Pac-12 is expected to expand soon, in part because the fee to get San Diego State out of the Mountain West goes up July 1 (SMU also involved). Meanwhile the Big 12 is still plotting to peel off some Pac-12 schools or pick off somebody like UNLV, or both. The Pac-12 move may just give that league a brief lifeline, if that. Then there’s the half of the ACC that wants to get out of their grant of rights. SEC is probably not looking to do anything now, but if Virginia Tech and North Carolina become available, what then?
Told you when they were talking about TX and OU coming here, I kept hearing Miami, Free Shoes, Clemson, and Duke (for bball purposes). It will get interesting.
At one point last year there were some rumors that what we now refer to as P5 would become two super conferences. The SEC and B1G (most likely) and they’d play for the “NC” then the other conferences would play for the “National Championship of the NCAA”.
The sport that needs relegation is MLB. Too many small market teams, including one that can be reached up I-49 from NWA, are coasting along and not really trying to win. Threaten them with a trip to the PCL for a couple of years, they’d stop that crap.
MLB has started expansion rumblings. Two more teams, bringing the total to 32. Oakland’s pending move to Las Vegas takes one ripe candidate off of the market. Tampa tried to work a deal with Montreal - half the games in the US, half in Canada. No dice. Thus, Tampa still has to be “fixed” structurally as a club, in addition to the two new teams. Montreal is thought to be a shoe-in for one.
Other options include: Charlotte, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Portland, and Louisville. (Some of the names may be from past expansion chatter.) SLC and Portland are more likely than the others due to creating balanced divisions and leagues, travel wise. I would bet the first team left out lands Tampa.
“Small market” is the term most commonly used, but I’m not sure that is a totally useful measuring stick. One top 10, from smallest to not-so-smallest:
Cincinnati (18-22, .450, 4th)
Milwaukee (23-17, .575, 1st)
Kansas City (12-30, .286, 5th)
San Diego (19-23, .463, 3rd)
Baltimore (26-14, .650, 2nd)
Pittsburgh (22-19, .537, 2nd)
St. Louis (16-25, .390, 5th)
Cleveland (19-21, .475, 2nd)
Colorado (17-24, .415, 5th)
Miami (20-21, .488, 4th)
Minnesota (23-18, .561, 1st)
Seattle (20-20, .500, 4th)
Tampa Bay (31-11, .738)
Detroit (18-21, .462, 3rd)
Arizona (23-18, .561, 2nd)
That is the halfway mark, but the revenue really ramps up from 16 to 30. I’ve included current records and standings.
It is not a stretch to say KCR is tanking in an attempt to find another Bobby Witt in the draft, while also letting some arm injuries to heal for 2024. Oakland, too.
Rob Manfred has said Oakland and Tampa have to be resolved before they consider expansion. Oakland seems to be off the table but the Rays remain unsettled. If they leave Florida, that will take another name off the potential expansion list.
I’m hearing Montreal is in the running for expansion but far from a shoo-in. As usual, ballpark issues have to be fixed.
Oakland’s tanking so no one will care if they leave, basically. Their owner is… a piece of work.