I think the inclusion of schools like Boise State and BYU makes the best of the rest conference demonstrably better than what the MAC offers and most of the programs being mentioned offer far more growth potential than any team currently residing in the MAC. If nothing else consider the disparity in marketplaces; on one side you've got Tampa, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Diego and on the other you've got rust belt cities like Toledo, Akron and Buffalo. Not to mention the fact that the quality of basketball with UConn, UC, BYU, UNLV, SDSU, New Mexico and Temple would be roughly 1000x better than what you'd find in the MAC, or frankly what the Catholic league will probably be able to offer.
Ultimately I think UC will end up in a better situation before the Big East disintegration comes to pass but they've also got to prepare for the worst and IMHO the proposed best of the rest is less awful than the MAC.
I saw this on another message board and they were from Saturday morning and nothing's happened yet so take it with a grain of salt.
The following tweets are from Dave Reynolds, Bradley MBB beat writer. Take out of them what you will as he is the only source I've found on this and I'm personally wary until someone else provides true confirmation, especially from any of the schools involved. If true, this could be some serious breaking news...
10:43am - I'm hearing that announcements on Creighton and Evansville leaving Valley are coming today.
10:44am - Creighton going to the Catholic conference, Evansville to the Horizon.
10:44am - Valpo, UW-Milwaukee, Loyola, UIC, Oral Roberts among candidates to replace them in the MVC.
I think the following link addresses the points raised by both CE and jojo:
As to jojo's point, clearly the teams in this new conference won't get as many appearances as other conferences; however, they will still get more television exposure than the everyone outside of the big 5.
I think the link also supports two points I've made: (i) that people do in fact watch these teams; and, (ii) that the big 5 conferences have games that few people watch. Cincinnati and Boise, the two flagship programs for this new conference had respectable ratings for their televised games, ranging from 1.0 to 2.7. Granted, this is nowhere near the premier match ups from the power 5 conferences, but no one is claiming that this new conference stacks up with those guys. If you add in BYU, that's another team that can bring a respectable rating. Outside of the Pitt game, even USF did pretty well in its televised games.
Are these ratings on par with premier SEC matchups? Heck no. At the same time, they're hardly "ESPN 12" material. I know you don't care for these teams jojo, but I think these ratings show that at least some people do. There is some value in a media deal for this conference, especially since NBC is desperate for inventory and it's the only conference on the market right now. Will it approach anything remotely close to what even the ACC gets? No way. Then again, as the sixth best conference in college football, it will get the sixth best contract.
As to CE's point about the MAC, I think these ratings show just how terrible a move that would be for UC. The MAC championship game, which sent NIU to a BCS bowl, only garnered a .9 rating. No one cares about MAC football at all, and UC would destroy its football program if it joined up with the MAC. Even with the Cinderella story of NIU this year, no one really watched.
I think the best move for UC right now, if they can negotiate it, is to go all sports with the new C7 league, and go football only with the teams mentioned in the DeCourcy article. The C7 bball contract should be fairly lucrative, and they can add icing to the cake with the new football conference. In the mean time, keep winning, upgrade facilities, and see where you land when realignment crops up again.
The total value for a "New" BE media package (including Boise, prior to the defection of LOU and the catholic split) was $40-$60m per year. Assuming those losses push the deal to the low end ($40m), that works out to $2.8-$3.3M per school in a 12 or 14 team league. Again, it's better than any other deal out there, but not demonstrably better than what UC, UCONN and USF could do if they just added themselves, as a bloc, to some other conference. Every solution is bad, the question UC needs to ask is whether they want to make no money flying cross country or no money travelling locally.
Also there's this -- everyone knows UC is looking to bolt at first chance. There's a chance no conference will have them (especially a conference looking to lure BYU) if UC isn't willing to sign a Grant of Rights. That would be suicide for UC athletics.
ETA: The scenario you're advocating also assumes the catholic league would have UC. That's not a guarantee, especially if they're trying to lure Xavier.
Yeah -- that's a no-brainer switch for Xavier, and I'd be shocked if the Catholic League doesn't get more money from a media deal than the A10.
Mack and Bobinski are already dreaming of championship games at MSG and hosting Georgetown, Marquette and 'Nova every season.