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

T3 you're an idiot

May 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

T3, get a life you obnoxious dweeb. Maybe your first date (witha real woman) will end your meritless diatribe that we don’t care to read. Stick to fantasy football it seems more our style.

SteerPower

May 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

Dear “Bell Curve” where in the world did you hear there is a law that binds TAM to Texas?….Doesn’t exists…it was political pressure (threatening to cut funding for programs) that made them a team back in the 90’s…I believe Texas could do anything they want with or without TAM cause they have so much clout in state politics….But, on any fresh new day, TAM is a better sellection that about half the schools already in the SEC.. For instance, TAM brings a whole lot more to the table than Arkansas, Mississipi, MSU, Auburn, Kentucky, Vanderbilt,South Carolina and the SEC should get down on their knees to get a TAM…I personally don’t care much for the AGGIES, but one must give them their dues that in many ways they would be a super catch for the SEC.

DaveDawg

May 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Big 12 loses Mizzou, Nebraska and Colorado (to the PAC 10) and adds TCU (Dallas), Houston and Colorado State (Denver). The two Oklahoma schools shift north:

Big 12 North:
Iowa State
Kansas
Kansas State
Colorado State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State

Big 12 South
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Baylor
TCU
Houston

Not very exciting, but you will get a better championship game most years with Texas vs. Oklahoma.

Gen Neyland

May 11th, 2010
1:29 pm

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!

Steer Power : LMAO, son. In what part of Texas did you do your goat ropin’..?

Texas Ex

May 11th, 2010
1:34 pm

Sorry, but it’s true. The SWC and UT/Baylor power players didn’t have ties to AR. Plus, the big UT/AR rivaly was more one-sided than AR may know. UT fans weren’t unhappy to drop that game off the schedule. Going to Fayetteville to eat at Stucky’s and be harrassed by people in pig hats wasn’t as much fun as it might’ve looked to the home crowd.

It might have been foolish and shortsighted – and I’m sure AR fans think so – but it’s what happened. And Broyles was mad as hell. The Big 12 wasn’t formed when AR left, but it was definitely in the works. AR started looking around because they didn’t think they were being treated well, were aware they wree being stiffed during the SWC-Big 8 talks, and the SEC wanted to expand.

As for where AR stood in the SWC standing, it changed from year to year. Back in the day, A&M, Houston, TCU, and even Baylor had better teams. But AR was a good team in the SWC and I have no desire to debate about 2nd place.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
1:39 pm

Steerpower,

You got some serious hate for the Arkansas folks with all your derogatory and condescending remarks about them. What’s that all about?

Anonymous

May 11th, 2010
1:42 pm

Everything is bigger and better in Texas or so they say. I once drove through that state on my way from California to Georgia. The only thing big about Texas is the endless miles of hill less, featureless, mountain less, ugly arse barren prairie. Aint no doubt that Texas is uglier than any state in the nation. Bigger and better? Only in number of tumbleweeds rollin cross that barren wasteland of a state.

Delbert D.

May 11th, 2010
1:44 pm

Tide Rising – “The Walton family held five spots in the top ten richest people in the United States until 2005.”

That’s from Wikipedia

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:45 pm

Why not have Texas and Texas Tech join the SEC West and Fla State and Miami join the SEC East??

Garth

May 11th, 2010
1:45 pm

Who gives a flying f**k if the hogs leave the SEC. SEC teams should be in the southeast. We don’t need that western trash cluttering up our
conference, and, yes, Clemson should be in the SEC. We need more local teams that can kick the dogs’ ass. I’m tired of the Gators having to do it every season.

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:49 pm

Or…………….Oklahoma and Ok State join the SEC West and Fla state and South Fla(or Miami) join the SEC East

Sec fan

May 11th, 2010
1:49 pm

Delbert D.,

Don’t tell that to steerpower. May make him realize that not everything is bigger and better in Tejas. Probably ticks him off that some of dem der hillbillies over in Arky are far richer than anyone in Tejas. Aint dat a hoot.

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:51 pm

or…………………….as Garth says…..Clemson joining FSU in the SEC East???

HAWGIN'

May 11th, 2010
1:52 pm

Dear Texas Ex,

I hope you don’t believe all the stuff you’re typing. None of it is even remotely true and I think you know it. You just like to stir the pot. At least I hope you know you’re creating history, otherwise I have to doubt you mental capacity.
Arkansas left the sinking ship that was the SWC and the ship sank all the faster because we left. Listen to TB and others who are your mental superior: Frank Broyles orchestrated one of the shrewdest and most timely moves in college football history. The SEC is far and away the best conference in America and will be for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile the Big 12 is springing leaks, looking more and more like the SWC every day, it’s only a matter of time before it sinks too.

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:54 pm

oR………..Clemson and North Carolina in the SEC East???Butch Davis is doing a hell of a job with UNC.

Texas Ex

May 11th, 2010
1:55 pm

SteerPower – you’re crazy to think TX A&M would be a bonus to the SEC. They don’t have anything other than in-state appeal and don’t have a tv market at all. Really, how many Aggies does one meet outside the great state of TX?

But don’t think Aggies don’t have a lot of clout in TX politics. They do and they’ll be in the middle of any talk regarding conference jumping. UT has the most clout, but TX isn’t a state that plays well with others and they do stick together. And that includes Baha TX, or Oklahoma for those who aren’t familiar with the area.

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:55 pm

How about UNC AND FSU in the SEC East????????????????????

Expando

May 11th, 2010
1:56 pm

or Miami and UNC in the SEC East????????????

Otto

May 11th, 2010
1:57 pm

DaveDawg, Nobody wants Houston or Colorado State and more importantly vast majority of the TV markets don’t care.

Utah, BYU or Boise St are far more likely than those 4 teams.

It would be interesting if Oklahoma is moved to the North. The BigXII does not have any permanent rivals from other divisions like the SEC and ACC. OU would fight to keep Texas as they depend on recruiting Texas for the strength of their program.

Otto

May 11th, 2010
1:58 pm

* typo those 2 teams

Otto

May 11th, 2010
2:00 pm

Expando, UF does not want Miami and many of the SEC fan bases have not managed to get past the U’s past ways.

UNC? they will be among the last to leave the ACC.

FSU is more likely as UF would be more accepting as they play them every year as it is.

Ormewood

May 11th, 2010
2:00 pm

I’ll be glad when we can start talking about what’s taking place on the field rather than the daily rundown of why this team or that team does/doesn’t belong in the SEC/Big 10/ACC/etc. August practices can’t get here soon enough.

Alabama Jack

May 11th, 2010
2:01 pm

lets move on to the real stuff are the delusional dawgs gonna try to field a team again this year or not?

Dollars and Sense

May 11th, 2010
2:03 pm

Auburn moves to the SEC East and Texas and Texas A&M join the SEC West- was that so hard?
SEC will have to take both Texas and A&M. Not sure if the SEC really needs both FSU and Miami.
SEC already owns Atlanta so it definitely doesn’t need Tech.

Mike

May 11th, 2010
2:04 pm

Arkansas will stay in the SEC. You can bank on it.

Texas Ex

May 11th, 2010
2:10 pm

Ooh, ouch, anonymous. As one who was born and raised in TX, I feel the need to respond. TX is both a pretty and ugly state, depending on what region you’re visiting. Because it’s so large, it has the hill country, the desert SW, the piney woods, the gulf coast, the mexican border, the grasslands, and even the panhandle plains. It can take days to drive across, depending on your path. You’re description sounds like you drove I-20 / I-40 through the plains. Big highways and surely not as pretty as GA, I agree.

But a few things TX does have that we seem to be missing here in GA are a thriving economy, a housing market that hasn’t been decimated by inflated pricing and bad loans, no state income tax, and politicians who seem to be able to run a state and keep it solvent. So while you might not have seen anything out of your car window that looked like beautiful GA, there are plenty of reasons people choose to live in TX.

I love GA’s beauty, but I miss TX’s economy.

T3

May 11th, 2010
2:10 pm

Some of these “comments” are also “busch-league.”

Lets recap a few of the more arrogant & mis-guided comments TB made:

1. “Let me tell you in no uncertain terms why that won’t happen.”
(The POSSIBILITY of a an Arkansas move simply CAN NOT be ruled out).

2. “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.”
(Totally incorrect. University PRESIDENTS make these decisions, not ADs, nor HCs, nor Conference Directors. Period. For exampe, NO WAY IN HELL the Big10 would EVER…EVER…consider adding West Virgina. Why? Because EVERY member of the Big10 is an AAU member, and carries BIG clout, when it comes to getting billions in FEDERAL research money. West Virginia is an academic “back-water” by comparison. So, TB is VERY WRONG. It aint ALL about the money. But, since TB is a COMPLETE SEC homer, his VERY mis-guided (Its only about the money) assement doesnt surprise me at all).

3. “Also remember that the SEC and the Big Ten are the big financial dogs in this game.” (Yes, for now. But, not for long. When the Big12 renews their TV contracts (and the possible “alliance” deal with the Pac10, it will DWARF what the SEC earns.)

4. “Arkansas is not going to jump off the SEC train for less money in the Big 12. And they would get less money.”
(TB “assumes” Arkansas will get LESS MONEY. The point isnt even logical. Arkansas will PROBABLY mmove for MORE money, but they also might move for THE SAME MONEY. If the BIg12 wants Arkansas, they will HAVE to see to it that Arkansas earns at least $17Million.

The KEY point being made (that so many have obviously missed)
was this:

The…POSSIBILITY…of Arkansas going to the Big12
CAN NOT be ruled out or casually dismissed as TB suggests

And, there are circumstances and people that might want to
influence Arkansas to CONSIDER going to the Big12.

Arkansas has a LONG, HISTORICAL relationship with teams from the old SWC. There are Arkansas alumni, like Jerry Jones, that might like the idea of having Arkansas in the Big12, rather than the SEC.

Jerry Jones is OBVIOUSLY not in charge of the decision-making for Arkansas, but, he has LOTS & LOTS & LOTS OF MONEY with which to “influence” this consideration. If he really wanted Arkansas to move, he will bring a “significant” degree of influence to the decision process. What if Jerry Jones just CHOSE to write a VERY VERY LARGE check to the University of Arkansas? U of Arkansas administration would PROBABLY “carefully’ evaluate the POSSIBILITY of going to the Big12.

You dont think an alum cant have THAT kind of influence.
Just look at Bobby Lowder and his alma mater, Auburn.
BTW, Lowder has millions. Jones has BILLIONS.

As for my opinion of Jones, I dont like him AT ALL.
I…WAS…a life-long Cowboys fan…until Jones
threw Tom Landry under the bus. What a B*stard !!!!
I quit being a Cowboys fan after that.

Agreed, Arkansas aint gonna move for less than $17 Million/Year.
As the owner of the DALLAS(TEXAS) Cowboys, dont think he couldnt talk with his “friends” at the Big12, about “fixing” the revenue sharing in the Big12.

The point remains: the POSSIBILITY of Arkansas
leaving the SEC cant be ruled out.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:11 pm

I just realized that in the midst of all these conference moves both now and in the future does anyone stop and think about the loss of historic rivalries? I remember growing up that one of the greatest rivalries going was OU-Nebraska two of the all time heavyweights in college football. With the big 12 they still play but they play only occasionally so the rivalry has already been weakened. If Neb goes to the big 10 then we lose what was one of the greatest rivalries of all time completely.

Even Ark-Texas had a decent rivalry and I read that in the last 20 years in the old swc that the ark-texas game determined the swc champion something 16 of those 20 years. They still have a home and home in deference to that rivalry occasionally but its a good rivalry that some of us would like to see played more often.

Mike

May 11th, 2010
2:14 pm

I would love to see Clemson and Florida State join the SEC East. That would involve moving Tenn to the SEC West.

RamblinRed

May 11th, 2010
2:15 pm

Otto,

in regards to the renegotiation of the TV contracts. You are correct, you could renegotiate – but it might not be in the best interest to do so.
The SEC managed to negotiate the contract right before the economy tanked. if they had to renegotiate it right now, there is a good chance they would be unable to wring any more money out given the state of the economy. Actually, if they re-opened it I guarantee you the first thing the networks would ask for is a smaller payout given the current financial conditions.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:19 pm

T3,

Ark has relationships with Texas and Tam only out of the old swc and now the big 12. Ark has practically no relationship with the other 9-10 members of the current big 12 and as we’ve noted they are culturally much more aligned with the states bordering them such as LA, Miss, TN, then with Texas or other big 12 states like Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, etc.

Also, as noted earlier Jerry Jones is not the only big money influence. The Walton family as I’ve pointed out are much more involved with Ark than Jerry is and they have much more of an interest in where Ark stays or goes. And they have a lot more money than Jerry Jones every will as delbert D pointed out.

Last, from what I’ve seen every or almost all of the Ark posters on here have stated that its pretty much a given that its the desire of the alumni and people associated with Ark that they remain in the sec. That’s straight from the hawg’s mouth so to say.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:22 pm

Mike,

I’ve likewise pointed that out several times that if we added say FSU and or Clemson to the conference then it would best to move UT to the west and keep FSU in the same division as UF. UT already has a natural rivalry with Bama and used to have the same with AU so whatever we do as far as adding 1-3 teams it would make sense to move UT west.

HanDAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:23 pm

Best TB article in months. Tony should stick to this type stuff, because he is not a good game prognosticator at all. As cited at http://www.bighairyblawg.com, his history of predicting games is annually statistically poor (and done on TV without point spreads).

HanDAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:24 pm

Team least likely to move that gets mentioned: TEXAS

GT GRAD

May 11th, 2010
2:25 pm

Hey Tony,

You forgot to mention the fact that the SEC does not want Arkansas to bolt from the SEC………..because they need to keep 6-7 soft teams in the SEC (Arkansas is definitely one) and they do not want to bring in a really solid football team to replace a team like Arkansas. All SEC teams play VERY soft out-of-conference schedules and then they get to play several soft SEC teams as well. This allows the Top 4-5 SEC teams to have winning records each & every year!

The plan works very well indeed. It would be a public nightmare if the SEC had to replace one of the soft SEC teams…………if they bring in a really good team to replace the soft team that bolted they will have too much competition; however, if they bring in a soft team to replace the soft team that bolted it will be too obvious and the SEC master plan will be exposed.

Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Kentucky & South Carolina (as well as Auburn & Tennessee in recent years) do not scare the Top 30 teams in NCAA Football. So much SEC hype, but I must admit……….the SEC master plan works very well. It is simply shameful that 6 of the 8 SEC teams I listed above are not willing to play decent to solid teams out-of-conference. {then again, when these teams play GT (a team that most SEC fans would say is a soft ACC team) they almost always end up with a LOSS on the schedule – Auburn twice, Miss St twice, Vanderbilt twice, Miss in the past 10 years says it all}.

Hoggus

May 11th, 2010
2:26 pm

As a lifelong Razorback fan, the greatest thing that has ever happened to the program was to be invited to play in the greatest conference in America. 99% of Arkansans have southern values, southern traditions and love the SEC. No one with common sense in this state wants to leave the SEC but, hey, we all a few morons running around. Please don’t take a few idiot comments to represent those of 99% of Arkansans.

T3

May 11th, 2010
2:30 pm

Tide:

Agreed. Walton family is clearly VERY important to the University of Arkansas. Couldnt tell you whether they consider themselves SEC fans or Big 12 fans. Doesnt really matter.

Jones and/or Waltons will LIKLEY support “whatever” is in the BEST interst of the U-Arkansas.

Again, the key point is that a move cant be ruled out…
just because SEC super-homer TB says…
“Let me tell you in no uncertain terms why that won’t happen.”

Texas Ex

May 11th, 2010
2:30 pm

Well, Hawgin’, I didn’t make a disparaging remark about the SEC or if AR jumping in was good or bad. But the truth is that way back when the Big 12 was created, the SWC didn’t care about AR joining. SWC was all TX teams and AR. The governor of TX and other state officials held up the forming of the Big 12 to fight to get their teams in. And because some wanted Baylor in so badly, they were willing to jettison other teams. And AR didn’t like the way they were being treated and left a couple of years before the talks were completed. And the reason the talks took so long was because of Houston, TCU, even Rice and SMU brokers wanted their teams in. They obviously didn’t win that battle.

I think it was a better deal for AR, especially at that time. If they’d waited and TX brokers got their way, Baylor was in and AR was out. So you can call Broyles shrewd if you like, but he just saw the writing on the wall. TX powerbrokers were jockeying for their own schools and AR wasn’t one of them.

Don’t be so sensitive. The SEC and the Hogs are great, okay? I’m glad they got a good deal and made the right choice, alright? SEC good. AR good. SWC bad.

Beast from the East

May 11th, 2010
2:31 pm

I don’t see Arkansas going anywhere and I think they fit in nicely with the conference. They’ve been competetive in the big 3 sports (football, baseball and basketball). If I’m not mistaken, they’ve represented the west in more SECG’s than anyone other than Bama. Let’s not all freak out just yet. I think we need to sit back and see what happens up north before we hit the panic button. I see the Big 10 adding 3 more teams to make them a 14 team conference. That shouldn’t require a major overhaul of every other conference out there!

gabriel

May 11th, 2010
2:33 pm

It makes sense to me that Arkansas goes to the Big 12. I am sure any financial concerns would be addressed and it gets them back to their historical roots. As someone else mentioned, Arkansas can go where Jerry Jones wants them to.

Assuming a bigger shakeup happens, the Big 12 should add TCU and SMU to reunite the SWC, and Louisiana Tech for a complete Ark-LA-Tex presence.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:34 pm

GT Grad,

Arkansas is “soft”? And the sec wants this “soft” team in the west so that they can accumulate easy wins. When Ark and Texas were in the old swc the conference title was pretty much a 2 horse race between Texas and Ark in most years. They are hardly soft. Please show me one team in the ACC whose butt Arkansas couldn’t put a whupping on this year? If they can take Florida to the wire they can dang sure beat anybody in the ACC. And as far as being soft Ark has a couple of national championships to its credit and several old swc titles to its credit which is more than you can say for the majority of teams in the acc. Probably FSU, Miami have more conference and national titles and possibly GT then Ark and that’s probably about it. The other 8-9 in the ACC fall behind Arky in terms of all time conference titles, championships, etc.

Sec fan

May 11th, 2010
2:36 pm

Gabriel,

Other than Texas and Texas AM what historic roots does arky have with the rest of the big 12. Practically none.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:38 pm

Beast from the East,

A voice of reasoning. I would agree. Lets wait and see what the big 10 does. Also, if they go to a 14 team conference I don’t see any big need for the sec to change from a 12 team conference. We may or may not. If they go to 16 then yes a gauntlet would have been thrown down but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Mike

May 11th, 2010
2:40 pm

ARKANSAS WILL NOT LEAVE THE SEC. Arkansas pulls top level recruits from its border states……Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, etc. SIMPLY BECAUSE Arkansas is in the SEC. A couple of examples: Ronnie Wingo from Missouri. Calvin Barnett from Oklahoma. Both could have had scholarships to their home states….. U of Oklahoma and U of Missouri (Big 12), but they want to play in the SEC. If Arkansas was in the Big 12 they would not get athletes such as those two. As they say in the real estate market…….. location, location, location. The University of Arkansas owns a very valuable piece of real estate………. the State of Arkansas.

Sec fan

May 11th, 2010
2:45 pm

If the sec has 6-7 soft teams in the conference then what does the ACC have? 8-9 soft teams including GT? Or 12 soft teams considering only VT has won one single bcs game in the last 10 years? VT and FSU and Miami can be historically considered tough teams. The rest of the conference is soft. Please don’t tell me that Wake, Duke, NC State, UNC for most its existence, BC, Clemson and GT aren’t soft teams. They are soft in that none of these teams have ever been in the national picture in the last 20-30 years. Only 3 teams FSU, Miami, and VT have been in the national title picture in the last 30 years and none of them have been in the national title hunt in almost 10 years.

Beast from the East

May 11th, 2010
2:46 pm

Agreed, Tide Rising. The SEC will only need to react IF the Big 10 goes to 16 teams. Personally, I don’t see that happening. If it does, it will surely change the landscape.

Deep Throat

May 11th, 2010
2:46 pm

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2:47 pm

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Beast from the East

May 11th, 2010
2:50 pm

SEC Fan, I think you’re forgetting about GT in 1990. You could also make a similar statement about the SEC. Other than UF, LSU, Bama and UT who has won a national title in our conference in the past 25 years? I don’t think that’s being totally fair. I think everyone agrees that the SEC has been a superior conference in football for some time but the ACC appears to be heading in the right direction.

Tide Rising

May 11th, 2010
2:55 pm

Beast from the East,

Looking at the ACC vs SEC debate I would argue that both AU and UGA have been nationally relevant. UGA has had 1 or 2 runnerup finishes and AU the perfect season in 04 when they didn’t get to play for it. Finishing 2nd or 3rd sounds like they were in the national title picture. Plus to me those are programs that have the recruiting base, alumni support and facilities, etc. to put it all together in any given year and win a national title. JMHO of course.