Category Archives: Big 12 Football

He works hard for the money.

Jim Delany doesn’t give a damn about your optics, media assholes.

Delany was asked at Big Ten Media Days what the optics are of one of the most powerful men in college sports being against compensation for players while cashing an eight-figure bonus.

“The optics are what the writers make of them,” Delany said. “For me, we have an obligation — legal — to share a 990 [tax return], which we have [with USA Today] …

“For me, I’m active, interested. [College athletics] has been important to me for more than 50 years. I continue to believe in it. I think the apt comparison is probably not with the student. I don’t think it ever has been. I understand people will make that connection. I just don’t make it.”

Note that he doesn’t even bother to refer to players as student-athletes.  They’re mere students.  Students aren’t worthy of a big check, not like the active, interested Delany is.

This is why his Division III threat if the NCAA lost O’Bannon was so much hot air.  He and his peers are going to milk the system for every drop they can get as long as they can. (“On Monday, he formally announced the beginning of a six-year media rights deal with Fox and ESPN worth $2.64 billion.”) They’re not going to lose any sleep over it, either.

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9 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

Dig in.

  • Has Smart had a change of heart about Georgia’s running game?  Count me in the I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it camp.
  • One thing I don’t get about 2017 win projections is why there’s a general assumption about how the Georgia-Auburn game is going to play out.  After all, “Auburn hasn’t hit over 8.5 wins since going 12-2 in 2013 and has only done so three times since 2007. Georgia, on the other hand, has gone over 8.5 wins four times since 2011, including a 12-2 mark in 2012 and back-to-back years of 10-3 in 2014 and 2015.”
  • Screw signing days, says Bob Bowlsby, who likes the idea of signing periods.
  • Speaking of Bowlsby, is there a dumber idea in college football than a championship game for a conference that plays a round-robin schedule?  It will serve the Big 12 right if that game screws it out of a playoff spot.
  • Seth Emerson asks a good question about Georgia’s defense.  The timing sure would be nice.
  • And here’s another good question, in this case, about Title IX in the context of colleges paying athletes.  It’s about time somebody asked.
  • Way to go, Tom Herman.

10 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

United we stand, divided we play Texas A&M.

Coming from the school that’s set its own course with the Longhorn Network and reportedly tested the waters of leaving the Big 12 before, this seems a trifle cheeky.

Then again, I suppose it never hurts to ask.

4 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

“So ’23, ’24, that’s what everybody thinks about.”

Death, taxes and conference realignment.

Realignment appears to be in sleep mode. For now. But the potential for realignment — and the strategy for when it surfaces again — never completely leaves the radar of college sports’ power brokers. That’s why they’re thinking about 2023.

Why 2023?

I presume that’s a rhetorical question.  Why does anything that’s crappy for fans happen in college football?  No, you don’t get any guesses.

… It starts with expiring TV contracts. The ACC and SEC both have long-term media grant-of-rights agreements, running through 2035-36 and 2033-34, respectively. But the other three Power 5 conferences have agreements ending roughly around the same time (the SEC’s Tier 1 deal with CBS runs through 2023-24). The Big Ten last summer opted for a shorter agreement with Fox and ESPN, which runs through 2022-23. The Pac-12 deal expires after the 2023-24 sports year, and the Big 12’s ends the following year.

“Conferences have expanded primarily to take really good football schools to enhance their football footprint and strength, and also to help their [television] networks,” Aresco said. “The question down the road will be whether any conferences want to add schools that they feel will strengthen them in football, whether it’s because of an upcoming rights fee deal, or they feel it would strengthen their conference network….

Traditional rights deals aren’t the only reason 2023 matters. By then the traditional rights deal itself might be obsolete. Conferences recognize that fans are consuming content, including live events, in different ways. This shift will continue to impact current distributors like ESPN, Fox and CBS, and could bring different companies into the distribution market, like Amazon, Google, Facebook or Twitter.

Leagues like the Pac-12 are counting on it, especially because its own network has yet to produce significant revenue for members.

“I don’t think anyone knows exactly what the landscape will look like, or what health ESPN or Fox will have in 2023 when we’re negotiating, or how significant a player Twitter or Facebook will be,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said last month at the league’s spring meetings. “My sense is that there will be more competition. There will be more and different types of players.”

Oh, goody.  Another chance for the Jed Clampetts of the P5 conferences to be acclaimed geniuses.

Assuming there’s still a P5 in a decade, that is.

… Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger shocked boosters with a surprise announcement at a happy hour Kansas City gathering.

Zenger boldly presented a $300 million stadium renovation project that will include an indoor practice facility. That rocked the fundraising arm in athletic departments from coast to coast.

In a vacuum, this would be surprising news. Per USA Today, $300 million is more than three times Kansas’ current athletic revenue. Per that same database, $300 million for this one project is also $108 million more than Texas A&M’s total athletic revenue, the largest in the country.

This is Kansas, a basketball school, winner of exactly one FBS game in coach David Beaty’s two seasons. The program as a whole hasn’t won more than three games since 2008.

There’s something else going on here.

“It brings us into the level of playing field that you must be at to be a Power Five university,” Beaty said.

Read that quote carefully: This is as much an all-in financial commitment as it is as a buy-in for KU to have a seat at the table in the next round of conference realignment.

At least you’d better believe that’s how Zenger is selling it to boosters.

A $300 million bet on surviving a conference blowup?  When they say follow the money, this is what they’re talking about.

Oh, yeah, it’s coming.

28 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, It's Just Bidness

Adios, Big Game Bob.

This comes from out of nowhere.

Bob Stoops, one of the three coaching giants of Oklahoma’s century-long football excellence, plans to tell his team Wednesday that he will retire after 18 seasons as the Sooner head coach.

An OU source said offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley will take over as head coach.

It is expected that Stoops will remain with the university in some capacity.

I know Riley is well thought of as an OC, but that’s quite a leap for a major program like Oklahoma.  Interesting transition coming, to say the least…

32 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Buffetwise, I’m on a roll.

  • Regarding the early signing period, I think Kirby Smart is on to something here:  “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on whatever you call them, middle-range, not the elite, elite guys that’s waiting till signing day. But all those other guys are going to get hammered.”
  • If you pay the players, think what will happen to all those poor associate athletic directors for new and creative media.
  • Here’s a look at ESPN’s early college football broadcast schedule.
  • Andy Staples mentions something I wonder about if the NCAA goes ahead and puts a cap on the size of coaching support staffs, namely, how would that survive an antitrust challenge?
  • Arrogance or ignorance?  SEC coaches claim to be stunned by the new NCAA recruiting rules.  It’s only your livelihood, control freaks, and you’re not paying attention?
  • Kirby Smart’s gonna take his sweet time adding a tenth assistant coach.
  • If playing a conference championship game after a round robin schedule sounds like a stupid belt-and-suspenders approach to the problem of having a team make the CFP, the Big 12 isn’t listening“Nobody else in college football can say that they can guarantee their two best teams will play each other at the end of the year.”  That nobody else thinks it’s necessary should be a clue, Bob.
  • Seth Emerson counts roster numbers and finds Georgia just under the 85-man limit.

3 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The NCAA

Does the Big 12 have an Oklahoma problem?

Boy, David Boren sure loves to hear himself talk about leaving the conference.

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Filed under Big 12 Football