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April 7, 2010

Some Related Items in Football

Filed under: Bowls,Conference,Football,Money — Chas @ 10:13 am

The Meineke Car Car Bowl is dead. Long live the Charlotte-Name-Placeholder-Until-A-New-Sponsor-Willing-To-Pay-More-Is-Found Bowl.

Bowl officials wanted a more lucrative deal after moving up in the Atlantic Coast Conference selection order, which will mean increasing its payout per team from about $1.3 million to more than $1.8 million.

Driven Brands took over as title sponsor from Continental Tire in 2005 and has been paying about $1 million a year.

Maybe Wachovia Wells Fargo will pony up. That would be fun The Wells Fargo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium.

Remember when the Big East got sick of the split deal with the Sun Bowl and the Gator Bowl? If you can follow this, it might return with the PapaJohns.com Bowl and Liberty Bowl.

As part of their four-year agreements through 2013, the Papajohns.com and Lib­erty rotate who gets an SEC team when the conference doesn’t have enough eligible teams. If there are enough teams, the two bowls will at­tempt to work through their picks together.

This marks the first four­-year contract between the SEC and the Papajohns.com Bowl after they previously worked under a two-year deal.

“We certainly sense more and more community involvement with the bowl, which in our view is essential to the success of a bowl,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “We’re very pleased that we’re able to enter into a more formal and longer agreement with the bowl and to hopefully make a contribution to the community in which the conference office is located.”

Papajohns gets the last SEC pick. The Liberty one spot ahead. Now the plan had been that if the SEC didn’t have enough teams, the SunBelt would take the spot for the SEC in Birmingham. The Big East, though, wants to make sure they play the SEC in a bowl every year — hence why a Big East team goes to Birmingham.

Meanwhile the Liberty Bowl is trying to get the Big East as a back-up conference to the SEC in the game against a Conference USA team.

Sooo. I don’t think that the Big East and SEC will meet in the Liberty Bowl, but there might be instances that bumps the Big East team either into an additional spot in the Liberty Bowl or even out of the papajohns.com bowl. It’s all very convoluted and makes my head hurt.

Now when Tony Barnhart speaks on college football issues, people actually pay attention. He’s one of the few remaining non-ESPN journalists that spent his career writing about, covering and having lots of sources in the college games. So, this is intriguing.

The other big topic here has a chance to completely change college football as we know it. I’ve spoken to a number of athletics directors and commissioners who are convinced that the Big Ten is positioning itself to seriously consider becoming college football first super conference by expanding to as many as 16 teams.

The Big Ten is looking at three plans: Stand pat with 11 teams, add one team (hopefully Notre Dame) or make a blockbuster move and go to 16.

“If they go to 16 and one of them is Notre Dame then we’ve got an entirely new ball game,” a conference commissioner told me confidentially.

There is pretty serious speculation that The Big Ten would look to the Big East in its big master plan. Now I don’t know which teams are involved, but Just for fun, let’s say the Big Ten asks Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers to join.

Realistically, those are the only 4 schools from the Big East that the Big 11 would take. The other 4 BE football schools lack the requisite academic bonafides.

Barnhart then goes into further speculation mode and kind of drifts afield in my view. But the idea of 16-team mega conferences in football has been floated by message boards and writers for some time. Andy Staples at SI.com floated one in February.

Honestly. I think the Big 11 is considering it, because going mega would legitimately be a daring way to get ahead of the potential curve and there has been so much speculation over the economic arms races of the Big 11 and SEC. A move to 16 might be enough of a force to get the Big Ten Network on lower tiers and more deals cut into the heavily populated — even if slightly apathetic to the college game — East.

Either way, I’m not planning to buy  Big East labeled gear. Spencer Hall breaks it down with the Big East conference call.





wow… The Big 16? Ruh Roh West Virginia… better start raising your academic standards or you guys aren’t going to make a BCS game for a LONG time

Comment by David Goldstein 04.07.10 @ 10:40 am

The pendulum todays swings in favor of Pitt in the Big 10. I didn’t realize how much money Pitt spends on research and that amount would top any current Big Ten school. I’m pulling for Big East to survive; not looking that way today.

Comment by TonyinHouston 04.07.10 @ 11:24 am

If the Big 11 becomes the Big 16, it will start a domino effect. Look for WVU, Lville, Cincy, and SoFla to wind up in a super conference of their own. This train left the station when conferences expanded to 12 teams. Ok, they have maxed out their income potential…How can they make more money…Add more teams and more market to sell those teams (and the Big Tens TV network to). In a strange way, I think the success of the Big East and it’s sixteen team BB league proved to be a measuring stick for other conferences that were watching to see what would happen.

Comment by HbgFrank 04.07.10 @ 12:35 pm

MGoBlog has an interesting concept of a 15 team Big Ten that may be gaining momentum too (3 divisions of five each). Either way, although I still suspect that the Big Ten will not expand, I’m beginning to believe more and more in the prospects of a 14, 15, or 16 team Big Ten — something that I never would believe I’d see again after the death of the 16 team WAC. But of course, the Big Ten has a lot more money (and TV) than the WAC…

Comment by Lee in Altoona 04.07.10 @ 2:09 pm

Fascinating stuff, but I think the most likely scenario is still the Big 11 adding one team – probably Rutgers – to get its championship game. It’ll all be a big letdown when it’s announced.

Comment by maguro 04.07.10 @ 2:54 pm

A big 16 wouldn’t be as bad as just Pitt leaving for the Big Ten. I would sincerely miss the basketball games with Nova, Georgetown, and, especially, UCONN. I guess Pitt could play 2 of these teams out of conference every year.

The 96 team tournament idea, quite frankly, sucks. Non-profit sells out and ruins the greatest sporting event on planet earth for some extra cash. This destroy’s the conference tournaments. What a joke. Stupid, stupid idea.

Comment by Omar 04.07.10 @ 3:00 pm

I would bet the house the Big Ten will go with the 16 teams..(I had thought 14 but why stop there). I just would be a little surprised if Notre Dame would agree to it. The more teams the bigger part of the money pie they control and it always comes down to the dollar. Plus 16 teams would eliminate the Big East from the BCS which means more money for the remaining BCS conferences.

And I bet the Pac 10 will do the same thing. Boise St, BYU, Utah, Hawaii would be desirable for the Pac 10. The BCS then wouldn’t need to keep answering questions on why WAC and Mountain West are not part of the BCS.

Then SEC would take WVU and Louisville. ACC – Cinn and South Florida… FBS College Football is going to be a handful of huge conferences in the future.

Comment by milo bloom 04.07.10 @ 4:11 pm

You have to admit the BE has some very poor bowl affiliations!!!!

Comment by The Oakland Jew 04.07.10 @ 6:01 pm

Expansion is coming there will be 8 super conferences with 16 teams in each. Big Ten picks first taking ND, Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers and Missouri.
The remainder of the Big East schools get sucked up by the ACC and SEC . No one from Big East gets left out of BCS.

Comment by Marty 04.07.10 @ 7:18 pm

Super conferences would necessitate a playoff due to unbalanced schedules in my opinion. Even in current conference championships, the out-of-division schedule differences can thwart the championship matchup

Comment by Tony Cancilla 04.07.10 @ 7:36 pm

actually, Big East labeled gear may become a collector’s item.

I would hate to see Rutgers accepted into the B10 … soley due to its location. Except for a few recent years, RU football has been a joke .. and despite the fact that they are in the BE and right smack in the most fertile BB recruiting area, their basketball program is a bigger joke.

Having said that, if the B10 takes only one team and it isn’t Pitt or ND, then I hope it is Rutgers since I think it is the easiest one to replace (and certainly didn’t draw the NYC market for BE football.)

Comment by wbb 04.07.10 @ 7:45 pm

I don’t think it is a given at all that the B10 will expand beyond 12. It’s members already make more than any other conference, and only need a 12th to qualify for a conference championship game. Any expansion beyond that would result in diminishing marginal profits.

Comment by wbb 04.07.10 @ 7:49 pm

Not my fault Walt to Cal U as an assistant?

HTscriptP

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 04.08.10 @ 12:12 am

Wbb, you have identified what the Big 10 is struggling with. All they really need is a 12th team to complete the puzzle as the college football world now looks. On the other hand, if the ACC, Big Twelve, or SEC decided to go to 14 or 16 teams each, then the Big 10 would find itself trying to play catch-up. For example, lets say the ACC announed tommorow that it was expanding to 16 teams by adding Syracuse, RU, Pitt and UCONN. Well, the Big 10 could say goodbye forever to expanding its market (as in Television) into the fertile ground of the Northeast. In fact, might there not be a TV market in New Jersey, New York or Conn that currently carries the Big 10 Network that would eventually drop it for the newly launched “ACC Network”. I think that Big Ten has the most infrastructure in place and the most to lose by not being in front of the expansion curve. As someone said above, the super conferences are coming, its only a matter of who starts the ball rolling. I also think that there will be 8 conferences, and they will be tied to a playoff format to determine a champion. Frankly, its long over due. As long as we have the “BCS” conferences as they now stand, there will never be a playoff system to determine a champion.

Comment by HbgFrank 04.08.10 @ 12:40 pm

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