The Big Ten abandons on-campus semifinals.

Jerry Hinnen’s got all the details here.

… With all three Big Ten A.D.’s saying much the same thing within a matter of minutes of each other, it couldn’t really be much more obvious: despite Delany’s backing, the on-campus semifinal proposal has failed within the Big Ten. And it’s certainly not going to get any traction elsewhere, with the number of other conferences willing to risk playing a national semifinal in a Midwestern midwinter numbering somewhere between zero and zero. The idea is dead.

He’s got the same question about that as I do.  Why give that up?  Surely it’s not all about a Rose Bowl fetish.  (It’s not like Nebraska’s Harvey Perlman’s been a fixture on the subject for decades.)  And if it’s about having a chit to trade for other concessions in the post-BCS haggling – Delany’s conference champs-only proposal being the most obvious one – why give it up publicly now?

I’m not buying this “bowls or bust” rationale, either.  You can structure a small playoff with on-campus semis that still leaves the bowls intact.  It just takes a little effort.

And just to show you how absurd this gets, rather than stand his ground on the more fan-friendly on-campus sites, Michigan State’s athletic director hopes instead that the NCAA will help families pay for the travel expense of going to an additional postseason game.  (I assume that wouldn’t extend to Michael Adams’ family.)

Honestly, I can’t figure this one out.  Anyone out there have a clue?

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28 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

28 responses to “The Big Ten abandons on-campus semifinals.

  1. JG Shellnutt

    Money.
    That’s always the answer with these guys.
    Someone has whispered in an ear that there will be huge money from certain off-campus semi sites (I’m looking at you Dallas) if they can get their support behind it now and make it happen. If the Big 10 is guaranteed to get someone in Dallas for a semi every year (with near-BCS money) and in the Rose Bowl every year their bottom line will increase immensely. This money must be much larger than they would get from a home game.
    Just a guess

    • If the Big 10 is guaranteed to get someone in Dallas for a semi every year (with near-BCS money) and in the Rose Bowl every year their bottom line will increase immensely.

      How much more money can they get from Jerry Jones than, say, Michigan would hosting a semi-final at home?

      And I doubt that insisting the Rose Bowl be kept in the loop maximizes revenue.

      • JG Shellnutt

        I certainly don’t know the ins and outs and what-have-you’s, but I think most big bowls pay more than home games. I imagine Jerry Jones can negotiate a bigger TV contract than can a single school (or conference). I also imagine they are better at merchandising and selling dippin’ dots’ etc.

        • Jerry Jones isn’t negotiating the TV contract. The conferences are. All Jones will be doing is putting in a bid to host a game.

          • And that’s your kicker. Michigan isn’t paying a fee for the right to host a game. On the other hand, if you create competition amongst off campus host cities, you can get LA, New Orleans, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, among others, all bidding for the right to host semifinal games, and thus you get their bid fees.

            • True, but on the other hand, if Michigan hosts, it eliminates the middle man on parking, concessions, etc. You could probably argue it could charge a higher ticker premium than Jones, given that the fan base wouldn’t have to spend money on traveling.

              • But how much money is there for a single game of parking, concessions, etc? Could it possibly top the fees (I’m assuming multiple millions, perhaps $3-5m, if not upwards of 8 figures) to make hosting on campus a greater gross revenue total? You cut out the middle man by hosting on campus, but you also cut out the cut you’d get from those middle men from bidding it out.

                • Where is Jones getting the money to outbid Michigan? Both stadiums seat about the same number of folks.

                  • Why is Jerry paying? Legit question.

                    I’m thinking of something akin to the NCAA basketball tourney host cities bidding process. Do the owners of the individual arenas make those bids to have early round, Sweet 16, and Final Four games? Again, asking seriously, cause I’ve never looked at and have got no clue how that process works. But I’ve always assumed a local tourism board, chamber of commerce, or the city itself, pay for the rights to host those games. So that if Dallas won the right to host a Final Four, it wouldn’t be Jerry paying for that right, but some other entity.

                    • Silver Creek Dawg

                      My understanding is that schools and/or conferences bid for hosting the NCAA Tournament (for example, NATS is hosting next year’s Final Four at the GA Dome). My guess is that the Big XII would host the game at Jerryworld.

                      Let me point this out as well. I can’t believe the NCAA/BCS/whoever would allow an on-campus semifinal to be split revenue-wise like a typical home game.

  2. OKDawg

    I wonder if revenue sharing factors in here. If a team plays a home game for a semi versus traveling to a bowl site, is the revenue sharing different?

  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Oregon’s stadium holds how many people – 55,000? In the middle of freaking nowhere? Ditto Illinois. Wake Forest has a rather small venue, and last I checked, they won an ACC championship. Home semi-finals assumes those games will always be populated by teams with massive stadiums.

    I think we’re heading towards a conference champion model, much as it pains me to say that, and you’re going to have a percentage of those champs with small venues – versus the consistency of JerryWorld and its imitators with a constant need to fill seats and get on TV.

  4. Monday Night Frotteur

    Why can’t it be about the Rose Bowl fetish? We’ve been hearing for years now that the Big Ten is more interested in protecting the Rose Bowl than in accessing or winning a national championship.

    • Cojones

      I think now that we should let Pac12 and Big10 play in the RB. The winner becomes one of the 4 finalists. Let’em bump each other off.

      Like the comments by Big10 fans where they call the SEC pussies for not playing in that tough he-man weather up north. How do the SEC players avoid it when their NFL teams play in the cold? Do they just shiver on the sideline and never play in the games? Boy, that would affect a lot of players.

      • Monday Night Frotteur

        The Big Ten and Pac 12 would probably accept that.

        Seriously, read the ADs’ quotes. They’re all about preserving the bowl system and preserving the Rose Bowl. They mean what they say; the Rose Bowl means so much to them that they’ll give up any chance of home field advantage to preserve it.

        • Cojones

          I think it’s a madeup chit. The more people that take them seriously, the bigger the bluff.

          The Rose Bowl, Pac12 and Big10 should be made to wallow in their own pig crap they have thrust upon any negotiations (as if they are the best standard for college football). Now is the time to plaster their egotistical bs back into their faces. “Granddaddy” my ass. So every bowl game is the illigitimate grandson of flower power? They can put that where the So Cal sun don’t shine.

      • cube

        This weather argument that some Big Ten fans have desperately started heaving out there is pretty comical when you consider that the Big Ten doesn’t play any outdoor games after November.

        • Cojones

          If you want a good laugh, read the comments to the article. There is more comical shit there that their fans take seriously than you can shake President Obama’s dick at.

  5. ctfain

    Presumably money, but I’ve stopped thinking these guys are smart. Hate to see the idea die. Besides just being cool, it represented a way to protect the regular season, since presumably homefield would be decided on record. Whatever. Keep strangling that rabbit you love so much, idiots.

  6. cube

    I have a hard time believing the semifinal games will sell out at neutral sites on a consistent basis.

    • Sadly, if the TV money is good enough, I doubt they’ll care.

      That’s the real tragedy here. It’s clear college football is migrating from a fan-oriented platform to a television-oriented one.

      • Is the Super Bowl filled with the “fans”? For that matter, is the BCS game? Schools get a large cut of tickets, but not all of them. I’d assume you’ll get a lot of “corporate partners” buying boxes, hosting events, having execs and clients in the seats, etc, so the game is always a sell out. But that revenue, compared to bid fees from host cities, and TV money, is a drop in the bucket. Still, one way or the other, the games will be a “sell out” even if all the tickets aren’t sold to fans of the participating schools.

        • Kudos on the scare quotes. Nice double entendre there.

          • How many times is Sanford “sold out”, but you can see large patches of fans disguised as empty seats? Fudging attendance numbers is easy. We both know that game attendance matters only from the people paying for the games, and what they’ll pay for those games. Fans are irrelevant in this entire mess. We don’t matter, only our money does. We’re sheep, and we’ll follow wherever they lead us to get our beloved football (or at least that appears to be the mindset of those controlling the changes).

      • cube

        Agreed except that I wouldn’t call the current model a “fan-oriented platform”. Even having said what I said about the semis at neutral sites, I still prefer it to what we have now.

  7. I’m hypothesizing that they’re conceding home sites as a bargaining chip.
    The two main sticking points right now are (1) where to play semis and (2) how to select the four teams.
    The B1G/Pac12 wanted home sites for issue (1), and conference champs for (2).
    The SEC/Big12 want neutral/bowl sites for issue (1) and strict top four teams for (2).

    Maybe the Big Ten is conceding on issue (1) in order to have the other side concede on issue (2).

    Either that, or they’re conceding on (1) in order to assure some special treatment for the Rose Bowl.

    I’ve got a write-up of this bargaining chip theory coming on the +2Blog tonight or tomorrow.

    Sad to see the home sites idea dying, because that was a major aspect of the Plus-Two Plan (which is pretty much the same as the Guru’s plan).