The TV deal they have is so good, they have absolutely no reason to join a conference in football.
I wouldn't mind trading FSU for Vanderbilt, not so much for the athletic program, although it has improved greatly over the last several years, but for the academic prestige it would bring. It will never happen though.
I think that every year there should be a pre-season basketball tournament...call it the SAT Tourney and it should consist of Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt, and a rotation of 3 IVY league schools.
SOmeone earlier mentioned money, and I'd like to see the numbers for both the ACC and the Big East, because likely the big east basketball money has skyrocketed in recent years (not to mention the big est has gotten such a huge slice of the ncaa tournament pie)....but I think a lot of the ACC football money is driven by teams like FSU and Clemson, and if they were gone, and we added Cuse and Uconn instead, I highly doubt ESPN or whomever would be willing to dish out as many gobs of money as they currently do.
TLDNR: I think while the ACC would certainly gain in basketball from these two additions, it doesn't really make sense for football, and there doesn't seem to be much gain for Uconn and Syracuse, or at least not enough to justify their bailing on the big east.
But if you make a stable conference with competitive and likeminded schools you are bound to get good results. I would go to watch a Syracuse -Duke football game rather than say a Duke-VT game because I think that there is a bit of a rivalry there. That's what keeps the fans interested IMO. And when the fans show I think it helps get recruits and build good programs.
I think there is a few important things to remember when discussing media markets and conference revenues. Being "in" a specific media market only really matters for cable rights fees for a conference network that won't be carried nationally on a standard cable package. To a lesser extent, it will also matter for airing games not picked up nationally on local channels (those SEC and Big East games that are conference branded, but use the ESPN graphics package). The local games, however, only matter to the extent that the generate ratings. As a money making entity, I think a school like Rutgers is terribly overrated. Sure, they technically lie within the New York market, but that doesn't mean that a company like Cablevision would be forced to put a conference network on the standard package within the city limits or out on Long Island when there is only legit demand for it in North Jersey. Most of the time, the TV rights fees are going to be based on what ESPN or FSN can expect to make by airing games nationally. In this sense, how much money a team brings to a conference with no established cable network is only determined by what it can bring as far as new marketable match-ups. This is likely determined mostly by quality (better games get better ratings) and rivalries (rivalry games will usually get better rating with all other things being equal).
Going back to the immediate future, this is why I'm a bit skeptical that the SEC would jump on Texas A&M, unless they have someone like FSU already lined up. Texas A&M has put a pretty mediocre product on the field for years, and will lose its marketable rivalries by making this jump. Furthermore, A&M is unlikely to develop any marketable rivalries with current SEC schools as they are pretty far geographically, and they won't suddenly be involved in a bunch of top 10 match-ups given its shaky football past.
as for FSU, I try to forget them all the time.
Trinity '97, Tent #1 '97
Once upon a time, A&M and Arkansas were rivals - not like Arkansas-Texas or Texas-TX A&M, certainly, but rivals nonetheless. The Arkansas-LSU rivalry was really generated when Arkansas joined the SEC. Given time, new rivalries will develop, or old ones will be renewed. If Mizzou is really one of the target teams, then promoted rivalries could shift from AR-LSU to LSU-A&M and AR-Mizzou.
ETA: With regard to the strength of A&M's football program, I think a move to the SEC would help them. Arkansas gets a lot of recruits out of the state of Texas who want to play in the SEC. A change in conferences could actually help A&M in recruiting. YMMV.
The SEC says, "thanks for the offer, but we are just fine at 12" to TxA&M.
Thus ends the latest round of conference realignment insanity - not with a bang, but with a whimper.
-Jason "glad to keep Clemson in the family-- the road trip to Littlejohn is a fun one" Evans
Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk
A&M is, predictably, blaming all of this on ESPN and Texas, but they only have themselves to blame. Best quote of the week by Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle:
"Aggies live off a regular diet of an embarrassing inferiority complex and an irrational superiority complex."
The one lesson we should all learn from all of this is a reminder that quoting Doug Gottlieb as a source makes as much sense as quoting an anonymous message board post as a source.
In my defense, further, I will protest that, had the football been more like this afternoon's Supercopa de Espana [another fierce classico between Barca and Real Madrid], I'd never have lowered my eyes.
So, to hell with mea culpa; I blame Aston Villa and Fulham. Given the turnover among European - worldwide, actually - football coaches, I suspect Doug Gottlieb will be named coach of either Villa or Fulham within a fortnight.