News and Rumors 2-20-13

Just yesterday the Twittersphere was abuzz with multiple “insider” sources tweeting and/or posting articles regarding some B1G news/rumors.  Trying to keep track of the time-line is too difficult, so I’ll just add what I’ve seen posted and share below.

@InsideMDSports guy – Jeff Ermann (one of the 1st to report the Maryland to B1G story) – tweeted the following,

  • “Big 10 talk buzzing again. #UVA being mentioned often as likely to join. Georgia Tech still in the mix. #UNC, the big domino, has an offer.

As if in direct response, USA Today’s Dan Wolken tweeted,

  • “Never say never, I guess, but after talking with UNC officials tonight the idea they have anything going on with the B1G seems far-fetched”

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Chicago-area lawyer/blogger/expansionite -Frank the Tank (@frankthetank111), followed that up with his take…

  • B1G Dirty South Expansion. - “…I’ll reiterate that the Tar Heels are going to be one of the toughest nuts to crack in conference realignment (if they’re even crackable at all) since TV money alone isn’t going to sway them.  The ACC culture is strong at that school and, even if there are other defections from that league, UNC alone could keep the rest of the conference together just as the presence of Texas kept the Big 12 together…”

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Christopher Lambert (@theDudeofWV), who tweets more often than any other twitter dude out there, and one of the “big Boys” of Conference Expansion news/rumors- added a couple of particularly interesting tweets,

  • “The “rumor” (the source is credible) is that the B1G will hit 20 by 2017. The first 4 are UVA, GT, UNC and FSU.”
  • “B1G is counting on ND as #19 with a school that in no way fits the B1G profile or makes @ sense as #20. It’s NOT PITT!”

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Greg Swaim (@GSwaim) multi-tweeted the following…

  • “Sounds like #Duke left out, as #B1G will offer #UNC & #UVA, but #B1G will allow UNC-Duke rivalry to continue in non-conference. #ACC”
  • “There’s no question that #Terps vs #ACC has delayed #B1G raids, but not as much as some think. Told Delaney is “all systems go” today.”

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John Pennington (@MrSEC) has posted a couple of interesting blogs in the past couple of days…

  • NCAA Won’t Dismiss the ACC’s Lawsuit Against Maryland. - “Multiple sources have told MrSEC.com that Virginia and Georgia Tech have had conversations with the Big Ten, but all parties involved are waiting to see the outcome of the ACC/Maryland battle before deciding to wed.  There have been other reports that the Big Ten has had contact with North Carolina and Duke as well…”
  • Don’t Like the Idea of 20 Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They  Won’t Last Long. - “With the exception of the Big XII and the revolving door that is the Big East, the biggest conferences have been getting even bigger. Money is the obvious motivation. Conferences are adding schools so they can make more television dollars off an increased amount of content (games). Schools are switching conferences in order to find a better pay day. But if history is a guide, don’t expect any super-conferences currently on the horizon to stick together for too long. Contracts, grant-of-rights agreements, and exit fees be damned… those leagues expanding to 18, 20, or more schools will eventually splinter right back apart…”

    –Greg Pappas

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5 thoughts on “News and Rumors 2-20-13

  1. What do you think of this realignment scenario:

    B1G + RU, UMd, UVa, UNC, GT, FSU, UT, ND

    West

    UNL
    UT
    IA
    Ill
    NW

    North

    UW
    Minn
    UM
    IU
    OSU

    Central

    ND
    MSU
    PU
    GT
    FSU

    East

    PSU
    RU
    UMd
    UNC
    UVa

    Notes: Texas would be an outlier but the chance to associate with academic and athletic heavyweights including the likes of ND, Mich, OSU, FSU, UNL and PSU may be too good to pass up. They’ll get to keep playing OU OOC and maybe renew the A&M rivalry, depending on how the schedule shakes up. UNL gets renewed access to the Texas recruiting market, a major plus for them.

    ND would have access to annual games in the coveted Southeast, along with opportunities to play in Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia and the mid-Atlantic states. FSU-ND becomes an annual match-up, a potential ratings bonanza. Purdue and Mich State get to keep playing Notre Dame and not have to give up playing conference games. Plus, two engineering schools get to play each other annually. Oh, and ND can play Navy, USC and Stanford with a 9-game schedule.

    Penn State gets a much better division to play in, geographically. Games in NJ, Md, NC and Va would be ideal for them in terms of travel. They’d get more chances to get into the conference playoffs under this scenario.

    Teams with chances to get into the playoffs include: OSU, Mich, ND, Mich State, FSU, UT, UNL, PSU, UW, IA

    At this point, the Big Ten may have to change their name to something more national. My suggestion would be Big American Conference.

    Remnants of the B12 and ACC, after the B1G and SEC get their picks, would merge together to keep a presence in the Big 4 playoff picture. As long as they can keep their Champions Bowl arrangement with the SEC, then they’d have a home.

    Here’s how it could shake out:

    OU, OSU, TT, BU, TCU, KU, KSU, ISU, WVU, UL, Pitt, Syr, BC, WF, Duke, Clemson, Miami

    Add UConn, Cincinnati, USF

    Southwest

    TT
    OU
    OSU
    BU
    TCU

    Central

    KU
    KSU
    ISU
    Cincinnati
    Pitt

    Northeast

    BC
    Syr
    UConn
    Duke
    WF

    Southeast

    Clemson
    USF
    Miami
    UL
    WVU

    This merged conference could have a TV contract with the likes of ESPN, Fox and NBCU. Channels like ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and NBCSN/NBC would be used. CBS could come in for select basketball games. This may be a nice Best-of-the-Rest conference that could emerge.

    Tell me what you think.

    • Thanks again for the replies…

      I’d be utterly shocked if Texas joined the B1G, but stranger things have happened. Much of the setup you laid out would come into play in a 20-team B1G. I’m not sure I the pods would play out as you have them, but regardless, there would be a lot of debate for sure.

      Regarding a Big 12 without Texas, again- I can’t see it, unless Texas went west with 3-5 other Big 12 schools.

      • You may be right. Texas would be isolated in this set-up. In that case, the B1G can do 18 teams. The thing is that they would not go to 3 divisions. It would have to be 2 9-team divisions, instead. Some would want a much more complicated formula where there’d be a bunch of teams in the middle in a pod and two static divisions on the flanks, arguing that traditional match-ups are too important to be tampered with. I’d argue that if they hold on to tradition then, eventually, the SEC would be unreachable. The SEC can get away with being regional because of natural recruiting advantages. Same can’t be said for the B1G, long term.

        • Yes, the most likely scenario is two 9-team divisions. But if you’re going 18, 20 works better, and adds even more (arguably) to the conference. It would stay at 18 until ND’s contract runs out (if that’s the move Delany has in mind), so I believe the B1G can go to 20 in 2017.

  2. Another realignment scenario (and I think this rumor makes incredible sense when you hear it), based on a rumor I read at another message board. Basically, this person said that he was riding on the way to work in Chicago and he overheard two Northwestern alums chatting and one has a position within the college where he heard that the B1G is trying to convince South Carolina to jump to go along with UNC, FSU, GT. Before you disbelieve me, know that UNC and USCe had a rivalry dating back when both were in the ACC. I think the B1G knows that the SEC would offer both UNC and Duke spots so that they go there together. That would also reignite the UNC/USCe rivalry on a permanent basis, plus keep Duke as their main basketball foe.

    So the way to counter would have to be offering academics at USCe a coveted spot in the CIC, which is considered the premiere academic consortium among colleges. I’m keenly aware that USCe is not a powerhouse in academics. However, there may come a point that the B1G may have to bend on this one, or risk losing access to the fertile recruiting territory for generations to come. The sixth and final spot would go to Duke (and should JHU join in lacrosse) for the BTN. Then the lacrosse league would be: Duke, UNC, UVa, UMd, JHU, RU, PSU, OSU, UM

    I have no idea if this idea would work at all but that would be a huge embarrassment to the SEC, who pride themselves as the best conference in the land. Losing USCe, when it’s already becoming one of the big dogs in football, would not go down well in Birmingham. At least Clemson would be available as a back up. Still, having no exit fees nor grant of rights could come back to bite them right on the ass.

    FSU, GT, USCe, UNC, Duke, UVa, UMd, PSU, RU, OSU, UM, MSU, IU, P, IL, NW, UW, Minn, IA, NE

    Pods would be problematic. You just can’t separate OSU-UM. So you shift them west and shift MSU east

    FSU, GT, USCe, UNC, Duke
    UVa, PSU, UMd, RU, MSU
    UM, OSU, P, IU, IL
    NW, UW, Minn, IA, NE

    Pods A and C rotate
    Pods B and D rotate

    both every two years

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