Some how, any how, the ACC has some advantages that need to be
capitalized on. First, we know Notre Dame has a very long standing
grudge against the Big Ten over alleged slights that may have been
made regarding the religious nature of the school. Plus, they may
know that the megaconference expansion is only on break before the
next round gets started.
Swofford needs to get on the airplane up to South Bend and pitch the
1. The ACC will go to an 18 team format with two divisions. The ACC
North would be ND, BC, Army, Navy, Pitt, UConn, Rutgers, VT and
Maryland. ND has had long standing football series with Army, Navy,
Pitt and UConn plus there is the basketball side of things. So they
would only be adding a VT and Maryland to their schedule and they can
keep playing USC, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana if they want to.
The ACC South would be everyone else currently in the conference not
named VT, BC or Maryland.
2. Let Notre Dame start their own ND network (maybe a joint venture
with NBC) and keep the revenues minus opponent fees for games on
the new NDN. The rest of the ACC can start their own separate TV and
3. The championship game is going to cover a heck of a lot of territory
but play the game in neutral site like Charlotte. I think it would draw
4. The 9 team divisions are perfect for putting together a football
schedule (8 conference games plus 3 or 4 OOC games) but it also
allows the divisions to go back to home and home scheduling of the
basketball teams. This will make Tobacco Road happy. Also, there
could be a ACC North versus ACC South tournament (like the ACC-Big
10 challenge) every year to kickoff the regular season.
5. The addition of the service academies will be a major plus. First,
both Army and Navy may get killed in football but they have huge
national followings in the Armed Forces. My dad who was enlisted
navy, loves Navy football even though he eventually went to college at
Illinois. He never misses a game. Many, many active and retired
armed forces personnel feel the same especially in the Washington DC
Metro area. If you doubt this, go look at the merchanise sales for the
Naval Academy and USMA.
It's also a public relations coup in that I think the public will appreciate
these two traditional schools being cared for by the conference. Not to
mention that they are long time opponents of ND which would make
them attractive as well.
6. Army, Navy, ND and Rutgers have great academic reputations.
UConn and Pitt won't hurt.
Why will this work? Because the ACC is not doing well in comparison
to the other conferences in performance and TV revenue. IThe plan is
good for football and basketball. Let the SEC or Big 10 deal with WV
and maybe Syracuse. I don't have time for either.
This will give the ACC a superconference for football and basketball that
can demand top dollar from a number of networks. Notre Dame will pull
an unequal share but if that's what it takes them to get them to join
then the ACC should do it. They are the linchpin for the whole plan.
If the ACC wants to bust this thing open, get Notre Dame and go to 18
teams. Sometimes crazy does work.