OT: Conference Realignment

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Pablo

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"The next major move in the conference realignment merry-go-round could be Cal, Stanford and SMU joining the ACC after all.

According to ESPN's Pete Thamel, the conference is giving 'serious consideration' to adding the three programs after 'a small group of ACC presidents met Wednesday morning to discuss financial models that would come with the additions.'

Notably, such models would apparently mean 'significant financial concessions' from any school that is added."


SMU reportedly showed a willingness to take no broadcast media revenue for its first seven seasons in the ACC. Stanford and Cal, meanwhile, would both receive the same share of reduced media revenue from the league’s television contract with ESPN and its affiliates."

"Most importantly, there is expected to be a pool of money created from the additions of the three schools, and conference presidents are discussing how this would be split. Florida State called for an updated revenue split earlier this month when the school was pondering leaving the ACC."


"SMU, Stanford and Cal, potential Atlantic Coast Conference expansion candidates, have agreed to revenue distribution models that could make them more appealing to ACC schools, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

SMU would be willing to forgo its television revenue distribution from the conference for seven years, Yahoo Sports has reported, while Stanford and Cal would reduce theirs for multiple years, starting at about 30%.

Talks with conference officials and school leaders will continue over the next several days, according to Yahoo, with a final decision expected next week."

"To leave the AAC, SMU would have to pay an early termination fee, the amount of which is unknown. The AAC’s media contract runs until 2031. Cincinnati, UCF and Houston are each paying $18 million to depart the conference this year, though a person familiar with the AAC’s thinking told The News that the number would likely be higher for SMU.

The reason: those schools gave two years’ notice, while SMU, in this scenario, would be giving only one.

SMU leaders believe joining a Power Five conference could help recruiting efforts in talent-rich North Texas and boost the school’s revenue outside of the conference’s annual media distribution, which TCU experienced when it moved to the Big 12.

The Mustangs aren’t letting the prospect of a hefty exit fee, or the loss of years of television revenue, deter them from the elusive goal of joining a Power Five."



"In short: money. New financial models indicate that the ACC would earn an additional $72 million in annual revenue from its television deal with ESPN if it added the three schools thanks to a "pro-rata clause requiring the network to increase the value of the deal by one Tier 1 share for every new member," according to Yahoo Sports. A Tier 1 share is reportedly worth about $24 million.
Prior to these expansion talks, Florida State and Clemson have voiced their displeasure with the amount they receive from annual TV distribution and advocated for an unequal revenue sharing model in which schools would be rewarded with a bigger payout for athletic performance and/or TV ratings.

The ACC announced an incentive-based distribution model in May, but that applies to the money the conference gets from member schools' performance in "revenue-generating postseason competition" — the College Football Playoff and NCAA men's basketball tournament.

But TV revenue is a much bigger portion of the conference's revenue than postseason payouts. I
n other words, a school like Clemson can earn a larger piece of the postseason pie if it continues to make the playoff, but a bigger slice of that is still smaller than a piece of the much bigger pie on which Clemson and others would like to fill up: TV revenue."

"Here's the math Yahoo Sports presented. Cal and Stanford have agreed to each take $7-10 million of the $24 million Tier 1 shares they would each bring in. After about $1-2 million per school to offset the teams' travel costs, the ACC is left with at least $30 million in revenue to re-distribute to members."
"If that $30 million were divided evenly among the other 15 ACC schools (including Notre Dame), it would be about $2 million per year tacked on to each school's annual payout. That's not moving the needle much when you consider the estimated $10-15 million gap between the annual payouts of the ACC and the Big Ten and SEC.
Hence the desire for unequal distribution. To get the holdout schools to agree to adding new members, the ACC would likely have to introduce an incentive-based model largely based on football performance, Yahoo Sports reported."



"Mountain West makes pitch to Oregon State & Washington State.

In the latest conference realignment news, both the Mountain West and American conference commissioners made their presentations to Oregon State and Washington State in hopes of landing the two schools who have been left out of conference realignment thus far. Gloria Nevarez made an in-person pitch to Washington State last Thursday and plans to do the same with Oregon State soon. Mike Aresco will do the same virtually. The schools will be taking a massive pay cut, and while the American can offer a few million more per year, is it worth the added travel costs? That seems unlikely. However, the latest report is they don’t expect to make a decision until after Labor Day as they try to determine what conference revenues remain, and probably holding out hope that Stanford and Cal don’t go to the ACC and the PAC can still be rebuilt."


"ACC conference realignment was supposed to take a step forward on Monday night, with the school presidents meeting to discuss voting in three new members. However, a non-football-related subject has reportedly postponed the meeting.

According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, a shooting on North Carolina‘s campus means the ACC will not meet on Monday. Obviously a situation way bigger than anything ACC presidents will discuss, there can be another date to potentially vote Cal, Stanford, and SMU into the conference.

'Tonight’s ACC meeting has been postponed following the on-campus shooting at UNC today, per source,' Auerbach said via Twitter."
 

Walter

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"Mountain West makes pitch to Oregon State & Washington State.

In the latest conference realignment news, both the Mountain West and American conference commissioners made their presentations to Oregon State and Washington State in hopes of landing the two schools who have been left out of conference realignment thus far. Gloria Nevarez made an in-person pitch to Washington State last Thursday and plans to do the same with Oregon State soon. Mike Aresco will do the same virtually. The schools will be taking a massive pay cut, and while the American can offer a few million more per year, is it worth the added travel costs? That seems unlikely. However, the latest report is they don’t expect to make a decision until after Labor Day as they try to determine what conference revenues remain, and probably holding out hope that Stanford and Cal don’t go to the ACC and the PAC can still be rebuilt."
AAC does not make sense for OSU and WSU. Actually, the AAC doesn't make sense for most of its current members.
 

Five Two

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If I were president of college sports, here is what I would do:
-put Washington St and Oregon St in the MWC
-Cal, Stanford and Navy can join UConn, UMass, Army and Notre Dame as independents
-ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC remain as is after next year (with Oregon and Wash to the Big Ten, etc)
-take the remaining schools and put them in these conferences. None of the TV revenue for these is going to be impacted by my new alignment. And I want to bring back the Southwest conference
Sun BeltSouthwestAmericanC-USA
1Arkansas StateNew Mexico StateAlabama-BirminghamAppalachian State
2Coastal CarolinaNorth TexasEast CarolinaCharlotte
3Florida InternationalRiceFlorida AtlanticJames Madison
4Georgia SouthernSam HoustonMemphisLiberty
5Georgia StateSouthern MethodistSouth FloridaMarshall
6Jacksonville StateTexas StateTempleMiddle Tennessee
7LouisianaTexas-El PasoTulaneOld Dominion
8Louisiana TechTexas-San AntonioTulsaWestern Kentucky
9Louisiana-Monroe
10South Alabama
11Southern Mississippi
12Troy

14 team Playoff
-auto bid for winner of ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC
-Auto bid for the highest champ from MWC, American, Sun Belt, Southwest and C-USA
-take the four champs from the other four conferences and have two play-in games
-5 at large bids
-sample bracket attached
 

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GMUgemini

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If I were president of college sports, here is what I would do:
-put Washington St and Oregon St in the MWC
-Cal, Stanford and Navy can join UConn, UMass, Army and Notre Dame as independents
-ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC remain as is after next year (with Oregon and Wash to the Big Ten, etc)
-take the remaining schools and put them in these conferences. None of the TV revenue for these is going to be impacted by my new alignment. And I want to bring back the Southwest conference
Sun BeltSouthwestAmericanC-USA
1Arkansas StateNew Mexico StateAlabama-BirminghamAppalachian State
2Coastal CarolinaNorth TexasEast CarolinaCharlotte
3Florida InternationalRiceFlorida AtlanticJames Madison
4Georgia SouthernSam HoustonMemphisLiberty
5Georgia StateSouthern MethodistSouth FloridaMarshall
6Jacksonville StateTexas StateTempleMiddle Tennessee
7LouisianaTexas-El PasoTulaneOld Dominion
8Louisiana TechTexas-San AntonioTulsaWestern Kentucky
9Louisiana-Monroe
10South Alabama
11Southern Mississippi
12Troy

14 team Playoff
-auto bid for winner of ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC
-Auto bid for the highest champ from MWC, American, Sun Belt, Southwest and C-USA
-take the four champs from the other four conferences and have two play-in games
-5 at large bids
-sample bracket attached

5 at-large bids is too many…limiting them prevents further consolidation in the future.

You want a 20 team conference? Great. You still aren’t getting more than 2 teams into the playoffs.
 

Patriot8

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GIVING DAY 2023
If I were president of college sports, here is what I would do:
-put Washington St and Oregon St in the MWC
-Cal, Stanford and Navy can join UConn, UMass, Army and Notre Dame as independents
-ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC remain as is after next year (with Oregon and Wash to the Big Ten, etc)
-take the remaining schools and put them in these conferences. None of the TV revenue for these is going to be impacted by my new alignment. And I want to bring back the Southwest conference
Sun BeltSouthwestAmericanC-USA
1Arkansas StateNew Mexico StateAlabama-BirminghamAppalachian State
2Coastal CarolinaNorth TexasEast CarolinaCharlotte
3Florida InternationalRiceFlorida AtlanticJames Madison
4Georgia SouthernSam HoustonMemphisLiberty
5Georgia StateSouthern MethodistSouth FloridaMarshall
6Jacksonville StateTexas StateTempleMiddle Tennessee
7LouisianaTexas-El PasoTulaneOld Dominion
8Louisiana TechTexas-San AntonioTulsaWestern Kentucky
9Louisiana-Monroe
10South Alabama
11Southern Mississippi
12Troy

14 team Playoff
-auto bid for winner of ACC, Big Ten, Big XII and SEC
-Auto bid for the highest champ from MWC, American, Sun Belt, Southwest and C-USA
-take the four champs from the other four conferences and have two play-in games
-5 at large bids
-sample bracket attached
1) The current Sun Belt is perfect as it is
2) If I'm a SMU fan I am pissed
3) These can be combined into (3) 12-team conferences
 

gmujim92

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GIVING DAY 2023
5 at-large bids is too many…limiting them prevents further consolidation in the future.

You want a 20 team conference? Great. You still aren’t getting more than 2 teams into the playoffs.
SEC and the Big Coast to Coast will never agree to that lol. And like Denzel said in Training Day, they run shit up in this piece. The rest of us just live here.
 
OP
Pablo

Pablo

Hall of Famer

"The ACC will not take an official vote until commissioner Jim Phillips knows they have the 12 yeses needed to approve expansion, sources said. There is optimism layered in ambiguity from the schools out West, who are simultaneously making plans for a yes vote but uncertain whether it will arrive."


"ACC presidents voted to extend conference invitations to Stanford, California and SMU on Friday, sources tell CBS Sports. The three schools, should they formally apply for membership, will join the league for the 2024 college football season."

"Stanford, Cal and SMU are seen as a buffer against a clause in the ACC's current media rights deal as ESPN has the right to renegotiate the league's contract should membership falls below 15 schools, according to Action Network. Seven ACC schools have been openly examining the league's grant of rights to look for exit opportunities, so adding three schools would allow the conference to remain above the 15-member threshold should there be some departures."
 
OP
Pablo

Pablo

Hall of Famer

"On Friday morning, two more conference realignment dominos fell in the Mountain West’s favor, potentially paving the way for the league to add Oregon State and Washington State.

First, the Atlantic Coast Conference voted to add former Pac-12 members Stanford and Cal to the conference, in addition to SMU. Then, American Athletic Conference said in a statement it would not add any teams from the Pacific time zone.
Those two moves leave Oregon State and Washington State will very few paths toward survival except to join the MW . . . "

"There's the option of a reverse merger where the MW schools join the Pac-12 to get that brand and NCAA Tournament credits, but that seems too complicated and highly unlikely. It's worth noting Nevarez grew up in the Bay Area and worked for the Pac-12 for eight years, so she might have some interest in making sure that conference doesn't die. But ultimately she'll do what's in the best interest of the MW, which at this point appears to be adding Oregon State and Washington State and becoming the top Western-based FBS conference in the country."

"Those four options are now down to just two with Cal and Stanford headed to the ACC, but the MW potentially coming out of this latest round of conference realignment stronger than it entered is truly wild stuff. Things have played out perfectly, and while Washington State and Oregon State joining the MW isn't a done deal just yet, there's really only one more domino to fall, and it will likely fall in the MW's favor."
 

jessej

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The next legal battle is how the remaining Pac-12 cash and future NCAA BBall credit/cash gets divided up
 

GMUgemini

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The next legal battle is how the remaining Pac-12 cash and future NCAA BBall credit/cash gets divided up

Yes. Either way there will be one less conférence autobid going out after next season. And with this much consolidation (the entire PAC-12 moving to new conferences plus the new additions of several previously non-power conference schools UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and SMU) I’m going to guess those conferences are going to demand expansion for the basketball tournament again.
 
OP
Pablo

Pablo

Hall of Famer

"With SMU off to the ACC, the American Athletic Conference is moving quickly to find its replacement.

The conference is exploring Army as a potential 14th football member, according to a Friday evening report from ESPN's Pete Thamel.


Per Thamel, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco has initiated 'informally exploring Army as an expansion candidate.'

The Black Knights have spent their entire 130-year football history as an independent, with the exception of a seven-season stint in Conference USA from 1998 to ’04. There, Army never won more than three games in a season, and returned to independence in 2005.

Navy, the Black Knights' traditional rival, joined the AAC in 2015. The Midshipmen found immediate success there, setting a program record with 11 wins in their first season."


"So what are the options for Cougars and the Beavers as the Pac-12 disintegrates before their eyes?

Mountain West inclusion, or independence, could be the best course of action for the last two Pac-12 holdovers, according to Jon Wilner of The Mercury News. There is also the far-fetched suggestion that the two teams could try to rebuild the Pac-12 by raiding rival leagues.

The latter suggestion, at this point, remains unlikely, but could make the most sense for both Washington State and Oregon State. This is because the Pac-12 bylaws suggest that the Cougars and Beavers would control the conference’s assets if the legal entity were to remain intact. If the two schools depart for another conference, such as the Mountain West, the conference assets would be divided by 12 across all former member institutions.

"It may not make sense for Washington State and Oregon State to go into another conference. If you dissolve the Pac-12, then you’d divide by 12,' a source told Wilner.

As for what the assets are that remain in the Pac-12, the most prominent are NCAA tournament unit that carry a value of more than $60 million through 2029. Other conference assets include an emergency reserve fund, sponsorships and the Pac-12 network infrastructure.


Instead of joining the Mountain West, the geographical location of MWC schools could make sense to add to a new Pac-12. As for what the motivation for those schools to join a beleaguered Pac-12, one source described it to Wilner best.

'No brand in the Group of 5 has the value of the Pac-12 brand. If you have the brand, you own the history.'

Of course, the canary in the coal mine remains the Pac-12’s lack of a new media rights deal, which no television or streaming carrier would be interested in negotiating without knowing who the member schools will be."



"The college football conference realignment process could pick up again in the near future as the U.S. Military Academy has been in conversation with the American Athletic Conference about possibly including the Army football team as a member of that league, according to multiple reports.

Those talks are described as positive with mutual interest coming from both sides about the possible merger, and a deal could be finalized in the next few weeks."

"The most important thing for Army from a football perspective would be to preserve its long-time rivalry with Navy and to play the Midshipmen in their final regular season game every year, a date typically held open in early December solely for that game after the rest of the college football season concludes.

It is believed that the Army vs. Navy game would be a non-conference game even if the Black Knights were to join the AAC."
 

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