Conference Expansion/Re-alignment?

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    I know it’s a dead horse for now.  However will the Big12 ever become a 12 school conference again?  (I also know that it means less $$$ shared).  However, I see many advantages to spreading the wealth.  With more games scheduled each year to be on ESPN+; TV revenue deals will increase.  Streaming for events isn’t going away so does this open the door again to get the Big12 to expand?  My votes would be for Cincinnati and UCon.  Football programs would need to elevate but I could see that happening relatively quickly for those two schools.


    It’s a dead horse because it doesn’t make sense financially.

    WVU, with its Big 12 payday, is getting $50 million to $60 million a year into its athletic department. Compared to $20 million at its peak during the Big East days.

    In the Big 12 every team plays every team (twice in basketball) so making the conference title game doesn’t depend on who you DON’T play, as it is in the Big 10, SEC, ACC and Pac-12. You earn the title because you play everybody!

    If it ain’t broke …. well, you know the rest.


    I bought into the last wave of “alignment,” hook line, and sinker. That is, until the Notre Grubbers showed their ass as always, and made it ALL ABOUT THEM. As always. Stalemate.

    The ONLY place WVU belongs is in the SEC. For a multitude of reasons. Hell, they all want that down there too. Mike Slive obviously doesn’t, though. And he gave them Misery to prove that. The same slouches neither the Big 10 NOR any other SEC member wanted. Check the history if you don’t believe me.

    For now, it is what it is. I love most of the folks that comprise the Big 12. I abhor its politics, because I believe in my heart we’ve been victimized by them. Regularly, in both sports. But IF an offer ever opens up from the SEC, I hope this school has the sense to jump at it in a NY minute and not look back.


    Missouri has competed fairly well since joining the SEC. They have the best situation, IMO, to be a consistent player in the SEC east


    Comparing what we got in the BE vs the B12 has NOTHING to do with the economics today.

    Few things to think about. We will never be invited to the ACC.  They just have too many tobacco road schools that will block us.  SEC’s next expansion will be from the ACC or another B12 school not named WVU.   B1G?  fuggeddaboudit even though they did bring in Ruggers for their media markets.

    Then ….. think about expansion.  Why?  Even if you give up a few bucks to begin with when you bring in a few more schools you ultimately strengthen the conference.  If a team or two leaves you still have numbers to fall back on.  You also have more inventory to sell to ESPN networks.  More teams, more TV, more bowl games, more Dance / NIT money.   Adding specific areas of the country bring in more markets and more marketing dollars.  Take a lesson from the Big East…… Twice they were raided and the dipsticks at the top didn’t heed the warnings when Miami begged to expand the football side.

    IMO 4 more schools to make two 8 team divisions.   Add 4 Cincy,  UCF, Houston, Memphis would be my first 4 in that order.  Temple, Tulane, USF in that order after the first 4.


    WV’s best hope is that things stay just like they are.  WV will not be at the top of any ones list.  Big 12 works.  Leave it alone.  ACC would have been best move for WV but they clearly didn’t want WV.  Now, any changes unlikely to put WV in a better situation.  Can only go downhill.


    After much back and forth in my own mind on this subject, I’ve come to the conclusion that expansion for the Big XII is not in our collective best interests at this time.  Reason – any potential candidate available just doesn’t fit the profile of the rest of the schools in terms of historical relevance, in their home state gravitas, or current national perception.

    Simply stated, no available candidate moves the perception meter and would NOT bring us any additional bargaining power in media negotiations.


    Now there’s where we disagree FaninMI.  ESPiN+, no matter how bad of a deal I think Bowlsby made, is in need of inventory for this fledgling streaming network.  Not a whole lot of demand for rugby, Top Rank Boxing, Serie A, FA Cup, tennis, water polo and most of their original programming.  Hell, can’t even find a lineup of shows on their web site ….. I guess you have to buy it to see what is playing.

    Handled right ESPN+ could get more B12 BB, FB, Baseball, Softball, Golf, Track, Wrestling, Gymnastics events that normally wouldn’t be available to them if the B12 expanded into the right 4 markets.  That’s a lot of inventory and a lot of bargaining power in Bowlsby’s hands if he does it right.  ESPN+ then could be the defacto B12 Network.  As it sits right now ESPN+ is just cherry picking BB and FB games to drive subscriptions. Bowlsby could turn getting played by ESPN+ into a win/win.  But the way it sits right now Bowlsby is just the fiddle.


    Well said NoPittyHere, I agree with what ALL you said. As for what Butlereer said, please send me your address

    so I can send you my Dish Network and Internet service bill for you to pay. I have reached my limit on the consistent increases in rates. Isn’t it more likely that West Virginia’s have satellite service rather than cable. Being

    a rural state. In spit of what Bowlsby thinks. Moving to the little 12 was and is a BAD move. THINK about ALL

    the student athletes and WVU fans…not just football.



    I feel for you dawg8.  Cable service in rural areas suck.  Satellite has it’s problems also.  And adding another $5 in addition to my cable bill just sucks.  Yeh, yeh, yeh, it’s only $5 but each $5 adds up.

    Now, no matter how you feel about ESPiN+ ….. and I think getting into it was a HORRIBLE DEAL for all of the B12 and Bowlsby was taken to the woodshed by ESPiN …… we are stuck with it.  So, if we’re stuck with it, let’s make the best of it.  ESPiN+ is desperate for good programming.  Have you seen their lineup?  It sucks.  The only time I would tune in to ESPN+ is for a B12 BB game.  Adding additional teams to the B12 strengthens the conference even more than the way the ACC and B1G did adding crappy teams like Ruggers and BC or teams in smaller markets like Syracuse and Lvlle.  It also gives us programming leverage that we can waive in front of ESPN. This would be a great media forum for our minor sports championships.  …….  That is if Bowlsby could pull off the negotiations, but don’t hold your breath.

    As for  the B12 being a bad move.  Well, it was our ONLY move.  I would rather see us in the ACC or SEC or even the B1G.  ACC would be better geographically and that’s where most of our  traditional rivals landed but the Tobacco Road crowd stuck their nose up and turned their back on us.  SEC is a good fit with our fan base but they just didn’t think WV had enough weight with media to make economic sense.  B1G just thinks they are too good in all aspects.  Going Indy would be an option but doesn’t make economic sense.  AAC??? Why drop down to a G5 and make $30M less/year?


    ESPN is not desperate for content on ESPN+. In fact, each school has only so many slots for games that it has to fill now according to the contract, and that’s actually fewer than WVU was putting on via its own inhouse broadcast. I can’t recall the exact number right now, and I’ll check, but I think it’s something like 40 per school. At least one football, 12-13 men’s basketball and a similar number of women’s hoops, and you’re already a good portion of the way there.

    There is still a cost to put on those games, so they aren’t going to do every one that is available.




    If they aren’t desperate, they should be.  Have you seen their lineup?  Not much there that most sports fans would watch.  Other than the B12 contests there is little that you would watch if it wasn’t 3am and you couldn’t sleep.  Some of the original programming is remotely interesting, but most of that content can be seen in different forms on cable …… and not at an additional cost.  If you’re getting ESPN, FS1, NBCSports, CBSS, or any other sports network thru cable, hulu, dish or any other provider you more than likely will get much better programming than the originals that are specific to ESPN+.

    We can debate this till the cows come home, but IMO this is an extremely bad deal that Bowlsby got us into.  But we are there now and should make the best of it and not just sit there and take what ESPN tells us to do.  Right now ESPN is the puppet master and the B12 is the puppet.



    I know it’s a dead horse for now. However will the Big12 ever become a 12 school conference again? (I also know that it means less $$$ shared). However, I see many advantages to spreading the wealth. With more games scheduled each year to be on ESPN+; TV revenue deals will increase. Streaming for events isn’t going away so does this open the door again to get the Big12 to expand? My votes would be for Cincinnati and UCon. Football programs would need to elevate but I could see that happening relatively quickly for those two schools.

    Not unless it becomes financial to do so. Probably never happens as long as Texas has the TLN. UCONN? They just signed back up for Big East basketball. It’s their home. Football is unknown but many speculate they drop down to FCS. The Huskies are 28-69 since 2011, even with Edsall returning in 2017 after failed stints by Paul Pasqualoni and Bob Diaco. The Huskies are not a viable option for the Big 12. Although KU could use the wins. Cincinnati seems like a city school and not the same atmosphere as Big 12 football. They would not be a good fit.

    My fear is come the end of GOR there will be no Big 12 and WVU will be fighting for an SEC or Big 10 spot.





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Home Page forums BlueGoldNews WVU Sports Conference Expansion/Re-alignment?