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Friday, June 11, 2010

Expansion Talk & Links (6/11)

As the dominoes started to fall, it was simply a matter of time before the SEC made a move.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that those initial moves have already happened, with the SEC contacting Oklahoma and Texas A&M. How likely either scenario would be remains up in the air, and as the paper reports, it all likely depends on Texas.

Kyle King at Dawg Sports has some thoughts on the recent moves by the Big Ten and Pac-10, as does Senator Blutarsky HERE and HERE (the former being on the lighter side, the latter being of more serious interest). Georgia Sports Blog writes about what the addition of Texas A&M might mean.

Amid all the hype, however, there are still some practical issues to keep in mind. Here's what The Senator wrote:

"I only point this out to highlight the fact that the calculations for conferences now without championship games, at least the two that are driving radical realignment currently, are different from those with such a game. That’s really why I’m not surprised that the Big Ten may stop and catch its breath after landing Nebraska and not continue on and try to annex a goodly chunk of the Big East to force Notre Dame into the fold. It’s relatively easy to calculate what that twelfth school brings to the table; that’s not so for numbers thirteen through sixteen."

Indeed. In fact, the numbers are pretty easy to find for the SEC. The conference's championship football game created $14.5 million last year -- or roughly half what the entire basketball season generated. (So it's not too hard to see why football is driving the bus here.)

So for conferences like the Pac-10 and Big Ten operating without a title game, the potential increase in revenue from simply getting to 12 teams makes these moves sort of a no-brainer. For the SEC, however, it becomes a gray area to discuss just how much money can be made by moving beyond 12.

The general assumption that expansion is inevitable rests on a simple theory: More teams = More revenue.

But is that true? The SEC's deal with ESPN is huge, and while it's not impossible to envision an even richer TV contract, there's certainly no guarantees that will be the case. Even monster networks run out of money at some point, and just in the past few months we've already read stories about CBS wanting to bail on college basketball coverage and NBC losing a ton of cash on its Olympics coverage.

College football is likely a bit less recession-prone than those two offerings, but that doesn't mean there isn't a breaking point.

Last year, the SEC's TV revenue was $109.5 million. That amount is divided evenly between the 12 member institutions. So, while that's a hefty chunk of change -- what happens if the SEC adds four schools? The TV revenue would -- theoretically at least -- still be divided evenly, only there's more pieces of the pie to slice.

Now, the question then turns to: How much could the league up its deals with CBS and ESPN? Mike Slive wouldn't comment directly on contract renegotiations due to confidentiality clauses in the deals, but he said that typically there are clauses in these contracts that allow either side to ask for a review of the deal should a major issue -- such as expansion -- arise. And given the names being considered, no doubt ESPN would be happy to listen.

But... this year, each of the 12 SEC schools received $9.1 million in national TV revenue from the SEC, and expansion only makes sense if that number is going to increase for everyone. Doing some math that's surely a bit on the elementary side of things, that means that, in order to make a 16-team league as lucrative to individual schools, that TV revenue would need to jump from $109 million to around $146 million.

Now, is that an impossible leap to make? Maybe and maybe not. (CNBC actually has some good info on that.) But, as Slive said, the SEC's footprint is already pretty big -- more than 105 million households each Saturday -- so how much more would ESPN, CBS or the SEC benefit from adding teams like Georgia Tech, Clemson or even Florida State -- each of which competes for essentially the same viewing audience as Georgia, South Carolina, Auburn and Florida.

To go beyond 12 teams has to be about expanding a viewing audience, not simply expanding the league. I guess that's obvious to most people, and yet I still hear so much about the SEC's potential interest in Tech or Clemson or Florida State.

I don't know. After the past few days, I'd say virtually anything is possible. And while TV revenue is the biggest cog in the machine here, there are other factors at work, too. (And, isn't it funny how little any sport other than football has been mentioned here?)

But at the end of the day, while all hell breaks loose around the country and the potential of 16-team conferences becomes closer and closer to reality, I'm still far from convinced that a 12-team SEC isn't better off than a 16-team Pac-10, just as that 12-team ACC didn't do a whole lot to put a dent in the SEC's dominance five years ago.

Some more linkage...

-- This is definitely not what Georgia fans will want to hear: Christian LeMay could be facing a 30-day out-of-school suspension by his high school, according to the Charlotte Observer's preps blog. A decision will apparently be made at a hearing on Monday.

-- UGA self-reported nine secondary violations to the NCAA this year, just one in football. As Damon Evans has told me, if you're not reporting any secondary violations, you're covering something up. And these all fall under the umbrella of minor and unintentional infractions.

-- Mark Richt is one of five SEC coaches to post a winning record vs. top-25 teams during his current tenure.

-- Team Speed Kills looks at Tennessee's potentially brutal start to the season.

-- Matt Hinton looks at the flaming embers of what once was the Big 12.

-- R.I.P. to ESPN Zones nationwide. Can't say I'm too sad to see them go. Although, I used to date a girl who worked at the one in Baltimore, which led to at least a couple funny stories about Mel Kiper, who did many of his radio spots from there.

-- Speaking of ESPN, Aaron Rodgers isn't a big fan of the network's NFL coverage.

-- Did you know that Comic Book Store Guy from "The Simpsons" actually has a real name? Captain Crunch, too. Mental Floss has a whole list of the real names of popular fictional characters that rarely were used.

-- Apparently beer sales are way down in the U.S. despite my attempts to finish my beer card at Pauley's. Terrible.

-- And finally, picture this: You're in New York this weekend. You find yourself alone in an alley. It's quiet... too quiet. A few nearby children scatter, shouting something like, "Omar comin', yo." Suddenly in the distance, you hear it. Whistling. What's that tune? "The cheese stands alone"... But as soon as you recognize it, it's too late. Rat-tat-tat... paint all over the front of you. You just got got.

Now, tell me that wouldn't be worth at least $750. Oh, indeed.


hannah Waits said...

Sad to hear LeMay may have a suspension that might keep him out of some games in his senior season.

This time (unlike with taxi-gate, Mett, etc.), let's not push 5000 false "what-he-did-to-get-this" rumors on the kid. He is just a kid, after all.

Kathleen said...

An entire month of out of school suspension is EXTREME. Hopefully Richt looks into this fully - the best QB in the world can't help you if he comes to campus with behavior issues.

Hate it for him, hope he learns what he needs to.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people spread rumors that are untrue but after reading the Dawg Post (the poster is usually pretty reliable) this is nothing to get too worked up over. I'll use the term 'consensual extracurricular activity'...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forget the bad part... 'on school grounds'.

Riley said...

So you hate when anonymous posters spread rumors, but here's a rumor you heard?

Anonymous said...

Hey, never said I was perfect...

Anonymous said...

If football is driving the bus, any chance someone could throw Kirk Herbstreit and Mark May under it? Mel Kiper would be a bonus too.

202dawg said...

Add Paul Finebaum and Terrence Moore to that list as well...

Ben Dukes said...

Hey David, is it just me or is the OU thinking that splitting conferences means splitting the rivalry just a bit stupid? Most SEC schools have some kind of out-of conference rivalry. The folks at OU do understand that if Texas joins the Pac-1X, they aren't literally moving the school to California, right? Texas and OU could continue their rivalry, every year, only in out-of conference play.

To the casual observer, that would be even better...because they could potentially lose to their biggest rival, and yet still win their conference. Now, I know it's in no program's mission statement to lose to their biggest rival, but that would have to be some kind of bonus.

Adding A&M and OU would add TV sets, it would add valuable recruiting advantages, AND it would bring another top-flight program and one who could blossom into a contender. I like the idea based on those factors. I also like the thought of re-aligning the East and West so that either Auburn or Alabama would come east.

If it were Auburn, and the SEC went to a 6-1-2 model, UGA would still play Auburn every year, and then we could add a team like Alabama or LSU to our annual schedule. If it were AL, we'd keep AU as our annual western tilt, but we'd also play AL every year. As a fan, either way is a win!

Of course, there's much to be said for standing-pat. Personally, I love Herbstreit's comment yesterday that you could put all of the other teams in D-I into one conference, and the SEC would still be the premier league. That's quality stuff.

Anonymous said...

With the all that's going on you put a link in re: the dough boy son's name. The link had mis information - everyone knows that it was Mike Golic, Jr anyways

Anonymous said...

Sounds like LeMay might be a player who stirs the pot.

Bad said...

Why doesn't the Big 10 and Big 12 just switch names and be done with it? They are dumb names anyway (and people up north can't count), but that way the "history" can continue. Sort of. No one will notice...or care.

Anonymous said...

SEC should create a new east and west division. Invite TX, TXAM, OK, OK state to the WESTERN Division, and then Move both Alabama and Auburn to the EASTERN Division. One can therefore have a more balanced division in terms of travel and scheduling in each division. This essentially create a better Championship for the SEC. They can call thi new group THE BIG SEC or whatever.

Anonymous said...

"it's picking up in the middle of a conversation with someone."

Pardon me, but David Hale has yet to post a blog at all about the News of the Day, which was that Southern California gave up wins starting December 2004 in which they, not Auburn, beat Oklahoma and all of 2005 when they of course Lost to Texas.

If I desire to point out that Southern California remains 31 games ahead of UGA Bulldogs in All-Time Football wins in 10th place, I have to ask your permission to do so ? Since when ?

If I desire to point out that Southern California back 36 years has not won the National Championship in Football, when UGA did in 1980 Consensus 30 years ago, making UGA better, I do not feel that your Lame Post needs to stand without retort.

I'd also like to wish Christian LeMay Happy 18th Birthday in Athens today with his brothers for Football Camp. He remains the 1 recruit on Offense, none in this state last year 2010 or next year 2011, if indeed his commitment with all the outs, is a commitment to Mike Bobo by name.

Mike Bobo, the same coach responsible for recruiting Christian LeMay, Zach Mettenberger, and Montez Robinson to name the most recent 3 to run afoul of The University of Georgia itself.

Admissions Department is already weighing in on the matter, as they did for example Jamar Chaney and Michael Grant. Now, we have this hanging over our heads between now and this time next year - and, he yet another Top 10 at his Position Recruit that we can butt heads between the football staff and The University itself.

So, Happy Birthday Christian LeMay. Big 18 years old. You will fit right in here, son with all the other Mike Bobo recruited players.

Michael Grant.
Christian LeMay.

These 2 cases are both the same, reportedly.

I think we should ask Mr. LeMay to not show up today in Athens, or his brothers, until his mom and dad want to be truthful about this young lady on school grounds, all of which should be out by Monday. We went a month there without this kind of news since the last of 3 football players were kicked off team, 2 of them for incidents with young ladies, both Top 10 Players at their Positions.

Oh, joy. Michael Grant. Christian LeMay. No difference here I see.

Anonymous said...

By Chris Low

One of the best ways to evaluate a coach is to look at his record against nationally ranked teams.

Coaches in the SEC against what was on game day Top 25 foes at their current schools

Here's a complete rundown:

Urban Meyer, Florida -- 19-6 (.760)
Nick Saban, Alabama -- 11-5 (.688)
Houston Nutt, Ole Miss -- 5-3 (.625)
Les Miles, LSU -- 18-11 (.621)
Mark Richt, Georgia -- 29-19 (.604)

Of course, the real measure is what the Coaches Records in Fact Actually are against Top 25 Teams in the Final AP Poll.

And, what their records in Fact Actually are against Top 10 Final AP Poll Teams.

Not what they were ranked on game day.

But, if Chris Low wants to point out today that we are the # 5 in The SEC against ranked opponents in either the AP Poll, or the USA Today Coaches’ Poll of which the ESPN is no longer involved with, on Game Day, then that is all he has ever talked about in the first place.

Let’s look at some examples, please Chris Low, sir.

Georgia tek in 2006 was ranked # 16 on Game Day, so that counts as 1 of your Coach Richt 29 wins versus Top 25 Ranked Teams on Game Day in one Poll or another, which is what you correctly report sir.

Georgia tek in 2006 lost 4 of its last 5 games beating only a sorry 7-6 ACC has been team at Grant Field by 1 touchdown. Therefore losing 4 of its last 5 games, including their loss in the bowl game, Georgia tek is NOT RANKED 2006.

Perhaps you would like to provide us all Chris Low where the Top 25 Poll for 2006 show that Georgia tek is RANKED in the Final AP Poll Top 25, sir ?

That is not a win over a ranked opponent.

There are in fact, 12 such “wins over Top 25 teams on Game Day in either of the polls” where the team actually is NOT A TOP 25 RANKED TEAM in the Final AP Poll Top 25 and therefore do not count as a win over an in fact Top 25 team that season.

Anonymous said...

Chris Low, it is so easy to just click on the AP Poll and quit with the USA Today Coaches’ Poll which ESPN no longer is involved with in the first place any longer because it is a hoax, and measure the same coaches’ games those years against it and see that Coach Richt is 17-19 vs Top 25 Final AP Poll teams and 3-8 vs Top 10 Final AP Poll teams with no win in any bowl game over a Top 10 Final AP Poll team, sir.

Another of the 12 “wins over Top 25 teams on Game Day in either of the polls” is Boise State in 2005, whom DJ Shockley beat by running for 2 Touchdowns himself and throwing for another 4 ‘Tween The Hedges. By the time we cleared the bench, the dust settled on a 48-13 shellacking. It might as well have been Western Kentucky, not a Top 25 team as you incorrectly report Chris Low, sir.

Boise State in 2005 was ranked # 18 on Game Day in either of the polls. Do you know why they are not a ranked team in the Top 25 Final AP Poll in 2005 Chris Low besides the blistering roasting by DJ Shockley ? A lousy 8-5 WAC team beat them 27-7. A losing record 5-6 no bowl game team beat Boise State in 2005 as well And, a has-been hapless ACC team beat Boise State in addition in the MPC Computers Bowl on December 28 just after Christmas in Boise Idaho on the blue carpet. THIS IS NOT A TOP 25 Final AP Poll team, now is it Chris Low, sir ?

I’ll give you another example. Tennessee lost 5 SEC games alone in 2005 and clearly is not a Top 25 Final AP Poll team, then. However, on Game Day – early in the Season – Tennessee vols are ranked # 8. Hell South Carolina, 7-5 beat the vols in 2005 and Vanderbilt 5-6 no bowl game even both beat the vols at Neyland Stadium in 2005. Don’t give me this crap that Coach Richt beat 29 Top 25 teams, when in fact he is 17-19 vs Top 25 Final AP Poll teams. And 3-8 vs Top 10 Final AP Poll teams, none in any bowl game.

But, it is interesting to note that Coach Richt is # 5 in The SEC against teams ranked in either the AP Poll or the Coaches’ Poll on Game Day. We also are # 4 vs SEC teams the last 4 years and # 3 vs SEC East teams the last 4 years, so # 5 in The SEC against teams ranked in either the AP Poll or the Coaches’ Poll on Game Day does NOT surprise me.

Maybe if you read some of these national stories, you might know what the news of the day is. I think David Hale does a great job of trying to cover them so you at least could know about them. Try clicking his URL Links, you might learn something.

gatorhater said...

Have you ever considered instituting a word limit on comments?

Anonymous said...

Does Chris Low read these messages? Anonymous 3:08 you might want to e-mail these things to him instead of posting it here. Or is it an email that was copy/pasted to share with us?

Anonymous said...

David, no information "Coupe de tat"!

Anonymous said...

This talk on conference expansion is exciting! If the SEC gets even one of the Texas schools, then the SEC gets to recruit in Texas! Georgia has gotten good players there in the past. Hey, they could even get Will Muschamp as the new head Coach! I like conference expansion already!

Anonymous said...

False rumor about Lemay #1:
He was caught running around town "shcmingling his doo-dads!"

False rumor about Lemay #2:

He was arrested for groping a waitress in Remerton, Ga and was promptly recruited by Butler Junior College in Kansas.

False Rumor #3.......

Anonymous said...

I think your right about Richt, he is definitely below the others!

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt.

THAT is the Point, isn't it ?

It has nothing to do with Chris Low of ESPN - other than he is nationally known as a writer who writes frequently about the subject of this blog, The Georgia Bulldogs' Football Program.

Your efforts to say that I cannot say what I do say, speak volumes.

You think a person should only say good stuff.

I happen to think that it is obvious we are not great and have not been great in now starting our 5th season in a row.

I think you improve that, by pointing it out.

I think you have the right to say whatever you want to say.

I think you make a fool of yourself trying to say that a person cannot say that which is OBVIOUS that this is a crucial season for Coach Richt according to the Augusta Chronicle.

By Chris Low June 11, 2010

One of the best ways to evaluate a coach is to look at his record against nationally ranked teams.

Coaches in the SEC against what was on game day Top 25 foes at their current schools

No. 1 : Urban Meyer, Florida -- 19-6 (.760)
No. 2 : Nick Saban, Alabama -- 11-5 (.688)
No. 3 : Houston Nutt, Ole Miss -- 5-3 (.625)
No. 4 : Les Miles, LSU -- 18-11 (.621)
No. 5 : Mark Richt, Georgia -- 29-19 (.604)

We are # 5 in The SEC vs Ranked teams.

We are # 4 in The SEC vs SEC teams over last 4 years now.

We are # 3 in The SEC East vs SEC East teams over last 4 yrs

We enter Coach Richt’s Crucial Season this up-coming season with a weekend full of bad press yet again, and this for a recruit commitment, our top recruit in a long, long, long, long time.

Does this really sound to you like this is about CHRIS LOW ? No. You just don’t like anyone coming in here and saying the truth. So, instead of discussing Georgia Bulldogs’ Football Program, you FLAME personal FLAMES and NOTHING but PERSONAL FLAMES. Now, whose post should be removed ?

Anonymous said...

David, this anonymous fella really is ruining your blog. Yea, I know he has a right to speak his mind, but that isn't what he's trying to do here. What he's doing is some sort of self-help to relieve the demons in his head that are telling him that he is a loser, and that he can only liberate those demons by unleashing them on us. It is not your responsibility to care for the well-being of this little sick fella. Seriously, for the well-being of your blog, or at least the comment section, simply delete his posts so that the rest of us can read sensible posts. You do want to have sensible posts, right, and not posts from people with an agenda?

Anonymous said...

That is Personal FLAME, not a post about Bulldogs' Sports, 10:48 a.m.

Anonymous said...

Mr Long-winded Anonymous, how can I be attacking you personally when you are anonymous? For all I know, there are 10 people sending in these redundant posts. I doubt it, but there is no way to know for sure. And since when could we only talk about Bulldog sports? There is freedom of speech, but even David Hale has an editor who can censor his reporting. David is editor of this blog, so he has the right to edit whatever he chooses.