Venting; The Weak Conference

Jarrett's picture
November 21, 2012 at 6:32a
33 Comments

I go out of town for a few days and go off grid. Get back and what, what, WHAT? The Big Ten expands and 1. adds schools that suck in sports 2. adds schools that don't strengthen our chances of winning national championships in the 2 sports that matter. WTF?!

Now, I know, without exploring, that Rutgers and Maryland are fine educational institutions. But I think we all know conferences are trying to increase their ability to take over the world in sports, which, = ratings, which, = money, money and more money. 
With that- with what conferences are doing, I am venting and hopefully letting you vent a little too. I say, Rutgers?! REALLY?! Jesus- their football team is "coming up" in a bad football conference. Whatever- their first year coach is doing a great job, with the old coaches recruits....so he has not proven a solid coach in recruiting yet, and we all know how a team can go south quickly if that's not the case.
Maryland? OK, basketball tradition is good but haven't heard from them lately...from a casual basketball fan's viewpoint...and in FOOTBALL? REALLY? The ONLY reason I know they have a freaking football team is due to their really, really stupid looking uni's they threw up...I mean, threw out there last year.
So, while other conferences are at least TRYING to increase their chances of strengthening either their football or basketball programs for winning more National Championships, we go after Rutgers and Maryland .Way. To. Go. That will really help with our "strength of schedule" issues. 
How about this - we get Kentucky to strengthen our basketball conference and hell, who cares about Kentucky football, we HAVE Maryland now...but that would be awesome for the conference in basketball...and let's go after Cincinnati - solid football and basketball. They could make some noise perhaps...even Pitt maybe? You'd bring back the PSU rivalry, even though Pitt has sucked in football. But Pitt has shown it can produce a solid football team every once in awhile and their basketball team is solid (? not sure- casual basketball fan but I seem to hear about them during basketball season).
So, VENT! Let me know what  teams you would add to The Weak Conference. Be it for real or for fun. I just can't believe we can't recruit schools with better football/basketball teams. Who is next, Syracuse? WOWWWW got the SEC and 12PAC shaking in their SHOES! At least they have a great basketball tradition...argh. Louisville? West Verginny (always over rated-choke more than a John Cooper coached team)-What schools would you add to our conference? 

Comments

Alhan's picture

Well, we do have an even number of teams.  We're at 14...
Edit - did you phantom edit this after I posted or am I just crazy?  I could have sworn the title said "The Odd Conference" and you were complaining about the inability to get an even number of teams in the conference.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Jarrett's picture

You are NOT crazy- However, I wasn't done writing- it's early- sun was in my eyes and I entered by mistake. All in an effort to be funny at 3:30 AM or whatever time I woke up this morn. Have a good Thanksgiving! Go Bucks! Beat ichigan!

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

Alhan's picture

Haha, no problem, I posted my comment just after waking up this morning and then didn't see it after.  I thought I was dreaming!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Buckeyes_Terrapins's picture

TL;DR — Maryland basketball is on its way back up and does add to the conference. At the end of the year compare their résumé with that of Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Nebraska, Penn State, etc. You'll see what I mean.
Also, in general, strong programs in either basketball or football or both are not looking to realign, since they're successful where they are. So not picking up the best teams is a product of those teams not being available.

RedStorm45's picture

UMD has made the NCAA tournament twice in the last 5 years.  I don't know if that's really "coming back."

Buckeyes_Terrapins's picture

This is Coach Turgeon's second season, so the four previous years aren't really relevant to the current state of the program…

cplunk's picture

You do realize its about 1) Money for sports through television via cable subscribers and 2) Money for research through the AAU and 3) Future growth in demographics for recruiting?
It really doesnt matter at all what a team's strength is right now, it matters what they bring in those terms. A distant fourth is "potential to be a decent team".
You can eliminate the teams you mention very quickly if you look at the real criteria.
Pitt- Since the BTN already gets the maximum amount of dollars for Pitt's TV market due to Penn state, and already has recruiting fingers in the western PA area, Pitt is completely useless from an expansion perspective.
Cincinnati- See "Pitt", but add to it the fact that Cincinnati is not a member of the AAU.
Louisville- Kentucky is a tiny TV market, not a hotbed of recruiting talent, and isnt an AAU member.
West Virginia- See "Louisville" but replace it the word "Kentucky" with "West Virginia"
Syracuse- A reasonable though and an AAU member, but brings less of a TV market than Rutgers (remember, actual VIEWERS don't matter. The number of subscribers to a cable provider that carries BTN is what is matters.). 
Delaney is trying to do several things with this expansion:
1) Bring the extremely large NYC/upper NJ and DC/Baltimore markets into the B1G umbrella. Again, remember that it doesnt matter if people watch the games, only that the BTN is on their basic cable package. I don't want to go into the whole YES network (the Yankees channel) purchase here, but suffice it to say that shortly Delaney will be able to force the NYC/upper NJ cable providers to carry BTN on basic cable and pay literally boatloads of money to the Big Ten.
2) Bring the rapidly growing high school football/recruiting grounds of upper NJ, the DC area, and VA into the Big Ten recruiting footprint. 
3) Put pressure on the ACC while firing a warning shot at Notre Dame. Rutgers leaving kills the Big East. The Irish can't go back. Maryland leaving is a threat. Specifically, it is a threat saying "Georgia Tech, UNC/Duke, and UVA are all AAU members, now in contiguous states, that offer big TV markets. If I take them next, you, Notre Dame, will be stuck in a minor irrelevant conference and possibly denied access to championship games in the future. Are you sure you don't want to come to the B1G?"
4) Weaken the ACC bond between teams by taking a founding member. If Notre Dame does not join, gaining Maryland opens up the possibility of Georgia Tech (who has been in discussions with the B1G) and UNC or Duke. Major recruiting inroads into the south and big TV markets. 
5) Give notice to Texas (who has flirted with the B1G before) that the B1G may soon control virtually all of the major media markets (save Texas and LA). Isn't all that money attractive?
His goal, in short, is Texas and Notre Dame. But he can't get them without taking Maryland and Rutgers. His backup plan is two of GA Tech, UNC, Duke, UVA.
That, by the way, is your list of optons that meet the AAU and big market criteria and might be available: ND, Texas, GA Tech, UNC, Duke, UVA.
 

Alhan's picture

This is a very good explanation of what (we think) the strategy for accepting MD and Rutgers into the B1G.  Will we actually land the big fish (ND/TX) that Delany wants?  That remains to be seen.  In my opinion though, if we get even one of those schools, this expansion was a success.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Jarrett's picture

Awesome info cplunk, awesome. It's a no brainer that these two schools would want to join the Big Ten due to all the money they will get. I just saw on ESPN how Maryland is having a bunch of financial problems...and if your explanation is correct, at some point doesn't it also comes down to good quality competition/product? The money may start to dwindle when people stop watching a mediocre product. Even if it comes down to cable subscribers (not people actually watching), there has got to be a point where a quality product comes into play...or one would think.
As a FAN, I have no desire to see us play Maryland- and Rutgers, eh. I can see their fans wanting to see them play higher profile teams like OSU, especially when it comes to sharing some of that B1G money! I'm so over ND being a prima donna - big money, for sure- they are trying to keep their money in their pocket and not share it. Hell, they can't afford much more of anything other than football and it's been that way for years. They just don't care if they fund any other sports than basketball....perhaps their hockey team gets some football money.
It comes down to greed- who knows how it will pan out for these two schools in the long run. Looks like a good idea now but they will need to spend money to make money/be successful in their two major sports. Meanwhile, we add two schools that don't seem to know how to budget their money.  And all this conference shifting is sad because, in my humble opinion, traditions and rivalries are what make college sports great. Money will be the ruin of traditions, rivalries and what really seems to matter when it comes to the college experience.
Have a safe and good Thanksgiving and Go Buckeyes, beat ichigan!!!!
 
 
 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

Maestro's picture

It comes down to greed???
Traditions are fantastic, but let's not act like conference realignment hasn't happened throughout the entire history of college sports.
It comes down to survival.  Do you really want Delany to sit on his hands while the SEC, ACC, Big XII and Pac-12 whisper sweet nothings to ND, Texas, OU, Clemson, FSU, etc.?
This is a business move that strengthens the brand that is the Big Ten and puts the Big Ten in a good place pending the inevitable expansion to 16 team conferences.

vacuuming sucks

Jarrett's picture

Of course it comes down to greed. And there have been realignments in the past, but nothing like what has happened in the past couple of years. We are coming down to a few "super conferences" by the looks of it and it comes to greed, or survival, as you say. We do live in a capitalist society, so it's all about money. Some think that's good, some think that may not be so good. It's how you look at it.
Yes, Delany runs a business. But, depending on what you think or how you think he should go about it differs- and by a lot. So, no, I don't want him to sit on his hands- but I DO want him to get schools that can budget (not Maryland) and have more of an impact on the national scene (not Rutgers). Or at least, go after some schools that do both.

Schools like Maryland and Rutgers will eventually have to be picked up. But to make them a priority at this point? It's a win for them, not sure about the conference. If we need to pick up schools like this for recruiting purposes, we're hurting more than I think. We are a national power/force, so the two money making sports can go after anyone at any time. It's been that way for awhile. It can't hurt to have us play these teams but if we play, say, Texas, Notre Lame, OU, the other OSU, etc, on a regular basis, teams that make some national noise? That probably wouldn't hurt nearly as much. And by going after the schools that you mention first, that makes us much more desirable.
Gotta stop eating pumpkin pie so late on Thanksgiving- wakes me up at night!

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

buckeyestu's picture

i agree with cplunk. aside from everything cplunk said, though, i rather see notre dame, texas, okla and okla st added.

JoshAlum's picture

I think we'll see ND/Syracuse.
Syracuse may be a smaller market, but regionally, they fill in a big gap, they're AAU, and their basketball program is top notch, with a lot of fans out there.
Football: the BIG will always be Ohio State, Michigan, then everyone else.
But, look at the potential basketball conference.
Ohio State, Mich St., Mich, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Notredame - all routinely top 25 teams.
The second tier isn't half bad either - Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland.
And then there is the punching bags.
Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers.

Alhan's picture

If ND joins and they continue their upward trend in football (relevance each year) then you'd have to include them in the B1G football picture, as much as it pains me to say it.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

btalbert25's picture

If we get the NYC and DC markets and things do work out in the B1G's favor, they don't need Texas.  Granted, it'd be nice to have them, but they could further expand and grab Ga Tech and UNC, or Virginia and UNC, or Virginia and Ga Tech.  Adding Virginia sews up the DC market for the B1G, and VaTech goes to the SEC.  They won't need to be a package deal if both get to move to the 2 greenest pastures in college sports.  Basically getting the BTN in NYC and DC markets makes landing a big fish irrelevant. 
Projections show Rutgers with the NYC market is far more valuable than ND and Maryland is about the same.  The only true "Big Fish" out there is Texas.  Hook in UNC or Virginia or both and it's the same thing as Notre Dame, only you are grabbing markets that are growing rapidly.

cplunk's picture

That's probably true. The only thing about Texas is the recruiting is a big deal. A Georgia Tech offsets that somewhat because it gets close to the really fertile talent areas of the South. I don't know that VA helps quite as much.

btalbert25's picture

I'm just not sure that Texas in the B1G delievers that many recruits to the rest of the B1G anyway.  At the end of the day kids commit to a coach and typically a place under 400 miles away from home. A school like Ohio State is going to be able to pick off good recruits from Texas and Georgia and Florida no matter what.  It's the Purdues of the world who need to work on getting someone who can recruit.
For the life of me, I can't figure out with all the money these schools have, why they settle for guys like Danny Hope.  Louisville has no had 2 coaches who Petrino(before he was a big deal) and now Charlie Strong who could go down to Florida and grab great recruits.  If freakin Louisville can do it, how come IU, Purdue, or Minnesota can't do it? 
If I'm Delaney, I go for the schools that deliever the most cash to the conference(Texas certainly does) if you can't get them, then go for the next best thing, which may very well be Virginia and UNC.  The big brands will always be able to get recruits, as long as they aren't in trouble with the NCAA.  Maybe the others will open up their wallets and do something to add value to the conference at that point.  I don't know.  I'm just not going to worry about the rest of them anymore, they are going to suck, and keep benefitting from Ohio State being awesome.

cplunk's picture

Yeah, I'm with you on that- I can't figure out why much of the rest (i.e. non-OSU, Mich, PSU) of the B1G seems so content. They're making money hand over fist yet they never seem to make the big money move for coaches. A Tommy Tuberville when he was unemployed or a Mike Leach (personality and issues aside). 
I give Illinois a degree of credit for at least trying with Zook. 
Minnesota is a good example to me. They have a rich history involving national titles (way, way back, but still trophies in the weight room or coaches office) and a nice stadium. If kids can be recruited to come to places like Oregon, Oregon State or the Washingtons, there is really no reason they cant be persuaded to come to Minnesota.

btalbert25's picture

In the not so distant past Minnesota was at least solid.  They had several teams ranked and some great talent going there.  Maybe not national title contenders but at least competent football.  I just don't get it.  MSU was looking good, but I think that ship has sailed too.  They benefitted from a down AACC.  I don't see many double digit win seasons for them anymore.  Especially with Notre Dame having such a good season they just won't compete for those recruits that otherwise may have picked ND or Michigan.

Jarrett's picture

Good call BTALBERT25! Excellent! I have had a hard time understsanding how we can be such a bad conference in football (especially now, while basketball is taking off) while the other teams you mention can at least try to get better coaches. The first B1G school that comes to mind for me is Iowa. One of the highest paid FB coaches in the conference and they have sucked lately. They seem to be on the downswing not the upswing. 

It looks like Indian's AD is dedicated to hiring a better coach and helping him keep a talented, good staff. They may be on the way up- but the Purdue's of the conference need to stop accepting mediocre coaches and talent and man up. That's why I'm sceptical of adding these two new teams- they will get more money up front from our conference but will they use that to become better? 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

cplunk's picture

And for the record, if we're dismissing all business related thoughts and just going for who we want from a football perspective- give me Texas and Oklahoma as the final two. Can't happen for alot of reasons, but it'd be my preference.

Jarrett's picture

Another good call- that's more along the lines of what I was wondering- I mean, you seem to know quite a lot about the business aspect of this whole thing. I'm just looking at it from more of a fan's perspective. I want GOOD competition and for the conference to be competing for NC's, not necessarily cable money. 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

btalbert25's picture

One thing with expanding into Maryland too, is it gets that early foot in the door in the DC market and it will at the very least end up splitting that market with the SEC when VaTech and possibly Virginia end up in the SEC.  It was certainly a strategic move by Delaney.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

ND and Texas come aboard.  IF not those schools, I wouldn't mind seeing us snag up UNC and Georgia Tech.  Both schools would bring quality football programs and great basketball programs. Also it would extend the big10's footprint further south leading to more $$ and ratings and hopefully recruits.

Jarrett's picture

I like the way you're thinking. I would think it easier to get Kentucky and would like to see them join up- our conference as a basketball power would greatly benefit from THAT- and it would help so much we wouldn't care about their football team blowing goats for decades to come. 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

Jugdish's picture

From what I get from twitter, we will have an odd number of teams in the B1G. Rutgers and Maryland come to the Leaders Division, Illinois goes to the Legends, and *ichigan goes to Canada.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

JLP36's picture

I am sure that applicaton of sound economic analysis leads to the conclusion that these additions are positive.  I don't work for the B1G.  I like to go to Ohio Stadium and watch BIG TIME college football.  From a fan's perspective, more bland at best games does not mean success.  I doubt that this is going to have the recruiting impact that some predict.  If all of these blue chippers in these regions had not heard of THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES, the Nebraska Cornshuskers, the michigan Wolverines, the Penn State Lions, etc, etc from ABC or ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, etc etc etc, then they likely heard about them when the coaches from those schools call them 50 times a week.  My desire is to see big games.  From that perspective, IT SUCKS!  You start talking ND, Texas, OK or even FSU and I am all in.

JLP36

Jarrett's picture

I agree JLP36! From a fan's perspective, give me some GOOD QUALITY TEAMS in football or basketball or both! I have no desire to watch freaking Maryland or Rutgers...yawn. ND can suck it in my book- but Texas, OU, fsu even the other "OSU" would be good. But, the higher the profile, the better- I'd say getting Texas and OU would be the best thing as far as increasing the competition in our conference and in the nation (in football of course!). I want to see the B1G competing for NC's not lesser things...our strength of schedule BLOWS right now in the Big Ten...
But CPLUNK seems to have it down as to why we may have added these two teams as far as business/cable money, etc...still, it would be nice to do THAT and make it more of a win-win as far as the college experience and B1G national competitiveness. I see it as a huge WIN for these two schools for sure- and money wise, I guess the conference gets more money in cable TV money, blah, blah, blah...money ends up ruining everything. I still don't see it as a win-win from a fan's viewpoint of wanting to see good teams playing. 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

JLP36's picture

Yeah, think there is a better chance of getting TVs in NYC and DC tuned into a B1G game between Ohio State and Texas or Michigan and Oklahoma than either OSU or Mich v. Rutgers or MD.  I would not watch a MD - Indiana game if it was in my backyard.

JLP36

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Going after Cincinnati and Pittsburgh is just stupid. Their athletic success, like Rutgers, comes from playing in the Big lEast. Besides, we already have a large slice of green pie in those markets (from tOSU and PSU) and would not make much sense to look there.
Texas would be a great add, but Oklahoma would be like adding Nebraska again. No academic tradition and travels less well than Nebraska, despite a popular CFB market.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Jarrett's picture

I would like to know how much TV watching really matters to a kid that's being recruited.  If a kid in Maryland watches them play OSU, he may think- wow, I'd like to be a Buckeye. Let's say he see's OSU playing in a BCS game almost every year, without seeing OSU play Maryland- He might think the same thing. He may even think it more impressive...which, I'm guessing, is the case now.
Adding a team like Cincinnati stupid? Could be. Most of what I post is probably stupid. I wonder, if we picked up Cincinnati and dropped, say, Minnesota- who would be right in there trying to pick them up the second we said goodbye gophers? Some conference most likely would. Would the Big Ten be stronger? Probably so- in the two money making sports that is. Schools like these will eventually have to go somewhere. Do we want to pick them up so as not to increase other conferences from having a presence/recruiting tool available in our neck of the woods? That is, if it even matters? I'm sure a kid in Cincinnati has heard about and seen Florida play on TV- so if they are in the same conference, will it do anything to sway his opinion as to where he wants to play? Or, will he be persuaded by the coaches, facilities,  traditions and academic offerings?

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 

 

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Those schools will benefit from making the move to the big10 and will become competitive.  Rutgers isn't a terrible football program, going back to Shiano later years their, they have been a pretty solid program.  At least they both bring a combined 3 national titles to the conference, even though Marylands are from the 50's and Rutgers is from 1869 lol.   Could have been worse. 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Virginia Tech has 0. We CAN do worse.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.