Adios, Maryland football, and your wacky jerseys, eventually. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
Well, that escalated quickly.
- The buzz on Twitter is already UConn as the replacement. Initial reaction is “meh,” but maybe it’s a better option than ya think. Ideally, John Swofford would back up the Brinks truck to South Bend and fast-track the whole Notre Dame as full member thing (it is a thing, right?). Or grab Louisville – I like that move from a football standpoint. Oh well, UConn brings another basketball power, and I saw them come into Clemson and pull out a baseball regional a couple years ago. Football? Yeah, about that, but they did make the Fiesta Bowl not long ago (under Randy Edsall no less!).
- Well, now CBS is reporting a whole host of Big East teams in “talks” with the ACC, with UConn and Louisville the “clubhouse leaders.” (Please be Louisville)
- Oh, and now I’m sure it’s open season again for the Big 12 expansion sites/Twitter accounts. Good for them, I wondered how they were doing.
Will Dabo's Tigers fit into the SEC's plans? (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
This is a big season for the ACC.
I know it. You know it. John Swofford knows it.
Here’s the questions facing the conference going into camp…
1) Will this 12-team version of the ACC last much longer?
You’ve seen the rumors. Texas A&M to the S-E-C, which begs the question – if the Southeastern Conference adds them, who’s coming with them?
FSU? Clemson? Virginia Tech? Georgia Tech? Miami? Or possibly even, a team not from the ACC?
It’s hilarious (and understandable) when these rumors surface, every ACC team’s fanbase involved starts to make their case for their SEC-worthiness over the rest.
Call me crazy, but after what I saw last year, ESPN stepping in and holding off the PAC-12 super conference…the SEC standing pat…the Big XII becoming Texas and everybody else (the reason why Texas A&M is unhappy) – I don’t think anybody’s leaving.
Gobbler Country hinted to why the Hokies might stay here, and I think the story is similar at a couple more schools in question.
But we’re dealing with a lot of hypotheticals here.
Just how aggressive is SEC intending on being? If they’re going 14-teams, do they even look the ACC’s way? Maybe grab OU with A&M to sack the Big XII.
Obviously, if it’s 16 – the ACC has to factor in there somewhere.
But make no mistake – the more expansion spins out of control – the worse it gets for the conference.
I don’t think the ACC will just be able to pluck their favorite Big East teams and move on if the SEC takes 2-4 teams for 16.
And you have Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Georgia Tech that might be appetizing for the Big Ten in their efforts to match the SEC.
AND, apparently, the Big East could raid a few teams from the Big XII.
You seeing the picture here? No great plans for the ACC to be proactive in this mess.
Not. Good. At. All.
Basically, the ACC either needs to be proactive, or do a heck of sell job to keep all 12 in line – like they did last year.
(Side note: If I’m the SEC, and I’m gonna go ahead and pluck Texas A&M – I’d take FSU, Virginia Tech and Clemson to really decimate the regional rival ACC’s football product. Hope it doesn’t happen, but if I was in charge, that’s what I’d do. Going from message board to message board, the scenarios being thrown around change by the team. With Virginia Tech, Virginia seems to be seen as a two-team deal with them, which I don’t get…since they weren’t in the same conference for awhile. With Clemson and FSU, apparently, their rivals SC and UF will attempt to block a move to the SEC. It’s just a tangled mess.).
2) Actual 2011 football talk – is this the year the ACC finally lands two BCS-bowl teams?
I think so, with wavering confidence.
It’s not exactly a bet I’d take to Vegas, but the schedule is friendly to Virginia Tech for a 11+ win season – and I’m projecting FSU as the ACC champ so there’s your other BCS-bowl slot.
Like we addressed the other day, the Hokies shoring up the offensive line will be key to any run they make this season, and on that o-line, rests the ACC’s shot at two bids.
3) More actual 2011 football talk – how many top 25 teams will the ACC end up with?
After fielding five preseason AP top-25 teams last season, the conference finished with four (Virginia Tech, FSU, Maryland and NC State).
This year, the ACC put two – count ‘em – two in the preseason top-25 with favorites FSU and Virginia Tech.
My money is on three – FSU, Virginia Tech and pick a team from NC State, Miami and UNC. If it’s a down year for a couple of conferences, two or maybe all three slip in the back of the poll.
Since you probably only read the expansion part – thoughts?
The SEC expansion further into ACC country has ACC blogs all over the map on it.
New segment with the new site here — basically a linkfest, but with quotes pulled from the blogs to give the flavor of each post. There are only like a 10000000000000 posts on expansion so here’s a good one to kick it off…
Blogger So Dear preps for an SEC raid with the ACC’s plan for expansion:
Here’s what I think everything will look like when it’s all said and done:
ACC (12 teams)
South Florida/Louisville (wild card 12th spot)
If we decide to go the 16 team route then toss in WVA, Pitt, Louisville and a wildcard.
The ACC will become a primary basketball conference with a secondary look on football.
Clemson, FSU, Miami, and GT will move to the SEC because of the natural footprints, rivals, and SEC outlook on things (football first, basketball 2nd if not 3rd behind baseball).
I see both sides to Swofford’s decision to not allow teams in the ACC to be in it if they do not bring football and basketball, but G-Town and Villanova both are better academic schools than WVU (obviously, as is every other school in the country). <Read the rest of the scenarios here>
The Key Play wants Virginia Tech to make the jump to the SEC if offered:
Being a member of the SEC, the premier college football conference, would provide more national and regional television exposure (CBS, ESPN, ABC broadcasts), increased recruiting clout and revenue (dump trucks full of money). Critics will argue that our 10 wins in the ACC equate to 7 wins in the SEC. Sure, an ACC school winning 10 games against a SEC schedule is daunting, but I think it’s obtainable once we’re on an even playing field. As a member of the SEC we’d commit ourselves to a higher level of excellence under a greater pressure to succeed… <Read More>
Gobbler Country is skeptical about the SEC making an offer to Virginia Tech:
But while Joe and other Virginia Tech fans remain optimistic that Cool Hand Slive will eventually knock on Jim Weaver’s door, I am not. It’s been argued that Virginia Tech helps deliver a new media market for the SEC in Washington, DC. I don’t think the Hokies deliver DC any more than Virginia or Maryland does or any more than Rutgers delivers NYC. None of them do because those are pro sports towns that really don’t care that much about college sports.
…Virginia Tech does fit into the SEC culturally, as a few mainstream media folks are quick to point out. But that’s about the only way it fits. At the end of the day, the having the Hokies as part of an expanded SEC just means God’s Conference would have to cut its pie into 16 slices instead of 12. And while the idea of expansion may have already been worked into the SEC’s lucrative TV deal, I still think it would mean less money per team, something none of them will probably be willing to sign off on. <Check out the rest>
From the Rumble Seat discusses the economic impact on the GT superfan making the trips to the Yellow Jackets road games:
So let’s look at a greener model in which Tech has joined the SEC-East. The following chart shows my system in which Tech still maintains an 8 game conference slate of all SEC-East teams (something Yakub2 and myself have been debating about the 16 team conference). Our 8 game SEC-East slate would only have one insane road trip (Miami) and 6 teams closer than every single current ACC opponent besides Clemson and Wake.
…All of sudden our average drive time for road trips drops from 6 hours to 3.5 hours. We’d be burning only 10,200 gallons of gas/weekend trip (a 42% reduction). That means the Tech collective could be spending almost 18 grand more PER WEEKEND on more important aspects of the tailgate. <Whole blog here>
Great stuff all around on expansion. The ACC is in a peculier situation for sure — look for a new post on Southern Pigskin from me today or tomorrow on the SEC vs. ACC expansion and the role ESPN may play.