Forgive me for my bluntness but all this conference talk is a bunch of @#$%. Conferences should include schools with like philosophies, schools that are close geographically, similar academics and sports. Especially in this day and time when money is so hard to come by. Instead we're trying to push for 4 mega conferences of 16 spread out all over the country and as much alike as apples and oranges, sure they're both fruit but they taste completely different.
I don't know all the ins and outs, don't even know how many schools there are total this year or how many conferences there are, but things would be alot better if conferences were limited to 8 teams. I know you have to have 12 for a championship, so change the rules for God's sake. The NCAA seems to be slitting their own throats here. If NASCAR can see the benefits of limiting teams, testing, etc. to help out the economic situation...what does it say for the NCAA that they can't figure this out.
Again I say this is all ridiculous. Rush to 16, split into divisions, and everyone is back where they started. Just freaking stupid. It's not wonder we can't fix this country, we can't even fix our college sports!
Second, the NCAA might do something about it if they had any authority. They don't. The NCAA is close to irrelevant to the conference realignment conversation. Conferences and schools have agreed to abide by the NCAA's rules collectively, but rules governing how many teams can be in a conference, whether a conference can jump ship, or whether Mark Cuban can pay $100M each to Texas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, USC, Oregon, Alabama and Michigan to create their own super death star conference don't exist. And there isn't any quasi-governmental body or anything to create those rules either.If you enjoy game theorizing this stuff and speculation, join in. If you think this rampant speculation is stupid and a waste of time, I hear you through your silence. No need to respond to the post.
The 16 team super conferences start to lose their meaning if you get down to trying to schedule games.
Lets look at football. Conference BE has an east and west division of 8 teams each. You have 12 games you are allowed to play besides a bowl game or national championship game. Hopefully one of those games is the championship for your conference or that might be game number 13. You also want to schedule 1 or 2 games against teams not in your conference but near you or near a concentration of your alumni to make some money. One or 2 games against top teams in another conference are also required if you want a chance of winning a national championship.
So you are down from 12 games to perhaps 8 or 9 game. You play everyone in your subconference and that is 7 more games and at least 2 against someone in the other part of your subconference. If you rotate the other subconference games each year by the end of 4 years you play everyone in your conference.
So how is this different than 8 team conferences with flexibility to play 5 nonconference games against whoever you want to play.
Moving to 16 team conferences seems like a panic decision that is going to come back to bite most while benefiting a few. I assume after this happens we'll expand the basketball tournament to 256 teams to "improve" the basketball side of things.
The only way I wouldn't absolutely hate having raid the Big East or Big 10 and take on teams like Rutgers or Cincinatti (ugh...) is if the league was divided into two fairly independent divisions (as discussed below).
I actually think it would be awesome if Miami and FSU left and the "ACC South" consisted of:
Basically, a good ol' Southern Conference reunion!
Except none of it has happened yet and much of it will not happen.
No way Carolina goes to the SEC. It would kill the important rivalries with nearby Duke and UNC. Don't forget that, especially in the case of Duke, the "rivalry/partnership" extends well beyond sports and into all kinds of academic arenas. Carolina and Duke are intertwined in ways neither school wants to endanger. And can you imagine the uproar from state officials (who control the UNC budget) if UNC left NC State out in the cold? Not gonna happen!
And anyone who says Duke would even think about joining the SEC is insane. The SEC would not want Duke. These conference moves are pretty much all about football and we have one of the worst football programs of any BCS school. The SEC wants no part of sending its teams to play in a partially empty 33,000 seat stadium for a team that has no TV presence.
-Jason "Duke and UNC ain't going anywhere apart from each other... unless the ACC becomes a major financial drain" Evans
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Let's see. UNC and its broader family are going through a catharsis brought upon by corruption in the football program. It was embarrassing to the administration, the Board and the faculty. A new AD will be hired to fix this mess. A new football coach will be brought in to win games while following the rules. Now how does going to the SEC, with its lack of emphasis on academics and its history of under-the-table payments, fit in with this picture? And who in the UNC leadership would support it?
At 10:25 this Sat morn, ESPN is news-scrolling that Texas A&M will join SEC, and that .... Clemson, FSU, and Missouri are "likely" to do so, too.
This is coming from the same group that said UNC was likely to join, and we all know that's not happening anytime soon.
Also, ACC rules require notification to withdrawal by Aug 15 to be effective by June 30th, so unless some heavy lifting is done this weekend, no school is leaving the ACC for 2 years.
I do think that at least one more school will be added. A 13 team conference presents problems an 11 team conference doesn't.
But I will add, if the SEC adds those four teams, schools like KU, OU and others are going to immediately start looking for soft landing spots because the BiG XII will be doomed.
Originally when I heard all of this alignment talks, I was a bit nervous that somehow Duke would be left out in the cold b/c it appears football drives all of this and basketball takes the back seat to all of this. And I will admit that I haven't really talked to anyone in the know about this topic as it applies to the ACC, but I am actually less nervous Duke will be left out of any alignment. For one, they have UNC and to a lesser extent NC State. I highly doubt these guys would want to break anything up in the Triangle b/c it appears they all help each other. Sure, some UK/UL fans say the once a year game means more to their rivalry but their game is early in the season and hardly has the implications other than a resume builder. A UNC/Duke game in December would not draw nearly the same appeal as a game in March with everyone set for the tourney to start. In addition, I don't think UNC is that blinded by football to join the SEC as it stands now.
Secondly, I think Duke's academics could help b/c at some point, I think you will have places like UNC or UVa and perhaps even Vandy (not sure how lucrative the SEC deal is for them) want to stay with schools who do value academics not only to increase their prestige as an academic institution but also so you don't have to deal with competing for recruits with the admission standards of some schools I won't name.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, when all of this alignment is happening (it sounds like 2015), Duke's football program should be pretty respectable. Sure they won't be amazing, but should be sitting on a few bowl games by then especially since Duke wont' be one of the first schools to move. So I'm sure Duke will land on their feet whether its in a smaller ACC or one of the power conferences. Not much talk about BC or Miami leaving and they both bring academics so you could get a team like Nova and let them in on the football aspect. Or if it goes to 4 major conferences, you'd have the Pac 12 taking some of the Big 12, the SEC taking some of the Big 12 or ACC, the Big Ten taking scraps of the Big 12 or some Big East teams perhaps w/ ND. Then you'd be left with the ACC/Big East combining at which point, I'm sure Duke would be one of the more appealing schools over someone like Wake Forest or Georgetown. I'm just not sure if they went to 16 team conferences, if a school's football program could survive going independent or in a smaller conference.
They seem convinced about the TX A&M part of the SEC story, and identify FSU, Clemson, and Missouri as additional SEC targets, with no particular indication at all of reciprocal interest (or lack of interest) from those three.
I'm wondering where the ACC would look for additional teams if such a move occurred?
Texas A&M to the SEC is not a done deal ... the Aggies WANT to make the jump, but ESPN sources say 30 to 40 percent chance the SEC presidents will vote not to offer.
Beyond that, NOBODY else is anything more than speculation.
Folks, all this expansion talk is about money. Granted, there is more money in football than basketball these days, but MONEY is driving this thing. The SEC's new TV deals give it the leverage to steal just about anybody it wants -- outside the Big Ten, which is even richer, and Texas-Notre Dame.
Two problems, however:
(1) How much does the SEC want to split the financial pie? When the ACC went from 9 to 12 teams, it was to get what John Swofford painted as a championship football game that would be a financial bonanza (it hasn't been). The SEC already has that. What financial gain to they get by expanding (and splitting the pie more ways)? Well, Texas A&M gives them a foothold in Texas and that's a big expansion of their TV market. That makes sense.
But what does FSU bring? The SEC already has Florida (which is like UNC, it has all the Wal-Mart fans in the state). Clemson is in a small market and besides the SEC already has South Carolina. A North Carolina school (UNC or NC State most likely) would make some sense, but Va Tech is a small market (one reason the ACC had to by forced into taking them). Frankly, if the SEC wants to go to 14, Missouri makes the most sense.
(2) There is an academic angle. Of all the major conferences the SEC has by far the worst academic reputation. That was a concern for the FSU faculty and administration in the early 1990s, when they were looking for a conference to join. Their faculty voted overwhelmingly to reject an offer to join the SEC (which took South Carolina instead) and to go to the ACC. That will be an even bigger issue if the NCAA does go through with its announced plans to crack down on academic non-performance. Schools that do have academic pretentions will think long and hard about allying themselves with the SEC, especially the presidents who are usually more academic types than boosters. A school like North Carolina, trying to escape the recent academic fallout of McAdoo/tutorgate/Swahili plagerism, is not likely to gamble its academic reputation on the move.
As for the ACC, if it did lose a member or two, it would have no trouble poaching a Big East school -- just as it did in 2004-05. Yeah, Big East basketball has been better than the ACC and the football performance of the two leagues is close, but what does that matter? The ACC is much more lucrative than the Big East ... in fact, the financial gap between the ACC and Big East is wider than the gap between the SEC and ACC. That's why Miami and BC jumped without hestitation and VPI used a shotgun (well, the governor of Virginia) to force its way into the league. Contrary to the note on the DBR front page, Syracuse did not turn down an ACC bid in 2004 ... they were rejected by the ACC presidents. They wanted in badly. They still do.
If -- and it's a big if -- the ACC loses a school or two, the question we have to answer is which Big East school we want to add. Personally, I think Pitt (a surprisingly good academic fit) is the best option. Forget the lure of Rutgers and the New York market (it doesn't exist for a New Jersey school that nobody in New York cares about). UConn is an academic nightmare -- closer to the SEC than the ACC. I guess Syracuse would be my second pick. It's in the middle of nowhere, but I know a great rib joint downtown!
I think A&M to the SEC is inevitable but you are right, it may not happen now. The Big XII is basically saying "GO!" at this point because they clearly dont want to be part of the conference. I agree with many that any conference with UT and OU with KU in basketball will be just fine.
If the SEC can't get a 14th team everyone is comfortable with I think they may not pull the trigger.... Yet. But I would definitely enjoy the schadenfreude if the SEC puts A&M off for now.
On the money side, Slive is really good at his job here. The CNS contract was so beyond market it was astonishing. I won't underestimate his ability to cut a better deal.