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Conference Realignment: Just the Facts and Brett Yormark May Not Get His Big Splash

July 9, 2022
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STILLWATER – You can certainly understand Brett Yormark coming in as the new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and his desire to pull off a huge accomplishment right out of the gate and impress everybody in his new field of college athletics, make that college football revenue enhancement. That is what we are talking about. There are people in the Big 12 office that can promote the accomplishments of the schools in the league, can adjudicate any differences between conference members, and decide on the décor at Big 12 functions. Yormark is there to make sure Oklahoma State and Iowa State have enough capital to meet the ever-growing budget. His job is to make sure no other schools consider leaving the conference and that new members BYU and Cincinnati have the green they need to make their football programs competitive in their soon-to-be Power Five neighborhood or as close to the SEC and Big Ten as possible.

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Brett Yormark

Yormark met with the athletic directors of the Big 12 on July 1. He had a morning zoom conference with the folks that hired him the Big 12 Board of Directors (school Presidents and Chancellors) on Tuesday, July 6. He was hopeful that he would have something to announce at Big 12 Football Media Days when he makes his first address to the media and in public at 8:30 a.m. on July 13. I’m sure he will come up with something, but it won’t be the poaching of Oregon and Washington or even Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah. He won’t be able to say that the Big 12 and ACC have entered into a lukewarm alliance and will be staging their own mini playoff at the end of the regular season.

None of those things are happening. USC and UCLA triggered a mass speculation on what could be next in college conference realignment when they Boomered, soonered, and horned the Pac-12 by moving their football exploits to a colder climate in the Big Ten. Minnesota and Wisconsin will look forward to possible late season road games in sunny Los Angeles while the Trojans and Bruins can start order cold weather gear from Nike and Adidas respectively.

Since then, the speculation has been fun about the rest of the Pac-12 and Notre Dame. The thought that Greg Sankey and Kevin Warren were going to rush to grab more schools in order to one up each other in the pursuit of a 20-to-24 team super conference that would cause ESPN and FOX respectively to put some more zeroes on their media rights revenue or current negotiations.  

Instead, Notre Dame has done what they have always done as the most desired piece on the college conference realignment board. They have refused to move and athletic director Jack Swarbrick still insists that staying independent is an option and that he is always monitoring the situation. If Notre Dame can’t draw top dollar for their television rights, if they can’t get a fair shot at being in the CFP, or if someone is able to make them an offer they can’t turn down, then Notre Dame will join a conference. None of those have happened yet.

The best acquisitions still in the Pac-12 are Oregon and Washington and they too have stayed chilly. They are watching Notre Dame, each other, and the early start by Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff to the conference multi-media rights negotiations. They seem willing to find out what the worth is staying out West without USC and UCLA.

The ACC still remains locked by their Grant-of-Rights that seems to be ironclad. Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia, and North Carolina, all likely targets of the SEC or Big Ten, can enjoy their ACC Network that cost them dearly in getting locked into a long-term contract with ESPN that pays them below market value returns.

It appears realignment will be in a pause until the Pac-12 finds out more about its’ value without the Los Angeles schools and Notre Dame finds out more about the validity of staying an independent. Commissioners Sankey and Warren are not pedal down toward adding more schools just yet.

That means Brett Yormark is going to have to open his tenure with more promises than having any delivery for his first public introduction. It is okay because at least he hasn’t lost any schools yet.

Discussion from...

Conference Realignment: Just the Facts and Brett Yormark May Not Get His Big Splash

3,719 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by NJAggie
Staats79
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Hi Mr. Allen. I saw some article saying Ok State is in a good position and is in pretty good shape for the future. But are we really? Someone from the gridiron heroics are saying from a source that we are in deep talks to join the Sec but two guys have supposedly denied any of it. I don't get why the media doesn't give the pokes any respect and what does Ok State have to do to get better respect. Thank you for your info and your time.
Orangeheart72
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Not Robert, but I think OU vs OSU is a major impact and measure. Perhaps we were already leaving their shadow somewhat and certainly will soon (their move to the SEC), but this is a huge historical impact situation. OU is the highest winning college football program over the last 75 years. OSU has largely flourished in steady fashion now for about a solid 20 years.

And if you look up viewership stats on football game broadcasts, OU is almost a million and a third bigger than OSU. And OSU gets the additional juice in their stats of playing OU and UT currently. Suspect we drop some without those games. (For example....TCU was noted as having their best game viewership wise in over 5 years when they played tOSU. Was that really a TCU TV impact? Likely not.)

And then you have local/state market share considerations. With OU in the SEC fold, how much more TV audience does OSU likely bring to the table. OSU has 3 metro's we likely affect primarily. DFW to a lessor extent, OKC and Tulsa. But we overlap OU for those, so how much more "pop" is gained in value if OSU is considered.

Finally, even though OU and OSU are comparatively similar sized schools, OU football game attendance is more than 50% larger than OSU. Heck, their spring game attendance beat our game attendance average by almost +50%! I have to think that still affects the media's view of us as well both in and out of state. So what do we need to do to get more respect? Keep winning, especially these UT, OU and ND type games, beat OU again soon and if you care about OSU, SHOW UP!! But season tickets, show up at spring game and bring friends!
OT
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If you are the Big 10 and SEC, why not Go Big and finish off the useless NCAA? NCAA is arguably anti collegiate athletics, anti fair play, anti university once you get past their "brand name".

Finalizing the euthanasia of the NCAA would move collegiate athletics into likely an era of stability.

Rumors are the SEC is looking at adding two 4 teams pods.

Would an OSU, Baylor, WVU, and UCF be so foolish as to decline an SEC invitation?
FSU, Clemson, NC and VT decline SEC invitations to stay locked into their pathetic ACC contracts?

Big 12 Grant of Rights is up in 2025, so only a few seasons out.
ACC's Grant of Rights is so pathetic a single year of SEC funding could enable everyone to simply buy out their contracts.

I know, I know, "but what about playing ISU and KState every year?" "What about conferences as we know them?"

As a Cowboy's fans, would you "get over it" really quick if we played BU, OU, UT, A&M, Ark, Missou, and LSU every year, while also watching the other pods battle for position in the SEC playoffs and championship?

Me thinks the NCAA is a dead organization walking (and rightfully so).







NJAggie
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Orangeheart72 said:

Not Robert, but I think OU vs OSU is a major impact and measure. Perhaps we were already leaving their shadow somewhat and certainly will soon (their move to the SEC), but this is a huge historical impact situation. OU is the highest winning college football program over the last 75 years. OSU has largely flourished in steady fashion now for about a solid 20 years.

And if you look up viewership stats on football game broadcasts, OU is almost a million and a third bigger than OSU. And OSU gets the additional juice in their stats of playing OU and UT currently. Suspect we drop some without those games. (For example....TCU was noted as having their best game viewership wise in over 5 years when they played tOSU. Was that really a TCU TV impact? Likely not.)

And then you have local/state market share considerations. With OU in the SEC fold, how much more TV audience does OSU likely bring to the table. OSU has 3 metro's we likely affect primarily. DFW to a lessor extent, OKC and Tulsa. But we overlap OU for those, so how much more "pop" is gained in value if OSU is considered.

Finally, even though OU and OSU are comparatively similar sized schools, OU football game attendance is more than 50% larger than OSU. Heck, their spring game attendance beat our game attendance average by almost +50%! I have to think that still affects the media's view of us as well both in and out of state. So what do we need to do to get more respect? Keep winning, especially these UT, OU and ND type games, beat OU again soon and if you care about OSU, SHOW UP!! But season tickets, show up at spring game and bring friends!
That's a very pessimistic outlook. What we should see happen is if the Big 12 can keep network TV slots we should see OSU & TCU along with the rest of the better teams see more viewers per avg. Yes OU & UT draw fans, but they also got almost all of their games on network TV. More fans, particularly casual ones, watch whatever is on the networks. The real fans of teams and cfb find their team on FS2 or ESPN2. So when OSU gets on network for more than 1 or 2 games a year when playing OU or UT it's going to put more viewers in our average. Now that requires that you keep winning, but do that and our value should only increase. Meanwhile OU & UT will be playing fewer games on network TV, and having fewer games where the conference title or a playoff berth is on the line. So don't be shocked when OU & UT see their TV numbers drop with this move. This also highlights why it is imperative for the Big XII to get at least one network game a week from their media deal, that's where money and ratings come from.
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