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Old 06-30-2022, 01:58 PM   #1
KatDad
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UCLA and USC to the Big 10

Just saw this on The Athletic, seems to have credibility. Here we go again with conference realignment bingo.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:14 PM   #2
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PAC10 will now be ruled by Oregon.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:17 PM   #3
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Really? I guess theyíll do anything to get Indiana a win.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:24 PM   #4
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It's looking like a done deal. Apparently UCLA and USC initiated it by reaching out to the BIG.

One take has Oregon and Washington following them.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah would make nice additions to the Big XII (XVI).
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:33 PM   #5
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And Cal an Stanford could rule the Mountain Wesr!
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:11 AM   #6
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My brain can't take this.
The age of the MegaConference is here. Within five years, the SEC and the Big 10 will formalize some sort of league structure, and that will be that. Maybe it will get as big as 40 "schools" and then fuck everyone else. The money is there, the clout is there, the will is there.
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:47 AM   #7
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Don't look now, but Notre Dame is waiting on their board to approve a move to the Big Ten, also. ND is tied to the ACC in all the other sports, but football. This is seismic.
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:50 AM   #8
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You know dat's right.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:15 AM   #9
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Once again, Chris Vannini of The Athletic articulates my thoughts and sentiments very well:

We need to stop calling it conference ďrealignmentĒ or ďexpansion.Ē The more accurate word would be ďconsolidationĒ ó at least for the people who actually control what we currently know as college sports.

Itís coming. Maybe in a few years. Maybe in a decade or two. But thereís no stopping it now. With USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten, one year after Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to the SEC, the college Super League(s) is on its way. College football as we knew it is on its last legs. It will eventually be replaced by an NFL Jr.-type sport, and the TV executives who have long dreamed about this will finally get their wish for a simpler product to package. The people at the right schools will make a lot of money, and the fans at the wrong schools will be left behind.

College administrators spent a year-plus telling the public that they worried name, image and likeness would ruin the purity of college football and turn off fans. Many did so while chasing any extra dollar they could find, even when that meant ending century-old rivalries and conference affiliations. Concern about the uncertainty in college athletics? Who do you think caused all that? Look in the mirror. Donít let it be lost that this is coming from ďnon-profitĒ organizations, either.

It was never going to be NIL and a handful of million-dollar deals for players that turned off fans. It was, rather, slowly taking away everything that gave this sport its charm and moving toward a national corporate model, changes fueled primarily by money, especially television dollars. Itís like any other business now.

ESPN and Fox will never say they had a hand in these moves, but youíd have to be oblivious not to see the role they play. In 2011, then-Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo said ESPN told the ACC what to do in realignment, before later walking it back and issuing an apology, saying it was a misunderstanding. Last year, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby alleged ESPN (his conferenceís own media partner) was working to destabilize the Big 12 by nudging teams to the SEC and AAC and released a cease-and-desist. (ESPN denied the claim.)

ESPN will soon have all of the SECís media rights. Fox owns 61 percent of the Big Ten Network and reportedly locked up half of the Big Tenís next media rights deal and is sitting in on the leagueís conversations with other potential media rights partners. The Big Ten and SEC had already been projected to perhaps double the other Power 5 conferences in TV revenue by the end of the decade. Thatís why this is all happening.

Even if ESPN and Fox donít directly say ďAdd this team,Ē they make it clear who theyíll pay more money for and who they wonít. Those conversations happen all the time. Itís basic business.

ďI think they are quietly behind the scenes,Ē one FBS athletic director told The Athletic. ďThey really donít like to be known as deciding who is in what league, but donít think there arenít conversations of, ĎIf we take this property, how much value are they going to bring?í Weíre not picking random schools. Ö They just donít want the optics of them deciding, but the money is coming from them. They have to tell the league or someone (the TV value of schools).Ē

Itís why we lost the Backyard Brawl between Pitt and West Virginia. Itís why we lost the Border War between Kansas and Missouri. Itís why we lost Nebraska-Oklahoma. Itís why we lost Duke-Maryland. Itís why weíll lose so many more rivalries. (And, yes, now itís why weíll get Texas-Texas A&M back.)

Weíre going to get Big Ten games from noon ET Saturday until Sunday morning. ESPN will have the SEC in everything but the 10 p.m. kickoff window. Even without the money, the other conferences are going to be squeezed out of the main TV windows on the biggest channels.

It may feel like weíre heading toward an ESPN conference and a Fox conference, though Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has been a proponent of having multiple media partners. Competition is needed to drive up the price, after all. Maybe itís CBS, NBC, ESPN and/or Apple. But Fox still wields the power. Ultimately, itís two television organizations going all-in on the most valuable thing left on TV ó live football ó and leaving all kinds of change in the wake.

Thatís all in the short term, but letís step back for a broader look. What are the long-term effects? Some generations grew up with the Southwest Conference. My generation grew up with Big East football. Neither exists anymore. Change in college football has been constant. So itís not hard now to imagine younger generations growing up with just two major conferences.

This move is not only about this generation of fans, even though the immediate television money will be enormous. Itís also about the next generation. How do you explain this move to Washington State fans? Or Oregon State fans? Or Iowa State fans? Or Kansas State fans? You canít. You hope they still watch and wait for the next generation to grow up.

When college football reaches the inevitable end of this road with 30 to 40 teams left at the highest level, the powers that be wonít want you to hand down your Washington State fandom to your children. Theyíll want your kids to latch on to USC or Texas or Alabama, much like the Golden State Warriors or the Kansas City Chiefs have fans all over the world. Itís about brands now, because brands can be sold to anyone.

Thatís the ultimate endgame of realignment, and why itís not actually realignment. After it gets big, itíll shrink. Whether the superconferences kick out members or the biggest brands go off on their own, theyíll eventually drop the dead weight that hurts the TV value, even if theyíre in the Big Ten or SEC today. It may not even be a decision made by anyone currently in a position of power, but when youíve started down the road of corporate reorganization, you always reach that stage, and the real charm of the sport will be gone. Itís already happened in baseball with the shrinking of the minor leagues.

What is college football at that point? If the SEC and Big Ten have their own playoff(s), will Texas Tech or Oregon State fans care? Will NFL fans watch more college football if itís organized into a cleaner and more accessible version of the NBA G-League?

I donít know. Itís not hard to see swaths of hardcore fans bailing if their team is left out of the top tier. Maybe not all at once, but slowly over time. Or maybe thereís enough casual college football fandom for an NFL Jr. to survive and thrive. Thatís the bet being made now through TV.

In the end, the SEC and the Big Ten have the largest quantities of passionate fans. Thatís what this comes down to. No amount of commissioner maneuvering could change that. Eventually, the schools with their own large fan bases outside those leagues were going to join the others.

Maybe there was no way to stop this. Maybe the biggest schools were always going to be pulled together in the end and a century-plus of regional college football was always going to die and be replaced by a national sport. Itís become a television product first and foremost. Thatís become evident for more than 20 years now, from late kickoffs to last-minute start time announcements to endless TV timeouts. It runs the sport.

The question now is if fans will still care, if this big-money play will keep enough of them around.

I grew up in Big Ten country. I rooted for Michigan as a kid and then attended Michigan State. As far as I can tell from my Big Ten circles and what Iíve seen elsewhere, after the initial shock, the general reaction among those fans to the USC/UCLA news was mostly apathy. Sure, some are excited. Some hate it, too. Most felt powerless to do anything about it, a grim acceptance that the sport they grew up with is changing no matter how they feel. And these are fans of the winners in this game of musical chairs.

This sport had always been unique. Itís why we fell in love with it. The huge pool of teams to follow. The regional flair. The small towns. The states that donít have professional sports teams. The intensity of the rivalries. The generational upsets. The connections to a school as alumni. The messiness and nonsense was the charm of it all. The biggest stadiums in this country host college games, not professional. Few NFL fans care about the leagueís history before the Super Bowl. College football fans can tell you a story about a game from 1917.

Itís clear now that a lot of the charm that draw us to college football is on its way out. All in the name of finding every last dollar. So pour one out for the 2007 season. For Boise State-Oklahoma. For split national titles. For Appalachian State-Michigan. For the Rose Bowl.

Iíll still be watching. So will millions of others. The sport isnít going to die. It just wonít be what so many of us fell in love with in the first place, and a lot of fans will be left behind.
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The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it
George Bernard Shaw

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it
H. L. Mencken

The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants
Albert Camus

The Land of the Free Because of the Brave
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:06 AM   #10
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Excellent article. My interest is already waning.

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