ESPN wants to block B12 expansion by non-P5 teams

I just don’t think there’s money in the superconference idea, at least, not more money than schools currently get. Why would all the superpowers in college football break off to form a 30 team league? Most are in their current conferences because they are in the company of like-minded schools. The B1G and the Pac12 are together for research opportunities more than sport.

But let’s float this idea: 30 teams break apart and form their own “league.” First problem, some of these teams won’t be as successful. Are Michigan State fans going to be happy if they end up at the bottom of this new league. What about FSU or LSU if they can’t get 5-6 wins a year beating up on lesser teams and have a string of .500 seasons. I mean, someone has to lose, right? Why would the schools go for that?

Lastly, breaking off like this will alienate 90+ fanbases; most of whom will never watch this new league. This isn’t the NFL, Auburn people won’t follow Alabama if Auburn is left out; folks in Kansas aren’t going to pay attention if neither KU or KSU are invited. Same with how the Big 12 is falling to the wayside in Houston with the Cougars and Aggies not involved. Folks watch college football now either to follow their own team or in hoping that their team has a chance. Even now, G5 teams at least have a sliver of a chance to reach for the championship no matter how slim it is. Forming this league eventually kills that hope, thereby, killing interest.

I just don’t see it happening unless ESPN/FOX/NBC etc was willing to come in with a huge “NFL” type of offer to certain schools and I don’t think any of them would be willing to do that.

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As far as the OP article from Ourand, here’s some more reasonable takes on the matter:

I agree with you but remember the idea has been “floating” for a while now. I sure hope it won’t happen. The sad truth is that the ESPNs of the world have complete disregard when it comes to tradition.

If this were 5 years ago when there was enough money floating around to entice schools, I could see it. In this age where ESPN/FOX/etc are hurting because of cord cutters, there’s just no way. I think we’re starting to see the last realignment wave for awhile. Once the Big 12 settles on who they want to add (if they do), I’m not sure there will be any push to add anyone else. Maybe if a few of the remaining G5 teams rise up and have all the qualifications, but the more that we enter the age of the P5 (haves) vs. G5 (haven -nots), the worse its going to get for those left behind. Why it’s so important that UH is included now.

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Because the university is determined to be considered as a big-time flagship state school like UT is here. Big time = big time football

Also, the state spent nearly 100 million dollars on upgrading UConn football to I-A a decade ago and admitting defeat on that will make the politicians that OK’d that vulnerable in a primary.

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6 teams???

I think he was just trying to pass that along to the 6 main candidates.

So you’re saying the first source is his next door neighbor and the second sources are the executives…each really expressing different sentiments but made to look like the executives are expressing one collective sentiment?

Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky, …Fertitta may use basketball to the extent that Louisville looked more attractive after Strong got the football team into shape. Meyer got Utah in. Patterson got TCU in. In Texas the Governor can swing the vote…Where have you gone Ann Richards, Baylor turns its lonely eyes to you. They all want the Coog’s paw print without UH being able to stand there and will use any means of collusion to keep the status quo. They sweet talk Houston, send flood relief for the benefit of the recruiting.

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uta alone blocked us from the small12. This always has been about recruiting and the number of Texas Teams playing Div 1 Football. More Teams equals talent being spread around. Mr. Oliver signing with us reminded the small12 members and uta in particular what the greater Houston are means to them. Look at their rosters.
The argument that it was going to cost $M to espitty is very debatable. espitty wants more advertising revenue? They need more eye balls. U of H would have provided that. Please correct me if I am wrong but we even went to the extent of offering some financial "buy in"
We got into the SWC after years of being rejected. Then we get in and win immediately. uta never forgot that. They do not want to have history repeat itself. Remember when there is a will there is a way. In our case it is 100% ill will from uta. We are their worst nightmare.

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What sparked the resurrection of this thread?

I don’t know, but coincidentally I was looking up some of the articles from last year’s expansion fiasco. Maybe its the anniversary coming up of that day or some masochistic nostalgia.

PS - non-expansion was above all ESPN’s doing…didn’t want to pay for additional schools since they’re going broke

ok I’m done

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I would put it more on FOX. One of their executives came out right before the president’s vote and stated that they would not be happy if the conference expanded with the choices available.

This was a TV market battle between two rival networks. The two networks could not agree on which schools should be added, therefore, no school was added.

no league is going to expand when 2 most high profile programs have made it clear they are LEAVING when GOR expires…

Which is why many blasted the other eight in the Big 12 for not going ahead with expansion, pulling in strong programs, and attempting to build something while the two powers were still there. Networks got them in the end by threatening to hurt them when the next contract came up if they went against their wishes.

In the end, FOX/ESPN together did more to kill the Big 12 than any other entity.


Patrick I agree with you 99.999% of the time but I still smell small horn manure. Even if they made their intentions clear they could have easily “brokered” a deal a few years ahead. The very fact that we still have not been invited to a P5 speaks volume. It makes absolutely no business and marketing sense or…someone is telling others to back off. History speaks for itself. Our inclusion into the SWC speaks for itself.
Again why would not you have the 4th largest City with a resurrected program in a P5…any P5? We have had great ratings within a major market. The sports business journal even mentioned it a while back. Take the Big10 with Nebraska or even the SEC with Arkansas. Is it cheaper to fly from New Orleans to Houston or New Orleans to Little Rock? it is $81 vs $246. It is cheaper from Houston to Detroit than Omaha to Detroit. What gives? Recruiting. Education some say? The same one that have imaginary courses and give credit to student athletes? I will never trust the enemy as long as the status quo continues. Extremely unfortunately history proves me right. I absolutely hate writing this.

I’m not disagreeing with you, just saying where the main blame can be placed. Texas is just as culpable in this, but all of the schools are culpable as none of them stood up to the networks, nor did they fight for and of the expansion candidates. If Texas had said they want UH, and really wanted UH, I’m sure a deal would have been brokered somehow. They didn’t feel like dying on that hill for whatever reason and even Governor Abbott called them and the conference out on it.

In the end, if the networks had given the OK to expansion, something would have happened, and Houston probably would be in because of Gov Abbott. The networks were very against it and none of the conference members fought them on it, including Oklahoma, who started the whole thing.

As far as why we’re not in other conferences, bad timing has a lot to do with it. When the Big 12 was created, our school athletics programs were in a shambles. Hell, a few years after, fans were scanning their tickets multiple times to ensure we would stay above the attendance threshold that had been put in place. It’s pretty obvious why we were left out at that time and probably any time between then and 2009. Was it fair that Baylor got in over us? No, but that’s Texas politics for you.

We were able to take advantage of the Big East defections in 2011, but the Big East pissed off ESPN and ESPN decided to assert their power and effectively neuter the Big East. Of course, without them neutering the Big East, we probably wouldn’t have been invited as Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia, TCU, and Notre Dame probably don’t leave. The Big 12 didn’t want to have the same thing happen to them by either Fox, ESPN, or both which is why the decision was made not to expand.

We had dalliances with the SEC in the past, but nothing came to fruition. Now that the Aggies are there, we have no chance as A&M will let Tech and Texas in, but probably no one else. LSU’s probably in the same boat.

We don’t meet the B1G academic requirements right now and don’t have enough of a brand for them to overlook that. B1G is all about academics first. 10 years from now, who knows; maybe we can get in position by then, but we’ll need help from the state which we’re not getting.

Big 12 already made their decision. If expansion opens again, and we haven’t fallen off, we’ll be one of the first added. However, the TV contracts last through '25-'26 so there’s not much we can do on that front. They know what we offer and that we want in.

Leaves two possibilites: ACC and Pac 12. ACC is bloated right now. Unless they are willing to go to a 20 school conference and break into 2 10-team divisions, we probably don’t have much chance. They’re crazy enough to try something like that in the future, especially to get their fledgling network off the ground, but they aren’t going to move until Texas does something. The ACC and Texas are both ESPN entities, Texas matches their academic profile, and it would allow Texas to finally be with Notre Dame. The only thing that really holds Texas back is Texas politics; will Tech, Baylor, TCU boosters allow it? That’ll depend on what the offer is to Texas and for those 3 schools (and possibly Houston).

And, finally, there’s the Pac12. Pac12 won’t make a move until Texas and Oklahoma decide to do something. Yes, there was friction in the past, but the Pac 12 needs markets and brands if they move east and they aren’t going to pass up the opportunity to pass up the two biggest available. We are building ourselves to match Pac-12 research and academic standards and are pushing hard for the state to allow that type of growth. When it’s time, we will make a strong case to be included in an expanded Pac12.

In the end, there’s multiple entities to blame for why we’re not in a P5 conference. Blame past UH leadership, blame Texas politics and politicians, blame the networks, and blame UT and OU for having too much sway over our future both directly and indirectly.

It always comes back to uta again and again. Any which way we can twist this uta is at the center of it.

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