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Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
This is just speculation, but perhaps ESPN is hoping to create a future set up for college football where there are 2 conferences of 24:

An SEC with their 16 + 8 ACC members (tv rights controlled by ESPN)

A Big 10 with their 14 + 8 PAC 12 member + ND + Pitt/Colorado (tv rights controlled by FOX)

ESPN would hold the more valuable of the two, and in a World Series style match up between league champs, would win more offer than they lose.

Both Mega Conferences have an internal 4-team playoff.

It’s not a scenario I like by any stretch of the imagination but could this be what they are building towards?
07-28-2021 01:16 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
No. This gives all negotiating power to the conferences.

ESPN would rather deal with 130 independent schools that it can threaten to banish to Bally Sports if they don't accept ESPN's terms.
07-28-2021 01:17 PM
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bluesox Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
A 24 team big 10 has issues with destroying the original 10 team big 10, schools like IU and Illinois would essentially be in different conferences. The big 10 should just add Kansas and Missouri and be happy with that setup, it still might be the most valuable.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2021 01:22 PM by bluesox.)
07-28-2021 01:20 PM
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MinerInWisconsin Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
The SEC can invite Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida St, have their own football tournament and be national champs every season. No need for 2 conferences. Keep all that playoff money in the SEC.
07-28-2021 01:26 PM
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miko33 Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:20 PM)bluesox Wrote:  A 24 team big 10 has issues with destroying the original 10 team big 10, schools like IU and Illinois would essentially be in different conferences. The big 10 should just add Kansas and Missouri and be happy with that setup, it still might be the most valuable.

LOL, we're well beyond pretending that original intent and tradition matters...
07-28-2021 01:26 PM
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miko33 Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:16 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  This is just speculation, but perhaps ESPN is hoping to create a future set up for college football where there are 2 conferences of 24:

An SEC with their 16 + 8 ACC members (tv rights controlled by ESPN)

A Big 10 with their 14 + 8 PAC 12 member + ND + Pitt/Colorado (tv rights controlled by FOX)

ESPN would hold the more valuable of the two, and in a World Series style match up between league champs, would win more offer than they lose.

Both Mega Conferences have an internal 4-team playoff.

It’s not a scenario I like by any stretch of the imagination but could this be what they are building towards?

ESPN won't have much of a choice, but that's how we're evolving. You'll have 2 big conferences of just the largest schools - probably 2 conferences of 20 where ESPN and FOX races to secure the best semi-pro teams with loose affiliations to universities that each can grab. Maybe 4 groupings of 5 or 6 within each network controlled conference.

NFL Lite.
07-28-2021 01:30 PM
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jgkojak Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:26 PM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  The SEC can invite Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida St, have their own football tournament and be national champs every season. No need for 2 conferences. Keep all that playoff money in the SEC.

That wouldn't fly - the big prize is national eyeballs on a football playoff and NCAA Tournament - doesn't work if its just 30-40 teams like the pros -

I actually think they should go to 4 18-20-team conferences - with 10-team divisions and a real conf champ game that essentially acts as a playoff round -

80 teams is plenty to break away from NCAA with
07-28-2021 01:31 PM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
A 24-team SEC under the ESPN/ABC umbrella and a 28-team B1G under the FOX umbrella is the prime semi-pro set-up these two major conferences (and networks) desire. They can outsource OOC and a handful of other games to Amazon, NBC or alternative provider - all while cutting out the fat and keeping more of the juicy revenues for themselves.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2021 01:41 PM by GoldenWarrior11.)
07-28-2021 01:40 PM
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Rube Dali Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
ESPN's preference is to get to a 64-team superleague, either under the SEC banner or a new league that evolves from the SEC. Since they have the ACC under it's wing, ESPN wants the B1G/Pac-12 and the rest of the Big 12(save for Baylor/West Virginia) to join but under the SEC's terms. That means cutting Fox and CBS(and NBC for Notre Dame) out completely from high level college sports.
07-28-2021 01:45 PM
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miko33 Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:31 PM)jgkojak Wrote:  
(07-28-2021 01:26 PM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  The SEC can invite Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida St, have their own football tournament and be national champs every season. No need for 2 conferences. Keep all that playoff money in the SEC.

That wouldn't fly - the big prize is national eyeballs on a football playoff and NCAA Tournament - doesn't work if its just 30-40 teams like the pros -

I actually think they should go to 4 18-20-team conferences - with 10-team divisions and a real conf champ game that essentially acts as a playoff round -

80 teams is plenty to break away from NCAA with

No, all you have to do is just create different conferences for the 2 revenue sports. You only need 30-40 university affiliated semi-pro teams for NFL Lite and probably could double this for NBA Lite. You'll still have FOX and ESPN having control of these new entities due to the significant overlap between the major revenue sports affiliated with the big universities.
07-28-2021 01:46 PM
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chester Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:31 PM)jgkojak Wrote:  
(07-28-2021 01:26 PM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  The SEC can invite Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida St, have their own football tournament and be national champs every season. No need for 2 conferences. Keep all that playoff money in the SEC.

That wouldn't fly - the big prize is national eyeballs on a football playoff and NCAA Tournament - doesn't work if its just 30-40 teams like the pros -

I actually think they should go to 4 18-20-team conferences - with 10-team divisions and a real conf champ game that essentially acts as a playoff round -

80 teams is plenty to break away from NCAA with

The 30-40 school breakaway would just invite some NCAA teams to their tournament each year, offering a little more to them than they could make in a then-diminished NCAA tournament.
07-28-2021 02:04 PM
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chess Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
The ACC is as strong as the University of North Carolina assert themselves.

Clemson and Florida State can threaten. It won't matter. If UNC says, "We move to the SEC or Big Ten", everything changes.

UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake, and UVA want to play each other. UNC ensures this happens.

It will be a sad day if UNC moves. In fact, if UNC moves it may signal the end of college athletics and why athletics is tied to universities.
07-28-2021 03:19 PM
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ballantyneapp Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 03:19 PM)chess Wrote:  The ACC is as strong as the University of North Carolina assert themselves.

Clemson and Florida State can threaten. It won't matter. If UNC says, "We move to the SEC or Big Ten", everything changes.

UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake, and UVA want to play each other. UNC ensures this happens.

It will be a sad day if UNC moves. In fact, if UNC moves it may signal the end of college athletics and why athletics is tied to universities.

UNc gave up on the college part of athletics a long time ago
07-28-2021 09:16 PM
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BlazerGreen Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 01:46 PM)miko33 Wrote:  
(07-28-2021 01:31 PM)jgkojak Wrote:  
(07-28-2021 01:26 PM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  The SEC can invite Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida St, have their own football tournament and be national champs every season. No need for 2 conferences. Keep all that playoff money in the SEC.

That wouldn't fly - the big prize is national eyeballs on a football playoff and NCAA Tournament - doesn't work if its just 30-40 teams like the pros -

I actually think they should go to 4 18-20-team conferences - with 10-team divisions and a real conf champ game that essentially acts as a playoff round -

80 teams is plenty to break away from NCAA with

No, all you have to do is just create different conferences for the 2 revenue sports. You only need 30-40 university affiliated semi-pro teams for NFL Lite and probably could double this for NBA Lite. You'll still have FOX and ESPN having control of these new entities due to the significant overlap between the major revenue sports affiliated with the big universities.

Exactly. The old rule that prohibited schools from having different sports in different conferences is going out the door with the NCAA. So is the one about different sports in different levels (divisions) of competition. Title IX will still apply but not for the the Elite (pro) football programs.

When they eventually bail on the NCAA, what will stop them from raising their scholarship or "funded" football roster spots from 85 to say 115? Or from fielding fully paid JV squads for basketball? Or eliminating academic requirements? Absolutely nothing.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2021 10:23 PM by BlazerGreen.)
07-28-2021 09:48 PM
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Thewavefan Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
The real question is with the new NFL Lite coming to a screen near you will the die hard college football fan even watch anymore? If it’s just 32 schools that break off and form their own thing would that be enough to get the audience worth paying these schools billions of dollars?
07-28-2021 11:13 PM
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Scoochpooch1 Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-28-2021 11:13 PM)Thewavefan Wrote:  The real question is with the new NFL Lite coming to a screen near you will the die hard college football fan even watch anymore? If it’s just 32 schools that break off and form their own thing would that be enough to get the audience worth paying these schools billions of dollars?

That's definitely an interesting and important question. On one hand, I understand your point that a large fanbase would be alienated but on the other hand a lot of fans wouldn't need to constantly worry about some 11 or 12 win team from terrible conference who played nothing but scrubs acting like they are the best team ever.
07-28-2021 11:47 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
The fans do like an underdog. The majority of the country would watch to see a Boise State or UCF in a championship football game against either Alabama or Clemson instead of watching the same matchup over and over again every year.
07-29-2021 01:32 AM
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-29-2021 01:32 AM)DavidSt Wrote:  The fans do like an underdog. The majority of the country would watch to see a Boise State or UCF in a championship football game against either Alabama or Clemson instead of watching the same matchup over and over again every year.

I would agree, but E$PN likes the same matchups so they can drive the price of college football games down. E$PN could definitely use some real competition, and FOX and CBS aren't providing it!!!
07-29-2021 01:43 AM
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PicksUp Offline
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RE: Does ESPN ultimately want 2 conferences of 24?
(07-29-2021 01:32 AM)DavidSt Wrote:  The fans do like an underdog. The majority of the country would watch to see a Boise State or UCF in a championship football game against either Alabama or Clemson instead of watching the same matchup over and over again every year.

No, you dont speak for everyone. Please stop using words like “majority”.
07-29-2021 06:14 AM
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