College Nostradamus: Bama wins, more Big Ten expansion

With the end of the year only days away, it is time to take out our Nostradamus file and project what the future of college football will be in the year 2013.

We’ll tackle subjects, rather than use a hard time line, which admittedly allows more time for things to happen.


Alabama will win back-to-back national championships with a solid if unspectacular 24-14 win over Notre Dame. SEC rules–again, which makes it 7 straight for Commissioner Mike  Slive’s group. And this is not even a great Alabama team.

For Notre Dame, it will be the unlucky  Irish, with the ghosts of great escapes against Pittsburgh and  Stanford and six wins by nine points asking for some paybacks. Still, for a team which was unranked at the start of the season,  a 12-1 record and a Top 5 final ranking isn’t bad. And yes, we know about the history of 3rd year  ND coaches winning national championships, with guys named Parseghian, Holtz, Devine and Leahy each winning a national title in their year at ND. Not this time.

The BCS will also announce that Dallas will be the host of the first title game following a 4 team playoff in January 2015.

Coaching Changes

Most of the changes  have already occurred, but with the National Football League holding its annual job fair, there will be more movement. Alabama coach Nick Saban will take a hard look at returning,  but with another national championship, his statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium, being the King of Tuscaloosa is better than being the Prince of Cleveland or some other NFL outpost, although the itch to pull off a Barry Switzer–Jimmy Johnson move and go for the National championship-Super Bowl daily double will be constant.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly will jump to the NFL. Most speculation is a move  back East to Philadelphia. We think it will be down the Pacific Coast to San Diego. One of Kelly’s first moves might be to give up a draft choice (not first or second or third) for a QB/RB/Wildcat back named Tebow.

On a local note, don’t be stunned if former Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani emerges as a defensive coach on a new NFL staff. The numbers say that Spaziani failed as a head coach. But his abilities as a very, very good defensive coordinator remain.  If Spaz wants to stay local, he could make  a call to Storrs to see if Paul Pasqualoni needs a good DC.

Conference Expansion

We are not done yet. While there is some doubt whether the Big Ten will want to expand to 16 teams after gobbling up Rutgers and Maryland as No. 13 and No. 14, it seems to be only a question of when, not if.

What is also certain is that Big East must make more moves, either in a survival or collapse mode.

We still think that Boise State and San Diego State will not do a reverse on their move to the Big East which is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2013.

If that happens,  Fresno State will also be added to the Big East mix. Louisville and Rutgers will stick around for one more season before moving to the ACC and Big Ten.

The Catholic 7 will officially announce they will move into their new hoop neighborhood on July 1, 2014. They will also add Xavier, Butler and we will stick with VCU. And they will take the name Big East.

The old Big East will talk to the Mountain West about forming some kind of alliance, confederation with cross over games and championships.

The Big Ten will go quiet until next summer and then make another run at Georgia Tech and nibble at North Carolina and… Boston College. Kansas also might get a second look.

The ACC will have to react if it loses anyone and UConn might finally get a call. Cincinnati probably will have to wait.

The Big 12 is going to stay at 10 teams for as long as it can, but the pressure to get into the big boy Super Conference party will be constant. Florida State and Clemson remain prime targets.

The story line in the ACC will be whether how any of those schools gets around the $50 million dollar buyout that Maryland is now contesting. If that is settled at a lower price, watch out.

All of these guesses are just that. Tune in this time next December to see how we did.






© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

  21 comments for “College Nostradamus: Bama wins, more Big Ten expansion

  1. SG Thompson
    December 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    The story no one is writing… yet… is that the Group of Five has to decide how to divvy up their new-BCS revenues… and that, assuming that eventually gets put to a democratic vote, there is power in numbers…

    In other words, 32 schools will eventually be linked together by either a conference association or political alliance in order to have enough votes to establish a policy that is most favorable to them.

    I was predicting earlier this month that Boise would find that it can make just as much $ playing Mountain West schools as it can playing what amounts to a refangled CUSA group, and that once that happens (and evidently, according to McMurphy, it now has), you’ll see Boise and SDSU back in the MWC fold, along with Houston and SMU for a 14-school conference… then, add two of Tulsa (likely), UTEP (likely), Idaho and New Mexico State to get to 16, forming half of the 32-school alliance of which I speak.

    Back on this side of the country, another story that will develop…

    UConn, Cincy, Temple, and Memphis would love to keep their basketball with the Catholics, and one would think that the Catholics (and whoever becomes their network) would perceive value in keeping those 4 regardless of UConn and Cincy’s flirtaciousness with the ACC. Here’s why I think that… what I’ve read in all of these quotes from Catholic school officials tells me that this move by the Catholics at this point in time is largely a matter of not wanting to be in a political posture where they are at the mercy of the current and newbie BE football schools. Having these four big-time basketball schools is not going to put them into any political jeopardy, and moreover, they can throw UConn and Cincy (the two voting schools) a bone in exchange for supporting whatever contingencies the Catholics want–most importantly perhaps, the Big East name and trademark.

    So, put me down for a new Big East basketball conference that includes the Catholic Seven, the Football Refugee Four, plus some number of other basketball-only schools.

    The Football Refugee Four (UConn, Cincy, Temple, and Memphis), then, remain with the Big East Wannabees (Tulane, UCF, USF, ECU and Navy) in a football-only league that adds Army (to pair with football-only Navy) and six others to the mix to get to 16… not 16 for the sake of 16 but rather to get to 10 for all other sports so that the conference has some viability beyond football.

    Naturally, the established CUSA schools fit that… UTEP and Tulsa, (if not absorbed by MWC), then Rice, Tulsa, Southern Miss, UAB, and Marshall.

    For football…

    North Division: UConn, Army, Navy, Temple, Cincinnati, Marshall, Memphis, ECU
    South Division: UAB, USF, UCF, Southern Miss, Tulane, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP

    So, for basketball and other sports…

    West Division: UTEP, Rice, Tulsa, Tulane, Southern Miss
    East Division: UAB, USF, UCF, ECU, Marshall

    • Fin
      January 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      I like this prediction too. There is some compelling logic to forming a voting block, although I think you will see a 3 conference voting block rather than the MWC and BE making somewhat financially senseless moves to get to 32. Another very bold prediction.

  2. Don Cannon
    December 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I predict that the college football-media market bubble is about to pop. It will once the ACC adds Notre Dame and steals Penn State.

    The notion that UConn will join the ACC or is entitled to conference membership with ACC schools is ludicrous. UConn isn’t owed anything and THEY HAVEN’T ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD.

    Louisville earned it’s spot because they have made serious commitments to football, coaching, recruiting, winning and facilities.

    UConn is better off in CUSA. The only way I want them in is if BC gets kicked out!

    • mikeinmanila
      December 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      ACC adding Penn State? Are you are dellusional? Why would Penn State want to take such a drastic cut in TV revenue?

      And who said anything about wanting to be in the ACC? The ACC is about to be ripped apart.

      As far as UConn not accomplishing anything in football…for a very young D1 program (only 8 years in the BE), we already have had 5 bowl appearances, 2 conference titles and gone to a BCS game..most people would say that’s pretty darn good. UConn took a step back the last 2 years with Pasqualoni (but not as bad as BC did with Spaz), but will recover when he is replaced after next season. If UConn’s short history is a guide, it sure looks like it has some decent upside potential in football.

    • fin
      January 31, 2013 at 9:50 am

      I like the bold prediction. If you were in the ACC/ESPN brainstrust that would be an interesting concept. ESPN would have to foot the bill to make it reasonable.

      Miami, FSU, Penn State, ND, and a nice support staff….that’s a nice $ conference.

      Penn State has to do some major payouts, which may be why the Rutgers/Maryland expansion took place. The B1G mentioned the possiblity of PSU being in play in their reasoning. (actually I think it was the Wisconsin AD or someone).

  3. Chris Columbo
    December 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    My sense is the league changes are all moving in logical directions.

    Their will be no further change to the ACC. The conference has a solid academic and athletic identity that the schools and their alumni value and all have plenty of resources. Additionally they have their deal with Notre Dame which they all value. Maryland was an exception in that was a tweener. Not prestigious enough academically, modest success athletically and campus in a questionable neighborhood which dampened the collegiate enthusiasm, hence Big Ten money was a big draw.

    Big Ten next move will be to bring in Kansas with Oklahoma. That will recreate the Oklahoma Nebraska rivalry and bring another big Basketball school in the mix in Kansas. Also Kansas encompasses both the St. Louis and Kansas City TV Markets. Additionally these two schools, Iowa and Nebraska are within driving distance which makes things more lively. Oklahoma is rich enough to make the academic investment necessary to bring the school to Big Ten standards.

    The remnant Big East will be renamed to something that reflects their National identity. They will get a couple more west coast schools which will give them more tv inventory. After a few seasons it will be a modest success. U Conn will rebound to past glory in basketball with their new young coach and there will be a handful of competitive football schools in the top 25 to keep it in the discussion. they will get a revised tv deal that is satisfactory to the schools. Cincinnati and U Conn want to go but they don have any real homes other than the one they are in at this point. Actually they will both realize that winning in their conference will be easier and in their long term interest and thus the urge to leave will lesson.

    Catholic 7 will be a competitive focused basketball conference that will eventually evolve into an understandable academic brand as well. This is a very positive development.

    Big 12 will need to add schools to make up for Kansas and Oklahoma. BYU will be one for sure. they will take their time on the other one.

    Pac 12 has a well defined conference and is done for now.

    • mikeinmanila
      December 30, 2012 at 12:41 am

      Too many sharks (i.e., stronger football conferences) swimming around the ACC for it not to lose teams within the next 4 years…best case it loses 2 more teams, worst case 10 more teams.

      B1G has been very consistent that it’s looking south and east (top schools in order would be 1.GT, 2. UNC, 3. UVA or 4. UConn if it gets an AAU invite).

      SEC will add 2 more teams (VT and NCST?).

      Big 12 will look to add as many as 6 more teams (I agree that BYU will be one of them, along with FSU, Miami, Clemson, Cincinnati, and Pitt?)

      As a UConn fan, I feel we will be fine no matter how things end up.

      • SJGMoney
        December 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        I guess you think if you keep saying it it will be true. Uh sorry, not how it works. Lets take a look at you list of 4 and what they bring to the B1G:
        1. GTech- The only one you are right about, of course Mark gave you the idea because there is no way you could have figured it out yourself. Anyway, brings the only important Southern TV market, Atlanta, 9th largest in US
        2. UNC- Brings nothing to TV table, as market is #24
        3. UVA- Ditto. Northern Virginia and DC market already covered by Maryland addition. Richmond and Southern Virginia is ranked in high 50’s. Makes UNC look like New York City
        4. UConn- Hartford is 30th ranked market. NYC is already covered, and UConn does not bring the Boston market, which ranking 9th is an important market

        One of the the Florida schools or someone in Texas is much, much more likely than anybody on your list except GTech. And so is BC and UMass. I’m sorry you don’t understand the TV world, do some homework.

        • SJGMoney
          December 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

          Correction on Boston, that is 7th market not 9th

          • fin
            January 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

            UNC and UVA are statewide draws, if not multi-state draws. You are treating them like they are UNCC and Old Dominion, DMA-wide draws. Not the same.

    • Fin
      January 31, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I think the idea of Kansas and OU is a bold idea, but how do you think those schools (especially OU) will shake their State University shadows?

      Also what about the grant of media rights in the Big 12?

    • Fin
      January 31, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I just found this thread and am 1 month further in that the other predictions. To be fair I am horrible at predictions, so I need the head start on the rest of you.

      Conference realignment pecking order
      Big Ten – Best money, academic presitge.
      Pac 12 – Very good money, academic presitge
      SEC – Soon to be 2nd best money, average academics
      ACC – Great markets, bad tv contract, academic prestige
      Big 12 – rights deal creates potential for an upconference raid of the ACC and blocks the Pac-12.
      Big East – Waiting for more carnage.
      Catholic 7 – More money per school than any FBS conference below them.
      MWC – Poor Markets minimize conference pull.
      CUSA – Smartly chased markets. Payouts may move ahead of MWC in a few years.
      MAC – stable. No one wants most of their schools.
      A10- BB money is decent.
      WCC – BB money is decent.
      Sun Belt – the bottom again.

      Big Ten – There is too much smoke about them talking about expansion for me to think it won’t occur. Luckily for the Big East it may not occur until football season (CUSA members join July 1st). The realdudeofWV said his sources said the Big 10 would expand in jan or not until the fall. So I am going with the fall. I suspect the inability to get a quick resolution on the Maryland departure fee has pushed the next raid back until next season. By fall, it will be sorted with 30M price tag and the next raid will be a single school….Boston College…?!?!

      (My thinking is that the Big 10 may have second thoughts about the GT/FSU plan and may want to wait a year. I suspect they may be thinking that Ohio State is about to become an annual title contender again, so the CV that the Big 10 has to add FLA recruiting to have a title contender may be challenged this fall. They may also be having second thoughts about doing anything to save the Big 12 and so may spare the ACC. BC adds useful markets and makes economic sense. It is also somewhat easily replaced by the ACC, which makes it strategically smart. A 15 team conference ala the ACC is surprisingly decent for scheduling.)

      Pac 12 – The Big 12 rights deal absolutely screws the Pac-12. Given the relationship between the Pac-12 and Big 10, that could impact the Big 10’s plans. I am thinking they sit.

      SEC – The SEC could add Va Tech and another school, but my suspicion is that they will sit if the Big 10 only adds one. Two I don’t think they could tolerate. One I think they would privately ridicule. They are about to get a ton more money anyway. Expansion isn’t pressing for anyone in the SEC but Missou. They are in hell. The

      ACC – UConn in as BC’s replacement. Surprisingly I think the status quo doesn’t really change. With ESPN unwilling to pay them appropriately and as such the ACC schools unwilling to sign their right over, the ACC is ready to collapse, but I think the big raid doesn’t come this year…

      Big 12 – I don’t think the Big 12 has enough juice to raid the ACC in this situation.

      Big East – TV deal done by the mid-february. Tulsa in by the end of february. UMass in as UConn’s replacement in november after a 4 win season in the MAC.

      Catholic 7 – Xavier, St. Louis, Creighton, Dayton, and Butler with Butler as the only non-catholic school — because they are really really marketable and hot now.

      MWC – Sits to see how the TV payouts works out. By December some MWC schools will be shocked at Boise’s take and will be quietly calling the BE.

      CUSA – WKU will be Tulsa’s replacement as the new #14 by the first week of March. Georgia State and Texas State will get invited in December as teams #15 & 16.

      MAC – They will approach JMU, Stonybrook, Delaware and Villanova (FB only) fishing for 2-4 schools by the end of the year. Although interest will be there, they won’t close the deal on any of them until next year.

      Sun Belt – Will add Georgia Southern by April in a plan to get back to 10. They will be thinking about 2 of Liberty, NMSU, Lamar, and jacksonville State by December.

  4. SG
    December 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, the Big10 seems to be looking for TV markets, but neither UMass or BC really work. I went to school in Boston. Trust me, no one cares about (or even likes) BC. They don’t draw any tv numbers. UMass is part of the Springfield market (Nielsen #114 and really small). They have a lot of alumni in the Boston area, but they’re not a big tv draw.

    While New England does have some Big10 alumni, there are a lot more in the NY area (Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern and Penn State). UConn gives you additional penetration in NY (which the SNY network already does). Rutgers won’t give you enough NYC on their own. But Rutgers, Penn State and UConn fans give you much better coverage than anything BC or UMass can do. And yes, Ga Tech would be a good draw in the South.

  5. mikeinmanila
    December 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

    B1G will go after the following to get to 16:

    1. Georgia Tech
    2. North Carolina
    3. Virginia
    4. UConn (assuming it gets an AAU invite, which they are pursuing)

    The only legitimate AAU option on the east coast is Duke, but it doesn’t have the same upside as UConn (Tulane is an AAU school as well, but that’s not happening). That said, I don’t expect to see any more B1G expansion until 2014, at the earliest

    Finally, BC isn’t trying to get an AAU membership and isn’t going anywhere. Suggesting BC might be considered by the B1G is complete and utter nonsense.

    • mikeinmanila
      December 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Sorry, should have said, the only OTHER legitimate candidate on the east coast is Duke.

    • SG
      December 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      I agree with mikeinmanila. But to be clear, AAU membership is like conference membership – you have to be invited and it takes time. UConn is clearly working to be in that position. Can’t see why Big10 would consider BC – no presence in its own market, the Big10 prefers state U’s over private schools, and it’s highly unlikely BC would ever be invited into AAU (they don’t attract research dollars and lack a research reputation, and they don’t have medical and/or engineering schools).

      Big10 might consider Kansas – it’s an AAU member, the KC TV market is ranked just below Hartford/NewHaven, and they play to Big10’s midwest roots. If GaTech, UVa, and UNC all pass, Big10 could consider UConn and Syracuse making a contiguous connection between midwest and New England. Having Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn would provide the best penetration in the NYC market and open up New England.

    • sjgmoney
      December 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      @mikeinmanilla, you need to do some homework on what the B1G is all about and looking for. They are not looking to add AAU schools or looking for inroads to Tobacco Road. They are looking at TV markets. Period, end of story. GTech gives them the Atlanta market, everything else down south may as well be Podunk. The missing piece for them is one more Eastern piece, Boston. Only two schools bring that market, BC and UMass. Your Huskies do not, sorry. BC isn’t going to leave the ACC, they are way too full of themselves to be in a league of State schools, so the missing B1G piece is UMass. Come back to this page in a year and tell me how I was right.

      • johnny
        December 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

        Whatever you are smokin give me some cause there is NO WAY IN HELL the B1G will ever invite UMASS. You must be joking right? What do they add? And if you say viewership then you are CRAZY! Viewers don’t watch crappy sports on TV no matter who is playing. Just ask NBC about their ratings on ND games in the last 10 years prior to this one. You think UMASS playing Michigan is a TV draw in the east coast? What people can’t seem to get their heads around is that the east coast is a pro sports coast. For college sports people watch the schools they like or attended. Its not a regional viewership for the local school. The east coast isnt the mid west or the south, where college sports dominate and where you root for the local school even if you didnt even go there.

      • mikeinmanila
        December 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        sjgmoney, are you a budding comedy writer? THAT was a funny post…LMAO, Thanks 🙂

      • SJGMoney
        December 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        Jonny and manilla, Just do yourself a favor and bookmark this page so you can come back and tell me how I was right. Oh that’s right, the two of you are probably too nutless to admit your wrong, oh well. And Jonny, you must be high if you think NBC is upset with the ratings ND got over the last 10 years. Must be why they keep giving them more money, they feel sorry for them! The two of you know nothing about the TV business; do some homework.

  6. Ben Dover
    December 29, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Closer to nostradoofus my friend.

    Couple of things:
    1) “On a local note, don’t be stunned if former Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani emerges as a defensive coach on a new NFL staff. The numbers say that Spaziani failed as a head coach. But his abilities as a very, very good defensive coordinator remain. If Spaz wants to stay local, he could make a call to Storrs to see if Paul Pasqualoni needs a good DC.”

    Why would a to be 66 year old with a 7 figure buy out move his family?

    2) Who is we?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *