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Conference Realignment


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1 minute ago, IUaic said:

Why didn't he have the conversation with the Pac-10 about a merger prior to OU and UT exiting? He may have, I don't know, it just seems that he is in panic mode ever since it became public. Maybe everything is coming out now that was being done behind the scenes before.

He should have found ways to get everyone in the Big 12 more money, not just those 2.

WTF again?

It appears he was blind sided by the back room dealings.  I assume you don't understand exactly how Texas has been within the conference.  Truth be told the old Big 8 should have never let them in when they were in search of a league to join.  Hence why teams have been leaving until the almighty Longhorn decides to leave themselves.  And on a personal note, I hope the SEC suffers the "Texas Plague" as well...

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9 minutes ago, FKIM01 said:

I've though and said that for awhile now.  College athletics will only exist at colleges as long as they provide an economic benefit to colleges.  Colleges are willing to run a deficit for the advertising benefit, but I can see a day when they may say that it's just not worth it and pro leagues will have to develop their own feeder systems.  In that regard, baseball is way ahead of the others.

One other thought I have in this regard is that pro leagues may at some point seek to affiliate with various colleges who have facilities and brands in place...offer support, staff, rents for facilities in exchange for brand name and use of facilities.  That could be a win-win, but I have a feeling one way or another, things are going to change a lot in the next 10-20 years.

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1 hour ago, dgambill said:

I do think in the end maybe 30-40 years as student/athletes will simply become players and not even attend the university or won't be required to and will get bigger and bigger cuts of the pie eventually the NFL and NBA will have to accredit certain universities and pay them to pay the players...or it will all collapse.

You could look at college athletics as a career path in the same way being a doctor is.  They could build classes, training, etc. around this, like is already happening and exists.  It just take a change in the way people look at athletics associated with college.  They really are far more in line, if you really look deep, and they don't have to be the separated arm of a uni.  Universities exist to train and make people better prepared for their chosen profession.  I never understood why athletic programs were not looked at in the same manner as med school.  They really aren't that different.

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Just now, IUALUM03 said:

You could look at college athletics as a career path in the same way being a doctor is.  They could build classes, training, etc. around this, like is already happening and exists.  It just take a change in the way people look at athletics associated with college.  They really are far more in line, if you really look deep and they don't have to be the separated arm of a uni.  Universities exist to train and make people better prepared for their chosen profession.  I never understood why athletic programs were not looked at in the same manner as med school.  They really aren't that different.

I fully understand and agree it is preparing them for their future career. The point I was raising is that these schools get compensated for you going there academically. If the players rights keep going up and they are seen as employees instead it is no longer the same arrangement and the kids would not even need to be students as well. Why even go to class at all. If I'm paying you I want you working and not studying....I want you to spend a whole heck more time practicing and working out and in meetings then what is currently allowed by the NCAA. There would be no off season as well. If you are an employee you also can unionize...can negotiate wages...and eventually like I said it may no longer be profitable to the school to continue their athletic departments because some barely break even now...just wait til they get their budget slashed in half to pay the kids. The relationship will change massively as it is moving towards now. Who knows how fast and to what extent it happens but I can see a future like that. Now people talked about say the NFL coming in and subsidizing select schools to ensure they continue to have the programs. I can see them partnering with the SEC/BIG12/ACC/PAC12 schools because that is a majority of their work force comes from to ensure there is still a feeder system bringing in their next employees. Maybe even incentivize the schools for how many draft picks they have....stuff like that to help offset the costs and keep the status quo for them. It will be the Alabama Crimson Tide....brought to you by the Dallas Cowboys.

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2 hours ago, IUALUM03 said:

You could look at college athletics as a career path in the same way being a doctor is.  They could build classes, training, etc. around this, like is already happening and exists.  It just take a change in the way people look at athletics associated with college.  They really are far more in line, if you really look deep, and they don't have to be the separated arm of a uni.  Universities exist to train and make people better prepared for their chosen profession.  I never understood why athletic programs were not looked at in the same manner as med school.  They really aren't that different.

This is interesting.  You could add a whole curriculum easily around this.  Marketing classes, Speech/Communication classes, Finance/Budgeting, Health and Sports Medicine.  There are so many things that could help prepare these kids for the next level.

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2 hours ago, IowaHoosierFan said:

This is interesting.  You could add a whole curriculum easily around this.  Marketing classes, Speech/Communication classes, Finance/Budgeting, Health and Sports Medicine.  There are so many things that could help prepare these kids for the next level.

Don’t forget mental health 101, social media 202, and social justice 303…I kid I kid!! 

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20 minutes ago, MSHoosier said:

Funny,  everyone is talking about how businesses or universities can help make more money for the players and I'm thinking that if the players are making so much from NIL, maybe they should repay their scholarships.

 

I bet it will make favored walk on a lot more interesting. It might be more financially advantageous to be the 100th guy off the bench for Alabama than be on scholarship at Akron.

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32 minutes ago, MSHoosier said:

Funny,  everyone is talking about how businesses or universities can help make more money for the players and I'm thinking that if the players are making so much from NIL, maybe they should repay their scholarships.

 

They bring the schools millions of dollars.

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a few questions that need clarity before looking towards the future.

1) Why is the SEC the dominant football conference. could this change in the foreseeable future?

     a) Superior in-region recruiting talent:  139/247 2022 recruits (56%)     Could this change?  Unlikely

     The root dynamics of weather and cultural priorities are responsible, both unlikely to change

     b) BCS/CFP era performance:  11 of last 15 Champs  (4 different teams)     Could this change?  Yes

In the first 8 BCS years the SEC won just 1 Championship.  Over the 17 years preceding BCS the SEC was the Champion just once.  Let me re-state this.  In the 25 seasons preceding the SEC's dominant 15 year run, the SEC won only 2 National Championships.  It may seem hard right now to envision the SEC slipping a bit back to Earth but at some point it's likely to happen.  Just ask the Yankees, Cowboys, or UCLA/PAC12 Basketball.

     c) Recruiting success:  I'm going to largely leave this for a future topic.  For now, I'll just say kids are getting more savvy every year and the ability to access important information for decision making is also getting easier every year.  Every scholarship recruit is of course going to the NFL.  Alabama's 3rd string could start for most programs in the country and gain far more notoriety as the big fish in a medium sized pond.  How did it work out last year for Alabama's draft hopefuls?  Fantastic for the 6 superstars drafted in the 1st Round, not so great for the rest of their NFL hopefuls as only 4 more Alabama players were drafted from the 2nd Round on.  I have to believe there were plenty more who would have had a decent shot in a less crowded situation, and I also believe kids are going to catch on to this in the very near future.  I think this is part of the reason Curry is legitimately considering IU.

     d) TV exposure and revenue:     Could this change?  Yes - see 4) below 

2) Is the completely football centric nature of this situation warping my (your) perspective?

Absolutely.  I definitely care about IU football but in order of importance to me:  value/status of IU degree, IU basketball, then IU football.  As long as moves aren't made that potentially lower the value of my degrees, lower the profile of IU basketball, or exclude IU from a shot at the CFP, this realignment situation is nothing more than a minor frustration from a handful of greedy old men wrecking another national institution.  If given the choice to add Stanford/Cal-Berkeley/Virginia/Duke or Alabama/Clemson/Georgia/Florida State to the Big10 - give me the first group.

Keeping it just sports related, by now we are all fully aware of just how dominant football economics are in this situation.  But what does that have to do with the relative importance of football vs. basketball for the fan base?  It's not like I need to curb my enthusiasm by 73.53% to match the ratio of football to basketball revenue generation.  Sure, there's no chance basketball will ever equal football popularity in a conference like the SEC.  However, I see very little chance of SEC domination in football impacting the quality of basketball in parts of the country where the two sports are on more equal footing.

3) What actually defines "success" for me (you) in terms of college football and the bigger overall picture?

I'm not a college football fan, I'm an IU and SMU Football fan.  I also like Michigan State, TCU, and Texas A&M enough to hope they do well.  Success occurs when IU has a winning record, gets in a decent bowl game, and is at least part of the national conversation.  Sure I'd love them to be in the CFP but falling short doesn't wipe out my enjoyment.  The bigger picture?  Don't cheapen my degree and give me something to talk about around the water cooler no matter where in the country I may be... that won't lead to a dismissive response.

4) Is there a longer term inevitability that will make most of the current realignment issues obsolete?

There is no question in my mind.  The current kingmakers of college football (ESPN) could care less about tradition, impacts on universities, or anything else without a $ sign in front of it.  The fact that we've devolved to a point where an outside commercial entity determines the fate of college athletics is unfathomably F'd Up, but it is reality.

TV sports share of viewers has been declining for years and not just in football.  This makes year-over-year comparisons less meaningful.  However, comparing two games in close time proximity is still reasonable.

Consider these two pairs of examples from the 2021 BCS:

1) National Championship:  18.65 M viewers (Alabama vs. Ohio St), Semi Final:  19.15 M viewers (Clemson vs. Ohio St)

The less meaningful game without an SEC team was the bigger draw.  Not a fluke, the Clemson-OSU game also beat Alabama's Semi Final match-up against Notre Dame (18.89 M viewers) .

2) Cotton Bowl:  5.9 M viewers (Florida vs. Oklahoma), Fiesta Bowl:  6.7 M viewers (Oregon vs. Iowa St)

Once again, the game without an SEC team was the bigger draw.  This one is particularly eye opening, given the massive pedigree and the perception of Florida and Oklahoma's national popularity.  What it speaks to the most is CASUAL fans aren't even tuning in for marquee match-ups of "storied" programs... while on Christmas vacation and trapped at home because of a pandemic!  This is a classic inelastic demand problem.

So how would one go about forecasting schools with the highest potential TV rating?  Here's the formula:

Step 1:  10 Yr W-L / # Conf schools bordering state + total jersey sale revenue....  MINUS the entire left-hand side of whatever uncorrelated or perception-based B.S. I throw into this part of the equation

Step 2:  Find a list ranking the size of the current student base and alumni base by school

Step 3:  Ignore step 1, consider the potential non-student interest level in the local market (<100 miles) or any unique special interest stories, base 90% of your TV viewership forecast on Step 2.

ESPN, Fox, Amazon, Facebook, and every other potential platform with interest in airing games know this.  They also know the timezone difference and lack of familiarity with programs West of the Rockies greatly curtails the level of interest around the rest of the country.  They know this challenge is unlikely to change without regularly scheduled games with schools East of the Rockies.  They also know the games need to actually be meaningful, rivalries need to be ignited, and match-up repitition needs to occur for long-term interest to stick.  I'd imagine stakeholders aren't going to be satisfied with "stopping the bleeding" of sagging ratings, they expect growth just like any other business.  It's inevitable that coast-to-coast conference alignments are coming in the future to expand the pie.

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10 hours ago, IUFLA said:

So I would think pro basketball has enough options where they couldn't care less if college basketball survives...as a matter of fact, it would probably benefit them by herding a lot of college basketball fans into watching NBA alternatives like G league...which is money in their pocket...

I know the NFL makes droves of money, but setting some minor league up would seem to me to be a costly venture simply based on player/coach/admin numbers, playing site access, and lack of viable leagues now...I'd think the NFL would like to keep the status quo...

I wouldn't watch the g league even if there is no college basketball

  I root for teams and not individuals so I would have no interest in any minor league basketball

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8 hours ago, olsontex said:

a few questions that need clarity before looking towards the future.

1) Why is the SEC the dominant football conference. could this change in the foreseeable future?

     a) Superior in-region recruiting talent:  139/247 2022 recruits (56%)     Could this change?  Unlikely

     The root dynamics of weather and cultural priorities are responsible, both unlikely to change

     b) BCS/CFP era performance:  11 of last 15 Champs  (4 different teams)     Could this change?  Yes

In the first 8 BCS years the SEC won just 1 Championship.  Over the 17 years preceding BCS the SEC was the Champion just once.  Let me re-state this.  In the 25 seasons preceding the SEC's dominant 15 year run, the SEC won only 2 National Championships.  It may seem hard right now to envision the SEC slipping a bit back to Earth but at some point it's likely to happen.  Just ask the Yankees, Cowboys, or UCLA/PAC12 Basketball.

     c) Recruiting success:  I'm going to largely leave this for a future topic.  For now, I'll just say kids are getting more savvy every year and the ability to access important information for decision making is also getting easier every year.  Every scholarship recruit is of course going to the NFL.  Alabama's 3rd string could start for most programs in the country and gain far more notoriety as the big fish in a medium sized pond.  How did it work out last year for Alabama's draft hopefuls?  Fantastic for the 6 superstars drafted in the 1st Round, not so great for the rest of their NFL hopefuls as only 4 more Alabama players were drafted from the 2nd Round on.  I have to believe there were plenty more who would have had a decent shot in a less crowded situation, and I also believe kids are going to catch on to this in the very near future.  I think this is part of the reason Curry is legitimately considering IU.

     d) TV exposure and revenue:     Could this change?  Yes - see 4) below 

2) Is the completely football centric nature of this situation warping my (your) perspective?

Absolutely.  I definitely care about IU football but in order of importance to me:  value/status of IU degree, IU basketball, then IU football.  As long as moves aren't made that potentially lower the value of my degrees, lower the profile of IU basketball, or exclude IU from a shot at the CFP, this realignment situation is nothing more than a minor frustration from a handful of greedy old men wrecking another national institution.  If given the choice to add Stanford/Cal-Berkeley/Virginia/Duke or Alabama/Clemson/Georgia/Florida State to the Big10 - give me the first group.

Keeping it just sports related, by now we are all fully aware of just how dominant football economics are in this situation.  But what does that have to do with the relative importance of football vs. basketball for the fan base?  It's not like I need to curb my enthusiasm by 73.53% to match the ratio of football to basketball revenue generation.  Sure, there's no chance basketball will ever equal football popularity in a conference like the SEC.  However, I see very little chance of SEC domination in football impacting the quality of basketball in parts of the country where the two sports are on more equal footing.

3) What actually defines "success" for me (you) in terms of college football and the bigger overall picture?

I'm not a college football fan, I'm an IU and SMU Football fan.  I also like Michigan State, TCU, and Texas A&M enough to hope they do well.  Success occurs when IU has a winning record, gets in a decent bowl game, and is at least part of the national conversation.  Sure I'd love them to be in the CFP but falling short doesn't wipe out my enjoyment.  The bigger picture?  Don't cheapen my degree and give me something to talk about around the water cooler no matter where in the country I may be... that won't lead to a dismissive response.

4) Is there a longer term inevitability that will make most of the current realignment issues obsolete?

There is no question in my mind.  The current kingmakers of college football (ESPN) could care less about tradition, impacts on universities, or anything else without a $ sign in front of it.  The fact that we've devolved to a point where an outside commercial entity determines the fate of college athletics is unfathomably F'd Up, but it is reality.

TV sports share of viewers has been declining for years and not just in football.  This makes year-over-year comparisons less meaningful.  However, comparing two games in close time proximity is still reasonable.

Consider these two pairs of examples from the 2021 BCS:

1) National Championship:  18.65 M viewers (Alabama vs. Ohio St), Semi Final:  19.15 M viewers (Clemson vs. Ohio St)

The less meaningful game without an SEC team was the bigger draw.  Not a fluke, the Clemson-OSU game also beat Alabama's Semi Final match-up against Notre Dame (18.89 M viewers) .

2) Cotton Bowl:  5.9 M viewers (Florida vs. Oklahoma), Fiesta Bowl:  6.7 M viewers (Oregon vs. Iowa St)

Once again, the game without an SEC team was the bigger draw.  This one is particularly eye opening, given the massive pedigree and the perception of Florida and Oklahoma's national popularity.  What it speaks to the most is CASUAL fans aren't even tuning in for marquee match-ups of "storied" programs... while on Christmas vacation and trapped at home because of a pandemic!  This is a classic inelastic demand problem.

So how would one go about forecasting schools with the highest potential TV rating?  Here's the formula:

Step 1:  10 Yr W-L / # Conf schools bordering state + total jersey sale revenue....  MINUS the entire left-hand side of whatever uncorrelated or perception-based B.S. I throw into this part of the equation

Step 2:  Find a list ranking the size of the current student base and alumni base by school

Step 3:  Ignore step 1, consider the potential non-student interest level in the local market (<100 miles) or any unique special interest stories, base 90% of your TV viewership forecast on Step 2.

ESPN, Fox, Amazon, Facebook, and every other potential platform with interest in airing games know this.  They also know the timezone difference and lack of familiarity with programs West of the Rockies greatly curtails the level of interest around the rest of the country.  They know this challenge is unlikely to change without regularly scheduled games with schools East of the Rockies.  They also know the games need to actually be meaningful, rivalries need to be ignited, and match-up repitition needs to occur for long-term interest to stick.  I'd imagine stakeholders aren't going to be satisfied with "stopping the bleeding" of sagging ratings, they expect growth just like any other business.  It's inevitable that coast-to-coast conference alignments are coming in the future to expand the pie.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around that SMU and Sparty love part...

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8 hours ago, IU Scott said:

The name on the front of the jersey is what brings in the money not individual players.  Players come and go but the brand stays the same

The name on the front doesn't mean anything without players good enough to win at the D1 level. It goes both ways. It's not as though they could field a team of HS JV players and expect the name on the jersey to continue to bring in millions of dollars 

Do you think IU's brand is as strong as it was 30 years ago? It's not. That's because they haven't been as good the last 25 years.

Edited by go_iu_bb
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14 minutes ago, go_iu_bb said:

The name on the front doesn't mean anything without players good enough to win at the D1 level. It goes both ways. It's not as though they could field a team of HS JV players and expect the name on the jersey to continue to bring in millions of dollars 

Do you think IU's brand is as strong as it was 30 years ago? It's not. That's because they haven't been as good the last 25 years.

Not disagreeing with your overall point, but I believe IU basketball is still one of the most valuable (speaking financially) programs in the country. I think the program is still top 5 in that regard. 

So from a financial perspective, the lack of competing well nationally or having the best players has not really hurt the value of the program. 

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18 hours ago, rico said:

WTF again?

It appears he was blind sided by the back room dealings.  I assume you don't understand exactly how Texas has been within the conference.  Truth be told the old Big 8 should have never let them in when they were in search of a league to join.  Hence why teams have been leaving until the almighty Longhorn decides to leave themselves.  And on a personal note, I hope the SEC suffers the "Texas Plague" as well...

Safe assumption that I do not understand how any of this came about. That's actually a safe assumption on most sports related things anymore.

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10 minutes ago, BGleas said:

Not disagreeing with your overall point, but I believe IU basketball is still one of the most valuable (speaking financially) programs in the country. I think the program is still top 5 in that regard. 

So from a financial perspective, the lack of competing well nationally or having the best players has not really hurt the value of the program. 

But how long would that last if all of the best high school kids started going to the various pro leagues and D1 basketball became a slight step up from intermural ball?

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1 hour ago, IUFLA said:

But how long would that last if all of the best high school kids started going to the various pro leagues and D1 basketball became a slight step up from intermural ball?

Isn't that what happened from about 1996-2006? Many of the top high school players from those 10 years went straight from HS to the NBA. 

Will it be more now? Maybe, maybe not. NIL could certainly play a roll in some guys choosing/staying in college potentially. 

But the point was that even during IU's worst 25ish year run of performance on the court the program hasn't lost any value compared to its competitors. 

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2 hours ago, IUFLA said:

But how long would that last if all of the best high school kids started going to the various pro leagues and D1 basketball became a slight step up from intermural ball?

I don't think it would go down at all.  The top teams would still get the best players available and compete for championships.  When guys could go straight to the NBA it didn't hurt college basketball at all.  

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1 hour ago, BGleas said:

Isn't that what happened from about 1996-2006? Many of the top high school players from those 10 years went straight from HS to the NBA. 

Will it be more now? Maybe, maybe not. NIL could certainly play a roll in some guys choosing/staying in college potentially. 

But the point was that even during IU's worst 25ish year run of performance on the court the program hasn't lost any value compared to its competitors. 

I think the NIL will help, but a lot of kids aren't going to want to go to classes if they can get paid while working on their chosen profession...

The highest number of entrants from high school in any NBA draft is 9 in 2005 when the G league was in its infancy and the only other stateside alternative was the CBA. Now kids have a lot more options on the table. And pretty much any kid in the recruit ratings above 100 considers themselves NBA material...

I really hope college sports, and particularly basketball, can survive and prosper...but I can envision a scenario where it would struggle...

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3 hours ago, BGleas said:

Not disagreeing with your overall point, but I believe IU basketball is still one of the most valuable (speaking financially) programs in the country. I think the program is still top 5 in that regard. 

So from a financial perspective, the lack of competing well nationally or having the best players has not really hurt the value of the program. 

Last I saw, IU had slipped out of the top 5 into the 6-10 range.

I bet if random people around the country were asked about the top 5 basketball programs, IU wouldn't make the top 5. Kentucky, Duke, and UNC probably would with a bunch of other teams fighting it out for the last 2 spots. IU would get mentioned but would probably be beat out by schools like Kansas, MSU, Gonzaga, and Louisville who have all been better over the last 20 years than IU.

IU still has lots of loyal fans and that helps bring in money. But the brand has fallen nationally and there's been evidence of apathy setting in over the last 4 years within the fanbase. 

Compare the current state versus what it would be if they had been able to continue winning at the rate Knight won his first 20 years. 1 championship every 6 years or so. Or even just once per decade. Where would the brand be then? IU would be mentioned with Kentucky, Duke, and UNC, that's where. 

So the players do affect the brand. It's just not a quick change. What we've seen is a gradual erosion to the brand. 

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1 hour ago, hoosier_exotics said:

This is one of the best things I've seen in a while. Cracks me up! 😂

 

Football is some serious business in Texas, let me tell ya.  LOL  It does remind me when Notre Dame lined up with the ACC.  I asked my "Irish" friend, "So playing Wake Forest is better than playing Michigan?"

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