Expansion Link Dump - Aug 19th

Missed yesterday as I was a little under the weather and needed sleep. Lot to catch up on today. I’ll try to break it up into separate posts to cover different topics:

For those that have thanked me, I’ve seen it. I’m real bad at taking compliments, but I do appreciate them. I do this because I’m already out there trying to scour everything and figure you all would want to know too. Hopefully, this will all be over soon and we’re all happy.

National Writers

Big 12 roundtable: How would BYU, Houston fare in Big 12 this year?

The FPI numbers aren’t as in love with Houston as the rest of the country is. UH is No. 47 in the initial FPI standings. Thus, when we experimented by simulating a season of UH playing a Big 12 team’s conference schedule (we picked West Virginia), the result was a projected conference record of 4-5. So, essentially, FPI metrics suggest UH would have a 6-7 win season this year as a member of the Big 12.

Coogfans Thread: How would BYU and UH fare in the Big 12 this year?

Mailbag: Why the Big 12 might not expand after all

And finally, whether they realized it or not, this public bakeoff the presidents touched off among the various contenders is not healthy for anyone. Schools lobbying politicians and engaging in social media campaigns – all the while still competing in their current conferences – is creating tremendous pressure on all involved. If, in fact, this ends with the Big 12 presidents picking, say, BYU and Cincinnati, there will be incredible anger and bitterness from Houston, Memphis and the like. People may lose their jobs over it.

Iowa State President

Coogfans thread on this topic: Iowa State president reveals the timeline for possible Big 12 expansion (Christmas)

Iowa State president reveals the timeline for possible Big 12 expansion

As for a timeline, Leath said the process of deciding whether to add two schools, four schools are none at all will be hammered out “between now and Christmas.”

Big 12 expansion: Prez sheds light on BYU’s role, process may extend into December
Iowa State’s president says BYU is getting a lot of attention in the Big 12’s expansion process, though not all of it is positive

By allowing so much of this process to be played out in public, the Big 12 has both educated the average fans to conference dealings and unintentionally created a popular topic for college football speculation. We should be predicting the College Football Playoff participants, but instead we’re guessing which schools will make it into the Big 12.

BYU athletics: Iowa State president talks about Big 12’s consideration of BYU

“I am getting considerable input on both sides of the issue,” he said. [BYU] is a school of integrity, they play by the rules, quality program, and people that have been there had great experiences and say we should consider BYU."

But, the president continued, referring to concerns expressed recently by LGBTQ advocacy groups about BYU’s Honor Code, "I am getting an equal number that send me their Honor Code, their [angst] with a number of their social issues.

“And then there is a smaller group that says from a logistical standpoint, the fact that they don’t compete on Sundays, the complexity especially of schools as far away as West Virginia make it unworkable.”

Iowa State President Steven Leath says his “expectation” is that Big 12 expansion is likely

In Leath’s eyes, expansion would benefit Iowa State in the sense that more teams and bigger television markets bring in more money and prestige. With the Big 12 giving the green light for a conference football game starting in 2017, Leath also believes it makes more sense to have add teams and split the conference into two divisions.


Author of the Iowa State Daily piece:

Local Writers from Big 12 locales:

Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy sounds off on conference expansion to Jim Rome

“I just feel like I have a right to an opinion,” Gundy told sports radio personality Jim Rome on Tuesday, “and whether people like it or not, I can’t determine that.”

Gundy reiterated previous statements in his interview with Rome: The Big 12 should stay the course, avoid conference expansion, and eliminate the Longhorn Network.

With power league on horizon, TCU’s future bright, uncertain

In following the similar premise based on Big Banks throughout the United States, the threat of construction of an even more exclusive Power 5 looms ominously in the distance for schools such as TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and … well, basically all but two members of the Big 12.

The key for TCU, or Baylor or Texas Tech, is to be a part of that package. That type of package is the next step in college football, and it will create a further divide in Division I athletics that is already alarmingly absurd.

I don’t have access to these articles as I’ve hit my limit, but it’s basically a chat with Cowlishaw about expansion. His issue with Houston coming in is how would they break up the divisions. Thinks that 14 would be better as all the Texas/Oklahoma schools could stay together.

Local writers from Expansion Candidate Locales:

Forecasting the Odds for the 18 Schools Targeted in Big XII Expansion

I’ll address these two as a package — this would seem to be the perfect pairing of schools that would check off the most boxes. Yes, soft head coaches like Mike Gundy, who this week fretted over what adding UH would do to his recruiting efforts in Houston, may get their panties in a bunch, but this is business. Houston and Cincinnati both bring football programs that have averaged nine wins per season since 2011, and while Cincinnati expands the footprint into Ohio (making TV happy), Houston brings several possible ratings-generating matchups with other Texas schools (also making TV happy). (SIDEBAR — If I’m the TV networks, I practically make Houston’s giving Tom Herman another gigantic raise a clause in the deal.) These are both schools that have positioned themselves for this moment for the past few years, so rewarding forward thinking is an ancillary, karmic benefit. This is the option — two schools, Houston and Cincinnati — if the Big XII is indeed expanding, that involves the most sensible thinking and the least amount of network partner alienation.

Which means, knowing the Big XII, that they will probably expand by four schools, none of which are Houston or Cincinnati.

Coogfans thread: Forecasting the Odds For the 18 Schools Targeted in Big XII Expansion

Report: Big East is UConn’s Plan B if Big 12 bid fails

Blaudschun followed with a Tuesday commentary advocating UConn’s return to the Big East and that the school should pursue football-only membership in the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West, Conference USA or the Sun Belt, which along with the AAC comprise the so-called “Group of 5”, the little brothers to the “Power 5” of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12.

New UCF coach Scott Frost could be Big 12 X- (and O) factor

Why then is Houston being portrayed as the top choice when the Cougars really bring nothing new to the table? The Big 12 already owns the Houston TV market (see Texas, University Of) and simply doesn’t need another Texas school. The Big 12 is the only conference in the southern part of the country that doesn’t have a footprint in the State of Florida and would benefit much more by adding UCF.

BYU athletics: Tom Holmoe stays mum on Big 12, says BYU welcomes all to its campus

Answering a question about whether BYU is being “proactive” in regards to a recent letter penned by LGBT advocacy groups calling for the Big 12 conference to reject the Provo school because of its policies against homosexual behavior from its faculty and students, Holmoe referred to a remark he made on Twitter the day after the letter was made public.

UNLV lacks one major component to make serious bid for Big 12

I recently asked a high-ranking college administrator from a Power 5 conference this: Which has a better chance — a Mountain West team such as UNLV being invited into the Big 12 or me beating Katie Ledecky in an 800-meter swim?

The reply: “You would lap her before the other happens.”

Rice is the lone C-USA representative on the list, according to ESPN. Why would the Big 12 or any conference be interested in the Owls? There are several reasons. To begin with, they are one of the top universities for academics in the country and certainly within C-USA. The Owls recently unveiled a new $31.5 million football facility. Oh and they are in Houston.

Western Kentucky keeping a close eye on conference realignment

If the Big XII were to expand with programs from the American, the AAC would likely look toward Conference USA to replenish its roster of members.

“As a group of athletic directors we really have talked about that in a while,” Stewart said. “But we meet in September in Dallas, that’s part of an annual meeting that we have, and I would imagine that will be a topic of discussion.”

Flugaur Tweets:

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That’d be really unfortunate for the American to lose UConn, but in pure bottom line right now the Big East is the better move.

I’m not sure they could find anywhere in the FBS to park their football though…the MAC kicked out UMass football and it’s a long ways to the Sun Belt or even the East division of CUSA. They may have to go independent.

Okay. Let’s say the B12 calls the TV broadcasters’ bluff and adds four teams for the 2017 season. The TV broadcasters are on the hook for an extra $80 million per year that they have repeatedly indicated they won’t pay. What if it isn’t a bluff by the TV partners and they refuse to pay? Of course we’re off to court, and the B12 has a solid contract by all accounts. But who broadcasts B12 games in the 2017 season? Would the B12 allow ESPN and Fox to broadcast games while the broadcasters refuse to pay the contracted amount and the case works its way through court?

From what I understand the consulting firm in Chicago the Big12 hired found this agreement in the documents so it isn’t a fly by night verbal one

As any illiterate nincompoop in America knows whether you are buying a car or house or securing a loan … IF YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE you are bound regardless if you plead insanity or just don’t want to any longer or come up with other excuses not in the agreement.

It appears two is causing A LOT OF CONSTERNATION and four alleviates the expansion issues.

So I suspect if behind the scenes the Big12 cannot agree to two then they may have to rock the boat/test the waters/push comes to shove … AND … go to four.

SOMEONE IS GOING TO PAY … the Big12 may not be the belle of the ball but they aren’t exactly Phyllis Diller either
NBC or CBS or Fox certainly won’t hesitate.

Contracts get amended all the time. All the time. And sometimes, Pawrful, contracts get breached. These disputes can actually make it to court. It is awfully naive to believe that because the language of the contract is strongly in the B12’s favor that the B12 will pin the TV broadcasters to the wall. After all, the TV broadcasters provide the B12 hundreds of millions of dollars per year. In less than 10 years, those contracts expire, and the B12 may want to negotiate a new contract with the same broadcaster(s). It isn’t wise to poison that well today. Of course, it is quite possible that UT and OU intend to leave the B12 in 2025, and a new B12 TV contract is irrelevant to them – that explains today’s naked money grab.

In the meantime, it is quite clear to anyone who has been paying attention that the TV partners will not pay an extra $80 million a year. If the B12 tries to force that issue because the contract is in their favor, it would have a lot of subsequent consequences (including who broadcasts games in the event the TV partners breach). I’ve seen no discussions in the press about that possibility, and I don’t know why. Perhaps because the press has reason to believe that 4 teams and $80 million / year is not in the cards.

I know you are very passionate about this matter, Pawrful. But please try to evaluate it from a business point of view as well.

I don’t recall any going to court as yet from the P5s and the TV broadcasters. But there is always a first time.

As for poisoning the well … if ESPN were the only dog and pony show in town then yes one would not want to do so … HOWEVER they are not … Fox and NBC and CBS are also hanging around like vultures no doubt waiting for the ESPN/Big12 drama to play out and come in and pick up the scraps (hey I can play this assumption game too)

You like to assume a lot as do most of us … but like tushies EVERYONE has one … you however seem to ALWAYS look on the doom and gloom side … poisoning the well … OU/UT leaving … naked money grab … lot of subsequent consequences and on and on … NEVER ONCE have we seen you state the opposite … but hey that is your choice … predictable but your choice.


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If ESPN nixes expansion even though it is allowed under the contract, I hope we and others file a complaint or a lawsuit against ESPN for antitrust violation, interference with a legal contract, and loss of revenue due to interference. And what other charges the lawyers should be able to come up with. Congress and the DOJ should investigate ESPN as antitrust violator…
My two cents.

Pawrful … Other broadcasters will learn from ESPN’s mistake. No contract in the future will be so tilted toward the conference with regard to expansion. Oh sure, there will be other mistakes, but no one will make that mistake again. And if the B12 burns ESPN / Fox just because they can, that will be remembered by other broadcasters as well. Put yourself in the shoes of a NBC or CBS exec. NBC or CBS will demand a “lawsuit discount” to any future contract with the B12. Being a plaintiff in a lawsuit is not risk-free.

Now the only way the B12 tries to enforce the contract as-is with the broadcasters is if negotiations totally break down and the B12 just wants to stick it to the broadcasters. In that event, the B12 adds four teams and demands an extra $80 million per year and we go to court. The TV partners don’t pay the full amount, and broadcast rights go in limbo. More likely is a negotiated solution (trust me, Pawrful, this is very common in business). The TV partners will pay a little bit more than they want, but the B12 doesn’t get all the money the contract calls for. Now this may come in various forms … perhaps the B12 adds two teams and the TV networks pay the full $40 million that the contract calls for – but the B12 sells rights to the B12 Championship Game for less than market value.

There is no dispute that the B12 has a solid contract in its favor. But it is virtually certain that a negotiated deal will emerge that differs from today’s contract. The contract is important because it will be the starting point for the B12 in negotiation. The TV partners don’t want to pay what the contract says. The ultimate outcome will be something that differs from both sides’ starting points.

Again, the only way the B12 doesn’t come off the contract terms is if negotiations fall apart. In that event, the B12 sticks it to the TV partners, adds four teams for the full $80 million per year, broadcast rights are in limbo, and we go to court. This is highly unlikely (a negotiated deal is almost certainly what will happen), but it is the only way the B12 insists on enforcing the contract.

I doubt seriously that they will burn ESPN JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN …


They will do it because they more than likely reached an impasse in their negotiations to admit only two that everyone could comply.

In court they could well state that they attempted to go with two but it didn’t work … only four resolved the issue and NO EXPANSION would be too much an embarrassment with their Cecil B. DeMille cast of 20 candidates for all America to witness.

I have NO IDEA what is happening below the radar but it would seem the “two” option may not be working and no expansion could be out of the question … the struggle could well be going to four come hell or high water and regardless of rocking the boat … poisoning the well-wise.

Well, we can find a point of agreement. The B12 is entertaining us with the 20-team circus because it wants to preserve its case in the event it goes to court. The B12 is creating a casefile that shows it conducted exhaustive and comprehensive due diligence and that it added four teams after very careful consideration (not that they wanted to stick the TV partners). The B12 most likely won’t need this kind of evidence because the case won’t go to court, but the Big 12 certainly wants to burnish its argument in the unlikely event it goes to court.

I am tired of talk like ESPN is the only network involved…They ARENT… Fox also has contracts with Big 12 and they want expansion in order to fill out their programming needs. A big expansion helps them, hurts ESPN…PAW is correct in thinking other networks would not hesitate to pay and obtain a lucrative contract like Big 12…Big 12 holds all the cards here…Big 12s issue is deciding what to do…

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