Realignment Today: 3:02 p.m. Update - ACC issues statement as talk about further Big Ten expansion continues

3:02 p.m. Update:

Well, by now I'm sure many of you have heard that the ACC issued a joint statement which indicated that the rumors about ACC schools going to other conferences are false.

That's what they're saying, anyway.

Here's the link:

I applaud the ACC for saying something, even if it is somewhat laughable, but I can assure you that this statement means very little in all of this. If you're in the ACC's shoes, it's much better to have something like this exist than not. But it hardly means things are sunny in ACC land right now.

Let's face it, they upped the exit fee to $50 million — an astronomical number at the time it happened — and even that didn't keep schools from leaving. If a school wants to leave and another conference wants to take them, they're gone. That's still at least a decent sized "if" at the moment, as we're simply waiting to see if the Big Ten really wants to take its power play all the way.

Stay tuned...

Original Post:

A couple of quick things to share before I move on to the rest of my day and get back to wrapping up the Kansas University football season and working on that Granting of Rights story. It’s coming... I promise. And it’s going to give you a real thorough look at what that thing’s all about.

Just quickly, though, I noticed that there has been a lot more talk out there about Big Ten expansion in the past 24 hours and I wanted to touch on that a little more.

Popular opinion right now says that as soon as the Big Ten adds two more to get to 16 that will open the floodgates for the ACC, SEC and Big 12 to jump on the bandwagon and start adding to their member lists as well. That makes sense. But I’m not so sure it’s going to go that way.

I know a lot of people out there believe that such a move would force the Big 12 to act, but you have to remember that, at its core, this thing is all about television dollars. If the Big 12 can add a couple of teams — say Florida State and Clemson — and increase its value in the eyes of the league’s television partners then it becomes a no-brainer to expand. Do it yesterday. But if not, why do it at all?

It’s not as if this is a guessing game either. The TV execs would gladly enter (and may already have) into any discussions or negotiations about the potential to make more money (from their advertisers and corporate sponsors) but also would be very blunt in explaining to any conference whether moves A, B or C would actually bring increased value. If they say no, I don’t think you can expand. If they say yes, poach away.

One Big 12 administrator with knowledge of the league’s television deals I spoke with yesterday said he did not think college athletics was headed toward four 16-team super conferences any time soon and also said he thought both the ACC and Big 12 were in good shape and did not need to panic and expand for the sake of expansion.

Another league source told me recently that he thought if the Big 12 wanted to expand it likely would have done so already.

I know many reports have indicated that there is some division within the Big 12 about the issue of staying at 10 or expanding. While that may be true on a small level, I don’t believe the members who are open to expansion have reached the point where they are adamant about it happening. I think all 10 still see the value in staying at the current number and are content to remain there.

I’m not sure the same can be said for the Big Ten.

This recent report features Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis pointing out the advantages of expanding to 16....

... And this report quotes Illinois chancellor Phyllis Wise saying that the league did not discuss any other schools when it unanimously voted to approve the additions of Maryland and Rutgers.

The articles above do not necessarily indicate that Big Ten officials have differing viewpoints on further expansion, and it’s clear in both of them that the league is planning to evaluate the landscape on a daily basis and will act accordingly.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and company are certainly worth keeping an eye on but it may be possible that the Big Ten is not the key piece in all of this after all.

I know I’ll be watching just as closely for news from the ACC’s lawsuit against Maryland and Rutgers’ lawsuit against the Big East. Both are intriguing, potentially game-changing moves and the outcome of either could have just as big of an impact on conference realignment as any expansion talks.

Time will tell.

While we wait, here's an updated percentage wheel with my thoughts on what the Big 12 will do in the near future...

  1. Stay at 10 - 74%
  2. Expand by 2 - 13%
  3. Expand by 4 - 12%
  4. Expand by 6 - 1%

Stay tuned...



Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 4 months ago

Matt Tait, Did you ever check out the video of the did from Spokane Wa. kicking the 67 yard field goal ?? The kids name is Austin Rehkow. Played for the Central Valley HS there in Spokane Wa. KU needs this kid !!!


ozhawk4 1 year, 4 months ago

I'll be curious to see the latest information around realignment with the 7 catholic schools from the Big East looking to dissolve the league and possibly team up with the A-10. What would the fallout from this be? UConn and Cincy/UCF free rides to ACC and would the B1G grab any of the leftovers from football? Would that force the SEC to grab a couple ACC teams and would Florida State be mad enough about the focus on basketball additions to leave the ACC? Anyway, I'm curious to see what new information is out there with this latest news that I'm not very many saw coming.


Bill Skeet 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't share the believe that KU will end up in Pac12, Big10 or ACC. I think both the Big 12 and ACC are precarious in different ways.

Seems more and more likely that KU will end up in either Big10 or some new conference resulting from the wreckage of the ACC and Big12.

A move that makes one of those two conferences implode will likely cause the other one to collapse as well. Furthermore, the next defection from either conference may be the Jenga block that sends the tower into a freefall.

ACC's fragility is evident. If one or two teams leave, a ripple effect seems easy to imagine.

Big12 has strength and vulnerability with 10 schools and only 3 AAU. If any of those AAU institutions bolt, or Oklahoma, the conference is a shell of its current self.

I think the fates of the ACC and Big12 are tied.

If schools from either weak conference jump to the established conferences, then it's likely a school or two from the other weak conference will also jump to an established conference for self-preservation. Neither conference can sustain attrition in this situation. This will set off the implosion of both conferences, as the three established conferences cherry-pick up to 16 schools.

The result will be three super conferences, and a fourth "phoenix conference" that rises from the ashes of both prior conferences.


ku11 1 year, 4 months ago

KU to B1G

Texas, Texas Tech to Pac 12

Oklahoma, Oklahome St. to SEC

Baylor, TCU, KSU to Mountain West


Iowa St. to Big East (if they'll still be around)


Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

For those interested in the of alums in major US cities, check out page 3 of the link below. It is interesting. Chicago and Denver have the largest numbers. We alums are well represented on both the coasts, in Texas and in other Midwestern cities. We are not that well represented in the South including Florida.


Krohnutz 1 year, 4 months ago

Matt; do you feel like Delaney has basically decided he is pissed off at Swofford and Notre Dame for their deal and part of this is aimed at crippling the ACC?

Let's look at the facts: He went after Maryland. Losing a member typically forces the losing conference (ACC) to then poach from the Big East (which is funny because I remember when there was an agreement that the ACC/Big12/BigLeast would not poach each other, hilarious). So what does DeLaney do? He poaches the next best school left in the Big Least.

I actually feel like Rutgers could be something of a sleeping giant. 40k+ enrollment, access to the Jersey/New York area, a developing football team. Strong academics. What is your assessment of Rutgers and if it will help the Big 10+2+2?


mahkmood 1 year, 4 months ago

ACC statement is for legal and recruiting purposes. Completely lame considering the statement is a blatant lie. I now dislike the ACC even more. I hope the B1G, SEC, and B12 pick them apart and none take UNC or Duke.


justinryman 1 year, 4 months ago

And here I thought I had brain damage before reading all of the above.

This really does cause a headache.

Please wake me from my slumber when something of substance come forth.

On a side note: Matt Thanks for keeping this going and providing information and such.


Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't understand why everyone thinks that expansion is required or even necessary. Doesn't the fact they the conference signed a 13 year media deal with Fox and ESPN protect then from having to expand? Aren't the schools guaranteed a minimum of $20M per year for the next 13 years? Isn't that the definition of stability?


bigboypants 1 year, 4 months ago

Other conferences are expanding into more populated areas (B1G into the NE) and the Big12 is standing pat in a region that perhaps has fewer TVs than any other conference! At the end of the day equalibrium will win out and the product distributers (ESPN, FOX, etc.) will pay more for broader access. Conferences in less populated areas will get less TV money than conferences in more populated areas (ready for that Big12...?).

And, as we've seen, quality of programs (Rutgers??? Sheeesh!!) doesn't matter. Access does.

The Big12 must expand to capture more TV's if they want to be a player in the long-run. And they better get on with it...


Dale Stringer 1 year, 4 months ago

I think the Big 12 has it right and in the best world, there would be 12 x 10-team conferences. That's 120 of the 120 non-independant schools. Teams play everyone in their conference. We have a 16-team playoff made up of Conference winners (if they are in the top 25) and 4+ wild card teams.


Fairwayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Everytime I hear that the Big 12 wants to stay at 12 I want to vomit.....I mean seriously how in the world do these adminstrators think 10 is a viable number in the future?? IT IS NOT!!!!! And if our leadership does not realize this.....The Big 12 is gone within 5-7 years!!

I am so tired of this conference crap mainly because nothing positive has happened to the Big 12(additions of TCU and WVU was a SMALL exception)! I really hope perception is not reality in this case and the Big 12 is working hard and WANTS to get back to 12....if not this conference is DOOMED and KU look to get into the B1G immediately. I am also hoping that these "staying at ten" comments are aimed at not giving away our gameplan so we can work silently behind the scenes. In the realignment game...... it is kill or be killed....and unfortunately it looks like we are not the ones prepared to do any killing!!


Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

BP. I agree. A lot of people think that all we have to do is get on the phone to the PAC 12 or Big 10 and tell them we want to join It doesn't work that way. We clearly do not have the value we think we do and that is frustrating.

We actually are in good shape today because UT decided to keep the conference together. I hope people realize that.


Sam Constance 1 year, 4 months ago

Not only do I think the Superconferences are NOT an inevitability, I don't think it's a very likely outcome.


BPSkelly 1 year, 4 months ago

I understand why folks talk about wanting to join the Big 10. But there's been no sourced comments or verification that thats even in the works. We can want to 'join' all we want, but we have to be invited.

No one at all heard about Maryland or Rutgers until it happened. My guess is there wont be any (or much) warning about the next moves either.


jgkojak 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm also thinking if the B12 is the one to go instead of the ACC - that tells me that no ACC school leaves -- so the SEC, to get to 16, goes after Oklahoma and OSU

The B10, with no ACC targets, has only one logical choice -- Kansas - which does really deliver the KC market in conjunction w/Nebraska

That leaves Texas to bring TTU to the Pac (not sure who they scrounge for #15 and #16)

That leaves KSU, TCU and Baylor S.O.L. -- would they be in the bastardized Big East (the one with Tulane and SMU)?

(ISU with its AAU status, either goes B10, or is the western extension of the new ACC)

In this scnerio: The ACC adds UConn and WVU The B10 adds KS and ISU The SEC adds OU and OSU the PAC adds Texas, TTU and 2 more (San Diego State, maybe Nevada or New Mexico) The Mountain West adds KSU The Big East adds TCU, Baylor

I could see the Mountain West and the Big East sucking up whatever is left of some of the other Div 1 conferences, leaving very little left


Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 4 months ago

As long as the Big12 Commish has his lips sowed to Texas AD Dobbs ass the Big 12 will fade away and become nothing but a Big Texas Conference that will be controlled by the Long Horns. Come on KU and read the writing on the wall and bail on the Big Texas 1 + 9. Big 10 would be a great fit for the program.


Phoghorn 1 year, 4 months ago

Last night, I drafted up my dream conference. What do you folks think about this one?

Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State


Brett Clifton 1 year, 4 months ago

It seems like when I was at KU, the student body was made up from 3 places: KC, Chicago and Denver. Wouldn't KU be able to pitch this to anyone about adding markets and $$$? KC is a no-brainer. Chicago is definitely covered by Illinois and Northwestern, but KU has a big alumni base there. And yes Denver is covered by the Buffs, but we have a large enough contingent out there to make the Buffs court "Allen Fieldhouse West" when we used to play CU. Just sayin.......


Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 4 months ago

Any word on who the B1G is looking at?


trey 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm not convinced we're going to 4 Super-conferences given there is no governing body driving this, not sure the economics say that four 16's is the optimal configuration, and a football playoff doesn't require it. That said, we could get there organically, ie. one of the big 5 (excluding Big East which is already gone) implodes. Seems to me that there could be one of three triggers to this...

B1G, SEC, Texas

If the BIG and/or SEC recruits two more teams, or Texas decides they want to go to another conference, then it could kill either the ACC or Big12. In my view, the Big12 is by far the most vulnerable. The ACC has 15 teams (including Notre Dame). They have some margin for additional defectors. The Big12 has 10; one team leaves and I think it crumbles.

Here's a scenario that would be interesting. It assumes the ACC doesn't implode (my view) and geography stays relavent. Maybe not likely, but one that could be attractive in many ways...

B1G triggers the dominoes by adding KU and (yes) MU. I think the B1G would prefer to add UNC and Virginia, but I'm betting the ACC stays in tact. The B1G wants AAU schools and contiguous geography, so next best are KU/MU. This would also take shot at SEC. MU would be far better off in B1G, and I don't think there is any penalty to leave the SEC.

SEC now needs three, adds Oklahoma, OSU and West Virginia. Again, I don't believe the ACC implodes and these three schools are really best fit in SEC. New and contiguous geography for SEC.

ACC needs one, adds UConn UConn fits with basketball and geography (attractive NY market). Notre Dame eventually adds football into ACC.

PAC adds four Texas schools Or maybe takes KSU and ISU instead of TCU & Baylor. PAC has most limited choices to expand and obviously Texas is their top target.

Ironically KU, if invited to B1G, could be trigger for Big12 imploding. If Texas, OU, or KU leaves Big12 is dead. Maybe GOR will prevent any of them from leaving, and if so... we won't be going to four 16's. Personally, I would love to see KU to the B1G.


Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

I have a question. I remember reading somewhere when Nebraska joined the Big 10, they said they could deliver the KC market. They have a large alumni base there. Is this anyway to find out if the Big Ten Network is getting maximum revenue from the cable providers in the KC area?


THE_REAL_DEAL_WITH_BILL_MCNEIL 1 year, 4 months ago

The B1G, SEC, and ACC have 14 members. The PAC has 12. That makes 10 open spots for all 4 to get to 16.

The Big 12 has 10 members.

Coincidence? .















ku_foaf 1 year, 4 months ago

2008KUGrad, You bring up a good point, and the television as a business may change as other media drive businesses like books and music have already. TV is the biggest of all, and will fight it tooth and nail, but it will not be immune to technology changes in the long run.

The net result is it will probably scramble everything and we will go through this all again! Who knows when this might happen? Five years, twenty? Apple seems to be exploring this kind of "end around" with cable companies and wanting to charge based on episodes or views. They kind of said it would be very hard to break the current model.

Maybe each individual school will negotiate their own contracts. Maybe the whole concept of conferences will become less important again, maybe even go away, and we will see many independents again. Would bowls like the opportunity to choose the teams they think are the best, rather than locked into teams from certain conferences?

Unsettling, but it will happen again, even if it settles now.


2008KUGrad 1 year, 4 months ago

Since conference realignment is all about number of TV sets & cable subscribers in populated areas, what happens if cable television become obsolete? The internet is a wonderful & powerful thing & many people are using cheaper alternative to cable, such as Netflix, Hulu, ESPN live streaming, & many more. There's smart TVs with built in apps. ESPN has had an app & online streaming for years, which I'm sure some of you East/West coasters have utilized regularly.

What will happen with these big cable contracts with ABC, Fox, NBC, & the almighty ESPN? Some people don't think the internet will kill cable, just as cell phones won't (or didn't) kill landlines. Will the networks just instill a premium app?

Matt, has there been any talk of the future of media delivery? Thanks for all you do for the University.


jgkojak 1 year, 4 months ago

I think we know which programs are on the list for SEC and B1G expansion, and even the limited number the Pac has to choose from.

SEC NC Stat Va Tech in a pinch FSU, Clemson

B1G - they are only adding AAU schools UNC Virginia Ga Tech in a pinch Kansas (Yes, KS), Iowa State

Pac Texas Oklahoma/OSU combo Kansas TTU in a pinch San Diego St (really belongs in Pac academically/athletically), Nevada, New Mexico

I'm convinced KU's AAU membership lands it -- best-case, in B1G, worst-case in Pac w/Texas.

Who is S**t Out of Luck w/out B12: KSU -- hello, Mountain West TCU -- it was fun while it lasted, hello Mountain West Baylor -- it's gonna suck to be Baylor ISU -- its AAU gets it something - but w/out Iowa giving in and allowing them in B1G, not sure where they go WVU -- they could get snagged as team #16 in the ACC if the B12 implodes - it would help appease FSU, etc. who wants another football power


d_prowess 1 year, 4 months ago

Are there any lawyers out there that can help Tait trademark the Percentage Wheel? After a few more years you know he will get stolen away from us from someone like ESPN or CBS Sports to write for them and he needs to protect the Percentage Wheel! We can have every cheap beat writer out there trying to copy this revolutionary sports writing innovation!!


swunruhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Good information Matt. Thanks Unfortunately Mike Alden, of Mizzu is quoted at the very end of the Mich. St. article. That ruined it for me. He suggested that conference changes are a long way from ending. Since Miz started it by dreaming of a B10 offer, he probably knows.


Joey Meyer 1 year, 4 months ago

While I understand the incentive to keep the big pot of money in fewer hands, I just can't help but fear inaction by the Big 12 will leave other conferences (Big 10, SEC) with 16 team powerhouse conferences while most of the top schools are out of the picture, and the Big 12 is viewed as a smaller, lesser conference.

For once, even if we break even by expanding, I wish the Big 12 would be proactive. If Florida State & Clemson are out there, grab em! Same with VT, Georgia Tech, UNC, NC State, etc. Not for stability's sake, but to hang with the best. Make it a four conference country and earn some respect...


blindrabbit 1 year, 4 months ago

Maybe so, but my guess is the final result will be 4 major conferences of 16 teams each. Three of the four conferences are already determined: the PAC-12 (or whatever), the B1G and the SEC. PAC-12 needs to add 4 teams to reach 16, B1G needs 2 additional, and SEC also needs 2. The fourth major conference will be made- up of a conglomeration of what remains of the other majors, a combination of Big-12, ACC, BigEast and a few other major programs scattered aroung the country. Can speculate all day long as to the additions to the PAC, B1G and SEC and what will make up the fourth and what it will it be named


THE_REAL_DEAL_WITH_BILL_MCNEIL 1 year, 4 months ago

Did you reference the Certificate of Incorporation for the Big 12 for your GoR story?


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