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Thread: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

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    Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Can someone explain why the Big 12 would invite WVU before it would invite Boise State? If the Big 12 wanted to actually consist of twelve teams again, it could have:


    North South

    Boise State Houston
    BYU TCU
    Iowa State UT
    Kansas Baylor
    Kansas St Texas Tech
    Oklahoma State Oklahoma

    Now look at who the Big 12 would gain compared to who they've lost:

    Boise State-Nebraska
    TCU-Texas A&M
    BYU-Colorado
    Houston-Missouri

    It's not difficult to mount the argument that the Big 12 would actually end up a better football conference than they were before the defections and still retain a geographical identity that makes sense. (Meanwhile A&M, Mizzou, and Ole Miss are about to enter an epic struggle for the bottom of the SEC West.)

    I just can't believe Boise of all places would be in the Big East. Why not just rename the conference "Dear Jesus, he'p me! We're desperate!"? If I were commissioner of the Big East, I'd be pushing for a rule requiring all members with football programs to join the Big East. In other words, to force Notre Dame and Villanova to join them. Joining the Big East would actually be good for Notre Dame. It'd be a lighter schedule that would allow them to rebuild. (And if they won't, kick them to the curb; it's not like Notre Dame's basketball program is any great prize.) Also, the Big East could add Temple, Navy, and Army. Again, reconstituting a conference that makes sense.

    It seems like so much of this conference non-sense could be avoided if the national champion was determined by the 16-team playoff with each conference champion guaranteed a spot. Then all this automatic qualifier nonsense wouldn't matter.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    Can someone explain why the Big 12 would invite WVU before it would invite Boise State?

    I just can't believe Boise of all places would be in the Big East.
    Boise State is a juco truck driving academy comparable to ULM.

    WVU doubles Boise State's football attendance.

    WVU's athletic budget is $20 million greater than Boise State's budget.

    WVU's men's basketball earns multiple NCAA units every year, and Boise State will never earn NCAA MBB units.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg06 View Post
    Boise State is a juco truck driving academy comparable to ULM.

    WVU doubles Boise State's football attendance.

    WVU's athletic budget is $20 million greater than Boise State's budget.

    WVU's men's basketball earns multiple NCAA units every year, and Boise State will never earn NCAA MBB units.
    Maybe so, and that illustrates just how much the "alignment" is all about money and not about quality (which I realize is stating the obvious).

    I know that much is made about athletic budgets, I don't understand why the size of the budget matters, since Boise is clearly doing more with less, which is something that is typically preferred in a partner.

    What's an NCAA unit? Is that a tournament bid. If so, WVU is not earning multiple each year. Saying Boise would never improve their basketball program makes no sense.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Harris,

    The academics factor is not about money, it's about institutional pride. If it were about money, the Pac-10 would have invited BYU and not Utah. But BYU was simply not the sort of institution that the Pac-10 wanted to be associated with (more for cultural reasons than academic ones, but the same applies). Maybe it shouldn't seem like these things should matter, but athletic departments are ultimately run out of universities. And it makes a certain amount of sense. At least when Tulane is bad, they're still <i>Tulane</i> and someone most universities are going to be proud to be associated with (in a general sense). On the other hand, if you take in a school like Marshall and they falter athletically, you are left with a sub-par university with mediocre athletics.

    Things like athletics budget, location, and so on, matter due to long-term viability. A school that does more with less can fall from the limelight very fast. To use the Marshall example again, they were a 10-15 win team almost every season, then they became a 4-6 win season. A school like Boise has very few institutional advantages. It's a lackluster commuter school with no natural recruiting ground. The Big 12 would be taking them out of the environment in which they have succeeded and cut them off from the primary recruiting ground they do have in California. I'll be honest and say I'm not entirely comfortable with the Big East taking them on. But it's a short-term necessity, I guess. The Big 12 does not have the necessity. So they can pick a school with stronger fundamentals, in the form of West Virginia.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    I know that much is made about athletic budgets, I don't understand why the size of the budget matters, since Boise is clearly doing more with less, which is something that is typically preferred in a partner.

    More $$$$ means more bells & whistles, which recruits like. If they like it, they end up attending, which leads to better teams and of course, more $$$$.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    Maybe so, and that illustrates just how much the "alignment" is all about money and not about quality (which I realize is stating the obvious).

    I know that much is made about athletic budgets, I don't understand why the size of the budget matters, since Boise is clearly doing more with less, which is something that is typically preferred in a partner.

    What's an NCAA unit? Is that a tournament bid. If so, WVU is not earning multiple each year. Saying Boise would never improve their basketball program makes no sense.
    No, an NCAA Unit is basically a block of money awarded to your conference for making the tournament and progressing in the tournament. So you can earn multiple units in one year. I think one unit is worth $222,206. (to compare, an NIT unit is worth $14K) I think they are paid over a 6 year period and in a recent period (2004-09) the Big East earned 104 units which is over $23 million dollars. Each conference then distributes that money back to the member schools.

    Dawg 06 pretty much hit the nail on the head. Doesn't mean it's right. But thats the way it is.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdog13 View Post
    No, an NCAA Unit is basically a block of money awarded to your conference for making the tournament and progressing in the tournament. So you can earn multiple units in one year. I think one unit is worth $222,206. (to compare, an NIT unit is worth $14K) I think they are paid over a 6 year period and in a recent period (2004-09) the Big East earned 104 units which is over $23 million dollars. Each conference then distributes that money back to the member schools.

    Dawg 06 pretty much hit the nail on the head. Doesn't mean it's right. But thats the way it is.

    If NCAA units are a function of conference afiliation and WVU's conference is changing, it's pointless to refer to how many NCAA units they've gotten in the past.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by hookdown View Post
    More $$$$ means more bells & whistles, which recruits like. If they like it, they end up attending, which leads to better teams and of course, more $$$$.
    It seems like Boise State has been successful in recruiting players good enough to have a very successful program.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    I guess I'm not buying the conventional wisdom about why conferences realign. Or perhaps I'm just questioning the wisdom of the conventional wisdom.

    For instance, I don't buy that academics mean that much to athletic conferences either.

    And I can't buy that Boise's being in the Big 12 would hurt their recruiting or cut them off from California talent.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    I guess I'm not buying the conventional wisdom about why conferences realign. Or perhaps I'm just questioning the wisdom of the conventional wisdom.

    For instance, I don't buy that academics mean that much to athletic conferences either.

    And I can't buy that Boise's being in the Big 12 would hurt their recruiting or cut them off from California talent.

    They do it for money. Period.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    If NCAA units are a function of conference afiliation and WVU's conference is changing, it's pointless to refer to how many NCAA units they've gotten in the past.
    Yes they can't bring the old units over but with a good HC and a good program obviously The Big12 would be salivating at the chance of getting those future Units rather than the Big East having them.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by jharris View Post
    I guess I'm not buying the conventional wisdom about why conferences realign. Or perhaps I'm just questioning the wisdom of the conventional wisdom.

    For instance, I don't buy that academics mean that much to athletic conferences either.

    And I can't buy that Boise's being in the Big 12 would hurt their recruiting or cut them off from California talent.
    The extent to which academics matter depends on the conference and the team. Missouri's flirtation with the Big Ten, for instance, was very much about academics. The ACC's spurning of West Virginia, also academics. There is a school that Conference USA, at least right now, simply does not have the votes to get into Conference USA due to its academics. It doesn't mean that that the Big 12 is going to take Rice or Tulane or anything, but it is not irrelevant. Particularly when academics are as bad as they are Boise State.

    The Big 12 cuts Boise State off from California talent in part because there are no California teams. There are reasons that conferences like teams in Florida, Texas, and so on. It helps you land recruits there. The Big 12 would provide some opportunities for Boise to recruit Texas better, but Texas-to-Idaho is a harder sell than California-to-Idaho. Recruiting from either requires winning. Boise capitalizes on being a big fish in a small pond. Could they continue their success as a small fish in a big pond? Maybe, but it's risky because once they are in they are hard to get rid of. Especially when you are removing them from the environment that they succeeded in (as with Marshall). That's why I think that the marriage between BSU and the BE is going to be a bad one.

    The primary reason that conferences realign is money. But a lot of people are mistaking "primary reason" for "only reason." There are other factors at play as well.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdog13 View Post
    They do it for money. Period.


    End of discussion.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdog13 View Post
    No, an NCAA Unit is basically a block of money awarded to your conference for making the tournament and progressing in the tournament. So you can earn multiple units in one year. I think one unit is worth $222,206. (to compare, an NIT unit is worth $14K) I think they are paid over a 6 year period and in a recent period (2004-09) the Big East earned 104 units which is over $23 million dollars. Each conference then distributes that money back to the member schools.

    Dawg 06 pretty much hit the nail on the head. Doesn't mean it's right. But thats the way it is.
    Yep.

    WVU has earned the Big East 18 MBB units over the past 7 years. Rolling each unit over a 6-year period, that makes about $24 million that WVU MBB has earned for the Big East since 2005.

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    Re: Conference re-alignment has jumped the shark

    ESPN and the TV dollars are driving everything in college football now

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