Category Archives: Big Ten Football

The latest case for SEC expansion

John Ourand broke the news yesterday that Fox is prepared to pay the Big Ten a boatload of money for some of the conference’s media rights.

Fox is close to signing a deal that gives it half of the Big Ten’s available media rights package, according to several sources. Deal terms still are flexible – both in terms of money and rights. However, the two sides have agreed on basic terms that will give Fox the rights to around 25 football games and 50 basketball games that it will carry on both the broadcast channel and FS1 starting in the fall of ’17. The deal runs six years and could cost Fox as much as $250M per year, depending on the amount of rights the Big Ten conference puts in its second package.

The Fox deal essentially is half of the package of games that had been with ESPN (as part of a 10-year, $1B deal that expires next spring) and CBS (as part of a 6-year, $72M basketball-only deal that also expires next spring).

The money is eye-popping, yes, but the key item there is the deal’s six-year term.  Why is that a big deal?  Dan Wolken explains.

We’ll see where the final numbers come out, but it seems almost certain that Big Ten schools will soon be banking more than $30 million per year — a number that doesn’t even include what the conference makes off the Big Ten Network and digital rights. When it’s all said and done, it could be a $40 million distribution.

And the best part? If it’s a six-year deal, as Ourand reported, the Big Ten’s media rights will come up for bid again (and maybe again prior to that) before ESPN’s 20-year agreement with the SEC expires in 2034.

Delany is obviously betting that the market for broadcast rights will be just as hot in six years as it is today.  If he’s right – and before you start down the “it’ll be an unbundled world by then, ESPN’s on the ropes, etc.” road, remember that we college football fans will need our fix in six years just as much as today, so all we’re really arguing about is the manner in which the drug will be delivered – imagine the way Greg Sankey is going to be pressed to react to the news of the latest deals the Big Ten strikes then as the SEC presidents are forced to make do (yes, I’m being sarcastic, but the presidents won’t be) with the 20-year deal Mike Slive left them saddled.

Then try to imagine the way Sankey negotiates his way out of the existing 20-year deal.  Actually, that doesn’t take much imagination at all.  Just think back to what Slive did when he renegotiated, which was to expand the conference by adding two new members, with all the attendant scheduling issues that brought with it.  Along with the extra money, of course.

Can you say 16-team conference?  I thought you could.  Honestly, were I an astute school president with ambitions for my football program, I’d start working my way into getting Sankey’s attention and consideration in the next few years.  Because this has the feel of inevitability to it.  This aggression will not stand, man.

20 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

Won’t somebody think of the head coaches?

Shorter Indiana University coach Kevin Wilson:  All you did was weaken a conference today, Delany. That’s all you did. You put coaches’ careers in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

3 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football

Oh, it’s on now.

Harbaugh returns serve.

This is getting fun.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Gene Smith wusses out.

Once again, you mess with the Harbaugh, you get the horns.

17 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football

Oh, snap.

I don’t care how you feel about either Michigan or Ohio State – as burns go, this one’s pretty effective.

I love me some college rivalries.

21 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football

There’s no time like the present.

Dysfunctional, thy name is Illinois football.

In his first official day on the job, Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman made a stunning move Saturday by announcing the firing of football coach Bill Cubit…

Cubit was named the interim head coach on Aug. 28 after former athletic director Mike Thomas fired Tim Beckman following an investigation into claims of player mistreatment. Cubit led Illinois to a 5-7 overall record and 2-6 mark in the Big Ten.

He was awarded with a two-year contract extension.

Amusingly, Whitman did this in the name of “providing stability”.  I’m sure that will provide a good deal of solace to whatever recruits signed NLIs with the program a month ago.  As for the rest of the team, they’ll have to wait a while to get started, as Whitman went on to say that spring football practice, originally scheduled to start on March 11, would be delayed until a new coach is named.  Awkward timing on both ends, to say the least, but the man is obviously ready to plow ahead.

Unfortunately, Whitman left one thing off his to-do list.  He neglected to schedule a meeting with the players about the firing.

That’s one helluva first day, if you ask me.

Is it really that hard to find reasonably competent human beings to run athletic departments these days?  You’d think with the money they’re paying…

***********************************************************************

UPDATE:  More player appreciation.

“I’m refreshing my Twitter feed for updates on my own football team,” quarterback Chayce Crouch tweeted Saturday morning. “This is crazy.”

27 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, General Idiocy

Jim Harbaugh… [drops the mic]

At this point, what more can you say about his epic trollery?

Purely from a blogging perspective, when the day comes that Saban retires, I hope Alabama throws a shit ton of money in Harbaugh’s direction to get him down here.  The fun would never stop.

17 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football

Having a great time in Florida. Wish you were here.

Somebody forgot to tell the Michigan players that Greg Sankey thinks they’re being exploited by their head coach’s selfishness.

“Not everybody on our team is going to take a spring break to get away,” Butt said after Michigan finished a four-hour practice Tuesday, just after sunset at the IMG Academy.

“We’re away. We’re down here in Florida. Beautiful territory. Sun shining. Not too hot. Nice breeze. Eating great food with our brothers. I don’t have anything negative to say about it.”

“When we’re not practicing, like yesterday, we were at the beach, eating fish tacos,” offensive lineman Mason Cole said.

It has been sunny and in the 70s so far in Bradenton and that’s the forecast for the rest of the week.

And with the beach, a spring training baseball game and bowling, there is plenty to keep the players entertained without breaking the budget.

“We’re doing a lot of stuff here,” Mason said, “which is fun.”

It’s also interesting to see that the NCAA is on the mother.

And for those suspicious of Michigan spending a week on a campus that is home to one of the best high school football teams in the country, maybe this will alleviate some of those fears: Two NCAA representatives are also in Bradenton this week, keeping tabs on the Wolverines.

“Michigan reached out to the NCAA national office for guidance in preparation for its spring practice,” the NCAA said in statement given to the AP.

“As discussed with the school, NCAA staff is present this week at IMG Academy to monitor and serve as a resource for the school.”

If Michigan finishes the week squeaky clean with the NCAA and suffers nothing worth complaining about other than a few sunburns, it sure is gonna be fun listening to the clucking from the SEC.

9 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA