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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Expansion Winners and Losers

With the news that Texas was staying put and the apocalypse had been avoided, it looks like the expansion talk has finally calmed and perhaps we can judge the winners and losers….

Winner: The SEC. Mike Slive played it cool, and in the end, he gets what he wanted. No seismic shift in the college football landscape, and his hand wasn't forced to make changes to a league that was already working quite well.

Loser: The Pac-10. "So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Texas, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you expand, in 2011, you will receive Colorado.' So I got that going for me, which is nice."

Winner: Traditions. OK, so we may not see the Oklahoma-Nebraska game so often anymore, but if this is essentially the end of the "super conference" talk, score one for folks who still care about football for what happens on the field rather than what ratings the games get on TV. Would A&M in the SEC have been interesting? Maybe, but I'm glad they'll still be going toe-to-toe with Texas each year in the Big 12.

Loser: New names. So the Pac-16 is gonna be the Pac-11 now? I was hoping for two Pac-10 divisions that would result in a renamed conference called 2-Pac. (No, I can't take credit for that one.) And will the Big Ten and Big 12 just switch names? Or will they have new names altogether. I suggest "Steve."

Winner: Dan Beebe. This was the rough equivalent of my buddy Tim, who would go to a bar, get hammered, look like a jackass the entire night, then still manage to leave with a hot girl after last call. Of course, he did it with an approachable charm that the ladies just loved. Beebe did it with $25 million.

Loser: The Mountain West. After spending so much time working to get into the cool clique of college football, it looked like things might just break perfectly for the MWC. They added Boise State and were poised to nab Kansas and Kansas State if the Big 12 had fallen apart. Instead, they're likely to lose Utah to the Pac-10 and they're right back where they started.

Winner: The Big East and the ACC. The doomsday scenario could have been ugly for these guys. In the end, nothing came particularly close to happening. Of course, is it a victory that your leagues stayed intact because no one really wanted any of your teams?

Loser: Bloggers and columnists. If this is all the expansion we're going to get, what are we supposed to write about for the next two months?

Winner: Internet journalism. Kudos to Chip Brown for being on point every step of the way during this process. When the news first started breaking about the Pac-10's interest in Texas et al, most folks were less than inclined to buy into rumors from a site called As it turns out, Brown beat the pants off the big names with each new wrinkle that developed.

Loser: Joe Schad. Anatomy of ESPN's coverage: Report rumor. Backpedal. Backpedal. Backpedal. Go on TV to talk about how your original report was accurate except that the people you were reporting on decided to do something else. Repeat. Seriously, was anyone else enjoying watching this happen as much as I was? You know, Joe Cox really was going to be benched in Week 2 except that it didn't actually end up happening.

Winner: Texas. Huge TV revenue -- and more than anyone else in the conference. Gets own TV network to boot. Keeps rivalries with A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma alive. Looks like the good guys for not ruining college football as we know it. And the Big 12 threw in a free toaster oven. It was a hell of a deal.


Bernie said...

Look, you seem like a good kid. So I'm gonna do you a solid. You want a good name?...Soda.

But you can't have Seven.

Anonymous said...

"heard" that the $20M in conference buyout will go to 3 teams - TX, OU & TAMU, thus the reason for Gene Stallings getting out voted & the reversal.

IF true in the end are OU & TAMU winners or loosers? Richer b-otches???

David Hale said...

+10 Bernie. Well played.

WFdawg said...

So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course in the Himalayas...

Anonymous said...

The real losers are eight of the remaining teams in the Big 12 minus two that basically sold their birth right to keep UT and to a lesser extent TAMU in the conference.

Ty Webb said...

We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you, Big 12 North.

David Walker said...

I wonder what type of affect the Big 10 getting a championship game and Pac-10 maybe/probably getting one will have down the road on BCS. I feel like a lot of leverage the SEC "had" over the Pac-10 and Big-10 was the SECCG, but now if there's three comparable teams at the end of the season with the same record, and all can claim a conference championship game win, who goes to the national title game? I feel like this gives people like Herbstreit a lot of leverage to push that Big-10 button and Corso the ability to unabashedly lobby for the Pac-10 (specifically, USC when they recover from NCAA domination). I wonder if the SEC has lost a bit of an edge just because the other strongest conferences in country have finally caught up to them in terms of conference size and scheduling.

C said...

Winners: Gene Stallings and Mike Slive. They both manuipulated the media and got exactly what they wanted, the continued existence of the SEC and Big Something (outflanking Texas in the process, at least for now).

It kills me to admit, but Jim Delaney was also a winner, alhtough I get satisfaction that he had to settle for Nebraska and not Notre Dame.

Loser: Olkahoma, their president and athletic director. Can you imagine Georgia saying about Florida or Tennessee?; or Auburn or LSU saying about Alabama?; or vice versa?; or even Vanderbilt for that matter?; effectively stating what Oklhaoma said about doing whatever Texas decided?

Lesser loser: my perverse sense of humor that would have loved to have been a fly on the wall the first time the Oregon or UW mens gymanstic team decided to break curfue and go to a bar in Stillwater.