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Poll: How many SEC teams will there be in 2030? (YOU MAY VOTE FOR MORE THAN ONE OPTION)
There will be 16 SEC members (no change)
SEC will have 17 members
SEC will have 18 members
SEC will have 19 members
SEC will have 20 members
The SEC won't raid any conference.
SEC will raid the ACC
SEC will raid the Big Ten
SEC will raid the Big 12
SEC will raid the PAC 12
SEC will raid the G5
The SEC will merge with another conference.
There will be a P2, not a P5
Something else will happen.
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Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 10:43 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 12:24 AM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:56 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:25 PM)Milwaukee Wrote:  .

For every person who expects the SEC to stop expanding, there seems to be someone who expect either a continuing expansion or a merger resulting in fewer than 5 power conferences.

Question: Why do so many people seem to expect further SEC expansion of some kind (either adding members or merging/absorbing other conferences)?

.

This is a conference realignment forum. We’re total action junkies and crave it even when a proposed action doesn’t make sense. We don’t even bat an eye when people suggest that there will be two 24-team super conferences or other Armageddon scenarios. Many of us are incapable of thinking of something as huge as the SEC adding UT and OU as anything but *needing* more dominos and are in denial that the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC don’t have any interest in the current Big 12 schools.

The “normal” world doesn’t see it this way. They think about conference realignment when it’s actually happening, but don’t think about it all in al of those years in between when it’s not happening.

Frank, Texas and Oklahoma had been in the works since 1987, albeit with feelers and flirtations sprinkled in. My point is just because we may go 6-8 years without an announced move, doesn't mean realignment discussions ever stop. They may change directions, cool, and re-heat, but they have never ceased with due diligence valuations, back door what ifs, and decisions made long ago waiting for the right moment, or knowing when to back away and stick. But there really aren't any sustained periods of absolute stasis and that goes back decades.

That's fair enough. I get that no one really knows what's going to happen or that you can never say never.

I guess I should clarify the scope of my analysis: it's power conference realignment in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and/or Pac-12 based on adding Schools XYZ in order to create larger media deals that I believe is over. There could certainly be much more movement in the Big 12 and other conferences over the next several years, but they're not the ones that I'm talking about here.

Now, could there be massive changes to or the elimination of the NCAA that would spur other forms of realignment among the power conferences? Could there be a break off of the top 20 to 30 brands in all college football to create a super league? Could Notre Dame finally decide to give up independence at some point for some reason? I would grant that all of it is *possible* and, in that sense, there could be further power conference realignment.

However, the fact remains that the entire driver of all conference realignment from the 1960s through today has been to increase per school revenue. It's not about increasing total revenue - it's about making *per school* revenue larger. If that figure doesn't increase for a particular conference, then expansion doesn't happen.

For the Big Ten and SEC, they have or are about to have media deals that will pay them in the $60-70 million-plus per school range.

In 2010-2013, an expansion where each school was worth $20 million per year was worth it for the Big Ten and SEC. Hence, the additions of Rutgers and Maryland for the Big Ten and Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC became substantial revenue generators with a "Moneyball" approach of adding markets to increase revenue more than the brands themselves.

In today's world, it's going to take each Big Ten or SEC expansion target to bring in $70 million-plus per year simply for those conferences to break even. That's a *massive* difference compared to just a decade ago. The "Moneyball" approach won't work anymore: simply being a solid school in a major market isn't enough for the Big Ten and SEC with the levels of revenue that they have.

There might be only 2 schools in all of college football that I would have faith in bringing in $70 million per year to either the Big Ten or SEC: Notre Dame and USC. That's it.

In the case of ND, it's easy. If they're actually willing to drop independence, then you just pair them up with one other school (who could be anyone - Kansas, UVA, Sam Houston State - it almost doesn't matter) and print money just like the UT/OU addition to the SEC. The issue, of course, is that ND is a specific enigma whose entire identity as a school is intertwined with football independence for reasons that go far beyond money. I'll always grant ND as an exception to every scenario - if they're willing to drop independence, then sure, it could trigger mass scale power conference realignment again. However, ND doesn't think the way that any other school in America thinks, so predicating anything based on ND dropping independence is effectively predicating your retirement on winning the lottery. You better have other plans for retirement outside of the winning the lottery or you're in serious trouble.

For USC, I preface this by saying again that for all of the massive impact that the UT/OU move to the SEC has (for reasons that I've already explained), it was still a traditional small "c" conservative move for the SEC for realignment purposes. The SEC just needed to add two schools without any "fat" (e.g. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State") that wouldn't add value. Geographically, UT and OU are in or contiguous to existing SEC markets, so that makes the chances of this working out long-term much greater. In terms of the things that fans actually care about such as rivalries, this expansion move actually *restores* rivalries (UT vs. A&M and Arkansas) as oppose to destroying them (like many other conference realignment moves). Take away all of the money involved and the UT/OU move to the SEC *still* makes sense.

There's nothing small "c" conservative about, say, adding USC to the Big Ten. If you add them alone or with one other school, you leave USC on a geographic island while destroying all of their rivalries. That might make more money in the short-term, but that's a recipe for a long-term divorce.

The problem is that for USC to actually feel comfortable with moving for the long-term, the Big Ten effectively needs to add most (if not all) of the Pac-12 schools to make it work. That's a problem financially for the Big Ten because they would now be adding a lot of "fat" that doesn't actually bring value. While adding USC with one other school could bring in the $70 million per year per school breakeven amount, the financials are almost impossible if it requires adding 4, 6 or more schools in expansion.

Even with other conceivable schools that the Big Ten and/or SEC would be interested in, particularly UNC, it's not going to work with a straight-line addition of 2 schools like UT/OU. No one is getting UNC by adding them alone - it's going to require Duke and UVA at a minimum, too. When getting UNC means adding a minimum of 4 schools, the math once again gets shaky. Whenever says the Big Ten or SEC should add 4 schools, that requires that expansion to be worth $280 million per year in total as a *minimum*. It doesn't matter even if schools like FSU and Clemson are involved - I don't that there's a combo of any 4 ACC and Pac-12 schools that exists that would reach that level without ND and/or USC.

A lot of people here are so obsessed with consolidation that they're forgetting that the financial figures still have to work. The Big Ten and SEC could add 4 schools with $80 million total less than a decade ago and still make money on expansion. Now, they're effectively requiring $80 million PER SCHOOL to make money on expansion. It's an entirely different atmosphere now financially. THAT is where my skepticism comes in.

To use an entertainment industry example (as I believe it's relevant since sports are effectively the entertainment industry now), look at Disney's expansion in the 2005-2020 period. It added the massive brands of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox all in orderly succession. There are plenty of other properties that would love to get bought by Disney today and you can argue would make sense within their portfolio, but the point is that Disney got so much value out of those prior expansions that there's literally nothing else out there that moves the needle for them. Disney's future fortunes are going to be based on maximizing the value of their *current* assets like Marvel and Star Wars in a way that no new acquisition is going to matter.

That's where I believe that the Big Ten and SEC are at this point (with the caveat that ND is always a wild card). They have derived so much value from their current lineups that not even schools like Florida State and Clemson move the needle anymore. Just throwing out fantasy lineups of all of the top football brands all in 1 or 2 conferences is fun, but it's a pointless exercise if the financials don't work... and that's where I see the Big Ten and SEC right now. Nothing can make more money than the expansion of UT and OU... and if there's no bigger expansion out there in a world where each expansion HAS to make more money than the last one in order to work out financially, it stands to reason that future expansion won't happen.

Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.
06-17-2022 11:47 AM
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XLance Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 11:31 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 10:43 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 12:24 AM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:56 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:25 PM)Milwaukee Wrote:  .

For every person who expects the SEC to stop expanding, there seems to be someone who expect either a continuing expansion or a merger resulting in fewer than 5 power conferences.

Question: Why do so many people seem to expect further SEC expansion of some kind (either adding members or merging/absorbing other conferences)?

.

This is a conference realignment forum. We’re total action junkies and crave it even when a proposed action doesn’t make sense. We don’t even bat an eye when people suggest that there will be two 24-team super conferences or other Armageddon scenarios. Many of us are incapable of thinking of something as huge as the SEC adding UT and OU as anything but *needing* more dominos and are in denial that the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC don’t have any interest in the current Big 12 schools.

The “normal” world doesn’t see it this way. They think about conference realignment when it’s actually happening, but don’t think about it all in al of those years in between when it’s not happening.

Frank, Texas and Oklahoma had been in the works since 1987, albeit with feelers and flirtations sprinkled in. My point is just because we may go 6-8 years without an announced move, doesn't mean realignment discussions ever stop. They may change directions, cool, and re-heat, but they have never ceased with due diligence valuations, back door what ifs, and decisions made long ago waiting for the right moment, or knowing when to back away and stick. But there really aren't any sustained periods of absolute stasis and that goes back decades.

That's fair enough. I get that no one really knows what's going to happen or that you can never say never.

I guess I should clarify the scope of my analysis: it's power conference realignment in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and/or Pac-12 based on adding Schools XYZ in order to create larger media deals that I believe is over. There could certainly be much more movement in the Big 12 and other conferences over the next several years, but they're not the ones that I'm talking about here.

Now, could there be massive changes to or the elimination of the NCAA that would spur other forms of realignment among the power conferences? Could there be a break off of the top 20 to 30 brands in all college football to create a super league? Could Notre Dame finally decide to give up independence at some point for some reason? I would grant that all of it is *possible* and, in that sense, there could be further power conference realignment.

However, the fact remains that the entire driver of all conference realignment from the 1960s through today has been to increase per school revenue. It's not about increasing total revenue - it's about making *per school* revenue larger. If that figure doesn't increase for a particular conference, then expansion doesn't happen.

For the Big Ten and SEC, they have or are about to have media deals that will pay them in the $60-70 million-plus per school range.

In 2010-2013, an expansion where each school was worth $20 million per year was worth it for the Big Ten and SEC. Hence, the additions of Rutgers and Maryland for the Big Ten and Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC became substantial revenue generators with a "Moneyball" approach of adding markets to increase revenue more than the brands themselves.

In today's world, it's going to take each Big Ten or SEC expansion target to bring in $70 million-plus per year simply for those conferences to break even. That's a *massive* difference compared to just a decade ago. The "Moneyball" approach won't work anymore: simply being a solid school in a major market isn't enough for the Big Ten and SEC with the levels of revenue that they have.

There might be only 2 schools in all of college football that I would have faith in bringing in $70 million per year to either the Big Ten or SEC: Notre Dame and USC. That's it.

In the case of ND, it's easy. If they're actually willing to drop independence, then you just pair them up with one other school (who could be anyone - Kansas, UVA, Sam Houston State - it almost doesn't matter) and print money just like the UT/OU addition to the SEC. The issue, of course, is that ND is a specific enigma whose entire identity as a school is intertwined with football independence for reasons that go far beyond money. I'll always grant ND as an exception to every scenario - if they're willing to drop independence, then sure, it could trigger mass scale power conference realignment again. However, ND doesn't think the way that any other school in America thinks, so predicating anything based on ND dropping independence is effectively predicating your retirement on winning the lottery. You better have other plans for retirement outside of the winning the lottery or you're in serious trouble.

For USC, I preface this by saying again that for all of the massive impact that the UT/OU move to the SEC has (for reasons that I've already explained), it was still a traditional small "c" conservative move for the SEC for realignment purposes. The SEC just needed to add two schools without any "fat" (e.g. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State") that wouldn't add value. Geographically, UT and OU are in or contiguous to existing SEC markets, so that makes the chances of this working out long-term much greater. In terms of the things that fans actually care about such as rivalries, this expansion move actually *restores* rivalries (UT vs. A&M and Arkansas) as oppose to destroying them (like many other conference realignment moves). Take away all of the money involved and the UT/OU move to the SEC *still* makes sense.

There's nothing small "c" conservative about, say, adding USC to the Big Ten. If you add them alone or with one other school, you leave USC on a geographic island while destroying all of their rivalries. That might make more money in the short-term, but that's a recipe for a long-term divorce.

The problem is that for USC to actually feel comfortable with moving for the long-term, the Big Ten effectively needs to add most (if not all) of the Pac-12 schools to make it work. That's a problem financially for the Big Ten because they would now be adding a lot of "fat" that doesn't actually bring value. While adding USC with one other school could bring in the $70 million per year per school breakeven amount, the financials are almost impossible if it requires adding 4, 6 or more schools in expansion.

Even with other conceivable schools that the Big Ten and/or SEC would be interested in, particularly UNC, it's not going to work with a straight-line addition of 2 schools like UT/OU. No one is getting UNC by adding them alone - it's going to require Duke and UVA at a minimum, too. When getting UNC means adding a minimum of 4 schools, the math once again gets shaky. Whenever says the Big Ten or SEC should add 4 schools, that requires that expansion to be worth $280 million per year in total as a *minimum*. It doesn't matter even if schools like FSU and Clemson are involved - I don't that there's a combo of any 4 ACC and Pac-12 schools that exists that would reach that level without ND and/or USC.

A lot of people here are so obsessed with consolidation that they're forgetting that the financial figures still have to work. The Big Ten and SEC could add 4 schools with $80 million total less than a decade ago and still make money on expansion. Now, they're effectively requiring $80 million PER SCHOOL to make money on expansion. It's an entirely different atmosphere now financially. THAT is where my skepticism comes in.

To use an entertainment industry example (as I believe it's relevant since sports are effectively the entertainment industry now), look at Disney's expansion in the 2005-2020 period. It added the massive brands of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox all in orderly succession. There are plenty of other properties that would love to get bought by Disney today and you can argue would make sense within their portfolio, but the point is that Disney got so much value out of those prior expansions that there's literally nothing else out there that moves the needle for them. Disney's future fortunes are going to be based on maximizing the value of their *current* assets like Marvel and Star Wars in a way that no new acquisition is going to matter.

That's where I believe that the Big Ten and SEC are at this point (with the caveat that ND is always a wild card). They have derived so much value from their current lineups that not even schools like Florida State and Clemson move the needle anymore. Just throwing out fantasy lineups of all of the top football brands all in 1 or 2 conferences is fun, but it's a pointless exercise if the financials don't work... and that's where I see the Big Ten and SEC right now. Nothing can make more money than the expansion of UT and OU... and if there's no bigger expansion out there in a world where each expansion HAS to make more money than the last one in order to work out financially, it stands to reason that future expansion won't happen.

Of course, I felt the same way before the SEC added Mizzou and A&M and the ACC added Pitt and SU and the Big 10 added Rutgers and Maryland. I thought the list warranting expansion beyond 12 was USC, UCLA, Texas, OU, FSU, ND. Pretty short. But it wasn't that short.

Which is why it is still possible for The Big 12, the ACC and the PAC to nab another team or two to increase their overall value while their per team payouts are low.
06-17-2022 11:51 AM
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Frank the Tank Online
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Post: #43
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

In contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are already in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 01:23 PM by Frank the Tank.)
06-17-2022 01:04 PM
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Frank the Tank Online
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Post: #44
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 11:31 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 10:43 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 12:24 AM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:56 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 11:25 PM)Milwaukee Wrote:  .

For every person who expects the SEC to stop expanding, there seems to be someone who expect either a continuing expansion or a merger resulting in fewer than 5 power conferences.

Question: Why do so many people seem to expect further SEC expansion of some kind (either adding members or merging/absorbing other conferences)?

.

This is a conference realignment forum. We’re total action junkies and crave it even when a proposed action doesn’t make sense. We don’t even bat an eye when people suggest that there will be two 24-team super conferences or other Armageddon scenarios. Many of us are incapable of thinking of something as huge as the SEC adding UT and OU as anything but *needing* more dominos and are in denial that the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC don’t have any interest in the current Big 12 schools.

The “normal” world doesn’t see it this way. They think about conference realignment when it’s actually happening, but don’t think about it all in al of those years in between when it’s not happening.

Frank, Texas and Oklahoma had been in the works since 1987, albeit with feelers and flirtations sprinkled in. My point is just because we may go 6-8 years without an announced move, doesn't mean realignment discussions ever stop. They may change directions, cool, and re-heat, but they have never ceased with due diligence valuations, back door what ifs, and decisions made long ago waiting for the right moment, or knowing when to back away and stick. But there really aren't any sustained periods of absolute stasis and that goes back decades.

That's fair enough. I get that no one really knows what's going to happen or that you can never say never.

I guess I should clarify the scope of my analysis: it's power conference realignment in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and/or Pac-12 based on adding Schools XYZ in order to create larger media deals that I believe is over. There could certainly be much more movement in the Big 12 and other conferences over the next several years, but they're not the ones that I'm talking about here.

Now, could there be massive changes to or the elimination of the NCAA that would spur other forms of realignment among the power conferences? Could there be a break off of the top 20 to 30 brands in all college football to create a super league? Could Notre Dame finally decide to give up independence at some point for some reason? I would grant that all of it is *possible* and, in that sense, there could be further power conference realignment.

However, the fact remains that the entire driver of all conference realignment from the 1960s through today has been to increase per school revenue. It's not about increasing total revenue - it's about making *per school* revenue larger. If that figure doesn't increase for a particular conference, then expansion doesn't happen.

For the Big Ten and SEC, they have or are about to have media deals that will pay them in the $60-70 million-plus per school range.

In 2010-2013, an expansion where each school was worth $20 million per year was worth it for the Big Ten and SEC. Hence, the additions of Rutgers and Maryland for the Big Ten and Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC became substantial revenue generators with a "Moneyball" approach of adding markets to increase revenue more than the brands themselves.

In today's world, it's going to take each Big Ten or SEC expansion target to bring in $70 million-plus per year simply for those conferences to break even. That's a *massive* difference compared to just a decade ago. The "Moneyball" approach won't work anymore: simply being a solid school in a major market isn't enough for the Big Ten and SEC with the levels of revenue that they have.

There might be only 2 schools in all of college football that I would have faith in bringing in $70 million per year to either the Big Ten or SEC: Notre Dame and USC. That's it.

In the case of ND, it's easy. If they're actually willing to drop independence, then you just pair them up with one other school (who could be anyone - Kansas, UVA, Sam Houston State - it almost doesn't matter) and print money just like the UT/OU addition to the SEC. The issue, of course, is that ND is a specific enigma whose entire identity as a school is intertwined with football independence for reasons that go far beyond money. I'll always grant ND as an exception to every scenario - if they're willing to drop independence, then sure, it could trigger mass scale power conference realignment again. However, ND doesn't think the way that any other school in America thinks, so predicating anything based on ND dropping independence is effectively predicating your retirement on winning the lottery. You better have other plans for retirement outside of the winning the lottery or you're in serious trouble.

For USC, I preface this by saying again that for all of the massive impact that the UT/OU move to the SEC has (for reasons that I've already explained), it was still a traditional small "c" conservative move for the SEC for realignment purposes. The SEC just needed to add two schools without any "fat" (e.g. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State") that wouldn't add value. Geographically, UT and OU are in or contiguous to existing SEC markets, so that makes the chances of this working out long-term much greater. In terms of the things that fans actually care about such as rivalries, this expansion move actually *restores* rivalries (UT vs. A&M and Arkansas) as oppose to destroying them (like many other conference realignment moves). Take away all of the money involved and the UT/OU move to the SEC *still* makes sense.

There's nothing small "c" conservative about, say, adding USC to the Big Ten. If you add them alone or with one other school, you leave USC on a geographic island while destroying all of their rivalries. That might make more money in the short-term, but that's a recipe for a long-term divorce.

The problem is that for USC to actually feel comfortable with moving for the long-term, the Big Ten effectively needs to add most (if not all) of the Pac-12 schools to make it work. That's a problem financially for the Big Ten because they would now be adding a lot of "fat" that doesn't actually bring value. While adding USC with one other school could bring in the $70 million per year per school breakeven amount, the financials are almost impossible if it requires adding 4, 6 or more schools in expansion.

Even with other conceivable schools that the Big Ten and/or SEC would be interested in, particularly UNC, it's not going to work with a straight-line addition of 2 schools like UT/OU. No one is getting UNC by adding them alone - it's going to require Duke and UVA at a minimum, too. When getting UNC means adding a minimum of 4 schools, the math once again gets shaky. Whenever says the Big Ten or SEC should add 4 schools, that requires that expansion to be worth $280 million per year in total as a *minimum*. It doesn't matter even if schools like FSU and Clemson are involved - I don't that there's a combo of any 4 ACC and Pac-12 schools that exists that would reach that level without ND and/or USC.

A lot of people here are so obsessed with consolidation that they're forgetting that the financial figures still have to work. The Big Ten and SEC could add 4 schools with $80 million total less than a decade ago and still make money on expansion. Now, they're effectively requiring $80 million PER SCHOOL to make money on expansion. It's an entirely different atmosphere now financially. THAT is where my skepticism comes in.

To use an entertainment industry example (as I believe it's relevant since sports are effectively the entertainment industry now), look at Disney's expansion in the 2005-2020 period. It added the massive brands of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox all in orderly succession. There are plenty of other properties that would love to get bought by Disney today and you can argue would make sense within their portfolio, but the point is that Disney got so much value out of those prior expansions that there's literally nothing else out there that moves the needle for them. Disney's future fortunes are going to be based on maximizing the value of their *current* assets like Marvel and Star Wars in a way that no new acquisition is going to matter.

That's where I believe that the Big Ten and SEC are at this point (with the caveat that ND is always a wild card). They have derived so much value from their current lineups that not even schools like Florida State and Clemson move the needle anymore. Just throwing out fantasy lineups of all of the top football brands all in 1 or 2 conferences is fun, but it's a pointless exercise if the financials don't work... and that's where I see the Big Ten and SEC right now. Nothing can make more money than the expansion of UT and OU... and if there's no bigger expansion out there in a world where each expansion HAS to make more money than the last one in order to work out financially, it stands to reason that future expansion won't happen.

Of course, I felt the same way before the SEC added Mizzou and A&M and the ACC added Pitt and SU and the Big 10 added Rutgers and Maryland. I thought the list warranting expansion beyond 12 was USC, UCLA, Texas, OU, FSU, ND. Pretty short. But it wasn't that short.

See - I never thought that way previously. I was writing about how the Big Ten's long range plans should entail getting into major markets on the East Coast as far back as 2006 on my blog. That's why I mean about the "Moneyball" approach for conference realignment: there were certain attributes of particular schools (such as those located in key media markets) that could unlock value as part of strong conferences like the Big Ten in a way that those schools weren't getting maximized in other leagues. Rutgers by itself may not be worth very much as an individual school. However, Rutgers synergized with the NYC-based Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State alums and leveraging that into a TV network created a TON of value for the Big Ten. (To use a current sports analogy, think of the value of Andrew Wiggins when he was on the Timberwolves compared to his value on this year's Warriors' team. His talents alone did little for Minnesota, but synergized incredibly well with Steph Curry and the rest of the Warriors to the point that he effectively won Game 5 of the NBA Finals for them.)

I just don't think that there are options like that for the power conferences anymore. Kansas could have made money for the Big Ten a decade ago under that Moneyball approach, but that's not going to work now. What you thought before (where only the big brands could move anything financially) is actually what's true now.

Plus, your alma mater of Texas being taken off the board by the SEC simply has an incredible outsized impact here. Like I've said elsewhere, for as much as we talked about Texas moving conferences over the past 12 years here, it's sort of weirdly underrated just how much UT going to SEC straight up paralyzes all of the other power conferences to do *anything* in response. There is NO response short of a league convincing Notre Dame to join. That's totally different than the 2010-13 timeframe where many important schools moved leagues, but none that were so massive that it could totally freeze all further power movement like Texas. Lots of leagues had lots of "answers" to moves made in 2010-13, but there's simply no answer to a league that gets Texas. That was what ALL of the other power conferences were positioning themselves for since 2010.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 01:20 PM by Frank the Tank.)
06-17-2022 01:17 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.
06-17-2022 01:24 PM
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random asian guy Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-16-2022 10:50 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:37 PM)LeeNobody Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:12 PM)Tigerblud Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:10 PM)Milwaukee Wrote:  Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?.

They will eventually have FSU and Clemson. Maybe more.

Agreed. The ACC will be raided

Don’t agree.

Leagues don’t expand just for the sake of expanding.

Every expansion raises the bar for the next expansion to simply break even.

The SEC just added the single greatest pair of schools that they could EVER realistically add with Texas and Oklahoma.

This board exists because getting to be the final home of Texas was what caused all of conference realignment from 2010 until now.

I quoted Doctor Strange on the day that the UT/OU to the SEC story broke: “We’re in the END GAME now.”

There’s no one that loves discussing realignment more than me, but power conference realignment (at least for the Big Ten/SEC/ACC/Pac-12) is over unless Notre Dame decides to drop independence. That’s it. It’s over. Even adding FSU, Clemson, UNC and take your pick of anyone else in the ACC combined wouldn’t bring in the value that simply the pair of UT and OU just brought to the SEC. Hence the total paralysis of any movement from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC over the past year (unlike the 2010-13 timeframe) outside of a non-binding Alliance.

Our realignment talks are going to be focused on the Big 12, G5 and basketball leagues. I have as much vested interest in seeing more big moves from the SEC, Big Ten and other major powers as anyone here, but it’s over. Done. There is NO expansion that’s better than UT and OU alone. NONE. It was a mic drop hammer to power conference realignment.

Getting Texas is the entire end game, NOT the start.

I agree with you on this point.

The money gap is not bad in my opinion, it is actually necessary for efficient grouping/tiering. And as I said multiple times, the four conferences with dedicated TV networks (or so called P4) reached to an equilibrium point except for ND and there won’t be a move among those four conferences unless a monumental change happens such as the SEC going alone with a pro model.

The SEC is done. Unless Vandy leaves for some reason, it’s not going to expand.
The BIG will probably wait and see if ND is coming. Unlike most people here, I don’t think adding UNC/Duke/UVa would be profitable for the BIG. The most revenue generating school in the ACC is probably FSU and I am not even sure if FSU would increase the aveage payout for the BIG not to mention the mutual disinterest between the BIG and FSU.
The P12/the ACC may look into adding some B12 schools or G5 schools in the future.
06-17-2022 01:54 PM
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Post: #47
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 10:18 AM)ken d Wrote:  So if I'm reading this right, 62.5% (15/24) of voters think the SEC will stay at 16. I wonder how many of us think the other P5 conferences will stand pat?

I think the SEC, B1G, ACC and Pac12 will stand pat. The Pac12 has no options that will add to their average media value and the ACC and B1G will stay at 14 until ND finds a conference home for football. So, forever. Even with removing divisions, 16 teams is more than enough.

The Big 12 could stay at 12, expand to 14 or 16. Personally I'd like to see them soak up all the remaining 2 major G5 schools that have played in the access bowl plus 2 more that hold big markets or competitive NIL advantages. So, Boise State, Memphis, San Diego State, and SMU. Go to a 3-6-6 scheduling format and let the 2 best teams play in the B12CCG.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 01:57 PM by ChrisLords.)
06-17-2022 01:56 PM
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Post: #48
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 02:14 PM by Frank the Tank.)
06-17-2022 02:14 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #49
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:14 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).

Ah, but that utilizes their value once a year in football and twice, maybe 3 times in hoops. Would they not be worth much more vs Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, or in the case of hoops against most of the same, and Kentucky? Big UNC, Duke, Clemson, and FSU games weekly yields a much higher valued total inventory which could be worth much more than the 140 million in payout difference for the moves. And having multiple platforms means there is ample use for such an inventory.

And Florida State and Clemson aside, I have to wonder the collective value of Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and UNC under one banner vs Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and resurgent programs like LSU, Auburn, A&M, and Bama. There's a lot to sell there.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 02:33 PM by JRsec.)
06-17-2022 02:23 PM
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AzonTheKid Offline
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Post: #50
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-16-2022 10:50 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:37 PM)LeeNobody Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:12 PM)Tigerblud Wrote:  
(06-16-2022 10:10 PM)Milwaukee Wrote:  Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?.

They will eventually have FSU and Clemson. Maybe more.

Agreed. The ACC will be raided

Don’t agree.

Leagues don’t expand just for the sake of expanding.

Every expansion raises the bar for the next expansion to simply break even.

The SEC just added the single greatest pair of schools that they could EVER realistically add with Texas and Oklahoma.

This board exists because getting to be the final home of Texas was what caused all of conference realignment from 2010 until now.

I quoted Doctor Strange on the day that the UT/OU to the SEC story broke: “We’re in the END GAME now.”

There’s no one that loves discussing realignment more than me, but power conference realignment (at least for the Big Ten/SEC/ACC/Pac-12) is over unless Notre Dame decides to drop independence. That’s it. It’s over. Even adding FSU, Clemson, UNC and take your pick of anyone else in the ACC combined wouldn’t bring in the value that simply the pair of UT and OU just brought to the SEC. Hence the total paralysis of any movement from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC over the past year (unlike the 2010-13 timeframe) outside of a non-binding Alliance.

Our realignment talks are going to be focused on the Big 12, G5 and basketball leagues. I have as much vested interest in seeing more big moves from the SEC, Big Ten and other major powers as anyone here, but it’s over. Done. There is NO expansion that’s better than UT and OU alone. NONE. It was a mic drop hammer to power conference realignment.

Getting Texas is the entire end game, NOT the start.

The only way I see realignment kicking back up is if the NCAA loses the tournament rights/money. That would change the calculus with basketball and could trigger realignment. I heard on a podcast back in January that the P5 will be looking to get more money from the NCAA from the tournament because they feel they are losing too much revenue.
06-17-2022 02:36 PM
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Post: #51
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:23 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:14 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).

Ah, but that utilizes their value once a year in football and twice, maybe 3 times in hoops. Would they not be worth much more vs Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, or in the case of hoops against most of the same, and Kentucky? Big UNC, Duke, Clemson, and FSU games weekly yields a much higher valued total inventory which could be worth much more than the 140 million in payout difference for the moves. And having multiple platforms means there is ample use for such an inventory.

I grant that it's possible. Similarly, though, it could be that it's simply not worth more to ESPN if they're not yielding savings on the ACC contract to compensate to whatever more they would have to pay to the SEC.

That's what ESPN feared back in 2010 when they offered the LHN: it was better to send $15 million per year to Texas than deal with a Pac-16 that included Texas and would have as much negotiating power as any sports entity outside of the NFL and would have cost much, much more.

Note that you've pointed out another reason why the UT/OU expansion is so singularly efficient for the SEC in a way that isn't really possible for many (or any) expansion combinations. Not only are Texas and Oklahoma top tier football brands, but they're also top tier basketball brands, too. They're achieving in an expansion with just 2 schools what it would take all 4 of Clemson, FSU, UNC and Duke to do here... and that's with the bar to actually make expansion more profitable to the SEC going sky high with this UT/OU move in the first place.

In any event, my point is that thinking that the SEC and Big Ten can really add anyone besides Notre Dame to make more on a media money basis is pretty much impossible now.

If we want to say that there are global factors like a total restructuring of college football administration or the elimination of the NCAA that could spur those leagues to expand further, then sure, I can buy that. I just don't think it's going to be based on how much more money ESPN, FOX or anyone else is going to pay at this point. We've reached the maximum per school revenue size for the Big Ten and SEC under the current environment just as the NFL has reached its maximum per franchise size. The NFL reached the point where their current members would make more money by staying the same size as opposed to expanding and that's simply where I see the Big Ten and SEC now.
06-17-2022 02:39 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #52
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:39 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:23 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:14 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).

Ah, but that utilizes their value once a year in football and twice, maybe 3 times in hoops. Would they not be worth much more vs Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, or in the case of hoops against most of the same, and Kentucky? Big UNC, Duke, Clemson, and FSU games weekly yields a much higher valued total inventory which could be worth much more than the 140 million in payout difference for the moves. And having multiple platforms means there is ample use for such an inventory.

I grant that it's possible. Similarly, though, it could be that it's simply not worth more to ESPN if they're not yielding savings on the ACC contract to compensate to whatever more they would have to pay to the SEC.

That's what ESPN feared back in 2010 when they offered the LHN: it was better to send $15 million per year to Texas than deal with a Pac-16 that included Texas and would have as much negotiating power as any sports entity outside of the NFL and would have cost much, much more.

Note that you've pointed out another reason why the UT/OU expansion is so singularly efficient for the SEC in a way that isn't really possible for many (or any) expansion combinations. Not only are Texas and Oklahoma top tier football brands, but they're also top tier basketball brands, too. They're achieving in an expansion with just 2 schools what it would take all 4 of Clemson, FSU, UNC and Duke to do here... and that's with the bar to actually make expansion more profitable to the SEC going sky high with this UT/OU move in the first place.

In any event, my point is that thinking that the SEC and Big Ten can really add anyone besides Notre Dame to make more on a media money basis is pretty much impossible now.

If we want to say that there are global factors like a total restructuring of college football administration or the elimination of the NCAA that could spur those leagues to expand further, then sure, I can buy that. I just don't think it's going to be based on how much more money ESPN, FOX or anyone else is going to pay at this point. We've reached the maximum per school revenue size for the Big Ten and SEC under the current environment just as the NFL has reached its maximum per franchise size. The NFL reached the point where their current members would make more money by staying the same size as opposed to expanding and that's simply where I see the Big Ten and SEC now.

I suspect the SEC might be more interested in North Carolina, Duke, Virginia and Kansas. 4 AAUs, 3 national brands, 3 new states, and oodles of hoops branding (which is insurance for the future). FSU and Clemson could be used by ESPN to anchor a better football conference (rebuilt from B12 and ACC brands). To me the accretive value to the SEC is in hoops (especially if basketball is monetized outside of the NCAA), and yet they would also be picking up 3 stellar baseball programs and an improving one at Kansas. The conference would never run short on any of the Big 3's post seasons. And it adds (as did OU and UT) to softball and women's hoops.

It also puts a bow on the entire region.

We'll simply see what ESPN is thinking soon enough.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 02:56 PM by JRsec.)
06-17-2022 02:54 PM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #53
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 01:56 PM)ChrisLords Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 10:18 AM)ken d Wrote:  So if I'm reading this right, 62.5% (15/24) of voters think the SEC will stay at 16. I wonder how many of us think the other P5 conferences will stand pat?

I think the SEC, B1G, ACC and Pac12 will stand pat. The Pac12 has no options that will add to their average media value and the ACC and B1G will stay at 14 until ND finds a conference home for football. So, forever. Even with removing divisions, 16 teams is more than enough.

The Big 12 could stay at 12, expand to 14 or 16. Personally I'd like to see them soak up all the remaining 2 major G5 schools that have played in the access bowl plus 2 more that hold big markets or competitive NIL advantages. So, Boise State, Memphis, San Diego State, and SMU. Go to a 3-6-6 scheduling format and let the 2 best teams play in the B12CCG.

I could certainly picture that B16. It starts with the lowest value of the P5 and actually increases that value a little by going coast to coast. It would occupy 11 different states in every time zone, with representation in the high population, talent rich states of California, Texas, Florida and Ohio. And it leaves the G5 with very little meat on the bone. So little, the P5 could justifiably IMO exclude them from an automatic seat at the CFP table in the next contract.
06-17-2022 02:55 PM
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AztecEmpire Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
After 16 members you have a hard time playing everyone regularly without going to like 10 conf games. So I think 16 may be the number for a long time.
06-17-2022 02:59 PM
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NJ2MDTerp Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
The SEC will continue their westward expansion by admitting Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC. And the B1G will respond by pursuing Colorado, Utah, Stanford, California, Oregon and Washington. The ACC remains intact until the GOR expires.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 03:15 PM by NJ2MDTerp.)
06-17-2022 03:15 PM
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PeteTheChop Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:59 PM)AztecEmpire Wrote:  After 16 members you have a hard time playing everyone regularly without going to like 10 conf games. So I think 16 may be the number for a long time.

Not necessarily.

For a 20-team conference:
  • Nine game conference schedule
  • Four (4) set opponents and five (5) rotating opponents each season
  • Play every other team in the conference at least twice in a 6-year cycle
  • Games against rotating opponents could be played in back-to-back-years of the cycle or sequenced either two or three years apart
  • With three non-conference games on the schedule, schools who missed each other in the conference schedule could play a non-conference game (ACC has done this)

Seems pretty workable
06-17-2022 03:35 PM
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Post: #57
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
I doubt there will be any new major shifts among the P5 in the immediate future. For the long-term, there will be some expansion and defections that are normal actions when opportunities open at the right time, such as a GoR near expiration.

If Norte Dame decides to go full-time conference football, that could impact extensively.

The B12 could add a couple more, among schools such as SMU, Memphis, USF, and Colorado State.

I don’t see the ACC moderating or terminating their GoR real early, if at all. Too many of their members won’t be offered lucrative options outside the ACC.

The PAC12 could expand, but they are not pursuing western and plains states schools of the Big 12. They have had opportunities, but rejected them.

For the SEC and BIG, they have good ideas as to schools to add if the favored ones become available. There’s no open window for those schools right now.

With the UT and OU additions, the SEC is in a grand situation. Incorporate those two and adjust scheduling accordingly. They have the luxury of being very satisfied in terms of the status quo.
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2022 03:44 PM by OdinFrigg.)
06-17-2022 03:41 PM
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XLance Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:23 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:14 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:47 AM)JRsec Wrote:  Where we differ on this is in motive. Yes the money has to be right. But it is a plethora of changes which IMO drove the decision. Texas has plenty of revenue. NIL and Pay for Play, a demographic change, a tie to a culture where football is likely to survive the longest, uncertain economic conditions, an uncertain geo-political environment all combined to make UT see the move as prudent.

And as to adding schools, what a conference needs is not a financial match, but a network willing to pay for the move and the factors which decide this are not a gestalt, but are permeable to the network's interests. So things are never as clear cut as an analysis, but rather dependent upon the motives of the one paying.

The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).

Ah, but that utilizes their value once a year in football and twice, maybe 3 times in hoops. Would they not be worth much more vs Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, or in the case of hoops against most of the same, and Kentucky? Big UNC, Duke, Clemson, and FSU games weekly yields a much higher valued total inventory which could be worth much more than the 140 million in payout difference for the moves. And having multiple platforms means there is ample use for such an inventory.

And Florida State and Clemson aside, I have to wonder the collective value of Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and UNC under one banner vs Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and resurgent programs like LSU, Auburn, A&M, and Bama. There's a lot to sell there.

Not a problem JR.
Move Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and West Virginia to the ACC while the SEC adds Miami, Florida State and Kansas.
06-17-2022 04:12 PM
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Post: #59
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:55 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:56 PM)ChrisLords Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 10:18 AM)ken d Wrote:  So if I'm reading this right, 62.5% (15/24) of voters think the SEC will stay at 16. I wonder how many of us think the other P5 conferences will stand pat?

I think the SEC, B1G, ACC and Pac12 will stand pat. The Pac12 has no options that will add to their average media value and the ACC and B1G will stay at 14 until ND finds a conference home for football. So, forever. Even with removing divisions, 16 teams is more than enough.

The Big 12 could stay at 12, expand to 14 or 16. Personally I'd like to see them soak up all the remaining 2 major G5 schools that have played in the access bowl plus 2 more that hold big markets or competitive NIL advantages. So, Boise State, Memphis, San Diego State, and SMU. Go to a 3-6-6 scheduling format and let the 2 best teams play in the B12CCG.

I could certainly picture that B16. It starts with the lowest value of the P5 and actually increases that value a little by going coast to coast. It would occupy 11 different states in every time zone, with representation in the high population, talent rich states of California, Texas, Florida and Ohio. And it leaves the G5 with very little meat on the bone. So little, the P5 could justifiably IMO exclude them from an automatic seat at the CFP table in the next contract.

Just my opinion but I feel that if the BigXII went this route it would actually spur the few universities (KU, TTech, OSU, WVU) left in the conference with at least a little value to want to find greener pastures. Bowlsby did all he could to save the conference, adding anyone else might be a recipe for disaster.
06-17-2022 04:13 PM
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Post: #60
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 02:39 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:23 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:14 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 01:04 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  The thing is that a financial match for a conference and a network willing to pay for a move are one and the same. The only way that a move can be a financial match is if a network is willing to pay for a move in the first place.

It goes back to my Disney example, which is all the more relevant since it's their own property of ESPN that has a disproportionate amount of power in dictating whether a network is willing to pay for expansion.

If we could just suspend all antitrust law concerns, could Disney go ahead and try to buy DC Comics to pair with Marvel? That's the entertainment industry equivalent what we're talking about when we bring up the notion of a school like USC moving to the Big Ten or UNC to either the Big Ten or SEC. It sounds awesome in theory - who wouldn't want to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman mixed in with The Avengers?

However, to use one of the adages that I apply frequently here: is the juice worth the squeeze? Warner Bros. isn't just going to hand DC Comics over to Disney - they know it would create a superhero movie monopoly, which drives up the price way higher than just taking the net present value of projected future DC Comics revenue. The seller is going to price themselves to reflect the additional monopoly power that's getting created for the buyer on top of the revenue itself.

Likewise, a school like USC simply isn't just saying, "We want to move! Just add us and we're good!" The price for USC is NOT just the price of USC, but rather the price of USC plus every other school that it's going to insist upon bringing along (which might well be everyone in the Pac-12 other than maybe Washington State and Oregon State). It's same thing for a school like UNC - it's not about the price of UNC itself, but the overall price of everyone *else* hat's required to come along with UNC to make the deal work.

I actually don't disagree that there are motives other than money. If anything, I bring up that broader picture all of the time. We see this in the Big Ten and Pac-12 where academic requirements are extremely critical. We see this with a school like UNC where it actually really *doesn't* want to be in a totally Northern league or totally Southern league, which is why the ACC as it stands continue to serve all of its needs outside of the financial piece. Ditto for a school like USC where, at the end of the day, it's a West Coast school and can't be anywhere that would make it an isolated Western outpost of a league.

That was my whole point before: even *without* the money, the addition of UT and OU to the SEC *still* makes sense culturally, geographically and in terms of rivalries. That's what makes that particular expansion so powerful beyond the obvious money and branding aspects. It's still a small "c" conservative expansion even with the huge brand names involved.

in contrast, there's truly no reason for USC and UNC to leave their respective leagues for anything *but* the money. They are in their perfect respective institutional, cultural, geographic and on-the-field rivalry fits. That's what makes me so skeptical about schools like that moving - it would take so many other schools coming along with them to make it work that it would be a completely *inefficient* expansion.

Oh, but there are other reasons besides money. They both likely desire to remain competitively viable in their sport of notoriety. Money is involved in that but the motivation is to keep their brand power at or near the top of their respective sports.

And unless you are in the board room there is no way to know the actual motives of the networks. Exposure, association with a brand, a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition, or any number of extraneous reasons could be involved, and have been. Why the LHN? It wasn't a smart money play. ESPN wanted that brand association and dominance in that market. Now they have it. They chose to lose now in order to control a move later.

It's not just a money analysis, whether in theory or in practice. Where is UNC & Duke worth more? Where can FSU and Clemson be worth more to ESPN? What is essential to keep? It all comes into play and then some, as with the LHN.

Actually, the LHN was very much a smart money play when looking at ESPN's expenditures in totality. It goes to the first part of your bolded paragraph: a defensive move to deny a rival a key acquisition.

The importance of the LHN was what it *prevented* from happening: the Pac-16. That would have created a third monster monolith superconference after the SEC and Big Ten that would have driven up the college football TV market rights fees even further than what we see now.

The thing is that we can look at it from the flip side for ESPN: you're looking at it as if though they *want* to have schools like UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson be where they would be worth more. That's not how they looked at the Pac-16. Instead, I think it's more in ESPN's interest to have UNC, Duke, FSU and Clemson exactly where they are now at a discount price. The FSU-Clemson football and UNC-Duke basketball games are still on ESPN and they're paying a fraction of the price compared to what they'd be paying if those were Big Ten or SEC games.

Sure, ESPN would always like better SEC games. The distinction is that they're not in the business of unilaterally paying *more* for those SEC games. (Hence the hemming and hawing over whether the SEC will have 8 or 9 conference games going forward since ESPN isn't willing to pay for the additional conference games). ESPN still looks at things in totality: are those newly-minted Clemson-Alabama games worth it if it means having to increase the SEC rights deal by much more than what it might be saving on the ACC rights deal? That's where I'm skeptical.

ESPN isn't a charity - it will ALWAYS want to pay lower rights fees. Now, they may not be *able* to pay lower rights fees because the market dictates otherwise. However, this notion that ESPN will just start trading SEC and ACC schools because they're both under contract there has a lot of faulty reasoning to me. They have the ACC locked into a super cheap contract for the next decade and a half: why the heck they would want to move any of the top ACC brands out of that super cheap contract makes very little sense. It's in ESPN's interests to ensure that the top ACC brands don't go *anywhere* (even to a fellow SEC contract).

Ah, but that utilizes their value once a year in football and twice, maybe 3 times in hoops. Would they not be worth much more vs Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, or in the case of hoops against most of the same, and Kentucky? Big UNC, Duke, Clemson, and FSU games weekly yields a much higher valued total inventory which could be worth much more than the 140 million in payout difference for the moves. And having multiple platforms means there is ample use for such an inventory.

I grant that it's possible. Similarly, though, it could be that it's simply not worth more to ESPN if they're not yielding savings on the ACC contract to compensate to whatever more they would have to pay to the SEC.

That's what ESPN feared back in 2010 when they offered the LHN: it was better to send $15 million per year to Texas than deal with a Pac-16 that included Texas and would have as much negotiating power as any sports entity outside of the NFL and would have cost much, much more.

Note that you've pointed out another reason why the UT/OU expansion is so singularly efficient for the SEC in a way that isn't really possible for many (or any) expansion combinations. Not only are Texas and Oklahoma top tier football brands, but they're also top tier basketball brands, too. They're achieving in an expansion with just 2 schools what it would take all 4 of Clemson, FSU, UNC and Duke to do here... and that's with the bar to actually make expansion more profitable to the SEC going sky high with this UT/OU move in the first place.

In any event, my point is that thinking that the SEC and Big Ten can really add anyone besides Notre Dame to make more on a media money basis is pretty much impossible now.

If we want to say that there are global factors like a total restructuring of college football administration or the elimination of the NCAA that could spur those leagues to expand further, then sure, I can buy that. I just don't think it's going to be based on how much more money ESPN, FOX or anyone else is going to pay at this point. We've reached the maximum per school revenue size for the Big Ten and SEC under the current environment just as the NFL has reached its maximum per franchise size. The NFL reached the point where their current members would make more money by staying the same size as opposed to expanding and that's simply where I see the Big Ten and SEC now.

Frank you are 100% wrong. I'm disappointed in you. Lots of people post that fake information, but I thought you were better than that.

Facts:

Texas decides to stay in the Big 12 June 14, 2010.
Reasons are that Fox and ESPN didn't want the Pac 16 to happen and promised the Big 12 would get comparable money in their new deal to what the Pac 16 would get. In the press conference on that day President Powers said they figured they would get similar money and similar schedules and could stay in the Big 12.

LHN deal up until late October 2010 was expected to yield only about $3 million and Fox was expected to get it. ESPN made their big bid October 25, 2010, 4 months after the Pac 16 deal fell apart.

The money on the LHN deal had absolutely zero to do with the Pac 16 deal falling apart.

There are a lot of claims that having a LHN was what caused UT to make the decision it did. President Powers and Deloss Dodds never mentioned it in that press conference. And the claim makes no sense. The Pac has their 2 team subnetworks. Texas originally proposed to Texas A&M to do a 2 team network. So Texas would have the exposure in either place. And as I pointed out above, the money was expected to be minor.
06-17-2022 04:22 PM
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