Monday, June 18, 2007


The keyboards are burning up with predictions and most of them are wrong. No, the predictions are not for the upcoming season but predictions being made about realignment of conferences. The problem with these predictions is that they rarely look at the complexity of any charge. If you change jobs it is almost always driven by an economic based decision. Even if the issue is that you hate the boss or the commute you are looking for income is the form of a better life rather than just plan dollars. But changing jobs requires you being able to fill a need of the other employer. So let's look at two such predictions about changing the current status quo of conference configurations:

Denny O'Brien of comes the conclusion that East Carolina would make a great addition to the Big East and would solve the problem the conference currently has with 8 teams, meaning seven conference games and needing five OOC games. The case is well made for freeing ECU from the limits of Conference USA and sounds like the benchwarmer's plea to the coach for a chance to prove himself. Mr. O'Brien goes a Bridge Too Far by pushing for a 12 team configuration.

— Army and Navy provide the perfect package deal. Both are national programs with wide-ranging interest and built-in bowl affiliations that could be added to the Big East's postseason package.

But perhaps no addition is more attractive than the annual game between the Black Knights and Midshipmen. Few regular season match-ups compare to that Civil War, and its eventual inclusion in the Big East TV lineup automatically drives the network bidders higher.

Yet if Mr. O'Brien were to look at the dollars that Navy generates he would see that they would be taking a pay cut by joining the Big East or even the ACC for that matter. Football carries clout at Navy

The team's overall revenue also compares well with other big college programs. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the Maryland Terrapins football team had about $9.3 million in revenue, compared with Navy's almost $15 million.

Tom Deinhart makes a similar mistake in Big trouble brewing for this midwest dirty dozen in predicting a possible break up the Big 12 with the group giving up on there marriage of 14 years and going there separate ways. The smoking guns here are the departure of Kevin Weiberg for the Big Ten Network (BTN), complaints about the unequal shares that the financial pie is cut into from Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard (his school got one of the small pieces) and the imbalance between between a dominate South and the North. He paints wild scenarios with the Pac 10 adding two Texas schools (yes the Pac 10 did look at adding Texas in the past) or the SEC taking Texas by deleting Vandy from the group.

What both of these predictions have in common is that neither address the real money motivation of the the groups and the, "What's in it for me!" of the individual schools. Change is a two sided equation in which both parties are looking to improve there current position and in the case of college sports conference the two sides is only the beginning of the complexity.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog- incisive insights and in an depth knowlegde of the game.
Great work Son.

9:18 AM  

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