With a change in the ACC map, is coming even more that aren't sitting well with some ACC fans (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com).
Boom – the ACC is going to a 9-game football conference schedule when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join on a date TBD.
It’s an interesting move, following in the footsteps of the PAC-12, and in the end, it’s probably the right one.
If you’re adding teams, adding conference games makes sense – cutting the OOC down to three games.
Obviously, it’ll limit the amount of prime non-conference games, but let’s be honest, that can only help the ACC.
I’ve said for a while that Syracuse to the Atlantic and Pitt to the Coastal makes the most sense. The Orange rekindles the yearly matchup with regional neighbor Boston College, and plays Pitt in cross-divisional action.
It appears that was the main idea from what commish John Swofford told David Teel of the Daily Press:
Swofford said the “overriding factors” in the division assignments were keeping Virginia Tech and Boston College as partners, and rekindling the Boston College-Syracuse and Virginia Tech-Pitt rivalries that waned when the Hokies and Eagles left the Big East for the ACC.
In my estimation, there just wasn’t a way to feasibly blow up the divisional structure and piece it back together North-South or otherwise. They made the right call here.
The other main point of contention from the ACC announcement was the structure of the new 18-game basketball conference schedule, having just one guaranteed home-and-home series and a 14-team ACC Tourney. From the release:
The scheduling model will be based on a three-year cycle during which teams will play every league opponent at least once with the primary partners playing home and away annually while the other 12 rotate in groups of four: one year both home and away; one year at home only; and one year away only. Over the course of the three-year cycle primary partners play a total of six times and all other conference opponents play four times.
This is where most folks are freaking out, mostly in one particular state. How else can you really do it when throwing the ‘Cuse and Pitt into the mix? It’s not Tobacco Road-friendly from a historical standpoint, but there’s 10 other conference schools now.
From Teel again, Swofford says the new basketball-schedule style passed with majority support:
“The (basketball) coaches were very supportive of the one-partner scheduling,” Swofford said, “and as it turned out, so were the athletic directors.”
So, the plan is finally in place – when does this all go down? Looks like we’re not any closer to knowing.
From CBS’ Brett McMurphy…
ACC commissioner John Swofford wouldn’t speculate on Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC before 2014. “First of all, (that decision) is between Pitt and Syracuse and the Big East,” Swofford said.
However, if the Panthers and Orange can leave before 2014, the ACC will be ready.
“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”
The Big East won’t really still hold Pitt and Syracuse until 2014, right? (Right??) Who knows, but it’s not happening in 2012, and beyond that, the courts and whatever precedent West Virginia sets in its departure to Big XII will determine if there can be epic clashes like Clemson-Syracuse in 2013.
The sooner this will all go down the better, but probably by then, the ACC will get raided or add 10 more teams just to mess with us.
John Swofford, the ninja commish. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
What a couple days, huh?
A lot of thoughts here, but first, here’s a quick Twitter recap of the highlights of the teleconference…
- @TerpsInsider: Swofford: This is indeed a monumental day in the history of our league.
- @ACCSports: Cuse chancellor – “We’re excited to be able to bring ACC games to New York.”
- @TerpsInsider: Swofford says process was completed early Saturday morning.
- @cnpatterson3: Swofford: “We have been quietly active” for the last year and a half. #NinjaCommish
- @CavsJournal: Swofford says ACC’s Four-Four-Four Committee met Tues, which ignited the rapid process of gaining Pitt and Cuse as members.
- @TerpsInsider: Said 4-4-4 committee recommended expansion to 14 “at this point.”
- @ACCSports: We had had double digit schools that had reached out to us, inquiring and asking to be considered …” – Swofford
- @ACCSports: Swofford – ACC had planned to stay at 12 “This week is when that shifted.”
- @CavsJournal: Swofford says the ACC’s expansion to 14 isn’t a reaction to moves or potential moves by other conferences. Yeah right.
Timeline for Syracuse and Pitt inclusion
- @DerekMedlin: Swofford says the ACC will fully respect the bylaws of the Big East regarding when Syracuse and Pitt will join the league.
- @DavidTeelatDP: #ACC doesn’t know when Pitt and Cuse will join. Big East bylaws reportedly say 27 months. to WD. Bank on negotiations …
Big East TV deal rejection reports
Further expansion, new divisions and Texas
- @1360WCHL: Swofford: “We’re very comfortable with 14 (teams), but we’re not philosophically opposed to 16″ in the ACC.
- @DerekMedlin No serious discussions about how divisions will be broken down. Swofford says it will be “one of the first” things addressed
- @TerpsInsider: Swofford: Additions allow ACC to re-open TV negotiations with ESPN.
- @ACCSports: Swofford “can’t discuss any institution of a specific nature realted to discussion with us.” in response to Texas question
- @ACCSports: Swofford “In the Atlantic Coast conf equal revenue sharing is sacred … I do not see that changing.” So much for LHN.
MSG for ACC Tournament possible
- @DavidTeelatDP: Swofford says #ACC open to holding hoops tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Raising exit fee and confidence through expansion rumors
- @DerekMedlin: Swofford said the increase in ACC exit fee is a “show of solidarity and confidence in each other.”
- @ACCSports: Swofford says wasn’t really worried about losing schools “We’ve got a pretty cohesive league.’
- @ACCSports: “That’s not something that I’ve lost sleep about.” Swofford on threat of losing an ACC school
- @ACCSports: Swofford confirms that exit fee is “right around 20 million.”
- @D1scourse: Swofford “quite confident” that all 14 teams “will not only be whole but beyond whole financially in terms of television.”
Well, there you have it. Swofford says after a year plus of being “quietly active” – he pulled the trigger on expanding this week.
How much of that you believe is up to you, but it’s hard not to be skeptical.
A Few Thoughts
- First off, I like the move – if not for anything but it’s something. Syracuse and Pittsburgh aren’t the flashy big-football-school names, but they will add something to the ACC. What we’re looking at here is money move. The ACC gets to renegotiate their deal now with the NY and PA markets included. And I wouldn’t get hung-up on how good their football product is now. This isn’t a move for the next five years – these conferences are building for the supposed superconference age, and once that’s reached – the swapping conferences movement should slow down. For all we know, Syracuse could be a national power in football in 20 years.
- Back to the it’s something point, remember back to last year? Around half the ACC was rumored to be going to this or that conference…now, with a proactive move, that seems unlikely. The money is a big deal, but John Swofford also ensured the conference wouldn’t be fractured and looking for replacements. Now, the ACC is on the frontlines of this expansion movement.
- But now, what’s next? There’s no divisions set nor do we know when Pitt and Syracuse will actually join, which opens the door for the ACC to add more teams if everybody goes 16. Before this move, the SEC seemed to be just fine just adding Texas A&M and somebody else. What now? Will the Big 10 and PAC-12 add more? The ACC has made the first step and let the dominoes fall – I like that.
- Texas. With the sacredness of equal revenue sharing talked about in the teleconference, the Longhorns and their network appear to be a worse fit for the ACC than previously speculated. Was nice while it lasted.
- Not a big fan of UConn and Rutgers as the proposed 15 and 16. If the conference climate stays around 14 teams, I wouldn’t be the first to go 16 with those teams.
Thoughts on the move?
The ACC roundtable is back, just in time for game week one.
Hitting the top questions facing the ACC preseason – BC Interruption is hosting the ACC Roundtable this week and will have a wrap from all the bloggers involved on Thursday/Friday. My answers…
1. Most ACC programs are hitting the snooze button for the first two weeks of the season before hosting four preseason top 25 programs in week 3 — #1 Oklahoma, #18 Ohio State, #23 Auburn and #24 West Virginia. How’s week 3 in the ACC go down? Can the conference win a majority of those four high-profile games on Sept. 17?
Can’t we just focus on not losing to App. State or Troy or William & Mary first? No? Ok, well, winning the majority looks less likely with Miami’s recent turn of fortune. Preseason, I projected wins for Miami, Clemson and West Virginia in those games – now, I’m leaning more to a split, but FSU could come up big and take out Oklahoma too. It’s not a question of is the ACC able to pull off the majority of those games – it’s “Will they?” And I’m going with a split.
2. What’s the one game on the schedule that your respective fan bases have circled on this year’s sched? (Conference-wide bloggers — what are the handful of can’t miss games on the regular season sched?).
FSU-Oklahoma – HUGE game for the conference, but every out of conference game, from Auburn to Western Carolina, is big for an ACC that just hasn’t performed OOC. An FSU win against a likely No. 1 Sooners team will do wonders for the ACC’s standing in the conference landscape, but another James Madison or Richmond will just cut it back down.
3. Name one ACC program that’s not Florida State or Virginia Tech that has a legitimate shot at winning this year’s ACC football title. Your ACC’s football champion dark horse is:
It’s tough to narrow down just one out of a pretty unspectacular crew past the top two, but I’ll stick with UNC, a team I projected to win 10 games before they toppled the Butch Davis regime. They still have to go to Virginia Tech on a Thursday, but like ’09 when they won at Lane Stadium, the Heels take the trip to Blacksburg after the Hokies play Georgia Tech.
4. It’s been an offseason to forget with major NCAA infractions / investigations into the North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Miami programs. Can the conference as a whole move forward from this whole mess? How do you expect this all to shake out?
Yes…until the next scandal. We’re all at the mercy of Yahoo! and the NCAA at this point.
Georgia Tech will be fine – they need to be more worried about finding the next Josh Nesbitt and Demaryius Thomas.
UNC has their punishment coming down midseason, and where that program goes is partly from the ruling and also if the higher-ups in Chapel Hill keep Tar Heels’ football on the frontburner. The timing of the Butch Davis firing doesn’t exactly have me optimistic for the future of North Carolina football.
Miami, oh Miami, we have a lot sorting out to do before we know what exactly happens there. Doesn’t look good though.
5. You can also add conference realignment rumors to the 2011 offseason to forget. With A&M set to divorce the Big 12 and move to the SEC, rumors swirl about a 14th program coming from the ACC. Now’s the time to pledge your allegiance to John Swofford and the ACC. Or don’t. Either way, tell us what you think the endgame is for the next round of conference musical chairs.
I’m leaning towards less movement than more, and quite likely that the current ACC holds. Something has changed – it appears the conference commissioners are doing some backroom dealin’ to keep each other alive.
Texas A&M is headed to the SEC, which means somebody has to fill that 14th slot. If the SEC is staying out of current markets (i.e. SC, FL & GA), Virginia Tech makes a lot of sense, but it’s not as easy as with Texas A&M. The Hokies are happy in the ACC – they win – they dominate in football. They fit well in the conference. If the SEC does wish to pluck Virginia Tech, they’ll have to go full-court press, a far different strategy than with Texas A&M so far.
Their best bet is just moving the conference West with another Big XII team and moving the Bama schools to the SEC East.
6. Last one, and recycled from last year. a) What do you expect out of your team, b) What kind of season would keep you content and happy, c) What kind of season would be a disappointment?
This could be a special season for the ACC. If Virginia Tech and FSU are as good as advertised, the conference could get two BCS bowl bids for the first time. What I expect and what I’d be content and happy with are the same – an improved out of conference record and a BCS bowl win. Anything less is a disappointment.