“We want to be a conference.”

Big Jim Delany, on why playing a nine-game conference schedule is preferable:

One, it’s really hard to get quality non-conference games. People don’t want to go on the road because everybody is trying to get seven home games. Two, I don’t have anything against FCS, but they have a different number of scholarships for gosh’s sakes. What is that about? They have 20 fewer scholarships. I know they’re looking for a payday; I get that. Appalachian State beat Michigan. But I’m just saying for us, it’s more about binding a conference together and it’s about the difficulty of getting good non-conference opponents.

We want our fans to come to games. We’ve got to give them good games. We also have a network. We also have season-ticket holders. … What I really like is that every athlete in the Big Ten who plays football will play every opponent inside the four-year period. That’s what I like.

Yeah, I know part of that is shot taking at the SEC.  But when even an arrogant jerk like Delany who’s been focused on growing a TV network über alles (how ’bout that Rutgers, eh, Jim?) recognizes there are some inevitabilities when you expand a conference beyond twelve schools, it’s hard to see how Mike Slive is going to get by with an eight-game conference slate for very long.


Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

29 responses to ““We want to be a conference.”

  1. reipar

    He is going to get by with it because at the end of the day the SECC winner is in the play offs.

  2. Mayor

    I think you need to look deeper than the surface, Senator. Delaney is trying to use the bully pulpit (literally “bully”) to control the SEC. Why should we let him get away with that? Delaney wants the SEC to play 9 conference games because that increases the likelihood that the SEC Champion will have one or more losses–that’s all. That is particularly true of teams like Georgia, LSU and Bama who also regularly play difficult OOC teams. If the SEC Champion has one or more losses, then it is easier for one of his teams vault it to get into the playoff. The fact that Delaney is doing that should send a signal to everybody that it is not in the SEC’s best interest to move to a 9 game conference schedule.

    • Delaney is trying to use the bully pulpit (literally “bully”) to control the SEC.

      Oh, for fuck’s sake, Mayor. Even Delany’s not that delusional.

      Slive is following the same path that the Big Ten set first. It’s not just about the playoffs. It’s about what it means to be a conference, what you have to do to get fans to attend games, how you build a brand that people want to see (and pay for) on cable. For all those reasons, playing Directional A&M instead of a ninth conference game is going to be an increasingly untenable proposition over the next few years.

      Slive knows as well as Delany that a ninth game is inevitable. He’s just not yet willing to push his ADs and coaches like Delany already has.

      • Lrgk9

        Slive will go to 9 After the playoffs double…

        “A Thin Skull Indeed” said Perry Sentell

        • AusDawg85

          Slive will go to 9 games when TV pays for it.

          • Macallanlover

            Exactly, unless the fans begin to vote with their feet. The playoffs have nothing to do with it, imo. The SEC champ is going to get a spot, but we are not going to get two (nor should we) as long as the playoff remains at four. Slime is misreading this if that is his rationale. In the meantime, the attendance problems will continue to grow until it erodes the loyal nucleus that has protected teams during their down years. Just a bad, bad job by management; Delaney is kicking us to death on this one and he is right to do it. The worst part is SEC fans are allowing it to happen.

      • Mayor

        Pearls before swine…..🙂

      • Mayor

        One last effort…Since when did you become a mind reader, Senator? I admit that I don’t know what Delaney is thinking but neither do you. I believe, based on his actions, that Delaney is attempting to use the media to bully the SEC into going to a 9 game conference schedule because he perceives (correctly in my estimation) that it is in the best interests of his conference for SEC teams to have the most difficult schedules possible. Then, if one or more of his teams go undefeated, it or they stand a better chance of getting into the playoff. This would certainly be the case if there were a situation where maybe 2 SEC teams had 1 loss, which is likely now (remember LSU-Bama?). The 9 game conference schedule plus a conference championship game makes that less likely. It’s a competitive advantage thing about the playoffs–working the media like Urban Meyer working the refs sort of thing. I don’t think Delaney would be advocating something that would make the SEC MORE attractive to fans on TV or as live attendees in SEC stadia. After all, the B1G is in direct competition with the SEC for fans, prestige, TV contracts, etc. As Spock would say….”Your argument is not logical.”

        • Let’s just say that with regard to Slive’s intentions, I’ve got a little more to go on than mind-reading or pulling opinions out of my ass, “based on his actions”.

          For that matter, how often does Mike Slive get bullied by the media into doing something?

          • Mayor

            I dunno. Ask Slive. My impression is that he gets bullied by the Bama schools all the time. Witness the non-action by the SEC about Cam Newton and the explosion of “GAs” and “consultants” at Bama, not to mention Bama’s dubious roster management policies.

            • Mayor

              P.S. If you are relying on what Slive says to form your opinion rather than the mind-reading of which you have been accused, I would remind you of that old saw: “How can you tell when Mike Slive is lying? His lips are moving.”

            • Last time I checked those aren’t the media.

        • Mayor

          *Or when 1 SEC team was undefeated and another had only 1 loss, like the 2011 situation reference above. This is about keeping the second SEC team from taking the B1G spot in the playoff, in my judgment.

        • Dog in Fla

          As a cautionary tale, I would remind my friend the distinguished Mayor from the precinct of Dawgtown that while this may have been the case:

          Richard M. Nixon: “They can’t impeach me for bombing Cambodia. The president can bomb anybody he likes.”

          They did throw his ass out of office even when he said their argument was not logical. Aside from that, Delany as a thought-leader trying to mind**** Slive somehow is less hinged in reality than your other conspiracy theories, some of which I find enjoyable especially with the right kind of go-to song

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Bama’s OCS for 2014 went 4-8,6-6,1-11,2-10 in 2013.
      Georgia’s 11-2,6-6,10-3,7-6
      LSU 9-4,9-5,6-6,2-10

  3. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Wonder if the Rutgers faculty & students will demand that Delany STFU

    • uglydawg

      Took a stretch…but kudos Ubiquitous, for getting that one in there.

    • Dog in Fla

      Yes. If he were to be quiet it would be a time of joyous celebration. By not telling him to STFU they would be encouraging and perpetuating a world that justifies torture and debases humanity. But they’ll have to take a number as if they were in the Publix deli because there are plenty of other people in front of them

  4. uglydawg

    Then why stop at 9 conference games? Why not 11? The same argument applies… If the conference schedule trumps all else, then play 11. But how are you going to make power comparisomes with no inter-con play?
    I suspect the Mayor is right about this.

    • Doesn’t that depend on what the market is willing to accept?

    • Hackerdog

      Eleven conference games sounds pretty entertaining to me. As it is, UGA will play 3 conference games in Athens this year, along with Clemson and 2 cupcakes. In 2015, we lose Clemson and add another cupcake. And that sounds like McGarity’s scheduling strategy going forward. So I will have a tough decision to make on whether to renew my season tickets in order to watch a home schedule that is made up of equal number conference games and controlled scrimmages.

  5. Bob

    For once in my life I agree with Jim Delaney. What can we do to get rid of McGarity? Damn him and his Betty Crocker style scheduling.

  6. FCDore

    At this point, I’ll be happy if they can just put together a 12-year rotation so I know what 1 year out of 12 I get to go to the likes of Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge or the renovated stadium in College Station.

  7. jeff

    8 games in a 14 team league is lame. There can be no rational arguments to the contrary.

  8. Dawgaholic

    Slive should call his bluff and make a deal that the SEC will go to two BCS OOC games if the Big Ten will agree to 14 games per season – 1 for each team.