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Feldman’s Take on Winners, My Take on Losers

One of the easy aspects of college football is that if you read Bruce Feldman you can be more informed than just about 99% of every other college football fan without doing anything else. His stuff is through ESPN Insider so it’s not available to anyone, but he’s got another great article up talking about his big winners in the recent expansion fallout. I don’t want to give too much away but essentially here were his top-10 winners:

1. Texas A&M
2. Notre Dame
3. Nebraska
4. Texas
5. Utah
6. ACC
7. Dan Beebe
8. Big East
9. Colorado
10. Kansas, Kansas St., Baylor & Iowa St.

I’m sure you can probably guess the reasons behind Feldman ranking these 10 as the biggest winners. But what about the losers? Here is my take on the losers in no particular order:

1. Missouri: Got completely screwed by the Big 10 and stabbed in the back by Nebraska. Missouri might as well been the ugly girl at the dance. Essentially nobody wanted the Tigers when the Big 10 backed off. There were rumblings about Mizzou maybe finding a home in the SEC, but that wasn’t happening. What was left? The Mountain West baby!

2. Pac 10: Basically had Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Texas A&M & Texas Tech lined up to create the first super conference in NCAA Football history but wound up with Utah & Colorado for a Pac 12. Texas A&M got miffed at Texas and started flirting with the SEC with the SEC returning those overtures. Once the Beebe Plan essentially gave Texas whatever it wanted and then some, Texas thought it could be just a profitable to stay in a Big 12-lite and the other schools were on board. Texas A&M got invited to almost an equal place at the table with Texas & Oklahoma and thus the Pac 10’s quest for 16 became no more.

3. Texas A&M: Speaking of A&M, Feldman has them as a winner and I agree, but I also think they lost in this because they possibly could have gone to the SEC which would have been an incredible move on their part. They would have joined the best football conference in America. They would have a decisive recruiting advantage in the Lone Star state over Texas because of their affiliation with the SEC. They would immediately jump out of Texas’ shadow AND get a full revenue share from the SEC because the conference has equal distribution. Sure A&M stayed true to its roots and kept their Texas rivalries alive. Sure they got a better deal out of the Big XII than they once had, BUT they could have had so much more.

4. SEC: Tough to call the conference a loser in all this when nothing happened, BUT there were rumblings that the SEC’s dream would have been to lure both Texas & Oklahoma away from the Big XII. That would have been nuts. They could have also possibly picked up a combo of Texas A&M/Virginia Tech or Texas A&M/Florida St. which would have been exceptional as well. Instead they are still the same old SEC which is still the best football conference in the nation.

5. Big 10: The Big 10 did get their 12th team with Nebraska. It was a huge win for the Big 10 in that respect, BUT a huge loss in the overall picture. Tons of grumbling from Jim DeLany about possibly going to 16 teams had the college football world up in arms. Instead, the Big 10 adds Nebraska and then holds out hope that the stars will align so they can add Notre Dame and then possibly Maryland or Virginia. None of that happened at at the end of the day you can safely say that the Big 10 did nothing to further their TV market exposure to boost revenue. Those were the reasons we were hearing about when the Big 10 was thinking about adding Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Missouri & possibly Boston College. None of it happened and instead of everyone talking about the Big 10, everyone instead was talking about the Pac 10 and Big XII.

6. Pittsburgh/Rutgers: If conference Armageddon does happen in the future, it now seems likely that the Big 10 won’t offer up Rutgers or Pittsburgh. After what safely looked like an easy passage into the Big 10 early in this discussion, the two teams find themselves holding steady in the Big East with possibly invites to the ACC if everything collapses. If Armageddon did strike, you’d have to think Notre Dame would join the Big 10 and the Big 10 might very well stay at 14 squads. If that were to happen then both Boston College & Maryland are much better alternatives than Rutgers or Pittsburgh at this point. If the Big 10 stopped at 14 with the additions of Notre Dame & Boston College it would be odd having BC so far away, but if the conference was thinking Rutgers, Boston isn’t that far away from Newark.

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June 17, 2010 - Posted by | Expansion, Realignment

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