The Case for Super Conferences

July 13, 2022

Super Conferences are GOOD for college football fans.  Yeah, I said.  And it stings.  Why?  Well Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame will tell you it’s because of “Member Berries” and one’s nostalgia.   But that’s just it, the past.  Why do people long for the past?  Because it’s already over and looking back on any accomplishment or event with fondness is infinitely easier than doing it or planning it all over. 

But when it comes to college football bigger conferences have meant one thing that is undeniable and true.  You can now watch EVERY SINGLE GAME.  That wasn’t the case 30 years ago.   Even 20 years ago.  For crying out loud before ESPN 3 on the web pay per view was a big component.   When I lived and worked in Alabama in the late 2000’s a quarter of their games were pay per view.  ALABAMA! 

Do you have to rob Peter to pay Paul for this constant change?  Sure.   But for every Texas vs Texas A&M (which is coming back) that hibernates we get a new shiny toy, see Alabama vs Clemson.  For every Oklahoma vs Nebraska, we lose we regain Notre Dame vs Miami.   And losing USC vs Oregon for USC vs Ohio State and or Michigan is a solid trade from where I stand. 

Every conference now has a network, and every game is available.  Even my Alma Mater, Western Michigan University, is accessible every Saturday until MACtion takes center stage on weeknights in late October and November.   The price we pay for having every game on demand?  Fewer fans in the stands and some traditions have changed.   Again, I’ll take that deal every single time.  

With the B1G Network now having access to the Los Angeles market and its 12 Million plus person metro, payouts per conference team could reach $100 million per school in the next five years.  

According to Navigate here is what the next 8 years would’ve looked like before the B1G additions of USC and UCLA.

This money means huge paydays for ADs, Coaches, and players thru NIL deals just to name a few.  What does is mean for you?  Better access to your favorite team and or school.   Trickle down economics has been proven not to work.  But here’s the rub, trickle down coverage does work.  

The best thing about all this money and the conference printing press is that athletic departments have NO problem spending it and spending it quickly.   Staffs now have full time employees, that focus just on social media, making six figures.  What’s this mean?  More coverage of your team.  More product.  More for you to consume. 

Athletic departments need you consuming their products constantly.  Top of mind is EVERYTHING.  Once you think of teams like products such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s things instantly start to make more sense.   Teams are products.   

Super Conferences with additions of teams in bigger markets mean more than just electronic means of access.  It means better WIFI in the stadiums, it means better TV monitors in the bathrooms, it means better upgrades every single place where you consume your team.  This is ALL due to Super Conferences and expansion.   

In the last week we have heard that SEC commission Greg Sankey wants to keep the SEC at 16 teams and halt any more expansion.   That’s fine.  His choice.   But word to the wise.  Stagnant approaches to business always result in eventual demise. 

 The SEC should be targeting Va Tech and Miami out of the ACC.  Not because of their great football prowess, but because it adds two more Top 10 media markets with DC and South Florida’s Dade County. That’s 4 million more people with access to the SEC Network.  Florida State and Clemson can’t give you that.   They are non-players in helping you and your access to a better-quality product. 

Everything we have today that matters is better than decades ago.  Healthcare is more expensive, but the quality has never been better.   TVs are better.  Cars are safer.  Food is better.  Water is cleaner.   Good gracious just think about how dental care has changed over the last 20 years.  

Long for the past if you wish. Fuzzy pictures on the tube, mercury fillings and cars without seatbelts.   But chalk me up as one that enjoys what the iPhone brings me as compared to a rotary phone.  

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