Finger on the pulse

Ummm… this didn’t age well.

Less than a week ago, amid the glitz and glamour of AT&T Stadium, Big 12 media days were a jovial event.

… and commissioner Bob Bowlsby celebrated the cohesion of his conference—they stuck together during a season amid a pandemic, battled the elements and came out even stronger.

Or so he thought.

“A motivation for conference expansion or realignment,” he said last Wednesday, “it’s gone, or just not there at this point in time.”

Speaking of time, what are the odds Bowlsby’s job even exists four years from now?


Filed under Big 12 Football

21 responses to “Finger on the pulse

  1. Down Island Way

    Would like to $ee the pu$h Jerry World will make to move sec dayz from b’ham, should ou & ut move to the sec…


  2. It’s interesting Andy Staples (Wednesday night podcast) doesn’t seem to think the dominoes are going to fall this time. Notre Dame isn’t going to join a conference for football given the 12-team playoff structure. The Big 12 will try to shore itself up with the top Group of 5 brands (some combination of UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, possibly BYU, possibly Memphis, and Houston). The Pac 12 are geographically constrained from bring others in as a result (possibly Boise State or BYU). The ACC similarly is learning its place, and because they won’t get ND, will stand pat. The B1G really has no reason to expand given their current situation.

    Of course, all of this really means the Big 12 is a goner and the other conferences will try to pure land the others.

    His whole premise is that items not about geography (as it was in the cable era) to add but it’s about the brands to add (and, if this happens, the best 2 available brands are off the table).


    • Outexpand became pure land – stupid autocorrect


    • My guess is that the remaining B12 members won’t want to add any new teams from Texas, so forget about SMU and Houston.

      And with all due respect to Andy, I think he’s missing what’s attractive in an era of a 12-team (or more) CFP. It’s not about media markets anymore. It’s not about brands. It’s about how many teams a conference can field in the playoffs, because a conference’s share of the huge playoff pot is tied to the number of conference participants.


      • I get that, but I’m guessing the SEC regular season media package in all sports is worth more with the Texas and Oklahoma brands than without.


      • setzer613

        Was thinking about this last night. Though wouldn’t it be nice if Notre Dame went to the big ten and Maryland moved back to the acc where it should be. But I can see below happening. Each conference can have two 8 team divisions. Which sets up a nice in-house playoff for championship. Each division winner is guaranteed a playoff spot, and the committee can select 4 wild cards.

        SEC gets Texas and Oklahoma

        ACC gets West Virginia and Memphis

        PAC gets TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State

        Big 10 gets Iowa State and Cincinnati
        AAC invites Kansas and Kansas State (which immediately becomes a contender for their playoff spot)


        • mp

          I believe Iowa State might be one of the worst academic schools and all the power five. There is no way Big Ten is taking a school like that.


          • theorginaldawgabides

            I stated something similar the other day, but then learned they actually have a decent reputation as a research institution. I was also surprised to learn that they are an AAU school, which really isn’t that big of a deal anymore, but the Big 10 loves that distinction. But the main reason I think they pass on ISU is because they add zero media footprint.

            Liked by 1 person

            • mp

              Thanks. If they’re AAU, that’s really the thing that matters to the Big 10. I wonder why you and I both had that same perception regarding their academics?


      • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

        I respectfully disagree. I think the Big 12 tries to sign up Houston and SMU and keeps on trucking.’


  3. 81Dog

    I hate the 16 team conference idea. I don’t care if it promises more money. The Longhorn Network was supposed to be a goldmine. Larry Scott had a brilliant PAC 12 marketing plan. The ACC Network was a breakthrough! The first two were flops and the ACC is locked into a bad deal for 15 more years. The SEC isn’t immune. Remember when CBS locked them into a great deal that quickly proved to be below market a couple years later?

    I don’t care if it actually pays more. Guess who gets the shaft? Actual fans who go to the games. Kickoff times, travel, ticket prices? Who cares, right?

    I am not interested in the NFL Lite. College is special because of the traditions, the emotional connection we have to our schools. The suits at Disney don’t care about that at all, except as a lever to hoover more cash from us. The suits in the AD’s offices see promises of big dollars and they don’t care either. They only care if they can do these things, they never think about whether they should.

    Would I like to play Texas or OU? Sure, as an out of conference game. I’d like to play PAC 12 and big 10 teams, too. A 16 team conference schedule feeding into a 12 or 16 (you know that’s coming because MONEY) playoff? When do these players go to class? How much extra wear and tear? Are they not college students any more? Why do I care, then? I have no emotional attachment to the Falcons. Maybe I care about players who were/are DGDs in the NFL, that’s about it.

    The sports bubble is growing. Disney thinks it can shore up its falling ratings and reach by providing more content to suckers like us. Texas and OU add nothing to the SEC worth the hassles they add. Expect the new West faction to demand the SECC be played in Dallas and bid the price up until they get it.

    No thanks. 14 teams are too many, really. I get the TV markets in Texas and Missouri had real value, but beyond that? It’s Bern a bonanza for TAMU, especially, but the rest of us? Meh.

    The suits will chase the money, but me? I get along fine without pro sports and the attendant BS. I have no interest in dancing for the benefit of the suits. I hope this plan crashes before they wreck the SEC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 81, tell us what you really think.

      By the way, I agree with you on a lot of it. In particular, CBS got a great deal for the 3:30 games, but guess what? The SEC got national exposure in the best Saturday time slot with the best production (and beat intro music) on a network that touches every household with a TV from Honolulu to Bangor and from Key West to Anchorage. Does the SEC get that with Mickey? We’ll see.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I would like to know whether Tua and his family were up at 9:30 in the morning to watch the SEC game of the week and that drove his desire to visit and eventually attend Alabama.


      • 81Dog

        I agree the SEC has gotten good non-cash value from bring on CBS. I think was I was trying to say was that the suits were crowing about the money they got from the latest CBS deal until they realized they’d undersold the market for several years.

        TV suits are as sentimental as cash registers. If the ad rates don’t keep up with the payouts, then they care. Right now, everyone with a vote seems to think the market will only ever go up. One of these days it will all be PPV. That’s, where the next gold mine is, and streaming over ESPN+ is going to get really expensive.


        • This seems counter-intuitive, but the SEC should have split the rights between the game of the week (CBS’s current and the rest of the package. I probably would have given CBS a shot at the rights for what they have now with a small discount. Maybe they didn’t see the ad rates would support what they were going to have to pay to keep the relationship.


    • rigger92

      Regarding the money, I think it’s easier if you look at it as two independent eco systems. The relationship between conference and TV is the world you are unhappy with and it is very far removed from the local economy that involves donors. Like yesterday’s posts around “local” and “national” impacts.

      This realignment is for the BIG money. I would be curious to know what the target audience is. Is it 30-40 year old people? 25-35? I wonder because I doubt they will rely on 50 and over because they have to assume that the majority would not like it, rather go smaller and more regional.


  4. Clayton Joiner

    With schools like UCF out there, the Big 12 may try to sustain past the two Blue Blood departures