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What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
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ShockerDR Offline
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RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 01:03 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

The other thing about the WAC, though, is that when it split up, it didn't split along geographic lines. A few schools with more leverage than the others dictated the split by choosing a few others to go with them and telling those schools, if you don't say yes right away, we'll just pick someone else and leave you behind.

So yeah, the WAC was an unstable 16, but if any future super-sized conference splits up, it will split the same way. Those with the most leverage will control the split and others will end up holding the bag. For example, if the Big Ten ever grows larger and many become dissatisfied with it, any split would be controlled by what Ohio State and Michigan want to do, not by some collective decision in which everyone gets an equal say.

If content is morphing into the economic driver behind college athletics (i.e. football), as JR suggests, then wouldn't football independence be a more desirable option by the blue bloods that aren't already in the SEC/Big Ten, such as USC and Texas?
02-02-2018 02:16 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #32
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 02:16 PM)ShockerDR Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 01:03 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

The other thing about the WAC, though, is that when it split up, it didn't split along geographic lines. A few schools with more leverage than the others dictated the split by choosing a few others to go with them and telling those schools, if you don't say yes right away, we'll just pick someone else and leave you behind.

So yeah, the WAC was an unstable 16, but if any future super-sized conference splits up, it will split the same way. Those with the most leverage will control the split and others will end up holding the bag. For example, if the Big Ten ever grows larger and many become dissatisfied with it, any split would be controlled by what Ohio State and Michigan want to do, not by some collective decision in which everyone gets an equal say.

If content is morphing into the economic driver behind college athletics (i.e. football), as JR suggests, then wouldn't football independence be a more desirable option by the blue bloods that aren't already in the SEC/Big Ten, such as USC and Texas?

Except for having to run 15-30 other varsity sports. Their conferences would not let them continue to be a member for every sport other than football. Their own supporters would not let them dump their other sports into a non-power conference. Those conferences wouldn't want a $100 million athletic budget in their leagues anyway. You think the Southland Conference, for example, wants the Longhorns' budget in their league? No way. UT's annual athletic budget is greater than that of the entire Southland Conference combined. The annual donations to their athletic department are at least four or five times greater than the athletic donations received by all Southland schools combined.
02-02-2018 02:48 PM
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Post: #33
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 02:16 PM)ShockerDR Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 01:03 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

The other thing about the WAC, though, is that when it split up, it didn't split along geographic lines. A few schools with more leverage than the others dictated the split by choosing a few others to go with them and telling those schools, if you don't say yes right away, we'll just pick someone else and leave you behind.

So yeah, the WAC was an unstable 16, but if any future super-sized conference splits up, it will split the same way. Those with the most leverage will control the split and others will end up holding the bag. For example, if the Big Ten ever grows larger and many become dissatisfied with it, any split would be controlled by what Ohio State and Michigan want to do, not by some collective decision in which everyone gets an equal say.

If content is morphing into the economic driver behind college athletics (i.e. football), as JR suggests, then wouldn't football independence be a more desirable option by the blue bloods that aren't already in the SEC/Big Ten, such as USC and Texas?

Why?

There is no law that requires conferences be responsible for bundling and selling media rights. They existed for a long time without selling media rights or only selling the most valuable and permitting the schools to sell off what was left.

If Florida and Alabama believe it is in their best interest to retain part or all of their media rights they can try to convince the SEC to change how it handles media rights or they can depart and the odds are there are a number of schools who are better offer selling their own rights involving league games than having a conference package that doesn't include some or all of the premier programs.

Now it isn't like the other schools don't have some leverage. They have the right to control their intellectual property so while they might just declare rights belong to the home team, more likely they will come up with some sort of revenue share or else the visiting team could enjoin the telecast unless compensated.

Doesn't raise its head in non-conference because the game contracts spell out the media rights and compensation (limited to the agreed figure).
02-02-2018 03:14 PM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #34
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 01:41 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:48 AM)ken d Wrote:  In a content driven model, I could see the outside chance that the SEC and B1G could make major additions that would completely reshape college football.

Let's say the SEC poaches Florida State and Clemson from the ACC (leaving that league at 12) plus Texas, TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State from the Big 12 (leaving them at 6).

Now the B1G adds the 4 Cali schools, plus Washington and Oregon, leaving the PAC at 6.

The PAC takes Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Kansas from what's left of the Big 12, leaving West Virginia and Baylor out in the cold. Those two have little choice but to join the AAC, which welcomes them with open arms. The PAC then picks up the more geographically suited Boise State and BYU, now that the big dogs in the PAC are no longer around to block them.

Now is when things get interesting. The B1G and SEC no longer have any need for the CFP. And, they could go to divisionless scheduling, pairing members the way they want to be paired for a conference schedule. Each of them could stage an 8 team conference tournament, playing down to 2 teams, who would then be matched in a 4 team playoff ay the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl.

But wait, you say. NCAA rules don't allow this. You see where I'm going here. Who cares about those NCAA rules? Those two leagues are strong enough to tell the NCAA to pound sand. These 40 schools can make their own rules.

So, what about the rest of the FBS? After the M(ega)2, we are left with a T(weener)3 in the PAC, ACC and AAC, and a G4 (MWC, MAC, CUSA and SBC). Now that the M2 has blown up those NCAA rules about postseason play, the T3 could have a four team playoff of its own in bowl season, pitting 3 conference champs and a wild card.

Basically, nothing happens, good or bad, to the G4. They are right where the are today. The T3, however, while still very viable in everything but football, are going to take a very big financial haircut from the networks. They still have value, but not $10 million per team value. Maybe they could negotiate in the $6-8 million range. They would be dwarfed by the M2 moneybags.

Again, so what? It really isn't about how many millions you get. Nobody NEEDS that kind of money. What matters is how much do you get relative to your peers. Your peers no longer include teams in the B1G and SEC. You can just drop out of that fiscal arms race and live comfortably within your means. You don't need to pay mega salaries for your coaches, because the ones who are really worth it have already moved up in class. Forget the gold plated toilet seats and laser tag arenas for your players. Learn to live comfortably in your new upper middle class athletic lifestyle, and try not to envy the haves of the athletics rich.

Some of your fans won't be happy, but there may be some who like the new reality.

This is an interesting scenario for the post-ACC-GOR era (mid-2030s on). I'd argue that the Big Ten is likelier to take Colorado over Oregon and the SEC to take Tech over TCU (if they bother to allow either). Abandoning divisions may indeed be the way for the M2 to go.

Leaving behind Baylor and WV means the Big 12 will likely survive, although will backfill with almost all the current AAC schools. After this, Tulsa and Tulane are the only remaining AAC schools, so they form a more regional conference by absorbing CUSA West. CUSA rebuilds as an eastern conference. The ACC moves Miami to the Atlantic to balance the divisions while Notre Dame leaves for the Big East. The depleted Pac-12 absorbs 4 Big 12 schools plus Boise and Colorado State (BYU stays indy).

"Tweener 3"

ACC
Atlantic: Boston College, Louisville, Miami-FL, NC State, Syracuse, Wake Forest
Coastal: Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Big 12
East: Central Florida, Connecticut, East Carolina, South Florida, Temple, West Virginia
West: Baylor, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, Navy*, SMU
Non-FB: Wichita State

Pac-12
East: Colorado State, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, TCU, Utah
West: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State

G5

AAC
East: Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB
West: North Texas, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP, UTSA

CUSA
North: James Madison, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Western Kentucky
South: Appalachian State, Charlotte, FAU, FIU, Georgia Southern

MAC
East: Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami-OH, Ohio
West: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

MWC
Mountain: Air Force, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming
West: Fresno State, Hawaii*, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State

SBC
East: Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State, Liberty*, Troy
West: Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State*, South Alabama, Texas State
Non-FB: Little Rock, Texas-Arlington

Independent
Army, BYU, Massachusetts, Notre Dame

* = football-only affiliate

An interesting question, to which I don't know the answer, is whether if all but two schools leave a conference (like West Virginia and Baylor) would those two be allowed to retain the right to use the conference name (and existing contractual benefits) and invite most of another conference to join them?

Seems like that would be a backdoor way for one conference to shed some of its members for whom they have buyer's remorse (like Tulane and Tulsa, for example) without having to follow their own league's rules to expel them.
02-02-2018 03:39 PM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #35
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  Funny how people tend to learn the wrong lessons from everything that happens in the past.
The European powers (not just France) invested in fixed fortifications to fight the next trench war from better developed infrastructure. Germany had a similar line and tried to do one on the coast. Everyone dashed to build battleships.

WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

If the SEC can be stronger and more profitable with 20 they would be seeking 6 members to help them do that.

For decades 7 or 8 was considered the ideal number then it became 9 or 10, then we heard to the point of exhaustion that 12 was perfect.

The perfect number is the number that best fits your goals and if the market changes (which it has always done) and the ideal number is 20 we will see conferences go to 20, if 16 is the ideal we will see 16 team leagues and if the changes make it better to be in a 9 member conference then there will be risk of that happening as well.

Amazes me so few understand this.

That said, since the TV began to see growing value in college media rights, the standard negotiating unit for college TV rights has continued to shrink. It began with the NCAA negotiating for all the schools as a single block. Then a consortium of conferences became the standard unit (CFA and the remaining NCAA). Then the conference became the standard unit of negotiation. Every time its been because a subset within a negotiating unit realized they could do better separately. As long as that driver exists, I see no reason that this trend towards smaller negotiating units will not continue. Eventually, the individual school will become the base negotiating unit. There may be a step or two between that future and the current configuration (say a P5 consolidation or uneven revenue sharing within conferences)--but eventually I think we end up with individual schools negotiating their own media contracts.
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2018 03:50 PM by Attackcoog.)
02-02-2018 03:40 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-01-2018 10:26 PM)ArQ Wrote:  
(02-01-2018 09:17 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  
(02-01-2018 05:46 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(02-01-2018 05:18 PM)ColKurtz Wrote:  Not going to happen. Even 16 team conferences are iffy. Could make sense with carriage fees driving revenue but that may have already peaked. And the conference networks are already showing mostly content that the networks have passed on. There's no room for a second conference network.

Consider an ACC/SEC merger. That makes no sense because that would mean the SEC's earnings would be subsidizing the new ACC schools. Even FSU and Clemson wouldn't be bringing all of their weight because they are not adding new markets for carriage fees. Ditto for the B1G merging with anyone. Boards and presidents vote on expansion, not fans.

A scheduling arrangement between the highest profile would just as early accomplish adding inventory as voting to become a bloated mess.

If you're a fan of contraction and restoring regional rivalries, though, an 18+ team "conference" is the definitely the way to go, as it would quickly collapse under its own weight.

As to the bolded part Muskie was saying that the model would have to be "content" based. We are rapidly headed away from subscription fee based pay models and toward "content" driven ones. Will that happen overnight? No. But it is coming much sooner than people care to think that it will.

It could be driving factor in further expansion, and it could also one day be a reason for groupings to leave some schools behind. I hope we don't get to that point, but it has to be acknowledged that when the group content value is the driving force that slots within that group will have to pull their weight.

And if the rights seeking organizations should lack competitiveness then larger associations for the sake of leveraging contracts might indicate larger conferences and not smaller ones. But that direction is presently unclear.

If FOX holds its Disney shares and stays in the sports broadcasting business then it's mutual relationship with Disney profits leaves some concerns about how competitive the sports rights business will be. If on the other hand rumors prove to be correct that FOX will sell out it's sports broadcast interests to Amazon, then competitiveness for rights will be quite healthy and the need to collectivize for leverage won't be a factor.

Right now the way the distributions are figured if either the SEC or Big 10 added either or both of Texas and Oklahoma it would be extremely difficult to suggest that any further additions added to everyone's bottom line.

I've quipped that if the SEC landed OU and UT the only other two schools that could still add value to the SEC would be Ohio State and Notre Dame. Certainly neither of those would ever join the SEC, but my point was if you want to end realignment for the Big 10 and SEC let Kansas and Texas head to the Big 10 and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State head the the SEC.

In all likelihood both the SEC and Big 10 would be out of the realignment business at that point and the sole reason would be no other additions (not even Virginia or UNC or USC and Stanford) could add to the bottom line. But then both of those additions would be both content additions as well as market additions so the receiving conferences would have hedged their bets as to the future direction of realignment.

However if we move to strictly a content driven model then yes the justification for Florida State and Clemson to the SEC could be made. They are worth much more to TV if they are playing Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, L.S.U., Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas, and others than they would be worth playing just Miami and Virginia Tech with an occasional important game against Ga Tech, N.C. State, or UNC.

Each event in a content driven model becomes the basis for pay. The more intriguing the game the more you make. Clemson and F.S.U. are intriguing.

In that kind of model Virginia Tech and Miami would be of interest as well. The only thing that ever made N.C. State or UNC of interest was the market model. In a content driven world it is the competitiveness of every game that pays dividends. Conferences will reshape if this does indeed become the dominant pay model and I believe strongly that it will be within a decade.

I appreciate the support.

I think adding the Texlahoma 4, Florida St and Clemson is a case of

14 + 4 + 2 = 28

Did you fail the third grade?

Do you not understand metaphors? What I'm demonstrating is that by adding those programs the sum is greater than its parts. 20 teams ends up having the value of 28.
02-02-2018 03:42 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #37
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 11:35 AM)esayem Wrote:  What’s to stop big programs from going independent in football and reaping all the rewards? If anything, this day in age allows for better access to independent programs that can then tailor their schedule to the interest of their fan base. Joining conferences used to be about gaining access, now those doors have been broken down and burned with student-run camera crews and internet streaming.

Scheduling
02-02-2018 03:49 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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Post: #38
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 01:03 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

The other thing about the WAC, though, is that when it split up, it didn't split along geographic lines. A few schools with more leverage than the others dictated the split by choosing a few others to go with them and telling those schools, if you don't say yes right away, we'll just pick someone else and leave you behind.

So yeah, the WAC was an unstable 16, but if any future super-sized conference splits up, it will split the same way. Those with the most leverage will control the split and others will end up holding the bag. For example, if the Big Ten ever grows larger and many become dissatisfied with it, any split would be controlled by what Ohio State and Michigan want to do, not by some collective decision in which everyone gets an equal say.

Great point. Any size conference works and can be stable so long as it's profitable and the league structure keeps traditional rivals playing.

I struggle with why the WAC didn't see the flaw in their 16 team model. They knew full well that the Utah schools and New Mexico would be cut off from Wyoming, AFA, and Wyoming and yet they did it anyway.
02-02-2018 03:54 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #39
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
(02-02-2018 03:54 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 01:03 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 11:34 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  WAC 16 did not fail because 16 is an inherently bad number. WAC 16 failed because it prevented schools that desired to play each other annually from doing so and those schools soon figured out they could make more money on a per team basis as an 8 team league than 16. So why aren't the power conferences shrinking to a better number? Because they can make more larger.

The other thing about the WAC, though, is that when it split up, it didn't split along geographic lines. A few schools with more leverage than the others dictated the split by choosing a few others to go with them and telling those schools, if you don't say yes right away, we'll just pick someone else and leave you behind.

So yeah, the WAC was an unstable 16, but if any future super-sized conference splits up, it will split the same way. Those with the most leverage will control the split and others will end up holding the bag. For example, if the Big Ten ever grows larger and many become dissatisfied with it, any split would be controlled by what Ohio State and Michigan want to do, not by some collective decision in which everyone gets an equal say.

Great point. Any size conference works and can be stable so long as it's profitable and the league structure keeps traditional rivals playing.

I struggle with why the WAC didn't see the flaw in their 16 team model. They knew full well that the Utah schools and New Mexico would be cut off from Wyoming, AFA, and Wyoming and yet they did it anyway.

The story I read about that was that the WAC by-laws permitted them to invite new members with a simple majority vote, and that the existing 10 voted to invite the new 6 members with 5 voting yes, 4 voting no, and 1 school not voting. That is a crazy way to run a conference.
02-02-2018 04:10 PM
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Post: #40
RE: What will spark the dawn of the mega-conferences?
being cut off from BYU travelling fan base was the promblem
SDST was the 2nd reason
didn't AF threaten to go indepentant
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2018 04:13 PM by templefootballfan.)
02-02-2018 04:10 PM
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