Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Big 12 is About to Make a Big Mistake



What do Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Maryland  have in common? 

For starters they are all hallowed institutions from the ACC with national championships in either football or basketball. They are also respected academic institutions and boast large TV markets, a solid recruiting base, and the desire to field championship level teams.

But they have one more thing in common – they all want out of the ACC and into the Big 12.

That’s right; the Big 12 could have Florida State and any one of the other three or the Big 12 could think bold and take all four.

Yet the Big 12 isn’t likely to expand anytime soon and the reason is Notre Dame.

The Big 12 has decided not to extend invitations to FSU, Clemson or anyone else until Notre Dame makes it future conference home known. 

New Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds both think the Irish are close to joining the Big 12 as associate members and will follow later as a full member.

WVU doesn’t believe that. WVU has years of experience as a member of the beleaguered Big East and watched as Notre Dame sat on the sidelines and let the Big East fall apart.

Notre Dame could have saved the Big East at any point. The Irish could have kept Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College from leaving during the first round of ACC expansion and they could have kept Pittsburgh and Syracuse from leaving last year.

The Irish did nothing and that’s just what they will do now. 

I have no doubt that Jack Swarbrick is offering Bowlsby and Dodds assurances about Notre Dame. I have no doubt Swarbrick has told both men Notre Dame is Big 12 bound. 

The problem is I have no doubt that Swarbrick is giving John Swofford the same assurances.

Bowlsby and Dodds are making the mistake of believing Notre Dame. 

They don't know Notre Dame like WVU knows Notre Dame.

Both Bowlsby and Dodds are extremely intelligent men and proven leaders. Such men are not prone to fantasy or wishful thinking and not likely to have the wool pulled over their eyes by Notre Dame, but now it appears the Irish have hoodwinked the Big 12.  

Notre Dame is lying to them while trying to work out better deals with both the ACC and NBC. 

Perhaps Bowlsby and Dodds are blinded by thoughts of their legacies and what it would mean to land the Fighting Irish. Whatever motivates them to pander to Notre Dame they should remember just how fragile the conference was a year ago.

And while they sit and wait for Notre Dame the clock is about to expire on an opportunity of a life-time. 

It's clear that the Irish prefer the ACC. It's clear that the only way the ACC would offer Notre Dame an associate membership is to keep FSU and Clemson from defecting. 

It's clear to WVU that had the Big 12 extended the invitations to FSU and Clemson a month ago that Notre Dame wouldn't even be listening to John Swofford right now. 

Adding Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12  cripples the ACC and permanently secures the future of the Big 12.

FSU and Clemson could be the biggest prize in the expansion contest and the Big 12 is in serious danger of blowing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Every day the Big 12 fails to invite FSU and Clemson is a day John Swofford uses to solidify his conference and  entice Notre Dame to join. 

I understand the Big 12’s desire to add Notre Dame – I get it. What I don’t get is how the Big 12 can gamble their future on a sucker bet.

The Irish will never join a conference as full member unless they are forced to do so. But by inviting FSU and Clemson now, the Big 12 can eliminate the ACC as a viable home for the Irish. 

Supposedly the Big 12 is dead set on not expanding past 12. That's a foolish position given what's at stake and who's interested. It's even more foolish to think Notre Dame will join the Big 12 as a full member. 

In West Virginia we have something called a “Snipe Hunt”. The hunt is actually ruse for the gullible.  As legend has it the Snipe is small, fast, flightless, pheasant like bird found in the deep woods of West Virginia.

A Snipe hunt has “drivers” and “holders”.

The “holders” are taken into the woods and given small cloth bags and instructed to hide in the brush and wait while the more experienced “Drivers” chase the birds in their direction. When the birds come running towards them the “bag holders” are supposed to catch the birds in their bags.

Guess what happens next? The “Drivers” drive off and leave the “holders” stranded deep in the woods holding the bag.

I can only guess that it will be the Big 12 left holding the bag If Bowlsby and Dodds keep chasing Notre Dame.

Musings:

Before anyone jumps on Texas you should remember that it was Texas that made the necessary concessions to keep the Big 12 together and put the conference in the position of strength it enjoys today.

Each and every member of the Big 12 must share the responsibility of the Notre Dame “Snipe Hunt” and direct Bowlsby to act on Florida State and Clemson before its too late.

There is still time if the Big 12 forgets about Notre Dame and acts quickly.

The Big 12 has been counseled by the SEC on the horrors of 14 members and the scheduling problems that result from expansion. It could be the SEC  would prefer the ACC to stay intact to keep the Big 10 from establishing a footprint in SEC territory. 

One Final Thing

I've worked hard trying to find out the reasons for the delay the past few weeks and time and time again the answer was Notre Dame. But there was one other answer...

One very credible source told me the current Big 12 contract was written when Colorado and Nebraska were still in the conference and doesn't have a provision to pay additional money for FSU and Clemson. The Big 12's TV partners agreed to honor the existing contract written for 12 and pay the same amount of money to 10 members. Adding FSU and Clemson for 2013 would then reduce the amount paid out to Big 12 schools. My thoughts are that adding institutions as valuable as  FSU and Clemson would pay, but I understand that contracts can be reopened unless their is expansion beyond the number of members when it was signed. Even with that said the potential to add 4 ACC schools would significantly up the dollar amount of the Big 12 contract.

39 comments:

  1. What are the chances as some have talked about that the ACC jumps in on WVU and Louisville at the last minute. Nothing's been signed yet, right?

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  2. WVU is committed to the Big 12. The Big 12 is easily the second best football conference right now and just slightly behind the SEC. The Big 12 will pay between $7-9 million more than the ACC per year.

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    1. WVU is as committed to the Big 12 as UT is committed to the Big 12. None of these schools are committed to the big 12 until some signatures are provided that the Grant of Rights of 6 or 13 years was actually ever signed. Why can't they just provide this evidence? Why - b/c it doesn't exist. It's all smoke and mirrors orchastrated by Bowlsby and Dodds. The Dude is spot on about the Snipe Hunt that's going on with ND, but he's unaware of another snipe hunt going on between UT and the rest of the Big 12. Why would UT be willing to risk the security of the Big 12 by taking a bet on ND joining the Big 12? B/c they know they haven't signed away their grant of rights for any period of time, and if ND joins the ACC in the end then UT will be heading West with OU to the PAC without the LHN that has proved to be a complete failure. If they end up landing ND then great their longshot bet will pay off huge. It's a no lose situation for UT. Any team not named UT or OU should refer to themselves as "holders." The other part that the Dude doesn't get is that while he feels the Big 12 is wasting away a once in a lifetime opportunity by grabbing FSU and Clemson he doesn't realize that his own school WVU already wasted their once in a lifetime opportunity by letting Missouri and Texas A&M win the bid to the SEC over the Mountaineers. This is all very simple: ND to the ACC followed by UT and OU to the PAC. The rest of the schools will be left holding the bag fighting each other to get invited to once of the Big 4 conferences that matter.

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  3. If the B12 TV money doesn't go up with adding FSU or Clemson, then don't expand. If ND is the tipping point, then expand. SEC, ACC and B1G are getting less per school for their additions. B12 is in the drivers seat and shouldn't act hastily. FSU and Clemson would be great addition if the math works.

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    1. That's just under the old contract. The new one would pay for it but it doesn't take effect until a few years. The key is to expand to 14 or 16 and both Texas and Oklahoma don't want that. The other schools in the Big 12 need to make that happen.

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    2. nobody wants 14 or 16. 12 is ideal. 11 is fine. 10 is great.

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  4. The SEC crying about 14 is just Alligator tears. It's about as believable as the claim that they didn't even think about A&M until a few days before they added them.

    Yes, 14 causes some scheduling issues, but the SEC has more of them because of how many untouchable rivalries it has. Yes, there would be difficulties with the Big 12, but they have nowhere near the number of important rivalries to protect. The ACC hasn't been whining about 14 (perhaps because they don't in their hearts ever expect to play as a 14-team conference?).

    And to act like they haven't understood all the ramifications of 14 for years and years? They act like they were expecting a baby and ended up with triplets. Really, they just jumped to 14 without thinking it through, a spur of the moment decision?

    That said, there's no question 14 is unwieldy, but it is just a stopover on the way to 16 and pod scheduling.

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  5. Clemson is not leaving the ACC for the Big 12. The BOTs don't want it. The coaches don't want it. Not happening, even if an offer is extended. Period.

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  6. When did ND ever give assurances to the Big East that they would join for football? When has ND not said that keeping football independent is their #1 priority (both regarding Big East, ACC, and Big 12)?

    Why do you say ND is promising anyone that they will be joining in football?

    There is no lying, no conspiracy theory. It's just that ND is acting in their own interest (and is quite transparent about what their interest is), and everyone else is acting in their own best interest. Why should ND have saved the Big East, out of the goodness of their heart? If that's true, then WVU should have stayed in the Big East out of the goodness of their heart too.

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    1. Please, after the shenanigans ND pulled with the Big East. Its one thing to talk with a conference and another to promise them you're coming if only A, B and C are true. The Irish are highly overvalued based on the far distant past. Their ratings on NBC have been slipping and they know the only way to keep their independence is to play the Big 12, ACC and NBC against one another.

      Dodds and Bowlsby are old men living in the past when ND mattered. They can't see the future is in the south east.

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  7. Hey Dude,

    This whole this stinks, now. FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a UT fan (1st) & Big 12 fan (2nd) and I was super pumped about the possibility of FSU & CU being in the conference. Would UT lose to them in some years, of course. But you know what? I was looking forward to them playing meaningful games regularly (in all sports) and tapping into the SEC footprint.

    Maybe this is naive, but why the hell don't they just "man-up" and go get FSU, CU & Louisville as full members and have ND come in as a partial, for now. You just know ND will HAVE to join a conference for football, at some point. Man, talk about a kick a$$ conference in football, basketball & baseball.

    Unfortunately, I think you're correct. The Big 12 will step all over themselves and screw this up somehow. What a comedy of errors. They infer that they want to be the best, but then they don't act like it. Too afraid to hurt someone's (ACC) feelings. When the other conferences expanded *(ACC included), they didn't give a crap about who they pissed-off. They just went out and took what they wanted. The other three of the "Big Four" conferences are all probably giggling like little school girls about everything the Big 12 is doing right now.

    After this weekend (when WVU/TCU officially join) will that help move any of this forward? Will they (and when I say "they," I really only mean WVU) have enough stroke in those meetings? For the first time in YEARS, the conference has forward momentum and they are going to muck it up. GRRR!

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    1. The Big 12 has great leaders and more coming into the conference. As I've said before ND isn't blameless and the rest of the conference can't just sit back and throw darts at Texas. The other 8 members in the conference are going along with Bowlsby and Dodds because they believe ND is coming.

      The truth is that adding FSU, Clemson or other ACC teams make it more likely that Bowlsby and Dodds get what they want - ND.

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  8. Taking Notre Dame at their word is like believing the guy who blew up Alderaan. It astounds me that Texas is actually buying their BS.

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    1. Dodds is arrogant enough to think ND isn't playing him. All the while he dances while the grinder turns the crank.

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  9. Follow the $$$ people. That is what expansion has been about this whole time. Smart people have seen this happening for a long time--the Big XII will NOT Expand until 2014 or later because that is when their ESPN deal new terms kick in. Why expand in 2013 when it just means more mouths for the same size of pie? Dodds has been on record, Neinas was on record all saying that the B12 was fine at 10--for now. The reason is $$$.

    As to future expansion, if FSU, Clemson, GT and Maryland all want out now, I assume they all will wait a year if they have to.

    Love how another supposed "insider" just whiffed on the prediction, and is now back tracking like a mofo. Face it, you took a wild leap and missed.

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    1. Sometimes you have to strike when the opportunity is there. Let's say FSU wins the national championship and Clemson, VPI and UVA have good years. Are FSU and Clemson that eager to leave in 2014? The money issues remain but that 5-year look in window for the ACC TV contract suddenly looks like a better bet. You act now and drive a stake through the heart of the ACC. Otherwise you may live to regret it.

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  10. DUDE, why not create a poll or petition telling the Big 12 Commissioner and Big 12 University Presidents to invite FSU and Clemson. Tell them what the people want.

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    1. That would be a great idea except for the fact that some would only listen to the Big 12 presidents. They are the ones who need to speak.

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    2. FSU and Clemson need to ask. It's THEIR responsibility. They don't take the risk, they don't get to share the rewards. Simple as that.

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  11. I keep hearing that the big 12 wants FSU, but they want Notre Dame as the 12th. So the Big 12 wont go ahead and extend an invitation to just FSU? And if they would, what are the chances FSU goes as the only ACC school to the big 12?

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  12. Dude,

    I love all the information you've provided and want to let you know it's greatly appreciated. I have couple of followup questions:

    Is it possible that the BIG12 is really waiting for the playoff format to be finalized before making any official invitations? There could be a strategic advantage is allowing the ACC to think that it all hinges on ND when it really doesn't.

    Is it possible that once WVU and TCU join the BIG12 officially, a coalition of smaller universities can muster the will to offer an invitation to FSU and CU, even against the wishes of UT and OU?

    Is the SEC still in conversations with VT? And have there been further discussions with any other NC schools?

    Is it possible that UT and OU know that the PAC can't expand to 16 without them, and as such they always have that as a fall back position if the BIG12 ultimately fails? Remember all this realignment started with their PAC flirtations, and it seems as though that still might be their first preference.

    I cannot believe the BIG12 would be so blind as to allow this opportunity to pass without taking action. The Big East is essentially dead, it's now down to the ACC and BIG12 for the fourth and final spot at the big boy table. Doesn't the BIG12 realize that they have to kill off the ACC while they can?

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    1. For the SEC to still be in conversation with Virginia Tech, the SEC would have to have once been in conversation with Virginia Tech. Any "conversation" between the SEC and Virginia Tech would have ended in five seconds.

      The Big 12 has no interest in killing off the ACC, nor could it actually do so.

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  13. Notre Dame looks out for Notre Dame. Why would they want to be in a conference when they don't have to be. Adding Maryland, Clemson, FSU, and South Florida would make the Big 12 look like a Giant rather than a Bottom Feeder right now.

    There should be plenty of time for all of this to shake out as long as Notre Dame is thrown to the side where they belong. The other Big 12 members with TCU and WVU on board will bring Texas back to reality hopefully. Wouldn't the Big 12 Championship offset the share that each team will lose short-term if they invited Clemson and FSU as soon as possible? Clemson and FSU are rising and Notre Dame's stock keeps falling and falling.

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  14. A few things to keep in mind....

    1) The Big 12 is currently, at 10 teams, deeper in quality than any other conference in America. Yes, the top couple of teams in the SEC have been on an absurdly good run for the trophy lately, but the top 9 of the Big 12 stack up better than the top 9 of the SEC... and the 10th actually has a BCS win in the last decade, so their current state of suckage should be taken with a grain of salt.

    2) Notre Dame played the Big East like a fiddle. But *if* (keep in mind, this is only a hypothetical) they end up in the Big 12, they would not, under any circumstances, have that same degree of power. I suspect that may be the main reason a deal hasn't already been announced. If they announce partial membership in the Big 12, they will have put themselves under the power of people **who are powerful**. Swarbrick is not going to sign off on partial membership in the Big 12 unless he knows full well he has to be in a conference in football, long term. There is NO WAY Notre Dame can play the Big 12 the way they played the Big East.

    3) There is no urgency about any of this. The Big 12 is in good financial condition at 10, and will be more than happy to stay that way until conditions are ripe for a richer contract. They will not expand because they *have* to; they will only expand because they *want* to.

    Clemson and FSU will still be sitting in the pathetic ACC a year from now if they don't join this summer, and they will be that much more at a disadvantage compared to So. Car. (whom Clemson ought naturally to have every advantage over) and Florida (whom FSU has every reason to feel negative about)... if they don't ASK the Big 12, they can't get IN the Big 12.

    It's all in their court. Remember that. They want in, all they have to do is ask. If they don't take that risk, as a TEXAS fan, I'm content. We're a great conference at 10.

    The ACC ship will still be sinking, whether they decide it's time to jump off or not.

    The Notre Dame saga is just an amusing sideshow. It has nothing to do with the main attraction, which is whether Clemson and FSU are willing to leave the kiddie-pool or not.

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  15. Walden, I have to respectfully disagree with a couple of your assertions:

    First, there is a definite need to act swiftly. If the BIG12 for whatever reason puts off expansion until next year, FSU and Clemson may not be available by then. The ACC will react in some fashion to save their conference, and the more time they have, the better their chances. The ACC is the conference of small, private universities with high academic standards. That is the most ideal fit for Notre Dame, not the BIG12. The Irish will only choose the BIG12 if the ACC dies, thus quickly making an offer to FSU and Clemson is a requirement for ND to join.

    Bear in mind that the BIG12 got things turned around AFTER Colorado, Nebraska, TAMU, and Mizzou all bolted the conference. In other words, Texas got scared straight. Don't try to deny this, they saw the handwriting on the wall and realized they actually needed a stable conference home when the PAC move didn't materialize. That's the reason they signed the GOR, assuming it's actually been signed. The ACC now understands the dire threat this poses, and now has a similar mindset to what the BIG12 had a year ago. If FSU and Clemson don't leave in the next month, the ACC will have the opportunity to respond to their threatened existence, and make the changes necessary to keep everyone happy. And if that happens the ACC becomes a serious threat to become that fourth mega-conference, because ND will join them above the BIG12 or BIG10.

    Second, you state that if they don't ask the BIG12 they can't get in the BIG12. Come on man, you know FSU will not leave UNLESS the back-channel offer has been made. They have to know for a fact that they will be accepted BEFORE they apply for membership, that's just common sense. The ball is unofficially in the BIG12's court before it can officially be in FSU's court.

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  16. Sorry, it doesn't wash.

    TEXAS has never wanted to go anywhere. If we'd had our druthers, we'd still be in the SWC. Yes, Dodds and co. talked to the PAC... and the B1G... and the ACC... when OU was looking elsewhere, but it was all insurance. TEXAS never intended to go anywhere.

    If we had, we would have gone. If you don't believe that, you don't understand how we do business down here.

    As for time, sorry, but there is nothing the ACC can do over the course of the next year that they couldn't have done over the course of the previous one. And none of their options will leave them competitive with the SEC, Big 12, B1G or PAC. It just isn't going to happen, Notre Dame or no Notre Dame.

    I repeat: If Clemson and FSU want to come to the Big 12, they can officially tell the ACC they are listening to other offers. None of this unofficial crap. No dangling your toes in the water.

    You are all-in for the big-boys table, or you can keep playing checkers in your Cracker Barrel conference. We don't care which.

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    1. You did want to go. The Pac-10 said no back in the 1990's before the days of the Big 12. Don't try to pretend now you didn't.

      The simple fact is, despite what people in West Virginia have been saying, Clemson and Florida State don't want to go. They're not leaving the ACC.

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  17. We all know that money is driving the bus here, but I contend that the recent development of Clemson being cold-shouldered has everything to do with the Big 12 leaders (esp. Dodds and Bowlsby) MAXIMIZING PLAYOFF ACCESS for its members. Let me explain. First, I believe Bowlsby, Dodds, et al. were waiting for today's OFFICIAL announcement to 100% confirm that BOTH Strength of Schedule AND Conference Champion Status would play a vital role for the Final Four selection committee. Now that they have that information confirmed, they are going to make a strategic masterstroke to give the Big 12 an advantage over every other league with 12 or more members. Here it is. What better scenario to possibly put TWO Big 12 teams in the Final Four than by having 11 full members (current 10 + FSU) and ND as an associate member for schedule strength and $$$? Think about it. This would kill both birds with one stone. First, it would satisfy the monetary component, as both universities bring a net gain in TV revenue to the table. Let's assume UT and OU get ND annually or semi-annually. Then throw in FSU as a full. Imagine the TV contracts this would demand! Second, it maximizes playoff access by (1) avoiding the Conference Championship Game (which UT hates anyways) and (2) increases the likelihood of having TWO Big 12 teams ending up the regular season undefeated since there would not be a true round robin with 11 teams. This, of course, makes it possible to have two 12-0 conference co-champions on certain years when those teams avoid each other on the schedule. That would make it VERY difficult for a selection committee to deny playoff access to those teams. On top of all of this, the S.O.S would increase with the addition of FSU and ND. This is the strategy folks: the Big 12 is simply finding ways to increase the total number of scenarios that multiple members can access the Final Four on any given year, while simultaneously maximizing profit. It's actually quite brilliant, and it explains why the Big 12 has iced Clemson. Clemson would throw a wrench in the whole equation by actually REDUCING the number of scenarios where multiple Big 12 teams can make the Final Four. Everyone keeps talking about bigger being better when it comes to conference realignment. The Big 12 is thinking outside the box. They realize that going beyond 11.5 is a long-term disadvantage for any league looking to make the playoffs in the new playoff set up. It's about quality members at this point, not the quantity. The 11.5 member set-up satisfies both the monetary and access components PERFECTLY. In the next 7-14 days, look for the Big 12 to announce ND as a partial and FSU as a full member. Mark my words. This will be a historic move for our conference and put the Big 12 in the driver's seat for the next 2 decades!

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    1. You may be on to something here brother. Make no mistake, the men who run this conference are a smart, savy bunch. It truly is all about the money and what better way to follow the money than to have two member institutions make the playoff on occasion. Good stuff all, whatever ends up happening.

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    2. NKNECHT, very good points, and very interesting to think about. I still have a hard time thinking that FSU would leave the ACC for a Texas based league without at least one geographical partner from the southeast. Can't wait to see how it all plays out. Personally, being left in the ACC without FSU is going to sting, and will be a major blow to the conference and likely end its goal of being one of the top 4. Suppose that does happen, do you see any other teams from the ACC leaving (VT/NCST to the SEC, etc.)?

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    3. FSU already has a geographical partner, WVU.

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    4. Pretty much. Same could be said of Clemson.

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  18. newtxmgf, WVU as a geographical partner to FSU in the Big 12 is a tad bit of a stretch imo. But I guess the fact that WVU is in the Big 12 in the first place, stretches how we define the term "geographical partner" ... so I'll give you that point. Regardless, i still find it hard to believe FSU will bolt w/out either Clemson, Miami, GT or another ACC school (or Louisville).

    Should be an interesting topic of discussion for some time though. I agree with the dude, if the Big 12 were smart, they'd not let their immediate financial gains from having only 10 teams split the Big 12 pie ... and would do to the ACC what Swofford should have done to the Big east. They'd offer invites to FSU, Clemson (and/or GT/Miami/VT/MD, etc.) as a long term investment, before something unexpected happens and the ACC in some way solidifies its conference as it currently is, and improves their football reputation over the next couple years.

    It's risky to think if FSU/VT/Miami/GT have standout years and make some noise in the national rankings (and as a conferecne), that they would be 1 to 2 years closer to the "look-in" clause w/their ESPN contract. That changes the dynamics of conference realignment. What if the Big 12 does not produce a natty title contender the next year or two? What if the season doesn't unfold to where the Big 12 has a legitimate shot at the NCG, and the someone from the ACC emerges?

    Personally, this new playoff will make it harder for an ACC (or Big east) team to get into the playoff, but I don't feel (as a Clemson Tiger) we're completely locked-out either.

    While the 9 game conference schedule makes things tricky, Clemson will play Auburn and South Carolina ... that leaves us only one cupcake game (minus Duke). I have no qualms about an ACC team having to run the table to get in the tournament. That being said, if the Big 12 were smart they wouldn't wait around and hope this doesn;t happen, just to get more money now.

    FSU and Clemson surely would bring in more revenue and re-open the TV contract, even if it were a little less than splitting the pie with ten teams, they would have stability and security as a conference, and a TV deal that can compete with the other Big conferences.

    Thanks for continuing to share your info Dude, it is appreciated and whatever way this all shakes out, it's been fun to discuss and think of how all the different scenarios actually play out.

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    1. You must think "electronic footprint", not "geographic footprint" for this is a new paradigm in intercollegiate athletics. Which team(s) bring value, at least enough to move the needle? That is the question conference commissioners are wrestling with every day and surely will wrestle with in the near future. Again, thanks Dude for helping fostering this dialogue.

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    2. Habib, I totally get the "electronic footprint" idea. And I would not completely discount FSU moving to the Big 12, should ND finally take the plunge and join for all sports.

      WVU is a recent example of the "electronic footprint" idea, in as much that it is a university from a different geographical region than the rest of the Big 12. But I also consider WVU's circumstances a tad bit different. They have been desperate to get out of the Big East for some time. And undoubtedly their first choices were SEC and ACC. The Big 12 just happen to have an opening, so it was a marriage of convenience for both sides. That said, i expect WVU to be competitive and new rivalries to be forged amongst their new conference members. It should and will be exciting for them.

      But when I look at where WVU has been, compared to FSU, I see a team that has been a major player in big time college football that has been trying to get out of a conference that has been seen as falling apart (Big East).

      While FSU has serious monetary concerns (regarding their SEC neighbors and the tv contracts) ... it would be a much bigger leap of faith for them to join the Big 12 than it was for WVU. While not inconceivable, my money is on FSU going to the Big 12 with another "geographical partner" from the ACC (eg. Clemson, GT, Miami, MD).

      WVU to the Big 12 also made sense due to the defections of Pitt/Cuse and the additions of BSU/Houston/SMU, etc. At that point they would be playing games in the west anyway, so might as well make a ton more money going to TX and OU. Simply put, it was their best option.

      I appreciate the different view points and the civil discussion that goes on over here. It is refreshing to talk football w/out people getting so personal about things! So thanks to you for your thoughtful responses as well.

      Question for you all, do you all really think the momentum has died down for FSU to the Big 12? Were/Are there AD's from the Big 12 that specifically DO NOT want another ACC team like Clemson? Just curious about how the various Big 12 movers and shakers truly feel about expansion.

      Thanks all.

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  19. Dude, with all these talks about Notre Dame being the "only new member that would enhance the Big 12 value for television", do you think this is a ploy of ESPN to protect the ACC as one of their partners? If the ACC loses FSU and Clemson, the value of the ACC games would diminish even more. ESPN does not want this to get any worse. Plus, the one program they would like to add to their programming is Notre Dame. Using B12 to lure them in would not be a bad move for ESPN.

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  20. "The Irish could have kept Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College from leaving during the first round of ACC expansion"

    You cannot be serious. Maybe Notre Dame could have kept Miami and Boston College from leaving, but the Irish could have done absolutely nothing to prevent Virginia Tech from going to the ACC. The invitation to join the ACC was something the Hokies had waited 50 years for. Once they got that call, they were finally relevant in their state.

    Notre Dame could have offered to give the Hokies Touchdown Jesus, and Virginia Tech still would have left the Big East when the ACC came calling.

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