So two weekends ago there was like a mad dash when the Texas A&M potentially moving to the SEC story broke out. Basically what happened is that there was this rumour out there – and I still think it will come to fruition, that Texas A&M of the Big 12 was going to move to the SEC. I don’t think it’s good for Texas A&M, I think it’s ego, I think the Texas Longhorn Network along with ESPN ticked them off and they have a right to be ticked, I myself am not in love with the Longhorn Network, I think it brings up some questions ethically, it’s kind of a precarious situation, I’ll be honest and say I don’t know enough about it to have strong comments on it. But I totally get an Oklahoma or an Oklahoma State or Texas A&M being bothered by the Texas Longhorns Network.
Now for ESPN its good business – I completely get it. If I’d grown up out west and say there was a USC Network owned by ESPN, I can tell you that Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Cal and Stanford would certainly not be pleased. But here is the thing; ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb reported that 4 other teams could go to the SEC – including Missouri, Florida State and Clemson. My gut feeling is that the SEC – which is already great, would love to have like a Florida State and a Virginia Tech and a Texas A&M.
To me, we’re getting to a point where I think we’re going to have these 4 major conferences. One out West, one in the Mid-West, one in the South and then one in the North East, I wonder if we’re getting to a point if you’re just not going to combine the Big East and the ACC because if Virginia Tech and a Florida State and Clemson left the ACC for football, it is a dreadful conference and its going to become the Big East…a laughing stock. But if you combine the Big East and you have your Louisville, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and then you combine them with the others, I think you get a better conference.
Now, it’s not a great conference, but I just look at college football and I’m not sure if it’s good for it or not. But are you going to end up with a PAC-16, a Big 16 an SEC of 16 and an ACC/Big East of 12 to 16. That’s what it kinda looks like, to me anyways. I don’t blame Texas – and this is all started by Texas signing with ESPNU, I don’t blame Texas. Texas looks at Notre Dame and says “we recruit better athletes; we are the new Notre Dame!” You know, in the 70’s and 80’s Notre Dame was the Big Independent yet nowadays Texas gets bigger ratings than Notre Dame. Young kids relate to Texas more than Notre Dame and then Texas says “we gotta bigger state, we’ve got greater revenues, we have a nicer town, and we can attract elite players. If Notre Dame is independent for football, why can’t we? Why do we have to share our revenue with Texas A&M and Baylor”
Then BYU goes independent, and you know Texas says “well, again you’ve got BYU and Notre Dame…we’ve got better players than those guys combined! Why can’t we go independent?” So I don’t blame Texas at all for signing on for a network and I don’t blame ESPN for doing it either, but that’s what started all of it. Like I’m a diehard college football fan, and I don’t know what to make of any of it. It changes, it’s incredibly fluid, it changes every day but I know this – is that as the SEC grows increasingly stronger, and they’re not taking dogs, if they’re taking anybody, they’re taking on athletic departments that make money. They’re taking on an A&M and are going to take on a Florida State or a Virginia Tech – which seems to make a lot of sense. It is really gonna weaken the Big East and the ACC in football.
You can say what you want about tobacco road and basketball – the money in college sports is in football. Even at Duke, Duke lost money in basketball last year. You think Texas ever loses money with football? There is absolutely no money in college basketball, well there’s really no big money in college basketball. Maybe outside of a Kentucky or a Kansas – but what has Kansas profited every year in basketball? Like $10 million? That’s like 2 home games for Ohio State. That’s not to say you don’t want your basketball program to be bleeding, but like think about this, think about how much bigger college football is than college basketball.
What are the top 5 college basketball programs in the U.S? UConn, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and like North Carolina – I mean like look at those! Those athletic departments aren’t even in the top 50 in terms of profit. Now look who’s great in college football, but sucks in college basketball: Penn State, Georgia, USC…they’re all top 50. Like you can be terrible in college basketball, you can be Penn State or Georgia and make a killing as an athletic department. If you don’t make money in football…you don’t make money! Like Kansas’ athletic department doesn’t make money yet their basketball is awesome and their football is pedestrian. Duke athletics doesn’t make any money yet has great basketball, UConn as well has a great basketball program yet that athletic department doesn’t make any money. Penn State Georgia and USC are irrelevant in basketball yet they make a fortune from college football!