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What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
Quote:In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year.

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/stor...ights-deal

Would the Big East have stayed together even if the Big East signed that deal?

At the very least, I think TCU would still have not joined and opted for the Big 12. But would that deal have been enough to keep Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia? Would all the other dominoes have still fallen the way they fell?
07-25-2020 06:39 PM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
I theorize the penalties would have been too stiff for the schools to leave the Big East.
07-25-2020 06:58 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-25-2020 06:58 PM)TexanMark Wrote:  I theorize the penalties would have been too stiff for the schools to leave the Big East.

The schools would not have put those penalties in place because they didn't want to tie themselves down. They did not want to commit to staying in the Big East long term.

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt...1809200047
Quote:On New Year’s Eve 2009, two weeks after Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany announced the conference’s plan to explore expansion, Pitt’s then-Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and then-athletic director Steve Pederson traveled to South Bend, Ind., to meet with Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, the Big East conference chair, and athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

On their agenda: finding a way to hold the Big East together.

Saving the conference, they determined, required that the league’s Division I football (FBS) schools commit to staying. When Nordenberg presented that challenge to the Big East membership, he recalled this week, he discovered “essentially without exception” schools were unwilling to commit. They seemed less concerned with strengthening the Big East than what would happen if they stayed and others left — stranding them in a crumbling conference.

Also, every school that left for a P5 conference ended up in a media deal that paid much more than the deal the hybrid Big East didn't take. The C7 also ended up with a Big East media deal that paid them each a lot more TV money than they would have made in the oversized hybrid conference.
07-25-2020 09:47 PM
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-25-2020 09:47 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(07-25-2020 06:58 PM)TexanMark Wrote:  I theorize the penalties would have been too stiff for the schools to leave the Big East.

The schools would not have put those penalties in place because they didn't want to tie themselves down. They did not want to commit to staying in the Big East long term.

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt...1809200047
Quote:On New Year’s Eve 2009, two weeks after Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany announced the conference’s plan to explore expansion, Pitt’s then-Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and then-athletic director Steve Pederson traveled to South Bend, Ind., to meet with Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, the Big East conference chair, and athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

On their agenda: finding a way to hold the Big East together.

Saving the conference, they determined, required that the league’s Division I football (FBS) schools commit to staying. When Nordenberg presented that challenge to the Big East membership, he recalled this week, he discovered “essentially without exception” schools were unwilling to commit. They seemed less concerned with strengthening the Big East than what would happen if they stayed and others left — stranding them in a crumbling conference.

Also, every school that left for a P5 conference ended up in a media deal that paid much more than the deal the hybrid Big East didn't take. The C7 also ended up with a Big East media deal that paid them each a lot more TV money than they would have made in the oversized hybrid conference.

That's an excellent article you shared. Thank you.

A lot stood out to me, but this one did the most:

Quote:He said the timing of Pitt’s move to the ACC initially was a shock, but he’d felt Pitt departing the Big East was inevitable “almost from the day [he] got there” as an assistant coach in 1999. As head coach, Dixon hoped his team, a perennial Big East power, would put Pitt in a prime position when realignment arrived.

That dates back well before the ACC's first raid on the Big East in 2003, 12 years before Pitt announces it was leaving. That's pretty telling.

Evidently, from the very beginning, the hybrid was a house built on a foundation of sand.
07-25-2020 10:36 PM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article is excellent. It describes how serious people tackled a truly complex issue.

When the BIG announced it would expand and the Big East needed to address the next round media rights, Pitt leaders first worked to understand the strategic direction and long-term value of the Big East. Pitt leaders first worked with Notre Dame (who at the time were the rotating head of Big East leadership), and then Georgetown (leaders of the BE basketball faction). The confidential letter from the Pitt chancellor to the BE commissioner (Marinatto), 15 months before Pitt even gets a solid invitation to join a more desirable conference, was prescient and risky.

The ESPN article detailing how the BE turned down ESPN’s media rights offer now carries an entirely different spin. By 2011, BE members knew that their hybrid conference model would not garner as much media rights revenue as the BIG or ACC models. Even the Catholic-basketball consortium knew that they could be better-off financially by splitting from the hybrid model.

Accepting the ESPN media rights offer would have meant that most of the individual schools in the BE would be working against their likely long-term interests. Pitt had a proverbial bird-in-the-hand (ESPN media rights offer), and choose to go for the two-in-the-bush (jumping ship if/when another power conference came calling OR hoping that a better media deal appeared).


As a sidelight...Prior to 15 years ago, I had viewed Pitt more as a midwestern university. Better aligned with the BIG. Very focused on football and seeking match-ups with schools like Ohio State, Nebraska and Notre Dame. Then Jamie Dixon brings their basketball program to life, realignment brings them to the ACC...been to their campus and the city more frequently. Kind of like Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, Pitt has somehow assimilated into their new conference extremely well. Pitt is a natural fit culturally, athletically, geographically and academically for what the ACC is creating.
07-26-2020 08:33 AM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

In 2011 the recently deals signed by the SEC and ACC were valued at $17m/school/year and $12.9m/school/year, respectively. I'm sure ESPN argued that the $11m was in line with these numbers given the relative value of the conferences. However, on May 5, 2011, the Pac 12 had reached terms with ESPN and FOX on a new TV deal that would pay its members over $20m per year AND which left enough game inventory with the conference to create a conference TV network. The SEC and ACC contracts were therefore already well under market, a fact that caused both promptly to begin exploring expansion.

The Big East may have been gambling that by waiting, it could capitalize on the market shift demonstrated by the Pac 12 contract. Members voting against the contract may also have been gambling that they could benefit from realignment opportunities created by the market shift.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2020 12:38 PM by orangefan.)
07-26-2020 08:38 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  Members voting against the contract may also have been gambling that they could benefit from realignment opportunities created by the market shift.

It wasn't a gamble, and the "realignment opportunities" existed because of the shuffling that started with Nebraska joining the Big Ten.

The ESPN offer was rejected by Big East presidents in May 2011. By August 2011, the Big 12 knew Texas A&M was leaving and they were talking about Pitt and other possible replacements. In September, the ACC invited Pitt and Syracuse to join. In October, the Big 12 invited WVU to join.

Were Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, and maybe others talking to those conferences even before the ESPN offer was declined? Maybe so.
07-26-2020 03:56 PM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
There was no chance of that deal getting done. Pitt and Cuse were already on their way out the door.
07-27-2020 07:26 AM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-26-2020 03:56 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  Members voting against the contract may also have been gambling that they could benefit from realignment opportunities created by the market shift.

It wasn't a gamble, and the "realignment opportunities" existed because of the shuffling that started with Nebraska joining the Big Ten.

The ESPN offer was rejected by Big East presidents in May 2011. By August 2011, the Big 12 knew Texas A&M was leaving and they were talking about Pitt and other possible replacements. In September, the ACC invited Pitt and Syracuse to join. In October, the Big 12 invited WVU to join.

Were Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, and maybe others talking to those conferences even before the ESPN offer was declined? Maybe so.

My thesis is that the new Pac 12 TV deal, $20 million+/school/year plus a conference network, which was announced on May 5, 2011, is what triggered the ACC and SEC to begin looking seriously at expansion. If the Pac 12 deal had been, say, $15 million per school with no conference network opportunity, the SEC and ACC would not have had as strong a reason to expand. Of course, the Big East turned down ESPN on May 26, 2011, at which point the ACC and SEC were likely already plotting.
(This post was last modified: 07-27-2020 07:58 AM by orangefan.)
07-27-2020 07:55 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 07:26 AM)goodknightfl Wrote:  There was no chance of that deal getting done. Pitt and Cuse were already on their way out the door.

Syracuse saw first-hand how crazy realignment is: they thought in the early 90s it was like courting that happens over months versus days. FSU invited over Syracuse in hours cuz FSU didn't need courting.

In 2003 they saw first-hand how ACC politics convulsed and puked over themselves when UNC/Duke didn't get their way. The schools must be united in goal but were not. The ACC knew they had to kill the Big East as a FB Big Boy. Instead you got the botched raid. It essentially did the job. The biggest benefactor was actually Louisville as it allowed them 8 years to upgrade and seize the P5 opportunity.

By 2011 the ACC was much more polished and they internally only fought about UConn. It stayed inside Greensboro. Pitt as it turned out was a better choice as football is more important than basketball in this era.

My initial response to the OP assumed a deal was done and everyone signed a penalty clause. I figure it would be $20-25M range. I also figured there was more negotiation and the FB schools may each have rcvd $1-2M per year. In 2011 IIRC the ACC only paid $12-13M so that might be hard for a school to jump. Hindsight is wonder but schools didn't know if the gravy train would continue.
(This post was last modified: 07-27-2020 09:23 AM by TexanMark.)
07-27-2020 09:17 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  The Big East may have been gambling that by waiting, it could capitalize on the market shift demonstrated by the Pac 12 contract. Members voting against the contract may also have been gambling that they could benefit from realignment opportunities created by the market shift.

Another factor at play was the posture of the hoops only schools. One look at the 2011 proposal would show that the great bulk of the new money would go to the football schools. In the expiring deal, football schools were getting about $3.2 million and the hoops schools were getting about $1.3 million. But in the 2011 proposal, football schools would go up to around $12 million, whereas hoops schools would increase to only $2.4 million.

As it turned out, when the C7 later left, they signed for over $3m a year, so they were worth more on their own than as part of the hybrid model.
(This post was last modified: 07-27-2020 10:05 AM by quo vadis.)
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

In 2011 the recently deals signed by the SEC and ACC were valued at $17m/school/year and $12.9m/school/year, respectively. I'm sure ESPN argued that the $11m was in line with these numbers given the relative value of the conferences. However, on May 5, 2011, the Pac 12 had reached terms with ESPN and FOX on a new TV deal that would pay its members over $20m per year AND which left enough game inventory with the conference to create a conference TV network. The SEC and ACC contracts were therefore already well under market, a fact that caused both promptly to begin exploring expansion.

The Big East may have been gambling that by waiting, it could capitalize on the market shift demonstrated by the Pac 12 contract. Members voting against the contract may also have been gambling that they could benefit from realignment opportunities created by the market shift.

There were stories shortly after that ESPN was willing to go higher than that 1.17 billion 9 year deal to as much as $150 million a year, which would have paid the football schools more than the ACC was making at the time.
07-27-2020 10:23 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
They really thought they could do better when the deal was turned down. In hindsight, had they signed the deal I think the exit penalties for the departing members would have been higher but I don’t think a GOR was ever on the table. I think most of the departing football members would have left anyway and I’m not sure what options ESPN would have had. I do think the C7 would have stayed and possibly WVU as long as ESPN had to mostly abide by the contract.

I think a realistic outcome is that Cuse and Pitt leave for the ACC. I think Rutgers and UMD still end up in the Big Ten. The ACC still takes UofL but WVU stays in the Big East and Houston, Memphis, UCF, and SMU are the only additions and the Big East gets an AQ tag.
07-27-2020 10:25 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:25 AM)HartfordHusky Wrote:  They really thought they could do better when the deal was turned down. In hindsight, had they signed the deal I think the exit penalties for the departing members would have been higher but I don’t think a GOR was ever on the table. I think most of the departing football members would have left anyway and I’m not sure what options ESPN would have had. I do think the C7 would have stayed and possibly WVU as long as ESPN had to mostly abide by the contract.

I think a realistic outcome is that Cuse and Pitt leave for the ACC. I think Rutgers and UMD still end up in the Big Ten. The ACC still takes UofL but WVU stays in the Big East and Houston, Memphis, UCF, and SMU are the only additions and the Big East gets an AQ tag.

If Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville all still leave, there is IMO no way the Big East gets AQ/Power designation in the CFP.
(This post was last modified: 07-27-2020 10:33 AM by quo vadis.)
07-27-2020 10:32 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:32 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(07-27-2020 10:25 AM)HartfordHusky Wrote:  They really thought they could do better when the deal was turned down. In hindsight, had they signed the deal I think the exit penalties for the departing members would have been higher but I don’t think a GOR was ever on the table. I think most of the departing football members would have left anyway and I’m not sure what options ESPN would have had. I do think the C7 would have stayed and possibly WVU as long as ESPN had to mostly abide by the contract.

I think a realistic outcome is that Cuse and Pitt leave for the ACC. I think Rutgers and UMD still end up in the Big Ten. The ACC still takes UofL but WVU stays in the Big East and Houston, Memphis, UCF, and SMU are the only additions and the Big East gets an AQ tag.

If Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville all still leave, there is IMO no way the Big East gets AQ/Power designation in the CFP.
Big East had UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, USF and TCU who were not AQ in 2003. Rutgers had the title, but was in name only. Lose two out of Pitt, SU and WVU and they were gone.
07-27-2020 10:37 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

I'm not sure. In February 2013 McMurphy wrote:

"In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year."

If you divide $130m by 9 (which includes TCU) then you get $14.4 million a year.

Normally, I trust SBJ over anything, but McMurphy was writing for ESPN at the time so nobody would have better knowledge of what ESPN offered.

I don't think a possible 10th member can be factored in, as it is highly unlikely that the offer of $1.17B was contingent on adding yet another member. Still, even a 10th member would average to $13m a year and McMurphy surely would have mentioned that.

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/stor...ights-deal
(This post was last modified: 07-27-2020 10:43 AM by quo vadis.)
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:42 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

I'm not sure. In February 2013 McMurphy wrote:

"In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year."

If you divide $130m by 9 (which includes TCU) then you get $14.4 million a year.

Normally, I trust SBJ over anything, but McMurphy was writing for ESPN at the time so nobody would have better knowledge of what ESPN offered.

I don't think a possible 10th member can be factored in, as it is highly unlikely that the offer of $1.17B was contingent on adding yet another member. Still, even a 10th member would average to $13m a year and McMurphy surely would have mentioned that.

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/stor...ights-deal

Does this factor in what the C7 and Notre Dame would have been making?
07-27-2020 10:44 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:44 AM)Michael in Raleigh Wrote:  
(07-27-2020 10:42 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

I'm not sure. In February 2013 McMurphy wrote:

"In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year."

If you divide $130m by 9 (which includes TCU) then you get $14.4 million a year.

Normally, I trust SBJ over anything, but McMurphy was writing for ESPN at the time so nobody would have better knowledge of what ESPN offered.

I don't think a possible 10th member can be factored in, as it is highly unlikely that the offer of $1.17B was contingent on adding yet another member. Still, even a 10th member would average to $13m a year and McMurphy surely would have mentioned that.

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/stor...ights-deal

Does this factor in what the C7 and Notre Dame would have been making?

Good point, I don't think it does, as there is no money in the equation for that.

I have read that the C8 would have gotten $2.4 million per year in that deal.

So subtract out $19.2 million from that $130m and you have about $111,000,000 for the football schools, which comes to about $12.3 million per year for them.
07-27-2020 10:50 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:44 AM)Michael in Raleigh Wrote:  
(07-27-2020 10:42 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(07-26-2020 08:38 AM)orangefan Wrote:  https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...-East.aspx

This contemporaneous (May 26, 2011) article says the 2011 deal was worth only $11 million per year. My guess is that the discrepancy is due McMurphy forgetting the fact that TCU had been added to the Big East and a 10th member was anticipated to be invited (with ESPN supposedly encouraging it to be UCF). 8 x $14m = $112m. $112m / 10 = $11.2m.

I'm not sure. In February 2013 McMurphy wrote:

"In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year."

If you divide $130m by 9 (which includes TCU) then you get $14.4 million a year.

Normally, I trust SBJ over anything, but McMurphy was writing for ESPN at the time so nobody would have better knowledge of what ESPN offered.

I don't think a possible 10th member can be factored in, as it is highly unlikely that the offer of $1.17B was contingent on adding yet another member. Still, even a 10th member would average to $13m a year and McMurphy surely would have mentioned that.

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/stor...ights-deal

Does this factor in what the C7 and Notre Dame would have been making?

Basketball was going to get between 2 and 3.5 million. That is 16 to 28 million, leaving $102-$114 for the 9 fb schools. That's 11.3 to 12.7 million.
But if you go to $150 million per year as it was rumored ESPN was willing to go to, that pushes those numbers up to 13.5 to 14.9 million for the football schools.
07-27-2020 10:53 AM
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RE: What if: Big East signs new contract w/ ESPN in 2011
(07-27-2020 10:32 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(07-27-2020 10:25 AM)HartfordHusky Wrote:  They really thought they could do better when the deal was turned down. In hindsight, had they signed the deal I think the exit penalties for the departing members would have been higher but I don’t think a GOR was ever on the table. I think most of the departing football members would have left anyway and I’m not sure what options ESPN would have had. I do think the C7 would have stayed and possibly WVU as long as ESPN had to mostly abide by the contract.

I think a realistic outcome is that Cuse and Pitt leave for the ACC. I think Rutgers and UMD still end up in the Big Ten. The ACC still takes UofL but WVU stays in the Big East and Houston, Memphis, UCF, and SMU are the only additions and the Big East gets an AQ tag.

If Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville all still leave, there is IMO no way the Big East gets AQ/Power designation in the CFP.

Honestly the AQ tag probably is dependent on Syracuse, Pitt and WVU -- that's the combination as WVU has the rabid fan base and Syracuse and Pitt both had pedigrees that no one else in the Big East could match. Lose Syracuse and Pitt and AQ is gone for football.
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