Saturday, June 12, 2010

Possible SEC Expansion scenarios

The expansion of College Football Conferences is about money/revenue. Whether we like it or not, Colleges have become Big Time Money makers/generators (ATMs). When the conference fight is finished, College Football will probably forever change as we know it (especially at the lower levels D-2 and D-3). Whether or not there are 4 superconferences, of 16 teams each remains to be seen, but the players are looking to "open up new markets for their conferences": Read here: get more TV money, more corporate sponsorship, and more research money for their institutions by establishing a new presence in dominant markets (Read here: percentage of viewership).

Think about it this way. If the SEC can get a Texas Team (preferably UT, then Tex A & M) that would mean millions more for the conference; however, even a team such as Baylor would also help to establish a presence in the State (my guess would be Texas, then A & M, then Tech , and lastly Baylor). A strong presence in Texas would be huge and virgin territory for raking in the dough.

Additionally, adding either Va Tech or Maryland would establish a presence in another virgin area develop even more money, but I think that the real prize is the Northeast. Think about what adding Syracuse, Rutgers, or Pitt would do in terms of adding revenue. Syracuse would add in the entire NE part of the US (wouldn't the talking heads at the 4-letter network have a cow to know that their pristine university was now affiliated with the hicks from the sticks in the SEC), and allow the SEC to dominate the once prevelant Big East! Rutgers would do the same as Syracuse only on a lesser scale while Pitt would allow the league to "invade" what is perceived to be the eastern skirts of Big 11 Country which would give the SEC a presence in Ohio, Pennsylvania and among other states such as New Jersey and New York. Remember, there is a significant portion of the US population that lives within this area (the Northeast) and think about what a TV contract for Football would mean when you went to negotiate a TV contract when 20% or so of that population is in play!

Before you start laughing, remember that I am not saying that this will indeed happen, but at one time Nebraska going to the Big 10 or Colorado to the Pac 10 would have been considered a joke as well.

** By the way, this would probably only work for College Football and possibly basketball given the distances of the schools from the historic members of the conference.


  1. I enjoyed your discussion. It should be noted that more money does not fall out of the sky when a conference moves into virgin territory.

    Over the next several years, Notre Dame and the major conferences will renegotiate their network TV contracts. Huge amounts of money will be on the table. The networks want to broadcast football games that are attractive to larger numbers of viewers, so they can charge more money from sponsors for their advertising time. The more advertising revenue the TV network can command, the more lucrative the TV contract becomes for the conference.

    Each conference wants to maximize its negotiating leverage with the TV networks. The bigger the conference's geographical marketing area, the more homes the TV network can reach by broadcasting the conference's athletic events. Also, the higher the caliber of competition in the conference, the more fans will want to watch. All these factors increase the conference's negotiating leverage with the TV networks, generating more money for the schools in the conference.

    Running a D-1 athletics department isn't getting any cheaper. Over the last several decades, cable and internet media exposure combined with NCAA roster restrictions have increased the intensity of D-1 competition dramatically. Costs for recruiting high school athletes as well as capital budgetary expenses for building and maintaining facilities have increased accordingly. The D-1 schools are squeezing their season ticket holders and private donors as hard as they can. The only route left is to negotiate more lucrative TV contracts through their conferences.

    No major conference can afford to be surpassed by the other major conferences. Now a chain reaction has been started. Once the bidding started to raid the best-marketed programs from the Big Twelve, instability was introduced into the system and everyone was suddenly talking about realignment and expansion. Within two weeks of the beginning of the process, the Big Twelve is now on the verge of disintegrating. Next, the Big East and/or ACC may fall apart.

    As I have explained on the Visual Boxscore website (, a lot of schools have already been linked by rumor to the SEC. However, the list of schools that would actually add value to the SEC's TV negotiating leverage is relatively small. From the SEC's point of view, Texas and Oklahoma are the two no-brainers. But Texas does not appear interested in the SEC, and Oklahoma is negotiating with several other conferences.

    In the next tier of possibilities are schools like Missouri, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, VA Tech, and Texas A&M. VA Tech would add an elite football program to the SEC, which is already the nation's elite D-1 football conference and wishes to remain so. Texas A&M has a very large fan base, and would give the SEC a foothold in the important state of Texas. Missouri, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Miami would add important major urban components to the SEC's TV market.

    As I have attempted to explain previously, most other rumored schools would not actually make sense for the SEC. Some examples:

    Florida State's media market overlaps Florida's. Florida State has a weak basketball program and a fading football program. I doubt Florida would want Florida State to be admitted to the SEC, and I wouldn't blame the Gators. The Seminoles would add nothing.

    Clemson's athletic programs are pretty good, but not special even by ACC standards. Clemson is located in a rural area with no SEC-caliber media assets, so the Tigers have little to offer.

    Ditto for West Virginia and North Carolina State.

    The SEC will not venture into the northeast. Besides the fact that would be a geographic oxymoron, the SEC is a warm weather conference. That's one reason so many elite high school athletes want to play in the SEC.

  2. I'll tell you another reason I believe TX may not want to come to the SEC, and it is money. In the Big 12 they get the largest payout. In the SEC it is equal revenue shares. I believe that is why TX A&M is considering the SEC, the SEC shares equally on the revenue in the conference and that is why the Big 12 is breaking up.

  3. From everything I have read, Texas and Texas A&M are joined at the hip. Neither is going anywhere without the other. They are a package deal. And, Oklahoma and OK State will be right behind them.

    Now then, as I understand it, the Big 10 is ONLY interested in Texas, not the other three, or even just A&M. That could prevent UT from going that route.

    I do not know that the SEC would take all 4, either. But, the PAC 10 would.

  4. -Fuck the northeast and the yankees that live there
    -The Texas recruiting may be overstated. I don't see many recruits thinking, "gosh, I never would've considered UK, but now that I happen to be born in a state that happens to have Baylor which is now in the SEC...I'LL SIGN WITH UK!!!"
    -Your thinking improved a lot from yesterday...sadly your grammar deteriorated a lot. Random capitalization doesn't not make a sentence more grammatically correct.

    All the criticism aside...I'm just messin with you. This is the best UK football blog on the web and I think you for providing this information.