Friday, March 8, 2013

Perfect Expansion Scenario

Before I begin, I just want to make one thing clear. This is just my scenario of how a super conference would look for the top four conferences after expansion.  
The biggest issues with super conferences is number one, money. Will teams bring in money to the conference, and, enough so that the pot does not get watered down? I think televisions look at this the wrong way. Ratings are not generated by the number of people viewing a university, or, by the number of people in a given area. Ratings are generated by how good your product is and does. Generating the best product (i.e., conference) you can, that offers good competition will bring viewers from all over. The SEC has good ratings because they offer a good product with great competition. If your product is good, anyone, regardless of conference affiliation will view your product.
A second issue is travel and funding. Travel and funding are a big issues, especially if you are playing a new university in your conference that happens to be 1000 plus miles away. This is why having three divisions is important, given the number of universities in a super conference. Looking at the conferences below and how they are broken down, during a football season, a university from the East would play all the schools in their division, two from the Central, and three from the West. The following year the university from the East would play all the schools in their division, three from the Central, and two from the West. Now, if you understand what this does, then you also understand how this would eliminate travel and funding issues with these universities. To add to this, universities would not have to worry about only playing one university every three or four years.
1.       Oklahoma
2.       Texas
3.       Oklahoma St.
4.       TCU
5.       Texas Tech.
6.       Baylor
1.       Kansas St.
2.       Notre Dame
3.       West Virginia
4.       Louisville
5.       Iowa St.
6.       Kansas
1.       Florida St.
2.       Clemson
3.       Miami
4.       Virginia Tech.
5.       N.C. State
6.       Pittsburgh
1.       Texas A&M
2.       LSU
3.       Missouri
4.       Arkansas
5.       Ole Miss.
1.       Alabama
2.       Auburn
3.       Miss. St.
4.       Kentucky
5.       Vanderbilt
1.       Florida
2.       South Carolina
3.       Georgia
4.       Tennessee
5.       North Carolina
1.       Minnesota
2.       Nebraska
3.       Northwestern
4.       Iowa
5.       Illinois
6.       Cincinnati
1.       Michigan
2.       Ohio St.
3.       Michigan St.
4.       Purdue
5.       Indiana
6.       Virginia
1.       Penn St.
2.       Maryland
3.       Georgia Tech.
4.       Duke
5.       Rutgers
6.       Syracuse
PAC 12
1.       USC
2.       UCLA
3.       Stanford
4.       California
5.       Arizona
1.       Oregon
2.       Oregon St.
3.       Washington
4.       Washington St.
5.       Boise St.
1.       BYU
2.       Utah St.
3.       Colorado
4.       Arizona St.
5.       New Mexico St.

Winners and Losers:
After expansion is completed, who are the final winners and losers?
The Big XII is the overall winner in this scenario because their arm now reaches from central United States across to the east. Their new territory also brings heavy competition for the SEC and BIG for recruiting, exposure, and viewers. In addition, the competition level is strong and can only enhance each of their universities as the years pass. Furthermore, imagine the level of competition in all their sporting events, especially football and basketball; hell even baseball. This scenario also keeps and creates new rivalries. If this is not a good scenario for a perfect conference, I do not know what is.
The SEC will always have good competition, and the football crown, until someone can dethrone them. Adding A&M and Missouri proved to be a good fit for them in both football and basketball. Now adding North Carolina will given them that additional university in the east they were looking for. It also creates a new rivalry for South Carolina. Their overall sporting events will continue to good competition for years to come.

Adding Maryland and Rutgers only adds viewers, but not competition. The goal should have been to add a university that could bring in more viewers on top of what they already have, not just settling for the viewers a university already has. However, adding universities in the Southeast gives them those east viewers they were looking for. In the end, the BIG does not gain much and is still the third best conference.

The ACC is the obvious loser in this scenario. Because of their distance from other top notch universities, they have slim pickings from around their regional area. Adding BYU and Boise St. does help them out though when it comes to viewers and bringing in more funding. Although Boise St. is still a smaller university, they are gradually winning viewers as long as they can compete and upset the bigger universities.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Big XII Conference?

If the Big 12 considered this idea, then the Big 12 would be the most dominant conference in the land. They would cover television areas from central to eastern United States. This would really give the SEC and B10 a run for their money in both television viewing and recruiting.  Also, they could keep the name Big 12, because the conference would be made up of universities from 12 different states. Let’s hear ESPN say there is no additional value. Other networks would drool at the hope of landing this conference. Think of this conference in terms of football, basketball, and even baseball.

Kansas St.
Florida St.
West Virginia
Oklahoma St.
Virginia Tech.
Texas Tech.
Iowa St.
N.C.  State
Georgia Tech.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

College expansions end game

Greed for more money is the new college conference way, and football is the driving force. Like the space race, or any other race, to be called the greatest; college conferences have found themselves scrambling to etch their footprint into larger T.V. markets. Money is the obviously the driving force, but what could the end result lead to?

Should conferences evolve into what most anticipate, super conferences, this would likely mean conferences with an excess of 16 plus universities. The SEC and B10 are obviously not done, but how far are they likely to go? The eastern universities are likely the prize of the SEC and/or B10, depending on which conference makes the best offer. The move to increase will not finish until the SEC and B10’s hunger is full.

The Big 12 is not making a move because they feel their conference has no need to expand. The way they are playing the game and the way writers have reported it, the Big 12, expand or not is looking to make a hefty payday with the new BCS structure. It has been reported that the SEC, B10, Big 12, PAC 12, and ACC can expect to add $91 million to their profit.  The fact that the big 12 has less schools in their conference will give each school a $9.1 million dollar profit per year. This is $2.6 million more than the SEC, B10, ACC, and PAC 12, who have each expanded to 12 or more universities.  Besides the Big 12, look for dollars to shrink even further depending on the final number of schools added to each conference.

Solidifying the Big 12’s existence, came with the Champions Bowl. The SEC will not poach or allow others to poach the Big 12 as long as the Big 12 is the only other conference that can provide any challenge to the SEC, and speaking of money, bring good T.V. ratings.

Should the Big 12 feel the itch to expand, I look for them to go down following route:

Expand to the east getting one or more of the following football universities who have not received an invite from the SEC and/or Big 10:

Virginia Tech.,
NC State, and/or

Being very opinionated, my out of the box idea would be the unification of the PAC 12 and Big 12. This would not only increase their strength, but complete control of the central and western part of the country, and an increase in T.V. markets.

Another idea would have the Big 12 add eastern schools and BYU. This would add T.V. markets for the Big 12 across the country and increase their revenue.  The arm of the Big 12 would then be longer than that of the PAC 12, SEC, B10, and ACC. It would also put them at an advantage against the other conferences.

Expansion is a fun topic. Not one to solve, but one to examine and predict.  In the end, after expansion has had its limelight, what will become of each conference and will they be happy?  The question I know people will have after expansion that should be thrown on the table now; is whether student athletes should get a bigger stipend with the flowing cash each conference and university expects to receive.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Johnny Football kills the Heisman

Last night was a historic night for college football as a freshman took home the Heisman for the first time. However, his team did not go undefeated, make it to the championship, and lost to two of the only four ranked teams they faced all season. In all, the Heisman no longer stands for what it once stood for. It has now become a beauty pageant glorified by the irresponsible media (i.e., ESPN) and wins do not matter. 

For a long time the winners have always been upperclassmen, not because they played the college game a lot longer, but because they proved their worthiness to be called great collegiate athletes. They proved that the game is not about how you start it, but how you finish it. The upperclassmen that won the Heisman before last night showed that. After last night however, that all went down the drain, and in my opinion, was a slap in the face to the great collegiate athletes that won it before the so called Johnny Football. 

Collin Klein and Manti Te’o are two seniors that showed that worthiness to call themselves great collegiate athletes, but were robbed by a one-time performance. A performance I might add that only had one noteworthy win. By the way, the Baylor Bears also beat a number one team in the same regular season. My heart goes out to the two men that sat beside Johnny Unproven. That although they proved themselves for four years, their reward was to clap at the first beauty pageant, which the Heisman has been driven to.

Media (i.e., ESPN) as I stated earlier was irresponsible this year. Not looking at the other great athletes that proved themselves, but only at the hype they conjured up. Media has shown that instead of going for the man that busted his rump for the last four years, they were only out for the story, in which a first time freshman won the Heisman. I apologize Collin and Manti on behalf of all media (i.e., ESPN), Johnny was a better story, but not a better collegiate athlete.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Notre Dame to ACC and future expansion

So, who were the real winners and losers in Notre Dame’s move to the ACC and how does this hinder further conference expansion?

Winner: Notre Dame

Notre Dame will always be the school touting their independent football program, and, the fact that they can hold out until a conference offers them what they want. Since when did a university like this become so powerful, they could muscle a known conference into giving them what they want? The ACC of course was desperate after their horrible TV contract and rumors of ACC universities bailing to other conferences. The fact though, is that Notre Dame will still be independent, receive money from their individual contract with NBC, shared money between ACC universities, oh, and, their newly formed contract with the ACC in the Orange Bowl.

Loser: ACC

John Swofford, Commissioner of the ACC, not only bent over for Notre Dame, but also knows this marriage offers no advantage for the other universities in the ACC. Along with a bad TV contract, Swofford really did it in for the ACC. What kind of tension with the other universities will this bring out of bending over for a university outside of your conference, and not putting the same ambition to get Notre Dame, into getting your conference the best TV contract? Although Notre Dame is in the ACC, and is required to play five ACC universities per year in football, each university in the ACC will probably only see Notre Dame once every three years. So, how does this benefit a conference that is looking to make more money through its football program? Answer, it does not. Yes, ACC may be able to re-work their TV contract for a little more money, but it does not increase their revenue at tickets booths. Furthermore, what about Notre Dame’s independent contract with NBC? Will other ACC schools be offered the same opportunity of Third Tier Rights like Notre Dame? Absolutely not. Swofford only condones equal sharing. Therefore, in the end, what is the upside for ACC. The answer, nothing.

 Future Expansion:

With the recent addition of Notre Dame to the ACC, how does this hinder future conference expansion? The answer, it does not. Yes, the ACC added a $50 million dollar buyout, but that is nickels and dimes for conferences like the SEC, Big 12 and Big 10. A $50 million dollar buyout sounds big, but that is less than a quarter of what a big conference like the SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 take in every year. I also have a feeling FSU is still keeping that door open for the Big 12. Adding Notre Dame does nothing for FSU at the ticket booth, except a sellout crowd once every three years. In addition, how do other universities feel knowing they will be sharing their TV revenue with a university that is participating in all sports except football, which is the moneymaker for all universities?  Swofford thinks he has calmed the expansion storm, but I feel a dark cloud may be brewing.