Waiting for the man

I hope I don’t shock some of you with this, but Bill Hancock sounds like a dope here:

“I don’t think conference expansion will change the attitude of the schools about a playoff. It’s very clear that the schools and conferences are not moving toward a playoff and I just can’t see expansion changing that.”

While I’m highly skeptical that we’re on the verge of seeing a radical reconstruction of the D-1 landscape as a result of conference expansion, imminent Big Ten meeting or not, if it were to happen, I have a hard time seeing how a playoff doesn’t become more attractive to the Big Six under certain conditions – namely, the creation of a few super conferences which would allow the wealth from college football to remain concentrated in the hands of the elite.

Maybe he’s afraid that if he acknowledges that there’s a potential crack of the door being opened, he won’t be able to control what happens, but it’s not the most artfully worded response.  Especially since he says that he doesn’t have any more of a clue about expansion than the rest of us.

Q: What do you anticipate happening with conference expansion?

A: I know the conferences will do what’s best for them, and those of us who are involved will sit back and observe. There’s no doubt with all the talk that we’re hearing, it’s a topic on everybody’s mind, but the fact, is no one really knows what’s going to happen. The conferences will do whatever’s best for them, and I think many of us, like the fans, are interested to see what happens.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

6 responses to “Waiting for the man

  1. Connor

    Senator, I’m interested in your opinion on this. It seems to me that with it’s own network, the Big Ten is uniquely positioned to take financial advantage of expansion immediately. Basically it might be worth it for them to slice the pie a few more times if they feel comfortable the new members will grow that pie. The other conferences, not so much, at least not as immediately as the Big Ten. (As a side, does anyone know if the SEC agreement with ESPN can be renegotiated, by either party, if the conference membership changes?) But if the ball does get rolling, there is no way it stops with the Big Ten. If they only go to twelve, then perhaps little will change. But if they do more, even just to 14, it will mean changes across the country.
    So I’m curious, what do you think will actually happen?


    • It seems to me that a lot depends on where the Big Ten is getting its new membership from. Big Ten expansion has the potential to cripple the Big East or the Big XII. If that happens and Notre Dame and/or Texas are put in play, it’ll get crazy.

      I agree with you that adding one team does nothing to shake things up.


      • Connor

        If the Big Ten goes to 16, there will be some big time losers, potentially both the Big East as well as the Big 12, depending on what scenario plays out. Even though I don’t see it being to the obvious financial advantage ofthe other conferences as immediately as it might be for the Big 10, I also don’t see those other conferences standing pat. No one wants to be the last conference to try to expand. This thing will turn into a land grab.
        Is it wrong that I find the Game of Major College Football as it’s being played almost more compelling than the actual games of football being played at major colleges? It’s feels like it has almost as much intrigue as politics without the potential life or death stakes.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          You guys have not considered the possibility that an SEC team might defect to the Big Ten. UK, Vanderbilt and UT are geographically right there (get out a map and look at it). Each of those teams brings a certain amount of attraction to the Big Ten. UK is a national basketball powerhouse which would also be very competitive in the Big Ten in football and would not have to play an SEC East schedule any longer. UT is has one of the top football traditions in the nation and probably would be favored, along with Michigan and Ohio State most years, to win the Big Ten Championship in football. Vandy is a very highly rated institution academically on a par with Northwestern and Michigan and would be more competitive in football playing teams like Indiana and Illinois than having to play Bama, FLA and UGA. Vandy already is good in basketball and baseball. It actually makes more sense for the Big Ten to get teams of that caliber than from the weak-assed Big East or the Big 12. What would the SEC do if, let’s say, two teams left? This is not out of the realm of possibility.


          • Connor

            I don’t think anything is out of the realm of possibility, that’s what makes it so interesting.
            My theory though is that football revenues, and only football revenues, will drive whatever comes next. Lip service will be paid to any number of other factors, but in the end it’ll be about what configuration of teams can command the most TV money.


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