The Blue Zone

The home for discussion on North Carolina football and basketball


Word is the BIG extended offer to UNC to join conference

  • Nebraska fan here. You guys would be a good addition.

    This post was edited by BIGCorn 17 months ago

  • What's hockey? Jk. I like the teams in the B1G but there's no natural rivalries for us besides Maryland. At least in the SEC we'd have regional natural regional rivalries which is important in college sports. I live near Boston and since BC has joined the ACC their college sports have gone largely unnoticed due to the fact that there is no regional rival. The big east refuses to let UCONN play them in any sport and BC has suffered for it. They are ignored except for Hockey which we don't play in the ACC. I would hate to see UNC lose that connection with dook, Ncsux, wake, and others around the ACC.

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  • Which is exactly why the BIG wants UNC and UNC should join the BIG. The negotions for research dollars is estimated to be $1BILLION per school per year. What could UNC do with 25% more research money? Whether UNC joins or not, that is the payout with or without them. If you were on your BOT could you turn that research money down to save some rivalry in sports and feel you have done your school a service? I hope UNC does join as I live in Wilmington now and would like to see my Buckeyes play in Chapel Hill, but if they don't the boat is still going to move along.

  • B1G would be the death of the Diamond Heels.

    It is debatable what will happen with Tar Heel football with UNC in the B1G and NCSU in the SEC. Personally, I think it would have a devastating effect on instate recruiting and recruiting in GA, FL and to a lesser extent VA.

    There is no question the Bosh would need to be repurposed.

    Bye bye College World Series

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  • I think it would be more State being set up to be a doormat of the SEC than anything else...they would rarely be bowl eligible in that conference.

  • There is no evidence that the CIC aids in research funding. The CIC is a very small organization (only 15ish employees) that focus on sharing resources (i.e., libraries and equipment). It's not like federal research money is earmarked for CIC schools.

    The CIC is composed of research univsersities that combined for $8.4B in research funding In 2012. The average per university of the CIC is current.y less than UNC receives now.

    There is no evidence that the CIC membership generates additional research funding. Grants aren't awarded based on conference affiliation or CIC membership. It just isn't. I'm not sure where you get your 25% increase figure. Your post suggests that research funds are pooled by CIC members and then distributed amongst the schools. That is not how grant funds are dispersed after they are awarded.

    Has Nebraska seen a significant uptick in winning research grants? (serious question because I don't know).

    Additionally, the reason the. B1G is pushing into the southeast has more to do with population shift than CIC potential. The B1G admins know that a population shift means a brain drain on the applicant pool so they want to increase exposure in growing markets.

    This post was edited by GoingHeels 17 months ago

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  • I think Delaney just wants UNC because he's a grad.

    Not sure how UNC makes the B1G significantly better in any way.

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  • Nebraska lost its' AAU membership last year.

    I will see if I can find the article I read earlier today that said the BIG schools that currently receive approx 750Mil/year will be receiving about a 25% increase in research funding.

    I understand the thought of UNC fans/alumni not wanting to leave the ACC, as it has been who you are for so long, it's your geographic fit etc.. I would feel the same way if it was the other way around. But I think, if it could be proven to me that it is best for my school then I would understand the business of the move and hope it didn't take me too long to get over it. The BIG is a much better fit for UNC in all areas other than the geographic fit of the SEC. If memory serves me correctly there are only 2 schools in SEC that are AAU, Vandy and Florida. The rest of the SEC is not in the same league as UNC academically and that is most likely why your BOT would choose the BIG over the SEC.

    Imagine the BBall conference the BIG would be building with UNC, UMD, UVA, Kansas (rumor to be next wave) and whether ND ever gets off it's self admiration and realizes that not joining could very well leave them out in the cold come BCS football playoff time.

    This post was edited by BestoftheBig 17 months ago

  • I would be interested in that articles because it is not inline with my understand of how research funding is awarded.

    The biggest source of angst for me and practically every Tar Heel I know is UNC is not a cultural fit with the B1G. UNC is a southern university. UNC has history with most SEC schools that goes back to the SoCon and we play the SEC fairly regularly, but there is zero history with any traditional B1G team. UNC could immediately start a genuine hate rivalry with Tennessee overnight. SCar is another rivalry that would instant. Lot of overlap with UGA and UF alums in the workplace. Not so much with any B1G schools. I have friends in Chicago and they tell me one big difference is on fall Saturdays big groups of B1G school alums heading to bars in droves. I don't know many B1G alums. Where is the fun in that?

    If a move has to be made, I want it to be made for the right reasons. Academic perception is not a valid reason for me. Vandy has done just fine in the SEC and it has not hurt its academic reputation in any way. CIC membership may be a value add, but I am not convinced it is the golden goose some make it out to be.

    I have seen studies that show athletics improve admissions and giving. I have not seen where athletic conference affiliation has a negative impact on academics. If there is support for that position, I will be more receptive to a move to. The B1G over the SEC. Until then, the SEC is a better overall fit for UNC's major men's sport - football, basketball and baseball.

    Also, I think SEC basketball sucks but would be able to challenge the B1G if you added UNC and dook (which has been rumored) and you give Anderson a couple of years to et it rolling at Arkansas. UNC, dook, UK and UF could redefine basketball blue bloods. Addison teams from Tennessee, aTm and Missouri every few years, not bad.

    This post was edited by GoingHeels 17 months ago

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  • hope carolina comes to the sec, but i promise you if you don't state and va. tech will. slive will have a team from north carolina. he wants duke also. negotiations have been going on for months. tell the yankee carpetbaggers to keep their ass out of the south and stay in dixie. by the way, the sec has 4 aau schools...missouri, texas a&m, vandy, and florida. i love north carolina and ya'll would be welcome additions if something happened to the acc.

    This post was edited by Black Bart 17 months ago

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  • The Big 10 should die in the Rust Belt.

  • B's.... Cultral fit? Ya'll A-holes aint southerners

  • This isn't the first one I'm looking for, but this explains a bit about CIC involvement in research dollars. I will continue to look for the original I was speaking about.

    I hate that this was written by a "Wolverine" and I'm linking it, but......

    B1G Expansion Dollars: The Research Edition |

    There has been a lot of talk about the sense, or nonsense, of adding Rutgers and Maryland to the B1G in 2014 from a purely athletic point of view (verdict: non-sense), and also from a BTN TV market point of view (verdict: debatable).
  • It's pretty sad when all it appears the big ten can offer is academic research dollars. (wtf?)

    Hello... it's an ATHLETIC conference. And college athletics revolves around the SEC. I don't see any reason for ya'll to go freeze up north with those guidos.

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  • These are academic universities we are talking about right? I think going to a conference to strengthen your academics should be first and foremost. UNC from a Husker that lives right in Raleigh I would love it if you joined the B1G.

  • The entire argument here is that academics should have ZERO to do with what ATHLETIC conference we play in. Whether we go to the SEC or the B1G, a UNC degree will not gain or lose any more respect than it has now. None.

    As for the guy that said to "call the bluff", I am one of the people that will withhold donations from the athletic side if we go B1G. I will go from 6 to maybe 2 season football tickets and likely 4 to 2 basketball tickets. Baseball will be gone and I'm not traveling out there for noon games in october and November. I was at ND for the Wake game and will not do that again. I would likely up the tickets for football and stay the same for basketball if we land in the SEC and will travel about every weekend. Ninety percent of the alumni and fans I've spoken with feel the same way.

    I have respect for the B1G but we do not belong there nor do many want us there. The problem is that those that are making the call are mostly from the Midwest and have no connection to "the people" that love Carolina as we do. The guys with the most pull other than them have us trending to the SEC but work is left to be done.

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  • The B1G is the #1 basketball conference with the sec being 3rd AT BEST. Likely 4th. sec cutting, cheating, oversigning ways(Bama, lsu etc)will be caught up to in football but they are #1 now and have been for a while. Congrats. Name another conference better than the B1G in football? And go team by team please. Those are the top 2 sports with the rest VERY far behind. Have your baseball that airs ZERO games on national TV every year

    It's pretty sad when you can't see the significance of academics when schools are thinking about jumping to another conference. But by reading your post it's completely understandable.

    I have no idea where UNC goes and i really dont care. I dislike this expansion nonsense. No doubt in my mind theyll join the B1G before dumbing down to join the sec though. Spell that out s-l-o-w-l-y then write it down. $$$$$$ trumps everything. Everybody should know that.

    And those are some creepy ass pics you have there, jack. Who do you like? The dude or the chick? Haha

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by SonnyD 17 months ago

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  • UNC is a middling football program in any conference.

    B1G, SEC, it doesn't really matter.

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  • It's not just about sharing libraries with the CIC. Would that even make sense? It's about joining together for research projects that nobody else can compete with. You take the specialties of all the schools in the Big and not even the Ivy League can offer better research capabilities. That's what wins more grants for everyone. Example: think about UCLA applying for a grant and then 3 Big schools applying to share with way more to offer. No other group of schools in America can compete with a stronger CIC. The money will make tv contracts an absolute joke. Your talking hundreds of millions vs. 40 million. That being said, I don't give a shit if you join.

  • You guys keep talking about research dollars but what you fail to realize is UNC doesnt need the B1G, the SEC, or the ACC to get research money. UNC is one of the finest research Universities in the world so which conference we are in makes no difference, that will not change. We will get the necessary funding with or without your CIC. Then that only leaves athletics in which case we are better off where we are at. However, if the ACC were to dissolve the next best step would be to join the SEC unless the B1G were to take a large enough portion of the ACC to satisify our need for regional rivalries. The B1G is the way better academic fit but as I stated before UNC's academics will be fine no matter where we are. No need for name calling or contempt in any direction, the B1G is a very fine conference whose teams I enjoy watching but I prefer to continue to enjoy my UNC vs dook, ncsux, uva, ga tech, fsu, miami, and the like the same way we will all continue to enjoy osu-mich, wisc-minn, mich-psu, psu-osu, mich-mich st, iu-mich, the list goes on on both sides.

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  • As an SEC fan I would rather see the ACC stay together. I spent many years of my youth watching the ACC play football and basketball, being in the south there has always been the two conferences of the for the Atlantic coast and one for the Gulf coast. However, if it isn't possible any longer I would rather see UNC, Duke, FSU, and Clemson in the SEC. I know 2 or possibly 3 of those won't happen, but I believe Mike Slive wants UNC so much I believe he would be willing to take UNC and Duke together to help improve both Basketball and Academics.

    As far as academics are concerned, Vandy was the original founding member of the SEC and you don't see their Academics declining because they are in an athletic conference with "inferior" Southern schools. The SEC founded SECAC (SEC Academic Consortium) in 2005. It's not the CIC but it's something.

    B1G fans, why don't you tell them how their baseball (ranked #1) will flourish in the B1G....hahaha.


    Interesting Document

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  • Would the feeling here be different if the Big Ten went to 20 teams you were guaranteed to play in a "pod" consisting of UNC, Duke, GT, UMD and UVA (meaning you would play them every year)?

  • see this well written article by Charles Babb

    • Expansion
    Why read yet another article opining about a subject which has spilled tankers full of ink, laid waste to forests, and sucked up more Internet bandwidth than the death of Princess Diana? Why not purchase a copy of Rosetta Stone and learn a foreign language? Why not take up a new hobby and use legos to build a scale replica of your favorite stadium? Why not take up a new sport, perfecting the fine art of Caber Tossing or Maide Leisge?
    Because I think there is something – a large something – being missed by the plethora of sportswriters who think they are experts on the subject.
    Riddle me this – why would men and women generally considered smarter than the average Joe make head scratching decisions by adding two teams with less than spectacular athletic departments to a league in need of a national splash?
    Maybe it is because they don’t understand college athletics. Maybe it is due to the egg head syndrome where terrible decisions look good from the bubble of academia but don’t do well in places where the rubber does actually meet the road.
    Or, maybe it is because in the Big Ten, the tail is still not wagging the dog, and it is most decidedly not about the ball (to quote Jim Tressel paraphrasing Lance Armstrong).
    In order to understand the expansion of the Big Ten we must first understand the size and nature of these institutions.
    The universities comprising the Big Ten number 13 and will soon number 15 once Maryland and Rutgers are full members. You might perhaps only be coming up with 12 in your mind and soon to be 14, but you are forgetting the prestigious University of Chicago which still enjoys all privileges of membership but has chosen not to compete on the athletic field. The institutions are typically in the range of 140 years of age and older and many (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to name several) are Land Grant institutions formed via the Morrill Acts. The smallest of the Big Ten Universities are Northwestern and Chicago – both numbering about 15,000 students, while the largest are Minnesota and Ohio State which number roughly 65,000 with undergraduate and postgraduate student bodies.
    These institutions have massive budgets – typically ranging from 2 Billion to nearly 5 Billion annually, and are not controlled by their athletic programs. I repeat, they are not controlled by their athletic programs.
    Most important perhaps in this discussion but rarely mentioned is each of these institutions, with the exception of Nebraska (who lost membership after joining the conference), are members of the prestigious AAU, American Association of Universities. The AAU has only 62 in its select, invitation only club in both the United States and Canada, many of whom have no involvement with FBS football. In fact, when those who do not field a football team at the FBS level are removed, there are just 38 if my count is correct. Pare that number down by those which are already members of the Big Ten, and there are only 26 left in the entire United States and Canada. Subtract those members lacking sufficient geographic proximity and you have just a handful of names remaining. They are the names you might have seen floated over the past few years if you followed this subject closely:
    Colorado, Duke, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Rutgers, Buffalo, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Virginia, Texas, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
    The Big Ten just added two of those on the list in Rutgers and Maryland. Others, such as Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, and Missouri seem to have made their choices in expansion. Vanderbilt likely would not leave the SEC, and the University of Toronto probably would have far too much work to do in order to compete on the athletic field. Iowa State and Pittsburgh probably are not candidates as they add no new markets to the Big Ten’s expansion, and neither Buffalo nor Kansas add any key markets.
    This leaves us with Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, The University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
    Perhaps my friends, the Big Ten is serious about its academics. Perhaps the legion of sportswriters lack an understanding of not only the Big Ten as a conference but also how higher education works and where the real money lies.
    Is the Big Ten Network a hugely profitable enterprise which has far exceeded the dreams of many (not mine but perhaps many others)? Yes. Is it big money for many smaller institutions and big money compared to other conference revenues? Without question. Is it the driving force in Big Ten expansion? No. Is it even the biggest revenue contributor in this equation? No.
    I repeat, the Big Ten Network, even at $240,000,000 a year is not the largest financial incentive for conference expansion.
    What is you ask?
    The incentives are threefold:
    • 1. State and Federal Grants.
    With 11 current AAU members and soon to be 13 AAU members, the Big Ten collectively gobbles up billions of dollars in grants. There are likely more than a hundred people employed within the Big Ten whose sole job is to write grant proposals. In fact, it is a safe guess to say the number of professional grant writers within the conference might number several hundred. Why? Because it is big money. If you can hire someone for $40,000 a year, and they can land you 3 grants worth $15,000,000 then you have obviously come out ahead.
    But grant writing is competitive. Each university and often multiple departments within a university are all vying for the same, increasingly limited, dollars. You have to be able to make your pitch better than anyone else, and to do this you want to show the government you are not only stretching those dollars to the fullest by involving the most experts with the best facilities, equipment, and investment in future students. In sum, you are doing the most good with the money entrusted to you.
    How do you improve your grant proposal while simultaneously cutting costs? You collaborate. When you collaborate with another university by sharing your findings with one another, you can frequently double or even triple the work force, design better studies, and emerge with not only more creative results but more reliable results.
    What could adding another 4 AAU members mean to the Big Ten?
    It could mean billions – yes, billions with a ‘B’ in grants. Split 17 ways (including the University of Chicago), each university might take home another $100,000,000 every year. Even if it only resulted in another $40,000,000 a year for each university that’s more than the Big Ten Network athletic payout.
    2. Cost Savings
    If you haven’t noticed, state budgets haven’t exactly been experiencing largesse in the last 5 years. In fact, they have been looking more and more like the Hindenberg as it plunged to the ground in New Jersey following its transatlantic journey. Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania – these are states which were hit particularly hard by the recent recession. They are states in which job growth has not been impressive for perhaps decades, and this means while all the costs for states have skyrocketed…the incoming revenue has not.
    The net result is during the last two decades the percentages of funding from state governments for flagship institutions has plummeted. We’re not talking a few million dollars here. We’re talking a drop in funding in the range of tens of millions – sometimes in a single year. A few years ago, one Midwestern state dropped its funding for state higher education by over $100,000,000.
    When you have a large budget cut there are several ways to balance the books in higher education. First, you can raise tuition. This is normally one of the favorite methods (explaining skyrocketing tuition costs in the last 30 years), but it can only be done so much before students and families choose less expensive alternatives (see the growth of community colleges). Second, you can raise money. Higher education qualifies in most cases as a non-profit entity with the IRS. This means you can solicit donations right alongside the American Red Cross, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, etc. with the same ability to provide a boost to the individual in the form of a tax deduction for every donation. Third (and least attractive to most), you can cut costs. This might mean anything from the elimination of too many copies to the elimination of jobs or an entire academic department which has not been pulling its weight.
    How does expansion save money/cut costs?
    When you expand academically, you can share resources. Say one university has an international campus which is only used at 80% capacity. The 20% ‘vacancy’ is what separates the venture from being profitable instead of a money pit; solve the problem by inviting a sister school to join and fill out that extra 20% as an ‘academic exchange’ program. Or, perhaps you would like to offer additional degree programs or even have need for extra sessions of a particular class (like chemistry or sociology, etc.). You can hire additional professors for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, or you can share costs with a sister school which has faculty not being used to the extent of their contract at this present time. Even better, each school has a physical imprint. By this I mean, each university has its physical facilities (dorms, power plant, classrooms, administrative offices, etc.). Increasingly it is a problem to have massive physical imprints in an Internet age because classroom space is used perhaps 4 hours a day but forces building upkeep, electric, heating/cooling, etc. (not to mention construction costs themselves). Add to this problem the reality each professor is asked to teach only so many sessions and then expected to devote the rest of their time to research. How do you increase student enrollment (raising revenue), use a classroom facility to its fullest potential, and still allow the professors to research (raising revenue through grants or scientific discoveries which can be patented)? Easy. Partner with a sister institution – such as Maryland. Install cameras and viewing screens in the lectures of both your professors and her professors, and then double the class size by allowing the professor to teach one group in person and the other remotely. Bring in an additional graduate student at full tuition if necessary to grade papers and answer questions on whichever end is being taught remotely, and you just saved the university $100,000 a year while upping enrollment (which is a huge increase in revenue as we will see below.
    Multiplied 1,000 times over across the Big Ten conference – how much have you suddenly saved in not only basic salary but also benefits? If you figure each additional top end professional might cost you $100,000 at a bare minimum, you just saved the conference $100,000,000 – a year.
    3. Future Students (cost for out of state vs. in state tuition)
    The Big Ten region has been struggling for a long time and that struggle will only accelerate if politicians do not start adding jobs. Jobs are the key to population growth and population growth is the key to enough students to fund large institutions like those in the Big Ten.
    Let me throw out a few statistics for you as this has been coming a long time. In 1950, US population was roughly 150,000,000 and the Big Ten imprint at that time contained 47.9 of them, or 31% of the whole. Many of these were children and young adults with the future looking incredibly bright. Today, the United States population is better than 300,000,000 and the Big Ten region (without the new additions) holds only 67 million residents. That means only 22% of the population is in the Big Ten footprint. Worse, the country is trending demographically to the coasts and the Southeast which means this downward growth spiral will likely accelerate unless the politicians in the Midwest figure out how to attract more jobs to add millions of families.
    Why does this matter and what does it have to do with Big Ten expansion? Without young families, your pool of prospective students shrink. If it continues to shrink then the institutions will find themselves struggling to survive with their current programs and resources intact.
    All this talk of the Big Ten Network and football obscures where the real money lies. It lies in grants, gifts, and students…
    Yes, students. Contrary to popular opinion tuition doesn’t really cover the costs of education for a university, but it certainly helps. Average yearly tuition, fees, and room and board for an Ohio State student is currently right around $20,000 for an Ohio resident and $35,000 for out of state residents. Let’s just say the average reimbursement per student for Ohio State (undergraduate) is $25,000 per year. With expansion into regions with a younger, growing population the Big Ten is not just trying to get network numbers; they are trying to solidify and grow a student base. Instead of trying to figure out how not to shrink in the future, Ohio State (and the rest of the Big Ten universities) are making plans for growth. Instead of trying to fill a $25,000,000 hole when they drop 1,000 students, the leaders of the Buckeye state are trying to determine how they will spend the windfall of 1,000 extra – and mostly out of state – students which represent $35,000,000 per year just as undergraduates and far more (perhaps as much as $50,0000,000) as graduate students.
    In sum, all this hand wringing and head scratching about why the Big Ten would invite Maryland and Rutgers and be in discussion with other AAU institutions in growth areas is quite simple.
    These institutions are public ivy schools which mesh philosophically while opening doors for collaboration and a true increase in stature and funds which dwarf the Big Ten Network and its value.
    Yes, the Big Ten Network is important. No administrator is going to sneeze at $40,000,000 a year for their athletic department, but in reality neither athletics nor Jim Delaney are pulling the strings. Delaney might be negotiating the deals, but the strings are being pulled by the trustees, the presidents, the chancellors, and the money individuals in the Big Ten who see that expansion and collaboration might be worth $100,000,000 and more in profits and savings to each member institution even before athletics are considered.
    Personally, I expect the Big Ten to continue this direction, and, as I have predicted for close to a decade now, we will ultimately see the emergence of superconferences which secede from the NCAA to form their own playoff in football – worth billions of dollars. At that point, the payoff in athletics, savings, tuition, and grants becomes even greater for the Big Ten.
    Crazy for adding Rutgers and Maryland? Crazy for considering Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia?
    Yeah, crazy like a fox.

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  • For me, No It would not make a difference. I hope the ACC survives. If it does not and we have to move than the SEC is where we should go. We just do not fit naturally with the northern Universities of the B1G. There are no rivalries. There is not a single team currently in the B1G I hold any animosity towards. I guess it could grow over the years.

    I wonder how some of you would feel having to give up playing your natural rivalries. Would Michigan be happy about giving up Ohio St or Michigan St? Hating the team you are playing against makes rivalries stronger.