The SEC sure is being quiet on expansion

Okay, I tried to stay away. I tried to be a good boy and take time off and ignore the computer. But the expansion story is just too good. Some quick observations today. You already know most this stuff but I just want a chance to weigh in and get your thoughts.

1. The SEC is being awfully quiet in all this. Various media reports say Nebraska to the Big Ten is done and will be announced on Friday. There are also reports out there that very quietly, Mike Slive and his folks at the SEC could still invite Texas and Texas A&M if the Big 12 breaks up. Would Oklahoma and Oklahoma State come along? Yes, I know about the Pac-10 offer to the six Big 12 teams (Texas, A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Colorado). But as one official put it to me yesterday: Do you think DeLoss Dodds (the Texas athletics director) would rather send his women’s softball team to Pullman, Washington (home of  Pac-10 member Washington State) or Tuscaloosa, Ala? I know all about the academic arguments in favor of the Pac-10. I’ll believe it when I see it.

People keep telling me that the SEC should do nothing. But if the Pac-10 and the Big Ten both go to 16 teams, can the SEC stay with a pat hand?

There is absolutely nothing coming out of the SEC on this. This is as locked down as I’ve ever seen them. That should make some people nervous because Slive is one of those “speak softly and carry a big stick” kind of guys.

2. Can Texas, Texas A&M save the Big 12? Various media reports have officials from the two schools meeting today. Understand that Dodds and A&M athletics director Bill Byrne have the juice to hold the league together even if Nebraska and Colorado (to the Pac-10) both leave. The Big 12 can pick up TCU, which further strengthens the Dallas market. I would also pick up SMU. Great academics and a football program on the rise with June Jones as coach. If the Big 12 doesn’t fall apart, then this process could be relatively calm. But Texas could decide that staying in the Big 12 is simply delaying the inevitable breakup.

3. But does the Big Ten stop at 12 teams? In the short term it could happen. Commissioner Jim Delany recently put it out there that expansion for his league could come in stages. Because Delany’s grand plan could put two conferences (Big East, Big 12) out of business, perhaps he decides to go on the installment plan.

4. Forget Notre Dame. With Nebraska set to accept the Big Ten’s offer on Friday, I think it closes the door on Notre Dame becoming a member of that conference. I could see Notre Dame becoming the 12th member of the Big Ten. I can’t see the Irish being the 13th or 14th or 16th member. Now all of that could change if the Big East falls apart. The Notre Dame would have to find another home for men’s basketball and its non-revenue sports.

5. The Pac-10 will expand. Even if the grand plan (inviting six teams from the Big 12) does not come to pass, that conference will still add at least two teams (Colorado and perhaps Utah). The league is getting ready to negotiate its next TV contract in football and it has to bring someting new to the market place.  Here is another factor: The Pac-10’s  marquee program, The University of Southern California, is about to get hammered by the NCAA. The Pac-10 has gotta do something.

Stayed tuned. The next 24 hours could be really interesting.

748 comments Add your comment

Beast from the East

June 10th, 2010
6:23 pm

The SEC is it’s own “brand”. The “U” would not bring anything to the conference. They do not sell out their stadium, their fans don’t travel. Yes, they have great athletes, but Miami is a pro town. It’s a small private school with a strapped athletic budget. USF would be the better invite on a long term basis. Personally, I don’t think the SEC has to worry about expanding to other markets. They already own the TV ratings on a NATIONAL scale. I say go after UNC, Duke, Louisville and one other team to strenghten our basketball.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:26 pm

Tom – Seems like there is an “except for Notre Dame” clause in everything regarding football. The AD there has spoken a lot on the expansion issue, and one of their concerns is their basketball program in the Big East. Well, I think that the Big East football part of the conference is going to evaporate. Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati and South Florida may be scrambling for a home, probably in C-USA. The other 4 schools are plums, academically and athletically. I can see the ACC inviting them.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:27 pm

Gary – That’s what I wanted to hear.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:28 pm

Little fact to be known. The big 10 talks about academics. Well
1. Texas is one of the top 10 public institutions in the country
2. Texas business school, law and medical one of the top 10 in the country
3. Texas is rated #49 top university in the world including private/public and international.
Yes, this money driven.
Belive it or not.. TEXAS has passed on players becasue of academics. They normally find themselves then being recruited by Oklahoma or LSU, as the academic requirement is not as strict.

Sorta interesting.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:30 pm

I thought Miami was a very high rated institution???
Not that it matters as the bottom line is the revenue potential.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:32 pm

Pete Thamel of the NY Times has had a bunch of good editorials on this subject. It all boiled down to a) Notre Dame joining the Big Ten as the 12th member, which would “stabilize” college football, b)prevent the breakup of the Big 12, and c) preserve the BCS.

It didn’t happen. The BCS is done for.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:33 pm

I would chalk up the pac 10 versus either SEC or Big 10 champ for the bcs champ game. Whether the pac 10 deserve it or not, the exposure from the TV markets would have them voted in on the AP side of the formula.

Tom

June 10th, 2010
6:35 pm

Delbert – I was just pointing out that although 4, 16-team mega-conferences seems like the best way to go, college football never seems to get it exactly right.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:37 pm

Yeppie – Exactly right on the Texas stuff. They and Texas A&M are invitation-only Association of American Universities members (as are all members of the Big Ten). Texas has $590 million in research grants, and A&M has $570 million (trusting my memory from yesterday, when I looked it up.)

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:38 pm

Delbert, it does seem like the bcs will not be as relevant. I think it will still exist as it does make money. Lets face it.. eventually it will be 4 big conferences. Assume the big 10 and big east align, SEC and ACC align, pac 10 (wonder what the new name will be?), and some invite to some other contender. Those left out in the alignments… Boise, Acc team, big east, conf usa, mwc champ. That would be 4 teams then put a plus one game.

Don Beebe

June 10th, 2010
6:38 pm

I’ll take a stab since I screwed my own conference. The SEC should only expand if you gain TV markets. That’s what this is all about. This will be tough because of politics and such, however I shoot for North Carolina & Virginia and Texas A&M & Texas.

If you can’t add TV markets just sit tight with 12 members and continue dominating college football. I hope DeLoss Dodds offers me a job.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:39 pm

Thanks Delbert. Great research and great facts.. Appreciate the feedback.

college football

June 10th, 2010
6:41 pm

Bring Miami, not tech, they lack credability, and are not worthy. They were in and bolted years ago.
Miami would be great addition as would North Carolina. NC would probably stay in the ACC and for good reason. Texas A&m and Texas would fit in the west and the other team for the east could be NC State. This would be a loaded conference and highly competative.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:42 pm

Tom – 16-team conferences can be problematic with scheduling. The cycle for playing all conference members is really long, assuming 3 OOC games are still scheduled. Nevertheless, the two division winners (Great 8) play for the championship and the winner advances to play another conference’s winner in the final 4.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:42 pm

That smiley-face thing should be 8, as in Great 8.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:43 pm

I am going to miss the Big 12 south wiping up the big 12 north teams. I think the SEC will in the next few years have to do what the pac 10 and big 12 are doing. However, I do enjoy watching SEC football. Every game is a good game… I will enjoy the next couple of years and hope it last longer. Until it has to expand to compete for TV revenue. It is great today but have to be in posiition to improve the TV contracts. As the new Pac 10 will have the top markets.

Tom

June 10th, 2010
6:48 pm

I would have to think that the SEC, PAC-11 (with Colorado) and Big-10 are all salivating at the thought of locking up the Texas TV market. Not to mention the fact that Texas and A&M are both fine universities with lots of $$$. What I’d pay to be a fly on the wall in their meeting…

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:49 pm

Coincidence or forshadowing???
Texas plays UCLA this year and next year as an out of conference shchedule game. HHMmmm….
Does Georgia, Florida, alabama play any ACC teams out of conference??? conicidence or do they know something we don’t….

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:50 pm

spelling error.. foreshadowing***

Tom

June 10th, 2010
6:51 pm

Florida State goes to Tuscaloosa…..

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:52 pm

Yeppie – How about 16-PAC? Or, Best Western?

As I’ve mentioned, I think the Big East dissolves as a football conference. The biggies will be Big Ten_Plus, 16-PAC, SEC-16 and ACC-16. So, there are 4 free-floaters from the former Big East, C-USA, Mountain West, and WAC. If 16 schools can pool from that, there are still leftovers. Five 16-team conferences with champions, “the Notre Dame clause”, Army, Navy and a couple of wildcards? It gets unwieldy, with another layer of playoffs.

Tom

June 10th, 2010
6:52 pm

ERROR! they go to oklahoma!

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:53 pm

If the SEC or Pac battle for the Texas market that would be interesting.
Texas market- Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston, San Antonio/Austin. Yea, that adds up to a lot of TV and a lot of commercials being watched on TV. Also the alumni from Texas is very stout and internation viewing.
The SEC should be talking for longterm consideration.

Tom

June 10th, 2010
6:53 pm

Delbert – yeah but they will make a ton of money!!!!!!

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
6:54 pm

Yeppie – Well, some have said the reason for the GT-’Bama home-and-home cancellation may have been not-coincidental.

Square Grouper

June 10th, 2010
6:55 pm

For all of you who say that adding Miami to the SEC is a bad idea, here is some food for thought.

1. Miami’s games on natl. TV almost always have some of the highest ratings of any games in any season. You can look that up. There is a lot of national interest in a program that has put the most players in the NFL over the past 20-30 years or so.

2. While attendance is not the best, it would go up if SEC schools came down here. For starters, they would always sell out UFelons and Free Shoe. Add in the hatred for Tricky Nicky and that’s a sellout. So attendance would increase.

3. All the SEC schools want to play here so they can recruit more here. It was why Spurrier wanted to add Miami back to UFelons’ schedule from the day he got there. Foley the d-bag blocked him the whole time.

The real question is would Miami make the move. 20 years ago they passed, but given the change in landscape I’m not sure they could this time. While it would be a slightly backward step academically (no offense, but walking away from Duke, UNC, Virginia, Wake Forest and Ga. Tech is a backward academic move) the money might make it a no-choice move.

We’ll see if it gets that far. Should be an interesting few days.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:56 pm

That is funny DELBERT.. Very creative. As long as we do not have a 6 pac or 12 pack. Then it would be sponsored by beer company. LOL..

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
6:59 pm

I stand corrected. They do end up at Oklahoma if Texas passes the recruit for academic concerns.

Jeff

June 10th, 2010
7:01 pm

I believe many Oklahoma fans would love to see the Sooners in the SEC if the occasion presented itself.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:03 pm

The SEC is quiet, as Tony says. Meanwhile, the Big Ten and Texas have initiated discussions, and the PAC-10 has already acted, firing the shot across the bow. My opinion after following sources for almost 2 weeks is that Texas, A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. go to the PAC-10, and Tier-3 but friends-in-the-Texas-legislature Texas Tech gets the invite that makes that happen.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:09 pm

Your right DELBERT..
I think that is why Tony B may be questioning how quiet the SEC has been not to react. The more TV markets the better the TV contracts.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:10 pm

Did anybody notice this?

NY Times-
“Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says Florida prep football star Demar Dorsey has been informed he will not be admitted to the school.”

He met the NCAA requirements for admission, but Michigan did some deep background checks and apparently found some things in his juvenile record. I’m not sure how they got it, since juvenile records are sealed in all states, I believe.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:12 pm

Lets look at the bright side.
USC finally got what they deserved. So glad Texas want the bcs against them in 2005 while reggie bush was still playing. The fact the weak pac 10 of the past never played a champ game and still did well in the bcs was not right. The big 12 and SEC played a champ game and the SEC champ game had two teams playing that could beat USC 80 percent of time.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:16 pm

Interesting about Michigan.
USC got their dues today.. I think Michigan and Oklahoma are next.
Oklahoma has perfomed the USC scenario too. I wonder if the players are employed and driving new cars from the booster auto dealer. I think the player was bomar… I sure he was paid some hush money and sent away. USC, Michigan and Oklahoma… land of thieves…

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:18 pm

I vote for Yuengling, but the 16-PAC will probably honor Colorado with Coors, and prop up those great Washington microbreweries.

However, I really like Shiner Bock, from spending considerable time in Houston. Hmmm…another 16-PAC sponser?

chazzo

June 10th, 2010
7:20 pm

Pick up USF! Think about what it would do to Florida’s recruiting if another central florida school was part of the SEC.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:25 pm

Those boosters ought to be more like T. Boone Pickens, who simply drops $200 million now and then to the school. By the way, T. Boone was not in favor of this expansion stuff. However…

“Ironically, Nebraska’s imminent departure from the Big 12 could produce a financial windfall for Oklahoma State, Pickens’ alma mater. The Pac-10 is in discussions with Fox about forming its own network, and the addition of the Texas schools, the Oklahoma schools and Colorado, which would deliver the Denver TV market, would help a proposed cable channel gain wider distribution – and therefore more subscribers and more revenue. The league’s window to negotiate with Fox begins early next year.”

from 6/10/2010 1:53 PM ET By Jon Weinbach of ncaafootball.fanhouse.com

ryan

June 10th, 2010
7:25 pm

It is done deal with Big 12 south going to the Pac 16 this is not good for College sports NCAA basketball is in trouble. The greed of the Pac 10 and Big 10 its spells doom for college sports.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:28 pm

Delbert… Agreed. I can see the advertising know.. “Get a a 5 or 12 pack of coors at the grocery store to watch the 16 pac games.”

Shiner is good beer. Made in Shiner Texas. Visited the brewery one at one time. Good time… that is old brewery with lots of history.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

Correction.. not a 5 should be a 6 for six pack..

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

The loss of scholarships (10 a year for 3 years) is going to hurt USC. They are currently at 75 (2007-2010) according to oversigning.com.

DP

June 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

XPatHeel, this is a college football blog. Your program has been irrelevant in football since statutory rapist Lawrence Taylor played there. Normally you could talk basketball, but I guess that is a bit of a sore subject for you after UNC had a lousy year and Duke whipped them twice then won the ACC tournament and NCAA tournament championships.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:34 pm

Yeppie- I don’t care much for the Shiner lager. The Bock is great. Yuengling is from the Eagle Brewery, the oldest in the U.S. in Pottsville, PA. My wife lived there for 8 years growing up. She said they had home delivery routes, just like the milkman.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:34 pm

Delbert… you totally accurate. I cannot believe some people think the SEC should just sit idle. When the SEC contracts expires with the current TV network they will evaluate what markets are effected. Who do think will get the better contract with the TV media providers. Must expand to stay competitive.
Texas does not truly desire to be in the pac 10 and this was dictated by an inferior conference and inferior big 12 north. It can happen in the SEC. I would rather be the plucker than the pluckee with conference alignment.

Beast from the East

June 10th, 2010
7:36 pm

Square Gropuer,
I still don’t see the “U” getting an invite. Can you imagine what it would cost all the SEC teams to have to get passports for their athletes to travel to a foreign country?
Don’t forget to bring the flag with you when you finally decide to leave Havana North.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:36 pm

Thanks Delbert. I will look for Yuengling next time I am in a specialty beer liquer market.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:36 pm

ryan – Shouldn’t hurt basketball. Fewer automatic bids with fewer conferences.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:46 pm

If Butler can almost with the basketball championship then anybody can with a valid Basketball powerhouse will be fine.
What about Baseball..
Texas, UCLA, Arizona St in one conference. That may change the selection process in standing for the tournament. Well, maybe not they will have to play it out where winner keeps going and loser goes home. I would imagine they will reduce the number of games played because of travel cost???

John

June 10th, 2010
7:48 pm

The thing with Texas and TAMU are that they are both funded by Mineral Rights funds from the Texas Legislation. If they separate, TAMU stands a chance that they would lose this source of money. It might be hard for them to give that up. Gene Stallings is the man behind the TAMU to SEC.

jim

June 10th, 2010
7:49 pm

Are you people in the Mid West really this stupid. Why in L would you want Boise? They suck in every sport but foorball. The market is terrible. Bring in BYU. That is the Answer. I know you are anti Mormon bigots but get over it. They pack more money and fans than most of the big 12. They are a better athletic program then Nebraska. They are the only team left that actually ups the value of the conference. Like it or hate it. They are the answer. So you know, BYU owns the Salt Lake market, not Utah. Go Longhorns!