Leadership, respect, and a great man in…

… Kevin Warren?

Jim Delany, he ain’t.  And, as Pete Thamel indicates, Warren is going to have some tricky waters to navigate if this Oklahoma/Texas to the SEC deal becomes a reality.

All are new enough to their jobs where they haven’t done a college sports television contract. The Big Ten’s contract runs through 2022-23. The Pac-12’s goes through 2023-24. The ACC is buried by the untenable deal with ESPN that keeps it frozen in what’s already a second-tier deal until 2036.

This impacts all of those leagues in significant ways. ESPN is going all in on the SEC, as it’s expected to pay enough to get Oklahoma and Texas whole with the rest of the SEC, which is north of $60 million annually after 2023. That eats up money, inventory and the best television time slots for the SEC. The SEC wouldn’t be adding this without the extra $120 million a year for OU and Texas, and it’s reasonable to think there’d have to be a bit more sweetener to help the other SEC schools feel good.

“What happens if all of a sudden ESPN isn’t a bidder and Fox has less competition,” said an industry source. “The ripple effects are … PHEW!”

… There has long been a notion in college athletics that the Big Ten and SEC were pulling away from all the other leagues because of the financial success of their networks and the corresponding success on the field. Now, the Big Ten will go to market without the adrenaline jolt that the SEC got in its deal. The only corresponding move the Big Ten could make would be a play for Notre Dame, but that remains unlikely because of how secure Notre Dame’s future is in the new football playoff.

The issue for the Big Ten would be that Ohio State is isolated as the league’s power. Could the Big Ten leverage the potential of its next deal with a move to answer, adding Virginia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson to cover the league’s Eastern flank and fortify the Interstate 95 corridor? There will be pressure on Warren to be bold. But the ACC is protected by a grant of rights through the length of its TV deal.

What if Warren’s best move is to fight the 12-team playoff expansion proposal and push for something along the lines of the P4 arrangement I posted about yesterday?  That would have two benefits for the Big Ten, minimizing the impact of the SEC’s move and forcing Notre Dame to choose a conference.  And Warren would likely have an ally in that with the Pac-12.

This shit’s about to get seriously Machiavellian.


Filed under Big Ten Football

22 responses to “Leadership, respect, and a great man in…

  1. miltondawg

    I was skeptical of the UT and OU thing at first, but now I don’t see a way that it doesn’t happen. If I’m Kansas, my first call today is to the B1G to see if they are interested. Frankly, that is about the only of the remaining schools of the Big XII that fit the profile of the B1G and bring new eyes (B1G isn’t taking Iowa State and I don’t think WVU moves the TV needle enough and WVU doesn’t have the academic profile that fits). If that were to happen, the ACC better be on high alert because the B1G would want to add one more team and to me the best option is UVa if ND won’t jump to the call from Indianapolis. It adds millions more TV eyeballs, fits academically, and geographically makes sense.

    At the end of the day, while the Big XII is going to implode another loser in this bomb of OU and UT moving to the SEC could very well be the ACC if they lose a high profile school or if ND decides the time is right to join the B1G. The TV money being talked about with an OU and UT move to the SEC (going from $44MM per year per school to nearly double that) would likely trigger a similar new TV deal for the B1G with a big jump in annual payouts. The ACC’s stock as a Power conference with partial member ND or a full member like UVa would be devastating.


    • Holiday Inn Bagman

      I don’t see how Kansas could create $50-$60 million in additional TV revenue. All their value is in basketball which best case comes out to about $9-$10 million distribution from the NCAA if they are able to make a final four run.


      • 79dawg

        ThErE wIlL nO lOnGeR bE An NcAa BaSkEtBaLl ToUrnAmEnT….

        If the SEC goes to 16, the Big Ten will immediately go to 16, and the ACC and PAC-12 will not (better not) be far behind – at that point, you have 4 16-team conferences that are separating and going their own ways – those left out (including prominent and historical D-1 teams like Houston, Army, etc. and not-so prominent like Iowa State and West Virginia) will be sitting at the Loser’s table with the SunBeast and rest of the G-5.


      • miltondawg

        Of course, Kansas alone wouldn’t generate that kind of revenue jump. The SEC payed member schools $45MM. The B1G paid its 12 longest standing member schools $54MM in 2021. The B1G’s revenue for fiscal 2020 was nearly $40MM more than the SEC. The “experts” on conference TV deals yesterday were saying that if OU and UT come to the SEC, the next TV deal might cause the SEC to be able to pay out $25MM to $35MM more per school per year. Back to Kansas…no Kansas alone won’t generate a jump in revenue but it does put a lot more eyes on TVs. But if the B1G could also pull in the whale (ND) or get a school like UVa to jump ship, the B1G’s renegotiated TV deal could bump their member school payouts up in that $80MM per year range or more. The ACC last year paid out an average of $32MM to its member schools (which was the first time ever over $30MM to its members fueled largely by the new network, Clemson making the playoff in 2019, and Virginia making a NY6 bowl in 2019). I know that UVa might be a long shot due to its historical ties to the ACC and the importance of basketball in that conference, but of course I never imagined Maryland moving to the B1G either. UVa, however, might be lured by a massive member school payout of nearly $50MM more than they might get from the ACC. If you are UVa’s AD and you get asked and don’t take a really hard look at bumping your revenue nearly two and a half times due to historical ties, you should be fired on the spot.


        • Holiday Inn Bagman

          If I’m a TV executive why would I pay up for adding these schools not named Texas, OU, or Notre Dame? The whole is no longer worth more than the sum of the parts as the cable bundle falls apart.


        • Holiday Inn Bagman

          Btw – I agree that these leagues will expand anyway for strategic and opportunistic reasons but I doubt the revenue will follow.


  2. MGW

    FSU v. Rutgers; a Big 10 Football game.

    My God I’m blinded by the academics and piety.


  3. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    Everyone forgets that if Notre Dame chooses a conference, they are contractually obligated to join the ACC.

    So the Big-10 is more likely to add castoffs from the Big-12 to fill out their roster. Kansas and Oklahoma State being the two most likely additions.


  4. Greg

    posturing, especially Texas & Oklahoma…..”same as it ever was”.

    will believe it when I see it…….it’s still “talking season”.


  5. 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)


  6. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    No question that a P4 arrangement is the B1G’s way out of this quandary. It’s the ACC’s way out of its “second tier” deal too. If the ACC added members, particularly ND, that is a basis for contract renegotiation.


  7. I can’t wait to pay for a SEC+ subscription, on top of my Sling Blue and Sling Sports Extra subscriptions just so I can watch Georgia play OU, or Texas, or Missouri, or TA&M….you know, teams that are no where near the southeast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greg

      if being the national champs or at least being a playoff team is in their goals…thinks Texas and Oklahoma have a much better chance where they are now.

      The SEC is a tough neighborhood.


  8. timberridgedawg

    Demographics finally coming home to roost.

    Population shifts away from the north/rust belt to the southern states for the past 50 years have created a massive imbalance in high school football talent and it’s only going to get worse. College football is becoming a regional sport dominated by warm weather states much like baseball. tOSU is an outlier with good high school talent and a national recruiting presence.

    The B1G wants to be a football oil baron but they don’t have much oil in their conference footprint. The critical mass of high school talent just isn’t there. If the SEC locks up Texas to the East Coast, along with what the ACC picks off, it gets even harder.

    Their only plays, outside of ND, involve the B1G giving up their mid-western identity and trying to annex the ACC southeast coast or do something with the west coast schools. Neither are cultural fits and both are logistical nightmares.

    This eventuality has been developing for years and now it’s happening.


    • miltondawg

      Who is the ACC going to pick off? The from a P5 conference? What school would leave the B1G to join the ACC where last year the member school payouts were more than $20MM less than the B1G. Football is the big driver for conference payouts. The ACC has Clemson. The SEC has a perennial final four team plus one or two NY6 bowl teams. The B1G is going to get bigger. The ACC is going to have a hard time doing so since the TV markets in their footprint now don’t increase dramatically by adding anyone. The driver for expansion is two-fold. Final fours in football with NY6 bowls and TV eyes. The ACC’s only hope is to keep its current schools and lure ND to join in football otherwise it gets less and less relevant outside of one team in football. Only the Big XII had a lower payout than the ACC in fiscal 2019-2020 and look what is about to happen to it.


  9. pantslesspatdye

    The ACC is stuck in an untenable deal until 2036 – gasp

    Liked by 1 person

  10. theotherdoug

    If OU and UT head to the SEC there are only two available high value teams for the Big 10, PAC, and ACC to add: ND and BYU.

    They all just need to create a situation where ND has to pick a conference.


  11. It seems BYU could pick up the phone and call the Pac 12 offices and the Big 12 offices and say we’re ready to play ball (especially on Sunday). Who wants to work with us?

    There is no reason for Notre Dame to do anything at this point unless a Power 4 breakaway from the NCAA was imminent.

    UCF, Houston and Cincinnati certainly could call the Big 12 offices right now and have Bowlsby take the call. Cincinnati could get the ACC to listen (UCF probably not).