As Folks Work To Figure Out The Big Ten’s Moves, It’s Time For The SEC To Focus In On Six Possible Expansion Partners
November 20th, 2012 01:28 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: AAU, Big Ten, North Carolina, SEC
Across the college sports landscape, folks are trying to make sense of what the Big Ten has just done. While smack in the middle of negotiating a new playoff with all the other major football conferences, Jim Delany’s league was secretly negotiating with Maryland and Rutgers on the side. Until the weekend, very few saw the Big Ten’s move coming.
Now that the Big Ten is a 14-team league and it’s caught most everyone off guard, what comes next?
* Mark Schlabach of ESPN believes the age of the super-conference might finally be at hand.
* Dennis Dodd of CBS says that television insiders are having trouble wrapping their heads around the Big Ten’s move.
* Some folks are calling the Big Ten’s move “dumb” and “greedy.”
* UConn and Louisville are the favorites to replace Maryland in the ACC.
* Boise State, San Diego State and BYU could all join the Mountain West Conference. (You know things have gone crazy when schools exit conferences as soon as they enter them.)
* The Big Ten could target all sorts of southern schools.
* Even Nate Silver — The New York Times blogger who nailed this year’s election projections — weighs in to say that the Big Ten’s move east could dilute the league’s brand.
The reality is pretty simple: The biggest schools want the biggest share of television revenue from college football and its new playoff. Period. End of story.
Academics play some role in all this — the Big Ten added two more AAU schools in Maryland and Rutgers, for example — and geography matters, too, if only in terms of adding cable households. In addition, the biggest schools would like to pay their athletes “full-cost-of-tuition scholarships.” But all of those issues tie back to money.
So if we’re all headed into a super-conference era, you need to ask yourself two questions:
1. Which schools can afford to give full-cost-of-tuition scholarships?
2. Which schools can provide an increase in cable households for a conference?
We’ve already got the answers for you.
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