OT: Kevin Warren (B10 Commish) mentions expansion and paying players

There's a lot jammed into this one tweet:

  • If the SEC and B10 both max out at 20 teams, I'm not sure VT makes the cut. We're definitely either last 4 in or first 4 out, I'm just not sure which.
  • I've never seen anyone in college sports outright say 'we'll have to pay players one day' - the honesty is refreshing.
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only a matter of time before the new P2 (B1G and SEC) just break away from the NCAA.

I think most of FBS football will breakaway from the ncaa. Not a bad thing IMO.

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It seems inevitable. The NCAA has basically thrown their hands up and completely given up governing (not that they had been doing a good job for the last decade+ anyway). The CFP Board is looking into breaking away already.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

I agree.
The SEC and (now) Big 10 expansion and TV deals were IMO shots across the bow of NCAA.
NCAA is quickly becoming irrelevant.
The big cog would be March Madness. If NCAA loses that, they're done. (Which only proves its all about $ and not student-athlete protection)

With 16 current teams, that leaves 4 as the possible max out for the Big 10*2

Notre Dame has to be one of those 4, if they're not they're certifiably insane(tm)

That leaves 3 spots.

Reasons VT isn't one of the 3:
- USC and UCLA prove neighboring states don't automatically matter, so that throws literally everybody else into the fray.
- They get picked up by the SEC

Reasons they do:
- With the new BigTen media contract at 1 billion per year, that equates to 50 million per team in a 20 team league (which would most certainly be negotiated up with the addition of 4 more teams). Over the 7 year life of the current deal, that would pay $350 million, not counting bowl payouts and other negotiated sums. This would all but cover the $500 million exit fee for the ACC.
- If not us then who? My top 10 contenders, in no order, for the last 3 spots, not named Virginia Tech
- Oregon
- Oregon State
- Washington
- Washington State
- Virginia
- Kansas State
- Louisville
- Cincinnati
- NC State

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

The only thing that will force ND into a football conference is money. If NBC drops them or doesn't offer them an insane deal, they simply wont be able to turn down B1G money, especially in today's arms race. ND will never accept not competing at the highest level- even though they haven't won a major bowl in 27 years.

Everyone leaves
ND: we're ncaa champs

That feels much more like a Michigan move, but it is hilarious either way.

I'm still surprised so many people think it's a done deal ND will join the B1G. They've turned down more money to maintain their independence before. By all accounts, while NBC won't pay them as much as the B1G, they are willing to get into the ballpark (like 70-80%) of what their B1G payout would be. If the gap was ridiculously huge they would join a conference in a second but if it's within like 20% I don't think they're going to give up the freedom/power they currently have - they've displayed in the past that it's not solely about who can offer the largest dollar amount to them.

I think the playoff changing to only admit the SEC/B1G (thus leaving them on the outside) would have a much bigger impact than the actual dollars.

Yeah it doesn't seem like the university or the fans even care to join one. ND fans on reddit just talk about their ever growing endowment and how they don't need B1G money and basically don't want to share anything with anyone

Your first problem was going to reddit for any kind of pulse check on a fanbase

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It's a trash heap, but and entertaining trash heap that's at least filtered some of the twitter trash out

For what it's worth, a lot of people in the media say the same thing... if ND can get a contract giving them close 50% of what an SEC/B10 team would make, then they'll have no problem continuing to opporate as an independant.

Personally, I hope they stay independant. It's weird; in an era when everything is (relatively) rapidly changing, ND is the one constant, that is actually maintaining tradition. This - combined with their asshole coach leaving them, and them replacing him with a players' coach - makes them weirdly likable for the first time I can remember.

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I thought I read somewhere that the deal that ND has with the ACC would require them to join the ACC in football if they ever did decide to join a conference. If that is really the case then there could be some legal hurdles that ND would have to jump through regarding the ACC if they were to join the B1G, just like the rest of us the Grant of Rights deal.

They do, but their penalty would be smaller than every other school. They get ~1/3 of the TV revenue that other ACC schools earn each season, so they would pay 1/3 of the exit fee (which they could likely afford).

That said, I don't think ND gives up their independence.

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I've said it before, and I think others have said it in this thread too, but I think the ONLY way that ND will ever join a conference is if that is the only path to a National Championship. That's what the playoff SHOULD have been but clearly isn't. Conference Champions should be the only eligible teams to the Playoff. Full stop. You want to win a championship? Win your conference. Structuring it that way would have been so much better for the health of the sport, long term, than the current model which is, basically, the same as the BCS era but with 4 teams instead of 2. It's a beauty contest decided by a small committee of people based on highly subjective metrics. And as long as ND will have a seat at that table, they're going to remain independent. They don't need the money.

Onward and upward

I think the ONLY way that ND will ever join a conference is if that is the only path to a National Championship.

I agree

Conference Champions should be the only eligible teams to the Playoff.

I, very much, do not agree (unless we want to go back to a 2 team 'playoff' - which I'm not opposed to).

It's a beauty contest decided by a small committee of people based on highly subjective metrics.

IMO, this is a feature, not a bug. The pageantry is one of the reasons people love college football. No other sport has this.

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No other sport has this

There is a reason for that.

And it's a daggone bad reason. Elitism at its finest.

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No other sport has this.

I don't know. I feel like the pageantry of scripted championships are not unique to college football.

On a serious note, I've always taken the "pageantry" to be a good thing, too- the mascots, crowd antics, festivities, parades, Enter Sandman, a dancing cadet lighting the cannon and all that weird shit A&M does. I've never seriously considered fake champions to be a positive.

I'm not saying I couldn't be convinced. But I haven't even considered acknowledging that a plus once. Emotionally, I've always regarded that part as a real downer.

Seeing UCF claim a national champion in 2017, and then seeing Alabama fans get insanely butthurt was one of the most entertaining things ever, and one of the many, many, many reasons that I love college footbal.

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Yeah as long as the BCS, Playoff committee makes an exception for ND to have a seat at the table (which is so fucking ridiculous- they haven't won a major bowl since any of their current roster was born) it would be like Villanova Hoops having their own deal with the NCAA tourney to be in every year as an independent. Its so fucking insane that hype and being good in the 70's lets them call their own shots. And the Big East and ACC has bent over for them too. Why?

At least the ACC was smart enough to get some games out of ND. The big east deal made zero sense other than they played other sports there.

My guess is ND (if available), Stanford + some combination of Cal/Washington/Oregon. Stanford fits their brand/image and appeases ND. I think they already have the east coast presence they want.

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Onward and upward

Realize that I am probably in a fairly small minority here, but I would rather VT go to the Big10 than the SEC. Partly because of where I am geographically located in the northeast but I really think that there is (slightly) less of the sleaziness and win at all costs attitude there. Think there is less chance of me being openly embarrassed by what will have to happen to try and win there than in the SEC. No, cannot prove that, just a gut or knee-jerk feel.

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I just want VT to have a landing spot. Not sure we can be too picky right now.

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I'm on this train here. Just give us a spot at the table, whichever one it is. (Although I'd LOVE to rock maroon in Gainesville)

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I lean B1G as well. I have a lot of friends with Ohio and Michigan roots and I feel like the B1G fits better with our Athletics Department and honestly with the culture around GameDay and tailgating. There are far too many collared shirts at $EC tailgates for my taste. That being said I would have to be crazy to be unhappy with VT moving to the $EC.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

I feel like we would crack heads in the Big 10 as well. Already beat Ohio State with one of our pretty bad teams

I don't really care if it's B2G or SEC. I just want VT to be in the P2.

I'm not sure if I agree with the culture fit in the B2G. Just because they don't wear ties and sperrys to their games doesn't necessarily mean they align more with VT. I think, regionally, we're more of a fit in the SEC than the B2G.

But, again, I really don't care which of the P2 conferences it is, so long as we get into one of them (and, I'm starting to doubt that we will, unfortunately)

If I had my pick, I'd pick the SEC, mostly because I'm geographically closer to more SEC schools than I am to B2G schools and I think having a semi-regular game with Tennessee would be a good thing. Plus we just have more history and story lines against SEC teams. Beating Texas in '95. All our games against Bama. Beating Saban when he was at LSU. Shane being at USCe. There's just more intrigue to games against SEC opponents IMO. Outside of playing OSU a couple times, and Maryland, what does the B2G offer in terms of storylines for VT? It is entertainment, after all.

Onward and upward

We very much so align more with SEC culture than midwestern Big Ten culture. Everyone says big land grant state universities when most of the SEC is exactly that. The B1G just puts on some sort of academic elitism facade (which I think is overrated IMO, check rankings of SEC and Big Ten schools). The thought of games in Iowa Illinois or Minnesota just seems weird compared to Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina etc. who are natural geographic rivals. Also it's definitely soda and not pop here.

Geographically the SEC makes sense, but the P2 doesn't really seem to care about geography. I think our athletics as a whole fit the B1G better. The academic standards arguments are stupid, look where that got the ACC/PAC and they always get fudged when convenient anyway.

In my experience our B1G games have been more fun than SEC games, the Nebraska and anOSU games were a much better tailgate experience and had better fans than the Bama games. A regular Tenn matchup would be great though.

Either way I'll be happy, I just think people are overlooking the B1G a little bit. Also, no Mickey Mouse overlord in the B1G starting next year.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

The SEC very much cares about geography. TAMU, Mizzou, Texas, and Oklahoma were all natural geographic fits. Their interest in VT back in 2010/2011 also made sense and still makes sense. They understand that college football is king in the south. It's still TBD how a conference spanning the entire country is realistically going to work.

As a Pennsylvania native, I'd also prefer VT to the Big Ten for the same SEC sleaze reasons, but realistically if we get the call I see us ending up in the SEC.

I'm not sure VT makes the cut. We're definitely either last 4 in or first 4 out, I'm just not sure which.

Well the last time this happened to VT, we decided to just win our way in. LET'S GO

More like we politicked our way into the ACC.

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101WildTurkeys was referring to March Madness where it was debated whether we were last 4 in or last 4 out, and so our team won the ACC Tournament to book ticket ourselves.

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My guess only is the Big However Many will raid the PacNow10 adding Cal, Stanford. Oregon and Washington. This will lessen the travel issues and pass muster with the BHM academic/ athletic leadership.
Tech will be unfortunately one of the 91 schools left to fight for whatever is left after the SEC adds their 4.

I think it'll be Oregon Washington Stanford and Notre Dame. Cal won't be in the Big 2, less and less people there care about football and unless something drastically changes they won't sped what is needed to keep up.

The ACC needs to strike first and add Oregon Washington Stanford and Oklahoma State. Regardless of what people think those schools do absolutely move the needle (even WVU and UCF are above the mean in the ACC).

Won't it have to include Oregon state and Washington state as well. I believe both states now require their public colleges to be separated.

Arizona or ASU to grab the Phoenix market

Why on earth would any of those teams take a deal with the ACC if they have a shot to go to the B1G or SEC? The ACC isn't positioned to strike first, only to scramble for the leftovers that don't get invites to the P2.

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Exactly. If there is a chance in hell of those schools ending up in the B1G then they are suicidal if they join the ACC now. In fact, the current TV deal we have is going to be as effective a deterrent to bringing new schools in as it is effective in locking us all into a bad deal that fucks us financially.

And let's be realistic for a second, if the ACC was realistically up for grabs right now the Big Ten isn't stopping at 20. They would easily take UNC, UVa, and GT right now if they could, and if they could get in VT, NCSU, FSU, Miami and Clemson, they'd do it as well. That's just posturing by their commish to keep the superiority complex of their conference high.

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The BIG has too many non-football teams. The minute BIG becomes it and the SEC, the BIG becomes P2b. How does the BIG SEC football challenge look? Does the team that beat Michigan and PSU own spot at championship at a LSU or GA team that only lost to Bama but beat Oklahoma and Texas? BIG is trying to make it a 2 horse race, but the SEC is not going to share with anyone.....

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Not sure where Whit is on this...but this needs to be at the very tippy top priority for VT's future. The money spread/ income between both the B1G and SEC will be too great for other conferences to keep up.

The ACC is dead as a football conference. Whit needs to take the lead and call up Clemson, Miami, FSU, GT, NC State, UVA, and Louisville and dissolve the conference immediately.

This isn't a Whit issue, it's a Sands & Board of Visitors issue.

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Whit is the loudest sounding board here. He has to express to the BOV & Sands that staying in the ACC will massively negatively impact VT school and sports as a whole. I get the BOV and Sands priority is growing the School/Academics, but VT sports is a huge draw for a ton of folks and cash is fungible. Make the move now and Lawyer up.

Sands and the BOV are well aware of this. They understand how crucial football is to the culture and appeal of Virginia Tech. Remember, the NCAA is run by the collective PRESIDENTS of universities, not the ADs.

Seth Emerson had a really good piece in The Athletic 2 weeks ago. In most realignment situations, the president is the driving force. He talked specifically about Texas A&M, where the AD was 'blindsided' and didn't know the president was planning the move.

Sands & the BOV have been thinking about this for at least a year. They are not stupid.

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Having dated the daughter of a member of the BOV while I was in college; I can assure you that family (at least) is very adamant about the future and success of the football program.

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It doesn't matter what conference we end up in as long as we dominate

Looks like Jim Phillips joined the VT BOV meeting recently to discuss the conference realignment situation. I wonder how much him being there was trying to keep an eye on discussions, especially as it's been rumored Clemson and FSU's boards are hotly discussing the GoR. Interesting times indeed.

Also Brett McMurphy has been reporting that Oregon is in serious talks with the B1G and even going so far as to say on a radio show it's a done deal in principle. Likely three other PAC schools to join them. The B1G is going to be super aggressive. I think that bodes very well for VT2SEC chances. The SEC will have to answer eventually, they won't want to be #2.

The power move would be the SEC inviting VT, Miami, FSU, Clemson, UNC, NC State, Duke, and UVA. Effectively dissolving the ACC and locking up the southern footprint, limiting any future B1G expansion.

Also Brett McMurphy has been reporting that Oregon is in serious talks with the B1G

I would recommend reading the piece, which says (emphasis mine):

Oregon has initiated preliminary discussions with the Big Ten in Chicago to determine if the Ducks are compatible in the conference, sources told Action Network.

Outgoing University of Oregon President Michael Shill, Oregon AD Rob Mullens and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren were not involved in the discussions in Chicago, another source said.

They talked about this on SZD this week (starting at the 5:00 min mark), and basically said that this is Phil Knight talking to people in the B10, and that, for now, it's a bit of nothing. They go on to talk about how a lot of the Kevin Warren comments have been taken out of the context of interview.

Even going so far as to say on a radio show it's a done deal in principle.

Can you share this link? I haven't heard any reliable source describe Oregon-to-the-B10 anything more than a slow moving, one-sided courtship (much less a 'done deal in principle').


The power move would be the SEC inviting VT, Miami, FSU, Clemson, UNC, NC State, Duke, and UVA. Effectively dissolving the ACC and locking up the southern footprint, limiting any future B1G expansion.

This is the best case scenario for VT, but I don't see it happening. Would it be a big dick swinging move for the SEC? Yes. Would it be financial viable? I doubt it.

EDIT: Just for shits and gigs:

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They go on to talk about how a lot of the Kevin Warren comments have been taken out of the context of interview.

The biggest thing taken out of context was the expansion comment - the interviewer specifically asked Warren about the B1G expanding to exactly 20 teams and Warren gave a generic non-answer like "I could see that." Then every news outlet ran the headline "Warren says B1G targeting 20 teams" when it could easily be more than 20, less than 20, or none at all based on what he actually said.

Sounds like done deal in principle was a bit strong, as that came from some twitter and message board banter. But I listened to his whole radio interview on WJOX and toward the end he essentially said he expects those four PAC schools to be announced to the Big Ten by the end of the calendar year. The tenor of his comments seemed like it was going to happen. He then mentions that he thinks the decision to add them has been made, but the hold up in announcing right now is due to the B1G crunching numbers and seeing if they could bring them all on as full revenue share members immediately like USC/UCLA or if they would have to build in some sort of escalator for them like Maryland and Rutgers had.


And it does sound extreme, but I wouldn't put it past the SEC to do something drastic to establish themselves as #1. If the B1G is going to be aggressive, ESPN can't risk losing ACC properties to Fox/CBS/NBC. The best move to keep them locked up on their network would be to take all of the valuable ACC properties into the SEC and box the B1G out. Sort of draw a line in the sand if you will. Hell, I would take that with unequal revenue distribution with an escalator for the first 7-10 years if it means we get into the SEC.

Also that map is beautiful. It just makes pods too clean and easy in the SEC.

he essentially said he expects those four PAC schools to be announced to the Big Ten by the end of the calendar year. The tenor of his comments seemed like it was going to happen.

I interpreted it differently - McMurphy said those four PAC school are trying to get to the B10 before the end of the year. There's obviously urgency from the current P12/10 teams to get to the B10 before signing a new GoR. But McMurphy isn't suggesting that the B10 wants (much less needs to) move that quickly. They can take their time.

ESPN can't risk losing ACC properties to Fox/CBS/NBC.

There's no risk to ESPN. The GoR seems to be rock solid. I don't think ESPN is sweating about the ACC at all.

My guess is that P12 schools (who are in the middle of a contract negotiation) are trying to make it seem like they have other opportunities. ESPN allegedly low-balled the P12 last month. If 8 of the P12/10 teams are threatening to leave the PAC for Fox properties (4 to the B12 and 4 the B10), then ESPN is short on content.

I'm expecting the P10 to stay in tact, and make a deal (primarily) with ESPN.

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I just don't think the P12 survives. USC and UCLA need other western schools. I think there is interest between the B1G and Oregon, Washington, Stanford, and Cal but they just have to find a way to make the numbers work. The PAC sans USC and UCLA (the entire La market) just isn't going to command a huge deal from anyone. Once those four bolt, I could see the B12 grabbing the Arizona schools, Utah, and Colorado. And then the conference is effectively done. I think the B12 is posturing themselves to be the best of the rest conference.

Someone is going to find an avenue out of this ACC GoR. There is too much money at stake here. One or two schools leaving won't work, but eight leaving would effectively end it. If the core Carolina schools can be convinced to move (who have a huge stake in the ACC) along with the football schools, I don't think the ACC survives. There is legitimately nothing the conference can do to improve the revenue stream, and all the schools and everyone else knows it too.

Someone is going to find an avenue out of this ACC GoR. There is too much money at stake here. One or two schools leaving won't work, but eight leaving would effectively end it.

I just think it's very hard for 8 schools coordinate leaving.

I don't think the ACC survives.

But when do you think it dies? I don't think any conference dies in 2022.

IMO, a couple schools from the ACC will announce in the next few years that they're leaving at the end of the GoR. Then a few more will find landing spots. Then a few more. Then it will be 8 total leaving. At that point, those 8 schools will collude to leave at the same time, effectively killing the GoR. It will be a slow death, l think it takes at least 5 years to happen.

I believe the P12 will be similar.

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Don't think it happens this year either for the ACC, but within the next five I agree is realistic. It has to be sooner rather than later though, because with the changing NIL landscape and pay for play being tossed around, the football programs in the ACC can't afford to get 10+ years behind the P2 in revenue that they can't recover from. I think the PAC 12 is a shorter timeframe though, as their GoR expires next year, and as McMurphy mentioned on the radio show, no one is going to want to sign another if they have an opportunity to move elsewhere.

I can see the SEC taking Louisville or Pitt over Duke. Duke other than the name doesn't bring much. They already have a doormat in Vandy.

Coach K will roll over in his grave, but Duke makes sense in the Big East for hoops if things implode. It really does. UCONN, Nova, Cuse potentially, etc.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight just published an article grading B10 expansion candidates, and lists VT as 'tier 4' option.

According to Silver's mathematic - albeit arbitrary - methodology, VT is the 21st best option (out of 40 schools could be 'available') in terms of athletic excellence, the 20th best option in terms of academic fit, and the 10th best TV market.

The interesting piece of this is not the ranking, but the methodology - Silver takes a bunch of publicly available inputs (revenue, championships, academic ranking, etc), plugs them into a spreadsheet, which calculates a score. No fancy math; just weighted averages. Supposedly, the B10 is essentially doing the same thing, although they are likely using more complex algorithms, as well as data that isn't publicly available.

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Where did he have Rutgers a few years back? Top 2?

He shows Rutgers as the worse overall fit of any current B10 school. Scores high in academic fit, very low in athletic fit, and pretty low from a market fit perspective.

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Nate Silver has been getting so many things wrong over the last 8 years by ignoring actual trends and not doing a lick of research into why things trend in certain directions that I'm surprised anyone takes him seriously anymore.

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As I said - I think this was meant to be a 'fun' exercise. I wouldn't take his algorithm seriously, but the methodology probably isn't that dissimilar to what the B10 is/will do.

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