This week has brought a lot of news in the world of conference realignment so TheJim will attempt to clarify fact from fiction and the news. So starting from West to East...
Fact- The presidents decided not to expand past 12 at this time. This means no OU and Oklahoma State in the Pac.
Rumors- Colorado led a group that did not want to add former Big 12 schools also rumored to be in this block are Utah and one or both Arizona schools. The key issue for them seems to be loss of games in the LA market.
The Long Horn Network became a huge sticking point. The alleged deal was UT got to keep LHN money until P12N money matched it. This was unacceptable to at least the LA schools.
What does this mean? The Pac is probably out of the expansion game for the foreseeable future. Outside of the Big 12 there are no other schools in the west that they have any interest in enough to make a move at this point. Boise will never be an option for the Pac 12.
Fact- It’s still alive. And Beebe is now out as Commissioner.
Rumors- Texas is willing to do equal revenue sharing for Tier 1 and 2 Media rights but will not share LHN rights.
OU is spinning that the Pac 12 was just a ruse to make the B12 stronger or something.
Mizzou seems to be staying put. Seems to be.
What does this mean? The Big 12 will stay around not so much because anyone besides Baylor and Iowa St wants it too but because politics makes in a necessity. Texas won’t find a new home because they want or need to bring Texas Tech and because they will not make concessions on the Long Horn Network. OU won’t find a new home because they want or need to bring Oklahoma State. Mizzou is willing to stay for 2 reasons, first they will be seeing a lot of money in the near future and second they are still available if the Big Ten ever calls them.
They have been silent during this round except a rumor that they tried to put together a ND and Texas package.
What does this mean? Unless ND makes a move I do not expect them to make any expansion news until the 2014/2015 time frame.
Fact- They still only have 12 Universities in the conference at this moment.
They have extended an invitation that has been excepted to Texas A&M on the condition that every school in the Big 12 sign a legal waiver of their right to sue which has not been signed by at least Baylor and potentially 6 other schools.
Baylor (and pals) will wave litigation if the Big 12 is saved
The SEC offered Mizzou on condition that the Big 12 four went to the Pac.
The SEC made a pitch for MU, OU, OSU, but Oklahoma turned them down
The SEC was approached by WVU and turned down.
The SEC has not been in talks with FSU (but FSU “would listen”).
What does this mean? They will eventually accept Texas A&M it is just a matter of time. The bigger issue for the SEC is they do not have a 14th team lined up. They lost out on Mizzou from all appearances. If WVU is off the table for them there is not a Big East team that is acceptable academically or culturally. They really can’t take a non-AQ as this is a sign of failure and there is no one out their either in or close to their footprint that is worth it. This leaves ACC teams and at this point ACC schools are going to at least wait to see how the updated ACC contract will look like and if there is any chance of the ACC landing ND.
Fact- They are on life support right now.
Rumors- They have approached at least Navy and Air Force and possibly also Army as football only members.
WVU, UCONN and Rutgers appear to be looking for a life line elsewhere.
USF has blocked UCF from membership.
What does this mean? The move to add the service academies is a brilliant political move to save the AQ bid. I imagine that at least 1 and possibly 3 teams might end up in Big 12 if they go back to 12. UCONN and/or Rutgers might still end up in the ACC. Even WVU might still end up in the SEC. This is a sinking ship and everyone is looking for a life boat.
Fact- The ACC raised its exist fee $4 million dollars to 20 million.
The ACC added Pitt and Syracuse.
Rumor- UCONN gets in at 16 if ND is 15.
WVU was told no.
I will put this here just to debunk it. PSU is an option. This is not going to happen period.
FSU and Maryland fought to hold the exit fee to “just” $20 million, instead of the proposed $34 million.
What does this mean?
This buys the ACC time if nothing else. No one including FSU will leave until the contract situation is clarified. If the rumor about UCONN is true and ND is at least willing to continue to have conversation this too also buys the ACC time. They will not add another team until ND takes themselves competently out of the conversation.
Overall I expect expansion to start to slow down at least the 4 stable conferences. The Big 12 will likely go back to at least 10 with BYU their first call and most likely 12. The Big East I really can’t predict. If they do get the service academies this probably allows them to keep the conference together as well as keep their AQ status. I do expect them to lose up to 4 more teams over the next few years. I can see a split occur with the basketball only schools.