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Could football independence come back into fashion?
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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Could football independence come back into fashion?
The realignment moves from 1989-1991 brought about the end of the Era of the Big Time Independents.

In our current climate, 3 of the 5 major conferences have some major disparity between the top value programs and the rest. For those high dollar programs to keep up financially with the SEC they are going to have to come up with something creative. It’s not just as easy as joining up with the SEC. Geography can be a factor. Some of these programs—Texas, Oklahoma, USC also have a history of calling all the shots and being the ones in control of their leagues.

Would say, ESPN, be interested in making deals with these schools directly as independents as opposed to negotiating with a whole conference? Is there a remote possibility that we end up with a handful of elite independents again with a loose scheduling alliance facilitated by the Mouse?
01-11-2021 01:56 PM
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Troy_Fan_15 Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
Texas, OU, USC, ND, Clemson, Alabama, would easily make insane money as independents in football only while maintains their conferences for b-ball and oly sports vs being in their conferences. ESPN/ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC would soil themselves trying to scoop those schools up. NBC and ND already have a good setup but it might be get larger with these teams looking to sign Indy deals as well.

NBC Bowl: ND vs tOSU week 1
FOX Opening Saturday Classic: OU/Texas vs Bama/Clemson
ESPN Kickoff: OU/Texas vs USC

examples of big money games and ideas that could happen as a result.
01-11-2021 02:03 PM
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Crayton Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
Particularly with the 3 you mentioned, yes. They may have to bundle their rights (with ND?) to protect their media partners from a bad year, but they can still schedule independently.

The key with those (at least with USC and Texas) is that they are home to good recruiting, and could easily schedule the teams from the conferences they're leaving. When BYU went independent, and if Boise did, they'll've had a difficult time scheduling former MW foes.
01-11-2021 02:07 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
If $300M was too much for CBS for 1 SEC game a week, maybe $60M apiece for T1-T3 rights from a few big players would be better and they’d have enough content to air 2-3 games on OTA CBS each week.
01-11-2021 02:14 PM
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Troy_Fan_15 Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:14 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  If $300M was too much for CBS for 1 SEC game a week, maybe $60M apiece for T1-T3 rights from a few big players would be better and they’d have enough content to air 2-3 games on OTA CBS each week.

I think if Alabama/Auburn or just Alabama announced they were leaving the SEC in football only and looking for either a joint deal or Bama only deal, CBS would break their necks trying to sign them up vs letting ESPN have them. Imagine how much revenue CBS makes if they have the rights to 6, or 7 Alabama regular season games per year. It would be wild.
(This post was last modified: 01-11-2021 02:48 PM by Troy_Fan_15.)
01-11-2021 02:38 PM
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Foreverandever Online
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
The move and the shaker for this wouldn't be the house of mouse, it would be Amazon.

One of the problems with the p5 split that gets floated is the records with out the other teams to build up W's as we saw with the BIG and SEC conference only games leads to lots of teams with bad records.

A solution? Take the top ten to fourteen teams in the football and basketball off the top of each conference. They can use each other for key match ups in football as independents especially late in the season. Amazon controls the scheduling so Amazon can get particular match up with anyone they want any year. Something like USC, UCLA, Texas, OU, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Miami, Ohio St, Michigan, throw in Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UNC for basketball prowess and use them as the core for a sixteen team two division olympic sports conference. Add Gonzaga, Villanova to round it out or you could go with Oregon and Texas AnM for both the football independence and olympic sports conference.

For football each of the teams would sign for what Amazon thought they were worth as a football only. They would schedule five games on their own with Amazon approval every year. Then Amazon would schedule five football.games from the fourteen teams as exclusive match ups. The last two games of the season would be floating under control of Amazon to make the best match ups they could for the week before and then championship week. It's very possible that they could produce all four finalists with such a set up. It would negate the disadvantage of Independence and be the best basketbal conference year in and year out in with a ton of exclusive match ups that would be big draws. The temporary technical loss of the auto bid is irrelevant in such a conference. A travelling conference tournament would be like a mini NIT/NCAA. The money from such an arrangement would more than cover those sixteen teams for non-revenue travel, which could be further limited by geographical scheduling and smaller conference tournaments of four teams held at the highest seeds home.

So Amazon Conference:

West
Kansas
Kentucky
Oklahoma
Oregon
Texas
Texas AnM
UCLA
USC

East
Alabama
Clemson
Duke
Georgia
Miami
Michigan
North Carolina
Ohio State.
(This post was last modified: 01-11-2021 03:05 PM by Foreverandever.)
01-11-2021 02:44 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas
01-11-2021 02:50 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
Alabama wouldn't leave the SEC. Life is good and we make plenty of money.

But if you're talking about a program that doesn't have a conference home that exudes stability and money then independence could make sense. Texas could pull it off and USC probably could too.
01-11-2021 02:55 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
We’re really just talking about the best of the PAC 12 and Big 12 going independent in 2024 and the ACC In 2037.
01-11-2021 02:57 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:57 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  We’re really just talking about the best of the PAC 12 and Big 12 going independent in 2024 and the ACC In 2037.

I do agree with you though that it would be a better profit margin than paying high rates for whole conferences.
01-11-2021 03:01 PM
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Crayton Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:44 PM)Foreverandever Wrote:  The move and the shaker for this wouldn't be the house of mouse, it would be Amazon.

One of the problems with the p5 split that gets floated is the records with out the other teams to build up W's as we saw with the BIG and SEC conference only games leads to lots of teams with bad records.

A solution? Take the top ten to fourteen teams in the football and basketball off the top of each conference. They can use each other for key match ups in football as independents especially late in the season. Amazon controls the scheduling so Amazon can get particular match up with anyone they want any year. Something like USC, UCLA, Texas, OU, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Miami, Ohio St, Michigan, throw in Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UNC for basketball prowess and use them as the core for a sixteen team two division olympic sports conference. Add Gonzaga, Villanova to round it out.

For football each of the teams would sign for what Amazon thought they were worth as a football only. They would schedule five games on their own with Amazon approval every year. Then Amazon would schedule five football.games from the fourteen teams as exclusive match ups. The last two games of the season would be floating under control of Amazon to make the best match ups they could for the week before and then championship week. It's very possible that they could produce all four finalists with such a set up. It would negate the disadvantage of Independence and be the best basketbal conference year in and year out in with a ton of exclusive match ups that would be big draws. The temporary technical loss of the auto bid is irrelevant in such a conference. A travelling conference tournament would be like a mini NIT/NCAA. The money from such an arrangement would more than cover those sixteen teams for non-revenue travel, which could be further limited by geographical scheduling and smaller conference tournaments of four teams held at the highest seeds home.

Unrelated, but I too have been wondering if scheduling flexibility at the end of the year would be useful even with the current conference makeup. I can't imagine more than 1 flex week would be useful.

60 teams are given home games, 70 teams are given away games, and 5 neutral sites are used to pair some of the best "away" teams. You couldn't manufacture a pure playoff round with those games most years, but you could create some compelling matchups.
01-11-2021 03:02 PM
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Troy_Fan_15 Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:55 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  Alabama wouldn't leave the SEC. Life is good and we make plenty of money.

But if you're talking about a program that doesn't have a conference home that exudes stability and money then independence could make sense. Texas could pull it off and USC probably could too.

I agree they wouldn't. I was just saying that if that they would be as profitable if not more even as an independent.
01-11-2021 03:56 PM
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Troy_Fan_15 Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.
01-11-2021 04:04 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

If Im Amazon, there is just a lot of unnecessary inventory in an expanded Big 12?

Starting from scratch is something a P5 conference can do, if they time it right with the new CFP contract.
01-11-2021 04:11 PM
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Troy_Fan_15 Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 04:11 PM)solohawks Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

If Im Amazon, there is just a lot of unnecessary inventory in an expanded Big 12?

Starting from scratch is something a P5 conference can do, if they time it right with the new CFP contract.

I guess if I'm creating a $1,000,000,000 conference I'd hand select my conference exactly how I wanted it too haha. What about bowl tie ins, NCCAT bids for oly sports?
01-11-2021 04:28 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 04:28 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:11 PM)solohawks Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

If Im Amazon, there is just a lot of unnecessary inventory in an expanded Big 12?

Starting from scratch is something a P5 conference can do, if they time it right with the new CFP contract.

I guess if I'm creating a $1,000,000,000 conference I'd hand select my conference exactly how I wanted it too haha. What about bowl tie ins, NCCAT bids for oly sports?

If you time in right you create this at the beginning of a new cycle so you can be included in new playoff and bowl contracts.

As for olympic sports, this league doesn't need immediate auto bids and can wait out the process as their champion would qualify for any tournament regardless as an at large.
01-11-2021 04:35 PM
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

The SEC will always have a spot for OU. Who is #2 would depend on a lot things, whether OSU is demanded by OU, whether OSU would be accepted by the conference network overlords. If they want to expand their Texas footprint TCU is the better location, Baylor is the better cultural fit.

Frankly, I think the SEC would just as likely stay where they are at because outside of OU none of those teams move the bar too much.

In furtherance of the thread, I could see an independent situation for Texas and OU where they keep their Olympics in the Big 12 and maintain regular with the members there. I think that would actually be a better setup for them than a Pac-16 structure.
01-11-2021 05:14 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 04:28 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:11 PM)solohawks Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

If Im Amazon, there is just a lot of unnecessary inventory in an expanded Big 12?

Starting from scratch is something a P5 conference can do, if they time it right with the new CFP contract.

I guess if I'm creating a $1,000,000,000 conference I'd hand select my conference exactly how I wanted it too haha. What about bowl tie ins, NCCAT bids for oly sports?

Amazon wouldn't pay for the riff-raff of the Big 12.

Make it an all -sports conference. At that level, NCAA will grant a waiver, or in reality, the best teams in the conference would still get at-large bids in any sport
01-11-2021 06:47 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 05:14 PM)Sicembear11 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 04:04 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  
(01-11-2021 02:50 PM)solohawks Wrote:  The 2 most unstable conferences seem to be the Big 12 (lack of brand outside of OU and TU) and the PAC 12 (due to their terrible Pac 12 network situation).

A new Billion Dollar Amazon conference would be interesting
Washington
Oregon
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Texas

I think rather than a new conference being formed the BIG XII invites USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA to be the BIG XIV. They may choose to invite Colorado back instead of UCLA, I don't know. The remaining PAC-12 teams would either become the PAC-8 or have to find a way to expand. I know Boise St and BYU are not the teams to replace the lost ones though.

I also wonder if Baylor, TCU, OU, or OSU are still on the SEC's minds for expansion. Not all 4 coming, just 2 of course.

The SEC will always have a spot for OU. Who is #2 would depend on a lot things, whether OSU is demanded by OU, whether OSU would be accepted by the conference network overlords. If they want to expand their Texas footprint TCU is the better location, Baylor is the better cultural fit.

Frankly, I think the SEC would just as likely stay where they are at because outside of OU none of those teams move the bar too much.

In furtherance of the thread, I could see an independent situation for Texas and OU where they keep their Olympics in the Big 12 and maintain regular with the members there. I think that would actually be a better setup for them than a Pac-16 structure.


And does Oklahoma really move the bar that much for the SEC? Sure, it's a great program, but why would ESPN pay more for the SEC contract with Oklahoma - SEC has enough strong football brands that Oklahoma doesn't move the needle enough.
01-11-2021 06:50 PM
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RE: Could football independence come back into fashion?
(01-11-2021 02:03 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  Texas, OU, USC, ND, Clemson, Alabama, would easily make insane money as independents in football only while maintains their conferences for b-ball and oly sports vs being in their conferences. ESPN/ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC would soil themselves trying to scoop those schools up. NBC and ND already have a good setup but it might be get larger with these teams looking to sign Indy deals as well.

NBC Bowl: ND vs tOSU week 1
FOX Opening Saturday Classic: OU/Texas vs Bama/Clemson
ESPN Kickoff: OU/Texas vs USC

examples of big money games and ideas that could happen as a result.

I'm not sure all those schools, good as they are now, would be as attractive as independents. I think Notre Dame, Texas and USC are for sure. But Clemson's recent success still doesn't guarantee continued interest from a national audience. Even Alabama, which has been great for a century and is a big name nationally, may benefit more than you'd think from having so many long time rivals in their region. They can attract recruits from all over the nation to supplement the tremendous regional talent at their disposal. But maybe if their schedule were significantly less regional they might start losing recruits to their current SEC competitors.

Notre Dame's independence makes them special in a way, and a few others might have similar luck. But if a whole bunch of schools go independent, it may lose its specialness to the detriment of all of them. Unless there's a reason why their current conferences would be willing to provide them with a home for other sports and a (smaller) base of regional rivals to anchor their football schedules, I don't see a mass exodus.
01-11-2021 06:52 PM
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