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June 1, 2012

I may do some more on other aspects of the Big 12 meetings, TV deals and such, but I just want to get this portion out there.

The Big 12 has continued to claim that they have no interest in expanding. It has also been noted that the SEC claimed they had no interest in any other teams after taking Texas A&M as the 13th member. Then 3 weeks later Mizzou became the very obvious 14th team they were going to add. So, just because they say it, doesn’t mean it will stay that way beyond the moment they make the claim.

I wonder, though, if the Big 12’s denial of any planned expansion to 12 is driven much the same way that the Big 10 did not expand to 12 teams for 20-some years after taking Penn State as the 11th member: Waiting for Notre Dame.

We mock. We laugh at the thought. It seems like such a bad fit — academically, geography, reputation, and so on. It smacks of more Texas-driven arrogance that they believe they could land Notre Dame. It also smacks of a Texas long-term plan of at least luring ND to park all but football in the Big 12, to eventually become a full member. Or to be the wedge to let Texas go independent in football as well.

Yet it isn’t just Texas’ AD DeLoss Dodds and outgoing Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas spouting off about the idea of Notre Dame coming to the Big 12. Other Big 12 members seem to be infected with the idea.

“I’ve got real positive feelings about Notre Dame,” said Dodds, who held court Thursday at the Big 12 spring meetings. “I think the possibility they would be part of our conference would be a great discussion to have.”

Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, the chairman of the Big 12’s board of directors, agreed.

“Notre Dame is a brand like no other,” Hargis said. “If they have some interest, that’s something we should consider.”

The same could be said for every single conference in the country.

Indeed. Just 8 months ago, the speculation picked up that Notre Dame would be much more interested in the ACC at some point in the future. The visions of ND in the ACC seemed so enticing. So possible. It was natural. High academic conference. Plenty of traditional (and recent) opponents in Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College and Miami. The faltering situation of the Big East versus the seeming stability of the ACC. The population shift from the midwest. And of course, the money. All sorts of really rational reasons that suggested that the ACC might be positioned in the medium- or long-term to lure ND.

Now it’s the Big 12 with the stability and money. Plus a willingness to be flexible (at least at first) on the whole maintaining football independence.

The news that the new Big 12 TV deal won’t vary much — per team — even if expansion happens lends some credence to this concept.

The new Big 12 TV deal is expected to be announced any day, perhaps here this week as a celebration of the league’s new-found strength. Within that deal is a clause that will give any new expansion candidates the same money as the current members (estimated to be at least $20 million per year).

One industry source said that number applies whether the Big 12 invites, “Appalachian State or Florida State.”

You can obviously look at it as saying that the deal will automatically up the deal when/if they expand. But it can also be seen as saying that FSU being added wouldn’t significantly up the money per team. Providing something of a neutral situation with expansion at least until there is a look-in window — presumably 5 years down the road.

Notre Dame being part of expansion, however, would change that equation. With the conference’s new-found stability. Their secure place in whatever new college football playoff scenario. And the coming TV money windfall. All that adds up to the Big 12 being able to take a longer view on things.

This is especially true for expansion and waiting for Notre Dame. They may not wait 20 years like the Big 10 did before saying, “eff it,” and grabbing Nebraska. But they can definitely wait at least 3 years to see how the whole playoff situation shakes out (any playoff scenario doesn’t take place until 2014) and see how it plays out for a while to see what Notre Dame does.

Like the Big 10, if a team doesn’t add significant enough value to change their money, there isn’t a pressing need to expand. What this TV deal appears to say, is that short of Notre Dame there isn’t a team out there for the Big 12 at this point.





This expansion stuff literally gives me eye strain. Wake me up when something actually happens – but thanks for keeping us informed.

I guess the bottom line with all this is we are screwed if Clemson and FSU leave, right?

Comment by Reed 06.01.12 @ 9:52 am

Reed, You have to look where Pitt was before being offered a spot in the ACC. The ACC is an upgrade that still provides much greater stability than they had in the Big East. Losing Florida State or Clemson is a loss to the conference, but not a fatal one. Miami, with Golden and the talent in south Flordia, could very quickly become a national power house again. Virginia Tech remains a solid program. Also I’m not ready concede the possibility that Paul Chryst will be sucessful at making Pitt relevant again. There are malcontents in every conference and what I’ve seen with all the expansion nonsence is that any and all rumors are reported ESPN, Fox, and all the blogs. The conferences are rapidly running out of options and I don’t really see any real evidence that there will any other big moves this year.

Comment by Justinian 06.01.12 @ 10:12 am

What is the guess on Pitt’s football schedule in the ACC?

• Eight conference game per season?
• Two 7-team divisions?
• Pitt’s division: Pitt, Syracuse, BC, MD, VA, VT, GT? Or will Pitt, Syracuse, BC and MD, i.e. potential rivals, be separated between the two divisions?
• Other division: the 4 NC schools, Clemson, Miami, FSU?
• Each school plays everyone in their division every year?
• Therefore, Pitt plays Clemson, Miami, and FSU every other year and possibly once in three years? Or perhaps, Pitt plays Syracuse, BC and/or MD every other year?
• Miami, Clemson and FSU come to Heinz, at most, every four years?
• Gone is WVU?

And this is an upgrade?

Comment by BigGuy 06.01.12 @ 10:39 am

Having Notre Dame in all sports other than football created a lot of discontent among Big East fans, and I imagine that it would with Big Whatever Number conference fans as well, particularly Texas’. Hard to imagine them giving ND that arrangement for very long.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 06.01.12 @ 10:44 am

So funny watching all of these posts about Expanion-whatever.

Comment by Yup 06.01.12 @ 10:56 am

“Having Notre Dame in all sports other than football created a lot of discontent among Big East fans”

It upset you???? Interesting. I never gave it a (negative)thought. The only thing upsetting to me about the arrangeent was that Brey appeared to have Jamie’s number.

Comment by BigGuy 06.01.12 @ 10:58 am

BigGuy: they’ve already announced the football and basketball schedule system. Bball: 18 games, we will play Maryland twice every year. Fball: going to 9 conference games keeping the divisions/crossover oponents the same so we will be in the coastal with vt, uva, gt, miami, duke, unc. Our cross divisional rival will be cuse and we will play 2 other atlantic teams rotating

Comment by Tony C 06.01.12 @ 11:35 am

Notre Dame will never join the big 12 they dont fit they may join the the big 10 if they have to join any one or the ACC.
If they join a conference that they dont fit into
then join the SEC becuse if you join were you dont fit then join the best which is the sec.
but it wont be the big 12 .
If they ever have to join it will be the big 10 or the ACC and no outher.

Comment by Frankcan 06.01.12 @ 11:37 am

BigGuy, the ACC divisions have already been set. From the ACC press release:

Football:
The Atlantic and Coastal divisions will remain the same with Syracuse joining the Atlantic and Pitt joining the Coastal. The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.

When Pitt and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will play a nine-game conference schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away) while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away)

link to theacc.com

Comment by jt 06.01.12 @ 11:46 am

I read that our cross division rival was MD where I live. Edsal is coach. 4 hour drive from Pitt.

Comment by Frank 06.01.12 @ 11:51 am

Let’s see, playing Syracuse VT, Miami, Georgia Tech, UVA, UNC every year, and playing Maryland, Clemson and FSU every couple years (and if we would do well, possibly playing them in an ACC championship game………………hmmm, no,

I’d much rather play UCONN, S. Florida and Rutgers….

Wow!!!!!! Ha ha ha!!!

Comment by Dan 06.01.12 @ 11:56 am

I always gave it a thought. You don’t want in for all sports, hit the road. The epitomy of a “user”. Have your cake and eat it too!!

Enjoy your games with San Diego St, SMU, Houston and Temple. Those teams will really pump up your olympic sports programs.

Not to mention, you’ll have to play a few of them every year in football as the agreement goes.

Can’t wait for that ND-San Diego St showdown in football.

Comment by Dan 06.01.12 @ 12:00 pm

Dan, you left out WVU in you comments. Hopefully, ND will remain on our FB schedule. By my count, our FB schedule will consist of nine ACC schools, ND (hopefully) and two patsies, e.g. Youngstown State, Buffalo, etc. We will play teams in the other division of the ACC once every three years. Play them at home once every six years.

Hey, no wonder you are excited about the FB schedule in anticipation of playing Duke, WF, BC, VA, and some team that WVU recently scored 73 points on. But that is why they manufacture both a Ford and a Chevy: different strokes for different folks.

Comment by BigGuy 06.01.12 @ 12:50 pm

Could care less about WVU. I grew with Pitt football in the 70’s and 80’s, so no one touches Penn St for a rivalry, at least for me.

Not dismissing our rivalry with WVU.

However, if I have two choices, one being in the ACC with out WVU, or…….

Being in the BE with them………

really no choice for me.

Like you say, different strokes.

Comment by Dan 06.01.12 @ 1:05 pm

big guy we play every year the miami vt unc gt
the orange and duke so duke is not mutch the
outhers are good games.the outher two games could be maryland and fsu we dont know yet who but you chose the worst i the best. But better than south flordia better than ucon or get over the big east football it wasent a great line up.

Comment by Frankcan 06.01.12 @ 1:17 pm

What was so great about Big East football? Other than the Backyard Brawl, no other game or school got me excited.

Don’t blame Pitt for the break-up. Pitt did everything to make this relationship work. The Big East only has itself to blame. And, now the Big East is being petty and vindictive to Pitt and the Orange.

I’m looking forward to driving the ACC BMW. Neither the Big East’s Ford or Chevy works for me.

Comment by TX Panther 06.01.12 @ 1:41 pm

Big, are you really going to miss 20 of us Pitt alums showing up for the Seton Hall game?

Comment by steve1 06.01.12 @ 2:21 pm

“Big, are you really going to miss 20 of us Pitt alums showing up for the Seton Hall game?”

Steve1, first, there were more than 20 alums at those events when the events that were preceded by a dinner and a rally. (The Seton Hall game doesn’t usually start at noon on a Sunday.)

Second, those of us in attendance were always appreciative of the effort that you and the working members of the Alumni Association put into organizing the events.

And, yes, I will miss not having the venue to get together with fellow alumni and will miss the opportunity to drive a half an hour to watch Pitt in action.

Comment by BigGuy 06.01.12 @ 3:47 pm

Puzzled that we may not play Maryland every year. It is the easiest drive and the Steelers-Ravens and to a lesser extent Pirates-Orioles rivalries would seem to make it a natural paring. Living in Maryland I am biased on this subject. Agreement or disagreement from those of you in the Burg on annual football games with Maryland?

Comment by opfim 06.01.12 @ 4:49 pm

opfim, let’s not become selfish. By my calculations, Pitt will visit College Park once every six years. (Pitt scheduled a series with Navy beginning, I believe, in 2014. I don’t know if that series will be changed due to the proposed nine games with ACC opponents.)

Comment by BigGuy 06.01.12 @ 5:16 pm

i, too, would prefer both the football and basketball crossover games with maryland. i have ties to the area and it’s an easy drive from the burgh.

Comment by pittkeith 06.01.12 @ 7:52 pm

The ACC wants to keep their football just the way is. They put Cuse in the Atlantic to play BC in-division. If we played Maryland every year then Cuse would end up playing Virginia every year (Maryland’s current crossover)

Comment by Tony C 06.01.12 @ 10:17 pm

I’m looking forward to enhancing our rivalries with Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Miami. We left VT with a bad taste in their mouths (3 straight)

Comment by Tony C 06.01.12 @ 10:19 pm

The Big XII is delusional if it thinks ND is going to their conference. They will be in the Big Ten if anything, with the only other conference even remotely having a chance being the ACC (if it can hold on to all of its members).

Comment by Chris 06.02.12 @ 9:12 am

By my calculations, we’ll never see S. Fla, Cincinnati, Rutgers or UCONN football ever again!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooo Hooo!!!! Or WVU!!!!!!!!!

Headin’ South!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 06.02.12 @ 10:32 am

Dan, you have a point there. When Duke, Wake Forest, and UVA come to the Heinz, the place will be rocking. I may have to increase my donations to Pitt just to insure that I can buy season tickets to the sold out stadium. And how about Clemson? The ‘Burgh will really turn out just to see the team against which WVU scored 73 points. The coffers for the athletic department will be overflowing in green.

Comment by BigGuy 06.02.12 @ 1:01 pm

Big Guy, Love your irony.

Comment by opfim 06.02.12 @ 1:55 pm

Big Guy, You deserve an award for irony. Love it!

Comment by opfim 06.02.12 @ 1:57 pm

Big Guy, you make my point brilliantly!!

Thank You!!!

You picked the worst three teams to use!!!

That’s fine, teriffic. Duke, Wake Forest, UVA.

Now, I am willing to bet, 90% of Pitt fans, if not a higher percentage, would rather see
Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia, than

USF, UCONN and Rutgers on the football field!!!!

And, they certainly aren’t going to have less fans for any of those three. I mean it’s almost impossible to have less fans than the USF and UCONN games.

Now, who you failed to mention, are

Virginia Tech
Miami
Georgia Tech
Syracuse
Boston College
Maryland
Florida St
North Carolina
North Carolina St.
Clemson

Wait, maybe we should have stayed, I know you’re gonna come back with

Cental Florida
SMU
and Houston!!!

Oh, wait, Boise St. Yes, that’s in Idaho, out by Washington state right??

And San Diego St. That’s in California, right??

Or is there a San Diego in Virginia I don’t know about?? Maybe a Boise in Maryland?? No, that’s Bowie!!!

Comment by Dan 06.02.12 @ 3:22 pm

Oh, wait, I know, Temple is back in.

Yes, of course, the Keystone Grudge Match!!!

Well, it would rival the River City Trophy with
Cincinnati!!!

Comment by Dan 06.02.12 @ 3:24 pm

Actually, I do see your point, the ol’ coffers have really been over flowing since we’ve been in the Big East.

Big East football and playing West Virginia have really made the Pitt Ath. Dept exceptionally fluid!!!!

I think the last home game against WVU, there were about 30k Pitt fans, 20k WVU fans and 10k empty seats.

That will be missed!!!

Comment by Dan 06.02.12 @ 3:31 pm

I don’t see the Golden Domers being interested in playing in places like Ames, Iowa (lol), Manhattan, KS. (lol), Lubbock, TX(lol), Waco, TX (haha) or even Stillwater, OK (lmao) or the biggest laugh of all, Hooterville (ie Morganhole) Wva (rflmao)

Do any of you ?

Veritas et Virtus

Comment by Emel 06.02.12 @ 7:15 pm

Are there even ANY ND subway alumni or real alumni in ANY of those places. haha 🙂

I mean seriously, the Big 12 AD’s must be smokin some really good shit.

Comment by Emel 06.02.12 @ 7:17 pm

And finally, why would ND want to host any of those schools in South Bend as well (forgot Lawrence, KA.)

Comment by Emel 06.02.12 @ 7:19 pm

I see our bud, BigGuy is back with his (shall we say) insightful thoughts.

Yes count me in, I was dying to see PITT vs UCF, PITT vs Houston, Pitt vs SMU, Pitt vs SDSU, traveling to Boise to play on the Smurf Turf, and of course the great yearly matchups(not) with Rutgers, Uconn, L-ville & Cincy & USF. I had my checkbook out already with much anticipation to renew my 4 season tickets into infinity with those sterling football schools & their traditions(?). (lol)

Oh crap I forgot Pitt is a no/win position against ALL these teams, if you beat em, WHO CARES and if you lose to em, you look really bad.

My bad, don’t count me in, sorry bud.

Comment by Emel 06.02.12 @ 7:32 pm

Oh I forgot about the return of the great TEmple Owls to the BigLeast. Once banished for winning a grand total of 2 games in their last BigLeast incarnation, they will be packing them in at Lincoln Field and I know many many Pittsburghers are eagerly awaiting the return of the Owls to the Steel City.

I might even up my season ticket package to 8 tickets since I know this will be such a hot ticket in Pittsburgh, I’ll be able to scalp 4 of em to the hordes of Temple alumni who will flock to Heinz Field for the big matchup with PITT.

My bad, the inclusion of the Temple Owls has certainly changed my mind about this years home schedule. Wake me when the season is over, btw.

Comment by Emel 06.02.12 @ 7:41 pm

OK this is getting out of hand. No more awards for irony, satire, parody or sarcasm (which seems to be where its going.) Seriously I think we all need to (and likely will) do what we can to support the team and the new coaching staff in this developmental/transition year even though we’d rather not spend it in the Big East. Let’s go Pitt!

Comment by opfim 06.02.12 @ 8:14 pm

DAN if you go back up on this post abought 25 posts you will see i said the same thing to big guy
as you did 9 posts up.And you are right EMel

Comment by Frankcan 06.02.12 @ 9:15 pm

Pitt football hasn’t been interesting/relevant since 2003. The ACC can only help

Comment by Tony C 06.03.12 @ 1:29 am

My choice is to have Pitt play in a conference comprised of Penn State, Ohio State, WVU, Michigan, ND, Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, and maybe LSU and perhaps a couple of others. Obviously, there ain’t no such conference. There is Conference A with some dogs and some stallions, Conference B with dogs and some stallions, etc.

If the BE Commish would have acted more decisively and if Pitt and Syracuse would not have panicked, the BE would probably be comprised of:

Pitt
Syracuse
Louisville
Cinci
WVU
USF
UCF
Houston
TCU
Rutgers
UConn
SMU or Temple

Toss in the best basketball conference in the country, established rivalries in both sports and my living in NJ, the choice for me is obvious. Don’t forget, there is a clue how it may all play out: ask Boston College and their fans about how pleased they are about their decision to bolt the BE.

Comment by BigGuy 06.03.12 @ 1:38 am

BIGGUY that is not a great line up and the only reason ucf and houston and smu are in it is becuse pitt and syracuse left and they left beuse the big east did not add teams .
had the big east added teams 3 or 4 years ago as they should have then we might not have left.
but they did not becuse of the BB schools so the big east brought this on them selves.
blame them not us.

Comment by Frankcan 06.03.12 @ 10:55 am

Frankcan, we are in agreement. The BE should have acted sooner.

Comment by BigGuy 06.03.12 @ 11:48 am

info for you all i wont go into details it takes
it would take to long but SDSU paid a to find out
what the new tv deal would pay the big east to see if they still wanted to join they were told that they would likey get 6 milliom and that full members would likey get 10 million that the big east would not get the 13 million that the deal would have paid that they turned down last time.

espn has the first chance and after 60 days
if no deal is reached then nbc and com cast will have a chance to make a deal.

i do not belive that espn will low ball them as bad as some think becuse if espn says 10 million per team than all nbc has to do is wait the 60 days and offer 11 million to wrap up the big east or comcast could do the same.

I think espn has to offer at least the 13 mllion
that thay offered last time or lose them but maybe they dont want them what do you think.

Comment by Frankcan 06.03.12 @ 12:34 pm

All joking around Big Guy, I do understand your points. Especially, I believe, probably living next to several of Pitt’s BE foes. Seton Hall, Rutgers and St. Johns.

I would be disappointed also. Sincerely.

And without rehashing who’s fault it is, I think most of us would have liked to have seen an Eastern Football League that JoePa wanted.

Not worth going over who’s fault, Pitt says PSU, PSU says Pitt, so what’s the point.

It didn’t happen though.

Perhaps if the BE had been more pro active, I mean before even Miami Va Tech and BC were taken.

Maybe to have gone after Maryland and UVA??

Who knows.

I’ve always loved the BE. Not so much in football, but at least we had Miami and VA TECH.

After they got poached, the writing was on the wall, and with the moves and non moves of the BE, there was no other choice.

You’re a big Pitt fan, as am I, and Frank and EMEL.

Yes, maybe we won’t do so well, who knows. I wouldn’t base anything on BC though.

However, I believe we all want them to do well in the future, only time will tell.

I hope for your sake, they end playing a rotation schedule, which is a serious consideration, for the ACC tourney to be in NYC..

Hopefully you can get to that, and hopefully if bridges arent’ burned, perhaps Pitt will still play Seton Hall and Rutgers in the future.

So, yes, I am pro ACC, however, I would be pro ACC even if I wasn’t, because that is where Pitt is going to be.

Hope you get to enjoy some games this year, and hopefully they play close enough to you in the future that you’ll get to see some games.

Comment by Dan 06.03.12 @ 2:28 pm

Dan what do you think they say the big east wont get the 13 million they turned down last time but only 10 million for full time members.
becuse we and the orange and wvu have left do you think espn will try to low ball them if they dont deal with espn in 60 days they can try nbc or com cast .

Comment by Frankcan 06.03.12 @ 2:59 pm

Dan, thanks for extending the olive branch; however, I’m not sure if it is more fun walking arm-in-arm in agreement or (in a friendly manner) poking at each other with different opinions. HTP
Regards

Comment by BigGuy 06.03.12 @ 3:00 pm

BigGay i also under stand abought the BB it was the best big east bb was great but the football not so mutch.
and as you have said it was the big east fult for not adding teams sooner.
had they added two teams even 3 years ago to bring us to ten i think we might still be there now.
but you know we could not stay for just BB not when the teams that were doeing the best in BB were the football teams ucon pitt wvu and the orange.
it is and was the bb schools fult becuse they thought they would be out voted bye the football schools so they killed the golden goose not us.

Comment by Frankcan 06.03.12 @ 3:27 pm

[…] 12 isn’t going away, but it is a long-game. Not to be resolved this summer or even next. I, personally, believe the Big 12 is going to wait a year or two before doing anything. I actually believe part of what the Big 12 is saying, at least as far as catching their breath, […]


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