1. System Poster

    I agree with your overall point that this is the right approach when evaluating expansion candidates. The idea of adding teams to add certain markets is going to become more and more antiquated the more streaming starts to take over. What I’m not so sure about is the usefulness of evaluating teams based on a single year. I get that evaluating on, for instance, a five-year rolling average would be a lot of work for you and wouldn’t really add to your analysis, but I just want to make the point that so much of the year over year ratings is dependent on how good a team is, especially early in the season when TV execs are making decisions about what network to put games on. Obviously, games on ABC or fox going to outdraw anything on cable, and ESPN games draw a lot more, on average, than FS1 games. A team that has a bad year, like Texas Tech, is going to have its games shunted off to 11am on FS1 or ESPN2 where it’s almost impossible to get good numbers. All of that is to say, a variation of 500K or so viewers probably has more to do with a team’s network assignment than any innate drawing ability.

    Look, for instance, at 2013 Texas Tech’s viewing numbers: https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings-archived/4/

    If my math is right, Tech averaged 2.02 million average viewers, which included drawing 2.13 mil for a matchup against SMU, 3.08mil against Baylor, and 3.51mil against Arizona State.

    • ianaboyd

      Yeah I only looked at 2019 with a few glimpses at 2018. I know it’s a snapshot but it’s still useful.

      I reckon Texas did better a year ago and could do vastly better in the future, of course the same is true for Tech.

      I’ll do more in the future, I just finally found that website.

  2. Andrew

    The idea of the B12 cannibalizing the top part of the PAC12 is an interesting idea. However, the logistics & tv game sales are going to be more difficult than anticipated. It’s an interesting thought by Staples. Consider the most recent show by the B12 regarding letting any other teams in. Their handling & execution of that was a mess, which showed who will be handling the next round of realignment. The facepalm way they handled things was a glaring example of how not to say no & drag it out. I admit that those teams were not P5, but a handful of those teams have a lot of eyeballs regarding more than just FB. They also have rich recruiting areas.

    If I’m OU or UT, I’m subsidizing the other B12 teams. What other conference can they have outsized influence? What other conference can they have an easier road to the CFP? If OU goes to the B10, good luck not getting smashed by OSU, PSU, Michigan, WS, etc when they play them. With UT heading to the PAC12, I doubt the can call the shots like they do with the B12 now. Nike aka Oregon can field quality teams every given year, more so now with HC Cristobal. Other teams are beginning to improve. Not saying those games are a given loss, just the likelihood of going up against better quality teams really decreases their chances. I’m not going to deny the improvement in the quality of games, but to give up a realistic annual shot at the CFP is nuts.

    • System Poster

      I think a lot of people misinterpret the Big 12’s expansion pageant when it solicited bids from G5 teams. At the time, the conference TV deal had an escalator that would increase payouts from the networks on a pro rata basis for any new team added to the conference. So using that provision, the conference could have, just for illustrative purposes, added four teams and increased the TV payout by 40%. Then, make the new teams take a reduced TV payout, the way TCU and WVU had to do when they joined the conference, and funnel the additional money to the current teams. Heck, even make the reduced payout permanent. Make the 4 new teams “junior members” or something.

      Of course, the networks called the Big 12’s bluff, and the Big 12 ended up taking an embarrassingly small amount of money to remove that provision from it contracts. But at the same time, it’s not as though the Big 12 had another play. They were never going to add the likes of Houston, Memphis, etc. The only way to capitalize on that contract provision was the bluff they ended up using.

    • ianaboyd

      The counter to this argument is that in a much tougher league the B12 can make a case for inclusion with a one loss team. Also, the playoffs may expand anyways. Particularly if this scenario occurs and there’s super conferences.

      B12 champ likely becomes automatic.


      yea I don’t think ohio state, michigan and penn state scare OU .is the flag still planted at midfield in Columbus from Baker Mayfields beatdown he gave the buckeyes….yes I thought so…..


    Based on the article Cincinnati is a real contender for BIG12 Membership:
    Wk1 CIN vs UCLA 1.63M viewers
    wk2 CIN vs Ohios State 2.94M viewers
    wk6 CIN vs UCF 1.44M Viewers
    wk14 CIN vs Mem 2.51M Viewers
    CCG CIN vs Mem 2.88M Viewers

    The only other contender would be Boise State who drew high on NON ESPN/ABC channels(ESPNU,ESPN2 and others):
    wk1 BOISE ST vs FSU 1.19M viewers ESPNNEWS
    wk2 BOISE ST vs MAR 1.38M on ESPN2
    Wk3 BOISE ST vs FCS 391K on ESPN2
    Wk4 BOISE ST vs AF 895K on ESPN2
    Wk5 BOISE ST vs HAw 555K on ESPN2
    Wk8 BOISE ST vs BYU 571K on ESPN2
    Wk11 BOISE ST vs WYO 1.18M on ESPN
    Wk12 BOISE ST vs NM 225K on ESPN2
    Bowl Game VS UW 2.64M ON ESPN

    It was interesting to see that Boise ST drew more Viewers than BYU, so while BYU will help gameday ticket sales they do not bring TV viewership.

    If the BIG12 were to expand via G5 schools CIncy and Boise State are the two choices based on TV viewership

    • ianaboyd

      Strictly based on the last couple of years, yes. You’d want to try and look back and project forward as well. Are those the two schools that are most likely to have growth potential if they are a part of the Big 12 playing schools in other time zones regularly? That’s a big question mark. Will B12 fans care about watching their team against Cincinnati and will Cincinnati still be a big draw for their own region when facing Oklahoma State or TCU rather than more local teams?

      Also, matching lower-rated B12 schools in ratings doesn’t help the league. That just disperses the Texas-OU pot amongst more schools. Ultimately neither Boise State nor Cincinnati really make much sense as additions to the B12 from a revenue perspective.

    • Jon Grove

      Right however a school like Cincinnati, located in heart of Big 10 can never compete with schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, or for basketball purposes Kentucky or Louisville. Boise State on paper looks like a good candidate and would bring eyeballs for football purposes, but for other sports are really low, as even though like West Virginia it provides a different footprint, it isn’t any easier flying out to Boise, Idaho for a football game.

    • Bobby Meaux

      Look!! The 2 games listed above with TV views between Memphis and Cincy were not that high because CIncy was on TV. Really!! Your giving Cincy way to much credit!! Memphis is a really good football program and perennial top 25 team. I would think more than half of those viewers tuned in to watch Memphis!! And both games were won by Memphis!! Memphis brings a lot to the table as a realignment candidate for the Big 12. Really good football program that’s been on the rise since the 2014 season. Great basketball program with a long tradition of success. Decent TV market and the backing of Fed-Ex. I’ve long said that when the SEC took Vandy, they should’ve taken Memphis instead!! Memphis,TN. is one of the most fertile recruiting bases for football & basketball in the country. But Memphis loses those recruits to the larger SEC schools. If Memphis was to be picked up by the BIG 12 and was able to receive the revenue that schools like Texas, Okla. get and keep those recruits home, they would be a Top 15 program every year!!

      • ianaboyd

        You’re right, Memphis has an interesting case to make if they can continue to invest in football and build that fanbase.

        Programs with growth potential in that regard that would be interesting to the B12 if they grew stronger would include Memphis, Cincy, UCF, and USF. SMU and Houston are strong but they don’t bring new tv markets to the league.

        • Bobby Meaux

          Agreed!! Memphis is investing in their football program. Just opened a brand new $11.2 million in-door practice facility. They sunk $9 million in renovations to the Liberty Bowl in 2018. Their 2021 recruiting class is currently ranked 36th.in the country. They are ranked between 19th. – 25th. in most preseason polls! I would say they are working on it!! I really would like to see the AAC deemed a Power 6 conference!

      • Steve

        Just insert Cincinnati where you have Memphis and you have a good point. I would also implore you to look at TV market size.

    • L. E. Deaux FWAA

      Comments based on either Boise State or BYU are out of context. That was a Friday game and there were other mitigating time factors. The B1G needs a marquee program, not located in Texas, preferable with a big stadium and relatively easy to get to. That means looking at two programs, one of which is probably BYU. The other should be paired with West Virginia but that is far less likely. Colorado State makes a lot of sense, but does not have (though new) a very large stadium. Louring Nebraska back might be possible since the Huskers have NOT had much success in the B1G and its fan base is more aligned with the mid-west than the Great Lakes. Honestly, if the B12 could entice Nebraska back with a rational revenue share and add BYU, it would be an amazing league. Its already high Basketball and Baseball/Softball and Soccer profile would be bettered by BYU and Nebraska.

      Both Nebraska and BYU have phenomenal fan bases and BYU brings a world wide exposure to the league. TV ratings are only part of the distribution method for eyes, but a smart partnership with ESPN and BYU-tv would give the B12 a huge international boost in CFB, both BB’s and Soccer.

      • ianaboyd

        BYU doesn’t really bring that many eyeballs to TV sets, they wouldn’t expand the Big 12 TV deal enough to overcome the bite they’d then take of the apple.

  4. Jonathan Grove

    I’d take that many people don’t really know that the Longhorn Network is operated by ESPN not the University of Texas, so if viewership of LHN would tend to collapse, like the PAC 12 Network, it would be more of a possibility that a school like USC could try and team up with power schools like OU and Texas and try to one up the Big 10 and SEC. From what I saw on Andy Staples article, adding powerhouses like Oregon, UCLA, and Washington could be a massive boost for the Big XII revenue department, as well as bringing in new markets to heavily update the current big XII markets such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City. And with the addition of the golden brand central time zone, the Western schools can finally gain more viewership instead of late night football. I’m not sure however if UCLA would jump ship to the Big XII, considering that they’re a part of the UC system, could mean they could go to a different direction if the a Big 10 lets it loose. Stanford would probably go Independent in football and join the WCC for all Olympic sports. Washington State and Oregon State fit the Mountain West, they fit in there more than Boise State or BYU does. For Utah, even though they’ve became an AAU member as of late, probably Mountain West, and if Colorado tries to join, they’re going to have to get by Colorado State and Air Force if they want to join. A little sign of revenge for Big XII purposes. Who knows maybe USC goes independent so they can play UCLA and Notre Dame every year or the University of Nike (cough Oregon) joins the Big 10. At this point who knows.

  5. Tom

    Not very thought out. The programs like a UCF have massive s students and tv markets. Not only were their ratings solid and more than half big 12 but big 12 label or pwr conf to them and you’d see interest rise more. You have to factor that.

  6. Daniel Ruiz

    I think the Big 12 needs to grow somme balls, take the bull by the horns, put on their big boy pants, and go after whatever schools they want and disregard the contracts, fines, tv rights until they have settled on the 12 (14?) members. I compel the Big 12 commissioner to create a conference that is geographically desirable with strong schools. Their is no need to try to figure out which smaller school works. USF and UCF are too far. Cincy, Memphis push the boundary. In my realignment West Virginia is given the heave ho and goes to the ACC. The ACC is going to lose a team or two because the SEC is going to as well. Here is the Bigger 12 Conference I would like to see be created:

    Oklahoma State
    Texas Tech
    Kansas St.
    Iowa St.

    It would be an amazing group of schools. It is a lot of welcoming back schools that left. Texas AnM can stay where it is. They have no desire to be back in the fold and they can go ahead and spend $200 million for a staff. Until they find a passionate Aggie HC that can lift them up with that passion they will be mediocre with a once in a while chance of greatness. These schools can be tweaked but it is a nice tight group and they aren’t’ spread from coast to coast.

  7. Paul Keller

    To be honest the best scenario for this to work would be to have the Big 12 teams drop WVU and TCU and merge with USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona St. Cal, Stanford, Washington and Oregon. Create a new conference which would then be free to negotiate TV deals right away. Call the conference the great west conference with Pac division and a midwest division.

    • ianaboyd

      I think Texas bailing for the ACC is more likely, the Pac-12 needs to get their act together very fast.

  8. Sparty in Oklahoma

    These numbers for viewers are not accurate on a per capita basis, which makes them extremely misleading.

    You are post raw viewership numbers without any references as to which channels these numbers came from or how many times a team appeared on the various channels. I’ll use an example in Texas Tech.

    You mention Texas Tech “average viewers” of 1.03 million. Obviously that program is in a down period from what it was a decade ago so it’s expected for their numbers to be lower, but your list doesn’t explain that the reason their raw numbers were low is because they appeared mostly on crappy channels with low viewership to begin with (i.e. FS-1, Fox Sports Net, ESPN2). So the biggest factor in their low raw viewership totals is that they only appeared on network TV once (Fox) and on ESPN2 a couple of times.
    Naturally their average is going to be lower than any of the programs that have even a couple of appearances on ABC.

    Texas Tech actually had the highest ratings of any Big 12 team outside of OU or TX on FS-1, ESPN2, and regional Fox Sports Net on a per-capita basis. Out of 5 Non-OU/TX Big 12 appearances on ESPN2, Tech’s appearance was the highest rated by a substantial margin. In their 8 FS-1 appearances, Tech held the Top 5 non-Tx/OU appearances. In their one appearance on network TV, Fox, their game with Oklahoma State was the 3rd highest overall, and first with games no including OU/TX.

    So while your chart inaccurately shows them as the next to last ratings draw, they are actually the #3 team in the Big 12 behind TX and OU when you do a per capita comparison. They were the highest rated non-OU/TX Big 12 team on every channel they appeared, probably due to the fact that they have a third largest alumni base in the state of Texas.

    I just point that out because your chart using only raw numbers tells a completely inaccurate narrative. Using any per-capita measurement, the two private schools TCU and Baylor were the lowest rated Big 12 schools from the state of Texas by a wide margin, and only Kansas was worse overall.

    If you had done a more accurate analysis, your numbers would have shown Texas Tech followed by Oklahoma State as the two highest rated schools per capita, and TCU/BU/Kansas as the three lowest.

  9. Sparty in Oklahoma

    Correction:If you had done a more accurate analysis, your numbers would have shown Texas Tech followed by Oklahoma State as the two highest rated schools per capita BEHIND TEXAS AND OU, and TCU/BU/Kansas as the three lowest.

    Sorry for the oversight!

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