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Realignment Starting - UConn

Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
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There are cases I can make for a lot of western schools and I believe things can work out well with any of the ones we've mentioned.

Where I believe we're at as a conference is that we wouldn't want to lose our ability to make a big play with OU and/or UT if the opportunity arose, but we also don't want to sit around hoping that the B1G, ACC and SEC break up the Big 12 while leaving OU and UT for the Pac-12's taking. I think we should be more proactive than that while also making sure we leave space to have flexibility in adding them if we get that chance (and look more attractive to them when it comes time to make that pitch).

The move I'd push right now if I couldn't pull off something bigger: UNLV + Texas Tech

That gives us the Nevada/Las Vegas market that has a lot of value in the footprint along with seriously upgrading our basketball prestige. Realistic now since UNLV has invested so much in its medical school and other scientific research + faculty hires to really bring up their level on the academic side. Plus they now will have adequate facilities.

Texas Tech gives us access to Texas with its huge population, money, and passion for college sports. It also gives us a Tier 1 research university while putting a lot of pressure on the Big 12 falling apart. They are also UT's closest ally within the Big 12 and there would be a lot of political pressure within Texas to join up with TTU for a conference affiliation.
 
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Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
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Alternate Scenario:

We go back to the old days when the SWC fell apart and the Big 8 expanded.

Negotiate a Pac-12 / Big 12 merger.

End up with a 20-member conference divided East/West.

West: former Pac-10
East: CU, Utah + 8 new members

(If there was a way to do it, find a way to entice ****braska and/or Missouri to be part of those 8 new teams. This new conference would be powerful enough to match or beat B1G or SEC revenue, so there'd be a case to be made based on traditional rivalries and recruiting grounds.)
 

TSchekler

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Where does CU sit in the Pac 12 hierarchy of programs/institutions that athletic conferences would want to make sure to include?
 

Jalapeno

Deaf MOBA Warrior
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I've always wondered if Colorado has been on the radar for the Big-10, especially with ****braska on board. It would give them a growing western market which they desperately need.

Ultimately I think it would be hard on recruiting but the money would be huge.
I remember Jim Delaney talking about the Rocky Mountains when it came to B1G expansion or something like that. Colorado is to have 8.5 million people by 2050 and is an AAU member...it'd be a shock if CU wasn't on the B1G's radar. If the PAC didn't take CU, they would have gone to the B1G instead...I'm pretty certain of it. Larry Scott and the PAC knows that CU could decide the PAC was a waste of time and join the B1G for the 2024 season so CU does have a little leverage over the PAC at this point and you have to wonder if that was the reason why Phil is now on the chair of the Pac-12 presidents when it comes to PAC issues.

CU had no problems recruiting the west coast when they were Big 8 & 12 members. Being two hours away from home by plane and playing in the B1G would be a nice recruiting benefit for CU as playing the likes of ****braska, Oklahoma, and Texas were in the Big 12. That worked well for us when it was us against the plains guys when we were winning and I do miss having that for CU.

The B1G requires bordering states so CU could be a way to sidestep both KU & MU on their way to getting OU into the conference. Unless the B1G wants CU, KU, MU, and OU.

B1G West: CU, NU, KU, MU, OU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northwestern or Illinois.
B1G East: Northwestern or Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, and Rugers.

Just imagine Tucker singing the CU fight song along with his players after a CU win over his alma mater at Wisconsin.

And given that UCLA to the ACC tweet, I'm guessing that is a way to put pressure on Larry Scott to get his stuff together or he is fired. I believe ASU has/had been making overtures to the Big 12 since CU joined. The good news is that UA still has a significant presence in Phoenix that losing ASU might not matter. USC and Stanford are capable of going indy as well and the West Coast Conference can simply roll out the welcome mat for the Oly sports.

Expect crazy stuff and rumors to happen in the next few years when it comes to the Pac-12.
 

BerkeleyBuff

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It's the top 20 television market that keeps us safe.
Possibly helps, but historically we have low penetration in that market, whereas smaller market teams with greater reach are actually worth more. But sure, certainly helps. We're also the only major program in the rocky mountain region, unless you count Utah.
 

Jalapeno

Deaf MOBA Warrior
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I get it. UH Manoa doesn’t have any buildable space. Transportation to and from would be a nightmare. Those facts change nothing about my statement.

I hate off campus stadiums and I would be curious where UH Manoa landed on their scorecard.
Those other options did have the new stadium further west of Aloha Stadium and even at UH-Ohau. They do plan on having soccer and rugby matches at the new stadium as well.
 

Jalapeno

Deaf MOBA Warrior
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Yeah I don't buy the idea that joining the BIG is a non-starter because they'd lose recruiting and alumni connections. That wasn't the case pre-Pac 12, and it isn't currently the case with recruiting.
Exactly and we'd have some rivals again. Last year's game at ****braska just showed every CU fan what they were missing. Two options in this case:

1. Move to the B1G and reunite with ****braska.
2. Bring CSU to the Pac-12. Utah won't have any issues moving to the North and New Mexico can be school 14.

North: UW, WSU, UO, OSU, Cal, Stan, and Utah.
South: CU, CSU, UA, ASU, UNM, USC, and UCLA.
 

TSchekler

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Exactly and we'd have some rivals again. Last year's game at ****braska just showed every CU fan what they were missing. Two options in this case:

1. Move to the B1G and reunite with ****braska.
2. Bring CSU to the Pac-12. Utah won't have any issues moving to the North and New Mexico can be school 14.

North: UW, WSU, UO, OSU, Cal, Stan, and Utah.
South: CU, CSU, UA, ASU, UNM, USC, and UCLA.
I don't know what the best solution would be, but I just don't think there should be any "non-starters" included in the discussion.
 

Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
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Where does CU sit in the Pac 12 hierarchy of programs/institutions that athletic conferences would want to make sure to include?
We're in the middle. I guess my comparables on value to a conference would be Missouri and Minnesota. AAU members, states with around 6M populations, historically good but not great football & basketball programs.
 

BerkeleyBuff

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Exactly and we'd have some rivals again. Last year's game at ****braska just showed every CU fan what they were missing. Two options in this case:

1. Move to the B1G and reunite with ****braska.
2. Bring CSU to the Pac-12. Utah won't have any issues moving to the North and New Mexico can be school 14.

North: UW, WSU, UO, OSU, Cal, Stan, and Utah.
South: CU, CSU, UA, ASU, UNM, USC, and UCLA.
Bring in CSU, keep Utah in the South, add Boise to the North.
*BSU is almost assuredly a non-starter on academic grounds, but this would be as close to what I'd do as is possible, in addition to making ****braska an annual OOC game.
 

BerkeleyBuff

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What do either of those moves do to enhance the Pac 12's brand and increase revenue?
I didn't say they did. I think of conference affiliations as a fan, not as a businessman. Oregon State and Wazzu don't increase the Pac's revenue either.
 

ahoelsken

Well-Known Member
BYU is an absolute non-starter. Not only are they not a comparable research institution, not only do they have issues with academic freedom, they have a current and past culture that would never allow a yes voter from the California State schools (Cal, UCLA) Stanford, Washington or Oregon. The history of the LDS Church and the current stances on issues such as racial equality, sexual orientation, abortion, and gender equality make it impossible. The much more socially and politically conservative B12 would not have those same issues.

The rest of your list of potential western additions all have an equally large problem. That is that they would cost the current membership substantial amounts of money.

How much value do the Nevada schools or for that matter any of the current MWC schools add in terms of conference TV contracts. None of them bring in close to enough cover the share that they would be receiving thus making the shares for the current members smaller.

Lets assume, and these numbers are not accurate they are just for examples sake, that the total current distributions of conference revenues are $360 million, or $30 million per school. We then add Boise and UNLV. With the additions of those markets the total value of the Conference media package goes up but neither is a significant market nationally so it only goes up to $378 million. The result is the payout per school on equal division drops to $27 million. Boise and UNLV are thrilled to get $23 million more than they were but everyone else loses $3 million in the deal.

Other than BYU none of the other schools you mentioned can come close to being even revenue neutral for the conference.

On the other hand if you can get a combination of Texas and Oklahoma you add two schools with national drawing power, you also make second and third tier rights in Texas, Oklahoma, and the surrounding areas must see TV. Even if you take two other schools along with them (pick from KU, OSU [hard fit due to academics,] TTU, or longshots aTm or Arkansas) and you enhance revenue to the point that each existing school probably goes up at least $3-5 million.

The PAC again due to culture will not take a religious school so eliminate Baylor, SMU, TCU. There is no way they would take a school with the academics of KSU.
BYU is a headache, but I guarantee you their football program (at least) will end up in a Power 5 conference in the near future. If not here, they'll be in the Big 12. Anywhere from 3-5 Pac 12 teams play them every year in football, and I think we're the only school in the league that has not either played them or scheduled future games with them since 2010 when we joined. They'll help our brand as a league and make us more attractive in 2023-24 when our TV rights come back up and in 2030 for bowl games. As far as what you say about the history of the LDS church.........Utah is a Pac 12 member, and over 1/3 of their student body identifies as LDS. We've already shown we value money and TV over academics and culture by inviting them. The only reason in my mind to not invite BYU is the fact that they won't play Sundays-and we don't have to deal with that if we take them in just football.

As far as UT/OU, if you take them, you've gotta take one little brother (most likely Tech in the case of Texas and Okie Lite) each. No way the politicians in either state will allow them to join another league on their own.
 

TSchekler

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I didn't say they did. I think of conference affiliations as a fan, not as a businessman. Oregon State and Wazzu don't increase the Pac's revenue either.
Correct, and I imagine neither of those programs would be invited today if they were G5 programs, but it's hard to kick a member out simply because they don't have great tradition in football. Point is, going forward, conference expansion and realignment should be viewed as a revenue generating venture and what will position the conference and the Buffs in the most competitive way possible. That's also why I don't care about New Mexico, Fresno State, or SDSU.
 

Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
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I didn't say they did. I think of conference affiliations as a fan, not as a businessman. Oregon State and Wazzu don't increase the Pac's revenue either.
That is something I've been thinking about.

Maybe "thinking like a fan" is how people in this business should be thinking? We are the customers, after all.

So is it really crazy to propose that the most value for a conference and its members is when the geographic and historical ties are maximized?

You know, maybe there's some value in having members who play games against each other that generate attendance and water cooler conversations statewide or across 2 states regardless of whether the teams are great that year.
 

TSchekler

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That is something I've been thinking about.

Maybe "thinking like a fan" is how people in this business should be thinking? We are the customers, after all.

So is it really crazy to propose that the most value for a conference and its members is when the geographic and historical ties are maximized?

You know, maybe there's some value in having members who play games against each other that generate attendance and water cooler conversations statewide or across 2 states regardless of whether the teams are great that year.
As a fan, you'd rather see a conference game against a P5 CSU and BSU every year, rather than say UT, OU, NU, TTU, KU, Mizzou, etc?
 

ahoelsken

Well-Known Member
Yeah I don't buy the idea that joining the BIG is a non-starter because they'd lose recruiting and alumni connections. That wasn't the case pre-Pac 12, and it isn't currently the case with recruiting.
I agree, and I think if this league continues to struggle the idea that we change leagues again isn't that far-fetched.
 
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BerkeleyBuff

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As a fan, you'd rather see a conference game against a P5 CSU and BSU every year, rather than say UT, OU, NU, TTU, KU, Mizzou, etc?
I would very much prefer that we stay in the PAC/ aligned with the California, Arizona and PNW schools, yes. If you mean staying in the PAC while adding all those schools you list, no, I wouldn't prefer that either, as I don't see a fan appeal to massive conferences where some conference mates visit your own field once every six years or so. I like the regional, smaller conference beginnings of college football that made it such a great game for so long. As is the PAC still feels like a reasonably cohesive region, the American west, and is small enough that we see all our conference mates on a regular basis. To go back to the post I originally responded to, understand I was responding to the idea of what expansion night look like if the PAC went that route; my true preference is that PAC membership stays as is forever.
 

TSchekler

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I would very much prefer that we stay in the PAC/ aligned with the California, Arizona and PNW schools, yes. If you mean staying in the PAC while adding all those schools you list, no, I wouldn't prefer that either, as I don't see a fan appeal to massive conferences where some conference mates visit your own field once every six years or so. I like the regional, smaller conference beginnings of college football that made it such a great game for so long. As is the PAC still feels like a reasonably cohesive region, the American west, and is small enough that we see all our conference mates on a regular basis. To go back to the post I originally responded to, understand I was responding to the idea of what expansion night look like if the PAC went that route; my true preference is that PAC membership stays as is forever.
To each his own and I won't argue with that sentiment. I just don't believe that's remotely possible if you want to see the Pac 12 remain catch up with the rest of college football.
 

ahoelsken

Well-Known Member
I would very much prefer that we stay in the PAC/ aligned with the California, Arizona and PNW schools, yes. If you mean staying in the PAC while adding all those schools you list, no, I wouldn't prefer that either, as I don't see a fan appeal to massive conferences where some conference mates visit your own field once every six years or so. I like the regional, smaller conference beginnings of college football that made it such a great game for so long. As is the PAC still feels like a reasonably cohesive region, the American west, and is small enough that we see all our conference mates on a regular basis. To go back to the post I originally responded to, understand I was responding to the idea of what expansion night look like if the PAC went that route; my true preference is that PAC membership stays as is forever.
If the LA schools (in particular USC football and UCLA basketball) can get their big programs back on track and keep them there, this conference will be fine, and there really isn't a reason to expand at all unless the Big 12 collapses.
 

MtnBuff

Not allowed in Barzil 2
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If the LA schools (in particular USC football and UCLA basketball) can get their big programs back on track and keep them there, this conference will be fine, and there really isn't a reason to expand at all unless the Big 12 collapses.
This is all correct. Things go in cycles, the PAC will be strong again soon enough.

And expansion just to expand doesn't help anyone (except the schools getting a bonus by taking away revenue from the existing schools.

If expansion means more money and exposure for each member of the league then do it, if it means dividing the pie into smaller slices then no thanks.
 

CULifer

Well-Known Member
We're in the middle. I guess my comparables on value to a conference would be Missouri and Minnesota. AAU members, states with around 6M populations, historically good but not great football & basketball programs.
While I never liked to admit it, Missouri seemed to be comparable to us prestige-wise. I agree.
 

TSchekler

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This is all correct. Things go in cycles, the PAC will be strong again soon enough.

And expansion just to expand doesn't help anyone (except the schools getting a bonus by taking away revenue from the existing schools.

If expansion means more money and exposure for each member of the league then do it, if it means dividing the pie into smaller slices then no thanks.
The gap between P5 and G5 wasn't terribly large 20-30 years ago. It's massive today. Without something serious happening with the Pac 12 and this third party investor/TV deals, the financial and competitive gap between the Pac 12 and the BIG/SEC will continue to grow in the same capacity. Not everything is "cyclical" as you suggest.
 
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