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Break Up the SEC - The Case for the Big 10 to Fix the NCAA

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College football is enjoying great prosperity. Although this year sagged a bit, ratings are at historic highs. Major schools and conferences are making maximum dollars. But who tends the Golden Goose? I feel that no one does, and that is the rub.

Take an average of the last 6 years of recruitment rankings. SEC schools are 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17.

Look at BCS Championship Games, 13 games, 26 slots, 7 SEC appearances, 4 different teams. No coach goes from an SEC team to another conference.

So what happens to college football in 10 more years?

Let's call a Power Team a team that has a 20% chance to go undefeated in regular season play. Not trying to examine each year's team, but rather "the program" i.e. tendancies over a 10-year smoosh.

To be a Power Team, I think you have to be high in for many years. I think you need to be giving a lot of people into the NFL, and I think there is an issue that it may be easier in an easy conference.

Take a look at Pac 10.

USC is ranked 1st in 6 year avg Rivals ranking. 4th in NFL players
Oregon Rivals=20 NFL = 21
Stanford Rivals=31 NFL = 31
Cal Rivals=22 NFL=10

Big 12
Texas Rivals=3 NFL=3
Oklahoma Rivals=7 NFL=11
Ok St Rivals=25 NFL=29
Tx A&M Rivals=26 NFL=28
Tx Tech Rivals=30 NFL=32

Big Ten
Ohio State Rivals=9 NFL=5
Michigan Rivals=13 NFL=9
Nebraska Rivals= 18 NFL=13
Penn St Rivals=23 NFL=15
Mich St Rivals=29 NFL=19
Wisconsin Rivals=33 NFL=23

Florida St Rivals=6 NFL=12
Miami Rivals=16 NFL=2
Clemson Rivals=14 NFL=27
VaTech Rivals=24 NFL=22
NC Rivals=19 NFL=25

Big East
TCU Rivals= about 40th NFL=about 30th
WVU Rivals= about 50th NFL=about 50th

Alabama Rivals= 2 NFL= 18
LSU Rivals= 5 NFL= 1
Auburn Rivals= 11 NFL= 17
Florida Rivals= 4 NFL= 8
Tenn Rivals= 12 NFL= 7
SC Rivals= 15 NFL= 24
Miss Rivals= 17 NFL= 20
Arkansas Rivals= 27 NFL= 30
Georgia Rivals= 8 NFL= 6

In the last few years, each year there are about 1-3 AQ undefeateds in the regular season. If we assume that the Power Teams have a 20% chance to go undefeated in regular season, then an average of 2 undefeateds mean about 10 Power Teams, i.e. the TOP 10 teams are power teams, with about a 20% chance of going undefeated and all other AQ teams have negligible chance.

The Top 10 teams probably are in the Top 15 Rivals AND the Top 15 NFL. Let's take a look by conference.

Big 12 has two Top 15 Rivals/NFL teams Texas and Oklahoma.
Pac 10 has 1, USC
Big Ten has 1, Ohio State,
ACC has 1 Florida State
Big East has none
SEC has 4: LSU, FL, Tenn, Georgia.

That's 9 and there are 3 missing big programs. Auburn, Alabama, and Oregon which have been AQ undefeateds in recent time. So that's 12 teams that reasonably have a 20% chance of going AQ undefeated. TCU and Utah have had non-AQ undefeated seasons recently, but are now AQ. I will assume TCU to now be an AQ Power team but I think Utah will not be a Pac 10 Power Team.

So let's say we have 13 teams that have a 20% chance of going undefeated AQ regular seasons.

Now there is a recent phenomenon in the last 3 years that every undefeated team, AQ and non-AQ bubble up to the top of the BCS. PLUS another trend that the non-AQ conferences can, through weak competition, grow a single undefeated team.

This means that in the future, most BCS Championship Games, will be among undefeated teams, either 2 AQ or 1 AQ and 1 non-AQ.

So what does that mean?

Basically that the odds of a conference playing in the BCS CG is given as 1 minus the odds of the conferences power teams NOT going undefeated.

ODDS = 1- (.80)**# of Power Teams in conference.


Big Ten = 20%
Pac Ten = 36%
ACC = 20%
Big East = 20%
Big 12 = 36%
SEC East = 49%
SEC West = 49%

Now let's add the playoff game. Let's assume the undefeated has a 66% chance of success against the strong team from the other division. So now let's adjust all the conferences for BCS CG undefeated.

Big Ten/ Big East/ ACC = 13%
Big 12 two Power Teams are in same division, so their chance is 24%.
Pac 10 two Power Teams are in opposing divisions so their chance is 30%
SEC has each division with 3 Power Teams, so their chance is 89%

That means that the average number of AQ undefeateds after Conference Champs is 1.82.

This means that roughly 4 out of 5 years there will be 2 AQ undefeateds. If we assume WAC and Mountain West produce one undefeatedper conf per year at a 50% rate. Then in the year that there is only 1 AQ undefeated, the non-AQ schools have a 75% chance of going.

So in the next 10 years:

SEC goes 9 times, Bama twice, FL twice, LSU twice, and Tenn, Auburn, Georgia once.
P10 goes 3 times, USC twice and Oregon 1.
B12 goes 3 times, Texas twice and Oklahoma once.
ACC goes 1 time with Florida State
BE goes 1 time with TCU.
Boise State goes 1 time.

And the Big Ten goes twice with Ohio State.

And that is the problem. The Big Ten and the SEC are the two big dogs in term of TV Monies, but the Big Ten is the BIG DOG in terms of eyeballs.

In the next 10 years, the lack of achievement by the Big Ten will hurt the marketability of college football. However there is no guardian looking out for the marketability of college football. The NCAA makes almost no money on College Football. The NCAA makes their money on College Basketball. The regular season TV revenues go to the conferences, and the post season goes to the BCS which is a golem for the 4 power conferences, plus the 2 sisters of the poor, and Notre Dame. The NCAA controls nothing about football. It doesn't control the post-season, the scheduling, the draft, no TV/Digitial Media negotiations, no merchandising. Take a look at what the NFL does, then take a look at the NCAA. There is almost no league functions performed by the NCAA other than student eligibility, recruiting rules, and football rules.

The Big Ten will see that they have built a system that is designed to show off the SEC. That won't sit well. It will be in the Big Ten's interest then to build a different golem. Whether this is NCAA 2.0, or a different post-season, the Big Ten has painted themselves into the corner and nobody puts Delaney in the corner.

I wonder what happens.

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  1. Bengals1181's Avatar
    I'm not sure I quite understood all of it, but here's a simpler idea:

    The Big Ten needs more quality coaches. They (outside of Ohio State) are getting outcoached in big games and outdone in recruiting.

    Les Miles would have been a great add for the Big Ten, along with the addition of Nebraska.
  2. darvon's Avatar
    The Big Ten IS getting outrecruited.

    However, if we assume for the moment that is a perfect evaluator of incoming talent, Wisconsin does more with less than any other team in D1A. Which to me is at least HALF of great college coaching.

    The 6 year avg of Rivals .com ranking is 42.7. Their ranking of NFL alumni playing currently is 22nd. and the final BCS ranking average over those same 6 years is probably around 12.

    But we do have a recruiting problem. After ohio state, its pretty barren. Is that coaching, or talent proximity or BOTH?
  3. Bengals1181's Avatar
    I'd say mostly coaching, with talent proximity a small part, but not much. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are loaded with talent, and Ohio State is doing well in getting guys from texas and florida.

    They are getting outrecruited for sure, and beat in bowl games and out of conference games, which in turn hurts recruiting more.

    If I'm a Big Ten coach trying to recruit a speed kid down south my very first pitch is "you can go to the SEC and be just like every other player, or you can come to the Big Ten and you'll instantly be the fastest kid every time you step on the field. That will help you come draft time."
  4. darvon's Avatar
    Recruiting is paramount, but not sufficient.

    However my OP is since B10 and SEC are the two big dogs for $$$ and eyeballs, how long will the B10 be comfortable with Little Sisters of the Poor status, and what will the B10 do about it.