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Division 1 College Conference Realignment


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Not a merger, but a scheduling agreement between the Big Ten and Pac-12.

From the NY Times:

Starting in 2017, each team from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten will play a team from the other league in football each season, and the conferences will also begin to play each other extensively in other sports starting as soon as next season.

he football possibilities of the agreement are tantalizing in an era in which early-season nonconference schedules often feature traditional powers playing inferior opponents. The Pac-12-Big Ten games will be created to match up programs of similar strength, meaning that marquee games like Ohio State versus Southern California, Wisconsin versus Stanford and Michigan versus Oregon could soon be seen early in the season. Delany said the games would most likely be played in the second, third and fourth weeks of the season. Scott said they could be incorporated into events like season kickoff games.

One significant adjustment the Big Ten will make is that it will not be going to a nine-game league schedule, as it had planned to do in 2017.

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Not a merger, but a scheduling agreement between the Big Ten and Pac-12.

From the NY Times:

Starting in 2017, each team from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten will play a team from the other league in football each season, and the conferences will also begin to play each other extensively in other sports starting as soon as next season.

he football possibilities of the agreement are tantalizing in an era in which early-season nonconference schedules often feature traditional powers playing inferior opponents. The Pac-12-Big Ten games will be created to match up programs of similar strength, meaning that marquee games like Ohio State versus Southern California, Wisconsin versus Stanford and Michigan versus Oregon could soon be seen early in the season. Delany said the games would most likely be played in the second, third and fourth weeks of the season. Scott said they could be incorporated into events like season kickoff games.

One significant adjustment the Big Ten will make is that it will not be going to a nine-game league schedule, as it had planned to do in 2017.

I, for one, look forward to dedicating my life to the utter destruction of Colorado again.

/Sucks about losing the 9 game Conference slate, though.

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I, for one, look forward to dedicating my life to the utter destruction of Colorado again.

/Sucks about losing the 9 game Conference slate, though.

Pat Forde talks about how Notre Dame fits into this agreement.

The Fighting Irish have a huge part of their schedule invested in those leagues. The fiercely independent Irish have five ongoing annual series with teams from those leagues. If the leagues are going to add an annual game between members, would that potentially squeeze Notre Dame out of the mix? A more likely scenario than dropping Notre Dame is a reduction in conference games from nine to eight. Thus, the Big Ten vs. Pac-12 game would be a substitute for that league game on the schedule, which means Notre Dame's spot would not have to be sacrificed in favor of a "guaranteed" home game against a lesser opponent.

Notre Dame should be able to retain its rotation of marquee opponents, and it also should be able to keep most of its customary dates. Don't look for the Irish to lose their annual Thanksgiving weekend game in California, against either USC or Stanford. And the Big Ten opponents probably will remain slotted in the earlier portion of the schedule.

Scheduling Notre Dame continues to make sense for the leagues for two reasons: enhanced TV inventory and enhanced strength of schedule.

With the Big Ten Network entrenched and the Pac-12 Network readying to launch, there are more time slots to fill ? for those networks and for the other TV partners of the leagues. Playing Notre Dame adds to the depth of quality lineups and makes for a much more attractive TV offering than playing an overmatched opponent from the Mid-American or Western Athletic conferences.

Swarbrick predicted a gradual turning away from scheduling cupcakes, at least in leagues that don't have the guaranteed strength-of-schedule advantage of, say, the SEC.

The reason? If AQ bids to BCS bowls are eliminated and a playoff of any kind is introduced, look for strength of schedule to play a big part in who gets selected.

"You may see almost an RPI dynamic come to the forefront," Swarbrick said, referring to the strength-of-schedule metric that is a tool for the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee. "It may be harder for the MAC to get those games. I have no idea what's coming in the next postseason, but I think they could place a premium on that sort of thing [strength of schedule]."

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With this new agreement between the PAC-12 and the B1G, it is almost playing in to the BCS's plans of never having a playoff. I think we are going to see more and more of this in the future. Some SEC's teams and B1G teams are starting to play each other, some B1G and Big XII teams are starting to play each other, SEC and Big XII teams are playing more and more of each other. With all the inter-conference games, it will be easier for the BCS to "calculate" or "determine" which teams are the best. If Michigan beats Alabama and Ohio State in the same year, and Alabama and Ohio state both have only 1 loss (to Michigan), it will be easier to justify their rankings.

...It can also cause more problems if Michigan beats Alabama who beats LSU who beats tOSU who beats Michigan. But in the end, the BCS has to be excited about this new development.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure if it's related to football very much, but the Big South added former D-1 Independent Longwood today.

Big South Accepts Longwood

I had a feeling the Big South would be adding another school (currently at 11, Longwood makes 12) but I was hoping it would be Kennesaw State.

This gives the Big South four members in each of the three represented states - VMI, Radford, Liberty, Longwood (Virginia); High Point, UNC-Asheville, Campbell, Gardner-Webb (North Carolina); Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian, Winthrop (South Carolina).

The story behind this may be more newsworthy. Longwood has been an independent since 2007, but is just now getting a bid for the Big South? Could mean that the Big South is snapping up an available member to cushion for one/two that may be leaving.

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I'd think they're adding Longwood more because they are convinced the Lancers might actually be competitive in some sports (finally). I've had the impression that the Division I transition was rather...rocky...for them.

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navy to big east in 2015...football only

espn

Isn't the bigger question if there will be a Big East Conference in any form in 2015?

The Big East could have USF, Uconn, UofL, WVU (if they stay), Boise St., San Diego St., Navy, Cincy, Houston, SMU, UCF, and possibly Air Force.

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Ummm....yeah, West Virginia ain't going to be around by 2015. So I'm just going to head off that line of insane delusion right now.

And yeah, the thing's going to fly apart the second the BCS AQs vanish forever, as is expected in the next round of contract talks.

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navy to big east in 2015...football only

espn

Isn't the bigger question if there will be a Big East Conference in any form in 2015?

The Big East could have USF, Uconn, UofL, WVU (if they stay), Boise St., San Diego St., Navy, Cincy, Houston, SMU, UCF, and possibly Air Force.

I fully expect these schools to jump to the Big XII when they have to fill in for the inevitable loss of Texas, Oklahoma and possibly Okie State. I'd also add SMU if not for TCU already having Dallas-Fort Worth covered for them.

If the Big East is smart, they'll start using their depleted conference as a place for basketball schools with less-than-stellar football programs to park their teams. Hello Memphis, UMass and Kansas (probably the only current Big XII school that might be better off in the Big East). Welcome back Temple. Goodbye geographic integrity!

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Louisville would make sense as a travel partner for West Virginia, but basketball is their "flagship" sport and the Big East has a stronger basketball conference than the Big XII... than again, maybe they'd rather be in a conference they can dominate.

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From nearly two weeks ago, MWC and CUSA merger in hands of lawyers (and possibly the courts) since both could essentially go out of business to get a new TV deal before any reformed Big East does.

The Big East is attempting to survive by realigning prior to the end of its current TV deal in 2013-14. The Big East and Big Ten (after 2014-15) are next in line to cash in with rightsholders. In figures obtained by CBSSports.com, a 12-team Big East configured for debut in 2013, would be significantly ahead of a merged CUSA/MWC in terms of average BCS computer ranking. A year ago, Conference USA signed a $43 mlllion deal with Fox to broadcast a mininmum of 20 football games per year including the league's title game through the 2015 season. At the time ESPN protested saying it believed it had the right of first refusal on such a deal with Conference USA.

CBSSports.com reported Thursday that the two leagues' presidents would meet Sunday in Dallas to discuss forming a new league. Beginning in 2013 the "Big Country" would have 17 teams. There has been discussion whether to stay at that number or possibly add a team or teams. The new league could be football only, all sports or some other consolidation.

With the assumed end of automatic qualifying conferences in the BCS, the rush is on to simply become as attractive as possible to TV rightsholders. One of the advantages of a combined MWC/CUSA league is strength in numbers. Seventeen (or more) schools would fortify the new league against departures if it was raided in the future.

A 17-team league (at least) would be the largest conference in FBS (formally Division I-A). That would mean a lot of inventory for a rightholder(s) with teams in 14 states extending over five time zones.

According to a source, the five current non-automatic qualifying conferences distribute BCS money based on a performance-based ranking system. Half of the money received from the BCS is split evenly among the five. The other half is split based on the ranking. For the first time in six years, the Mountain West was not the leader of those five (MWC, CUSA, MAC, Sun Belt, WAC). CUSA was No. 1 in 2011.

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Semi-on topic, but looks like we could see 7 wins become the minimum for bowl eligibility.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/16996317/growing-belief-seven-wins-should-be-magic-number-for-bowl-eligibility

Ultimately, I think a 7-win minimum for bowl games...coupled with these expanding conferences most likely wanting/needing a 9th conference game....will open the door for a 13th game to be added on the schedule.

I don't know if I'm necessarily on-board with that.

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