Skip to content

Neinas: only Notre Dame enhances the value for Big 12 television

Chuck Neinas AP

The playoff agreement is done — for now — which leaves only realignment rumors to be tossed against the offseason wall just to see if something sticks.

At the center of it all has been the Big 12. While conference officials have scoffed at, downplayed or otherwise denied ad nauseam that there’s any truth to expansion rumors involving Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami or anyone else, there’s at least one piece of evidence that the Big 12 is interested in one particular program — though the name/reason shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.

Thanks to an open records request by The Oklahoman, a January memo sent out by interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas to the conference’s expansion committee said Notre Dame is the only school the league could add that would “enhance the… value for television.

“Both representatives of ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports indicated that Notre Dame’s involvement with the Big 12 Conference would increase the value of the conference relative to future television and also improve the image of the conference nationwide,” Neinas explained.

You can read the rest of Neinas’ quotes HERE. 

But Neinas’ memo shouldn’t come across as any sort of indicator that the Big 12 will be adding Notre Dame anytime soon. On the contrary, Neinas is confirming of what common sense tells us.

Even as a partial member — in other words, if the Irish maintain football independence, but schedule several Big 12 programs — Notre Dame would provide the Big 12 a bump in payout from the league’s first and second-tier rights holders, ABC/ESPN and FOX, because it’s an addition of quality inventory (don’t  scoff) that those networks currently don’t possess. Currently, the league is on the verge of inking an extension with ABC/ESPN that would sync up with the FOX deal through 2025. The annual payout per school from that deal is reported to rise above $20 million.

So of course the Big 12 would jump on the opportunity. That could be said for any conference.

It’s more of a matter of whether Notre Dame wants to move its non-football sports from the Big East.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big 12 Conference, Independents, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Rumor Mill, Top Posts
26 Responses to “Neinas: only Notre Dame enhances the value for Big 12 television”
  1. jimbo75025 says: Jun 28, 2012 9:02 AM

    Part of me wants to see this just for the spectacle of seeing ND and Texas constantly fight about who is the “big dog” in the conference…….

  2. bertenheim says: Jun 28, 2012 9:48 AM

    Alot of fuss over what would be the seventh-best team in the conference.

  3. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 28, 2012 9:48 AM

    Neinas is an older man, maybe becoming a little mentally impaired. Sure ND would increase a payout to Big 12 or any conference teams. Sure there are fans and alums of Notre Dame who will watch the team no matter how pitiful they are. Sure Notre Dame can recruit top athletes year after year without much effort and mismanage them into losing teams. Notre Dame can be voted into the top 25, top 20, and sometimes the top 15, no matter how poorly their team performed the previous season, and after the first 4 games fall completely out of the rankings.

    Having Notre Dame to become relevant once again would be good for college football, at least that is what is said by so many sports pundits, who don’t already put them at the top each year to only drop them after their ineptitude shows in losses for the first few games. I know Notre Dame alums who have already picked other teams which they support, having given up on the Irish some years ago.

    Having Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 conference is not enough enhancement? The Texas alums and fans with whom I work, think the Longhorns are all the Big 12 needs. They are similar to the Irish in that they recruit consistently high and mismanage their talent into losing.

    Hope springs eternal. A new season is soon to begin. All teams are even. No team has lost a game. It is bliss to forget the recent past and think it will not be repeated.

  4. joshuavkidd says: Jun 28, 2012 9:48 AM

    ND hasn’t been a “big dog” in 2 decades…

  5. seanmmartin says: Jun 28, 2012 10:20 AM

    That’s the point. UT and UND control a ton of money in college football (maybe the two highest spots by individual institutions.) So it’d be interesting to see them fight over contracts, blah blah blah, from the same conference.

    Also, with revenue sharing, Baylor would throw up in its pants.

  6. irishdodger says: Jun 28, 2012 10:52 AM

    ND has indeed been a non factor in the BCS NC since its inception in 1998. If we’re going to disregard every team going through a downturn we better tell Miami, FSU, Colorado, Penn St, Georgia, Texas A&M and others who haven’t won a national championship in decades, to quit playing football as well. Then ask why we didn’t demand the same for Texas, OU, Bama, LSU, Florida, Oregon, USC & other current powers who went decades being better than mediocre, much less winning a NC. Every fan loves to repeat the “ND hasn’t been relevant in 15 years” comment ad nauseam, but ask fans of any team which opponent they’d like to see visit their stadium & ND will be in the top 3. Go to Stub Hub & try to buy an ND @ OU ticket or an ND @ SC ticket. I sure as hell wouldn’t pay what their asking to watch a mediocre ND team get drummed by a NC contender while sitting in the upper tier or the end zone. While the tv ratings have sucked, I’m still waiting for ticket prices to drop. And it ain’t b/c ND fans travel better than others…haters still want to see ND…even if it’s to see them get blown out. Good luck w/ that….karma.

  7. indywvu says: Jun 28, 2012 12:01 PM

    I hope to the heavens this doesn’t happen. Either all in, or all out. This school might have been the biggest destructive force in the ending of the Big East as we know it. If it wasn’t, it was reason 1a. I want away from this bunch of jobbers, not them to copycat and follow my alma mater to the Big XII. If they want to join in football as well, then so be it. I am fine with that.

  8. seanmmartin says: Jun 28, 2012 12:06 PM

    Interesting that I got 7 thumbs-down; must be a lot of SEC fans here today.

    Here is some work done by FORBES, College Football’s Most Valuable Teams.

    1. Texas
    2. Notre Dame

    Everyone on here whines that schools and the BCS want money. This is true; and that is why the Big XII wants Notre Dame. THEY MAKE MONEY.

    (Also, for the sake of dispelling teams that don’t win championships: Oregon is tied for 60th in college football history with zero national championships. I suppose joshuavkidd thinks the Ducks should drop football.)

  9. 49erminer4life says: Jun 28, 2012 12:14 PM

    Can somebody explain why ND got a say or vote in way the playoff was setup?

  10. deadeye says: Jun 28, 2012 12:16 PM

    If Neinas believes that FSU wouldn’t enhance the BIG12’s television value, then he’s a senile old fool.

    The real story here is that the BIG12 have been in contact with FSU and Clemson about a move from the ACC to the BIG12. The question regarding television revenue comes into play because the BIG12 would be getting back to the original number of teams that they had prior to the defections of Colorado, Nebraska, TAMU, and Mizzou. When those teams left, the BIG12 was assured that their tv revenue would not go down. So the same money was/is being split among fewer universities.

    At this point in time, they have the option to add FSU and Clemson, but only wish to do so (apparently) if they can gain tv revenue in the process. The television powers that be have informed the BIG12 that only Notre Dame would cause an immediate boost to tv revenue, since the conference would simply be getting back to their original number. Thus the BIG12 seems to be halting the process with FSU and Clemson.

    Expanding with FSU and Clemson would strike a death blow to the ACC, at least as a football conference. If the BIG12 fails to act while the opportunity exists, they may regret it later. Notre Dame will never join any conference unless absolutely forced to do so, and their first choice would be the ACC if it’s still viable. If the BIG12 eliminates the ACC, the Irish probably would then consider the BIG12 as their top choice.

  11. seanmmartin says: Jun 28, 2012 12:22 PM


    The Independents are an entity, and UND is the biggest.

  12. bertenheim says: Jun 28, 2012 12:22 PM

    The fans of “Miami, FSU, Colorado, Penn St, Georgia, Texas A&M and others” aren’t parochial, delusional, arrogant, self-entitled, hyper-sensitive and obnoxious like ND fans.
    No one wants you or anyone else to drop football. But don’t think you’re a match for the top five in any of the major conferences.

  13. seanmmartin says: Jun 28, 2012 12:34 PM


    You mean like MSU (31-13, home) or UM (31-35, road)? Or Florida State (14-18, BG in FL)?

    All scores from last year.

  14. drummerhoff says: Jun 28, 2012 1:05 PM


    this story really has to do with the Big 12 never (wink/wink) talking to TV execs about the value of certain ACC schools…

    … Because we all know FSU vs OK/TX/WV offers tier 1 value.

  15. frug says: Jun 28, 2012 1:11 PM

    Worth noting that this study was conducted before the possibility (however small) of adding ACC schools like FSU and Clemson was discussed.

  16. deadeye says: Jun 28, 2012 1:28 PM


    You are probably correct, this has more to do with avoiding lawsuits than anything else.

    I don’t deny at all that ND is the biggest prize in the expansion wars. But I completely reject the notion that FSU adds nothing. They are a national brand with an amazing history in a state that is overflowing with football talent and tens of millions of TV viewers. FSU would easily be the single biggest prize to date in all of this realignment.

    The BIG12 has the chance to secure a huge victory (FSU), and position themselves for an even bigger victory (ND). But only if they act now.

  17. gorilladunk says: Jun 28, 2012 1:57 PM

    Glad to see everyone acknowledging the leverage the Big 12 has, especially after most of you spent the last year reminding everyone how the conference was on its deathbed.

  18. Deb says: Jun 28, 2012 2:05 PM

    Much as I loved alligatorsnapper’s hilarious post, have to agree with irishdodger. Every team has some fairweather fans who’ll change allegiance during dry spells. But by and large, Notre Dame’s fan base is a rabidly loyal, generational thing.

    And he’s right, Alabama went through a long period of mediocrity before returning to dominance. FSU and Miami have fallen off the map. With the right coach, the Irish can come back.

    But I don’t understand why the Big 12 would benefit from any agreement with Notre Dame that excepts the football program. If he thinks that’s a good deal, alligatorsnapper is right: He’s gone dotty.

  19. ndnut says: Jun 28, 2012 2:54 PM

    Please please please don’t go to the Big 12. Pick the ACC if football stays independent or the Big Ten if football is joining a conference. Those are my lines in the sand for ND conference affiliation.

  20. burntorangehorn says: Jun 28, 2012 3:38 PM

    Having Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 conference is not enough enhancement? The Texas alums and fans with whom I work, think the Longhorns are all the Big 12 needs. They are similar to the Irish in that they recruit consistently high and mismanage their talent into losing.
    That’s hyperbolic at best, and a complete falsehood at its root. Losing? Has there been a program with more wins than Texas since 1998, when Mack Brown took over? If so, it’s an extremely short list.

    Here are some program accomplishments from Young’s first season as a full-time starter (2004) to present:
    Four top-five finishes, two BCS title game appearances, one BCS title, 3-1 in all BCS bowls, two division championships (one shared), two conference championships, six bowl wins, and an 83-21 record

    It’s true that there are other excellent programs, like Alabama and LSU, that can make similar claims, but of course I’ve not seen you make claims that they’re losing like you did about Texas. For comparison…

    Alabama: two top-three finishes, two* BCS title game appearances, two BCS titles, two division championships, one conference championship, five bowl wins, and a 77-27 record

    LSU: two top-three finishes, two BCS title game appearances, one BCS title, 3-1 in all BCS bowls, three division championships, two SEC championships, five bowl wins, and an 84-21 record

    I think Texas measures up pretty well, as far as team accomplishments. Care to tell me how I’m wrong?

    In terms of overall record, I went back as far as 2000 for the best overall records:
    Boise State 135-19
    Oklahoma 131-29
    Texas 122-31
    Ohio State 120-23
    TCU 118-31
    (note: USC had more wins than TCU, with a 120-33 record, but also had a lower winning percentage)

    Keep in mind, this is all including UT’s two worst seasons since the mid-1990s.

    Now it’s your turn.

  21. mogogo1 says: Jun 28, 2012 5:29 PM

    Neinas was either quoted out of context or the guy is totally lost. I’d call a conference championship game a good way to “enhance” the Big 12 in terms of television. And the only way to get back to having one is to fill in the two empty spots their name says they have.

  22. irishdodger says: Jun 28, 2012 6:58 PM

    The fans of “Miami, FSU, Colorado, Penn St, Georgia, Texas A&M and others” aren’t parochial, delusional, arrogant, self-entitled, hyper-sensitive and obnoxious like ND fans.
    No one wants you or anyone else to drop football. But don’t think you’re a match for the top five in any of the major conferences.

    While I admit some ND alums fit you’re description, the rest of their fan base is no worse or better than any other big name programs fan base. Not a match for the top 5 in any conference? If ND goes 8-4 w/ their schedule in 2012, they’d easily be among the top 5 of every major conference. I haven’t seen any pundit rate NDs schedule as anything but the toughest in the nation for 2012. Not saying it plays out that way ( I hate preseason polls), but SC @ the Coliseum, OU in Norman, MSU in East Lansing, Miami in Chicago, MeatChicken & Stanford @ home? No FCS schools in the bunch.

  23. ancientcougar says: Jun 28, 2012 8:19 PM

    Notre Dame should take its program to the Big East. The practice games in the conference could set them up for annual top 4 recognition.

  24. gtizzo says: Jun 28, 2012 11:30 PM

    The Big 12 is hoping the AD at Texas can talk his friend the AD at Notre Dame in moving football to the Big 12. I really don’t see why ND would move Basketball to the Big 12. Why move from a Basketball power conference like the Big East? Course before we get any read on what cards the Irish are holding there NBC deal is getting revised. Should be about 30 days before we get word on that…that will determine the Irish future. The fact that the Irish would add value to the Big 12 is well…obvious. Would be true of any conference ND joins.

  25. dunder1mifflin says: Jun 29, 2012 3:35 PM

    This would only show how week the Big 12 is

  26. ndgoose says: Jul 9, 2012 10:59 AM

    Why not have all the conferences dissolve and everyone play and independent schedule? Rather than have ND join a conference?That way teams could schedule who they wanted and a true playoff could come about.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!