Thursday, October 20, 2016

FMQ Week #8

In biggest College news story that wasn’t on Monday Evening, as the MMQ predicted back in July, the Big Xii came out and proclaimed, after 15-18 months of huge money spent on consultants, research firms, lawyers paid and presentations made, that there are no immediate plans for Big Xii expansion!  Which of course led to the Gov of Texas to tweet really nasty things about the Big Xii. 

Thanks, Big Xii for taking all that time and coming to the same conclusion that anyone with half a brain could come to in about 30 seconds after looking at the plethora of facts surrounding this mess.

The problem is, as I see it, there’s more and more people out there that are just complete idiots that think they know what’s “Best” for the Big Xii.  I’m not sure how many words I’m going to waste on this, as I’ve wasted many already.  Here’s the link to the prediction Post from July. 
All of what I posted then is still true and I’ll bullet it here:

-Texas is happy.  Texas didn’t want to expand for expansions sake and make smaller slices of the same revenue pie.  Texas can do whatever the damn hell it wants and any conference would be happy to add Texas, assuming Texas can play by their rules.  Which, I think we’ve all seen how that works….So, that won’t happen, but Texas doesn’t care.

-Oklahoma wanted expansion, then it didn’t as they finally figured out they would lose in the long haul (with expansion) and are better served to figure out a landing spot when the Big Xii breaks up (Yep – That’s Gonna’ Happen) just like the SWC did back in the mid 90’s and the Big 8 merged with the “power members” of the failed SWC.

-The real powers here, the NETWORKS, came out and said that there was absolutely no candidate that moved the needle enough to pay each school in the Big Xii an additional $4-$5M annually for their addition into the Big Xii which would have been a $45-$50M check just to bring in Houston and Cincinnati, for example.  Meaning:  Can’t sell ad revenue in markets where there’s not television sets to watch it or sell more advertising in a location where the school’s already in the footprint.  The contract stated this was EXACTLY what FOX & ESPN had to do if the Big Xii expanded, but ESPN said, “Hey, we’ll give you some money, just a little less money than what’s in the contract NOT to expand.” 

And the Big Xii said, “Oh, well, that’s a better deal when we don’t split it!  Sure, we’ll do that!” 

Ergo, QED, Therefore, and per Mr. Spock, “When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

In other words, "No Expansion".

Because in this case, the needs of the few select Big Xii teams outweighed the needs of the many. 

Newer developments:  All the noise about not wanting Houston because they would dilute the “Texas” recruiting base even more, as stated by coach Gundy from OSU (NOT the one in ohio – The REAL OSU), was just that – noise.  I’ve got news for the Big Xii – Herman already OWNS Houston in recruiting and is landing bigger recruits every day that want to stay close and play close to home.  So, again, noise.

In short, if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.  Status quo is hard to maintain and the Big Xii simply doesn’t have that much it can offer to any bigger players at this point. 

The Collapse Scenario: 

When the Big Xii Grant of Rights expires in 2024 - 25, you can bet that anyone that can get a better gig will try to get a better gig.  And the collapse will ensue.  Maybe not total collapse, but universities that remain will lose the “Power Conference” moniker.  Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M are all much, MUCH better off today than when they were in the Big Xii.  NOTE:  All the schools that have left the Big Xii were originally Big 8 Schools from the merger of the surviving SWC conference and all the Big 8 conference members (Oklahoma, Okie State, Kansas and K-state were the other 4 members of the Big 8).  And, with the exception of Nebraska, the schools that left the Big Xii are all AAU schools as well!  The Big Xii should have bent over backwards to keep those 4 players in the league, which gave them some University street cred and 7 AAU members total.  The Big Xii is now down to 3 AAU players (Texas, Kansas, Iowa State)! 

Even though some suckeye football players didn’t go to osu to play “school”, University Presidents ARE playing school when it comes to who they’d like to see in their conference as brothers and sisters .  Here’s a complete list of the Universities on the AAU list:

The real Football Power that wants to get away from the Cesspool That is Texas, Oklahoma, is quietly figuring out a landing spot, but you can bet they’re busting their butts to get AAU membership as they’ll be that much more attractive to the B1G, Pac 12, ACC and yes, the SEC.  Which, in a way, even though Kansas sucks in location and football, B1G & ACC University Presidents probably look at Kansas as an attractive option with the AAU label by its name.  (And is also the reason why the B1G “settled” on Rutgers-they’re AAU).  The BTN, ESPN and ABC would hate Kansas, but we already know that.

Texas will go the independent route, most likely, and keep the Longhorn Network as that will be in their best interest.  They will become an arch rival of the Domers, military academies (Army and Navy), BYU (4 games) and whoever else they can find to schedule.  And they’ll be plenty of Universities that will want to fill non-con schedule dates with Texas.  Don’t worry about Texas. There will be issues with late season scheduling, but I expect that the four independents will do a round robin of sorts in November.  Whatever….

And a bunch of schools will be scrambling and a lot (I’m guessing all 7) are going to be left out in the cold.  Just to assume that a collapse will mean that everyone who was once in a Power 5 Conference finds a power conference musical chair landing spot is absurd.  This isn’t musical chairs, folks.  (I’ve seen way too many articles by “Sports Writers” wishing this would happen faster).  Conferences, specifically Big Universities, will not want to split money and take a hit and let lesser schools into their Power Conference just so Okie State, TCU, K-State, Iowa State, Baylor, WVU & Texas Tech have someone to play football against. And no, you can’t use the Force here, either…

That’s not how the Force Works!

Why do I always come back to the AAU thing?  Follow the Money: 

$23.4B (yep-that’s a “buh-buh-B”) in Federal Grant and Research money annually for AAU schools.  

That’s a huge chunk of change (even if you divide it equally, which it isn’t), and if you aren’t an AAU school, you don’t get as easy access to that free government money.  And a school that is AAU can get that money and “distribute” to partner or conference schools for research help/outsourcing.  Part of the reason the B1G is so powerful and can throw their weight around is that nearly every member is an AAU school.  Trust me, it means something when the average athletic budget is only around $60-$80M – including all sports. AAU money and getting your hands on Fed Grant money means a lot more to Presidents than eyes on television sets and being a University in a conference that plays D1 football is all I’m saying.


While not yet a controversy of the week (but could be in November), a loyal reader sent me a “Chaos List” of schools and scenarios showing where some schools still have a shot at their conference titles.  The reader claims I’m dismissing some schools from the discussion too quickly and that last year, Alabama was ranked 8th in the first November CFP ranking and the Big Xii had two teams ranked in the top 4. 

Well, yeah.  Last year.  But, what the hell – let’s play “CHAOS”.   Conference titles still feasible by these teams (and FMQ likelihood/possibility in parentheses):

-Two Loss Tennessee somehow pulls off the upset in Atlanta and wins the SEC  (not a chance)

-Two loss Colorado wins the Pac 12 (Maybe.  That USC game was really close, they have to beat Utah in Utah, I think, and they will probably meet Washington in title game.  But they could win all those….)

-Clemson gets upset in ACC Title Game (I’m actually thinking this one can happen, also.  Kind of wishing and hoping for it actually – I’ll get to that in a minute)

-Louisville loses to Houston (uh…

-Wiscy wins the B1G.  (Hmmm…..That would be interesting)

-The reader neglected to mention an undefeated West Virginia or Baylor from the Big Xii…

So, by my calculations, if this scenario played out it (which who really knows the probability) could leave us with:

-Tennessee will NOT win SEC so I’m not even wasting time with that one.  It’ll probably be Bama or the West Champ.  Enough said.

-Two Loss Colorado (11-2) with a (potential) 1 loss Washington (12-1).

-Clemson could have two losses if they lose the ACC Title game.  And I’m saying they actually have 3 losses with the NC State near miss -THEY’RE OUT!.

-Louisville will have two losses and Houston is out with a single loss, anyway….If Louisville BEATS Houston….I dunno. 

-Michigan or Suckeyes with 1 loss each to a team they both beat early but one of them lost to late in Indy on a neutral field.  Theoretically 12-1 and 11-1 runner up and 3rd place vs. Champ Wiscy at 11-2

So, who would be in? 

  1. SEC Champ  - not Tennessee
  2. B1G Champ – Wiscy.  Yep, win late and you’re Conference Champ and you’re in.  Even at 11-2.
  3. Colorado.  That will be a big win against a highly ranked Washington team.  See B1G Champ.
  4. B1G runner up OR maybe Big Xii Champ (must be 12-0), or Louisville (in that order).

I’m ranking the runner up from the B1G as the 4th team into the CFP over the Big Xii or ACC for the following reasons:

-SOS for the conference and record against Non-Con opponents.  B1G leads this category.

-Big Xii has played NOBODY non-conference.  I think WVU did beat BYU, but that’s not a great win this season. 

-Overall rank and FB Stats leaders on (Of Course, Michigan does lead those in all defensive categories!)

There’s your CHAOS scenario for now, but can’t we just sit back and watch it all unfold?  That’s what makes the season fun!!!

 The FMQ

Unbelievably, we are EXATLY EVEN on the season at the half way mark with $1,000 clams in the bank.  Unbelievable!!  Last week’s results (I don’t want to talk about it!) are below and I should NOT HAVE LISTENED to the Dude.  What a crappy guest advisor.  The Magic 8-Ball was so much better that I think I’m going back to a random chance advice from something or someone…


Anyway, I’m posting on Thursday as I like one of the teams playing tonight, even though they VaTech really let me down last week.  Actually, I wanted to take the points in that game and listened to the Dude and he told me to lay them…No more Dude, ever again. 

Thursday Night Lights!

Miami @ Va Tech (-6)

I’m an idiot to lay points again with Va Tech this week, but I feel like this is a pretty good place to lay points with Va Tech as I believe they were looking ahead to this game.  I’m calling on the talents of the Radio Shack random decision maker to help me out here…and it comes back with possibly…Good enough for the FMQ.

Take Va Tech and lay the 6 for $25


Wiscy @ Iowa (+3.5)

This is a tough pick and I thought I had a read on this game until I saw the spread and I started thinking that maybe somebody in Vegas knows more than me.  Iowa woke up against the purple kitties, but still got beat.  Never the less, the hawkeyes were only able to score 14 points on the absolute worst team in the league, Rutgers.  THAT’S A PROBLEM.  I’m going with Wiscy and laying points here…Radio Shack says….Definitely!!!

Take Wiscy and lay the 3.5 for $50

NC State @ Louisville:   (-21)

Now, just hold the phone, here, Jones…You’re telling me that the same Wolf Pack team that went into Death Valley and almost beat Clemson can’t go into Louisville with that slow you down defense and plodding offense and keep it closer than 21?  I’m not so sure about that.  I like the pack here….RS, what say you?  Why not…. 

Take NC State and the 21 for $25

Colorado @ Stanford (-2)

Stanford squeaking by the Domers last week isn’t a “vote of Confidence” that Shaw has righted the ship in Palo Alto.  In fact, it took a pick 6 to beat the Domers.  I’m thinking Colorado is better than that.   Radio Shack says Ask Again…Okay, asking- Definitely.

Take Colorado and lay the 2 for $50

Purdue @ Nebraska (-24)

Huskers are still undefeated and Purdue is not good.  Game is in Lincoln and the crowd will be homecoming ready.  But maybe Purdue can keep it closer than the 24?  Radio Shack answer – Never!

Take the Huskers and lay the 24 for $50

Texas A&M @ Bama (-18.5)

So, Tennessee was the fraud that lost to A&M but was a 10.5 point dog at home and A&M is a 19 point dog in Tuscaloosa.  Transitive property really doesn’t apply, but I think A&M is a better team than Bama  - And Trevor Knight is 1-0 against Satan!  Not trying to bet with my heart here, but can’t anyone stay close to Bama in a game this year?  Radio Shack Box says – Possibly

Take Texas A&M and the 18.5 for $25

Suckeyes @ PSU  (+19.5)

This is a bigger rivalry game than the spread suggests.  Two tough games on the road for the suckeyes and teams are exposing some of the suckeyes weaknesses.  If Franklin wants to keep his job, he needs a close game or the outright victory here.  I like PSU in a night game getting points…Radio Shack – Forget it...Sigh…

Take the suckeyes and lay the 19.5 for $25

Sparty @ Maryland (-2)

You know you’re not good when you’re playing on the road getting points at Maryland.  Derkin would like a nice B1G pelt to hang on his wall this season and defeating last season’s B1G champ would look awfully nice…still, Sparty has to turn it around at some point, right?  Surely they can handle Maryland this season…can’t they Radio Shack?  Forget it…..

Take Maryland and lay the 2 for $25

Illinois @ Michigan  (-34.5)

Wow…Michigan is 5-1 ATS and the only spread they haven’t covered was Wiscy, and they should have covered that one.  I know I should take the points here, but I can’t go against a team that’s 5-1 against the spread.  What say you, Radio Shack?  Definitely!

Take Michigan and lay the 34.5 for $75



3 teams pays 6-1

Michigan – Nebraska - Wiscy $50

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