Goodbye ACC, it's been real...
I'm not one for armageddon stories. I don't follow the Mayan calendar. I don't pay attention to each year's "next flu virus" that is supposed to wipe out a significant portion of the population. While there may be some truth to each of these, it is always more subtle then the actual event. Therefore, you shouldn't believe when people say the ACC is over. There will be an ACC, but just nothing like it has been or is now.
Yes, I'm not oblivious to the fact that football rules all and that all the previous movements around college football have been based on that. But if you look at all the previous moves, besides being based on football... schools weren't really giving up much to get what they wanted. Besides new travel and breaking old ties what did these schools give up... Neb, A&M, Mizzu, Col, Utah, WVU, Pitt, Cuse, Boise, SDst and others? All schools moved to benefit in football but no school put their college/univ in a worse position than they already were in. You could argue that each of these moves put the school in an equal or better setting, outside of football.
When FloridaSt, Clemson and who else leave, it will be just that. Football decision like the rest of realignment? Yes. Outside of football, the school joins a setting equal to or better than current situation? No. I always knew football was powerful, but I never believed a "school" would ever seriously consider making a decision that makes its academic growth more difficult or less likely, in favor of football and more athletic money. But, here we are.
Other sources have said that current vote by Big12 schools on expanding: 4 schools ok with it, 4 on fence, 1 pushing hard for it, 1 against it.
Today's news broke that TCU AD actually accidently said that FSU, Clemson AND Miami have been in conversation and are trying to enter the Big12.
Besides this, more and more news continues to surface to support this. It is happening. Goodbye FSU and Clemson. Current ACC football schools GT, Miami and VT know they cannot wait this out and will begin looking elsewhere (even though Miami just said they were happy, but this changes everything). Suddenly the Big12 grabs 3 ACC school and Louisville and the ACC becomes the hunted.
The SEC commissioner even came out and boldly said that they could grab two teams immediately and all that it would take is 2 phone calls... one to VT and one to NCst.
So by the end of July here is where things could stand (at least):
PAC-12 (12 teams)
BIG 12 (14 teams)
SEC (16 teams)
BIG 10 (12 teams)
N. Carolina St*
*Realize that their first call is actually to UNC, and if you think that they wouldn't seriously consider this then you're living in the past. Yes, they have obvious, grand ties to Duke and the conference but you'll see where their loyalty lies when the falling dominos reach their doorsteps
The really crazy thing about all this is that it won't even stop there. Why... because there are still ACC and other schools that remain of significant value. Big12 still has 2 spots to get to the magic number of 16 and now they all but have a eastern division so they may not be done. The B1G acts like they are perfect already but there's a ton of value to get on the east coast before a rival conference swallows it up.
These teams will definitely find a home in the big 4 (where exactly, Im not sure):
- Notre Dame, GT, UNC, Pitt
These teams have a shot at landing somewhere:
- BC, MD, Rutgers, UVA, Duke, BYU
I suggest reading this...Makes TV market and fan base = team's potential worth
You may have seen this back in September. Obviously, the study isn't perfect but it gives something to at least look at. There are obvious teams that are overvalued and undervalued. (Not using this to make a point but shows why certain schools who look inferior would be chosen over another because of a market)
So is there anything at all the ACC can do to stop this or most of it?
I don't know really. But what ticks me off about this situation is that the ACC appears to look at themselves as too good to be desperate and do what's necessary. It's obvious from the statements of the ACC schools that have been linked to all this change. Based on reading countless articles on interviews with figures from these schools, here is my summary of what they are saying on this topic:
FSU- "The ACC is getting left behind in football relevance and money... and we need both"
Clemson- "Football drives everything so the ACC needs to change the way they make decisions"
GT- "This is a business, and the ACC is simply being outcompeted. And I don't mean the players on the field. The people of the ACC need to be more aggressive."
VT- "Why do some girlfriends threaten to leave their boyfriends, instead of just leaving?... Because their first thought is that if their boyfriend could just change, they'd rather stay."
Believe me, as much as I think we may be doomed, this is not set in stone. The ACC can act. And based on what schools are saying, it looks as if they are giving the ACC one last chance to change. FSU is not leaving because they need an extra 2.5 million dollars this year. They are leaving because they feel there is nothing in place in the ACC to make them believe they'll be able to grow as an athletic program without seeing more red numbers at the end of each year. Clemson, besides following FSU's lead, really wants to see the ACC commit to decisions based on football, because that's the driving force of college athletics. It's not as the ACC has been idle for 20 years and have been overrun. The ACC has poached from the Big East numerous times and managed to secure the entire eastern seaboard. There is ambition there but none recently that directly positions the ACC in a better spot among college football. GT mentions that we can't go about these things passively. If the ACC is going to make changes, make them quickly. If the Big10 or SEC is so great then extend your hand and create tangible associations. You like the B1G/ACC basketball challenge? How about it for football then too? Each year our teams are paired up and the games are spread out from a Thursday night to Saturday night in one week.
So how can the ACC satisfy all these requests?
GO OUT TO SOUTHBEND AND DO NOT RETURN UNTIL YOU HAVE THE IRISH!
Why this will satisfy our current members and prevent them from leaving?
- Brings instant relevance and money to the conference
- Decision based solely on football that just so happens benefits other areas
- Admitting them will create an instant change in how the ACC operates football, and it will be for the better (explained below)
For all you naysayers out there... this isn't impossible:
Why Notre Dame doesn't want to join a conference?
- Keep own NBC deal worth 15 million a season
- No conference schedule
- Allowing for kept rivalries and expansive scheduling
- National Alumni displeased
- Playing and exposure to important national locals
- No sharing of bowl money
What the ACC should offer Notre Dame to have them accept full-membership...
- ND can keep TV revenue rights to non-conference football games
- ND gets 17million for being a conference member (will go up too with them joining and in 5 years once conference is stronger)
- ND has an opportunity to make another 4-6 million off non-conference games.
- All other sports fall under normal ACC tv contract
- ACC expands but keeps conference play to 8 games
- That is 4 possible non-conference games
§ ND has opportunity to keep up rivalries (Navy, USC, B1G teams)
- ND placed in ACC division that maximizes areas important to ND alumni
- Stretches east coast
- Midwest is served by ND home games and nonconference B1G matchup
- SoCal is served by keeping annual rivalry with USC
- ACC changes to weighted bowl revenue sharing
- Teams who go to bowls are given larger cut of revenue... instead of equal revenue sharing.
Some of you might say, "You can't give Notre Dame special privileges"... Well they are only technically getting one (non conference game revenue). But yes you can when it means a program like this associating with you. Keeping conference schedule to 8 games is great because it maximizes opportunities to schedule more games with the "top" conferences and gives greater flexibility. The reason why Notre Dame can't join better football leagues such as the B1G or Big12 is because they wouldn't be able to play on the east coast. Alumni are emphatic about this. They must have regular games up and down the Atlantic and the ACC can actually provide that with conference play.
So who knows what will happen over the next 2 months but I believe there is still hope for the ACC if it's willing to fight for it. Who's with me?