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My reaction to last week's Champions Bowl announcement, plus some realignment links from the weekend

I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now, but in case you haven’t, or even if you have, it’s worth mentioning again.

Late last week, after the Champions Bowl agreement between the SEC and the Big 12 became public, interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, who is on his way out in a couple of weeks, was asked what he would do if he were the commissioner of the Big East or ACC right about now.

Without flinching, and with a the kind of confidence and cockiness that should make Big 12 fans everywhere feel very, very good about the league’s future, Neinas laughed and said, “Better get a good bowl.”

That’s if there’s time.

It’s obvious what the Big 12-SEC agreement has done to the landscape of college athletics. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have the Rose Bowl and the Big 12 and SEC now have the Champions Bowl. What the four of them have together is a stranglehold on college football. And that, we all know, gives those four conferences and the teams within them some serious power.

But what if this is just the beginning? Forget a Final Four for football or an all-encompassing playoff of any kind. What if these four leagues decide to play the way they want to play and create their own rules? Beyond the obvious that such a move could further fast-track the shift to super conferences, it also would create potential disaster for the NCAA as we know it.

The Champions Bowl is a nice concept. It ensures that even if — somehow — the Big 12 and SEC champions aren’t in the top four at the end of the season, we’ll have one heck of a bowl game to look forward to anyway.

So what if this concept trickles down a little. What if those leagues decide to pair up second- or third-place finishers in other bowls? Sound like a stretch? It shouldn’t. Forget the appeal of top-tier teams or quality match-ups. The driving force behind this move, as it is with most things these days, would be money. And if you’re the Big 12 and the SEC and you’re pairing your top teams in new bowls and doing all the work to market them and make it happen, guess what? You get to keep all the money. No sharing it with the NCAA or corporate sponsors. You keep it. And you divvy it up between the members of your now incredibly powerful leagues.

If such a move were to happen, the current postseason set up not only would lose out on top teams, big bucks and marketing gold mines, it also would have to restructure its existing bowl lineup, should the other bowl games even survive.

There’s been talk lately about raising the number of victories required for bowl eligibility from six to seven. If the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 took this next step, the NCAA would have to lower the number to five just to fill all of the bowl slots. Yuck.

I’m not necessarily advocating this kind of hostile takeover. I like the NCAA Tournament, and I would love to see college football have something similar, be it an eight- or 16-team playoff someday. And I’m sure there are more than a few obstacles to this plan that would make it tough to pull off.

But this much we now know — don’t underestimate the Big 12. What looked to be a dinosaur on its death bed just one year ago is now in the ultimate position of power in college athletics’ most important sport.

I can’t help but wonder what’s next.

Now.....

Let’s move on to a quick look at the realignment talk that popped up over the weekend.

Before I hit you with these links, it should be noted that multiple Big 12 sources told me late last week that nothing was happening and that the Big 12 was not involved in any serious conversations about expansion. A couple of those same sources also said, however, that the league is always keeping its eyes and ears open to anything and everything that would make it a better conference.

I’ll have another blog later this week with some more from those sources.

Onto the links:

This report says Florida State to the Big 12 is “inevitable.”
http://dev.chuckoliver.net/2012/05/fsu-to-the-big-12-it-is-inevitable/

In case you missed this, add former FSU football coach Bobby Bowden to the list of people who believe the Seminoles should stay in the ACC:
http://saturdayblitz.com/2012/05/20/clemson-blogger-claims-big-12-move-agreed-timeline-rumors/

Here’s a blog that links to a couple of sites that say Clemson has reached a deal in principle to move to the Big 12, possibly with Florida State and Georgia Tech not far behind.
http://saturdayblitz.com/2012/05/20/clemson-blogger-claims-big-12-move-agreed-timeline-rumors/

And, finally, a list of the seven topics that will dominate discussions this week, complete with the following at No. 3:

--- What’s next for Notre Dame? Do the Irish have much choice but to re-examine their status relative to the members of the stronger-than-ever SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12? We probably should’ve included the officially resuscitated Big 12 in the previous sentence, too. Is ND an expansion target for the Big 12? One thing we can say for sure is Notre Dame isn’t as powerful as it once was. Until its profile within the next BCS structure is defined, it isn’t necessarily any better off than the programs in the suddenly vulnerable ACC (let alone those in the sitting-duck Big East).

Here’s the full list:
http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-05-20/notre-dame-big-12-fighting-irish-arizona-wildcats-rich-rodriguez-rose-bowl#ixzz1vRy5Yrlo

Stay tuned...

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Comments

LogicMan 1 year, 10 months ago

Big 12 meeting this week!

A supposed insider says FSU and Clemson ... :-) https://twitter.com/#!/gswaim

GaTech, UMd, ND, etc., don't get left out of the party! Knock loudly and publicly on our door, today!

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JHWKDW 1 year, 10 months ago

There was a saying from Pesci in Casino he used in the Movie concerning the Casino he said its all about the Dollars!This is all this is about the Dollars in college sports!There was one report that the SEC Sports will crack a Billion Dollars!Im no Missouri fan or Texas a&M fan but folks money talks!Plus no Longhorn ring to kiss every time they want something!

Florida State,Clemson,and the rest of them just want more money!The talk of the ACC imploding is not going to happen!If anything the only thing that will happen is the SEC will nab 2 more teams from them one probably from Virginia,and North Carolina!After that nothing else will happen! I'm not buying all this implosion of the ACC Talk like what happened even in our Big 12!

Since the ACC will be adding Pitt and Syracuse and maybe other Big East teams like Rutgers maybe U Conn one day,they all want more money plain and simple!Hey when you see the SEC Money you see why other conferences are drooling!The SEC will expand and the ACC will expand and we will be at 10! (Thanks D Dodds for nothing)

Trust Me Deloss Dodds will screw this conference expansion up, he already is with Florida State just like everything else that would help the Longhorn Conference!(!Formerly Big 12 Conference)

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GSlapshot 1 year, 10 months ago

The Big 8 trademark is licensed by the Big 12. They also own the Big 14 & Big 16 trademarks also. So if we go past 12 we can rename our conference

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LogicMan 1 year, 10 months ago

Clemson Board of Trustees: We are willing to listen. Hear that, Big 12? Hopefully you have someone meeting with them soon? And with FSU and GaTech?

VaTech says it's not interested, and Miami is possibly in deep NCAA trouble. ND isn't coming, at least anytime soon. Louisville or Maryland as #14? Get 'er done!

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BPSkelly 1 year, 10 months ago

As a Jayhawk here in St. Louis I can tell you it's not the same as being one in K.C. , but if there's one thing that to me has held true over the years is that more than any of our conference foes none has held a more irrationally inflated sense of themselves than Mizzou fans.

It's staggering. And to me, the move to the SEC simply fed that. It still doesnt make any sense and odds are it'll never be like it was in the Big 12. In fairness, THAT Big 12 is gone (CU, Neb, A&M). My personal favorite BS throw away line was the "instability" -- a very factual statement -- except for the fact that Mizzou was one of the primary reasons for it. Most Mizzou fans act the school was simply an innocent by standard in one of Bevo's evil little games. Go on Tiger Board NOW and they still view it that way as if they were simply lucky enough to get off the sinking ship.

Understand too, im fine that they left. Im just sick and #$@%^#@$^ tired of hearing about it from them. They've quieted down a bit, not so surprisingly now that it appears the Big 12 not only is stabilizing but looks to be on the upswing. Im sure thats not coincidence.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 months ago

Speaking of Mizzou:

You have to think it is one huge kick in the cajones that they leave the conference citing "instability" as a primary factor, and before the move even becomes official, their new conference helps their old conference regain stability.

I used to have trouble explaining the proper defintion of true irony. I believe that would qualify.

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bradh 1 year, 11 months ago

It's interesting that CBS is telling the SEC that MU and AtM don't add value to the conference tv wise. I've seen several threads on SEC boards that indicate they aren't too happy with their new additions. Almost feel sorry for them, ha.

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Luke Kay 1 year, 11 months ago

So, something I have been curious about since we finally fired Beebe and brought in Chuck Neinas as the interim. Does Neinas not want the job? Does the Big12 not want him? IMO he has done an awesome job getting us back on track, and did great with the Big8. (it feels weird and refreshing to write Big8 for some reason) sorry I digress. But seriously, why the search for a commisioner when we have a great one already going?

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whitechocolate 1 year, 11 months ago

So rather than who's in, I think we need a percentage wheel of BCS teams most scared of being left out in the cold...

Duke 2% Miami 7% Louisville 10% UConn 11% Boise State 13% Cincinnati 15% Wake Forest 18% USF 24%

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LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

It may be coming to a boil .. Clemson's Board is to meet tomorrow to "get on the same page" about conference rumors. Very interesting, indeed, since they have shown the most discipline so far of all mentioned. If any on the CU Tigers' Board doubt it, yes we do want y'all in the new Big 12+ Final Four National Champions Power Conference!

UT is fine with expansion if the teams are of highest quality (FSU, Clemson, GaTech, VaTech, ND appear to pass the test), and 12.5, 14, and 16 are on the table. Unfortunately for UofL, they don't currently meet UT's test. The Cards should ask DeLoss, nicely and today, what are their three weakest things (short of recent FB record), and quickly address them. I hope they have alumni and friends with deep pockets, because now's the time, or never.

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LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

DeLoss has gone public on contacting ND:

http://tracking.si.com/2012/05/22/deloss-dodds-courting-notre-dame/?sct=cf_t2_a8

just like the tweets, blogs, and boards have been saying.

Now if we can sign 'em up, the party can get started.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 11 months ago

To address the idea that Dodds is against adding more teams, that is more creative journalism. Here is an article that has his exact quotes:

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/brett-mcmurphy/19124774/texas-ad-not-for-expanding-but-admits-courting-notre-dame

Note that his words used most often reflect "need" to expand, of which he says the Big 12 does not need to expand. He certainly puts forth that he likes ten teams for blah blah reasons, but nowhere does he adamantly oppose the idea of expanding.

His rhetoric is dual purpose, it shows that the Big 12 is being selective, and it is a bargaining chip in that we don't "need" more teams, but if you want to come on board, make a sales pitch.

I am not a UT guy, but Dodds is being shrewd and it is a good position to maintain.

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LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

They are hotly debating conference realignment and the national championship process right now on AM 810. At the moment they are mostly saying better get in one of the Final Four conferences fast!

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BPSkelly 1 year, 11 months ago

I loved the pods in my hypothetical "Big 16" from last year. Now the goal posts are moving, but the idea is the same...

Football... play everyone in your 'pod' every year (likely pods based on geography). Play the teams that finshed in the same 'place' as you in the other 3 pods. (ie - finish last? play 3 of the other 'last' place teams the next year). Thats 6 games. Play two more games based on the duration since you've played last. While this concept could jumble things, and certainly wouldnt be 'hard' it would assure that you dont go eons without playing everyone. My guess is they'd have it a pre-set pairing however that would simply rotate.

Hoops... play everyone one in your pod home and home (6). Play everyone else once and alternate years home and home (or even assign the h&h by pods). 18 games.

Clearly a huge issue here is the cost of transportation for schools over great distances. Especially with the non-revenue sports... What if the schools (or pods) 'hosted' one of the other pods for a large group of games (non-revenue). Festival/Tournament/whatever. You could probably even charge a little bit of $$$ if you hosted it correctly. Obviously, this would work with everything... it might not work at all. But if things are going to get this crazy, its going to take some more progressive thinking about how some of these things go down. Crazy Crazy.

Here comes the Noles !!!

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LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

Latest from the tweets, blogs, and boards is that ND will join in all non-FB sports (that it can) ASAP, and then FB will move over fully to the Big 12 after the NBC contract expires. So a phase-in period over a handful of years is the plan. UT is doing the heavy lifting with ND -- props to the Longhorns!

UofL being mentioned more as #14, with some saying they already have a bid in hand, as do FSU and Clemson at #11 and #12.

Some saying we're going to 16 ASAP!

SEC is interested in UNC, but UNC isn't currently interested in them. NCState continues to be the SEC's best shot in that state.

Ramblin' Wrecks from Georgia Tech: Get UMd (or UNC) to come with you as #15 and #16 in the new Big 12+4 Final Four National Championship power conference!

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JHWKDW 1 year, 11 months ago

Folks all of this does not matter!

Texas and that senile old fool Dodds said he did not want expansion!He said it just last week!Look at all the other schools in the Big 12 folks!Everyone is remaining quiet!No matter what every other school in the Big 12 wants if the Longhorn jerks do not want something guess what it does not happen!That Bohls guy asked what was holding up or the issue of adding Florida State.

In distance or prospects of Florida State joining the Big 12, Bohls asked.

“Both,” Dodds said.

In distance or prospects of joining the Big 12, I asked.

“Both,”

There you have it!Question how would you be feeling if you were a prestigious school like Florida State, and you got these Longhorn Buttholes shooting you down and talking smack about you in public like they are,that more or less they do not want you would you be wanting to go to that conference?I know I wouldn't be eager to hang out or play with people like Texas!

I know people talk smack about A&M and Missouri, and Colorado and Nebraska well exclude Nebraska!But folks Texas is a destructive force people!They do not want to play fair!Over and over they keep saying they only want 10 teams!When they say it they mean it!The teams that bolted left for a reason and it is the 1 ton Longhorn in the room no one in the press wants to talk about!Texas is out for Texas not the Big 12!

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John Fitzgerald 1 year, 11 months ago

I posted this in a previous article, but it's still what I would like to happen "if" the Big 12 expanded to a 16 team conference. And, I made a few changes with all the talk going on about who would and wouldn't come to the Big 12. It would turn the Big 12 into the new power conference. And I agree, it would thin out the money the Big 12 has to divvy out, but there are a lot of plus sides to having a 16 team conference as well. Again, I don't think this would happen, but I think it would be cool if it did, and definitely possible with all the realignment talk.

Big MACC (Big Midwest Atlantic Coast Conference) (Big 12 changes name to Big MACC to better fit their new teams)

North Kansas Kansas St Iowa St Notre Dame

South Texas Oklahoma Oklahoma St Texas Tech

East Louisiville Virginia Tech West Virginia Clemson

South East Florida St Georgia Tech Baylor TCU

Let me know what you guys think. May seem obsured but you never know at this point in the game! Either way I think the Big 12 sits pretty comfortable.

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Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 11 months ago

I understand why the SEC would want VaTech, but NC State sounds an underwhelming addition.

Are UNC and NC State conjoined twins a la KU/KSU?

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Hank Cross 1 year, 11 months ago

Here's an interesting piece that addresses a question that I've wondered about - The possibility of conferences trading teams to get to 4 16-team superconferences. It may be a solution to far-flung conferences and that fact that the P12 really doesn't have any place to expand.

http://www.eerinsider.com/2012-articles/may/math-pods-and-college-football-why-super-conferences-are-inevitable.html

The blogger posits that KU and KSU may get shuffled to the P12. It would be an intriguing concept to have KU in a mid-western pod in the P12.

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DocPossum 1 year, 11 months ago

What's to keep ACC/Big East and ND from snagging a third bowl, then let the rest fight it out for places in a fourth bowl game. You then would have your four playoff games winners playing winners for the eventual National championship.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 11 months ago

Does Duke take our position now. Good enough for basketball, but actually could be left in the cold because of lack of the football program? Will anyone want Duke?

If given a choice will UNC help Duke or NCState be the one helped into a conference?

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jgkojak 1 year, 11 months ago

The future of the ACC FSU->B12 Clemson->B12 Ga Tech->B12 MD->B10 VA->B10 UNC->B10 Duke->B10 or BEast/ACC merge NC State ->SEC Va Tech -> SEC Wak Forest->BEast/ACC Miami->BEast/ACC Boston Coll->BEast/ACC Syracuse->BEast/ACC Pitt->possible B12 if B12 goes to 16

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Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 11 months ago

Almost a year ago the ACC was lookin like it might poach the Big XII...

The tables are turned! The shoe is on the other foot!

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 11 months ago

Of course Notre Dame is the big question mark. I think it is in their interest to stay independent, adopt a cupcake schedule and win themselves to getting into the championship. If they did the same as Boise State and TCU did they would not get overlooked, why, because their Notre Dame. Not fair, but I think they know it would work. The last thing they need to do is continue to lose four and five games (or more) each year. They need to at least create the illusion of success.

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jgkojak 1 year, 11 months ago

I keep coming back to how we were worried we'd be stuck in the Big East or one of those left out... and now we are firmly in the middle of one of the four power conferences with decent travel (even with the east additions) and some good rivals (KSU, ISU, OSU, OU) close to home.

If I were betting, here is where I'd lay down for expansion: B12: 90% chance: FSU, Clemson 60% chance: Ga Tech 40% chance: Pittsburg, Louisville 25% chance: Notre Dame 5%: Maryland, Va Tech, NC State, Rutgers

B10: 75%: Virginia, Maryland 60%: UNC 25%: Duke 5%: Notre Dame, Rutgers

SEC: 90%: Va Tech, NC State 5%: FSU, Ga Tech

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BPSkelly 1 year, 11 months ago

It certainly appears by the time CF season kicks off this year, there is likely to be a lot of movement conference-wise. And nice to see it appears that will benefit the Big 12 and KU.

The only one it 'feels' like a sure thing at this point is FSU. Clemson/Miami/GTech next? Not enough smoke yet for me to think the fire is blazing, but obviously an FSU move would be a domino. And hard to think FSU would make a move if they werent bring a dance partner -- I wouldnt be surprised if the Big 12 didnt almost insist on that.

The pipe dream one continues to be Notre Dame. I still dont think they join a conference, but its clear that N.D.'s place at Thanksgiving might be getting move to the kid's table. I DONT think its going to go down that way -- I think ND still has pull to stay independent. Obviously we'll see what happens.

The part that makes the Notre Dame talk intriguing is the simple fact that for ND to join one of the other conferences (pac12/big 10/ACC) they'd either have to relent on the Tier 3 rights (and $$$) or the conference they'd be going into would. Think about that for a minute. If ND goes to the Big 10 (or looks there first), does Delany tell them they cant do their own thing TVwise on Tier 3? Do they give them a bigger cut of the Big10 network than the other schools get? Hows that going to go over with the other schools -- most notably Ohio State and Michigan (never mind Wisconson, Nebraska, and on and on). Do they relent by letting them do Tier 3 and no one else? Good luck with that? The parties would likely have to relent in some way it seems that either party would want to accede on. The Big 12 is the only conference who that would not be an issue. Not to mention a counter weight to UT wouldnt be the worst thing in the world... would it?

As a keep posting... get your popcorn... its about to get good.

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manginorh00lz 1 year, 11 months ago

GT, FSU, Miami, and one other (Clemson, I guess) would be awesome.

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Jim Jackson 1 year, 11 months ago

I think GA Tech would be a great addition. They have the Atlanta Market and are also an AAU member.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 11 months ago

At this time last year, the candidates for expansion into the Big 12 were very marginal. People were talking about Houston and Louisville and SMU and Cincinnati. None of those schools did anything to strengthen the profile of the conference. Adding them would have been viewed as a weak move, similar to all of the moves the Big East has made. While I don't like the addition of TCU, I understand why it was made. WV was probably the best available and willing team, and the Big 12 picked them up.

Now, everything has changed and there are expansion candidates who can strengthen the conference. Florida State is a brand and a large state university in a large state that opens up media markets. Clemson is a brand and has a sold out 85,000 seat stadium. It will be interesting to see if the new Big 12 leadership become aggressive in shaping the new landscape of college football or whether they will do what they did the last two year and watch while other conferences made aggressive moves at the Big 12's expense. A huge opportunity appears to be available. How will the new leadership respond.

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jgkojak 1 year, 11 months ago

If we get ND... MU is gonna feel really stupid.

Adding FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech and ND strengthen the conference big-time- each team brings somethings to the game- FSU: Another powerhouse, No. 4 to TX/OK/ND Ga Tech: In Atlanta. And fantastic academics. Clemson: Football tradition and academics ND: 'nuff said

I know we tend to dismiss the academic side, but all 3 of these four rank in the top 4 of the current B12 for academic strength and FSU is tied w/KU- not one of these schools can be considered in any way diluting the B12 (like Louisville would).

EAST: ND, WVU, Clemson, Ga Tech, FSU, TCU, Baylor WEST: ISU, KU, KSU. OU. OSU, Tex, Ttch

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Hawkword369 1 year, 11 months ago

Man great article, I get so sucked into this realignment talks its crazy haha. This is an article I found this morning that states "Moves Not Imminent". Give it a read, see what you think http://dallas.sbnation.com/texas-longhorns/2012/5/21/3033384/big-12-expansion-florida-state-notre-dame-clemson-moves-not-imminent

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LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

Latest from the board, from an SEC source no less, is that we're likely to go to 14 with FSU and Clemson in 2013, and Georgia Tech and ... Notre Dame after that. ND's current TV contract with NBC is the holdup for them. Everything to happen beginning in late June, starting with announcements by the first two of intentions to leave the ACC.

SEC likely to add VaTech and NC State in a couple of years.

Biggest holdup is UT not wanting to expand, Let your Longhorn friends know, today, that growing the conference will mean big bucks for UT (actually all of us, but...) and increase our odds against the SEC for national championships! KSU alums -- can you please have a nice talk with DeLoss Dodds?

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jayhawkinmullen 1 year, 11 months ago

The person we are lucky to be rid of is Turner Gill. Talk about a wolf in sheeps clothing.

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oldalum 1 year, 11 months ago

I think you're right, and that's exactly what happened. But Berglund chose to go public with a press release (from his lawyer, I think) and make it sound a lot worse than it was. He got a little publicity from it, and made a lot of contacts with a lot of schools, but I haven't head anything about any of them making him an offer. Strange guy, and we're lucky to be rid of him.

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ParisHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Off topic, my apologies, but here is a link to an anti-NCAA piece that criticizes KU: "Several student-athletes who wished to transfer to another academic institution were effectively held hostage by their college coaches. Kansas, Maryland, and most prominently St. Joseph's, enforced unethical rules that clearly violate the rights of student-athletes and the mission of college athletics."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-k-zola/the-year-in-review-colleg_b_1530210.html

Anybody know what the reference is? If it's Berglund, my understanding was he just got held up a few days to "teach him a lesson" for not discussing the issue with Weis in person. Can anyone clarify?

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jayhawkinmullen 1 year, 11 months ago

Mr. Tait,

Can we get a wheel up in here?

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Krohnutz 1 year, 11 months ago

My computer blocked a trojan from that second website you linked, not sure what is up. Anybody else have AVG issues with it?

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manginorh00lz 1 year, 11 months ago

I am confused by Matt's references to the NCAA. I didn't think the NCAA really had any say in the current bowl structure to begin with.

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Eride 1 year, 11 months ago

My one big problem with your post is the usage of "NCAA." The NCAA already garners almost no revenue from high-level college football as a result of the NCAA vs. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma decision in 1984. While the NCAA remains saddled with the unenviable task of trying to enforce rules on the sport, it financial gains little to nothing. You might want to do some research into exactly what the NCAA's role in college football is, or if you do have this knowledge, use the right terminology. There is a reason why the championship is the 'BCS' championship after all and not the 'NCAA' championship! Just because other bloggers name drop the NCAA to blame all of college athletics woes doesn't make it factual.

The NCAA isn't going to lose out on anything directly by this happening, but the entire corporate sponsored bowl structure will. Judging by the corruption exhibited by recent allegations against officials of the Fiesta bowl, this probably would be a good thing. More money going to the university athletic programs themselves and less money going to the corporate bowl system is a good thing in my opinion.

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Hank Cross 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe that the B12 is no hurry to expand. Why cut the pie any thinner? Unless some very serious new money is coming with any new teams, it's difficult to justify expansion at this time. The B10 isn't going to take FSU Miami, same is likely true for the SEC. So it may make sense to wait until the smoke clears before adding any new teams.

As for ND, it's going to come down to whether the Irish want to keep their tier 3 rights and play KU, ISU, TT, and KState, or keep their B10 rivalries and give up their t3 rights. If the Irish will agree to an even revenue split, I could actually see ND joining the P12 before the B12. That's not a knock on the B12, it's just that ND's rivalries are elsewhere.

In any event, it's so much being on the inside looking out than worrying about being sent to the Mountain West.

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