Monday, July 30, 2007

Quick Hits

According to football ticket sales surgeand, really going out on a limb here, ticket sales will slump next year ()except for that November 1st game against Michigan. Why does it take a column to point out the obvious? See Ticket Futures--Purdue

Benson: WAC has surpassed MWC amounts to, "We're #7 and we try harder." Both the Mountain West Conferences and Western Athletic Conferences play entertaining football so trying to pick your favorite is difficult. Okay, mostly the problem is that most fans aren't quite sure what teams are in which.
Sort out the conferences, it's like Jumble in the newspaper
Boise State, Brigham Young, Fresno State, New Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, TCU, Nevada, New Mexico State, Wyoming, San Jose State, Colorado State, Utah State, San Diego State, Air Force, UNLV
No shame (for you) in opening up another window to look up the answer. The shame is that these two conferences lack any real identity.

No more Colt 45 for Mr. Slive of the SEC. Dennis Dodd print this quote from last weeks meeting, "When I talk to our coaches I try to use a metaphor. The SEC is like a big aircraft carrier, it was the preeminent aircraft carrier, then other aircraft carriers were manufactured that had funny names like the ACC and the Big 12. There was a lot of competition." BS-damus has taken note and likes the Naval reference and the oddity of the quote.

Just the opposite of the Purdue situation the University of Pittsburgh's home schedule lacks both elements needed to sell tickets: a successful team and opponents that will sell tickets. With the likes of Eastern Michigan, Grambling, Connecticut, Navy (moved to Wednesday), Cincinnati, Syracuse and South Florida the tickets are now at buy one cheap $120 for all seven games and get a second for $10. While this shows some weakness it also shows that someone at Pitt realized that it cost next to nothing to for the second ticket so $10 is better than zero. While Mr. Smizik's Pitt football-ticket sales in bad shape, mocks the strategy he appears not to understand business.

Uncomfortable might be the best description of the recent situation for Tom O’Brien the new head football coach for N.C. State. The recent article at tried to paint it as the problem of being picked last for the first time in his coach career (Temple and Rutgers really enjoyed the nice fruit baskets) but that is not what most of use would be made uncomfortable by. The elephant in the room at the ACC recent media day meeting was the slap in the face given to Boston College by Mr. O’Brien’s departure. The lateral move sent a message to BC, “I can be more success elsewhere (because the athletic department here is not committed to being successful.)”

The Cotton Bowl was at all of the recent media days for the BCS conferences trying to sell themselves are relevant and ready to go if there is a new BCS game. See Faded Beauties.

News Flash: U-M, Notre Dame to play through 2031--film at 11. Will the Michigan home games be on BTN?

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Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Good to Prez

Greg Doyel of CBS does not think much of Gordon Gee the Chancellor that put Vanderbilt's sports under the student activities office. What no AD at Vandy? However, earlier in his career the mid-80's Gordon Gee was president of both West Virginia University and moonlighted according, to the April 1 edition of the Daily Athenaeum the student newspaper, as Herb the Burger King spokesmen.

Sorry the video would not embed but click here to see the evidence. Note the above picture is form the 1990's which would explains the different look.

Wag the Pigskin

In the movie Wag the Dog the White House hires a movie director to cook up a fake war to distract the electorate from a presidential sex scandal. Staying away from any direct references to the Clinton presidency, this tactic of distracting people from the real problem is as old as mankind. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany may not have the problem of a sex scandal but starting off the year with his embarrassing rant about the SEC and now the possibility that the BTN is going to fall short of expectations now is the perfectly suspious time to distract the Big Ten and college football public by talking vaguely about expansion.

What is the purpose of bring up the subject in a public forum? Does Mr. Delany need to let the rest of the college football world that his office might be calling? NO! Does Mr. Delany need the media to communicate this to the AD’s within the Big Ten? NO! Has muffled the questions about the success of the BTN? YES!

Given that Mr. Delany is still under the delusion that his ATM called the BTN will be success, the objective here is to look for the most TV sets not a championship game (ask the SEC, Big 12, and ACC about how that has been a positive for their teams) and that leads anyone with even basic understand of U.S. demographics to the New York City metro area and the 7,366,950 television sets. The Big Apple is not an easy market to crack, ask the NFL Channel or even the YES. Given the competition from no less that nine pro teams in the market a Mid-West college football game might be a difficult sell. And the sledding won’t be much easier elsewhere as the Big Ten is a strong regional brand but not an overwhelming force on the national stage.

Mr. Delany might want to take an old piece of advice, “The quieter you are, the smarter you sound.”

Keeping up with the war of words on the BTN, Comcast,Big Ten continue cold war Had a great quote from Mr. Siverman,"… I never anticipated having the larger deals done in July. But I did expect to be having some productive conversations on how to make it work as opposed to cable operators staking out such a drastic tier-or-nothing stance." Which means take our very reasonable idea of basic cable or nothing.

Mr. Silverman see the advice above for Mr. Delany.

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Backing Off

Further research into this information has lead the BCF to have serious doubts about the accuracy of the $36 million per year for football.

Monday, July 23, 2007
Revitalized Big East football taking aim at another big season
“Last August, the Big East and ABC/ESPN signed long-term deals for both football and men’s and women’s basketball. The football deal, worth a reported $36 million annually, doesn’t kick in until next fall.”

This is the first dollar figure published on last years deal.

Big East $36 million per year / 8 teams = $4.5 million
ACC $37.6 million / 12 teams = $3.13

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It Looked Good on Paper

The original Ugly Betty

Selling a product like Gatorade (1990’s style) one learns that you are neither as brilliant nor as stupid as you will end up looking at the end of the season. Beginning in December and January you start planning for the peak summer season ahead. That plan, contains promotional and distribution objectives is based on last year’s performance and the always expected growth. Assuming that you sell the plan to the retailers there are factors out of your control that will make you look like a genius, dry warm weather from May 15 to September 15, or an idiot, cool and rainy. Take the credit for your undeserved good fortune because you will catch hell when things go badly.

John Swofford put together a good plan for pushing the ACC from the bottom to the top of the BCS conferences (note that the original plan was the include taking Syracuse). The rest of the story is well known and does not require repeating here. Mr. Swofford got cold and rainy with the marquee programs of Miami and Florida State going 7-6 last year and Virginia Tech stumbling enough to miss the conference championship. The message for the recent Atlantic Coast Conference media day was, “We are better than we look(ed).” This is most probably true but only because things could not get much uglier.

So does the ACC want the usual suspects at the top or to root for the underdog like Wake Forest.

'What did our season say to the nation?' Wake Forest senior defensive end Jeremy Thompson said. 'For the most part, the public thinks we were a fluke and the ACC had a down season.

'The teams that were supposed to win, they didn't win. Is that our fault?'
ACC Has Answers For Critics

Sometimes, the field isn't any greener

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

mtn.--What are you missing?

Who says there is nothing on TV. Just look at this great line up that will appear on mtn. this Friday.

The venue for this content is coming in the form of IPTV over the Internet where if someone really want to watch A Day in the Life Wyoming's Women's Basketball in Australia they can go online and see this very nice story. None of this is bad but none of it has significant appeal and fails the market test of there being enough demand to justify this product existence. According to Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson,"Can't get The Mtn.? Patience is a virtue"

8:00 AM 0:30 A Day in the Life Wyoming's Women's Basketball in Australia VT
8:30 AM 0:15 It's a Numbers Game Sports Statistics Show VT
8:45 AM 0:15 It's a Numbers Game Sports Statistics Show VT
9:00 AM 0:30 Around the Mountain VT
9:30 AM 0:15 Mountain Peak Performances "Olympic" Sports Show VT
9:45 AM 0:15 Mountain Peak Performances "Olympic" Sports Show VT
10:00AM 1:00 In Search of #1 2007 NCAA Football Preview VT
11:00AM 2:00 Mountain Classics - Women's Volleyball UNLV vs Wyoming (11/23/06) VT
1:00 PM 2:00 Mountain Classics - Women's Basketball Colorado State at UNLV(2/1/07) VT
3:00 PM 2:00 2007 MWC Football Media Days VT
5:00 PM 3:00 Mountain Classics - Baseball UNLV vs Utah (5/23/07) VT
8:00 PM 0:30 Net Impact VT
8:30 PM 0:15 Mountain Peak Performances "Olympic" Sports Show VT
8:45 PM 0:15 Mountain Peak Performances"Olympic" Sports Show VT
9:00 PM 1:00 The Mountain View presented by Dodge Weekend Preview Show LIVE
10:00PM 1:00 The Mountain Summit MWC Football Coaches Roundtable VT
11:00PM 1:00 In Search of #1 2007 NCAA Football Preview VT
12:00AM 0:30 2006 UNLV Football Season Review VT
12:30AM 0:30 2007 UNLV Men's Basketball Season Review VT
1:00 AM 0:30 2007 UNLV Women's Basketball Season Review VT
1:30 AM 0:30 2007 MWC Swimming and Diving Championshiops Review VT
2:00 AM 1:00 CoSida presents a Day with the Commissioners Speakers: MWC, WAC and Pac 10 Commissioners VT*
3:00 AM PAD Paid Program VT
*There is an apparent misprint on the schedule with the time as 2:00 PM which has been changed
VT= video tape

Schedule for the full week in .pdf form.

Until you get mtn. on your cable system the cure for your sleepless nights will remain CSPAN.

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Follow the Money and Ignore the Noise

The Big Ten Network continues to be a big story in the BCF and these two related stories just keep it in the lime light.

Although the details are enough to make your head spin if you look at the details, the easier way to look at this is to let the money do the talking—Follow the Money! The positions are no more than posturing in order to make the most money.

FCC may get involved with Big Ten Network

EchoStar to FCC: Big Ten Network Is an RSN

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Revitalized Big East football taking aim at another big season

“Last August, the Big East and ABC/ESPN signed long-term deals for both football and men’s and women’s basketball. The football deal, worth a reported $36 million annually, doesn’t kick in until next fall.”

This is the first dollar figure published on last years deal.

Big East $36 million per year / 8 teams = $4.5 million
ACC $37.6 million / 12 teams = $3.13

ACC figure form:

Confirming an observation made by the BCF (Business of College Football) the salvation and money for this league is in Rutgers and the New York market.

“The school that’s driven the ratings surge is Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey that’s always been a marked underachiever in football. Last year, the Scarlet Knights captured the fascination of the country’s largest TV market for the first time ever.”

Brian Kelly from University of Cincinnati called the local media to task for being no shows at this years event. The local Cincinnati Enquirer did not send a reporter but did publish a story. Mr. Kelly’s complaint may have been a call for attention in a town dominated by pro teams and any college football attention directed towards Columbus.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Marty Could Have Seen This Coming

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be a thing of beauty.”, Dr. Frankenstein and given recent criticism perhaps John Swofford. The ACC’s jump to the realm of Super Conferences has not exactly gone as planned. Based on recently commentary the pundits and the fans are not completely happy with the outcome.

--Since 2004, ACC teams have lost 21 of 28 games against non-conference opponents ranked in the Top 25. Since 2000, ACC teams have dropped 31 of 34 games against non-conference opponents ranked in the Top 10. By comparison, the SEC is 10-18 against Top 10 non-conference teams over the same stretch.

--Four years later, however, some still feel ACC expansion has not measured up. The 12 team ACC has not increased the number of nationally ranked teams, nor has it brought the league any closer to another national championship (last title-Florida State2001). Expansion has brought in new revenue, but has also increased the pay out from nine schools to 12. At this point, each school takes in about $10. 9 million, same as in the nine team ACC.

“You don't know, but 10 percent? Five percent?” he (Mike Krzyzewski) suggested. “That can't be when you are running a big business. ... The main reason we are the conference that we are is basketball. You can never lose track of your primary product when you are trying to improve. Nobody is against the improvement of football - and we have (done that) and we want that. But not at the expense of basketball.”

Are the towns people aren’t gathering the pitch forks and torches…yet? One of life’s lessons that we relearned over and over is that the future rarely turns out the way we predict. The ACC tried to convert itself from a basketball conference to the more lucrative football conference. This looked as good on paper as the Mercedes and Chrysler merger that never paid off and has resulted in the two companies parting ways.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Media Helper

The either the PR personnel from the Big East are very good in communicating their message or the journalists covering the recent media event in Newport, Rhode Island were too busy taking in the sights, eating shrimp, and brown nosing to do anything more than publish the prefab party line. To be fair it is called Media Day and there is no illusion that the purpose is anything more than publicity for the upcoming season. The reports try to take the same material and dress it up in different manners but what you get is just the journalistic equivalent of Hamburger Helper.

Look for yourself at the following articles filed for the recent Big East Media Day and see if there is much of a difference.

Big East football has never been better

Big East believes it's better than Cinderella

Big East Beasts Are Back

Big East bursting with pride--League talking national title

The key talking points were:

Great 2006 season

When the final AP rankings came out, Louisville (No. 6), West Virginia (No. 10) and Rutgers (No. 12) were ahead of Miami and Virginia Tech, the two former Big East powers whose departure to the Atlantic Coast Conference after the 2003 season nearly killed the league.

Big East bursting with pride--League talking national title

Heisman Talk

Brohm could have skipped his senior season and been a first-round NFL draft pick after throwing for 3,049 yards last season.

Slaton and White are the twin jet engines in the most dynamic running game in the country. With White at quarterback and Slaton at tailback, Rodriguez's spread offense averaged 303 yards rushing per game.

Big East bursting with pride--League talking national title

Back from the brink of death
That season, the league was struggling to regroup after the defections of Miami, Virginia Tech and, ultimately, Boston College. There were no trophies on the dais, not many smiles and not much media attention.
Big East believes it's better than Cinderella

The one exception is the article from this commonality was Big East football looks to continue 2006 success By Ray Parrillo (with the differnce pointed out by Mr. Parrillo points out is:

"What Rutgers did was really raise the awareness of college football in New York," Tranghese said. "College football has had a difficult time getting [good ratings] in New York. But if you look at the numbers in New York, you're startled by how good they are.

Rutgers' 28-25 win over Louisville on Nov. 9, a Thursday night, had the highest average rating for a college sporting event in the New York market since ESPN began rating them in 2000."

If Rutgers can continue their recent success and deliver T.V. ratings from Gotham, the Big East will find itself a very hot property.

On second thought maybe the Big East PR people need a swift kick. As they mostly failed in getting the important message out that Big East football delivers ratings.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blue Hawaii

Colt Brennan should brush up on his Blue Hawaii sound track as the University of Hawaii will find it difficult to be the next Boise State and deliver the pot of gold from the end of their Rainbow (bad pun intended).
The members of the WAC recently celebrated Christmas in July as they were sent there shares of the $14.3 million in BCS money that the Broncos brought to the conference. The real Christmas season in December may not be nearly as kind for the BCS and Heisman. The problem is the new 12 game schedule, finding opponents willing to make the trip and the devaluing of that extra game for Hawaii.

By this time, the university had what the NCAA called the "Hawaii exemption", a rule that allowed Mainland teams to add one extra game to their schedule to play here in the islands. The Rainbow Warriors took advantage of the rule to schedule such notable programs as Oklahoma, USC, and other big name schools.

(Bob Houge provides a little history lesson ).

2007 Schedule
09/02 Northern Colorado
09/08 at La Tech
09/15 at UNLV
09/23 Charleston Southern
09/29 at Idaho
10/07 Utah St
10/12 at San Jose St
10/28 New Mexico St
11/10 Fresno St
11/16 at Nevada
11/23 Boise St
12/01 Washington

The problem for Colt and the Rainbows is a schedule with not one but two D1AA schools and a conference that besides Boise does not earn the winner a great deal of respect. Those looking for a mid-major BCS crasher would be better served by jumping on the TCU bandwagon of they beat Texas September 8th.

For more informations read
Cashing in on Boise's success
Blue blood boiling in Boise
By Ferd Lewis

Final thought: What happened 20 years ago prompting at least two families to name there new son’s Colt?

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Friday, July 13, 2007

BTN--Unexpected Consequences

The movement of Big Ten football games to the BTN has had the effect of widening the appleal of MAC contests on local broadcast television.

Does this mean that suddenly the junior Midwest conference will suddenly find itself nipping at the Big Ten's heels? No!

Will the help the MAC with exposure? Can't hurt.

On September 15 BTN is showing: Akron at Indiana or Buffalo at Penn St. or The Citadel at Wisconsin while broadcast TV can show Cincinnati at Miami (OH) or E. Michigan at N. Illinois. Unless you are a true homer the Cincy v. Miami game is the best option.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wisconsin--Ticket Futures

The Badgers recently announced that there OOC games were sold out. Tickets at Camp Randall are selling at face value ($39) even for the September 15 game against The Citadel. Expectations are high for the season which helps the market. Interestingly UW does not have a season ticket package with the assumption that the tickets will sell.

Tickets for UW nonconference football games sold out
The Wisconsin ticket office has sold 69,140 public and student season tickets for the 2007 football season, according to Brian Moore, assistant athletic director for ticket operations.
Nonconference single-game tickets are sold out for the home opener Sept. 1 against Washington State, The Citadel on Sept. 15, and the Northern Illinois game scheduled for Oct. 20.
Information on the Big Ten Conference home game sale, scheduled for Aug. 20, will be made available at a later date. However, tickets to the Michigan game on Nov. 10 will not be available.
Tickets for away football games are also sold out with the exception of Illinois ($50) in Champaign, Ill., on Oct. 6.

Based on the assumption that you could buy a ticket at $39 for a game this year the money would work out as follows:

Washington State at Wisconsin 9/1$49
The Citadel at Wisconsin 9/15$39
Iowa at Wisconsin 9/22 $107
Michigan State at Wisconsin 9/29 $75
Northern Illinois at Wisconsin 10/20$49
Indiana at Wisconsin 10/27$65
Michigan at Wisconsin Football Tickets 11/10$107
Total Revenue (best case) $491
Total Cost$273
Profit (best case)$218

Badger Badger Badger

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Spit and Baling Wire

The U.S. Service Academies at West Point and Annapolis are among the finest schools in the nation and while they both play D1 college football the demands of the schools hamper the them in selecting players--the minimum SAT score just does not cut it. Because of this factor the Army-Navy game is among the greatest rivalries in college football. No the players aren't the elite on any ones recruiting boards but they are evenly matched with intelligent disciplined players.

Lately it has leaked out that the Big East is interested in an alliance with the two schools to join the conference as 1/1A for football only. The motivation is simply that the addition of the 12th game to the schedule means that Big East schools must find five OOC games in addition to the seven (an odd number which causes a problem when it its your year to only have three conference games at home). The Army/Navy combo would mean that the AD's would only need to fill four slots each year and assure a minimum of four home games with the associated dollars. The two schools are very much in the geography footprint of the conference which could make for some nice away game road trips and more importantly the teams have a good fan support.\

Navy 2007
8-31-07 at Temple (Fri.) Navy at Temple
9-7-07 at Rutgers (Fri.) Navy at Rutgers
9-15-07 BALL STATE Ball State at Navy
9-22-07 DUKE at Navy
9-29-07 AIR FORCE at Navy
10-10-07 at Pittsburgh (Wed.) Navy
10-20-07 WAKE FOREST
10-27-07 DELAWARE
11-3-07 at Notre Dame
11-10-07 at North Texas
12-1-07 vs. Army @Baltimore, MD

Army 2007
9-1-07 at Akron @Cleveland, OH
9-15-07 at Wake Forest
9-22-07 at Boston College
9-29-07 TEMPLE
10-6-07 TULANE
10-13-07 at Central Michigan
10-20-07 at Georgia Tech
11-3-07 at Air Force
11-9-07 RUTGERS
11-17-07 TULSA
12-1-07 vs. Navy @Baltimore, MD

The problem here is trying to figure out what Army and Navy get out of the deal. They too may be feeling the pressure of filling twelve games but that's not a money issue. Either of these teams on your schools schedule comes the understand that they are not powerhouse but are respectable opponents from a good background the old money type. Navy for one does not need the money as they are better off financially then any the BE members (Army and Notre Dame are the big paydays). Army may still gun shy with the bad relationship they recently got out of with Conference USA. An association with a BCS conference only makes the road to a bowl game that much more difficult as games against the likes of Rutgers, West Virginia, Louisville, and South Florida during the upcoming season would be very challenging for these teams. They both currently four or five BCS schools but those are chosen rather than imposed.

If the parties move ahead with this idea it should be on a trial basis of two or four seasons as Army and Navy may trier of the routine and the Big East will need a stronger permanent member.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Ticket Futures--Maryland

The secondary market for Maryland Terrapins tickets may be even weaker than it appears. In an effort to minimize any impact for donations to the school has on the actual cost we are looking at the cheap seats where theoretically we get the clearest picture of the strength of the market based on the mark up. The price for Terps football tickets is like getting a seat on an airline with different packages and special discounts confusing the actual cost. Those purchasing general public discounted tickets get a price of $150 before April 1 and $162 later. These are, however, not the cheap end zone seats that may be sold to groups of 15-25 for $20 each. Someone looking to purchase tickets to a single game is better off in the secondary market as the ticket prices are well below the list ($42) for all the game with the exception of the West Virginia University where the ticket carry a premium of $66 over the UMD price of $48.

Villanova at Maryland 9/1/2007 $7
West Virginia at Maryland 9/13/2007 Thursday$66
Georgia Tech at Maryland 10/6/2007$22
Virginia at Maryland 10/20/2007$28
Clemson at Maryland 10/27/2007 $28
Boston College at Maryland 11/10/200$25
Total Revenue (best case) $176
Total Cost$150
Profit (best case)$26

The only explaination that make sense is that Maryland in a basketball school and football does not sell in the Land of Pleasant Living or fans save there money for Mark Synder and the Redskins.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

BS-damus Begins His Research

Again in 2007 the Great BS-Damus will lay the upcoming college football season bare with his wisdom. Below is a hint as to the hours of research needed.

The barley shall become one with the water
And the yeast shall render the wisdom
Bitterness added by the flower
12 or 16 oz. cans, 40's or the double deuce


The Return of VT Football

No the other VT...Vermont, University of.

An interesting story of the challenges of starting from nothing. Maybe UVM will one day have a real team and join the ranks of D-IAA.

Be sure to order plenty of granola for the upcoming college football season.
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