Friday, October 14, 2011

ESPN/FOX tells Big 12: No BYU


Don't let anyone convince you that this whole "Galactic Realignment" in college football isn't driven by TV money. Or more specifically ESPN and FOX Sports.

Why do we say that? Multiple reasons really, but here's one that isn't being spoken of then denied like what Boston College AD Gene DiFilippo did when he said then denied the ACC expansion was dictated by ESPN.

Today's case, we give you BYU.

According to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune, both ESPN and FOX Sports told the Big 12 to steer clear of adding Brigham Young University in their next round of expansion. The two TV entities supposedly did not like the slightly different rules and restrictions they would have to work around with the Mormon school.

Read the story RIGHT HERE

Ironically, BYU does have its own network BYUtv and it is already cleared in some 60 million homes, millions more than Texas's Longhorn Network, which was an impetus for all of this change in the first place. They also have a deal with ESPN in place as well.

This is just another piece of the crazy realignment puzzle. The TV component has been mentioned in a few places and should be mentioned in more. Because really, it is the prime driver behind all the change.

ESPN can no longer objectively deny any involvement in these moves, and yet they still do. They keep doling out millions and millions of dollars for these games and for teams to be in specific conferences. And we guess technically, there is nothing that says they can't do it. Just don't hide behind "Journalistic Integrity" when it gets called into question.

It sucks that college football on TV is becoming all about who is the best TV draw. But it is the reality of the system these days. The part that is difficult is they pretending that everyone has a chance to participate in it.

They don't.

Unless you go to a "BCS" school or apparently a school that ESPN deems good enough to be on TV, you'll never get to go to the Orange Bowl or the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl. You'll play in a lower tier bowl and you'll be banished to the hinterlands of TV if you are on TV at all. Or unless you are playing one of the "BCS" teams, then you'll get your chance.

We could go on rambling about the inequality here forever. Big-time football has become a professional business. College, at least the "Big" schools deny it, but think about it. They generate or make for both themselves and the networks a ton of money, money that the kids never get a chance to see.

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