We begin today with the conference realignment portion of news and notes ...
—While the ACC seems fine with standing pat for the moment, the Big 12 is being proactive. Dennis Dodd of CBS reports that the league is in “deep discussions” with six members of the Pac-12, and is primarily focused on the quartet of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.
—Despite the Big 12’s attempts, the Pac-12 released a statement Monday saying it would immediately begin negotiations on its next TV contract.
—There is now talk of a “loose partnership” between the ACC and the Pac-12.
The ACC and Pac-12 have discussed what has been termed a “loose partnership” that could end the season with the conferences playing a “championship game” in Las Vegas, sources confirm to CBS Sports.
The concept, believed to have been proposed by the ACC, is seen as a way for the conferences’ common rightsholder, ESPN, to increase the value of their current media rights contracts.
It’s not likely this proposal would have much impact considering ESPN has cost certainty with the ACC in a contract that lasts through 2036. The Pac-12 is trying to survive after the loss of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2024. Rights for Pac-12 teams without the California powers are now worth about $30 million annually, down from approximately $42 million per program with the Trojans and Bruins in the fold.
John Canzano first reported the proposed the Pac-12 discussing a “loose partnership” with another conference Tuesday afternoon, noting some regular-season crossover games could be played in addition to the “championship game.”
Sources indicate the proposal is viewed as a “strength in numbers” move. While the 24 combined ACC and Pac-12 teams wouldn’t have nearly the clout of the 32 programs combined in the SEC and Big Ten, it would be something to combat the growing financial gap between those burgeoning superconferences and everyone else.
“The Alliance” morphing into “The Loose Partnership” before you can bat an eye is probably the most appropriate college sports story of the year so far.
—Josh Heird still believes in the ACC.
—Debt-laden UCLA was on a grim trajectory to cut sports until it cashed in on its move to the Big Ten.
—ESPN’s Pete Thamel tries to predict (insider) the next steps for the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.
When assessing the ACC in the race for No. 3, the fact that it is seemingly protected legally looms as a giant factor. The ACC has a handful of high-end properties left on the board, and those schools have agreed to a binding grant of rights that ties them together through 2036, when its ESPN television contract expires.
The ACC’s options are simple: stand pat, add a select handful of schools to open up the ESPN deal for potentially more revenue or enter a strategic merger.
The issue for the ACC is that there are enough current members unsettled at the notion of the league evenly splitting its income between its 14 football members that it has become a tension point.
There’s been informal discussion of unequal revenue sharing in the ACC for months, and commissioner Jim Phillips’ biggest challenge is going to be keeping big brands that could have interest from the Power 2 — Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Florida State and Virginia — happy.
However the ACC evolves in the upcoming weeks, expect the league to introduce some type of new revenue sharing. In theory, a Clemson program that’s won two national titles in the past decade would make more than a Boston College program that hasn’t won eight games since 2009. Would this be based on performance both on the field and in TV ratings? That’ll be for the consultants. But the days of holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” are likely over in the ACC. And probably elsewhere below the Power 2.
—Travis Branham is walking back the “DJ Wagner is a heavy Louisville lean” talk and now says (insider) the recruitment is headed towards a 50/50 toss-up status.
—Despite the reports to the contrary, Kentucky remains awfully confident that Wagner will say no to his grandpa and play for the Cats.
Here's the thing about DJ Wagner's recruitment and perceived jockeying for the lead:— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) July 5, 2022
Behind the scenes, Kentucky has never wavered in its confidence that the kid is coming. Not when Kenny Payne was hired nor when KP hired DJ's grandfather, Milt Wagner.
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report previews the Cardinal linebacking corps for the 2022 season.
—Louisville sits at No. 11 in On3’s updated team rankings for the 2023 football recruiting class.
—My dad has entered the Twitter world to share more of Glennville with all you heathens.
Here are a couple of pics from the very first area developed on my layout 16 years ago. One seen shows Glenville's main street. The other shows the fire brigade getting a cat from a tree. pic.twitter.com/UcB3XhyDw3— Glenn O. Rutherford (@GRutherford1946) July 6, 2022
—ESPN ranks the class at No. 7.
—Yasir Abdullah is one of the top returning linebackers in college football this season, but it’s his work in the community that may be even more impressive than his sack totals.
—It looks as though Devin Ree is finally joining the party.
—Master P says his son, and newest Cardinal, Hercy Miller is like Patrick Beverley with a better jumper.
—Season tickets for the upcoming U of L women’s basketball season are now on sale.
—Louisville is No. 4 in College Baseball Nation’s way too early rankings for the 2023 season.
—Probably the best Windhorst meme I’ve seen so far.
—Congrats to Damion Lee, who has signed a 1-year deal with the Phoenix Suns that will reportedly pay him $2.13M for the 2022-23 season.
—Gorgui Dieng has signed a 1-year deal that will bring him back to the San Antonio Spurs for the 2022-23 season.
—Some nice early draft love for Jermayne Lole.
—Donovan Mitchell appears to acknowledge that everything is being blown up in Utah.
—Recent Iowa women’s basketball commit Ava Jones and her family were the four people seriously injured when they were hit by a “seriously impaired” driver in downtown Louisville Tuesday night. Jones and her little brother will reportedly recover, but their parents are in critical condition. The family was in town for an AAU tournament.
—Marc Spiegel, the founder of the first Louisville collective, is the guest on the latest episode of the Starting 502 podcast.
—No Louisville on here.
Kansas has a BCS/NY6 Bowl Win more recently than these Power 5 schools ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/wFNTNV1r9Q— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) July 5, 2022
—No U of L players make PFF’s top 50 big board for next year’s NFL draft.
—Which Cardinal baseball players have the best chance of hearing their names called in the upcoming MLB Draft? Louisville Report examines.
—Louisville catcher Jack Payton has made the USA Baseball Collegiate 26-man roster.
—The stats from U of L baseball signee Patrick Forbes’ senior season at Bowling Green High School are outrageous.
—Dan McDonnell has picked up a commitment from Noah Bush, a JUCO prospect from Iowa Western.
—Louisville still has just one scholarship guard on its roster for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season. Here’s a look at 8 players still in the transfer portal that they could potentially add. Don’t click if you want to feel all warm and happy about the winter ahead.
—I spy five of Louisville’s 11 class of 2023 commits in the All-American Bowl. Not bad.
—Bucky’s 5th Quarter writes that college football is dying and it might already be beyond saving.
—Class of 2023 DB Tamarcus Cooley, the younger brother of current Louisville RB Trevion Cooley, has committed to NC State.
—Cardinal Authority highlights some breakout candidates on the defensive side of the ball for Louisville this season.
—Tell ‘em, Jay.
The NCAA needs to allow Bellarmine full access and rights in Division I, and do so immediately. Denying it is discriminatory and flat-out wrong. So much for “athlete welfare.” https://t.co/JzjWniWdsb— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) July 5, 2022
—After 41 years on the UK basketball beat for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Jerry Tipton has said his goodbye. Tipton will be replaced by Ben Roberts.
—Louisville is the “worst kept secret” city in United States soccer.
—Vince Marrow will never top this sequence of tweets after losing a recruit to Tennessee on the day of his daughter’s wedding:
Walking my daughter down the aisle today. God is good.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 3, 2022
About to enjoy the biggest day of my life. We will see them dudes in a few months lol. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 3, 2022
I have much respect for that young man . I’m happy when any kid goes to college weather it’s Kentucky or any other school. It’s football not live and death. Back to my daughters important day. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 4, 2022
He then deleted a tweet that seemed to imply that UK was losing recruits because of NIL and needed “help.”
The only tweet better from the evening ...
He's on his phone at his daughter's wedding.— Curtdoh (@CurtisLDurbin) July 4, 2022
Maybe cut him some slack for not taking extra time to check his auto corrects.
Incredible stuff all the way around.
—Despite a so-so season, Louisville was the 33rd most-watched team during the 2022 college football season. Kentucky, for those wondering, checks in at No. 63 on the list. Ohio State is No. 1.
—You can watch every throw Pierce Clarkson made at the Elite 11 QB finals here.
—Goodnight, sweet prince.
Are you going to Village 8 this evening for their last day?— Mark Vanderhoff (@WLKYMark) July 5, 2022
Having grown up in Louisville, I have lots of memories of this place. pic.twitter.com/YvxadTroqL
—The battle for DJ Wagner is one of the most compelling storylines for the upcoming July evaluation period.
—Wagner and Team USA improved to 3-0 at the FIBA U17 World Cup with a 112-64 victory over Mali on Tuesday. The United States is nor 40-0 all-time at the event.
—State of Louisville has an MLB Draft preview for Cardinal baseball fans.
—Louisville track and field athlete Jorge Contreras, a native of Puerto Rico, won the FAPUR National Championship for shot put in June in Carolina.
—Rueben Owens continues to rep Louisville wherever he goes.
Rueben Owens repping Louisville at a recent 7on7 pic.twitter.com/ujo9F46EY2— BaxleyRJR (@BaxleyRJR) July 6, 2022
—U of L national champion Gabriela Leon has been named to the USA Track and Field Roster for the World Athletics Championships
—Jody Demling has five men’s basketball recruiting storylines for the month ahead.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show rolls from 3-5:30 this afternoon on 1450 The Big X. Matt McGavic of Louisville Report will join me in studio to break down all the day’s madness. Download that Thornton’s refreshing reward app, enter the summer cash bash, and stream the show here.