Below is something I posted on Coogfans in late Jan/early Feb of this year. Now that BYU, Cincy, and UH, are being talked about as the primary Big 12 candidates I think it may make some good fodder for discussion. Sorry the tables aren’t showing up right, I will try to fix them. But it lists team and then score (normalized to 100)
Below I have attempted a quantitative calculation of candidate viability for the Big 12. I believe that the data the Big 12 will be given this summer will look something in the neighborhood of this.
Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a statistician and have never really produced metrics beyond doing it in a couple of college courses and a little at work, however, the calculations are mostly just weighting/averaging in excel and are largely based on real objective data and this took me a fair amount of time to do. I also realize that I don’t know all the factors that matter to the Big 12 and how they weigh them. This is a best guess of something reasonable given real data.
- football wins last 10 years
- top 25 finishes last 10 years in football
- men’s basketball wins last 10 years
- NCAA basketball tournament appearances last 10 years
- NCAA basketball final RPI rankings
- local market size related to value added for a Big 12 network (Houston drags here because we are already in the footprint of the Big 12)
- local market size related to recruiting (what % of population signs D1 football scholarships is taken into account here - for instance the South signs more players per capita to a scholarship than the North East)
- national tv appeal for football
- distance from other Big 12 schools (an indirect way of accounting for travel costs for sports)
- US News national academic ranking
- Tier 1 research university or not
- traditional rivalries with current Big 12 schools
- football facilities to include practice facilities and potential use of NFL stadium in city
- basketball facilities to include basketball facilities and potential use of NBA arena in city
- fan support of football and basketball
*** facilities in the works that will be open in next 2 years are counted positively towards facilities scores***
***Recent accomplishments are weighted heavier than more distant ones to account for momentum (a top 25 football finish in 2015 is more valuable than a top 25 finish in 2010). ***
*** for the most part the factors are weighted about the same except recruiting and basketball strength are weighted slightly less and tv/Big 12 nework appeal are weighted slightly higher ***
Without further ado I give you my (I believe) reasonably accurate overall candidacy strength scores for addition to the Big 12 on a scale of 100:
Final Overall Strength Score
Boise State 52.3505516
Colorado State 36.7245379
- BYU is strong in football, basketball, fan support and academics, but lacks in geography, recruiting, and has drawbacks of no Sunday games and BYU TV.
- Houston is strong in geography, tv appeal, facilities, and football but lacks in academics, fan support, and basketball program strength.
- Cincy is strong overall, being in the top 5 in every category except television strength because they don’t have the largest national appeal or local market size.
4./5. USF and UCF’s largest value comes from their market sizes being opened to recruiting and a Big 12 network. USF sports have been bad the last 10 years though and they don’t have their own football stadium, so UCF probably produces the better overall package.
- Boise State has good football and basketball along with facilities, but lacks in market size, geography, recruiting advantage, and academics which are likely killers.
- Connecticut has great basketball and academics but geography, football, facilities (to an extent), and recruiting really hurt them.
- Memphis is strong in fan support, basketball, and geography but lacks in academics, football facilities, football, and value added to a Big 12 network…too many weakness in my opinion to be in real contention.
- Colorado State has some strengths but is clearly a level below being ready for the Big 12.
Therefore in conclusion, BYU, Houston, Cincy, USF, and UCF should be the only real contenders for Big 12 expansion. If it is all about getting new market $$$ then USF is the team however their sports lack and they don’t have their own football stadium. UCF has their own stadium, larger student population, and enough recent success in sports that I think they would win out over USF for those reasons if a Florida school is picked unless JUST tv dollars talk. BYU is greatly appealing for all sports but would be even more with just football only as that would greatly reduce a primary weakness in geography. Cincy is extremely solid in all areas but I think their tv market value is overrated –but they do appear to be a relatively safe choice and do fill the real desire to “bridge” WVU.
I have been saying for months that UH and BYU (football only) are the best options and I think this data (although somewhat subjective and largely debatable) shows it – BYU even with all sports still turns out to be the Big 12’s best option. However, If BYU is a no go due to BYU TV, Sunday sports, geography, or their demands in general, then UH and Cincy are the best two choices given no Big 12 network. Given a Big 12 network UH is still a better choice overall by a decent margin as long as the Big 12 doesn’t value a Big 12 network much higher than other factors (the overall rankings shown take into account a Big 12 network at 10%). In the end, could the Big 12 maintaining individual tier 3 rights and shunning a Big 12 network (largely due to the LHN) get us a Big 12 invite? I think the data supports that we should get an invite in that instance. Even with a Big 12 network, we are still notably stronger overall, then Cincy or the Florida schools – that is unless they weigh the network’s value VERY high relative to the other factors (which I’ve calculated to weigh tv/network factors at about 50% of the equation vice 30% now).
I haven’t taken political pressure for a UH invite into account because that is hard to quantify and an argument can be made that the vitriol of the Texas Big 12 schools toward our inclusion basically negates any politicking affect one way or another creating a zero sum difference in effect.
If anyone is interested, I can share the spreadsheet I used for calculations.
note- the top school in each category is given 100% and everyone else is adjusted down according to their relative strength in that category
Football Strength – 20%
Boise State 100
Colorado State 21.39918
Television Strength (combination of local appeal and national appeal) – 15%
Boise State 71.63808
Colorado State 16.50272
Value to add to a new Big 12 network – 15%
Boise State 31.7363
Colorado State 17.55143
Basketball Strength – 5%
Boise State 59.66517
Colorado State 47.16319
Academics – 10%
Colorado State 74.35897
Boise State 0
Recruiting value to Big 12 – 5%
Colorado State 2.128694
Boise State -3.10534
Colorado State 71.26283
Boise State 0
Facilities-Fan Support – 20%
Boise State 70.08201
Colorado State 51.54902