Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was last known in the college football world for trying to set up a playoff system. He certainly had the populist (albeit wrong) side of that argument. However, his latest on conference realignment represents a tremendous misunderstanding of how college football scheduling and television works, as well as a curious misunderstanding of basic mathematics. I know that we’re all supposed to bow before his fly-by-the-pants wisdom, but I can barely get past his “problems” to get to the justification of his solution. Taking the problems in order:

1. More schools will NOT mean more TV money. … Maybe the SEC has an escalator in their contract that increases the total value of the TV contract, but I’m guessing that it still will result in a reduction in the dollars paid to each school when compared to the amount paid had an additional school not joined the conference.

Either the SEC has an escalator or they believe that the temporary losses outweigh what they will get when it comes time for renegotiation. It doesn’t take a “guess” for this to be the case. We can be relatively certain of this because of what the SEC is doing. They are throwing themselves into uncertainty for a midling-performance Big 12 school in a media-rich state. I am more inclined to believe that they know what their contract states and if it meant losing money, they wouldn’t do it. I’m not one of those people that believes it is “all about the money,” but in this case there is little reason to do what they are doing except for the money. They don’t need expansion. They don’t need A&M’s performance. They are doing this because it improves their situation. Could they be wrong about that? Sure. But not in the obvious way that Cuban suggests. I suspect that they have covered that angle.

2. Fans will hate the scheduling impact … I’m guessing that the only way to get all those games through a single TV network partner is to start very, very early or to go very very late. … Which is exactly why the big networks are very supportive of the Super Conferences. They know they will be able to force matchups OFF of tv and on to internet based broadcasts.

This is where mathematics comes into play. Between the major conferences, there are (or will be, next season) 68 BCS teams of note (counting TCU, which enters the Big East next year, and Notre Dame). Depending on how everything unfolds, there is likely to be roughly…. 68 BCS teams of note when all is said and done. Maybe more (if a couple more teams get brought in to round out a BE+B12 merger) or maybe less (if a couple of teams get left out and have to go down to the likes of the MAC or Conference USA). Cuban overlooks something very basic here… the demise of the Big 12 (as we know it) will leave a huge, gaping hole in college football scheduling. One to easily be filled by the slightly larger conferences elsewhere.

3. Say Goodbye to Cupcake Football Games … With every school added to a conference they are going to have to remove a cupcake to make room on their schedule. Coaches are going to HATE this. Of course the smaller schools are going to lose their pay day as well.

Nonsense. This assumes that every team within a conference must play every other team within a conference. We already know this isn’t true because it’s already not the case. Conferences limit themselves to 8 or 9 conference even when they have ten or more teams. The same would apply if they went to 16. The only difference is that, in a Pac-16, almost all of the games would be intra-division. The old Pac-8 would spend seven games against fellow old Pac-8 members, and then one or two against eastern division teams. This isn’t rocket science. It’s already happening.

4. Goodbye Geographic Rivalry Games I don’t care how good a game OU vs Oregon could hypothetically be, fans from both sides are going to second guess the economics of going to the games. And if it’s an off-year for either team, then what ?

As I said above, Oregon would spend over three quarters of its conference games against old Pac-8 rivals. Only one or two of the opponents would be outside the Pacific time zone and teams that they have not been playing for decades. He’s not quite as far off the mark here, though, as you will have teams in Arizona and Oklahoma in the same division. But Oklahoma would be in a division with four former conference rivals in addition to the three in Arizona and Utah. I think they can live with that. The losers in this arrangement are actually Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, who would be cut off from their California ties. I am actually genuinely curious why these three, in addition to Colorado (who was in a losing situation in the Big 12 and would not benefit from a B12-like situation) and Stanford (who can’t be salivating at the likes of being conference-mates with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech), would go for this. My guess is, contra #1, there is a lot of money at stake.

As for his A&M example, it’s true that they are switching out a number of Oklahoma and Texas schools in favor of southeastern, but it’s not like Louisiana is Pennsylvania. They are an outlying team, but the state borders two SEC states and Arkansas, which he also cites as a team out of its geographical depth, borders three (four if Texas A&M joins). But, apparently A&M feels as though its current conference arrangement has left it overshadowed by schools that are too similar and being in the SEC would give them a way to separate themselves from the pack. This is not exactly an unusual attitude, as Florida allegedly is less than enthusiastic about letting Florida State join because being in the SEC is a competitive advantage for UF. Separating yourself from in-state rivals is pretty common. Twenty years ago, A&M and Texas were both in a conference that was almost entirely in-state. It didn’t work out.

5. Big Dogs Hate Becoming Little Dogs In a huge conference a school that was once a “leader” in its conference will inevitably become an also ran. They will be the school that used to get national games that now is relegated to the internet broadcasts or a small coverage regional game.

This one actually isn’t far off the mark, at least as it pertains to A&M-to-the-SEC. It’s often been mentioned that Texas A&M may have trouble competing in the SEC. But Arkansas made the transition from conference leader to middling school and apparently has no regrets. Being in the SEC has meant more exposure to them than they had in the Southwest Conference and arguably what they would have had in the Big 12. That last part is less certain though. It remains to be seen how well the teams departing for the Pac-16 do when playing Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah rather than Baylor and the Big 12 North schools. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have reason to be concerned, but they’re likely to be the tagalongs (at least, they hope they will be) and go where UTex and OU go. UTex and OU would be just as likely to be dominant forces in the Pac-16 east as in the Big 12.

Now, these are more legitimate questions for the four or five schools left behind in the Big 12. They could restock their shelves and become conference leaders, or (more likely) scramble to join or merge with other conferences. Either way they are reacting rather than acting. They would almost certainly prefer the Big 12 stay in tact. It’s just that their opinion doesn’t really matter.

As for his justifications for staying put, they are similarly wanting. I’ll go through these more briefly:

1. The Big12 becomes the AL East of College Football. Texas vs OU has the same cachet and regional and national intensity. If either team moves they will have a difficult , if not impossible time replacing the quality of this rivalry. What’s more, the remaining teams because of the quality of the programs can quickly evolve into significant rivalries

This is only true if they separate, and something I am sure they are both considering. But they played each other out of conference before, so there’s no reason that they can’t do so again (unless Texas were to join the Big Ten, in which case more of his arguments would apply, but nobody is talking about that right now). Because, as previously mentioned, more conference members does not mean more conference games. Anyhow, this is the status quo. It has its advantages, but it also has its limitations.

2. Money, Money, Money Probably the most important reason to stay in a smaller Big 12 is that fewer schools means more money to the conference. The Big 12 is looking at a new TV deal in just a few years. … Their TV partners want quality, marquee games with national significance. That happens with the top 2 to 4 teams in every major conference. It doesn’t matter whether your conference has 9. 12. 16 or more members. There are only 20 teams in the Top 20 and 10 in the Top 10.

It doesn’t matter, though, whether those top 20 teams are split between four conferences or six. You’re still dealing with the same number of teams. And the Pac-16 east is likely to be roughly the same as the Big 12. Arizona and Arizona State will likely be in a better position, since the Pac teams are historically better than the Big 12, but for the others it’s likely a push or only a little bit tougher. A 9-3 team is likely to be ranked whether they are the #3 team in the Big 12 or the #3 team in the Pac-16 east and #5 in the Pac-16 as a whole.

And here’s the other thing. The fewer top-tier conferences there are, the more leverage they have with ESPN. ESPN could afford to blow off one of the top 6 conferences, if it came down to it, but they cannot afford to blow off 1 of 4. And a single 16-team conference could provide the entire sports programming for an NBC Sports Network. Indeed, the CBS Sports Network is built off a 12 team mid-major conference, two independents, and periodic games from another mid-major conference. A Pac-16 spanning from California to Texas or Missouri offering to give all of their first-tier rights to CBS or NBC Sports would make the network and pose a real threat to ESPN’s monopoly.

This is why ESPN was one of the parties anxious to keep the Big 12 together, Cuban’s protestations notwithstanding. ESPN and Fox both really stepped up to the plate to renegotiate a contract that they were under no obligation to renegotiate, because they see the threat of bidding wars with 4 conferences to be that much more intense than with 6.

3. Out of Conference TV Ready Games Fewer teams in the conference means more opportunity for out of conference games.

No. See above.

4. They Can Pay Players Larger Stipends or Start an NFL Like Development Fund The Big 12 can take the 20mm, 25mm or whatever the amount that would have gone to Texas A&M and do any of the following or whatever else they can think of …

They could do that now, without dipping into the A&M departure fund. Larger stipends would be a drop in the bucket. This is a separate issue.

Conclusion:

None of this is to say that I like the idea of superconferences. On the whole, I don’t and would rather the Big East and Big 12 expand to 12 a piece and call it a day. However, what I want doesn’t matter. The Pac-16 could seriously benefit the schools involved. Or it might not, though hardly for the reasons that Cuban cites. The main concerns would be for specific programs like Arizona and those left behind. And those are schools that are vulnerable in part because they lack influence. As for the schools with influence? Well, they all have their own agendas, monetary and otherwise. And unlike the pro sports leagues, there is no central governing authority that can tell them what to do (unless they have a tribal mascot).

-{Cross-posted to Not a Potted Plant}-


Category: Theater

About the Author


11 Responses to Does Mark Cuban Know Anything About College Football?

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    While this post was long, it wasn’t too long, and I did read it.

    Does Mark Cuban Know Anything About College Football?

    Considering that he went to Indiana, I am inclined to say no. However, he did make his fortune figuring out how to broadcast college sporting events over the internet, so maybe he does.

    Depending on how everything unfolds, there is likely to be roughly…. 68 BCS teams of note when all is said and done.

    Well I would include BYU and Boise St, so let’s make it an even 70.

    The old Pac-8 would spend seven games against fellow old Pac-8 members, and then one or two against eastern division teams.

    But what kind of conference would that be? Facing a team that is ostensibly in your conference once every four years? Just ask the WAC. They were at 10, then expanded to 16 all at once. It was such a failure that the 7 out of the 10, plus UNLV, formed a new conference. I will say this much though, the WAC had a good idea by making the divisions fluid from year to year. There were four groups of four, and those groups didn’t change; however the other group that made up your division changed. If the PAC 16 was to do the same, Group 1 would be UCLA, USC, Stanford, and Cal, Group 2 would be Washington, Washington St, Oregon, and Oregon St, Group 3 would be Arizona St, Arizona, and 2 expansion teams, and Group 4 would be the other 4 expansion teams.
    At least that way you would play everyone in your group every year, and the other teams at least once every three years.

    For example, in 2012 Division A would be Groups 1 and 2, and Division B would be Groups 3 and 4. You play your division once, and two cross-over games for 9 games in toto. Then in 2013 Division A would be Groups 1 and 3, and Division B would be Groups 2 and 4.

    Twenty years ago, A&M and Texas were both in a conference that was almost entirely in-state.

    Hell for four years the conference was ENTIRELY Texas.

    I don’t and would rather the Big East and Big 12 expand to 12 a piece and call it a day.

    The Big 12 can easily do this by accepting SMU and Houston. That way you have the Big 8 Division and the SWC Division. You don’t need TCU because SMU covers the DFW DMA.

    As for the Big East, its biggest problem is that it ALREADY has 16 teams, its just that half of them don’t play Big East football. They are already adding TCU next year, so if it were to add three more teams on top of that, it would leave 20 teams in the conference overall. Of course, no one cares about regular season college basketball anyway, so that might not even be a problem.

    unlike the pro sports leagues, there is no central governing authority that can tell them what to do

    That is because the NCAA is Barney Fife. Membership in it is voluntary. Of course, the Feds could pass a law saying that any school that leaves the NCAA is not eligible for grants and student loans. THAT would keep everyone in line.

    ===

    Everyone keeps saying that there will eventually be four 16-team superconferences. This overlooks the fact that there are currently 68 BCS teams as of 2012. Maybe you need some sort of European Football relegation type system, where every year each of the 4 superconferences MUST bounce one of its members. That way a team can move its way up in the world at the same time.

  2. trumwill says:

    However, he did make his fortune figuring out how to broadcast college sporting events over the internet, so maybe he does.

    That just makes it all the weirder that he doesn’t understand how it all works. Or maybe it does make sense, since he made his fortune with basketball and his scheduling misconceptions actually fit with basketball (everybody plays everybody else).

    Well I would include BYU and Boise St, so let’s make it an even 70.

    I will grant you BYU, but not Boise State. Not that BSU isn’t good enough, but they labor under a contract that will have them playing the bulk of their conference games in MTN hell and they will be making a fraction of BCS money. If we’re talking about performance, the number of “BCS teams” is actually below 50.

    But BYU, while not formally BCS the way that Notre Dame is, does at least have a BCS-caliber contract.

    But what kind of conference would that be? Facing a team that is ostensibly in your conference once every four years?

    Two subconferences, for the most part. Really, though, once you have divisions and you’re playing teams only two of every four years, it all changes anyway. Look at Nebraska and Oklahoma.

    Just ask the WAC. They were at 10, then expanded to 16 all at once. It was such a failure that the 7 out of the 10, plus UNLV, formed a new conference.

    The WAC had two specific problems that the Pac-16 wouldn’t have, though. First, the conference became substantially less competitive, which wouldn’t be the case here. Second, there was no clean division breakage. The Pac-16 doesn’t have this problem precisely, since you have the Pac-8 and the rest. I still don’t understand why Arizona and Arizona State (and to a lesser extent Utah) are so hip to cutting themselves off from California. But the big issue with the way that the WAC-16 broke down was that you had to split up the AFA-CSU-Wyo axis and you were separating all of the front range schools from BYU and Utah, the conference’s bread and butter. They might have had more luck if they’d left Tulsa out and instead added a team from the west like Nevada. You still would have had the problem of the front range schools being cut off, but they would have been able to establish recruiting pipelines to Texas if they’d kept constant divisions.

    It’s funny you should mention their divisional set-up as I was thinking about that today. With nine conference games, you’d play every team every other year. On the other hand, as I mention above, that’s not entirely sufficient to maintain close ties. Subconferences might be the better way to go. Sucks for the Arizona schools, though. I keep saying that, but goodness, if I was them I would be going apespit over this and pointing out to the California schools the lack of academic credentials of OSU and TT trying to start a riot.

    Hell for four years the conference was ENTIRELY Texas.

    Yeah, but that was a dead conference walking, from the moment Arkansas left. I read an article saying that Texas and A&M encouraged them to go so that they could get cover to leave.

    The Big 12 can easily do this by accepting SMU and Houston. That way you have the Big 8 Division and the SWC Division. You don’t need TCU because SMU covers the DFW DMA.

    Yeah, but the SWC failed for a reason. In retrospect, they needed to reach out to some combination of BYU, Louisville, and Cincinnati while they had the illusion of stability.

    As for the Big East, its biggest problem is that it ALREADY has 16 teams, its just that half of them don’t play Big East football. They are already adding TCU next year, so if it were to add three more teams on top of that, it would leave 20 teams in the conference overall. Of course, no one cares about regular season college basketball anyway, so that might not even be a problem.

    I think 12/20 is what they have in mind if they can get ahold of Missouri, K-State, and Kansas. Or, absent Missouri, then one other school. Of course, they’re unlikely to come out of this with 9/17 whether the Big 12 implodes or not.

    One of the things I have been thinking is that the remainders of the Big 12 ought to approach the Big East and offer to take the whole conference in. Fourteen teams, minus whatever pilfering goes on. That would allow the Big East teams the opportunity to cleanly leave the basketball schools behind and share in the exit fee lucre.

    It doesn’t appear to be headed that way, though. Rather, every school for itself.

    That is because the NCAA is Barney Fife. Membership in it is voluntary. Of course, the Feds could pass a law saying that any school that leaves the NCAA is not eligible for grants and student loans. THAT would keep everyone in line.

    It would also really, really piss off the NAIA.

    Everyone keeps saying that there will eventually be four 16-team superconferences. This overlooks the fact that there are currently 68 BCS teams as of 2012. Maybe you need some sort of European Football relegation type system, where every year each of the 4 superconferences MUST bounce one of its members. That way a team can move its way up in the world at the same time.

    I think everybody is leaping to this conclusion way, way too quickly. Right now, even if the B1G and SEC go to 16 (I think the SEC is likely in the event of a B12 implosion, the B1G less so), you’re still looking at potentially 18-20 teams between the BE and ACC (depending on what happens to Baylor and whether B1G nabs ND). On top of that, you have a handful of quality programs in Conference USA, plus Temple and UMass. That’s enough to restock, unless there is the sense that they *absolutely have* to go to 16. But that’s something I think they should be wary of. A 16 team ACC is much more likely to have the divisional problems the WAC-16 had.

    That being said, if I’m Baylor, Iowa State, TCU, or South Florida, I’m more than a bit worried at the moment.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    With nine conference games, you’d play every team every other year.

    You can play three schools every year and twelve schools every other year. You can also use a five year cycle, playing each school three times during that cycle. You can also play five schools in division and four from outside.

    The problem with any of these are two fold. First, schools like playing their biggest rival every year. If you work around that, the above formulas require some more tweaking. More importantly though, people would look askance at a set up where a division did not play a round robin against itself. At least with my system, even if four of your divisional opponents change from year to year, at least you will play EVERYONE in your division every year.

    It would also really, really piss off the NAIA.

    I was actually thinking that the BCS schools would form their organization. Call it the College Sports Confederation or something like that. They sure wouldn’t share their loot with the NAIA schools. For those who think that the NCAA has to last forever, once upon a time the AAU was the dominant force, and the AIAW ran womens’ college sports 30 years ago.

    That being said, if I’m Baylor, Iowa State, TCU, or South Florida, I’m more than a bit worried at the moment.

    I still don’t know how Baylor made the cut for the Big 12 in the first place. Maybe they felt they couldn’t split up the Houston schools and the Dallas schools. When I was a kid, the sport Baylor was known for was debate. Really. If the Big 12 wanted to improve their academic reputation, they would have taken Rice, since Houston was joining CUSA anyway.

    It should be pointed out that Vanderbilt and Northwestern are the only private schools in their conferences, and they generally finish closer to the basement than the ceiling. Their academic reputations may save them.

    OT

    It is being reported that the SEC has accepted TXA&M’s overtures. However, they are currently being cock blocked by Baylor, speak of the devil.

    Baylor’s president is Kenneth Starr. That name may sound familiar. Depending on your political leanings, he is either a Defender of Truth and Justice, or a modern day Javert.

    An aside, when Starr turned 52, NJ Congressman Mike Pappas sang a song on the FLOOR OF CONGRESS in honor of Starr; he called it Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr. Less than four months later, Pappas was voted out of office.

  4. trumwill says:

    You can play three schools every year and twelve schools every other year. You can also use a five year cycle, playing each school three times during that cycle. You can also play five schools in division and four from outside.

    Yeah, that first one is what I had in mind. You play your quadrant, the other quadrant in your temporary division, and then two teams from a third quadrant. The next cycle you play the fourth quadrant and the other two teams from the third. The third cycle you play the third quadrant all the way through and two from the second quadrant. The fourth cycle you play the other half of the second quadrant and the fourth quadrant. In the fifth cycle you play everybody in the second quadrant and two from the fourth. The sixth cycle has you playing four from the third and the other two from the fourth. In six cycles, you’ve played everybody thrice.

    Every team from the division should play every other team. Otherwise, you can end up with two undefeated teams and a lot of headaches.

    The problem with any of these are two fold. First, schools like playing their biggest rival every year. If you work around that, the above formulas require some more tweaking.

    The biggest rivals are all intra-quadrant, I think. So I don’t think that’s a problem. And the six-cycle program I mention above has you playing everyone in your division each year.

    I was actually thinking that the BCS schools would form their organization. Call it the College Sports Confederation or something like that.

    The public pressure against this would be huge. Beyond that, I think they mostly get what they want now. I don’t see the incentives.

    I still don’t know how Baylor made the cut for the Big 12 in the first place.

    Believe it or not, they were the fourth best team at the time (Rice and TCU weren’t far behind). There were also some political things going on, and I think one or two of the others were on probation for some reason or another.

    Rice has a problem with size. Even Northwestern and Vanderbilt are substantially larger. I think only Tulsa is smaller.

    It is being reported that the SEC has accepted TXA&M’s overtures. However, they are currently being cock blocked by Baylor, speak of the devil.

    Apparently, a bunch of other schools have joined in. Texas “Hey, we’re just doing what’s best for us!” A&M is outraged that Baylor is… doing what’s best for Baylor.

    That’s really weird about Mike Pappas. If I recall, Starr’s successor was from Jersey, wasn’t he?

    -{modified by Trumwill to correct the cycling}-

  5. superdestroyer says:

    My understanding that the super conferences are all about cable networks. The Big 10 schools are getting a massive financial windfall from the Big 10 channel(s). The SEC, Pac-whatever, and combined ACC/BE are doing to want the same cable channels and the same guaranteed income.

    I think that any schools that is left out of the four super conferences will eventually neither drop back to Div. I-AA or give up football. There is no way that Conference USA or the Mountain West survives in a super conference era. Then schools like Houston, Rice, or Tulane face the problem of finding a conferrence for the non-football sports. I think that a school like Housotn would drop sports before moving down to the Southland conference.

    Also, the four superconferences will eliminate independents since if Notre Dame is not in one of the four super conferences then where does Notre Dame’s basketball teams play?

    I suspect that the four super conferences will eventually leave the NCAA and concentrate on football while dropping non-revenue men’s sports.

  6. trumwill says:

    My understanding that the super conferences are all about cable networks. The Big 10 schools are getting a massive financial windfall from the Big 10 channel(s). The SEC, Pac-whatever, and combined ACC/BE are doing to want the same cable channels and the same guaranteed income.

    Cable networks are only a part of the package. They make a whole lot of money from ESPN and Fox, too. That’s one of the areas where Cuban is off-base. He acts like (for example) the Big Ten would have to keep everything on BTN even if they went to 16. But they don’t keep everything on BTN now. You want/need enough teams to justify your own network, but beyond that you’re almost certainly selling games to other networks.

    I think that any schools that is left out of the four super conferences will eventually neither drop back to Div. I-AA or give up football. There is no way that Conference USA or the Mountain West survives in a super conference era.

    I don’t see why that’s the case. Ultimately, all of the channels need content. Even though Conference USA has never fielded a BCS team, they’re still sitting on a multimillion dollar contract because CBS Sports needs the content. Whether it’s 6 conferences with 67 teams or 4 conferences with 64, the number of games don’t change. You would need some other factor to kill off C-USA or the MWC.

    Then schools like Houston, Rice, or Tulane face the problem of finding a conferrence for the non-football sports. I think that a school like Housotn would drop sports before moving down to the Southland conference.

    I don’t see why that’s the case. If teams start dropping from FCS to I-AA en masse, they form new conferences with one another. Rice and Tulane may give up football because they have enough other things going on, likely 9 or 10 of the twelve current C*USA members hold on to theirs, which is enough for a conference by itself. If geography is a problem, the western halfs of C-USA and the Sun Belt team up and form one conference while the eastern half forms another. The same applies to MWC+WAC. Excluding the teams from Texas and Louisiana, they’re sitting on 14 teams combined. Maybe one or two drop their football programs, but the only one I see doing that is San Jose State.

    Also, the four superconferences will eliminate independents since if Notre Dame is not in one of the four super conferences then where does Notre Dame’s basketball teams play?

    They could play in the non-FB Big East. There are eight Big East programs that don’t play football in the BE. That being said, if the Big Ten goes to 16, there is a really good chance that Notre Dame is among them. But not for a lack of an alternative home.

    I suspect that the four super conferences will eventually leave the NCAA and concentrate on football while dropping non-revenue men’s sports.

    If they had the guts to do that, they would probably drop several teams along the way, and you’d end up with less than 64.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    If the football playing schools in the Big East move into a football superconference (Say with Syracuse and Rutgers in the Big 10 and Uconn, WVU, and Pitt into the ACC with Cinn being on the outside looking in, then the Big East non-football schools will form their own conference and leave Notre Dame out of it. The Big East conference will do back to its roots of a basketball conference for eastern schools like St Johns, Georgetown, and Seton Hall.

    A lot if made of how a winning sports program helps a school but no one ever discusses the flip side. How many people do not want to attend a place like Troy, University of North Texas, Bowling Green because their sports teams are regularly routed while serving as a cream puff to a real sports program.

    Eventually all of the schools will fiture out that there is no reason to lose millions on a sports program that pulls the school down. In the future, if a school is not in one of the four superconferences, then the schools will be seen as second rate. Rice and Tulane would be better off without sports instead of having a large number of loser programs. What is a really good indication is that the smart schools like Rice, Tulsa, Tulane have lousy women’s program when smart schools are usually much better at women’s sports.

    Why should the students at hawaii, Houston, or Temple pay millions of dollars in student service fees to finance an athletic program that no one cares about?

  8. Mike Hunt says:

    I didn’t know you were implying a quadrant system as well. In that case, yes, your biggest rivals would be in your quadrant, so you would play them every year. Keeping the divisions flexible is the key to making a 16 team conference work.

    To show you how closely I follow college football in general, I didn’t realize until today that Baylor beat TCU last weekend. So much for the Horned Frogs. Apparently the Big East is rubbing off on them a year early.

    Last weekend I was rooting for South Florida, and they won. This Saturday I will be rooting for Michigan.

    If I recall, Starr’s successor was from Jersey, wasn’t he?

    If you are referring to Robert Ray, congratulations. You win the Obscure Reference of the Day.

  9. trumwill says:

    More to come, but while I had the window open, I wanted to point out that Colorado is indeed nonplussed at the prospect of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State entering the Big 12. I have to think that the same applies – only moreso – to Arizona, ASU, and Utah. That’s enough to prevent the expansion from happening all by itself. So do they cave?

  10. trumwill says:

    SuperD,

    I don’t see the BE kicking ND out in any event. It’s one of their better programs. It also gives them a bridge to Marquette, another good program. The western three are out of the immediate geographical footprint, but they are private, Catholic schools just like the rest.

    Though they’ve been on a backslide in recent years, North Texas won multiple consecutive conference championships. Troy and Bowling Green are periodic bowlers. Hawaii and Houston produce Heisman candidates and go bowling almost every year. Temple has become one of the better teams in its conference and has a rich basketball history. One of the great things about college football is that you don’t have to be a champion. Everybody has different levels of expectation. The above accomplishments, such as they are, still draw them more attention than FCS schools, which draw more attention than schools like UT-Dallas which are almost entirely without athletics programs.

    Maybe there will come a day when they decide it’s not worth it, but most of the momentum is in the other direction (new programs forming, other programs moving up).

  11. trumwill says:

    I didn’t know you were implying a quadrant system as well. In that case, yes, your biggest rivals would be in your quadrant, so you would play them every year. Keeping the divisions flexible is the key to making a 16 team conference work.

    My initial idea was two divisions and then sparse cross-divisional games, which is the route I think they would go. But I guess our minds were working in tandem, because I had already developed the six cycles by the time you mentioned the WAC-16.

    Baylor actually has an amazing quarterback. As long as they have him, I expect them to continue to do really well. It was still kind of funny that the Baylor fans stormed the field after beating a MWC team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.