Thursday, September 1, 2011

My View on Realignment

I've tried to stay out of the realignment feeding frenzy.  It isn't my cup of tea.   It hurts my head to try to discuss or think about.  But I do think that some important points need to be brought up.  Some of this might sound reactionary/impulsive based on my team's alliance (Syracuse -> Big East) and I'm not going to apologize for that.  I will incorporate some TV aspects into this

  • The MAC has been running on 13 teams for quite a while and holding a championship game.  No the math does not work out for 13 teams and eight conference games per team, but somehow they've been doing it for a while.  The SEC doesn't have to get to an even number immediately.
  • College presidents run the show and they have great academic credentials.  They need to be mindful of their boosters but also take the big picture into account.  Texas Tech moving to a Pac-16 in theory means they'll get to play USC, but they might only play them once or twice a decade.  No different than negotiating a non-conference series.
  • I wrote this piece on the possibility of a Pac-16 and how it could become unwieldy to negotiate for any TV network.  My position hasn't really changed.
  • As Frank The Tank (see 1st point), then Darren Rovell stated, composition of conference clauses are for the benefit of the TV network, not the conference.  The conference is not guaranteed anything when adding a new member, but the possibility exists when it loses a member that it will lose television money.  The SEC's "look-ins" aren't renegotiation points, they are evaluation points.  Are ESPN and CBS doing a good job?  Does the SEC want more afternoon games?  Can CBS have more games in primetime?  Those are the questions that get asked at a look-in.
  • There are still only 24 hours in a day.   Go ahead and cannibalize the Big East's football conference.  Just be aware that the only things you gain by doing that are several Thursday-Friday night time slots.  Does your conference want to play on those dates?
  • The thing that boggles my mind is that A&M doesn't appear to have made any headway regarding attempting to set up a TV network/digital platform of their own.  They have fought ESPN, and by extension Texas, regarding the Longhorn Network's programming, but outside of a brief note that the head of Fox Sports Southwest is an Aggie alum and would help set up that same platform in the SEC, they don't appear to have done anything towards their own network.  At least we know that Oklahoma and Kansas St. have HD facilities for production.  AD Bill Byrne used to talk about ticket sales being a reason for no games on PPV or Fox College Sports, but Byrne noted that they have sold out their season tickets.
  • I don't pretend to know what did/didn't happen when the Big 12 and FOX negotiated their last contract, but A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was given the power by his own university's trustees to negotiate on behalf of the school.  If you don't like a deal, don't complain when you have the power to change it.

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