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May 9, 2010

Why the 16 Team Mega Conferences won't happen Part 1

I just don't see the Big 10 expanding to 16 teams any time soon, and if they don't do it. No one will. In my opinion, most of their talk about 16 teams is aimed at:
  • Making Notre Dame Nervous - The only way for a 16 team conference to really work would be moving to a 10 game league schedule. You really wouldn't play the other side of the league often enough to call yourself a conference unless you went to 10 games. Ten league games for the Big 10 would mean extremely little scheduling flexibility for Midwestern teams in booking Notre Dame. Also, a 16 team Big 10 would eliminate the Big East. Currently, Notre Dame is guaranteed 4 games a year against Big East foes. Combine that with three more Big 10 teams, and it becomes hard to see how they would book a full slate of 12 games. There are only so many service academies.

  • Making Nebraska Nervous - If the Big 10 takes Missouri and the Pac 10 takes Colorado, the team left standing in the Big 12's game of musical chairs is Nebraska. Texas and Texas A&M can do pretty much anything they want due to TV demographics and fan support. Nebraska doesn't have that luxury.
In the end, I think the Big 10 will expand by 1 team and the Pac 10 will go to 12. And most of the 16 team talk is brilliantly aimed at getting the Big 10 the best possible team to reach out to them for inclusion.

From there, all the leagues will take a deep breath. Because the contractual complexities of moving to 16 teams in one or more conferences are just too great. And University presidents are too risk adverse.

More on the Revenue side in a little bit.

PWD

2 comments:

Michael Brazeal said...

Remember that the WAC was briefly a 16-team league in the late 90s. Based on the fact that half the teams bolted and formed the Mountain West, obviously that experiment didn't work very well.

The Big 10 has much more at stake money and fan-wise expanding to 16 teams than the WAC did. But I feel like a midwestern "supre-conference" would fail for many of the same reasons.

In sum, I agree.

AppleDawg said...

16 teams is too much. Too many teams, imo

I do not want the SEC expanding anymore as we then lose our rivarly game with Auburn and other SEC rivalries are cut across the East/West divisions

 
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