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You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
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Win5002 Offline
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Post: #1
You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
I think realignment talk is almost likes sports version of soap operas when they were in their hay day.

You combine the sport's version of sexy story lines, unfaithfulness and always looking to conquer the competition. A lot of times we know the statements or indvidual views are based on rumor or innuendo, lack facts or are just an individual's speculation. Even after individuals rationally know that, realignment still keeps roping us back in(me included).

The real question of my post is, who will win out in determining realignment and what will it look like.

There are so many factors and many can be argued both ways.
1. Will the networks control it? Is this a ESPN vs FOX, or will the alternative methods blow this things wide open and ESPN and FOX's financial influence be diminished?

2. Does college football want a BALANCED 4 Power league setup with an expanded conference playoffs(with meaningful post season games leading into a CFP(which allows us to do away with the ridiculous POST-SEASON exhibition bowl) , or will it be everyone for themselves with each league trying to acquire as many big brands as possible to maximize revenues, albeit making its existing league members path to the playoffs more difficult. IF the balanced 4 league approach is not taken do we end up with an odd number such as 5 power leagues or even 3 mega power leagues? If the B1G or SEC goes to a huge number such as 24, I can see where they would like to see the current beauty pageant approach to the playoffs so they could still get 2 bids instead of 1.

3. Will the Power Conference college football ever combine and negotiate as one or will it always be every league for themselves?

4. Will academics play a major roll? Will traditional/regional rivalries ever matter as a major factor?

Maybe if we knew these answers we would have better ideas of the final product. I guess its just still fun to speculate with what I think are our sport's version of soap operas.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2017 12:13 PM by Win5002.)
08-30-2017 11:40 AM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 11:40 AM)Win5002 Wrote:  I think realignment talk is almost likes sports version of soap operas when they were in their hay day.

You combine the sport's version of sexy story lines, unfaithfulness and always looking to conquer the competition. A lot of times we know the statements or indvidual views are based on rumor or innuendo, lack facts or are just an individual's speculation. Even after individuals rationally know that, realignment still keeps roping us back in(me included).

The real question of my post is, who will win out in determining realignment and what will it look like.

There are so many factors and many can be argued both ways.
1. Will the networks control it? Is this a ESPN vs FOX, or will the alternative methods blow this things wide open and ESPN and FOX's financial influence be diminished?

ESPN is transitioning from placing an emphasis on sports coverage to brokering rights. Look at what they laid off. They cut analysts everywhere, sports talk guys & gals, and they cut beat writers for the various conferences. I believe if you plot a map of what ESPN actually holds the rights to it will become very clear to you where they will head next. They will try to control all of Texas and probably Oklahoma since the Sooners dip so well into DFW.

Consequently, I look for them to expand their rights acquisitions.

Remember too that Amazon is not set up to produce product, but they are very well set up to distribute it. ESPN and to a lesser extent FOX will be soliciting more rights. ESPN saw this coming, as did FOX, which is why they jointly own one of the streaming services. When ESPN went counter to the philosophy of the industry and signed the SEC & ACC to deals that extend into the mid 2030's they tipped their hand. They want to be able to control distribution of the college football product. They will produce it, or lease it to other producers and then they will either lease, or another producer will sublease the product to the services already set up to put it out to the consumer by the various delivery methods.

With FOX signing a six year deal with the Big 10 they may be getting ready to get out of the Big 10 rights other than the BTN. It might be more profitable for them to simply lease from ESPN. Anyway we'll see about that.

But since the networks are who the conferences go to for valuations and who actually pays the conferences now, they will continue to set the agenda for realignment. After all we don't move unless it is profitable and they tell us what is profitable. So obviously the largest part of the control in realignment is the purse.


2. Does college football want a neat and tidy 4 Power league setup with an expanded conference playoffs(with meaningful post season games leading into a CFP(which allows us to do away with the ridiculous POST-SEASON exhibition bowl) , or will it be everyone for themselves and we end up with 5 power leagues or even 3 mega power leagues?

There are several forces at work here. Networks tend to like the symmetry in models because psychological studies show that the public likes symmetry and therefore trusts the fairness of it better than with an asymmetrical system. It also breaks down nicely for the networks. Should they be able to set up a 4 conference system where the champs only made the playoffs it assures them that all 4 regions of the country will remain interested through the semifinals, and since virtually everyone who is interested in college football tunes in for all or some of the finals that system guarantees prime ad rates through the playoffs, if not through the season.

But, the market itself will eventually determine the final configuration: two leagues, 3 power conferences or 4 will be determined by how competitive the conferences remain with one another. If the SEC and Big 10 out distance the others in revenue then we are headed for 2 leagues of roughly 30 to 36 schools each. If the ACC can close the gap then we might look at a P3 some day. If the PAC can maintain a manageable distance it will be a P4.

There are just too many built in disadvantages with the Big 12 for it to remain viable unless the Big 10 raids the PAC which would open meaningful expansion opportunities for the Big 12.

Also you are up against what college presidents don't want to see, more games and further interruptions into the academic calendar because of it. That is why I see only 1 more game being added and that one for all conferences, semi finals when the conferences expand. it only takes one more week so you can start College Football the last Saturday of August (dead TV time anyway), keep your bye weeks for recuperation, and play the extra semifinal games without affecting the calendar. Conferences pocket all of those revenues and would be more likely to approve that than some expanded national playoff where revenues are split.


3. Will the Power Conference college football ever combine and negotiate as one or will it always be every league for themselves?

We might very well form a collective bargaining group but that doesn't mean we can't remain distinct as conferences. As conferences, or even two leagues, we are not in violation of anti-trust laws. As one unit we might well be in violation of anti-trust laws.

4. Will academics play a major roll? Will traditional/regional rivalries ever matter as a major factor?

This one depends entirely upon the conference. Obviously the Big 10 will continue to be discriminatory (in a good way) in admissions based on academics. The ACC, SEC, Big 12 and PAC have varying degrees of standards but are all more open to taking schools that make them stronger whether they exactly match academic standards or not. So in that regard I don't see academics playing a dominant role in realignment outside of the Big 10.

The good news is the economy will likely place a higher priority on regionalism moving forward. So this will naturally help preserve rivalries. But that is yet to come, but will likely be a factor in all future realignment.


Maybe if we knew these answers we would have better ideas of the final product. I guess its just still fun to speculate with what I think are our sport's version of soap operas.

Once all of the factors have their impact I would not rule out 3 major conferences of 20 to 24 schools. The networks can live with that asymmetry since it provides them an opportunity to select a wild card media darling as the 4th school in the playoffs after the champions fill the first three slots.

And yes, realignment holds all of the fascination of watching a train wreck, complete with the soap opera drama, and it is true because in reality it affects something we all love, our schools.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2017 12:45 PM by JRsec.)
08-30-2017 12:41 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
I don't think there's an end game in mind. I think the NCAA, each conference, and each school have their own agendas which change over time depending on what happens. Some are seeking more immediate needs in stability and status (G5) while others are seeking more long-term needs in success (B1G, SEC, most PAC and ACC members, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame). And still others are somewhere in the middle in that they have stability and status now but could be looking from the outside-in at some point (most XII members, a couple ACC and PAC members).
08-30-2017 01:33 PM
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Win5002 Offline
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RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 01:33 PM)BePcr07 Wrote:  I don't think there's an end game in mind. I think the NCAA, each conference, and each school have their own agendas which change over time depending on what happens. Some are seeking more immediate needs in stability and status (G5) while others are seeking more long-term needs in success (B1G, SEC, most PAC and ACC members, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame). And still others are somewhere in the middle in that they have stability and status now but could be looking from the outside-in at some point (most XII members, a couple ACC and PAC members).

I might have phrased it by which of the underlying points ends up being the determining factor in what becomes the future look of college football.
08-30-2017 01:47 PM
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Win5002 Offline
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RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 12:41 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 11:40 AM)Win5002 Wrote:  I think realignment talk is almost likes sports version of soap operas when they were in their hay day.

You combine the sport's version of sexy story lines, unfaithfulness and always looking to conquer the competition. A lot of times we know the statements or indvidual views are based on rumor or innuendo, lack facts or are just an individual's speculation. Even after individuals rationally know that, realignment still keeps roping us back in(me included).

The real question of my post is, who will win out in determining realignment and what will it look like.

There are so many factors and many can be argued both ways.
1. Will the networks control it? Is this a ESPN vs FOX, or will the alternative methods blow this things wide open and ESPN and FOX's financial influence be diminished?

ESPN is transitioning from placing an emphasis on sports coverage to brokering rights. Look at what they laid off. They cut analysts everywhere, sports talk guys & gals, and they cut beat writers for the various conferences. I believe if you plot a map of what ESPN actually holds the rights to it will become very clear to you where they will head next. They will try to control all of Texas and probably Oklahoma since the Sooners dip so well into DFW.

Consequently, I look for them to expand their rights acquisitions.

Remember too that Amazon is not set up to produce product, but they are very well set up to distribute it. ESPN and to a lesser extent FOX will be soliciting more rights. ESPN saw this coming, as did FOX, which is why they jointly own one of the streaming services. When ESPN went counter to the philosophy of the industry and signed the SEC & ACC to deals that extend into the mid 2030's they tipped their hand. They want to be able to control distribution of the college football product. They will produce it, or lease it to other producers and then they will either lease, or another producer will sublease the product to the services already set up to put it out to the consumer by the various delivery methods.

With FOX signing a six year deal with the Big 10 they may be getting ready to get out of the Big 10 rights other than the BTN. It might be more profitable for them to simply lease from ESPN. Anyway we'll see about that.

But since the networks are who the conferences go to for valuations and who actually pays the conferences now, they will continue to set the agenda for realignment. After all we don't move unless it is profitable and they tell us what is profitable. So obviously the largest part of the control in realignment is the purse.


2. Does college football want a neat and tidy 4 Power league setup with an expanded conference playoffs(with meaningful post season games leading into a CFP(which allows us to do away with the ridiculous POST-SEASON exhibition bowl) , or will it be everyone for themselves and we end up with 5 power leagues or even 3 mega power leagues?

There are several forces at work here. Networks tend to like the symmetry in models because psychological studies show that the public likes symmetry and therefore trusts the fairness of it better than with an asymmetrical system. It also breaks down nicely for the networks. Should they be able to set up a 4 conference system where the champs only made the playoffs it assures them that all 4 regions of the country will remain interested through the semifinals, and since virtually everyone who is interested in college football tunes in for all or some of the finals that system guarantees prime ad rates through the playoffs, if not through the season.

But, the market itself will eventually determine the final configuration: two leagues, 3 power conferences or 4 will be determined by how competitive the conferences remain with one another. If the SEC and Big 10 out distance the others in revenue then we are headed for 2 leagues of roughly 30 to 36 schools each. If the ACC can close the gap then we might look at a P3 some day. If the PAC can maintain a manageable distance it will be a P4.

There are just too many built in disadvantages with the Big 12 for it to remain viable unless the Big 10 raids the PAC which would open meaningful expansion opportunities for the Big 12.

Also you are up against what college presidents don't want to see, more games and further interruptions into the academic calendar because of it. That is why I see only 1 more game being added and that one for all conferences, semi finals when the conferences expand. it only takes one more week so you can start College Football the last Saturday of August (dead TV time anyway), keep your bye weeks for recuperation, and play the extra semifinal games without affecting the calendar. Conferences pocket all of those revenues and would be more likely to approve that than some expanded national playoff where revenues are split.


3. Will the Power Conference college football ever combine and negotiate as one or will it always be every league for themselves?

We might very well form a collective bargaining group but that doesn't mean we can't remain distinct as conferences. As conferences, or even two leagues, we are not in violation of anti-trust laws. As one unit we might well be in violation of anti-trust laws.

4. Will academics play a major roll? Will traditional/regional rivalries ever matter as a major factor?

This one depends entirely upon the conference. Obviously the Big 10 will continue to be discriminatory (in a good way) in admissions based on academics. The ACC, SEC, Big 12 and PAC have varying degrees of standards but are all more open to taking schools that make them stronger whether they exactly match academic standards or not. So in that regard I don't see academics playing a dominant role in realignment outside of the Big 10.

The good news is the economy will likely place a higher priority on regionalism moving forward. So this will naturally help preserve rivalries. But that is yet to come, but will likely be a factor in all future realignment.


Maybe if we knew these answers we would have better ideas of the final product. I guess its just still fun to speculate with what I think are our sport's version of soap operas.

Once all of the factors have their impact I would not rule out 3 major conferences of 20 to 24 schools. The networks can live with that asymmetry since it provides them an opportunity to select a wild card media darling as the 4th school in the playoffs after the champions fill the first three slots.

And yes, realignment holds all of the fascination of watching a train wreck, complete with the soap opera drama, and it is true because in reality it affects something we all love, our schools.

Not that any of your points are necessarily invalid but there could be some counter views.
1.) ESPN & FOX may be the current ones set up for production and that may not change by 2026 but 2036 is a completely different time frame.

2.) College football could decide we are better off with 4 balanced leagues instead of 2 Power conferences out of 3 or 4 that are loaded beating their brains in to get to the playoffs.
Also, if league presidents don't want any more games, what is the difference between eliminating bowl games and having league quarterfinals? League quarterfinals if we had large leagues would be so much better than bowl games. If leagues got to 18 that should be enough teams to warrant quarterfinal games. Or be creative, leave the last game of the season as a floating game. That's the first playoff game, teams that don't make it are assigned an attractive matchup for fun. If they have to share gate revenues that week to make it work. I love college football but to be honest I quit watching after the league championships and switch to all NFL. College is crap after the conference season, between EXHIBITION POST SEASON games and waiting 4-5 weeks to play a game after the regular season? Its horrible.
08-30-2017 02:01 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 01:47 PM)Win5002 Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 01:33 PM)BePcr07 Wrote:  I don't think there's an end game in mind. I think the NCAA, each conference, and each school have their own agendas which change over time depending on what happens. Some are seeking more immediate needs in stability and status (G5) while others are seeking more long-term needs in success (B1G, SEC, most PAC and ACC members, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame). And still others are somewhere in the middle in that they have stability and status now but could be looking from the outside-in at some point (most XII members, a couple ACC and PAC members).

I might have phrased it by which of the underlying points ends up being the determining factor in what becomes the future look of college football.

Oh okay. Then per your 4 points, #1 & #3 combined will control the result. #4 will be a factor. #2 will be more of an outcome rather than a factor.
08-30-2017 02:10 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 02:01 PM)Win5002 Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 12:41 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 11:40 AM)Win5002 Wrote:  I think realignment talk is almost likes sports version of soap operas when they were in their hay day.

You combine the sport's version of sexy story lines, unfaithfulness and always looking to conquer the competition. A lot of times we know the statements or indvidual views are based on rumor or innuendo, lack facts or are just an individual's speculation. Even after individuals rationally know that, realignment still keeps roping us back in(me included).

The real question of my post is, who will win out in determining realignment and what will it look like.

There are so many factors and many can be argued both ways.
1. Will the networks control it? Is this a ESPN vs FOX, or will the alternative methods blow this things wide open and ESPN and FOX's financial influence be diminished?

ESPN is transitioning from placing an emphasis on sports coverage to brokering rights. Look at what they laid off. They cut analysts everywhere, sports talk guys & gals, and they cut beat writers for the various conferences. I believe if you plot a map of what ESPN actually holds the rights to it will become very clear to you where they will head next. They will try to control all of Texas and probably Oklahoma since the Sooners dip so well into DFW.

Consequently, I look for them to expand their rights acquisitions.

Remember too that Amazon is not set up to produce product, but they are very well set up to distribute it. ESPN and to a lesser extent FOX will be soliciting more rights. ESPN saw this coming, as did FOX, which is why they jointly own one of the streaming services. When ESPN went counter to the philosophy of the industry and signed the SEC & ACC to deals that extend into the mid 2030's they tipped their hand. They want to be able to control distribution of the college football product. They will produce it, or lease it to other producers and then they will either lease, or another producer will sublease the product to the services already set up to put it out to the consumer by the various delivery methods.

With FOX signing a six year deal with the Big 10 they may be getting ready to get out of the Big 10 rights other than the BTN. It might be more profitable for them to simply lease from ESPN. Anyway we'll see about that.

But since the networks are who the conferences go to for valuations and who actually pays the conferences now, they will continue to set the agenda for realignment. After all we don't move unless it is profitable and they tell us what is profitable. So obviously the largest part of the control in realignment is the purse.


2. Does college football want a neat and tidy 4 Power league setup with an expanded conference playoffs(with meaningful post season games leading into a CFP(which allows us to do away with the ridiculous POST-SEASON exhibition bowl) , or will it be everyone for themselves and we end up with 5 power leagues or even 3 mega power leagues?

There are several forces at work here. Networks tend to like the symmetry in models because psychological studies show that the public likes symmetry and therefore trusts the fairness of it better than with an asymmetrical system. It also breaks down nicely for the networks. Should they be able to set up a 4 conference system where the champs only made the playoffs it assures them that all 4 regions of the country will remain interested through the semifinals, and since virtually everyone who is interested in college football tunes in for all or some of the finals that system guarantees prime ad rates through the playoffs, if not through the season.

But, the market itself will eventually determine the final configuration: two leagues, 3 power conferences or 4 will be determined by how competitive the conferences remain with one another. If the SEC and Big 10 out distance the others in revenue then we are headed for 2 leagues of roughly 30 to 36 schools each. If the ACC can close the gap then we might look at a P3 some day. If the PAC can maintain a manageable distance it will be a P4.

There are just too many built in disadvantages with the Big 12 for it to remain viable unless the Big 10 raids the PAC which would open meaningful expansion opportunities for the Big 12.

Also you are up against what college presidents don't want to see, more games and further interruptions into the academic calendar because of it. That is why I see only 1 more game being added and that one for all conferences, semi finals when the conferences expand. it only takes one more week so you can start College Football the last Saturday of August (dead TV time anyway), keep your bye weeks for recuperation, and play the extra semifinal games without affecting the calendar. Conferences pocket all of those revenues and would be more likely to approve that than some expanded national playoff where revenues are split.


3. Will the Power Conference college football ever combine and negotiate as one or will it always be every league for themselves?

We might very well form a collective bargaining group but that doesn't mean we can't remain distinct as conferences. As conferences, or even two leagues, we are not in violation of anti-trust laws. As one unit we might well be in violation of anti-trust laws.

4. Will academics play a major roll? Will traditional/regional rivalries ever matter as a major factor?

This one depends entirely upon the conference. Obviously the Big 10 will continue to be discriminatory (in a good way) in admissions based on academics. The ACC, SEC, Big 12 and PAC have varying degrees of standards but are all more open to taking schools that make them stronger whether they exactly match academic standards or not. So in that regard I don't see academics playing a dominant role in realignment outside of the Big 10.

The good news is the economy will likely place a higher priority on regionalism moving forward. So this will naturally help preserve rivalries. But that is yet to come, but will likely be a factor in all future realignment.


Maybe if we knew these answers we would have better ideas of the final product. I guess its just still fun to speculate with what I think are our sport's version of soap operas.

Once all of the factors have their impact I would not rule out 3 major conferences of 20 to 24 schools. The networks can live with that asymmetry since it provides them an opportunity to select a wild card media darling as the 4th school in the playoffs after the champions fill the first three slots.

And yes, realignment holds all of the fascination of watching a train wreck, complete with the soap opera drama, and it is true because in reality it affects something we all love, our schools.

Not that any of your points are necessarily invalid but there could be some counter views.
1.) ESPN & FOX may be the current ones set up for production and that may not change by 2026 but 2036 is a completely different time frame.

2.) College football could decide we are better off with 4 balanced leagues instead of 2 Power conferences out of 3 or 4 that are loaded beating their brains in to get to the playoffs.
Also, if league presidents don't want any more games, what is the difference between eliminating bowl games and having league quarterfinals? League quarterfinals if we had large leagues would be so much better than bowl games. If leagues got to 18 that should be enough teams to warrant quarterfinal games. Or be creative, leave the last game of the season as a floating game. That's the first playoff game, teams that don't make it are assigned an attractive matchup for fun. If they have to share gate revenues that week to make it work. I love college football but to be honest I quit watching after the league championships and switch to all NFL. College is crap after the conference season, between EXHIBITION POST SEASON games and waiting 4-5 weeks to play a game after the regular season? Its horrible.

I don't disagree about the 4 week layoff. But even with conferences of 18 if you had three divisions of 6 (which is beneficial for establishing a scheduling model that allows you to play everyone) 4 schools in the semis is all you need.
08-30-2017 02:12 PM
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murrdcu Offline
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Post: #8
RE: You have to wonder what does the end game look like for college football?
(08-30-2017 02:12 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 02:01 PM)Win5002 Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 12:41 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(08-30-2017 11:40 AM)Win5002 Wrote:  I think realignment talk is almost likes sports version of soap operas when they were in their hay day.

You combine the sport's version of sexy story lines, unfaithfulness and always looking to conquer the competition. A lot of times we know the statements or indvidual views are based on rumor or innuendo, lack facts or are just an individual's speculation. Even after individuals rationally know that, realignment still keeps roping us back in(me included).

The real question of my post is, who will win out in determining realignment and what will it look like.

There are so many factors and many can be argued both ways.
1. Will the networks control it? Is this a ESPN vs FOX, or will the alternative methods blow this things wide open and ESPN and FOX's financial influence be diminished?

ESPN is transitioning from placing an emphasis on sports coverage to brokering rights. Look at what they laid off. They cut analysts everywhere, sports talk guys & gals, and they cut beat writers for the various conferences. I believe if you plot a map of what ESPN actually holds the rights to it will become very clear to you where they will head next. They will try to control all of Texas and probably Oklahoma since the Sooners dip so well into DFW.

Consequently, I look for them to expand their rights acquisitions.

Remember too that Amazon is not set up to produce product, but they are very well set up to distribute it. ESPN and to a lesser extent FOX will be soliciting more rights. ESPN saw this coming, as did FOX, which is why they jointly own one of the streaming services. When ESPN went counter to the philosophy of the industry and signed the SEC & ACC to deals that extend into the mid 2030's they tipped their hand. They want to be able to control distribution of the college football product. They will produce it, or lease it to other producers and then they will either lease, or another producer will sublease the product to the services already set up to put it out to the consumer by the various delivery methods.

With FOX signing a six year deal with the Big 10 they may be getting ready to get out of the Big 10 rights other than the BTN. It might be more profitable for them to simply lease from ESPN. Anyway we'll see about that.

But since the networks are who the conferences go to for valuations and who actually pays the conferences now, they will continue to set the agenda for realignment. After all we don't move unless it is profitable and they tell us what is profitable. So obviously the largest part of the control in realignment is the purse.


2. Does college football want a neat and tidy 4 Power league setup with an expanded conference playoffs(with meaningful post season games leading into a CFP(which allows us to do away with the ridiculous POST-SEASON exhibition bowl) , or will it be everyone for themselves and we end up with 5 power leagues or even 3 mega power leagues?

There are several forces at work here. Networks tend to like the symmetry in models because psychological studies show that the public likes symmetry and therefore trusts the fairness of it better than with an asymmetrical system. It also breaks down nicely for the networks. Should they be able to set up a 4 conference system where the champs only made the playoffs it assures them that all 4 regions of the country will remain interested through the semifinals, and since virtually everyone who is interested in college football tunes in for all or some of the finals that system guarantees prime ad rates through the playoffs, if not through the season.

But, the market itself will eventually determine the final configuration: two leagues, 3 power conferences or 4 will be determined by how competitive the conferences remain with one another. If the SEC and Big 10 out distance the others in revenue then we are headed for 2 leagues of roughly 30 to 36 schools each. If the ACC can close the gap then we might look at a P3 some day. If the PAC can maintain a manageable distance it will be a P4.

There are just too many built in disadvantages with the Big 12 for it to remain viable unless the Big 10 raids the PAC which would open meaningful expansion opportunities for the Big 12.

Also you are up against what college presidents don't want to see, more games and further interruptions into the academic calendar because of it. That is why I see only 1 more game being added and that one for all conferences, semi finals when the conferences expand. it only takes one more week so you can start College Football the last Saturday of August (dead TV time anyway), keep your bye weeks for recuperation, and play the extra semifinal games without affecting the calendar. Conferences pocket all of those revenues and would be more likely to approve that than some expanded national playoff where revenues are split.


3. Will the Power Conference college football ever combine and negotiate as one or will it always be every league for themselves?

We might very well form a collective bargaining group but that doesn't mean we can't remain distinct as conferences. As conferences, or even two leagues, we are not in violation of anti-trust laws. As one unit we might well be in violation of anti-trust laws.

4. Will academics play a major roll? Will traditional/regional rivalries ever matter as a major factor?

This one depends entirely upon the conference. Obviously the Big 10 will continue to be discriminatory (in a good way) in admissions based on academics. The ACC, SEC, Big 12 and PAC have varying degrees of standards but are all more open to taking schools that make them stronger whether they exactly match academic standards or not. So in that regard I don't see academics playing a dominant role in realignment outside of the Big 10.

The good news is the economy will likely place a higher priority on regionalism moving forward. So this will naturally help preserve rivalries. But that is yet to come, but will likely be a factor in all future realignment.


Maybe if we knew these answers we would have better ideas of the final product. I guess its just still fun to speculate with what I think are our sport's version of soap operas.

Once all of the factors have their impact I would not rule out 3 major conferences of 20 to 24 schools. The networks can live with that asymmetry since it provides them an opportunity to select a wild card media darling as the 4th school in the playoffs after the champions fill the first three slots.

And yes, realignment holds all of the fascination of watching a train wreck, complete with the soap opera drama, and it is true because in reality it affects something we all love, our schools.

Not that any of your points are necessarily invalid but there could be some counter views.
1.) ESPN & FOX may be the current ones set up for production and that may not change by 2026 but 2036 is a completely different time frame.

2.) College football could decide we are better off with 4 balanced leagues instead of 2 Power conferences out of 3 or 4 that are loaded beating their brains in to get to the playoffs.
Also, if league presidents don't want any more games, what is the difference between eliminating bowl games and having league quarterfinals? League quarterfinals if we had large leagues would be so much better than bowl games. If leagues got to 18 that should be enough teams to warrant quarterfinal games. Or be creative, leave the last game of the season as a floating game. That's the first playoff game, teams that don't make it are assigned an attractive matchup for fun. If they have to share gate revenues that week to make it work. I love college football but to be honest I quit watching after the league championships and switch to all NFL. College is crap after the conference season, between EXHIBITION POST SEASON games and waiting 4-5 weeks to play a game after the regular season? Its horrible.

I don't disagree about the 4 week layoff. But even with conferences of 18 if you had three divisions of 6 (which is beneficial for establishing a scheduling model that allows you to play everyone) 4 schools in the semis is all you need.

I think we are publicly seeing displeasure being voiced from AD's of power conferences with large number of members complaining about the scheduling restrictions now placed on them to see conference members from the other division within a reasonable time frame.

Greater in conference scheduling flexibility will be the issue. Once that is resolved at the NCAA level we'll see where the next wave of realignment is likely to come from.
08-30-2017 03:14 PM
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