newarenanow wrote:I agree 100% it's all about TV, but there are many other factors involved as well. Look at the Big 10 expansion. Nebraska does not offer much of a market for their Big 10 network. What they do offer though is brand name, which can bring something to the tier 1 TV rights which is what pays the big bucks.
If it was all about market penetration, RU would have been selected for the Big 10 instead of Nebraska, as Big 10 FB would penetrate anywhere.
I'm not doubting your sources, and you could be 100% correct in the order the ACC wants to expand. But I've also read on other message boards from people that have various sources that have a completely different list, but I've also saw where it is the same exact list as yours.
Pitt and WVU have better brand name than Uconn and Syracuse and bring more viewers nationally (and yes, I know those two schools don't compare to the national powers). But with ratings of bowl games and nationally televised games like the Backyard Brawl and other higher quality OOC games, Pitt and WVU rank at the top of the Big East in national viewership.
That is one of the many factors that could go into this. The Big 10 took the brand at the expense of the market. The Pac 12 took the market at the expense of the brand (although they did shoot for both).
And with college FB expanding into almost every night of the week, conferences like the ACC and Pac (along with the BE) will be filling in more and more of the weekday night schedule, which is bringing in more and more ratings. No matter what, the Big 10 and SEC own Saturday.
One things I have learned though through all of this though, and reading endless boards and people that nail it with recruiting and coaching changes, etc, proving they do have some connections, when it comes to conference expansion, nobody knows what the hell is going to happen.
I agree Nebraska brought nothing to the B10 in terms of TV homes. Their strategic value to the B10 is in terms of building a bridge to the old Big 8 schools. The Pac 10 took Colorado (Big 8) and was trying to take UT (former SWC). If the Pac 10 got UT, then OU and pretty much anybody else worth taking from the B12 was going to go with them. Now the B10 has a foot in the door since Nebraska is a long time ally of OU & Mizzou from their Big 8 days.
If the B10 goes to 16, they have options to expand in those areas. OU & Mizzou are definite targets for the SEC as well if they move west. I don't think Nebraska guarantees the B10 could take OU & Mizzou from the SEC or OU from the Pac 10, but at least they are in the mix to move there when the next dominoes fall.
Plus the 12th team was a very key milestone for the B10 because they added $20M-$25M per season for their conference FB championship game. The incremental revenue the 12th team added on a percentage basis was always going to mean a great deal annually for the B10 coffers regardless of the market.
Rutgers theoretically adds value but they have sucked forever. Their cyclical history is to always suck with a brief blip of decency a few years ago. Supposedly they were in the mix for a 16 team B10 along with Mizzou, ND and a few others. On the down side, they don't really fit the FB profile. They couldn't be considered a natural rival for PSU. The B10 and other conferences already recruit the best athletes in NJ, so having a team there wouldn't do a whole lot for recruiting. Nebraska has nothing in terms of recruiting, but they are contiguous to Iowa and of the proper stature to make a good rival.
Once a conference gets past 12, the economics change because the conference title game revenue is already consumed so the 13th team will be another mouth to feed unless they have real juice like UT. That is why it was critical for the Pac 10 & Big 10 to get to 12 and the SEC has played things conservatively at 12. I heard Finebaum talking today about the SEC not wanting to aggressively pursue teams because of potential lawsuits from other conferences. On the other hand, his sources say the SEC has seen what has happened in the past few years with the B10 network proliferation & the looming Pac 10 & Longhorn networks, so they could be looking to get out of their ESPN deal and create their own regional network. Who knows if that is legally possible.