Big East will make more moves after holidays

With Christmas upon us, the college world will take a  48 hour break to hatch the next conspiracy theory as well as make preparations for the new year.

This is what we see happening, presumably in chronological order.

1. Big East–Where do you want to start?

Let’s start with the latest buzz about Boise State–and then  San Diego State–backing out on the deal to join the Big East on July 1.

It could go either way right now, but we’re betting that the deal holds up because the money Boise can make next year by joining the Big East is better than the money it can make by going back to the Mountain West. If Boise leaves, San Diego State leaves. If Boise State stays, San Diego State stays.

The key here is BCS money which the Big  East champion will get for one more year on a guaranteed basis unless the BCS commissioners say otherwise. We think that they will also sit down and say enough harm has been done to the Big  East and the BCS contract has only one year remaining, so let it play itself out. That would be a payout of upwards of 17 million dollars. That money is divided among the conference schools, but the Big East could easily increase the share of the winner (Boise will be among the favorites next season) to entice Boise to stay.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco may even give Boise State some extra benefits or incentives to sweeten the pot and make a commitment for at least one year.

If Aresco can get Boise to stay, he will have a 12-team, two division football conference locked up. He can then settle the television deal which will have all sorts of escape and “look in”” clauses to it. It will be a combination ESPN-NBC/Comcast deal in football and basketball which could be closer to $100 million per year than $60 million per year as has been speculated if Boise and San Diego State don’t bolt.

What should also be pointed out is that  a core group in basketball of Memphis, Temple, Cincinnati and UConn is better than anything the Catholic Group of 7 have produced in recent years and equal to the group, even with the  addition of Butler, Xavier and VCU.

Once that deal is done, Aresco will then finish up the details of the departure of the Catholic 7. Aresco  feels that everthing will be secure until the summer of 2014. unless the schools that are leaving want to pony up some serious exit fees in cash.

“I still think we’re good through 2013,” said Aresco. “After that, we’ll see how it works out.”

How it will work out is likely to be a graduated departure. The Catholic 7 will leave on June 30th 2014. They will take the Big East name with them. They will add three more schools–Xavier, Butler and we’ll say VCU. They will also have close to 42 million dollars in assets garnered from the split with the Big East to use as start up money.

This should all be done in the next few months. Again, if anyone wants to leave by next season, Aresco will listen. West Virginia paid upwards of $17 million to get out. The height of the exit bar has been set.

The Big East football league will eventually remerge as a hybrid of the Mountain West, Conference USA and Big East with a new name.

By 2014, it will have 14 teams playing football.

Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, , SMU,  Fresno State and UNLV.

Temple, UConn, South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Tulane and Cincinnati.

Navy is scheduled to join in 2015, which will leave room for one more team at a later date–Air Force, BYU and UMass all will be discussed.

In basketball, the league will be a bit smaller.

Temple, Cincinnati, UConn and Memphis will be the four marquee teams. Central Florida, South Florida, Tulane, East Carolina, SMU and Houston will round out the group of 10, which allows a double round robin regular season schedule against each opponent, but also allows enough room to bring in some high profile non-conference opponents.

Aresco’s plan is clear in his mind. A 14 to 16 team football league that will be diverse enough to get decent television money, and talented enough to successfully compete for the open BCS slot each year awarded to the conference with the highest ranked team.

In basketball, the idea is to get an NCAA automatic bid for the conference champion,  keep it small enough to develop rivalries, but with enough room to succeed if there are any more defections.

“We’re going to be fine,” said Aresco. “It’s going to work out. It’s just going to take some time.”

2. ACC-Keep an eye on the Big Ten and Georgia Tech. Maybe not this year, but by 2014. If that happens, the Big Ten will need t find another team to get to 16.  And with the kind of money the Big Ten can offer, EVERYONE in the ACC is in play.

If there is any doubt about this look at Rutgers. According to sources familiar with the discussions going on about expansion, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany didn’t even have Rutgers on his A  B or C list until Georgia Tech finally said no thank you as a partner with Maryland. Once that happened and once Syracuse announced it was leaving the Big East, Rutgers moved into prime time.

3. Big 12–For now, we will take the Big 12 at its word that they are content to stay at 10 teams. But that also can change quickly.

Right now, everyone is in an idle mode. Once we get past Christmas and New Year’s, that will change.

© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

  41 comments for “Big East will make more moves after holidays

  1. SJGMoney
    December 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I’ll take the under on that supposed $100 million TV deal. Way under, as in under $70 million.

    • Guy
      December 26, 2012 at 1:52 am

      I’ll take the under on $50 million.

      A premium for CUSA redux, no way.

      • SJGMoney
        December 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        You are probably correct, I just figure they’ll inflate the numbers to cover their ass and make it look closer to $70 million.

        • theothergregchilders
          December 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm

          Notre Dame and the C7 leaving with have zero impact on the television contract since it was mostly being driven by football, not basketball. Rutgers and Louisville will have a minimal impact on the contract because neither really generated a ton of interest in football either. If the remaining schools stay together (as it appears they will) and the Big East reloads with a couple more schools out west, the all-sports members will be looking at $10-12M per team at worst. Those predictions of $50-70M are ridiculously low and probably from ACC fans.

  2. theothergregchilders
    December 25, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Are you kidding? The Big 10 has eight schools in the AAU so it has the highest academic appeal of any FBS conference. In football, only the SEC has more history and prestige than the Big 10. The ACC is a distant fifth place behind the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, and Big 12. The only reason they’re not in sixth is because the Big East has imploded. Had the Big East not lost Louisville, Rutgers, and the C7, the ACC is on the outside looking in.

    If the Big 10, SEC, or Big 12 try to raid the ACC, those teams leave in a heartbeat.

    • Chris Columbo
      December 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Yes on paper the Big Ten is more prestigious across the board academically. However, the U VA UNC and Duke group believe they are Ivy league type schools and that is why they won’t leave for the Big Ten no matter what the price. Their narrow minded East Coast view of the world is hard to overcome and they have huge resources financially. Yes the other schools would leave in a heartbeat if they could, however for places like Florida State Clemson etc the 50 million exit fee will be too much of an obstacle to overcome. Georgia Tech has financial the ability but Big Ten needs another school to make it 16 and none of the rest of the ACC fit their model. If the Big Ten raids anyone else it is likely to be Kansas.

      • theothergregchilders
        December 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

        UVA, UNC, and Duke are very good schools academically. But the ACC is a dropoff academically from the Big 10 and it’s not even close. And their resources pale in comparison to the Michigans and the Ohio States of the world. Do you realize that in 2011, the Big 10 averaged 71K per home game while the ACC averaged 51K? If the Big 10 wanted to, it could cherry pick any team from the ACC and they would gladly leave. Other than the Big 10 and SEC, every conference is susceptible to being raided.

        • Chris Columbo
          December 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

          My sense is the Big Ten will expand via Kansas and Oklahoma next. Oklahoma restarts the rivalry with Nebraska. Kansas brings basketball tradition and continuity geographically and academically. Oklahoma a bit below Big Ten academic standards but has lots of oil money to upgrade the way Nebraska is.

          Big Ten West Division would then have Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and and Northwestern.

          Big Ten East would have Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Indiana and Purdue.

          The schedule will work out so that the teams play every team in their division each year plus all the other teams once every 4th year.

  3. Chris Columbo
    December 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    The Big 10 has lots of money to offer but that doesn’t matter to schools like North Carolina, Duke and Virginia. They have plenty of resources of their own from their successful alumni . Also there is tremendous snob appeal to the ACC that will be hard to overcome. Look at the Maryland fans. They were very much sopped to leaving for the Big Ten.

    Yes the Big Ten as Ohio State. Michigan. Nebraska and Penn State but the rest of the conference is not really that attractive. Occasionally Wisconsin and Michigan State do something positive but those are the exceptions and not the rule. The rest of the conference is not very desirable from a football perspective and has fallen to fourth place, behind The SEC, Pac 12 and Big 12. As for Basketball the conference is highly overrated. Ohio State and Michigan State are the only two consistently good teams. Indiana and Michigan seem to be back but I am not sure that is a permanent thing for either.

    I also believe the 50 million exit fee for the ACC will be upheld.Net Net no further expansion for the Big Ten.

  4. CAG
    December 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    question: do you prefer blaus or blauds? i always assumed blauds, but seeing as you have blaus blog, i am no longer sure which one you prefer. i tend to assume the blaus blog is a spelling error, but it seems you may prefer that. additionally, i have a suggestion. why dont you go with a pun and rename blaus blog. change it from blaus blog to blaus blaug. get it?

    and why are you not answering this comment? i dont understand that.

  5. mikeinmanila
    December 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    When all is said and done:

    * Best case, UConn ends up in the B1G (15% chance)

    * Worst case, UConn ends up in the #6 ranked “best of the rest” conference (25% chance)

    * Most likely case, UConn ends up in the #5 ranked BE/ACC conference (60% chance)

    • SJGMoney
      December 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Get ready for the worst case. B1G not happening forr UConn, they bring nothing to the TV table. ACC would make sense except BC is going to continue to keep them out. Guess UConn shouldn’t have sued them and their President back when, coming back to bite them in the ass.

      • mikeinmanila
        December 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

        According to a NYT article last year it ranks 47 in terms of fan support (# 4 in NYC behind Rutgers, ND, and Penn St and is a dominant #1 in CT. If UConn were part of the B1G, they, along with Rutgers, Penn St and Michigan, would give the B1G a dominant position in the NYC market).

        I agree UConn is a long shot for the B1G. However this could happen if the B1G only gets 1 additional ACC team to join them (it’s unlikely they will only get 1 more ACC school to join the B1G), If that happens, UConn would be the only legitimate option available on the east coast (assuming it has AAU status at that point, which it should have in 2-3 years). And all of this assumes the B1G stops at 16 schools.

        It’s higly likely that the ACC will be picked apart in the next 2-4 years and loose 4-10 more schools…and BC will be one of the ones left behind (nobody is coming for BC). It’s kind of funny if BC thinks it will be in position to dictate anything at that point.

        BTW, weren’t schools like Pitt also part of the suit? If this is still such a big issue, why didn’t BC keep them out of the ACC as well? Maybe there were other reasons they wanted to keep UConn out. The suit itself was pretty straightforward…BC lied to its Big East partners and got sued…it happens all the time in business…time for people to move on.

        Bottom line, UConn will be just fine when all the dust settles.

        • Jeff
          December 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

          mikeinmanila, as a UConn homer I hope you are right lol. I do not think that that lawsuit had any bearing on UConn being bypassed by the ACC again, for the reasons you mentioned. In an effort to appease the ACC’s football powers (ie FSU, Clemson), Louisville’s selection was no surprise. They have a better football reputation and history than does UConn or even Cincinnati.

        • SJGMoney
          December 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

          The lawsuit has had EVERYTHING to do with BC’s veto over the years. Not just this last one but with every expansion move made by the ACC. Pitt and some other schools may have been a party to it but none as vociferously as UConn and Calhoun. Chickens coming home to roost.

          And you can talk all you want about the B1G but it ain’t happening for UConn. The B1G certainly doesn’t care about the 4th most popular team in NY, not when they already have 2 others. The only Northeastern market they don’t have is Boston and UConn is useless there. I said it before and I’ll say it again, UMass is much more useful than UConn for TV purposes. That’s who they are going to grab when they add GTech and the Atlanta market, just wait.

          • mikeinmanila
            December 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

            SJG, i kind of knew you were clueless…thanks for confirming it in writing..

          • mikeinmanila
            December 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

            SJG, BTW you lost all credibility with your UMass to the B1G comment (trying a little too hard to make your point).

        • Justin
          December 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

          The fact that Penn State and Rutgers are mainstays in the tv market of that area means UConn is unneeded in the B1G. Delany wants markets and ratings, the fact that he already has them there now means they won’t get an invite unless alot of other options fall through! So don’t count on it for them to be included as 15 or 16. They could be a longshot if expansion goes to 20

          • mikeinmanila
            December 27, 2012 at 7:24 am

            I agree that several things have to break for UConn to get a B1G invite…namely, the B1G’s inability to get more than 1 AAU, ACC school and UConn getting an AAU invite. However, if those things both happen, UConn would be the #16 team for the B1G (given the AAU schools that would otherwise be available on the east coast).

            Basically, outside the AAU, ACC schools (i.e., UVA, UNC, GT and Duke), UConn would the only legitimate option for the B1G, assuming it gains AAU status.

        • Wow
          January 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

          UConn has major issues because, as mentioned, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Boston College are actively blocking them. Connecticut’s TV market only offers 1.1MM while a school like Cincinnati’s market (and that is the Cincinnati market, not the Ohio market) provides 3MM, second in the ACC only to Florida State, and that number balloons to close to 4MM with the additions of the Dayton and Northern Kentucky market, something other conference have actually been told and trust. Football is hurting Connecticut really badly right now.

  6. Barry Cousins
    December 24, 2012 at 1:41 am

    UConn and Cincy are still coveted schools, especially UConn. Look for UConn to the Big 10 and Cincy to The ACC. Cincy provides Louisville with natural conference partner, while UConn opens New England and NYC (complementing Rutgers) for the Big 10 Network

    • Ben Dover
      December 24, 2012 at 8:03 am


    • dantes_inferno
      December 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

      > Look for UConn to the Big 10

      UConn is not an AAU school – which is a core requirement for consideration by the Big Ten Presidents and Regents. UConn to the Big 10 is a non-starter. They will more than likely land in the ACC.

      • Wow
        January 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm

        UConn to the ACC is not a given because Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Clemson are actively against the addition of UConn and actively blocked them. They are interesting in Louisville (who they added) and Cincinnati (who they wanted to add immediately as well but didn’t because of the add number of teams).

    • SJGMoney
      December 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      UConn also, and most importantly brings nothing to the TV table. Rutgers already represents the NY market, and no one cares about the Hartford market. As far as TV markets are concerned UMass (and the Boston market) is much more likely than UConn.

    • Justin
      December 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      I think it’s more likely UConn to the ACC and Cinci to the Big 12 if not invited to the ACC!

  7. graystork
    December 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    What a load of crap. This seals the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    “If there is any doubt about this look at Rutgers. According to sources familiar with the discussions going on about expansion, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany didn’t even have Rutgers on his A B or C list until Georgia Tech finally said no thank you as a partner with Maryland. Once that happened and once Syracuse announced it was leaving the Big East, Rutgers moved into prime time.”

    Rutgers was under consideration by the Big Ten as far back as 1991. Syracuse was never even considered, especially after they lost AAU membership. Rutgers was the choice until Nebraska fell into the Big Ten’s lap, and then was given repeated assurances that it was next up as soon as an appropriate partner was found which the B10 hoped would be ND. Georgia Tech and Syracuse never even were paid a thought in this round of expansion.

    You need better sources. Try someone other than Mike Tranghese. You know, the fool that suggested to the ACC that Big East football teams play in the ACC for football but remain in the BE for basketball? And then was shocked when the ACC raided the BE football teams a few years later?

    You’re losing all credibility by continuing to quote his self-aggrandizing revisionist history.

  8. December 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I do not have inside sources, so I cannot claim to know. If you claim the Big 10 is certainly adding one or more core ACC teams, I will defer to your information.

    But, I do not think the Big 10 should expand for at least a few years. It needs to assimilate the University of Maryland and Rutgers before even planning to add members from the South.

    It probably does not even know how much it can charge in subscription rates for the conference network in Maryland and Rutgers. Why add more risk and uncertainty to contract negotiations?

    • December 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Correction, it probably does not know how much it can charge in subscription rates for the conference network in Maryland, New Jersey, and perhaps New York City (?).

  9. The Kidd
    December 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    This Aresco guys is so much better than his predecessor it is incredible.

    I agree totally that this is the plan and if the TV Execs are smart they will jump on it.

  10. RudyMass
    December 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    And if Boise does leave, as the media West of Mississippi is speculating? Why would the Texas schools stay? More importantly, why would anyone other than gamblers watch a league with no history and few rivalries?

  11. Thames
    December 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Boise should bounce and the Big East should be happy to see them go. What a primadona administration.

  12. December 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    For Boise state, the short term gain for being in a BCS conference for a year must be weighed against travel costs as well as exit fee from the Big East.

    • Ncrdbl1
      December 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Everyone else is saying that BSU is going to bolt. This article has nothing to do with new information or facts. It is pure speculation and opinion. The writer is grasping as any straw it can to try and keep the BE together. The BE was done the day it lost it’s membership in the big 6 club. The current members know that. That is why Louisville and Rutgers was proactive in looking for a new conference. That is why the C7 decided to separate from the football schools. No way even if BSU stayed will the TV contract be anywhere near $100 million. The new BE will be on the same level as CUSA, MWC, Mid America and Sun Belt. There is nothing in the make up of the new BE that will justify giving it a TV deal so much larger than any of these other conferences. If BSU is going to make such a major difference in the size of a TV contract, then when the new MWC comes up for renewal it would be raised to what they claim the new BE would get.

      • December 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        Perhaps all of the non-AQ conferences are now on par with each other in television revenue.

        But, there is still a strategic advantage in “the best of the rest” associating with each other. The Big East tends to have bigger media markets, with better athletic departments and programs.

      • theothergregchilders
        December 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

        You’ll have to ignore comments by Ncrdbl1. He claims to be a Memphis Tigers fan but all he does is spout negativity all the time. He’s probably a closet SEC fan impersonating a Memphis Tigers fan.

        As it stands, the Big East is not what we expected it to be after the defections of Rutgers, Louisville, and the C7, but it still has the potential to be a really good all-sports conference.

  13. RUJohnny99
    December 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Please explain why Mike T thinks Syracuse leaving pushed Rutgers to the B1G.

    • Mark
      December 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Because once Syracuse left, lots of people felt the core of the Big East was gone.

  14. Ncrdbl1
    December 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    WOW talking about living in the world of denial. This article is nothing more than a wish list to Santa. Almost everything he states has been debunked from other sources. Let this rotting corpse die already.

  15. Jonny U.
    December 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! You need a new source re:Rutgers to the B1G. I’ll give you this…Texas, ND and Florida were A,B and C but none made it past the “unofficial inquiry” stage. Rutgers was next in line but the question was “with who?”. The answer came in Maryland.

  16. Jonathan
    December 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I get everything you are saying, it makes sense. Well about as much sense as anything these days in college sports. However, wouldn’t it make sense for Memphis to be in the east and Tulane in the west? First of all geographically, second Memphis is as you say one of the marquee programs for basketball. Wouldn’t the conference be better off with Memphis developing school rivalries (not just basketball) with the other marquee hoops programs (Cincy, UConn, Temple)???

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