Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yes, the Big XII is a Joke

I'd been avoiding any discussion of college football lest it renew any bitter, hate-filled exchanges between Pac 10 supporters and certain Utah fans.  But a commenter asked, so here's a thread on the moving and shaking in the college football world.

1.  No, U$C, you cannot pay cash to your players to play for you.  And as a memo to your anonymous sources claiming that the sanctions are warranted if you're a UCLA fan:  The sanctions are warranted if you care about the integrity of college sports--95% of which offers no promise of 8-figure lucrative professional contracts, just the chance to get a great education for free.  The arrogance / chutzpah is just breathtaking. 

2.  Can we finally concede that the Big XII (and by association Mack Brown) are a joke?  One team is about to move and that sets off dominos where the whole conference IMPLODES.  If Nebraska, which hasn't been relevant in 15 years, is the glue that holds your conference together, then yeah, you've got issues. 

3.  Implications?  There's lots of internet chatter about what all is about to go down.  One prospect is Nebraska going to Big 10 (which now actually becomes 12 schools), and six of the Big XII coming to the Pac 10.  The Pac 10 would then have two, 8-team divisions (Arizona and ASU, the last two to join the Pac 10 would merge with the 6 Big XII schools).  At this point there's already several "If"s that need to happen so I'll stop with the hypotheses. 

What this is showing is the complete failure of the NCAA.  Raise your hand if you think these moves have nothing to do with money.  I thought so.  Clearly money is a huge part of college athletics (see no. 1 above).  It shouldn't be.  But it is.  The NCAA has been an ostrich in all of least when it comes to football.  Long ago, the NCAA asserted its control over men's basketball and created the tournament that drives us all crazy in March.  Yet when it comes to football we have independent conferences governing play.  This is like 40 years ago the NFL and the AFL competing for TV/ticket dollars.  It's really time to end the charade.  Other than serving as a middleman between schools and TV contracts, I don't see the point of independent conferences.  Put all (the old D1A) schools on the same field.  Conferences become nothing more than geographic organization tools--no different than the conferences and divisions in professional sports.  Bowls can stay, but they now become regional battles like in the Men's Basketball tournament.  Winners play maybe 2 extra games to determine a national champion.  The argument that the NCAA cares about football players and therefore does not want to expose them to extra games does not wash.  If they gave a rat's ass about student athlete's they'd remove the archane rules governing scholarships.

There's lots to chew on since the Nebraska news broke.  Feel free to chime.  Did I mention the Big XII is a joke? 



Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/10/2010 1:29 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I spent most of last night reading up on this, and I guess this is the basic deal for the Pac 10-12-16:

1) Pac-10's ideal plan is to pick up 6 of the Big XII teams, making the new Pac-16 pretty much THE superconference in America and allowing them to create their own very lucrative television network. (With that many Texas teams, we might have to drop the Pac- moniker, though). Reports are that the 6 teams in question are ready to commit to the plan if Nebraska leaves the Big XII--which now looks certain to happen.

2) If for some reason the above plan falls apart, the Pac-10 will still expand to the Pac-12, likely picking up Utah and Colorado (AND NOT BYU, HAHAHAHA) so they can bring in the SLC and Denver tv markets and still create a quite lucrative television network (though not as lucrative as Pac-16).

I'm pretty much in favor of either of these plans, although obviously I hope for the second. The Big XII needed to go, and the Pac-10 deserves to be the best conference in America. The questions that remain are:

1) What does this mean for the BCS? ESPN just renewed their contract with the BCS, which presumably included the Big XII. With no Big XII, can the contract be invalidated? I'll check my Conviser Mini-Review.

2) Does this make a playoff more likely? Fewer major conferences seemingly could make a playoff option more realistic. Perhaps pit the conference champions against each other and allow the mid-majors play-in games or a couple at-large bids. It could shake out any number of different ways, but seems to me it damages the prior system, which means greater likelihood of a new one.

3) What does this mean for the Mountain West Conference? With Utah, BYU, and TCU proving that they can play more-or-less at a national level (Utah = More, BYU and TCU = Less), the MWC seems ready to fill in the maligned-little-brother role the Big XII will leave empty. They may even pick up some former Big XII teams, or do the smart thing and add Boise State. This would be good for my Utes, but it also undercuts my analysis under #2 (above), since if the MWC becomes basically a new BCS-conference, we remain stuck with the shitty BCS system.

One thing is for sure: it's going to be an interesting summer for college football fans.

6/10/2010 1:31 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

It is not only about Nebraska. Colorado also already agreed to join the Pac10, see jHcwD9G8K4T82 or the Pac10 homepage.

The upcoming cascade is Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.

The question I have is how does this benefit the Pac10? As I understand it the Pac10 does not want to adopt an SEC style championship, and possibly are trying to get an automatic BCS bid for each division. If that were to happen, then it would be less of a Pac16 and more of a Pac8 West and Pac8 East. The various Texas games would not get Bay Area TV coverage, and Washington games wouldn't be on in Oklahoma. Perhaps I just miss the broad business implications.

Also, too bad Utah didn't get an offer from the Pac10! But, if the aforementioned five teams join the Pac10, the leftover Big12 teams may find a home with Utah, BYU and TCU in the Mountain West.

6/10/2010 1:34 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Also, it seems Dan beat me to the punch for the most part. Also, he employed numbering for greater clarity. Looks like this round goes to the-other-Utahan.

6/10/2010 1:41 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Sean, you're conflating TV markets with TV revenue. TV market determines which game will be broadcast, for example, on ABC's local affiliate. That's not the Pac 10's concern. Pac 10's concern is the overall TV revenue, which for a long time now has been below par compared to the SEC and Big 10. The Big 10, in a stroke of genius, created a lucrative TV network for ALL conference sports, and then licensed the games through that network. In 2011, when the Pac 10's TV deals run out, it will negotiate a much more lucrative TV package that'll benefit all the schools. Ever notice how ESPN's night games never included a Pac 10 matchup unless it was against Ohio State? Well this will change that.

6/10/2010 1:44 PM  
Blogger Earl Warren said...

The only, only, only way this doesn't ruin the Pac-10, the Rose Bowl, tradition, and all that is sweet and light in the world is if you split the new Pac-xas 16 into two divisions, guarantee a BCS Bowl to each division champ, and let the Rose Bowl get first dibs on the "Pac-16 Western Division" champ -- e.g., all the current schools now minus the AZ programs. (You desert people only joined in 1975 anyway; you're dispensable).

That would at least sort-of preserve the greatest tradition and greatest bowl game in the country.

That would also sort of preserve the majority of the geographic balance, equity, and symmetry that makes the Pac-10 regular season a beautiful thing right now. Basically, in such a set-up, you'd have the old Pac-8 play a 7-game round robin, throw in 4 OOC games against terrible, terrible patsies no one has ever heard of (the SEC can teach us that trick!) and then schedule one rotating game against a team from the Eastern Division.

That would be tolerable, I suppose.

Anything else -- such as no continuity for the old Pac-8, or some bullshit championship game among the whole conference to determine the Rose Bowl rep, would be a total, unmitigated disaster.

I mean, doesn't the Rose Bowl have something to say in all this? Do they really want a "Granddaddy of Them All" match-up featuring....Big 16 champ Nebraska v. Pac 16 champ Oklahoma State? Puke on that now.

6/10/2010 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares. UCLA and USC both suck balls, anyway. So does anything north of Cal.

6/10/2010 2:15 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been reading more articles on the subject, specifically about the disparity in overall contract value between the Big10, SEC and Pac10. This article is particularly enlightening:

6/10/2010 3:04 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

@Sean, where did you hear the Pac-912 wasn't going to have a championship game? I would think that would be a major potential source of revenue.

6/10/2010 3:59 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

"Most reports have the Pac-16 staying in two divisions. The biggest reason being that the Pac-16 may not want a championship game, instead prefer[r]ing an automatic BCS bid for both divisions. Such a strategy could potentially see the Pac-16 having two teams play for the National Championship."

I saw it in a couple other articles too, but have yet to see any official sources. While the championship game would be a source of revenue, two BCS teams would be as well since each appearance gets the conference gobs of cash.

6/10/2010 5:51 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Interesting. At that point, why call it one conference at all?

6/10/2010 7:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Domino #2 is a very good domino:

6/11/2010 10:32 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Maybe MWC will get the Big12 BCS bid!

6/11/2010 10:45 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I think that will almost certainly happen, unless the Pac-914 makes a major push for two BCS bids (which they probably will).

So, I heard from a pretty reliable source in Utah sports radio that Utah is going to accept an invite to the Pac-11 in the next few days, and this Boise St business is the MWC preparing for the loss. If that's true, it probably means that the Pac-11 is going with the scaled-back expansion plan, which I think would be a good thing for pretty much everyone who frequents this blog. Utah gets to play with the big boys, and the tradition of the Pac-X with the Rose Bowl, etc, remains more or less uncorrupted.

6/11/2010 11:03 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

But what would become of the Holy War?

6/11/2010 1:09 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oh I'm sure they'd still play each other every year. And some years it will be a situation where one has a chance to royally screw up the other's season. Most other years will still be great because of the pure straight hatred we have for each other. I'm not too worried.

It would be immensely satisfying to leave them behind, though.

Also, it's somewhat possible they will get picked up by a reformed Big 12 (HA!)

6/11/2010 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not call it the Aztlan Conference? covers pretty similar region.

6/11/2010 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol at the pac-10. easily the worst conference in every sport now.

6/14/2010 5:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

In like a lion, out like this:

Looks like the Big 12 will remain intact and the Pac-10 will become the Pac-11 or 12 (hopefully adding Utah asap). I will sleep soundly tonight, knowing that my Utes will likely soon take their rightful place in the big leagues, leaving BYU to languish in obscurity.

6/14/2010 6:51 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Invite extended to Utah.

6/16/2010 3:04 PM  
Blogger corsii said...

off topic - Prop 8 is back up and running

6/16/2010 4:45 PM  

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