Gobbler Country’s post the other day got the wheels in my head turning on this — and the options left to the ACC just weren’t satisfying. I say — raid the SEC!
The SEC has peaked.
They’re not the uber-geniuses who control college athletics that we all thought (or admitted quietly) after the mega-ESPN TV deal — if they we were — they’d already have Texas in this expansion mania. They don’t, and aren’t getting them.
The SEC has peaked. They won’t get another deal like they have right now. They are losing in the conference-expansion-arms-race and are just as vulnerable as the ACC — we just don’t realize because of their perceived power.
If you follow sports contracts by TV or individual player/team in pro sports, it’s all about the next deal. The SEC is locked into their deal for their current 12 teams for the next 20+ years 14 years(as my SEC friends have pointed out). The ACC negotiated a 12-year deal. The ACC is at the advantage of being able to go the network of their choice first in the post-super-conference era of college football among the two.
If it is all indeed about money and not the actual athletics, why shouldn’t an SEC team want to jump to the ACC right now? Sure, they have to wait a little for their pay-off, but it would be a shorter wait than if the SEC raided the ACC.
The SEC’s perceived dominance is toast with the proposed Pac-16 out West and Big 16 in the Midwest. The ACC now has an opportunity to lock down the East Coast from the SEC by adding Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and a Big East team of choice whether West Viriginia, UConn, Syracuse, etc. By this raid, the ACC cripples the SEC in Florida and Georgia (two key recruiting battlegrounds) and takes a major player from the Big East to lock down the East Coast for the ACC.
Forget “natural rivals” — the ACC takes actual rivals with Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/Florida State, and Clemson/South Carolina — and possibly another one with Virginia Tech/West Virginia.
The ACC instantly becomes the foremost conference in football, boosts best conference status in basketball, and obviously is the premier college baseball conference with SC and Florida in the mix.
Big East Team of Choice(WVU, UConn, Syracuse, Pitt)
Looking at the Divisions… Put the big rivalries in the same division to ensure that we don’t have a rematch of the same game a week after rivalry week. I’m not sure anyone knows how divisions/schedules will work in this new era, but I presume you would drop an OOC game and play all 7 divisional teams + 2 cross-divisional opponents (one being a designated rival like the current deal). This style puts a huge emphasis on divisional play (which I like). This really balances the baseball-side of divisions as well with Florida and South Carolina to the Atlantic.
So should we go storm the SEC offices right now? Should the ACC stand pat at 12? Wait for the SEC to raid and end the Big East?