January 20, 2012
Bailey talks WVU, plus-one
Texas Tech University president Guy Bailey dropped by for a chat with RedRaiderSports.com's Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on Friday during their Lubbock radio show "Tech Talk" on Double T 104.3 FM.
Bailey shared the latest on news from within the Big 12 Conference, news out of the NCAA meetings in Indianapolis and Tech's push for Tier 1 status.
The West Virginia situation
Bailey said West Virginia intends to join the Big 12 Conference beginning for the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, but the clock is ticking because the other nine Big 12 schools want their football schedules so they coincide their academic calendars to their football calendars.
TCU is definitely in the Big 12 Conference beginning next season, but the Big East Conference is fighting West Virginia from leaving the Big East until 2013. That's holding up the Big 12 Conference schedule from being released and none of the original Big 12 schools' presidents wants a holdup like last year's.
The Big 12 football schedule came out in April last season and Tech had to pull the trigger on its 2011-2012 academic calendar before the Red Raiders' football schedule came out. Consequently, fall break coincided with a home game against Texas A&M.
Students had to choose whether to go home or stay for the game, or to go home after the game and not be able to enjoy the full extent of the break.
"The academic calendar has to be done and we delayed it as long as possible last year," Bailey said. "We thought from the preliminary things we had seen that weekend we wouldn't have a game or that it'd be an away game. But the (Big 12) schedule was put out so late that those things didn't work out.
"The academic calendar needs to be finished out there and it needs to be out there now. You just can't delay that and unfortunately with the changes in the conference memberships put a kink into it. I think the football schedule was released toward the end of the spring, May or June and that doesn't do anything for season ticket sales."
Bailey said the Big 12 presidents are trying to put a Feb. 1 deadline on West Virginia to alert the Big 12 about its 2012-2013 plans.
"West Virginia has assured us they'd be in there," Bailey said. "I believe them and I'm very hopeful
I think all of the realignment issues will be resolved in the next two weeks. I won't guarantee it, but we are making progress."
Bailey said Big 12 realignment shouldn't be an issue for at least six more years after this year because the Big 12 schools have all given their media rights to the conference.
"There's a far greater sense of stability," Bailey said. "When you assign those rights, you aren't going anywhere. It would absolutely kill your program to leave your media rights behind so there's that stability."
Bailey said the Big 12 has at least three preliminary schedules and TCU and West Virginia don't automatically fit into Texas A&M and Missouri's spots. The Big 12 is trying to make each week attractive for television purposes.
The preliminary schedules feature West Virginia on them.
Talk of the Plus-One model
In Indianapolis, there was a lot of talk of a Plus-One model after Oklahoma State got left out of the National Championship game and LSU and Alabama got a regular season rematch in the Championship Game.
According to Bailey, a Plus-One game would put the top four teams in a playoff format after the bowl games had been played and the two winners of the playoff games would meet for the National Championship.
Bailey said a majority of presidents want to preserve the regular season and most of bowl format to ensure schools continue to make the money they are today, but also to allow the top four teams in college football a more fair shot at the Championship.
"I think some sort of championship that builds off of (the regular season and bowl game structure in place) and a mini-playoff Plus-One is very likely. There are proposals for eight teams, but initially I think it the Plus-One is likely to happen.
"I do think if we can take that step and have some clearer resolution to a championship that's a real good first step and then we can begin exploring other possibilities."
Bailey said it's probably too late in the game to make any changes to how the 2012 National Championship is awarded, but a plus-one model could be invoked as early as 2013.
Texas Tech University appears to be closer to Tier 1 Status thanks to State of Texas legislation that put in a path to earning Tier 1 status back in 2009.
The state requires schools that want Tier 1 status to reach certain benchmarks two years. At that point, Texas universities are allowed into a $500 million -- and growing fund -- the final steps toward earning nation research university funding and big step toward Tier 1 status.
According to Bailey Tech did an audit and concluded it reached the benchmarks two years in a row and state auditors will be doing an audit as early as March.
Tech would be the first institution in the state to reach the state funding. Texas and Texas A&M were national research universities long before 2009.
Tier 1 status would help Tech get large amounts of federal funding in the future and the prestige of being a Tier 1 school would elevate a Tech degree's value.
"It really puts us in sort of the class that sets the agenda for education in the United States," Bailey said.
Bailey talked broadly about Tech's distribution of third tier rights because options are still being explored, but said athletic director Kirby Hocutt is exploring the ways to allow Tech athletics to have a large-scale distribution on a network.
Bailey said it wouldn't make as much money as the Longhorn Network, but Tech would benefit financially, build a bigger fan base and appeal to an audience that struggles to make it to a lot of Tech athletic events due to the size of the state.
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