Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ESPN to Big East: “We fart in your general direction.”

As the BCS Commissioners gather in a smoky backroom to hammer out the future of major college football’s postseason, all the major media outlets have a take on what to expect, what’s at stake, yadda yadda.

IBCR News shared two earlier today.

Here’s ESPN’s, and what’s most interesting is who they don’t think will have much influence in whatever deliberations take place, emphasis mine:


Where does each of the conferences stand on the biggest issues?

Here's an educated guess on what each of the five major FBS leagues wants:

ACC: ACC commissioner John Swofford was the only BCS conference commissioner who supported SEC commissioner Mike Slive's plus-one proposal in 2008…

Big 12: The Big 12 and SEC announced last month that their champions will play in a postseason bowl game, a relationship similar to the Big Ten and Pac-12 meeting in the Rose Bowl. As such, interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said his league has lined up with the SEC…

Big Ten: More than anything else, Big Ten presidents want to make sure they protect their league's traditional relationship with the Rose Bowl. They actually prefer keeping the current BCS system because of that reason…

Pac-12: Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott also wants to make sure his league maintains its traditional alliance with the Rose Bowl, and he went as far as saying the SEC's new postseason arrangement with the Big 12 puts the plus-one model back on the table…

SEC: Slive dug in his heels and said his league, which has won the past six BCS national championships, wants a playoff that includes the top four teams -- and nothing else. Why wouldn't he?


Big East? Meh… Who cares.

To be fair to ESPN, they do include the Big East in the matrix of preferences expressed by the different conferences and Notre Dame. But the “five major FBS conference” meme is telling: The World Wide Leader was snubbed by the Big East last year when the conference presidents turned down its offer of a $1.4 to $1.9 billion media rights deal. The conference presidents later forced Commissioner John Marinatto to resign.

The defections of Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC, West Virginia to the Big 12 and TCU reneging on its agreement to join the league have also hurt the Big East’s ability to bill itself as a going concern. Boise State—which pledged to join the league in 2013—was reported to have been reconsidering its decision as well. The league has lured Temple, Central Florida, Houston, SMU, San Diego State and Navy, but Houston is the only program to have been nationally relevant in recent years.

As events unfold over the days ahead, it will be interesting to see if the league with the most to lose gets anything it really wants out of the BCS meetings.

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