Florida State to the Big 12? Could there be a more natural fit?
Money-wise, it appears not, at least that is the scuttlebutt surrounding the latest conference realignment chatter emanating from Tallahassee. After the ACC reached its latest TV deal with ESPN the immediate reaction was very positive. The conference had locked itself in for a four million dollar a year bump in television revenue and the contract would take the ACC to the year 2027. Overall it was a 3.6 billion dollar windfall for the ACC that would be worth 240 million per year. Not small potatoes by any means.
However, closer inspection -- done by Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com and Dan Wetzel at Yahoo.com -- highlights a few large and troublesome holes in the conference's big payday, while setting up a potential move by one of the better brands in the league to a conference which it has no shared history or geographic connection. It seems that the 3.6 billion dollar deal is backloaded to the point where teams will not realize the four million dollar bump in television revenue until 2021, and ultimately with the rapid growth in television rights that four million dollar bump won't seem so significant in almost a decade.
While most schools in the ACC can reasonably be expected to swallow this deal, Florida State is facing a 2.4 million dollar deficit in its athletic department budget while also standing as one of the most powerful football brands the conference has left. Not much of a surprise that when pressed about the possibility of a move, pretty much everyone from the Chairman of the Board to Jimbo Fisher himself has said, "why the hell not if we can?"
/cue the chorus of boos toward college football's insatiable desire for more money
Now, this is all just speculation right now, but it seems hard to believe that Florida State won't seriously consider the move. Ultimately, it will come down to money: how much will it cost to bolt the ACC, how much will it cost for all the other university athletic programs to travel out west for games, and will everything add up to a number in red or black.
It all goes to show that in the conference realignment game, once you get comfortable with the status quo you should expect the rug to get pulled out from under you.
As much as we complain about the many transgressions of Jim Delany, it is times like this that we should be thankful for Delany not taking any of Mark Shapiro's crap and starting the Big Ten's own network. Financial independence feels really nice right about now.
Let's hit the morning links:
Michigan softball team rides freshman pitching to record fifth straight Big Ten title - Congrats to the Michigan softball team on the Big Ten title. Go blue!
Michigan spring wrap - ESPN's Big Ten blog wraps up Michigan's spring with a full primer on the comings and goings.
Michigan's Mary Sue Coleman: We shouldn't have hired Rich Rodriguez as football coach - Hindsight = 20/20
Also, its nice that there are still a few opportunities for Mark Snyder to gloat about "major" NCAA violations.
Profilin' the Tide: The Defense
Say what you will about Nick Saban's ethics, but the man (as well as his righthand man Kirby Smart) know defense like a Michigan Man knows righteous indignation. Before I say anything, I think it's important to put a certain fanciful notion to rest: Alabama will not not be really good on defense this year, even with the long list of NFL departures in mind. Yes, oversigning and all that, but it's a testament to the strength of the Alabama's program that the defense will likely be very good again in spite of losses like Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron, Dont'a Hightower, etc. Keep in mind that we Michigan fans are worrying about the defense (well, the DL, mostly), and we lost three defensive linemen, only one of whom was drafted, and Troy "Don't Call Me Woolfork" Woolfolk. That's not meant to be disparaging for obvious reasons, but it is true. Michigan will get there eventually. There was once a time when Michigan simply "reloaded", but we are not at that point just yet; Alabama is.
The Inexperience Experiment - Tremendous takes a look back at Big Ten champions of the past decade and a half in an effort to see how tough a task Michigan State will face in its attempt to win the conference with a new starting quarterback and very little experience at receiver.
While Aquaman comes to the conclusion that the deck is stacked against MSU, I still think that a solid run game (the Spartans finally have depth on the offensive line, return two very good backs in Bell and Caper) and a defense that should be the best in the conference puts Michigan State in the pole position for the Legends division. Michigan has huge questions at wide receiver and on the defensive line, Nebraska still seems good-not-great and I think Iowa is a year or two away from being back at the conference championship level.
May Temptation: Meet The 10 College Football Games You Can Bet On Right Now - Jamiemac at Just Cover Blog takes a look at the games you can bet on right now. You know, if you're a gambler who gets so bored during baseball season that your eyes bleed.
Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Prince, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and the Difficulty of Comparisons
What also makes this problematic is that Prince has several other influences beyond Brown and Hendrix. It’s rarely going to be an exact comparison (at least I hope not – otherwise I wouldn’t be interested in listening to a musician that sounds like a carbon copy – I’d just prefer to listen to the original). People who compare Robert Griffin III to Michael Vick are sometimes chided for making an intellectually lazy effort.
I see a lot Vick in Griffin’s game. Both operate with a great deal of quickness in their drops and play fakes. Both can get too frenetic with their movements under pressure. And both can make all-arm throws with velocity that I’ve only seen a player like Jay Cutler only capable of approaching. However, I also see some of Steve Young’s and Aaron Rodgers’ pocket presence and maneuverability in tight quarters.
This should be subtitled "Why you sound like an Idiot when you make most of your comparisons between athletes" or "stop feeling like you have to compare white players only to other white players in basketball."