Originally Posted by paintmered
I only had a problem with the MAC schools in your list. More likely is a combination of the castoffs plus schools like Houston, Memphis (even though their football program is a total mess), UCF, etc. to round out the conference. Shoot, they might even get BYU and Boise on board (travel would be a mess, as you say). At least it would put butts in the seats to see viable matchups and could fetch a decent media contract. Think C-USA (pre-2003) plus Big 8.
The schools currently in BCS conferences will not agree to an arrangement with MAC schools. That's where the pride comes in. There's better options in much larger markets. And, rightly or wrongly, they think they're bigger than that, much like how the SEC views the Big East.
I'm approaching this issue with the following ideas as givens:
1. There is no combination of unaffiliated schools (schools not in or linked-to the "Super 4" conferences) that can be put together that will be worthy of a seat at the BCS table.
2. Any "best of the rest" conference will be forced to accept a greatly reduced television package (possibly regional-coverage only, via FSN-type networks) due to increased rights fees for showing "Super 4" programming.
3. Any "best of the rest" conference will have little to no shot of forming their own cable network to monetize non-revenue sports and/or otherwise non-premium programming.
Pride will cause a lot of kicking, screaming and desk-overturning for the first 15 minutes of all of this. Then, I assume, reality will set in. A nation-spanning conference will present massive increases in travel costs (especially for non-revenue sports) with relatively little upside (see Given #1 -- no combination of schools, even Boise State and TCU, is good enough to be considered an "equal" with the Super 4).
Further, by regionalizing, you stand a better shot of selling TV packages since the potential for fan-overlap is so much better (odds of a Kansus alum in Northern Illinois' TV market is much greater than the odds of a Boise State alum there).
I get that this a bitter pill to swallow -- as a UC football fan, I'm beyond not-happy with all this -- but there's no sense in fighting City Hall on this one. The only way this game will be won is in Congress or a in Courtroom, and if that happens it'll be a win for EVERYONE, not just people who are in a conference with the best leftover teams.