In our weekly chats, Mike and I discuss different topics pertaining to ACC football and then post the conversation up here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.
This week’s topic: Everyone’s favorite — conference realignment!
Mike: I agree. No matter what anyone says, conferences are still based heavily on geography. That’s why I’ve always said that Notre Dame belongs in the Big Ten. The SEC for Clemson and FSU could make sense.
J: Agreed. So are we now agreeing that money’s most important? And if so, how much of it would it take for FSU and Clemson to leave sure shots at a BCS game and regional rivalries for a tougher road and slightly more money in the Big 12?
M: I don’t know. Longer distances between games means more jet lag and tougher matches, which could result in more losses, etc. And less time to study (hahaha). The money would have to be pretty good.
J: Yeah. And I’m unsure if the amount of money a league focused on that states of Texas and Oklahoma would get by adding the state of Florida and South Carolina’s second-most popular teams would definitely make the TV deal THAT much larger than what the ACC will have with Boston, New York, Washington, Charlotte, Raleigh, Pittsburgh and Atlanta all under its umbrella.
M: Good point.
J: Thanks! So I know we touch on this topic every so often, but whether or not those two teams depart, who are the top targets for ACC expansion, should the league have to jump to 16 (or re-jump to 14)?
J: I’m gonna say no to ECU and ‘Nova, just because I don’t think they provide any football value whatsoever. Do you think Notre Dame’s just too much of a long shot?
M: Yes. No way they join the ACC, they have a good thing going being Independent.
J: Ok, but what if the Big East is no longer a suitable home for olympic sports? I doubt any other league will tolerate the “everything but football” arrangement they currently enjoy.
M: Good point, but if they join a conference, it’ll be the Big 10. Geographically close, they can still play Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, etc. And they can do a round-robin type thing with BC, service academies, and still play USC every year
J: Well I think that’s the other growing issue for Notre Dame. Most leagues are going to 9-game conference slates, leaving just three games open. Going to be difficult regardless of where teams land to keep up long-time series. Also, as far as the B1G, you don’t think the Irish have more in common with ACC schools? The ACC has five private univiersities already (counting SU), and its academic standing is miles above every other conferenece’s — keeping in line with Notre Dame’s desired stature. The B1G is almost entirely land-grant U’s too, save Northwestern.
M: Meh, I suppose it could work, they just come across as more of a Big 10-type school, apart from them being private. Located in the midwest, traditional football power, old-school football, crazy fans, lot of haters, etc.
J: Fair. Back to the other ACC expansion candidates — I think if ND’s off the table, it’s UConn, then Rutgers. That said, I’d be willing to listen to arguments for Louisville and I’d prefer West Virginia over all of them, academics be damned. Yourself?
M: WVU would be good for the sports. I’d say then it’s a toss-up between Louisville and UConn (as much as I hate them).
J: And Jersey State’s a non-factor, right?
J: Haha… alright, so we’ll finish up with this bigger-picture story — if we’re definitely staring at a future with superconferences, what’s the setup of a 16-team ACC? Pods? Or two divisions of eight apiece?
M: Well four divisions could make for an interesting conference championship scenario, even though I hate conference championship games.
J: Right. If we’re going that route, I say match 1 v. 4 and 2 v. 3 in the pod scenario. Winners play for conference title. So either eliminate one reg. season game, or accept the fact that college FB’s headed to 15-game seasons.
M: Could be cool, but every conference would have to do it.
J: Right. It could happen, I think. Have 8 leagues of 16 teams (128 schools). We’re almost at the total number.
M: Good chat. And it does seem like superconferences are in the future. I just wonder what will happen to schools without football, i.e. DePaul.
J: Nothing. Or Big East, which is effectively nothing? Or the A-10. Then I’m just curious if a Blue Demons football team also beats their basketball team (in basketball).
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