(Eventual) Conference Realignment

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    • #61501

      Ute Fan

      Another one of those offseason topics just to make time pass…

      IMO, for the time being, conferences will ride out their current contracts for the next few years. Nothing is being reported as imminent and nothing ‘should’ happen unless there are background currents that we haven’t felt yet.

      That being said, I ran across this article today and it got my mind running a bit: Link

      It actually makes a whole lot of sense that tech companies might be in a position to offer the most money and most visibility within the next ten years. Will cable completely die? Will it need to for a plan like this to be realistic? The NFL and some conferences have certainly been testing the waters with football’s viability as a streamed sport. It should also be noted that most cable companies offer some sort of streaming option, though those are usually tied to existing cable subscriptions.

      Where do the Utes stand in this hypothetical? If this article is digested as gospel truth, the top 30-40 valued teams would comprise a model perhaps similar to the NFL or other major sports leagues.


      Last fall, the Wall Street Journal had us ranked as the 39th most valuable football program. Ryan Brewer analyzed each program’s revenues and expenses and made cash-flow adjustments, risk assessments and growth projections for each school.

      Assuming something crazy like a tech-takeover does happen (a top 40 ‘valuation conference’ which won’t take into account TV market size), would you be okay with this? Do you see realignment or TV contracts working out another way?

    • #61508

      Ute Fan

    • #61516

      Ute Fan

      Remember two things: 

      1 – Conferences are a tight knit group. The PAC-12 will never leave any of the original 8 behind. Ok, maybe they would, but it would be like a less than 0% chance they’d leaves someone behind. 

      2 – As much as cougarfan thinks people want a league of super teams, it’s not reality. We have the NFL. We don’t need another NFL. What makes college great is that we have lots of teams, regional rivalries, and SUPER TEAMS. Every year, there are about 5 teams that have a shot to win it all: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma and one other team from Texas, USC, Penn St, Michigan, Auburn, and Georgia/Washington may make that list. 

      And guess what? To keep it that way, what do you need? A lot of teams willing to lose to those teams. 

      I don’t think the P5 level will ever go below 64 teams. I do think they will strongly look at packaging all their first and second tier rights together in one huge bundle. Four conferences, 8 divisions. One huge contract, split 4 ways, then each conference can divide that up how they want. Big 10 and PAC-12 can split it evenly. SEC and ACC can give it all to Alabama, Texas and Notre Dame. 

      8 Division winners play for a conference title. Round 1 of the playoffs. The PAC-12 vs the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl. The SEC and ACC in the Sugar Bowl. Round 2. The winners play in the national championship game. 

      It’s too easy that way. Everyone plays 7 division games, 4 games vs other conferences/divisons and 1 FCS game. Done. 

      • #61557

        Ute Fan

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

        For all of the celebratory Pac-12 stickers and shade we’ve thrown at BYU, I wonder how secure our own future is against the winds of change? We got in at the right time to be able to build up our own brand value among the P5s should another shift happen. If Utah athletics were a stock, I’d say we’re still a “buy” value, and will be for a while; I don’t think we’ve hit our peak value yet — not even close. Even within our own conference, I already think we offer more to our peers than WSU and OSU. And our profile is only growing.

        Still, college athletics is HUGELY political, and if a big shift happens culling the top 40, or even top 64 brands, I wonder what our chances are of making the cut? Schools will have political and academic pressure to stick up for their in-state and old conference peers, and we’re still the new kid in town. I don’t love that. If push comes to shove, does the old PAC-10 stump for us and Colorado?

        With that said, I actually feel pretty good about where we sit. While I don’t think the PAC-12 is implode proof, if it does fall apart, I think we’ve shown enough value regionally and nationally to end up in some better situation than back to G5 like what happened to Cincinnati and UConn (and to a lesser extent Boise State and SDSU) as the Big East fell apart.

        • #61578

          Ute Fan

          64 – we are 100% in. 40? Worrisome. BUT, if it goes to 40, OSU, WSU are out. I don’t think teams like that get left behind. Washington won’t be allowed to go without WSU and same with OSU/Oregon and Texas/Texas Tech and Oklahoma/OSU. 


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