Saturday, December 22, 2012

Boise State indecision and Big Ten ginormity

So Boise State is considering not going to the Big East because obviously; CBS is reportedly willing to renegotiate the Mountain West's TV deal if Boise sticks around, and if the Mountain West can get a deal that's comparable to the Big East's, there's no reason to sign up to be part of a conference that's no longer any more relevant than the Mountain West, has the stability of plutonium and makes zero sense for Boise from a geographical/historical standpoint.

I kinda wrote about this last week. Really, the only new newsy-type stuff is as follows: (a) the Big East "is having a hard time putting together a long-term television contract" because it's a flaming pile of meh and (b) Boise is demanding ridiculous things like control of home-game TV rights to find out which conference is more desperate (that might be a push). The former item would seem to swing the pendulum toward the Mountain West, whereas the latter item would seem to swing the pendulum toward the conference that has no cojones (so probably the Big East). Other than that, nothing's really changed. If the financial situation looks better in the Big East, Boise will be in the Big East; if the financial situation looks better in the Mountain West, Boise will stay in the Mountain West. Honestly, I'm not particularly interested in the details of the negotiations..

What I am interested in is this, which has been pretty widely speculated about ever since the Rutgers/Maryland weirdness but is apparently being talked about openly among administrators at various schools:
The remaining Mountain West members are attempting to convince Boise State that it would have more security staying put rather than going to a conference that could still lose two key members in Cincinnati and UConn if there is more movement by the Big Ten and ACC. Cincinnati and UConn were public about their desire to join the ACC, but Louisville was chosen over the two rivals.

At this point, both schools have to stay in the Big East, but sources at Cincinnati and UConn are under the impression, even if it's not known to be true yet, that the Big Ten will raid the ACC for two more schools -- North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

Both Cincinnati and UConn sources have said they ultimately think their schools will be in the ACC. 
Wishful thinking? Maybe. Believable? Yes.

I don't think anybody really thinks the Big Ten is gonna stick with 14 teams since having 14 teams makes no sense, and since the goal is apparently to have an exclusive-to-nerds conference local to as many ginormous markets as possible (with expansion preferably venturing into SEC country since that's the one part of the East Coast the Big Ten has yet to annex), I'll be pretty surprised if Georgia Tech isn't part of the Big Ten at some point in the next few years. Pretty much all the same stuff that applies to Georgia Tech applies to North Carolina, although the administration there might be a little harder to persuade to give up the whole ACC/Duke/basketball thing. Something about the persuasive power of money goes here.

Whether this scenario would be good or bad for the Big Ten doesn't really matter. It'd be money. But from a not-an-accountant's perspective, it'd also allow for something closer to this and therefore be fine with me (going to 14 was a bastardizing of the conference that can't be fixed without MOAR EXPANSION):

Michigan State
Ohio State

Penn State
Virginia Tech
Boston College
Crossover games shmossover games.


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