The biggest news over the last couple of days has come out of the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City. At the top of the news is the Big 12 stating their preference to remain at 10 teams for the time being. This despite rampant and breathless speculation from Tallahassee to Louisville that a move to the 12 or more is happening NOW.
The biggest reason for unexpected show of patience? No one has any idea what the post season will look like at this moment. There are 10,000* competing theories and ideas about how it will turn out. But this is, of course, breathless speculation and anything that can be accurately described with breathless as an adjective is, as a rule, complete and utter bullshit (pardon my french). The bottom line is that until we know what the system will look like shifting conferences to better your position in said system is aggressively not smart. (continued below)
For the record the preference of Down the Drive is for a four team playoff with a selection committee to pick the representatives in the system. I would prefer for the playoff the take place within the current bowl structure, but I don't like the odds of that happening. It seems that people have gotten wise to the Bowl Barron's and their extortion schemes games being massive white elephants. More than likely the three games involved will be bid out, or at the very least the final will be bid out. That will essentially turn the other bowls into diversions, something I am completely comfortable with, but I still want some of them around, despite the cost.
How this all plays out will depend largely on the level of stability that the decision makers in this process ie the presidents, conference commissioners and "network partners" want. The stability option is to take the decision about how the four teams are picked and farm it out to a third party, one that is nominally objective. Going with the Delany approach A.KA. conference champions only** will result in everyone not currently in one of the big 4 conferences, (the ACC and Big East) scrambling for a lifeboat to somewhere else. I have I mentioned before that I really dislike Jim Delany or that I find the idea of him having influence over the course of these events nauseating?
While we linger on things like the Big East's future now that the Big 12 has decided that its fine with 10. definitely fine with 10. Maybe fine for 10, possibly at least for now. All eyes now zero in hypothetically on the Big East's negotiations for a TV contract which begin with a month of exclusive negotiations with the ESPN before the rights can be brought to market. The San Diego Union Tribune had Navigate Research, a Chicago based firm, come up with some estimates for a hypothetical new deal. The results? About 11 million dollars per year for Full Members. Now in context that is a massive improvement over the current deal by about 4 million a year, but it is disappointing. Mainly because 11 million is well off the pace of the ACC which gets about 16 million per year. So in summation not great, could be worse.
Switching gears to things that will be happening on a field in a few months as opposed to a boardroom. One of the games that concerns me is the road trip to Toledo. The Rockets do have a lot of pieces to replace starting with Tim Beckman who is off to Illinois (taking Tim Banks with him) and ending with Eric Page and Adonis Thomas who were easily the most explosive receiver running back parinig in the MAC. Matt Campbell is a credible coach who's rise in the profession has been rapid. It has taken him 8 years to go from player at Mount Union to head coach. He is the youngest head coach in the country and that lends itself to unpredictability. If Campbell clicks that game could get real hairy, really quick.
the UC USF game makes the Big East road trip thing....a big east football recruiting round up...these are Bill Connelly's Big East previews read them all. No, seriously...Butch Jones and co have offered 2014 QB Drew Barker of Conner High School. Barker is arguably the best player from Kentucky in the 2014 class. Barker already has an offer from Louisville. In 2011 Barker threw for 1,009 yards and ran for 1,371 more... Chris Obekpa gone baby gone...Yancy Gates is making the rounds in draft prep, this time with the Knicks...because you can never have too much Chris Brown in your life no not that Chris Brown. Having that Chris Brown in your life at all is having too much Chris Brown in your life....this completely fictitious breakdown of Craig James failed senatorial run is really worth your time...Oklahoma want to start its own TV network and their penis envy with all things Texas only gets worse...Notre Dame could actually help the Big East with its TV negotiations, provided that NBC is involved....cash is gone baby gone
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