Big 12 Expansion - Looking at Numbers

AppleCornCy

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We all hope that Iowa State and the other Big 12 refugees find a home in a power conference. That’s what would be best for our universities and athletics programs. If that doesn’t happen however and we end up staying in the Big 12, the conference will almost certainly add members.

I decided to compare some numbers for the Big 12 schools (including Texas and Oklahoma for reference), the AAC schools, and some Mountain West schools and Independents that have been mentioned over the years as expansion candidates. Specifically, I compared average football attendance from 2015-2019, US News and World Report university rankings, and rankings of the TV markets where the universities are located.

Average Attendance (2015-2019)
Texas 94,943 (8)
Oklahoma 85,745 (13)

BYU 57,078 (28)
Iowa State 56,562 (30)
West Virginia 56,484 (31)
Texas Tech 55,821 (33)
Oklahoma State 55,326 (36)
Kansas State 50,975 (38)
Baylor 44,536 (48)
TCU 44,353 (49)

East Carolina 38,031 (58)
Memphis 37,229 (59)
UCF 36,010 (61)
San Diego State 33,407 (65)
USF 33,172 (66)
Cincinnati 33,124 (67)
Boise State 32,830 (68)
Navy 32,459 (69)
Houston 32,174 (70)
Army 31,450 (71)
Temple 31,326 (72)
Fresno State 29,643 (74)
Air Force 27,910 (76)
Colorado State 27,484 (77)
Kansas 26,610 (80)
UConn 22,899 (85)
SMU 21,543 (89)
Tulane 20,174 (94)
Tulsa 18,631 (104)

The remaining Big 12 schools other than Kansas are remarkably similar in attendance and superior to every Group of 5 school other than BYU if you consider them G5. UCF’s numbers are getting into Big 12 range, as they averaged 44k fans in 2018 and 2019, which was in the range of TCU and Baylor.

University Rankings
Navy #6, Liberal Arts Colleges
Army #15, Liberal Arts Colleges
Air Force #28, Liberal Arts Colleges
Tulane #41
Texas #42
UConn #63
SMU #66
Baylor #76
TCU #80

BYU #80
USF #103
Temple #103
Iowa State #118
Kansas #124

Oklahoma #133
Cincinnati #143
San Diego State #143
Tulsa #143
Colorado State #153
UCF #160
Kansas State #170
Houston #176
Oklahoma State #187
Fresno State #196
Texas Tech #217
East Carolina #217
West Virginia #241
Memphis #258
Boise State #298-389 range

The rankings have a lot of ties. I didn’t realize just how awful the Big 12 is academically. Half of the remaining schools are ranked #170 or below. The AAC is actually a superior league academically, which is pretty sad. Looking at these numbers you can see why Boise State can’t get into the Pac-12 and West Virginia will never be offered by the Big Ten.

TV Markets
Army (1)
Temple (4)
SMU (5)
TCU (5)
Houston (8)
USF (13)
Colorado State (16)
UCF (17)
West Virginia (26)
San Diego State (27)
Navy (28)
BYU (30)
UConn (32)
Kansas (34)
Cincinnati (36)
Texas (38)
Oklahoma (44)

Oklahoma State (44)
Tulane (50)
Memphis (51)
Fresno State (55)
Tulsa (61)
Iowa State (68)
Air Force (82)
Baylor (83)
Boise State (101)
East Carolina (102)
Kansas State (142)
Texas Tech (145)


These numbers have to be taken with a giant grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they do give a little bit of insight. First, it’s easy to see that the Big 12 is a small market league. The AAC actually has larger markets overall, albeit fewer fans within their markets for the most part, as the attendance numbers reveal. Second, while schools like East Carolina and Boise State may have nice attendance numbers for G5 schools, the size of their markets makes it difficult to believe they would be realistic candidates for Big 12 expansion.

Conclusion
BYU is clearly the best candidate for Big 12 expansion and it isn’t really close. Arguably, they have a bigger following than any of the remaining Big 12 schools. They have to be a part of any potential Big 12 expansion.

After that it’s a bit tricky. Any team that averages under 30,000 fans is a tough sell, so that leaves East Carolina, Memphis, UCF, San Diego State, USF, Cincinnati, Boise State, Navy, Houston, Army, and Temple.

Army declined an invite from the AAC, so they aren’t joining the Big 12. Boise State and East Carolina have to be eliminated due to market size. I think San Diego State is a tough sell geographically with the other schools. Temple doesn’t have a great football program. I have a hard time seeing Navy being a choice because I think we’ll be looking for full members. That leaves five schools:

Memphis
UCF
USF
Cincinnati
Houston

The best of those is UCF, who has had Big 12 caliber attendance as of late and is a gigantic school in a large TV market that also happens to be a football recruiting hotbed. If we brought in USF along side them, we’d be bringing in another giant university in a even bigger market and firmly establish the Big 12 in the state of Florida.

I don’t like the idea of adding Houston because I don’t really think we get a lot from it, but I could see the Big 12 wanting to stay Texas-centric. Maybe the league feels that with the loss of Texas we would benefit by having another school in the state?

Cincinnati has had a lot of ten win seasons in the last 10+ years. Ohio is a recruiting hotbed and they would provide West Virginia a nearby conference school.

Memphis would be a good basketball addition and they have decent attendance in football. Their market is just ok though.

If we were taking four teams, I would take BYU and UCF for sure. Then I would probably take USF and Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t argue too much against Houston or Memphis instead.
 
Last edited:

Daserop

Well-Known Member
Feb 9, 2011
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The Bebop
We all hope that Iowa State and the other Big 12 refugees find a home in a power conference. That’s what would be best for our universities and athletics programs. If that doesn’t happen however and we end up staying in the Big 12, the conference will almost certainly add members.

I decided to compare some numbers for the Big 12 schools (including Texas and Oklahoma for reference), the AAC schools, and some Mountain West schools and Independents that have been mentioned over the years as expansion candidates. Specifically, I compared average football attendance from 2015-2019, US News and World Report university rankings, and rankings of the TV markets where the universities are located.

Average Attendance (2015-2019)
Texas 94,943 (8)
Oklahoma 85,745 (13)

BYU 57,078 (28)
Iowa State 56,562 (30)
West Virginia 56,484 (31)
Texas Tech 55,821 (33)
Oklahoma State 55,326 (36)
Kansas State 50,975 (38)
Baylor 44,536 (48)
TCU 44,353 (49)

East Carolina 38,031 (58)
Memphis 37,229 (59)
UCF 36,010 (61)
San Diego State 33,407 (65)
USF 33,172 (66)
Cincinnati 33,124 (67)
Boise State 32,830 (68)
Navy 32,459 (69)
Houston 32,174 (70)
Army 31,450 (71)
Temple 31,326 (72)
Fresno State 29,643 (74)
Air Force 27,910 (76)
Colorado State 27,484 (77)
Kansas 26,610 (80)
UConn 22,899 (85)
SMU 21,543 (89)
Tulane 20,174 (94)
Tulsa 18,631 (104)

The remaining Big 12 schools other than Kansas are remarkably similar in attendance and superior to every Group of 5 school other than BYU if you consider them G5. UCF’s numbers are getting into Big 12 range, as they averaged 44k fans in 2018 and 2019, which was in the range of TCU and Baylor.

University Rankings
Navy #6, Liberal Arts Colleges
Army #15, Liberal Arts Colleges
Air Force #28, Liberal Arts Colleges
Tulane #41
Texas #42
UConn #63
SMU #66
Baylor #76
TCU #80

BYU #80
USF #103
Temple #103
Iowa State #118
Kansas #124

Oklahoma #133
Cincinnati #143
San Diego State #143
Tulsa #143
Colorado State #153
UCF #160
Kansas State #170
Houston #176
Oklahoma State #187
Fresno State #196
Texas Tech #217
East Carolina #217
West Virginia #241
Memphis #258
Boise State #298-389 range

The rankings have a lot of ties. I didn’t realize just how awful the Big 12 is academically. Half of the remaining schools are ranked #170 or below. The AAC is actually a superior league academically, which is pretty sad. Looking at these numbers you can see why Boise State can’t get into the Pac-12 and West Virginia will never be offered by the Big Ten.

TV Markets
Army (1)
Temple (4)
SMU (5)
TCU (5)
Houston (8)
USF (13)
Colorado State (16)
UCF (17)
West Virginia (26)
San Diego State (27)
Navy (28)
BYU (30)
UConn (32)
Kansas (34)
Cincinnati (36)
Texas (38)
Oklahoma (44)

Oklahoma State (44)
Tulane (50)
Memphis (51)
Fresno State (55)
Tulsa (61)
Iowa State (68)
Air Force (82)
Baylor (83)
Boise State (101)
East Carolina (102)
Kansas State (142)
Texas Tech (145)


These numbers have to be taken with a giant grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they do give a little bit of insight. First, it’s easy to see that the Big 12 is a small market league. The AAC actually has larger markets overall, albeit fewer fans within their markets for the most part, as the attendance numbers reveal. Second, while schools like East Carolina and Boise State may have nice attendance numbers for G5 schools, the size of their markets makes it difficult to believe they would be realistic candidates for Big 12 expansion.

Conclusion
BYU is clearly the best candidate for Big 12 expansion and it isn’t really close. Arguably, they have a bigger following than any of the remaining Big 12 schools. They have to be a part of any potential Big 12 expansion.

After that it’s a bit tricky. Any team that averages under 30,000 fans is a tough sell, so that leaves East Carolina, Memphis, UCF, San Diego State, USF, Cincinnati, Boise State, Navy, Houston, Army, and Temple.

Army declined an invite from the AAC, so they aren’t joining the Big 12. Boise State and East Carolina have to be eliminated due to market size. I think San Diego State is a tough sell geographically with the other schools. Temple doesn’t have a great football program. I have a hard time seeing Navy being a choice because I think we’ll be looking for full members. That leaves five schools:

Memphis
UCF
USF
Cincinnati
Houston

The best of those is UCF, who has had Big 12 caliber attendance as of late and is a gigantic school in a large TV market that also happens to be a football recruiting hotbed. If we brought in USF along side them, we’d be bringing in another giant university in a even bigger market and firmly establish the Big 12 in the state of Florida.

I don’t like the idea of adding Houston because I don’t really think we get a lot from it, but I could see the Big 12 wanting to stay Texas-centric. Maybe the league feels that with the loss of Texas we would benefit by having another school in the state?

Cincinnati has had a lot of ten win seasons in the last 10+ years. Ohio is a recruiting hotbed and they would provide West Virginia a nearby conference school.

Memphis would be a good basketball addition and they have decent attendance in football. Their market is just ok though.

If we were taking four teams, I would take BYU and UCF for sure. Then I would probably take USF and Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t argue too much against Houston or Memphis instead.
Where are you getting all these rankings from? Please list sources.
 

Cyclonepride

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The trickiest part about expanding is that incoming teams will want long agreements that protect them from the conference going away in 2025 (or anytime soon thereafter). So if you choose this route, you're stuck with it (and if you're looking for a clue on who might leave, watch who votes for or against expansion).

With that said, if expansion is the route they go:

1. BYU
2. Cincinnati
3. Central Florida
4. Houston
5. Memphis
6. Boise State
7. South Florida
8. Colorado State

(in that order)
 

jereseib

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2015
5,606
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Des Moines
We all hope that Iowa State and the other Big 12 refugees find a home in a power conference. That’s what would be best for our universities and athletics programs. If that doesn’t happen however and we end up staying in the Big 12, the conference will almost certainly add members.

I decided to compare some numbers for the Big 12 schools (including Texas and Oklahoma for reference), the AAC schools, and some Mountain West schools and Independents that have been mentioned over the years as expansion candidates. Specifically, I compared average football attendance from 2015-2019, US News and World Report university rankings, and rankings of the TV markets where the universities are located.

Average Attendance (2015-2019)
Texas 94,943 (8)
Oklahoma 85,745 (13)

BYU 57,078 (28)
Iowa State 56,562 (30)
West Virginia 56,484 (31)
Texas Tech 55,821 (33)
Oklahoma State 55,326 (36)
Kansas State 50,975 (38)
Baylor 44,536 (48)
TCU 44,353 (49)

East Carolina 38,031 (58)
Memphis 37,229 (59)
UCF 36,010 (61)
San Diego State 33,407 (65)
USF 33,172 (66)
Cincinnati 33,124 (67)
Boise State 32,830 (68)
Navy 32,459 (69)
Houston 32,174 (70)
Army 31,450 (71)
Temple 31,326 (72)
Fresno State 29,643 (74)
Air Force 27,910 (76)
Colorado State 27,484 (77)
Kansas 26,610 (80)
UConn 22,899 (85)
SMU 21,543 (89)
Tulane 20,174 (94)
Tulsa 18,631 (104)

The remaining Big 12 schools other than Kansas are remarkably similar in attendance and superior to every Group of 5 school other than BYU if you consider them G5. UCF’s numbers are getting into Big 12 range, as they averaged 44k fans in 2018 and 2019, which was in the range of TCU and Baylor.

University Rankings
Navy #6, Liberal Arts Colleges
Army #15, Liberal Arts Colleges
Air Force #28, Liberal Arts Colleges
Tulane #41
Texas #42
UConn #63
SMU #66
Baylor #76
TCU #80

BYU #80
USF #103
Temple #103
Iowa State #118
Kansas #124

Oklahoma #133
Cincinnati #143
San Diego State #143
Tulsa #143
Colorado State #153
UCF #160
Kansas State #170
Houston #176
Oklahoma State #187
Fresno State #196
Texas Tech #217
East Carolina #217
West Virginia #241
Memphis #258
Boise State #298-389 range

The rankings have a lot of ties. I didn’t realize just how awful the Big 12 is academically. Half of the remaining schools are ranked #170 or below. The AAC is actually a superior league academically, which is pretty sad. Looking at these numbers you can see why Boise State can’t get into the Pac-12 and West Virginia will never be offered by the Big Ten.

TV Markets
Army (1)
Temple (4)
SMU (5)
TCU (5)
Houston (8)
USF (13)
Colorado State (16)
UCF (17)
West Virginia (26)
San Diego State (27)
Navy (28)
BYU (30)
UConn (32)
Kansas (34)
Cincinnati (36)
Texas (38)
Oklahoma (44)

Oklahoma State (44)
Tulane (50)
Memphis (51)
Fresno State (55)
Tulsa (61)
Iowa State (68)
Air Force (82)
Baylor (83)
Boise State (101)
East Carolina (102)
Kansas State (142)
Texas Tech (145)


These numbers have to be taken with a giant grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they do give a little bit of insight. First, it’s easy to see that the Big 12 is a small market league. The AAC actually has larger markets overall, albeit fewer fans within their markets for the most part, as the attendance numbers reveal. Second, while schools like East Carolina and Boise State may have nice attendance numbers for G5 schools, the size of their markets makes it difficult to believe they would be realistic candidates for Big 12 expansion.

Conclusion
BYU is clearly the best candidate for Big 12 expansion and it isn’t really close. Arguably, they have a bigger following than any of the remaining Big 12 schools. They have to be a part of any potential Big 12 expansion.

After that it’s a bit tricky. Any team that averages under 30,000 fans is a tough sell, so that leaves East Carolina, Memphis, UCF, San Diego State, USF, Cincinnati, Boise State, Navy, Houston, Army, and Temple.

Army declined an invite from the AAC, so they aren’t joining the Big 12. Boise State and East Carolina have to be eliminated due to market size. I think San Diego State is a tough sell geographically with the other schools. Temple doesn’t have a great football program. I have a hard time seeing Navy being a choice because I think we’ll be looking for full members. That leaves five schools:

Memphis
UCF
USF
Cincinnati
Houston

The best of those is UCF, who has had Big 12 caliber attendance as of late and is a gigantic school in a large TV market that also happens to be a football recruiting hotbed. If we brought in USF along side them, we’d be bringing in another giant university in a even bigger market and firmly establish the Big 12 in the state of Florida.

I don’t like the idea of adding Houston because I don’t really think we get a lot from it, but I could see the Big 12 wanting to stay Texas-centric. Maybe the league feels that with the loss of Texas we would benefit by having another school in the state?

Cincinnati has had a lot of ten win seasons in the last 10+ years. Ohio is a recruiting hotbed and they would provide West Virginia a nearby conference school.

Memphis would be a good basketball addition and they have decent attendance in football. Their market is just ok though.

If we were taking four teams, I would take BYU and UCF for sure. Then I would probably take USF and Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t argue too much against Houston or Memphis instead.
I like your ideas but just wanted to point out there is no way East Carolina averages that many fans per game.
 

Cloneon

Well-Known Member
Oct 29, 2015
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West Virginia
We all hope that Iowa State and the other Big 12 refugees find a home in a power conference. That’s what would be best for our universities and athletics programs. If that doesn’t happen however and we end up staying in the Big 12, the conference will almost certainly add members.

I decided to compare some numbers for the Big 12 schools (including Texas and Oklahoma for reference), the AAC schools, and some Mountain West schools and Independents that have been mentioned over the years as expansion candidates. Specifically, I compared average football attendance from 2015-2019, US News and World Report university rankings, and rankings of the TV markets where the universities are located.

Average Attendance (2015-2019)
Texas 94,943 (8)
Oklahoma 85,745 (13)

BYU 57,078 (28)
Iowa State 56,562 (30)
West Virginia 56,484 (31)
Texas Tech 55,821 (33)
Oklahoma State 55,326 (36)
Kansas State 50,975 (38)
Baylor 44,536 (48)
TCU 44,353 (49)

East Carolina 38,031 (58)
Memphis 37,229 (59)
UCF 36,010 (61)
San Diego State 33,407 (65)
USF 33,172 (66)
Cincinnati 33,124 (67)
Boise State 32,830 (68)
Navy 32,459 (69)
Houston 32,174 (70)
Army 31,450 (71)
Temple 31,326 (72)
Fresno State 29,643 (74)
Air Force 27,910 (76)
Colorado State 27,484 (77)
Kansas 26,610 (80)
UConn 22,899 (85)
SMU 21,543 (89)
Tulane 20,174 (94)
Tulsa 18,631 (104)

The remaining Big 12 schools other than Kansas are remarkably similar in attendance and superior to every Group of 5 school other than BYU if you consider them G5. UCF’s numbers are getting into Big 12 range, as they averaged 44k fans in 2018 and 2019, which was in the range of TCU and Baylor.

University Rankings
Navy #6, Liberal Arts Colleges
Army #15, Liberal Arts Colleges
Air Force #28, Liberal Arts Colleges
Tulane #41
Texas #42
UConn #63
SMU #66
Baylor #76
TCU #80

BYU #80
USF #103
Temple #103
Iowa State #118
Kansas #124

Oklahoma #133
Cincinnati #143
San Diego State #143
Tulsa #143
Colorado State #153
UCF #160
Kansas State #170
Houston #176
Oklahoma State #187
Fresno State #196
Texas Tech #217
East Carolina #217
West Virginia #241
Memphis #258
Boise State #298-389 range

The rankings have a lot of ties. I didn’t realize just how awful the Big 12 is academically. Half of the remaining schools are ranked #170 or below. The AAC is actually a superior league academically, which is pretty sad. Looking at these numbers you can see why Boise State can’t get into the Pac-12 and West Virginia will never be offered by the Big Ten.

TV Markets
Army (1)
Temple (4)
SMU (5)
TCU (5)
Houston (8)
USF (13)
Colorado State (16)
UCF (17)
West Virginia (26)
San Diego State (27)
Navy (28)
BYU (30)
UConn (32)
Kansas (34)
Cincinnati (36)
Texas (38)
Oklahoma (44)

Oklahoma State (44)
Tulane (50)
Memphis (51)
Fresno State (55)
Tulsa (61)
Iowa State (68)
Air Force (82)
Baylor (83)
Boise State (101)
East Carolina (102)
Kansas State (142)
Texas Tech (145)


These numbers have to be taken with a giant grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they do give a little bit of insight. First, it’s easy to see that the Big 12 is a small market league. The AAC actually has larger markets overall, albeit fewer fans within their markets for the most part, as the attendance numbers reveal. Second, while schools like East Carolina and Boise State may have nice attendance numbers for G5 schools, the size of their markets makes it difficult to believe they would be realistic candidates for Big 12 expansion.

Conclusion
BYU is clearly the best candidate for Big 12 expansion and it isn’t really close. Arguably, they have a bigger following than any of the remaining Big 12 schools. They have to be a part of any potential Big 12 expansion.

After that it’s a bit tricky. Any team that averages under 30,000 fans is a tough sell, so that leaves East Carolina, Memphis, UCF, San Diego State, USF, Cincinnati, Boise State, Navy, Houston, Army, and Temple.

Army declined an invite from the AAC, so they aren’t joining the Big 12. Boise State and East Carolina have to be eliminated due to market size. I think San Diego State is a tough sell geographically with the other schools. Temple doesn’t have a great football program. I have a hard time seeing Navy being a choice because I think we’ll be looking for full members. That leaves five schools:

Memphis
UCF
USF
Cincinnati
Houston

The best of those is UCF, who has had Big 12 caliber attendance as of late and is a gigantic school in a large TV market that also happens to be a football recruiting hotbed. If we brought in USF along side them, we’d be bringing in another giant university in a even bigger market and firmly establish the Big 12 in the state of Florida.

I don’t like the idea of adding Houston because I don’t really think we get a lot from it, but I could see the Big 12 wanting to stay Texas-centric. Maybe the league feels that with the loss of Texas we would benefit by having another school in the state?

Cincinnati has had a lot of ten win seasons in the last 10+ years. Ohio is a recruiting hotbed and they would provide West Virginia a nearby conference school.

Memphis would be a good basketball addition and they have decent attendance in football. Their market is just ok though.

If we were taking four teams, I would take BYU and UCF for sure. Then I would probably take USF and Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t argue too much against Houston or Memphis instead.
First off. Thank you for this work. However, respectively, you place way too high of emphasis on TV 'markets' without a measure of fan distribution within those markets.

One of the favorite things we say in my industry is: "If you can't measure it, you can't fix it."

Let me provide a simple example of why that mode of measure will not last much longer. 'Advertising dollars'. We all see fewer pieces of advertising in our mailboxes and enormous amounts of email advertising replacing that. Why? 'Targeted, more efficient marketing techniques'. The internet and our usage patterns are dictating that shift because of 'immediate calibration' of effectiveness. 'Blanket' advertising is over unless the targeted masses justify it. I'd argue stadium attendance accurately measures the 'passion' of the fanbase and that directly corelates to viewership by all other methods. So, the SMART move for those dollars would be to do whatever is necessary to see how many fans are distributed across all of their markets. Simple graduation math will tell you how many are out there. The only thing to do after that is demographically map them. I would LOVE to see a map of Iowa State fans by geographical location.
From my experience when I lived in L.A. and S.F. some 10-40 years back, I did everything humanly possible to see our games. I'd be enticing bar owners to put the ISU game on one of their TVs by courting fellow fans and friends. Great thing was, I developed enough fan interest for the bar owner to put that game on. And guess what? We were a HORRIBLE product back then. Interest, I'll bet has dramatically swayed. But, I'll bet 10-1 zero credit was given to ISU viewership there. And still is because they can't 'measure' it. Any report or media company still touting THAT model are either lazy, ignorant, or intentionally doing that to distort the truth for their benefit.
ISU needs all of you to start seeing the world the same way. Otherwise we're relegated to believing what they want us to believe. Bottom line: I believe our numbers are so much better than what is being pushed.
 

CintiClone

Active Member
Nov 10, 2009
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In viewing academic rankings of universities from US News consider they weigh graduation rates heavily. The more stringent universities with lower entrance standards will have lower graduation rates. This skews the ranking when looking at value of a degree, IMO. Better measures would be comparing alumni success in their given fields, grants, and professor qualifications / publications.
 

BCClone

Well-Known Member
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In viewing academic rankings of universities from US News consider they weigh graduation rates heavily. The more stringent universities with lower entrance standards will have lower graduation rates. This skews the ranking when looking at value of a degree, IMO. Better measures would be comparing alumni success in their given fields, grants, and professor qualifications / publications.
Yeah, ISU took a hard hit when the enrollment boom hit. The BOR in Iowa prefers to have lighter admission standards and basically use a sink or swim method for college. Iowa universities are easier to get into but then they weed you out in the first year or two. This method always has us taking a hit on these rankings.

With a smaller enrollment, we may be able to see a light uptick in our rankings, which I believe is skewed and not really reliable to start with.
 

Cloneon

Well-Known Member
Oct 29, 2015
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Yeah, ISU took a hard hit when the enrollment boom hit. The BOR in Iowa prefers to have lighter admission standards and basically use a sink or swim method for college. Iowa universities are easier to get into but then they weed you out in the first year or two. This method always has us taking a hit on these rankings.

With a smaller enrollment, we may be able to see a light uptick in our rankings, which I believe is skewed and not really reliable to start with.
Interesting paradox. Poorer graduation rates, but higher number of fans.
 

Beyerball

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BYU and the service academies.
This x100

I've said this in numerous posts but Navy has the #1TV ratings in the AAC and it isn't close.

2019 Army/Navy - 7mil viewers
Navy/ND every year

Heck Navy has better TV ratings than 2/3 of PAC and half the BIG..

Army also has pretty solid TV ratings as well..
 

clonehome

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2006
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First off. Thank you for this work. However, respectively, you place way too high of emphasis on TV 'markets' without a measure of fan distribution within those markets.

One of the favorite things we say in my industry is: "If you can't measure it, you can't fix it."

Let me provide a simple example of why that mode of measure will not last much longer. 'Advertising dollars'. We all see fewer pieces of advertising in our mailboxes and enormous amounts of email advertising replacing that. Why? 'Targeted, more efficient marketing techniques'. The internet and our usage patterns are dictating that shift because of 'immediate calibration' of effectiveness. 'Blanket' advertising is over unless the targeted masses justify it. I'd argue stadium attendance accurately measures the 'passion' of the fanbase and that directly correlates to viewership by all other methods. So, the SMART move for those dollars would be to do whatever is necessary to see how many fans are distributed across all of their markets. Simple graduation math will tell you how many are out there. The only thing to do after that is demographically map them. I would LOVE to see a map of Iowa State fans by geographical location.
From my experience when I lived in L.A. and S.F. some 10-40 years back, I did everything humanly possible to see our games. I'd be enticing bar owners to put the ISU game on one of their TVs by courting fellow fans and friends. Great thing was, I developed enough fan interest for the bar owner to put that game on. And guess what? We were a HORRIBLE product back then. Interest, I'll bet has dramatically swayed. But, I'll bet 10-1 zero credit was given to ISU viewership there. And still is because they can't 'measure' it. Any report or media company still touting THAT model are either lazy, ignorant, or intentionally doing that to distort the truth for their benefit.
ISU needs all of you to start seeing the world the same way. Otherwise we're relegated to believing what they want us to believe. Bottom line: I believe our numbers are so much better than what is being pushed.
This is a great post. I did the same thing around Chicago and NYC through the 90s and 2000s-- round up Cyclone fans and get a sports bar to put our game on. I would like to see TV programming options continue becoming more ala carte. Will the CFB fan outside of the SEC region pay extra to see their super conference, especially when that person is already paying for BTN or say a Big 12/Pac 12 regional network? It would be glorious if ESPN added Texas and OU and committed to a huge contract that was not financially viable, like they found with LHN. It might take bankrupting ESPN to bring sanity back to CFB.
 
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Lexclone

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Dec 8, 2013
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In viewing academic rankings of universities from US News consider they weigh graduation rates heavily. The more stringent universities with lower entrance standards will have lower graduation rates. This skews the ranking when looking at value of a degree, IMO. Better measures would be comparing alumni success in their given fields, grants, and professor qualifications / publications.
Yeah, ISU took a hard hit when the enrollment boom hit. The BOR in Iowa prefers to have lighter admission standards and basically use a sink or swim method for college. Iowa universities are easier to get into but then they weed you out in the first year or two. This method always has us taking a hit on these rankings.

With a smaller enrollment, we may be able to see a light uptick in our rankings, which I believe is skewed and not really reliable to start with.
Malcom Gladwell had a good podcast on US News’s rankings. The factor influencing the rankings the most is “reputation score” (basically a survey of university and college presidents, provosts and heads of admission, not at all objective) and size of endowment (insert Butthead: heh, heh… heh, heh size of endowment). Basically, made me toss those rankings way, way out.
 

CloneJD

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The optics of the big12 bringing in a commuter, directional school like ucf is awful. I hope that’s the first one off the list of possibilities. I’d imagine they are not a serious candidate for expansion.
 

clonedude

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The more I think about this whole thing, the more I think the remaining Big 12 members need to be working diligently with the PAC to form some kind of super conference.

I don't know if ISU can wait around to see if a B1G invite ever comes?

How about four, 5 team pods......

Northwest Division- Washington, WSU, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford

Pacific Division- USC, UCLA, California, AZ, ASU

Mountain Midwest Division- ISU, Colorado, Utah, KU, KSU

South Division- Okie St, TT, Baylor, TCU, WV?? (I'd let them go to the ACC, and put Houston here instead if possible?)