Conference realignment endgame | Syracusefan.com

Conference realignment endgame

Cusefan95

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The basic jist of what I keep hearing is eventually we'll get to 4X16 conferences, which will then break off from the NCAA. I can see how this would be a bonanza for football...but seems like it would kill the interest in the tournament for hoops.

Hypethetically, if 64 schools broke away from the NCAA and reformulated the basketball tournament to include only themselves, what kind of impact would that have on the value of the tournament? I would think that anything prior to a Sweet 16 match-up would not draw significant ratings; #15 Hampton upseting #2 Iowa State will get national interest; #15 South Carolina beating #2 UCLA just doesn't seem to me like it'll move the needle.

I'm trying to figure out the endgame; do the schools want to break away completely from the NCAA, or do they want to continue to have Olympic and Hoops as is while breaking away only for football? If they want to break away completely I would think the basketball tournament value drops significantly, but would be more than made up for with a football playoff. Curious to hear from TV folks what the value of the early NCAA basketball rounds are relative to the value of the entire package.
 
Not directly addressing the body of your post, but the topic only.

One thing that concerns me is what the rules would be in a new breakaway consortium. That recent article about the NCAA guy who built the organization and persuaded the members to abide by the rules, without legal grounding, was a wake-up call. Some questions for the new "Power 64" league, divorced from NCAA rulemaking:
  1. Will players be paid? Any regulation of it?
  2. Will scholarships be limited at each school as they are now?
  3. Will there be any academic standards for "student-athletes?"
It's great that we got our foot in the door for this possible scenario. I hope it doesn't turn into a nightmare in which the big money schools are freed from NCAA restrictions and get to concentrate power and success amongst themselves even further.
 
I' m not convinced that a breakaway is the endgame. If 4-16 is indeed the endgame, and at this point in time I don't think this is "inevitable", I do think IF it does come about that these conferences will use the threat of a breakaway to get the changes done that they want done, even though they will be in the voting minority.

Cheers,
Neil
 
I' m not convinced that a breakaway is the endgame. If 4-16 is indeed the endgame, and at this point in time I don't think this is "inevitable", I do think IF it does come about that these conferences will use the threat of a breakaway to get the changes done that they want done, even though they will be in the voting minority.

Cheers,
Neil
What changes do you think are being considered?
 
Expect the Power-64 (or however many there end up being) to allow "full cost of attendance" payments. Some will push for additional spending money. We'll see if this will be limited to football and basketball or spread to all scholarship athletes.
 
Hypethetically, if 64 schools broke away from the NCAA and reformulated the basketball tournament to include only themselves, what kind of impact would that have on the value of the tournament? I would think that anything prior to a Sweet 16 match-up would not draw significant ratings; #15 Hampton upseting #2 Iowa State will get national interest; #15 South Carolina beating #2 UCLA just doesn't seem to me like it'll move the needle.

If that is indeed what happens, there will be no more Cinderellas, as you say. That would be sad. Could we see a breakaway like the CFA tried to do? Not that I know much about it, but it seems that was an attempt to separate FB from the other sports. Wouldn't mind 4x16 for FB, but it would be disappointing not to see a Hampton, Alabama St., Gonzaga, etc. play their hearts out. 4x16 would be a great tournament, but it wouldn't be The Dance.
 
I' m not convinced that a breakaway is the endgame. If 4-16 is indeed the endgame, and at this point in time I don't think this is "inevitable", I do think IF it does come about that these conferences will use the threat of a breakaway to get the changes done that they want done, even though they will be in the voting minority.

Cheers,
Neil
i tend to agree. The challenge with a concept of an endgame is that it would require a signal decision maker (or a group of schools) that agree with all decisions. With the current landscape, you have multiple competing interests with some wanting to go to 4 x 16, whereas others would be happy to take the current set-up (especially ND and Texas), and still others with a lot to lose if they went to 4 x 16 (e.g., Baylor). Unless Texas goes outside the big 12, the current setup or even a 5 x 14 with some form of the big12 may be more realistic as it involves more teams in the bcs and it avoids messy lawsuits.
 
I wonder if some sort of alliance close to, but short of a complete breakaway could be negotiated? I know the idea is that the Power 64 would want to get out from under the NCAA rule umbrella, but that would create some new issues:
  • Would the football teams want to schedule EVERY game against another superconference team? They would probably have to if they weren't part of the NCAA. That could lead to the teams beating each other up so much during the regular season that the top non-superconference teams would look better by comparison, resulting in tons of press about who the "real" top teams are, etc.
  • Hopefully, any breakaway would include a playoff system. But if not, the bowls would need to be reconfigured to accommodate who can play who. This wouldn't be a big deal, but could get interesting if there were two competing BCS's going on.
  • In hoops, many traditional powers would be left behind, so the issue of who's #1 could be legitimate if there is no mechanism to prove it on the courts.
  • March Madness would be the area most impacted by a breakaway. People love it (more or less) the way it is and cutting out the little guys (especially those that could contend) will not be popular. Plus they would either have to allow all teams (including bottom of the barrel losers) in or reduce the number of teams to 16 or 32, which would make it look like just another seasonal tournament (especially since a competing tournament would be going on for the hoops only and non-BCS schools).
I think the solution would be to form the superconferences as a new Division, but keep it within the NCAA somehow. It could have its own special rules in some areas, but could still compete with all other colleges during the regular season and for bowls/championships. The bowl system& BCS wouldn't have to be changed (although it should) and in March you could put in 32 teams from the Power 64 against 32 from the remainder of Division 1. I wouldn't care if a special committee picked the teams or if each side had their own selection process and the committee only did the seedings and brackets.
 
I, for one, would love to see a world with no mid-majors. Sure you get a big upset every now and then, which is fun, but an upset between major programs is still an upset and those will happen far more often. Besides, who wants to see a 1 seed beating a 16 seed by 40 at halftime?

To me, a tournament with only the biggest programs playing each other would be far more interesting. I dont need to see SU play 10 regular season games against teams who have no chance to beat them either.
 
I, for one, would love to see a world with no mid-majors. Sure you get a big upset every now and then, which is fun, but an upset between major programs is still an upset and those will happen far more often. Besides, who wants to see a 1 seed beating a 16 seed by 40 at halftime?

To me, a tournament with only the biggest programs playing each other would be far more interesting. I dont need to see SU play 10 regular season games against teams who have no chance to beat them either.
It's not just the Cinderella mid-majors that are left out of a breakaway scenario though. It would also be quality teams from the Mt. West, CUSA, Big East, etc.
 
Not sure I really see it happening. The breakaway organization would have to recreate a good deal of the NCAA infrastructure, which would probably be cost- and effort-prohibitive. Still, if the will is there...
 
Not sure I really see it happening. The breakaway organization would have to recreate a good deal of the NCAA infrastructure, which would probably be cost- and effort-prohibitive. Still, if the will is there...
You don't need as much infrastructure if you have fewer rules.
 
It's not just the Cinderella mid-majors that are left out of a breakaway scenario though. It would also be quality teams from the Mt. West, CUSA, Big East, etc.

Every team that does not end up in the super-conferences will become a mid-major because every recruit worth his salt will want to play in the best league there is. In year one there may be some good teams left out, but who cares? In five years the gap will be the equivalent to the gap between D1 and D2.
 
i tend to agree. The challenge with a concept of an endgame is that it would require a signal decision maker (or a group of schools) that agree with all decisions. With the current landscape, you have multiple competing interests with some wanting to go to 4 x 16, whereas others would be happy to take the current set-up (especially ND and Texas), and still others with a lot to lose if they went to 4 x 16 (e.g., Baylor). Unless Texas goes outside the big 12, the current setup or even a 5 x 14 with some form of the big12 may be more realistic as it involves more teams in the bcs and it avoids messy lawsuits.

Agreed about 14 looking more and more like an intermediary step. ACC already there and the SEC may be the next one there. BiG and Pac will remain at 12 for the moment and I don't see how the Big 12 doesn't go back to at least 12. If I were one of the remaining schools not from Texahoma, I'd insist on at least 12, if not 14, just in case the Texahoma 4 try to bolt again to the Pac.

Cheers,
Neil
 
A 4*16 is a logistical and economic unreliability. Will never happen.
 
A 4*16 is a logistical and economic unreliability. Will never happen.

While I don't see them as being "inevitable", I think the major problem with them will be not enough good teams to get certain conferences to want to expand beyond 12/14.

The fact that the Pac got better than SEC/Big Ten value for just adding Colorado and Utah (two 'okay but hardly spectacular' additions) and that the ACC is going to get more $$$ for adding two other 'okay but hardly spectacular' additions in SU and Pitt demonstrates that there is some economic sense to expansion.

And I believe the pod system in a 16-team conference can help assist with the logistics part of it that the extra $$$ doesn't.

Egos more than anything likely will ultimately block 4-16; not logistics or economic unreliability.

Cheers,
Neil
 
While I don't see them as being "inevitable", I think the major problem with them will be not enough good teams to get certain conferences to want to expand beyond 12/14.

The fact that the Pac got better than SEC/Big Ten value for just adding Colorado and Utah (two 'okay but hardly spectacular' additions) and that the ACC is going to get more $$$ for adding two other 'okay but hardly spectacular' additions in SU and Pitt demonstrates that there is some economic sense to expansion.

And I believe the pod system in a 16-team conference can help assist with the logistics part of it that the extra $$$ doesn't.

Egos more than anything likely will ultimately block 4-16; not logistics or economic unreliability.

Cheers,
Neil

I meant to say "impossibility", not unreliability. Meaning that (a) there are too many teams that would get shafted, and (b) conferences will not stand for dilution just for the sake of being larger.
 
I meant to say "impossibility", not unreliability. Meaning that (a) there are too many teams that would get shafted, and (b) conferences will not stand for dilution just for the sake of being larger.

I can somewhat see the "shafted" part in terms of the current set-up in football. Less opportunity to go to the conference's championship game in football.

But should the 4-16 come about, I see the pod systems creating a semi-final round in conference football championships. In essence these semi-final games become the Sweet 16 for college football, the conference championship games become the Elite 8. And a seeded Plus One BCS set-up where the conference champions meet in two of the BCS Bowls and the NC a week or two later become the Final Four and Championship game equivalent to March Madness.

And there is already talk of possibly allowing 3 teams from a conference going to a BCS Bowl. So for the other two (maybe three by then) BCS Bowls there are 4-6 teams playing those games as a warm-up to the semi-final and finals.

That's where this could all be heading. Of course, egos, particularly ND, Texas, and the BiG will likely screw it up. ;)

Cheers,
Neil
 
I don't see how breaking away benefits anyone when looking at the big picture. Hoops would have major issue. If you bring all 64 to the tournament, then the regular season is meaningless. In football, would super conference teams be able to play non super conference teams? How would that work logistically? What would happen to the bowls? I just don't see it working.
 
I don't see how breaking away benefits anyone when looking at the big picture. Hoops would have major issue. If you bring all 64 to the tournament, then the regular season is meaningless. In football, would super conference teams be able to play non super conference teams? How would that work logistically? What would happen to the bowls? I just don't see it working.

Personally, even if the 4-16 came about, I don't see them breaking away from the NCAA. I see them using the threat of a breakaway to get certain things passed such as full cost of scholarships for athletes; semi-final conference championship games approved; establishing a Plus One while keeping the majority of the revenue for itself with none going to the NCAAs; possibly even creating an FBS and an FBCS division with only the 4 being part of the FBCS division, but still having the rest as FBS and minor bowl eligible teams.

I don't think they mess with the NCAA's handling of the other sports or overseeing the eligibility criteria, etc.

Cheers,
Neil
 
I don't see the 4x16 happening. Texas has every reason to keep the BigXII alive to keep the LHN. OU has no place to go without UT as already proven. So it looks like there will be 5 BCS conferences, certainly for a while. Unless the Pac, B1G, and ACC change their policies they won't allow UT to keep all the revenue from the LHN. So UT has no incentive to move out of its ownership of the BigXII. Unless the football postseason somehow changes to exclude non BCS conference teams ND will never join a conference...which makes it less likely the B1G and even the ACC would go to 16. Can't see how the Pac ever gets to 16 without UT and its parasites. Even if the 5 BCS leagues decide to set up their own football playoff outside the NCAA, they would probably remain within the NCAA for all other sports so the hoops tourney wouldn't have to change.
 
I don't see the 4x16 happening. Texas has every reason to keep the BigXII alive to keep the LHN. OU has no place to go without UT as already proven. So it looks like there will be 5 BCS conferences, certainly for a while. Unless the Pac, B1G, and ACC change their policies they won't allow UT to keep all the revenue from the LHN. So UT has no incentive to move out of its ownership of the BigXII. Unless the football postseason somehow changes to exclude non BCS conference teams ND will never join a conference...which makes it less likely the B1G and even the ACC would go to 16. Can't see how the Pac ever gets to 16 without UT and its parasites. Even if the 5 BCS leagues decide to set up their own football playoff outside the NCAA, they would probably remain within the NCAA for all other sports so the hoops tourney wouldn't have to change.

And all of the above is the "ego" thing that could stop 4-16 in its tracks. Which is why it's not inevitable. But I think the money made off of sports networks is about to be challenged with both Comcast and Time Warner now advocating for a la carte http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/27/us-cable-idUSTRE78Q6EE20110927

ESPN will likely not be as affected as conference networks since they offer a wider variety of sports programming, and conference networks will not be as affected as stand-alone institutional networks such as the LHN.

I recall another article from last summer that talk about the creation of the PTN and the LHN and the business people in that article all said the LHN would likely not even be around in 5 years time. I agreed with them then and still agree.

Cheers,
Neil
 
I' m not convinced that a breakaway is the endgame. If 4-16 is indeed the endgame, and at this point in time I don't think this is "inevitable", I do think IF it does come about that these conferences will use the threat of a breakaway to get the changes done that they want done, even though they will be in the voting minority.

Cheers,
Neil

I agree with this. The way the D-1 legislative council and board of directors are set up, the major conferences have a lot of influence in how the voting is structured. There's not really a huge reason to breakaway from the NCAA except for not sharing money, but the truth is the schools don't mind sharing some of the money. They never really have. They want most of it to themselves, naturally, but having a revenue sharing with the rest of the organization has never been a huge issue. Even now, they are sharing $200k per FBS conference voluntarily from the BCS funds, so I don't really think that's the endgame.
 
We need to eliminate the autobid in college basketball anyway. It generally doesn't work for the lower 4 seeds, and when it does, it doesn't happen enough to matter. It's absolutely unfair to the bigger programs who get beat up in the superconference, but would easily crush the lower conference teams.

I think they should break away from the lower conferences, & let those other conferences have their own national championship. They would actually have a better chance of winning one.
 
We need to eliminate the autobid in college basketball anyway. It generally doesn't work for the lower 4 seeds, and when it does, it doesn't happen enough to matter. It's absolutely unfair to the bigger programs who get beat up in the superconference, but would easily crush the lower conference teams.

I think they should break away from the lower conferences, & let those other conferences have their own national championship. They would actually have a better chance of winning one.

Disagree with everything in this post.
 

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