Why Arkansas will not leave the SEC

 Looks like it is going to be a long, hot summer on the expansion front with reporters chasing ghosts and rumors of ghosts.

A radio station in Kansas City got everybody hot and bothered yesterday when it reported that the Big Ten had already extended offers to four schools: Missouri, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Rutgers. For the rest of the day there was one report after another from those respective campuses saying: “That’s news to us.”

Understand that a story like this is not true right up until the minute that it is. In other words, the invitations won’t be (officially) extended by the Big Ten until that league already knows they will be accepted.

The Big Ten is not going to extend and invitation to a school and say “No hurry, guys. Just do your homework and get back to us when you can.”

Nobody will get a chance to say “No” publicly to the Big Ten.

So let’s talk about something we do know when it comes to expansion and it is this: There has been speculation that if Missouri and/or Nebraska leave the Big 12 that SEC member Arkansas would be tempted to go back to its Southwest Conference roots. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier speculated as much on a recent conference call of SEC coaches.

Let me tell you in no uncertain terms why that won’t happen. Back in 1991 Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC because athletics director Frank Broyles, one of the shrewdest administrators to ever walk on a college campus, could look down the road and see that he’d make more money—a lot more money—in the SEC. Commissioner Roy Kramer had a plan that entailed a 12-team conference with a championship game.

You’d have to say that Frank Broyles was right. In 1990 the 10 SEC schools shared $16.4 million, about $1.6 million per school.  Today, the SEC now has a $3 billion TV contract with CBS and ESPN. This season each SEC school will receive about $17 million in shared revenue during the spring meetings in Destin.

When you are trying to guess what school will land where if there is expansion upheaval, remember that these decisions made on the basis of money. Also remember that the SEC and the Big Ten are the big financial dogs in this game. Arkansas is not going to jump off the SEC train for less money in the Big 12. And they would get less money.

Berry Trammel, the fine reporter with the Daily Oklahoman, pointed out earlier this year that while the Big Ten and the SEC share their revenue equally, the Big 12 does not. The Big 12 puts half of its revenue in a common pool which is shared equally. The other half goes into an “appearance” pool and is passed out based on the number of times a team is on TV. Obviously a system like that accrues greater benefits to Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. The gap between Texas, which will earn about $12 million this season, and the bottom team in the league is several million dollars.

 Obviously, the other members of the Big 12 don’t particularly like this arrangement but those three schools, especially Texas, make up the engine that drives the financial train. You want Texas to leave? Try changing that formula.

Missouri will go to the Big Ten if offered for that very reason. Do you think Arkansas wants to jump into that environment? No chance.

 

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262 comments Add your comment

[...] but no offers have been made – KansasCity.com Video Podcast: Big Ten expansion – CBSSports.com Why Arkansas will not leave the SEC | Mr. College Football Big Ten denies report it reached out to 4 schools – Chicago Breaking Sports Steven M. Sipple: We [...]

Kid Ray

May 11th, 2010
10:33 am

Go Rutgers!!!

T3

May 11th, 2010
10:34 am

“Mr. College Football?” What a misnomer.

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
10:37 am

Ga gator, I have been closely following SEC football for 40 years. The dirty little secret of the SEC is that very often the zeal of the fans is somehow confused for the football strength of the conference. As it happens, that is now becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy because of the obscene contract with ESPN. But, Ga Gator, you should not get your causes and effects mixed up.

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
10:39 am

of all of the unworthy, why has fate shined on Rutgers? They should collecively immediately drop to the ground and praise Jesus.

T3

May 11th, 2010
10:40 am

Folks, TB is really just Mike SLive’s “mouthpiece.”

No real journalistic merit. Just “spin.”

The very fact that TB is EVEN writing an article about Arkansas’s future shod serve as “confirmaton” that Arkansas is ALREADY in “casual & unofficial” discussions with some of thier old SWC/Big12 friends.

5IML

May 11th, 2010
10:42 am

Hogfan,

Speaking strictly for myself, I have enjoyed having Ark in the conference and hope you guys stay. The SEC expanded back when I was at BAMA. I remember Nolan and the 40 minutes of hell and the track championships.

My statement about the Ark hype was centered on your defense. I don’t think there will be enough improvement to make real noise this year.

Dawgboy

May 11th, 2010
10:45 am

No to Klempsin. We don’t need their cheating ways in the SEC. We have come too far to back up with that bunch.

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
10:48 am

Another dirty little secret – Klimpsin is actually a significantly better university than UGa…cheating ways or not.

ga gator

May 11th, 2010
10:49 am

Kiffinisatosser, so if the SEC is not the premier conference for football, which one would you say since you are such an observer?

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
10:56 am

Ga Gator, of course the SEC is now the premier conference. But (i) it is not as dominant as folks like to think – USC danced a jig on the SEC when they played Auburn (who was good) and Arkie (who was not). Even lowly UConn laid a total ass kicking onto Carolina last year in he bowl game. (ii) it usually plays its most meaningful games with itself – poor OOC scheduling except Bama and Georgia of late. (iii) it now is getting a huge artificial boost from ESPN in the form of massive cash transfer. You seem to think I am an outsider but I grew up in the South and attended an SEC university.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
11:00 am

Can’t understand why folks are always talking about getting rid of Arkansas.

They brought 2 basketball national championships to the sec, numerous track championships, and made 4 seccg appearances which is more than MSU 1, Ole Miss zero. and AU 2 combined. They have the boot rivalry with LSU, they have been a thorn in Bama’s side for years and have given AU and LSU a hard time quite a few times. They are competitive and bring a proud football tradition to the table and they pack a 72,000 plus stadium game in and game out. What’s the problem?

Somebody mentioned culture but I’ve been to Ark several times and to me they certainly don’t identify themselves as Westerners but more as southerners like the rest of us in Miss, Alabama, and Tenn. The single negative I can see is that when they win the west they have poor attendance at the seccg due to distance but that’s about it. Geographically they border 3 sec states including the states of 3 division rivals and the other 2 division rivals in Bama and AU are only 1 state removed. No reason to boot Ark whatsoever.

HugoStiglitz

May 11th, 2010
11:01 am

Kiffin, Rutgers is going to get an invite to the Big Ten because they are strong academically and because geographically they extend the footprint of the conference. They are actually a pretty good fit. There are some professors and administrators at Rutgers who are pretty opposed to joining though.

stubby

May 11th, 2010
11:03 am

Arkansas only won one NCAA basketball title, not two.

HogFan

May 11th, 2010
11:04 am

5IML,
Oh you had to bring up the defense. It is the only thing keeping us up at night. I think I am trying to block them out of my memory.

JB

May 11th, 2010
11:07 am

T3, buffoon, at large. Do you really think AR would leave the SEC? Is Jerry Jones, your obvious hero, gonna make up the $ difference? Sheeesh!!!! I don’t even know where to start with the rest of your buffoonery. I think I’ll let it’s insanity stand on its own.

Talking about buffoonery, who was it that said the SEC would go after USF or UCF??? REALLY?!?! Another wowser!

If the SEC exapnds, and it looks like it might, it will be folks like TX, FSU, CU, etc. To suggest other wise is… well.. buffoonery.

HBTD!!!

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
11:08 am

Rutgers…academically…blah blah…New York market…blah blah. Hugo, you and I both know that Rutgers would be winning the lottery here. Syracuse or Pitt make much more sense.

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
11:10 am

The money boys in Texas are not going to allow themselves to be edged out of anything. The SEC needs to understand that.

JB

May 11th, 2010
11:13 am

SC beating a few teams in the SEC, a while back, does not make the PAC 10, premier. Nor does it deminish the SEC to any great degree. Had SC had to play an SEC schedule, every year, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

HBTD!!!

stubby

May 11th, 2010
11:26 am

I could see South Florida eventually getting an invited but there is no way the Central Florida does, ever.

USF is in a pretty good spot, and will get even stronger in the future.

kenny d

May 11th, 2010
11:29 am

who really cares? as Ross Perot said Arkansas is just the chicken state
and no one realy give a “poop” what goes on there

LOL at T3!

May 11th, 2010
11:37 am

“Jones is a MULI-BILLIONAIRE. If Jones really wants Arkansas to leave the SEC, then Arkansas will leave. Period.”

Hilarious!

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
11:37 am

Kiffinisatosser

May 11th, 2010
10:08 am

Dear Bama delusionists…you lost 9 starters on your defense. Yes, the talent is good, but no experience = getting sliced and diced by a team like Arkansas…or …gulp…Auburn.

Kiffinisatosser,

We had to replace 8 new starters on offense coming into the 2009 season. Somehow people forget that. BTW, how did that work out for us?

If you know not of what you speak then you probably shouldn’t speak at all. 9 new defensive starters with no experience? LMAO. The front 7 will consist of guys who have either started multiple games such as Hightower, Chapman, Upshaw, Johnson, Dareus or guys who have played a significant amount of snaps in the rotation such as Luther Davis. The only true new starter in the front 7 will be linebacker Jerrell Harris a former 5 star recruit entering his 3rd year.

We will be short on experience in the defensive backfield as we replace 3 of 4 starters. But even then it is anchored by all america safety mark barron and the 2 new corners will be former 5 star recruits including the #1 rated corner 2 years ago in Dre Kirkpatrick. At the other safety job lester who was a former 4 star and will be pushed by a 5 star and other 4star recruits. Bottom line is that 3 of the 4 defensive starters will be 3rd year guys familiar with the system. Oh, and Saban personally coaches the dbs.

Answer me this. How is it that Marcel Dareus our terror of a defensive end, is already projected as the #2 pick in the 2011 NFL draft by Todd McShay and Mel Kiper has him projected as the #7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. How can this be? The guy wasn’t even a starter last year. So if this guy who wasn’t even a starter last year is projected as the #2 or #7 draft pick next year by the 2 top draft analysts then exactly what does that tell you about the Alabama defense??? Kinda scary aint it?

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
11:44 am

T3,

Jerry Jones may be a billionaire but he is a piss ant compared the the Walton family of Walmart fame. They are heavily involved in Ark athletics and fundraising, endowments,etc. The basketball arena is named after Bud Walton. The Walton family has more of a say than Mr. Jones and their preference seems to be the SEC. from what I’m told by an Ark friend. Don’t know if that’s true or not but I do know they have a helluva lot more money and influence than Jerry Jones.

Charlie Bama

May 11th, 2010
11:44 am

Kiffinisatosser. Hey, HE tossed YOU, BubbaHillBilly. You guys didn’t toss him. Now go collect your burned dorm mattress from the UT lawn and go get ready for your 4-8 season.

Otto

May 11th, 2010
11:57 am

T3, Tide Rising points to the Waltons and their is no financial reason to move to the BigXII.

As for Texas never moving to the SEC, many reports had Texas joining the SEC for ‘92 in place of Arkansas until Tx A&M politicians put an end to that. Tx A&M would likely invited with Texas if the SEC decides to expand in that direction.

Delbert D.

May 11th, 2010
12:04 pm

“The ACC would look at ECU, and whichever schools in Florida are left.”

Can’t happen. East Carolina, USF, Central Florida are academic Tier 3 schools. The ACC presidents would not vote them in.

no authority

May 11th, 2010
12:10 pm

delbert, jumbo dumbo tiger and the rest of you sec morons don’t know squat…funny how you all want the losers in the acc to join your conference those who haven’t even won the acc so much as one time yet…the ugays and the lsu’s of the world need to start worrying about the decline of your own team before someone kicks your butt out of the conference your in…

jumbeauxtriger

May 11th, 2010
12:20 pm

That’s laughable that Jerry Jones pulls the strings at Arkansas. He has enough to worry about getting the Cowboys to actually make it past the 1st round of the playoffs. Oh well he did do that last season and how many years did it take them to do that?

HAWGIN'

May 11th, 2010
12:22 pm

I have been an Arkansas fan since 1973 (the year I was born) and I have seen speculation here and elsewhere that we may leave for the Big 12. Thanks TB for this article but some people still don’t seem to get it. THERE IS NO WAY ARKANSAS IS LEAVING THE SEC…EVER! 99% of boosters, including myself, would go absolutly crazy if this was even considered. I can also say that very few people in Arkansas think that this is even a remote possibility. IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
I could go into all of the reasons: money, competition, TV, etc but other already have. Let’s just put this to rest: ARKANSAS IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

PS: We’re going to win the SEC this year. First in baseball then in football…have a nice day.

TTech Nate

May 11th, 2010
12:25 pm

I’m going to add some Big 12 perspective to this conversation.

1. T3 – The Big 8 already included OU and OK State. Texas, A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor from the SWC merged with the Big 8.

2. Houston would be a terrible addition to the Big 12. Yes they have a ton of students, but absolutely no alumni support or fan base. They also bring no new TV markets to the Big 12. Between Texas, A&M and Tech the entire state is pretty well covered.

3. A&M has always thought of themselves as an SEC type program, Texas would never go to the SEC because of the academic standards. Texas will push for going to the PAC-10, they fit in culturally with the left coasters.

4. I really don’t know why Arkansas would ever leave the money machine that is the SEC. The revenue distribution will never change in the Big 12. If it does Texas will take its ball and go be independent.

jumbeauxtriger

May 11th, 2010
12:28 pm

Actually “no authority” as a LSU alumnus and active booster, I am concerned about the state of the LSU football program. If you were really on the ball, you would know I have stated my concerns on this board numerous times.

MUGGYY

May 11th, 2010
12:28 pm

FACT: The Arkansas AD has stated there are 7 million reasons to remain in the SEC. That in itself should put an end to all rumors.

Greg

May 11th, 2010
12:35 pm

Hawgin’, the Hogs aren’t going to win the SEC in baseball and certainly not in football. Not even close. Petrino will bolt in another year or two when it becomes obvious that he can’t be any more than a middle tier team in the SEC.

cajdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:39 pm

Why in the hell do people continue to recommend Clemson and GT for potential SEC expansion. The primary expansion criteria would be expansion of the TV market- sorry GT and Clemson don’t cut it.

Delbert D.

May 11th, 2010
12:39 pm

What if Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt left the SEC for a new 16 team super conference that included new TV markets in DC, Baltimore, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham? Add Jacksonville, Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Chattanooga and Knoxville to that.

Sec fan

May 11th, 2010
12:51 pm

no authority,

You are a jerk

Butts Wagner

May 11th, 2010
12:55 pm

Yeah, I don’t think Arkansas should jump ship, but membership in the SEC is probably not in their hands.

heartofdarkness

May 11th, 2010
12:57 pm

In the land of boisterous free-marketeers, it is interesting that the largest industry is a state subsidized, semi-professional athletic league. Not state subsidized you say? But the labor force is paid in fixed tuition credits and taxpayer funded housing. And most stadium maintenance and improvements are funded by general obligation bonds. The fact that your state governments are run like private industries is another matter for another day. So just construct the league using the metric of who can pony up the most.

Pago Pago Dawg

May 11th, 2010
1:01 pm

We can’t believe the SEC would add “Free Shoe U” and “Thug U”!?

SteerPower

May 11th, 2010
1:06 pm

I’m with Alabama on this one…..Frankly, Arkansas is not much of a catch….I’d rather have a TCU for instance…TCU has better football, baseball, and probably basketball and is located in a large TV market. Arkansas is a little country college with no academics to crow about, not much money,No one can afford to by a tv in Arkansas and the ones that have pinched their pennies to buy a set only make up about 5 or 6 people….so, why would the Big 12 want them?. Arkansas is MY PENNY….they are worth so little, that I drop one I don’t even bother to bend over to pick it up.

hog fan

May 11th, 2010
1:07 pm

The money is better in the SEC for sure. Hog fans do miss the old rivalries with the Texas schools though but we have continued those to some extent while in the SEC. The other big thing is that Arkansas would likely be put in the Big XII north and end up playing schools in which we have no rivalries or regional affliations. Arkansas is a Southern state. Nebraska, Kansas , Missouri, Iowa and Colorado are not. We are where we belong and the money is a nice benefit for sure too!

That being said, Arkansas fans were highly perturbed at some of the officiating from last season and we had highly competitive football, basketball and baseball programs before we entered the SEC and likely would still have that if we left.

winterDawg

May 11th, 2010
1:10 pm

What has Arkansas done for the SEC? Well, given that they have stayed clear of NCAA sanctions and won a basketball NC and several others in other sports I’d argue they have done more for the competitiveness and integrity of the league in the 19 years since expansion than Alabama. Chew on that #2.

Gen Neyland

May 11th, 2010
1:11 pm

The SEC must have it’s border somewhere and Arkansas is just as good as any other state that surrounds the College Football Promise Land.

On the other hand, a vivid imagination is a strange and wonderful thing all at the same time. We could always dismantle the SEC by sending Tennessee, Kentucky and Vandy to the Big Ten. Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Auburn to the ACC and Alabama, LSU and the MS schools to Conference USA. Arkansas..? Ahhh, let the Big 12 have ‘em. We’ll still have High School football here in Dixie…

bellcurve

May 11th, 2010
1:12 pm

A couple of points: One, neither Clemson or Ga. Tech add any new tv markets. meaning they wouldn’t bring much to the table. (plus I don’t think they really want to play an SEC team almost every week) Secondly, It would be nice to have Texas, but you also have to take A&M (Texas state law.

Texas Ex

May 11th, 2010
1:12 pm

I hate to burst your bubble, but AR wasn’t going to be asked to join the Big 12. So Frank Broyles didn’t ‘jump’ to the SEC because he was so ’shrewd’- he was mad about being cut out.

The SWC was a TX conference, run by powerful UT/Baylor grads (Ann Richards, et al) and they were adamant that Baylor get in or no deal. That’s right, no deal without Baylor. They cut out TCU, SMU, and Houston to make that deal, too – but AR was the one team nobody cared about. They at least argued over the others for a year or 2. AR knew it and jumped. FYI, nobody cared after they jumped either.

I’m not saying AR wouldn’t go back in the future, but don’t rewrite history. Their feelings were hurt when they realized the SWC was going to drop them like an ugly girl with no personality.

Buck N. Kincaid

May 11th, 2010
1:13 pm

We think “T 3″ has way too much time on his hands as he sits in front of his PC in the comfort of his mama’s basement.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

May 11th, 2010
1:15 pm

The good old SEC should dump Arkansas, Vandy, and Kentucky and add FSU, Ga Tech and Clemson.

What fun!

SteerPower

May 11th, 2010
1:17 pm

Yep, “Tide Rising”, Arkansas does identify more with Alabama, Mississipi, Tennessee…you know, mountain folks walking around barefooted with chicken poop between their toes, spittin on the ground, scratching their butts and anything else they can reach, marryin first cousins, chewin tabaccy, and cheerin those Hawgs! Gotcha selves a real catch there SEC!

hog fan

May 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

lol

The Big XII was not even in the works before Arkansas left for the SEC. The Big XII was formed because Arkansas left for the SEC.

Why would Arkansas not be asked to join the Big XII since we had the second best football program, second best baseball program and far away the best basketball and track programs in the SWC period and that is not debatable! You are just made because we ditched y’all and ended the little cozy Texas club y’all had!