Thursday, October 6, 2011


Instead of writing, I decided to work on a project today: a highlight video to get you started on football season.  No, nothing from this football season.  Our wins haven't been where I can get my claws on them.  Two on ESPN3 and one on the Big Ten Network, and yes I have BTN but the powers that be decided that despite the fact that both Indiana and Virginia are closer to this town than Nebraska is, this town would be more interested in Nebraska anyway.  I hate the powers that be.  So no IU highlights.

I digress.  I had this video sent to me by an interested viewer and hope to get more in the future; it is, even as I type, undergoing its final processing into the usual highlight video.  You can find it in the video library, but just to be nice and not a total pageviews whore (it ain't like I'm ca$hing check$ off it, after all) I'll link it right here, the new highlight video I've spent today working on:

1995 UVA vs. Georgia (Peach Bowl)

Yesssssssssss more Welsh era stuff yessssssssss.  It's an ESPN Classic broadcast so it's a little strange-ish because they've already taken out what they see fit to, so the highlight flow is a touch different from what I'd like.  But you'll watch anyway because you want that good-times remembrance of when we could expect to win games.

Astute readers will do a little math in their heads and recall that this game was almost 16 years ago, and I've only been a UVA fan for 11 years, so a little subtraction will tell you this predates my affiliation.  In fact, I'd never seen this game.  So that made it kind of a fun experience, actually, in a different way than you may approach this.  Or maybe you're a newer fan than I, in which case, rock on and enjoy.  I can't help a little editorializing about the game, though, namely:

- Astroturf underneath a badly-lit sanitized NFL dome is and always has been a poor way to play college football.  I must say it takes something away from the experience.

- UGA coach Ray Goff was coaching his final game, having been fired midway through the season but allowed to finish it out.  The loss dropped Georgia to 6-6.  It's kind of quaint seeing signs in the stands supporting the fired coach and wishing him well.  This is, you see, from before the Webz took hold of college football fandom and consequently, before the days of

- You'll see a lot of Goff in the highlights.  This may be before the days of burning coach hatred, but it is not before the days of disgustingly biased announcers.  They talk about the time they spent with Ray Goff prior to the game and it clearly gave them a rooting interest - the play by play guy could not be less enthused about watching [really exciting and decisive Virginia play redacted in case you haven't seen this or don't remember] if it was instead a word-for-word recitation of the Unabomber manifesto.  (You like my period reference, by the way?  That was slick.)

Anyway, enjoy the highlights.  With a little luck, more history may be on the way.


Jamie said...

Thank you. I was at this game - it was the winter after my fourth year at UVA and I drove down to Atlanta from DC picking up some friends along the way. A great memory and I hadn't seen this game since I was there.

Anonymous said...

Amazing game. So many great future NFL players were in that game as well...The Barbers, Farrior, Hines Ward. Craziness.

Brendan said...

How weird is it to think that Farrior and Hines Ward were future NFL teammates? That's not that weird in and of itself, but they're still teammates 16 years later. Pretty rare for the NFL.

Dave said...

I was at this game too! I was, coincidentally, a grad student at UGA at the time. (But there was no question which way my loyalty lay!)

Awesome game, awesome finish. Great, great memory.

Anonymous said...

Not that I want to dig this back up, but with TCU's move to the Big 12, I wonder if the ACC might start to feel a tad threatened. This is basically the beginning of the end for the Big East. I doubt the ACC is threatened as of now, but if the Big 12 gets back to 12, then it might be time to worry a lot more.

90% of the people believe we're eventually going to get to 4*16. With the Big East's likely death in that discussion, that leaves 5 main conferences. If the Big 12 gets back to 12, then from a football perspective, it suddenly looks as intriguing as the ACC, if not moreso.

If that happens, I wonder if the ACC gets proactive again and pushes to Super-Conf 16 before anyone. It's not that I think the ACC is at risk at all. It's that, I wonder if the perception of being at risk pushes the ACC into more proactive measures in an attempt to protect themselves.

Furthermore, a Big 12 that's at 12 takes away 1 of 2 dream schools for Swofford. If he gets concerned in any way, perhaps he forgets about Notre Dame and simply goes after Rutgers/UConn?

Anyhow, a lot of interesting developments and interesting discussions out there. As much as I prefer the ACC as it was, it's going to happen, and thought it'd be interesting to discuss the latest moves here.

Brendan said...

If the Big 12 gets back to 12 teams, it'll either be:

- some ugly and barely workable conglomerate of Big East refugees and Big 12 left-behinds, with the most arrogant school in the nation pushing them around, or

- a bunch of bridesmaid schools like SMU and Houston, which would be like fuzzy poodle lapdogs for DeLoss Dodds and his Texas crew.

That doesn't threaten anyone.

And if 90% of the people think we're going 4x16, then 90% of the people are wrong. Who could the SEC add that would add enough value to overcome the dilution of the revenue stream? The answer is not Clemson or VT. The same question holds true for the Big Ten.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's as simplistic as you are thinking. It's all about when the TV contracts get reauthorized. I don't think 4*16 is going to happen, say, in the next five years, but within a decade or so, I do think it will happen.

Had a long thing written out, but the short of it is that, conferences will expand unless the economic model is changed, or something else drastic happens that won't allow it. I expect Jim Delany to start investigating B1G expansion in the next 5 years.

Again, I'm not saying the ACC is at risk. I'm saying that the perception of risk, of being one of the bottom 2 football conferences out of the Big 5, may push them into another proactive move.

To your 2nd point - let's say the SEC goes A&M and Missouri this year. That seems quite likely, although not 100%. Leave VT, FSU, and Clemson aside for now, as I don't think it's realistic either 3 leave. I'll leave Maryland aside for now, but I do think MD would listen, moreso than the other schools, to overtures from either the B1G, or to a lesser extent, SEC. I've got several schools in mind, but I'll toss out one that I haven't seen connected at all with the SEC that I think makes some sense - Cincinnati. It's a fairly solid sized market (mid-30's?), with a decent program record in football. More importantly, it opens up a region that the SEC doesn't have much inroad with. There's a couple other schools, but the point should be noted, it isn't about justification to 16, it's about justification to 15, at which point, a 16th school would be added just because.

Honestly, from a business perspective, if the SEC went 16, the combination that makes as much sense to me as anything is Rutgers/Cincinnati. It doesn't stretch them that horrendously geographically, it opens up markets (I don't buy Rutgers as opening up NYC that much, particularly with their struggles of late, but it helps, and it opens up the I-95 corridor there).

Anonymous said...

got deleted by accident, but i meant to say that I think the SEC will try every possible attempt to renegotiate, and will argue that the fundamental dynamics of the conference have changed at 13 and 14, and thus, a new deal is necessary. Whether or not this holds water with ABC/ESPN is debatable. If push came to shove, I think they would go to 16 to get that renegotiation, so I don't believe we should simply judge expansion relative to current revenue streams.

Thinking about it now, it's certainly possible the SEC is forced to make multiple jumps to get the renegotiation they want, which may actually get them to 16 sooner than I originally was contemplating. It all comes down to how willing ESPN is to bend over backwards for them.

But one point you do have right is that at some point, they will run out of markets that are useful to the conferences, so the dogfight for the remaining scraps, and the (at times) convoluted thinking as to why one school may open a market may be fierce.

The only thing, I think, that prevents this is if there is a new economic paradigm for collegiate sports. I can't think of anything, unless each conference gets their own network to operate solely on, which may eliminate the need for these TV deals, but that just doesn't seem likely in my lifetime.

Brendan said...

By the logic you're using, why would conferences even stop at 16? If it's all about expansion and renegotiation, and new markets can always be expected to bring in enough new revenue to offset dilution - and if Cincinnati is good enough to make that happen - then why ever stop? After the SEC gets to 16, why not 18 with new markets in Albuquerque (UNM) and West Virginia? Why not 20 with more new markets in Oklahoma City and Salt Lake City?

Because at some point there are forces tearing conferences apart rather than holding them together. And 16 teams is about that point - there's precedent in the breakup of the WAC in the '90s. The WAC didn't have the TV money that the SEC has, but the dynamics of a 16-team conference (which is really no longer a conference but a loose association or even a league) isn't conducive to cohesiveness.

So that kind of dynamic is going to hold conferences back from willy-nilly expansion. Because let's face it: Cincinnati doesn't actually have "a decent history." They have a couple years of Brian Kelly and a fortuitous leap to the Big East. Before 2005 the best they could hope for was about an 8-5 season in Conference USA and a trip to the Liberty Bowl - which was like once every five years.

Dave said...

16 teams is "manifest destiny" for all conferences *only if* the goal is to go to 4-team pods. If you're going to stick to two divisions, then 14 is just as good. (The exact choice of 12, 14, 16, 18 then depends on the specific schools in question, the specific revenue and recruiting benefits, etc.)

I'm not yet convinced that pods is a universal objective, and that's why I don't buy into the 4*16 idea. In particular (and this is my soapbox here), I fail to see why every conference needs to have the exact same number of teams.
Each conference has unique considerations when it comes to expansion decisions. Some conference(s) may go to 16, and others may stick at 14 (or even 12).

In the real world, the question a conference must answer is not "Should we expand to 16 teams?". The question is "Should we expand to include Cincinnati?" (for example). And once you start to get specific about schools, geography, fit, revenue sharing... then you realize it would actually be quite surprising if every conference ended up reaching the exact same conclusions about size.

Just my two cents.