Is expansion really going to benefit UGA and other SEC members?

sec-pinwheel-logojpg-f806e20b1171f261So, I’m back from vacation and taking note of what’s been going on over the past week while my family was celebrating a high school graduation. …

Amid a disappointing showing so far in postseason play by UGA’s spring sports teams and the apparent hiring of a new gymnastics coach, the Bulldogs football program picked up a new director of on-campus recruiting (at last), lost former Dawg Tony Gilbert from its strength and conditioning staff, and continued to struggle to unload single-game tickets for Buffalo, Florida Atlantic and Vandy while still peddling a few single season tickets as well.

Ah, but there appears to have been good news on the SEC front, with the conference signing a deal with the Big 12 for a New Year’s Day bowl that will match their champions if they’re not in a new four-team playoff and other conference representatives (most likely the next highest-rated teams) in the likely event both conference champs are in the playoff. This sounds like a win-win situation — unless you’re the ACC, which is in danger of being marginalized by a new big four of football conferences (SEC, Big 12, PAC 12 and Big 10).

Meanwhile, SportsBusiness Journal reports the SEC is finally taking a serious look at launching its own cable channel, probably in conjunction with ESPN, by the fall of 2014. Whether the conference will be an equity partner in its channel, following the Big 10 model, or simply sells the rights for an additional fee remains to be seen.

Either way, both the New Year’s Day bowl and SEC channel likely mean a bigger payout to conference teams — which is a good thing considering there are now two more teams taking slices of the pie since the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M.

Speaking of which, the same SportsBusiness Journal article noted that the SEC continues to renegotiate its main TV deal with CBS and the network is balking at paying as big an increase as the conference is seeking, arguing that Missouri and A&M don’t really add much value to the deal and the network shouldn’t pay more just because the SEC added two new schools.

Which prompts one fan who dropped me a note to ask: “So why did we add two new schools to split the pie further and completely screw up scheduling?”

Actually, I think it’s likely the talk about CBS not wanting to pay more for a 14-team SEC is wishful saber-rattling on the network’s part. Considering the deals other conferences have gotten since the CBS-SEC deal in 2008, it’s pretty obvious that even without the nine conference games it covets, CBS will have to pay up big to keep the SEC. And while Missouri and Texas A&M might not be the most glamorous of new additions to the conference, they do bring valuable television markets with them.

CBS definitely wants to keep the conference, which draws the highest TV ratings in college football, so they’re going to have to pay more, all grumbling aside.

The question is whether the increased payout to conference members will be large enough to make up for the fact that two additional schools will be taking a share.

As it stands now, the increased payment the SEC is likely to get out of CBS probably won’t be as sweet as it could be if CBS had more games involving conference members to peddle. What CBS would be willing to pay even more for is enhanced inventory, meaning it wants the SEC to go to a nine-conference-game schedule. However, from all reports that appears to be a nonstarter with conference members.

Which brings us back to the SEC-Big 12 alliance. Could we next see the conferences signing a deal for regular-season match-ups, along the lines of the recent agreement between the PAC 12 and Big 10?

Whether it involved every team in the two conferences or just a smattering of SEC-Big 12 games each year, such a deal certainly would give CBS the kind of marquee inventory it’s looking for and perhaps generate enough new revenue to make the addition of Missouri and A&M worthwhile financially to the original SEC members. (Especially if Florida State and Clemson jump to the Big 12 as rumored.)

It also would toughen up the strength-of-schedule factor for both conferences, which might end up being a factor in however the participants in the new national championship playoff are selected.

And there’s little doubt UGA fans would be quicker to snap up those home-game tickets with the addition of a Big 12 team in place of the likes of Buffalo or Florida Atlantic.

What do you think? Is the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M going to be worthwhile in the long run? And should the SEC and Big 12 take their relationship to the next level?

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

105 comments Add your comment

Richham

May 22nd, 2012
11:06 am

Your asking a question that can’t be answered at the moment. In time we will find out.

Just say no to superconferences

May 22nd, 2012
11:09 am

Can we give A&M and Mizzou back? I’d much rather just play them in annual SEC-Big 12 match-ups.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 22nd, 2012
11:14 am

The HISTORY of college football is really changing fast. We will look back and decide after all this crap the crowning a True National Champion was not really worth it.

icedawg

May 22nd, 2012
11:16 am

Nothing really makes much sense any more. The loss of geographic distinctions has blurred identity and will eventually take an edge off of the historic rivalries. Now that the logic of the conferences has been dismantled a true playoff system would be welcomed and makes sense. It’s a new era in CFb and I don’t know if I really like it.

raleigh

May 22nd, 2012
11:18 am

Bulldog Ben

May 22nd, 2012
11:20 am

Who cares about that new bowl game? Last years matchup would have been Kansas State vs. Arkansas. Boy that’s really some must see TV there.

tardawg

May 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

What SEC should’ve done was grab Wake Forest instead of Mizzo, had WF be in the east moved Vandy to west along with Texas A&M brought either AL or Auburn to East that would be a interesting conference then.

zgoldatl

May 22nd, 2012
11:38 am

FSU and Clempson aren’t going anywhere.

Spanky

May 22nd, 2012
11:48 am

It’s just a matter of time before the league of super-conferences take form…4 to be exact, like Bill said(SEC being Superman, of course)…the champ of those will be the play-off teams…that’s kinda-sorta-but not really- fair…I guess! …Maybe one more cup of coffee, LOL

Bob in Buford

May 22nd, 2012
11:52 am

I’m tired of all the complaining about our scheduling. You can’t play a top 25 team every week, you’ll never get to the national championship game that way. No less than two cupcakes a year is a must. Personally, I’d prefer series like we had with ASU and Colorado over Tech. They aren’t relevant anymore and hurt our strenght of schedule.

Sam

May 22nd, 2012
11:55 am

If the SEC starts its own network then the potential eyeballs in STL and Texas makes that a much better deal. It also makes TX an easier place to recruit–lots of talent in that state. I have had the BigTen network and while the football games are not usually appealing, it is great that “minor” sports get coverage. The SEC has very good teams outside of football (and at times, basketball) that could use the coverage. SEC baseball is probably even better/deeper than football respective to other conferences. Track and field is also very good (esp with addition of TAMU). I think that by the time the network gets launched, they will have seen how the Big10 network (highly successful), the Longhorn network and the Pac12 networks did things and learn from them.

Old Dawg

May 22nd, 2012
12:03 pm

I’m not that excited about either of the new additions to the conference, and I wasn’t that excited about Arkansas. In terms of TV markets, both Texas A&M and Missouri are better than markets than Arkansas and that’s like saying I’ve got a new car … and it’s a Ford Fiesta.

As for the new bowl format, what’s up with dat? With a 4-team play-off almost assured of having the tip teams from the SEC and Big 12, we’ll be stuck watching the next best teams … again, a Ford Fiesta.

Cunk Rogers

May 22nd, 2012
12:18 pm

I would rather see us give Mizzou back and take Clemson for the SEC East. Not happening I know but would have made much much more sense.

McDawg

May 22nd, 2012
12:20 pm

once Mizzou or A&M whip UF or UT it will then be worth expansion

Jeff

May 22nd, 2012
12:24 pm

The CBS contract is peanuts compared to the ESPN (Tier2) contract and the SEC Network that’s about to be launched.

Look for SEC schools to be pulling in $30million+ once the new deals are announced….Up from $17million pre-expansion. Yeah,lol, I’d say the additions of A&M and Missouri were worth it.

BP85

May 22nd, 2012
12:29 pm

The SEC has definitely taken it to the next level. Unfortunatly, it was one or two notches down from where we started. And the only teams in the SEC that will truly benefit from this are Missouri and A&M.

Desert Fox

May 22nd, 2012
12:51 pm

BK. Tough question. Wouldn’t want to be either of those two teams when they get into a full SEC schedule. The traveling alone will take its toll on both.

Anyone catch the ESPN CFB roundtable a week or so ago? UGA was the subject and if could they go all the way this season and win the SEC. One concensus was the dawgs need a new playbook or at least major revisions. Current one is too dated and lacks plays to keep Defenses off balance. Point many GA bloggers have been making for several years now. Hope someone was listening at GA HQ. Might make a good article, BK.

Chipper J

May 22nd, 2012
1:05 pm

FSU & CLEMSON announcing changing to BIG 12 in the next few days.

JB

May 22nd, 2012
1:06 pm

All very interesting, but will we be able to run the ball this year and will special teams finally win us a game vs costing us a game? How many OL lineman will we sign? going to be a big class. I would hope for at least 6.

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
1:09 pm

Look for SEC schools to be pulling in $30million+ once the new deals are announced

The current estimations are that the SEC will get close to 25 million total after the new deals are announced. They won’t come anywhere close to 30 million.

JB

May 22nd, 2012
1:11 pm

Thank you Mr. Insider GTBob.

JB

May 22nd, 2012
1:14 pm

Boy, if Clemson and FSU leave the ACC, that league is way watered down. Ouch. Although it would give Tech 2 more wins when they replace them with 2nd or 3rd tier teams.

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
1:19 pm

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
1:21 pm

Boy, if Clemson and FSU leave the ACC, that league is way watered down. Ouch. Although it would give Tech 2 more wins when they replace them with 2nd or 3rd tier teams.

Tech has won 5 of the last 6 against Clemson and FSU. They aren’t exactly stellar programs.

JB

May 22nd, 2012
1:23 pm

Desert Fox……….Our play book. The whole world knows it’s dated and predictable. Even when Kiffen was at Tennessee, he said about Georgia ,” we know what they don’t and we will be prepared”……He handed Richt his hat. Most woman who watch UGA football can look at the field position, down and distance and call the play 80% of the time. You don’t think the DC’s of our foes can’t?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 22nd, 2012
1:30 pm

Doesnt 25 million qualify as close to 30 million? It certainly isn’t anywhere near. Also I think the SEC will be just fine with 25 million Bob.

ozzfest

May 22nd, 2012
1:36 pm

ESPN…INCLUDING DAVID POLLACK…BASICALLY CALLED BOBO AN IDIOT AND SHAMED GREG McGARRITY (KING WIMP) FOR THE HORRIBLE SCHEDULE.

…DON’T LOOK NOW…UGA JUST SENT AN EMAIL BEGGING SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TO BUY UNSOLD BUFFALO & FLORIDA ATLANTIC TICKETS.

THEY ARE YOURS TO EAT, KING WIMP!!

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
1:40 pm

Doesnt 25 million qualify as close to 30 million? It certainly isn’t anywhere near. Also I think the SEC will be just fine with 25 million Bob.

No, 5 million per team per year is a lot of money. For a 15 year contract that is over a billion dollar difference total. Sure the SEC will be fine though. They will probably be 4th in TV money when all of this shakes out but they will be ok. They would benefit greatly if they started their own conference television network, although it probably wouldn’t have much of a national audience.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 22nd, 2012
1:42 pm

Bob,Bob,Bob the SEC will be just fine. Thank you though for your continued interest into all thing UGA and SEC.

7576DAWG

May 22nd, 2012
1:44 pm

If CBS will not pay what the market will allow then you sign a deal with another network. End of discussion.
Bring in Texas A&M and Missouri was a very smart thing. It is Pro Active and the SEC had no choice but to be in the lead of the way College football is changing. If they want to bury their heads in the sand and make like the changing dynamics of College Football, because of advancements in the media coverage and thus pay outs, is not going to happen then they will be left behind and the SEC will lose it’s relevance as the leader of college football.

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
1:56 pm

If CBS will not pay what the market will allow then you sign a deal with another network. End of discussion.

This is a renegotiation of a contract, not a new contract. They can’t just sign with whoever they want on the open market.

Across the Wide Missouri

May 22nd, 2012
1:58 pm

Missouri 42, Georgia 13

It’s coming, you just know it is!

Gary

May 22nd, 2012
2:14 pm

Across the Wide? Do you really think you can put 43 on Georgia’s defense? I am not saying the dawgs win but that is a pretty bold number to throw out. Do you have some new huge impact players this year? I don’t remember you being the powerhouse of the big 12 last year? Do you know something the Dawgnation doesn’t? Just curious. We may not win the big games, but it is not too often teams throw 43 against the Dawgs ( though it has happened more than I wish to remember ). Good luck, the east is wide open. If you can put 43 on the Dawgs I am pretty sure you can beat SC and Florida and own the east. Not a bad start. Division champs in th year one. Who knows, with a power offense putting up 43, you may be able to dent Bama and LSU defenses. You do that and your are playing for the NC! Wow, from mid pack big 12 to playing for the NC all in one conference move. Can’t wait to see it.

Fumblin' Bumblin'

May 22nd, 2012
2:17 pm

Why does everyone keep ripping on the would’ve-been match-up of Kansas State and Arkansas? Given how they played last season, and the fact that Arkansas won the Cotton Bowl by 13 points, I wouldn’t call that a bad match-up. Plenty of people though Clemson would be better than they were, but they lost their bowl by 70-33. Was that necessarily a bad match-up going in? No. Chances are slim that an SEC of Big XII champ plays in the new bowl game for a while. Doesn’t mean you have to knock the game. A second-tier SEC-BigXII game is still better than the ACC Championship Game.

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

I will tell you what is coming MR TECH TROLL-aka Across the wide missouri

A first rate butt kicking at the hand of the Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia 56
Mizzou 17

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
2:26 pm

Across the wide missouri aka Tech fan

Here is reality

Georgia 56
Mizzou 17

Franklin won’t finish the game

JB

May 22nd, 2012
2:39 pm

Dawg’s D this year is why all the love from the National Press. It’s legit. We might not have given up 43 points TOTAL by the time we get to Jacksonville.

GTBob

May 22nd, 2012
2:40 pm

Why does everyone keep ripping on the would’ve-been match-up of Kansas State and Arkansas?

Because nobody cares about either one of them and Kansas St was average at best last season.

JB

May 22nd, 2012
2:40 pm

In other football news, It’s Tuesday at Tech today.

kingdaddy

May 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

Lex
If Franklin does finish the game, it will be on his back-side or the side-line. They better have a running game to fall back on! And their All-Star Freshmen W/R ain’t never been hit, like he’s gonna get hit by the JYDs…

kingdaddy

May 22nd, 2012
3:11 pm

Bill (The Real) King
Great to have you back, please don’t ever leave again! Ever!!!

Dawg Haus

May 22nd, 2012
3:15 pm

This expansion stuff is already starting to get out of control. The SEC will be fine, but tradition is taking a serious hit across the entire college football landscape. I have no plans of ever traveling to see the Dawgs play in Missouri, but I’d make the short trip to Clemson or Tallahassee in a heartbeat.

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
3:27 pm

ozzfest

i watched the ESPN roundtable about Georgia

Pollack never called Bobo an idiot. He stated quite well that the offense has not changed like some other schools have done but is capable if Murray can be a leader and limit mistakes.

Big difference from what you described

Sam

May 22nd, 2012
3:28 pm

Free Shoes and The Clemp will stay in the ACC……Free Shoes cant even win the ACC and there thinking of the Big 12? The Clemp got torched to the tune of 70+ by a big east school- that set them back lightyears……

Sam

May 22nd, 2012
3:31 pm

and let’s not forget the mistake on North Ave- funny, nobody is trying to get them in their conference. Probably because all they bring is two hotdogs…two cokes….HA!

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
3:31 pm

ozz

So 5 years ago, when the schedule was developed for the SEC games(except switching Bama for Mizzou which the SEC office did), you think the schedule was crap back then?

Auburn was capable of winning big-2006 were a top 10 team when we beat them
Florida was in the middle of Tebow leading them to glory
UT was capable of winning the East, which they did in 2007
SC had just hired Spurrier so they were getting better
Kentucky beat LSU in 2007, they year they won the BCS

So when the schedule was made 5 years ago, wasn’t it considered tough?

Richt and McGarity can’t help that things have gone bad in Gainesville and Knoxville

GATiger

May 22nd, 2012
3:59 pm

No because Mizzou will beat Georgia!! :)

GATiger

May 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

Only two teams in the SEC I like to see loose….UGA and Bama!

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
4:06 pm

You will get your wish

UGA will run “loose” all over Mizzou

56-17

One of the requirements of being a good TROLL is knowing how to spell………………

Sam

May 22nd, 2012
4:06 pm

Only two teams in the SEC I like to see loose

loose????? HA! easy to tell GATiger is from “Da Barn”! 5 of the last 6 and blowouts to boot except when you pay for a QB!!!! GO Dawgs!