Rewriting Conference Realignment History

What if the Syracuse Orange Had Joined Rival Boston College in the ACC's First Round of Expansion?

What if Syracuse Had Joined Rival Boston College in the ACC’s First Round of Expansion?

If you’ve checked out today’s daily links, you’ve likely noticed the top story from, with regard to a little revisionist realignment history. The piece, “Syracuse is About to Join the ACC, But What if SU Had Made the Move 10 Years Ago?” enlists a variety of folks to take a look at what might have been if Syracuse had left the Big East for the ACC along with Boston College and Miami, as originally planned. It’s a very worthwhile read, though I did want to dive a bit deeper into some of the points, and bring up a few points of contention as well. Again, definitely enjoyed the article, but I do think some of the decisions seem to forget the timeline of all these things and the motivations of certain leagues, in particular. Taking a look at their timeline…

Move 1: Boston College, Miami and Syracuse depart Big East for ACC (2004)

No qualms here — obviously this is the decision that gets the ball rolling.

Move 2: Virginia Tech departs Big East for SEC (undetermined)

Unsure when this move takes place, but I’d venture to guess not immediately after the first round of expansion above. The further away from that point in time we get, I’d agree, the more likely this happens. Though I’d also bet that if it hadn’t happened by about 2010 or so, the Hokies end up in the ACC.

Move 3: Texas A&M departs Big 12 for SEC (2010)

This almost happened in real life, and would end up coming to fruition a year later anyway. No surprise here.

Move 4: Missouri departs Big 12 for Big Ten (2010)

… And here’s where I bring up an issue. The dominoes started falling in 2010 when the Big Ten announced they were searching for a 12th member. I’d bet that even in this revised timeline, that’s still the case, meaning they’d get to move first. Their target was always Nebraska, and despite multiple overtures by Missouri, the Big Ten’s continually said no. So I’d probably adjust this to reflect the Huskers heading up to the B1G, instead of the Tigers.

Move 5: Texas and Oklahoma depart Big 12 for Pac-10 (2010)

Here’s another one where I’m at least partially confused. We all remember the first version of “OMG Pac-16!!!” but this hypothetical seems to forget the rest of it. Texas and Oklahoma weren’t going anywhere without Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. And what the hell happens to Colorado here? We never find out. I’m fine with hypotheticals — this is a college football blog after all — but I think the real-life motivations need to be accounted for with these moves. It also ignores the inherent issue the Pac-10/12 has with Texas: the Longhorn Network.

Continue reading

Could a Scheduling Alliance Between the ACC, Big 12 and Notre Dame Truly Work?

Under Further Discussion: Is an Alliance Between Notre Dame, the ACC and Big 12 Viable?

Under Further Discussion: Is an Alliance Between Notre Dame, the ACC and Big 12 Viable?

Last week, our own Hokie Mark put together an article on his site, ACCFootballRx, taking a look at how a scheduling agreement between the ACC, Big 12 and Notre Dame could conceivably work out. While he does a great job of laying out the specifics, he and I also carried the conversation over to email afterward, to discuss the issue a bit more. In particular, we dove into Notre Dame’s willingness to participate, notes on television deals and West Virginia‘s desires in this proposed situation.

John: First and foremost, would Notre Dame want to partner with the Big 12 as a whole? I get the feeling they’d prefer to keep their primary opponents, five ACC teams and then have the flexibility to schedule the Big 12’s elite teams like Texas and Oklahoma.

Mark: I agree.  That’s why I said I think this would have to fall somewhere between “rotating through all of the teams” and “just play the made-for-TV matchups.” I could see Notre Dame giving the Big 12 a list of teams they’d agree to play, which might look like this: Texas, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. (They’d leave out Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and West Virginia, in my opinion).

That may not go over so well with the four left out, but consider this: (1) WVU is more interested in the ACC scheduling part anyway, so skipping Notre Dame is probably fine with them; (2) Kansas, K-State and Iowa State are just happy to be in a BCS/power conference; (3) at any rate, that creates a 6-4 vote in favor of the deal.

John: Doesn’t the Big 12 need a two-thirds majority for critical decisions? (I thought that was the case, anyway) I mostly agree with your assessments of teams, though I’m not sure Baylor gets lumped in with the other five. Also agree that KU, KSU and ISU are all off the table; plus there’s no way Notre Dame’s scheduling (former head coach) Charlie Weis any time soon.

What kind of impact could we potentially see in terms of television contracts? How much would Notre Dame’s go up by? And each conference’s deals? Would this also put FOX into the bidding (along with ESPN and NBC) for Notre Dame’s contract that expires after 2014?

Continue reading

Phil Steele’s 2012 ACC Football Strength of Schedule Rankings

Miami Has One of the ACC’s Strongest Schedules in 2012, Which Includes a Matchup with Notre Dame in Chicago

As part of his annual college football preview, Phil Steele‘s put together an overall ranking of every FBS team’s strength of schedule this year. Since we’re doing a little preview of our own over here for the 2012 ACC football season, it only seemed right that we took a look at the overall rankings for all 14 conference schools. First, your top 10:

1. Notre Dame

2. Mississippi

3. Iowa State

4. Michigan

5. Florida

6. Washington

7. Baylor

8. Texas A&M

9. Miami (FL)

10. Kentucky

So for every team that ends up on this list due to being mediocre team in a great conference (Ole Miss, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Baylor, Kentucky), there’s an equal amount that simply scheduled tougher, namely independent Notre Dame. It’s something to keep in mind as conference realignment talk continues to swirl, too. If they’re invited to the playoff party (they will be), it’s a tough sell to give up four games against top-15 opponents, and all 12 matchups on national television, too. Also in favor of the Irish remaining independent: just one ACC team in the top 10 (and one Miami’s opponents is Notre Dame). Continue reading

Conference Realignment: Which Side of the Argument Is Each Big 12 School On?

While It May Be Apparent How Texas Would Proceed, Where Does the Rest of the Big 12 Stand on Conference Realignment?

News yesterday was that the Big 12 was “content” with 10 members, maintaining its current alignment, with no championship game and a nice sum of money for everybody involved. But of course, there are all of those pesky rumors that this could all change once the playoff landscape is decided upon by June 30 of this year. On top of that, some schools are coming out in favor of a playoff, while others are against.

We’ll be taking a look at each of the Big 12’s 10 schools below, and evaluating where they sit right now: either for or against expanding the league by at least two members. About a week and a half ago, there were five pushing for it in some way, four on the fence and one flat-out no. But now? Let’s dive in…

Baylor: After pushing to keep the Big 12 together, it appears that it’s “mission accomplished.” But after one of the program’s most successful seasons in recent (or distant) memory, does expansion suit them or not? In a north/south divisional split, they’re unlikely to contend with OU or Texas, but a 10-team setup gives them zero chance to win the league but be its top seed. They go with the odds. Pick: Pro-Expansion

Iowa State: Another team whose best interest is to see a healthy Big 12, with teams contending for the national title. Have the Cyclones ruled out any chance they’d be able to win the league, though? AD Jamie Pollard says he’d rather see a true league champion contend than a 7-5 team steal a title and a shot at the crystal football. Given that ISU’s best bet is being that 7-5 team, I think we know where they’re at. Pick: Anti-Expansion Continue reading