campus stadium, even with just 35,000 seats, it might be a possible addition to the ACC. Without that, it is quite possible that Tulane eventually, despite the denials of the admnistration, becomes an FCS program playing their games at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orlenas.


http://neworleanscitypark.com/tadstadium.html
 

Chemistry Schmemistry

has been programmed to get funky/cry human tears
SoSH Member
Apr 1, 2002
7,868
Michigan
I really don't think we're going to see 14 teams in any of the majors in the next ten years. I don't think Texas A&M is going to make this move, at least any time soon.

We talk about this network of "super" conferences. I don't see why it requires 16 and I don't see why the big three (Pac Twelve, SEC, Big Ten) would accept it, given that it ultimately would lead to an evening of television revenue.

If the NCAA ever governs such a prospect, and tries to split the FBS into a smaller set of elite conferences, it risks increased regulation. All it takes is one disgruntled school and a good legal staff.

The current arrangement is a good example of something that works solely because of tradition and momentum. And even then it's tenuous. Notice that the NCAA does not try and enforce attendance minimums in the FBS. That would be the end of the MAC, the Sun Belt and the WAC, most likely.
 

Kremlin Watcher

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
4,557
Houston, TX
Realignment is already happening, and college football has an established tradition of making changes to its conferences and its television deals and its revenue sharing arrangements to satisfy powerful interest groups like major schools. The Longhorn Network is an example of this, as it tips the revenue scales in Texas' favor regardless of conference alignment. Indeed, revenue sharing in the Big XII is already unequal, with the bigger schools getting a bigger piece of the pie. There is nothing to suggest that realignment into large super-conferences will automatically lead to sharing revenue equally. But it almost certainly will lead to increased revenues as larger conferences address larger television audiences and thus larger television contracts, which is what is driving the bus right now.

Regarding the risk of increased regulation, I believe that the NCAA is going to address this by largely stepping out of the picture - these schools and conferences are going to do this themselves, making it a voluntary association not subject to anti-trust issues. A bunch of schools want to form a big league and call the winner the National Champion - seems hard to make a case for regulation unless other schools aren't allowed to have their own leagues and their own championships, which they will (and already do). The big schools have their own legal departments as well and understand these issues.

When the current BCS contract runs out in 2014, these schools will have something in place, either a modified BCS and some evolving conferences to put more teams into the BCS mix, or maybe even a new playoff system. While the BCS is popular among athletic directors, there seems to be enough clamor about who gets in and who doesn't, as well as sufficient television demand for games, to force an expansion of the BCS system, which will be accommodating for larger conferences with more football powerhouses. TCU joined the Big East solely for its automatic BCS bid, and that was not driven by tradition or momentum, but by money. Realignment is coming one way or another.
 

Sea Bass Neely

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,353
The talk around the Big Ten is that we're headed to 16 team conferences. For the Big Ten it means invitations remain out to Texas and ND. However there is talk about rapidly trying to extend an invitation for A&M and thinking they have better selling points than the SEC. There is also thought that if Texas and A&M joined it would force ND to make a move. From there you would have: Rutgers, Missouri, Maryland, and Maybe Pitt vying for the last spots. Kansas will never be in the Big Ten. There are still a lot of hypotheticals being worked out and the major issue of if the big ten would allow Texas to keep the Longhorn Network and be a non-participant in the BTN. And if those schools still have a "Tech" problem.

My own thoughts are I see A&M in the SEC soon. A year as a 13 team conference. And then some major shuffling amongst the others. The Big East and Big XII not being in good situations.
 

Sea Dog

lurker
Sep 9, 2006
2,140
Portland, Maine
Fortunately, from what I've read in papers that cover the Big 12, Oklahoma is committed to staying and A&M would be the only one to leave, meaning the conference could approach a school like BYU -- adds to the geographic footprint and could keep BYUtv, much like the Longhorn Network -- about becoming the 10th team.

Worse case scenario: A&M goes to the SEC, Texas goes indy, Oklahoma/OSU/TT head to the Pac-16 with another team, leaving KU/KSU/Mizzou to suddenly a 12-team football Big East, leaving only Baylor and Iowa State to wonder what happens to them. But here's hoping it's as simple as BYU replacing A&M.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
50,877
deep inside Guido territory
Rivals says A&M to the SEC is a done deal...

Orangebloods.com(where I'm assuming you saw this) says this:
August 22 appears to be D-Day for the 10-member Big 12 as we know it.

Three sources close to the situation said Texas A&M's regents board will meet on August 22 to deliberate and likely vote on an application to join the Southeastern Conference as early as 2012.

Texas A&M System spokesman Jason Cook denied reports that A&M has already agreed to join the SEC.

Sources said Thursday the SEC would be interested in adding Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech in addition to Texas A&M to form a 16-team super conference. Florida State has also been mentioned as a possible target of the SEC, according to Big 12 sources.

The question is if anything can slow the apparent momentum. Sources across the Big 12 said lawmakers were being contacted in hopes of reaching Texas A&M officials to fully consider preserving all the history and tradition between Texas A&M and the Texas schools in the Big 12.

The SEC has been eerily quiet about all the speculation surrounding Texas A&M. But sources said SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Texas A&M president Bowen Loftin have formed a relationship since Slive visited College Station last June during the Big 12 Missile Crisis.

Loftin was impressed by Slive when it appeared half the Big 12 was headed to the Pac-10, and Slive made a pitch to Texas A&M to head east - not west.

The two have spoken intermittently since then, sources said. Bowen's most recent visit with Slive apparently happened on SEC turf two weeks ago, according to sources.
Chip Brown
 

grsharky7

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
917
Berlin, PA
I have a hard time seeing VT jumping to the SEC if they do expand by two teams. No way does the Virginia legislature let them leave UVA after all the back room wheeling and dealing they had to do to get in the ACC.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
12,700
Santa Monica, CA
I have a hard time seeing VT jumping to the SEC if they do expand by two teams. No way does the Virginia legislature let them leave UVA after all the back room wheeling and dealing they had to do to get in the ACC.
I was going to post the same thing. Especially since folks at UVA and throughout the ACC wanted Syracuse more than VTech and almost had the whole expansion blown up over Tech's political maneuvering.
 

ethangl

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2007
2,375
Austin
Alumni in the state legislature will not allow Baylor and Tech to be left without a conference. If A&M's plan to leave the Big 12 were to be seen as a threat to TT/Baylor's existence in a major (I use this term loosely) conference, and it probably will be, A&M won't be allowed to leave. The legislature controls this through the funding of the public schools.
*cough*

Chip Brown -- "The House Higher Education Committee has scheduled a hearing to take up the issue of Texas A&M's possible move to the SEC at 2 p.m. on Aug. 16."
 

berniecarbo1

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2008
1,518
Los Angeles, CA
If A&M goes to theSEC, look for FSU to follow. That would open the door for the ACC to raid the BE, again. If that happens, look for Pitt or Syracuse to head to the ACC, giving them 12 teams, a solid entry on the basketball side and another Northern school to counter balance BC.
 

Sea Dog

lurker
Sep 9, 2006
2,140
Portland, Maine
I can see Syracuse to the ACC. Should've happened before, strong basketball, strong lacrosse, simply fits the ACC mold all around. Pitt, I can't quite see in the ACC.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
4,278
02148
Not exactly -- it's not about splitting up A&M and Texas. Alumni in the state legislature will not allow Baylor and Tech to be left without a conference. If A&M's plan to leave the Big 12 were to be seen as a threat to TT/Baylor's existence in a major (I use this term loosely) conference, and it probably will be, A&M won't be allowed to leave. The legislature controls this through the funding of the public schools.

These politics are the only reason why Tech and Baylor were ever members of the Big 12 in the first place -- Ann Richards (Baylor) and Bob Bullock (Tech) being the Gov and Lt Gov at the time.
The Texas state legislature does not reconvene until January 2013.
 

Chemistry Schmemistry

has been programmed to get funky/cry human tears
SoSH Member
Apr 1, 2002
7,868
Michigan
The Texas state legislature does not reconvene until January 2013.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/big-12-sec-aandm-to-talk-possible-conference-realignment-at-hearing-in-texas-legislature/2011/08/12/gIQAiMYdBJ_story.html?wprss=rss_sports

I think you woke them up.
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/big-12-sec-aandm-to-talk-possible-conference-realignment-at-hearing-in-texas-legislature/2011/08/12/gIQAiMYdBJ_story.html?wprss=rss_sports

I think you woke them up.
Yup. They moved their August 22 meeting up to August 15, so if something is going to happen or not, we'll have more info on Monday.

Check out item 15.
15) Authorization for the President to Take All Actions Relating to Texas A&M University's Athletic Conference Alignment, The Texas A&M University System
 

WestMassExpat

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
883
Boston
A&M to the SEC only makes sense on paper. Despite the Ags resurgence they're far from a perennial contender in football. Whatever marginal gain in revenue they see will be offset by a fall back to mediocrity. That said, it's naive to think the Big 12 would be a permanent solution, but I would've guessed its reckoning would come way farther down the road.

For Texas, there's no way the school seriously considers a run at an independent. Losing guaranteed annual games with both OU and TAMU weakens the brand, I think. Unlike Notre Dame I don't see a conference partnering with the Longhorns for non-football sports, and the geography of piecing together a dog's breakfast of a football slate doesn't make sense.

If TAMU bolts, bet on Texas, OU, OSU, and Tech joining the Pac12.
 

Infield Infidel

teaching korea american
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,463
Meeting Place, Canada
PAC-12 wants nothing to do with LHN. They would want to make their own regional network like they have with the rest of the conference. Texas would have to give up LHN, and let the PAC-12 make a regional net for Texas/OU/OkSU/Tech.

If they went indy, I don't think they'd lose the games with TAMU and OU. TAMU can't hate Texas without playing them, and the legislature might mandate instate games between state schools and Texas. And the RedRiverRivalry was played long before Texas and OU were in the same conference.

That would give Texas a solid start on an independent schedule if they went that way. They could probably play BYU as well. It hasn't been a problem for BYU and Texas is a bigger catch.

The bigger problem, as you say, is what to do with the other sports. Pro- They'd have all their games on TV. Con- they'd probably be in C-USA or the Mountain West or something. Blech. Maybe Big East but who knows what'll happen there
 

Sea Dog

lurker
Sep 9, 2006
2,140
Portland, Maine
About the only way I can see Texas going west is if there was a compromise -- the Longhorn Network would still exist in some form, but Texas would have to seriously reduce the money ESPN pays it because you know the Longhorns would have to help make the conference network succeed. And you know independence isn't an option because ESPN probably wouldn't sign off on a full slate of C-USA basketball games or MWC baseball games -- not to mention all the re-runs of those games on the Longhorn Network.

At this point, I really thing the Big 12 is going to hold it together again. Add BYU, which would expand the geographic footprint and a growing SLC market, and go from there. I mean, Texas A&M had all the resources any team could ask for, but has as many BCS bowl appearances (1) as KU -- but the Jayhawks at least won their game.

1998 -- A&M's last Big 12 championship
1995 -- A&M's last bowl victory
1939 -- A&M's last national championship

I'm guessing BYU could match that resume. Aggies had to go -- there was too much momentum following last summer's flirtation that there was no turning back, it had to be done at some point.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
50,877
deep inside Guido territory
This is the latest from Pete Thamel of the NY Times. In situations such as this, he is usually a very credible source. Doug Gottlieb doesn't know shit.

Eleven of the 12 Southeastern Conference presidents will meet Sunday at a secret location to discuss the admission of Texas A&M to the league, according to a high-ranking SEC official with first-hand knowledge of the talks.

The official said there was a 30 to 40 percent chance that the presidents could vote against Texas A&M’s membership. He also said there was the issue of which university would become the 14th team, something many in college sports will monitor.

“We realize if we do this, we have to have the 14th,” the SEC official said. “No name has been thrown out. This thing is much slower out of the shoot than the media and blogs have made it.”

The official said that three weeks ago, Texas A&M’s president, R. Bowen Loftin, called the SEC commissioner, Mike Slive, and said the Aggies regretted not joining the league last summer. Two weeks ago, Slive and the SEC counsel met with Texas A&M officials. The SEC requested that Texas A&M figure out the legal viability of leaving the Big 12 contract they signed last year.

“They have a contract now,” the SEC official said. “We’re very sensitive about being part of breaking a contract. What we asked them to do was to go settle their issues and not have us be on the table as the agent of causing them to leave.”
Link
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
15,554
St. Louis, MO
Article also says that A&M would likely only be approved if the 14th team wasn't from one of the existing states. That means no Clemson or Florida St. Hello Mizzou.
 

roundegotrip

Member
SoSH Member
May 24, 2008
1,940
Nebraska
I can't help it. The number one thing that keeps flashing in my brain is how glad I am that Nebraska got out when the getting was good.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
12,700
Santa Monica, CA
I'm actually hoping this shakes up the crappy post-2004 ACC. Neither that conference nor the Big East make sense as currently constructed.

Somehow this all needs to end up with a new conference featuring the best programs from the Big East and ACC.

If FSU and Clemson leave, I'd like to see a league with two divisions. Unfortunately I think Gene D has burned too many bridges for this to happen.

Syracuse
BC
UConn
Pitt
Miami
Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech
Virginia
Maryland
Duke
North Carolina
NC State
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
31,384
Harrisburg, Pa.
As an alumnus, here's my ideal wetdream: Texas football goes independent (keep the $300m, easier road to a national championship, continue building the richest football program not named Notre Dame), and join the PAC XX in all other sports. Texas is a national powerhouse in pretty much every sport, especially ones near and dear to PAC XX (swimming, gymnastics, baseball, even volleyball is pretty decent, etc.) and adding basketball can help both UT and the league.

That'd leave Texas Tech, OU/OSU (gotta go together), etc. to move to the PAC XX in all sports. Baylor is left with no natural home unfortunately.
 

WestMassExpat

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
883
Boston
PAC-12 wants nothing to do with LHN. They would want to make their own regional network like they have with the rest of the conference. Texas would have to give up LHN, and let the PAC-12 make a regional net for Texas/OU/OkSU/Tech.
I think this is what happens.

If they went indy, I don't think they'd lose the games with TAMU and OU. TAMU can't hate Texas without playing them, and the legislature might mandate instate games between state schools and Texas. And the RedRiverRivalry was played long before Texas and OU were in the same conference.
Point taken on OU, but TAMU leaving presents two big problems to keeping the series:
1) The bad blood might boil up enough resentment between the two schools to never get anyone to the table to negotiate continuing things
2) Probably more importantly, playing an SEC schedule and Texas every year would be brutal for the Ags

That would give Texas a solid start on an independent schedule if they went that way. They could probably play BYU as well. It hasn't been a problem for BYU and Texas is a bigger catch.
No way Texas goes independent while the current BCS contract, expiring in 2014, doesn't give Notre Dame-like treatment regarding auto qualifying. Count on a dying Big 12 somehow held together until that happens, or everyone with options bolting to more-stable homes (i.e. the Pac-12 scenario, including Texas).

The bigger problem, as you say, is what to do with the other sports. Pro- They'd have all their games on TV. Con- they'd probably be in C-USA or the Mountain West or something. Blech. Maybe Big East but who knows what'll happen there
All those options suck donkey balls. It's either stick together with a sinking ship or renegotiate the Longhorn network and join a Pac-12 that would openly seek Texas and the gang under revised terms.

That is, you know, assuming TAMU actually leaves.
 

WestMassExpat

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
883
Boston
If the PacXX isn't getting Texas football there's absolutely no way they take on anyone else from the Big XII.
Citation needed.

1) The only thing keeping Texas, OU, OSU, and Tech from joining last summer was a recalcitrant Texas.
2) It's not a raw deal for the Pac12
3) Consider TAMU to the SEC the first shot of the move to superconferences
 

WestMassExpat

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
883
Boston
As an alumnus, here's my ideal wetdream: Texas football goes independent (keep the $300m, easier road to a national championship, continue building the richest football program not named Notre Dame), and join the PAC XX in all other sports. Texas is a national powerhouse in pretty much every sport, especially ones near and dear to PAC XX (swimming, gymnastics, baseball, even volleyball is pretty decent, etc.) and adding basketball can help both UT and the league.

That'd leave Texas Tech, OU/OSU (gotta go together), etc. to move to the PAC XX in all sports. Baylor is left with no natural home unfortunately.
Conference affiliation is a two-way street, and why the Big Ten or Pac12 are such attractive options. It's a brand, but also defines the school overall beyond sports. It's the reason why Texas will never go to the SEC and Nebraska went to the Big Ten.

More importantly, part of what makes college football great is the pagentry and tradition. All that gets erased with Texas as an independent.

Also, UT has no varsity gymnastics.
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
31,384
Harrisburg, Pa.
No idea why I said gymnastics, swimming is what I was thinking.

Agreed completely with the branding, but UT IMO can stand alone; I'm still pissed the SWC got wiped out. :)