Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How do you want the Expansion to play out?

One way or another, the Big Ten will expand. Whatever happens there will be a domino effect on all the other conferences. How much things change is unknown. I really only see three potential solutions for BC. All are listed below. Take a look and let me know which path you want taken.


1. The Status Quo. In this scenario all the other conferences shuffle yet the ACC remains as is. This will only happen if the new ACC TV deal is very strong. If it falls short of what Big Ten and SEC schools make then all the current ACC teams will listen and explore new conferences. My ideal ending would be for BC to remain with the current roster of ACC teams in a 12 team conference. I don't think this will happen. I just don't see the ACC putting together any sort of package that is as lucrative as the Big Ten's cable network.


2. BC joins the Big Ten.
In my opinion this is the longest of long shots, but the continued floating of BC as a potential Big Ten target keeps the idea alive. While we don't fit the Big Ten's profile, I could see why they would want BC. We deliver good TV ratings (despite the national perception), have a strong history in multiple sports and bring a very good academic profile. We would be a fish out of water in the Big Ten, but we would be a very rich fish out of water. I would support a move to the Big Ten but don't see it happening for a variety of reasons. The Big Ten has all the cards in this scenario, so why would they take a risk on BC when they could take a better fit like Mizzou?


3. BC becomes part of the Big-ACC.
This involves the post raid ACC and Big East teams getting together to form some sort of East Coast Conference. If this happens, I assume that the ACC has been striped of some of its marquis programs (FSU? North Carolina? Clemson?) and the Big East teams looking for partners are programs we want no part of (UConn, WVU). Although we could ascend to the top of this conference, I think public perception would be very low. Would the casual BC fan be excited? Would the conference be able to generate serious TV revenue? I doubt it. Unfortunately this is the most likely scenario. We would remain in a BCS conference and remain playing East Coast teams, but that would be the only benefit. This would feel like a mid major afterthought.

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39 Comments:

At 4:39 AM, Blogger blist said...

Reading about expansion lately feels like Wargames -- the big ten moves and the world gets destroyed. Swofford, BE, SEC are happy with the current detente but will go nuclear if anyone moves. Someone explain to WOPR (BigTen chief Delany) about tic tac toe

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger blist said...

And speaking of rumors, just read one from a newspaper guy who follows UVA and is reporting on the ACC meetings--:
"All sorts of rumors are flying that Boston College could be swept up by the Big Ten, along with Syracuse and Pitt."

 
At 5:20 AM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

There's one more scenario that wasn't mentioned that would be best for BC/ACC.

If Big Ten expands and takes Nebraska, Mizzou, Rutgers, Pitt/Syracuse/UCONN.

SEC feels compelled to add teams and takes UT, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, OSU.

ACC remains in tact, and in tern adds Notre Dame and Pitt/Syracuse/UCONN, UCF, WVU.

A lot would have to happen perfectly for this to happen, but the Big 12 is just as vulnerable as the Big East is right now. Frankly, if the ACC could end up with one of Syracuse/Pitt/UCONN, I'd be happy.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Clemson is not a marquee program. Worst acc academics too. Swapping out Clemson for Syracuse or Pitt would be a plus

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger Mike22 said...

This feels familiar. It's the latest round of revenue-driven conference expansion and Boston College is a member of a hoops-first conference that is looking exceptionally vulnerable to poaching from a more powerful conference. So we are left with the following possible scenarios: (a) our conference remains as is when the deck is reshuffled, albeit weaker by comparison to the new mega-conferences; (b) our conference is devastated by defections from powerful members and we are left with the prospect of cobbling together a conference of weak sisters and refugees from other weak/weakened conferences; and (c) we entertain an overture from an aggressive conference with a strong academic pedigree that doesn't make a helluva lot of geographical sense because option (a) seems like a really shaky resolution and option (b) is a nuclear hellscape that we do NOT want to navigate.

I know there are nuances and I don't think the Big Ten is seriously entertaining Boston College, but in some ways, it sure does seem like we're partying like it's 2003.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Leather D said...

I am highly skeptical the ACC will be hurt by expansion. The Big 12 should be sweating bullets.

Everyone seems to be assuming Big Ten expansion means the SEC has to respond. I do not see any need for the SEC to make a move given the tv contract they just signed.

If the SEC makes a move, VTech is the only program from the ACC which could justify an increase in TV dollars (and even that is unlikely given the different economic climate today). VTech is easily replaceable by one of the Big East teams left out (looking like 'Cuse or Pitt most likely)

More likely, the SEC looks to the Big 12 as well, which will already be weakened.

If anything, the ACC might expand by taking 'Cuse and Pitt if available, which is probably a net gain to BC.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Scott said...

This seems surprisingly gloom & doom. I think you're overlooking some obvious truths.

The Big East and Big 12 are the weak conferences, and ripe for the plucking. Appetite for expansion will largely start and end there.

- Pac 10 will target Utah and Colorado ... natural moves for all involved, which will leave the Big 12 weaker.
- We know the Big 10 is taking Mizzu and Nebraska ... natural moves for all involved, which leaves the Big 12 essentially unsustainable.

If the SEC decides to keep up with the Jones, do you really think they would look to the ACC south over Texas, Texas A&m & Oklahoma? No way, those are gold standard programs for factory focused conference like the SEC.

So maybe the SEC looks at one ACC program (probably Clemson or FSU). Those are strong programs, but their losses would be filled by looking to the North ... probably Pitt & Syracuse, which is good for BC. If the ACC wants more numbers, it will have options.

As for BC to the Big 10, that would be a good match-up if ND joined. We have natural rivalry with ND and PSU, and they are good academic schools, that share a northern culture. The ACC is a better fit for BC's brand of education, but both are good fits. I would also say that Rutgers is much, much bigger gamble than BC. BC is established, it's really in Boston, it actually delivers Boston eye-balls, and the city of Boston has rallied around BC when real match-ups come to town.

As for the ACC sheding real numbers, when is the last time a team left a quality/stable conference?

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Naturally, Big 10 is denying the Mizzou, Nebraska, Rutgers offer today.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I see the airwaves are now dominated with discussion that BC and Maryland would be swept up into the Big 10. Adding Boston and DC/Baltimore to the footprint makes a lot of sense, and with PSU's massive stake already in the Eastern Seaboard (which includes Philly), that would probably ease the monumental task/risk of trying to make Rutgers into a platform for penetrating NYC. ND's appeal in the Northeast would help cement the strategy.

If I were BC and Maryland, I would allow these rumors to perculate, if only to force the ACC to pay more attention to it's northern constitutency. Is there any doubt that both BC and MD would be better off if Pitt and Syracuse were added to the fold, and if the conference agreed to stand beyond the 1-loss bowl rule? Also, if we added 2 Big East teams, we would instantly take back the Gator Bowl, and probably stand in a good position to steal a prime slot from the Big 12.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger blist said...

Curious - does anyone think Gene is unhappy with the ACC enough to seriously court the B11?
The league cancelled the Fenway baseball tournament for travel costs (they did the same with a Miami tourney too) and we get shafted every year in bowls.

I do agree with Scott - Rutgers may make some sense, but it's a huge gamble athletically. you have to think the B11 believes they can be a kingmaker with the right raw material, spinning gold where other leagues failed. If that's the case, BC looks a lot better than Rutgers b/c of its athletic history, it adds enough for an ice hockey conference and it is unimpeachable academically even if it's not AAU. Also, is it just me, or do you think Spaz' connection to Paterno helps BC's case?

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger CT said...

I think it all depends on whether or not the Big 10 adds one team, three teams, or five. If they only add one, there are no dominoes to fall. The SEC will respond if they go to 16 teams. That's a fact. The Big East will cease to exist as a football conference. 80 of the 120 Div 1A teams will be in one of the big five conferences. The concept of the mid-major will die. FSU is, I think, most likely to defect to the SEC. If the ACC wants to keep a team in Florida besides Miami, who say they're happy w/ the conference's academic fit, are they looking at UCF or So. Fla.? Yikes. Talk about a net loss. Syracuse is good for bball and awful for football. UConn? Why? The ACC is BC's best fit. Would the Big 10 have a "BC rule" for bowl games? You think we get shafted in the ACC now, wait until we're up against Michigan, or Iowa, or PSU for a bowl game. Ha.
We'll have to win 10 just to play on a high school field in Toronto on Dec. 7th. I think the best bet would be for the ACC to look at adding Pitt if one team leaves, and if more than one team defects, we're probably pretty screwed with the ECU's and UCF's of the world. In that case, the ACC will for the foseeable future remain a second-rate football conference (and the only one not to get an at-large bid to the BCS), and a diluted bball conference. But at least we can take solace that we got out of the Big East in time.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Everyone probably assumes the SEC is untouchable, but I would bet that Vandy would seriously entertain an ACC offer, so it could be with its academic peer group and compete on a level-playing field. The drop off in money (2-3 million??) would be covered by increased donations from academically minded alumni (or more frequent bowl/tourney visits), and a better geographic footprint to match it's student recruiting and alumni base. Though if the ACC targeted Vandy, the SEC would likely respond by targeting Clemson/FSU/Va Tech.

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger brian said...

From what I've read most of the schools in the ACC seems happy with the conference. The ACC delivers good eyeballs, so we should get a pretty good TV deal, which would be one more reason for the conference to remain intact. If the Big East gets raided, I would be be happy if the ACC picked up Pitt, Syracuse, or Uconn. All 3 are good in basketball and have at points been competitive in football. I think the weakened Big East has hurt Syracuse football and a move to the stronger ACC might turn around the program.

I think ND can be the real wild card here. I've read that ND does not want to join the Big10, and that if they do have to give up their independence, they'd be a better fit in the ACC. If the ACC could pick up ND and one of the Big East schools, that would be a major coup. Also, the ACC has been very proactive under Swofford and his lack of meaningful comments about expansion leads me to believe he has an ace up his sleeve. He does not seem to be the type who would let the ACC suffer because of Big10 expansion plans.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger Coast said...

I think the idea of Vanderbilt leaving the SEC is just as loony as Penn State leaving the Big Ten. In both of those cases, the school would leave for the ACC or some ACC-Big East hybrid in order to join like-minded schools (Vandy) or renew old rivalries (PSU).

I would imagine both schools are pretty content with the cash they are receiving and would prefer to recruit students using more money rather than less money. Why would they leave a great situation for them?

It's the same thing as suggesting BC should leave the ACC for the Big East because of geography and old rivals. BC would be fools to take a step down. So would Vanderbilt, the unquestioned academic gem of the SEC, and Penn State.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger blist said...

It's my understanding, though I could be wrong, Big Ten tells the bowls what teams to take, based on end of season raking - i.e. there's no wiggle room

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Darius said...

Be forewarned: This is a long, long post. So long, in fact, that I have to split it into two. Forgive me my ranting; I've been away for a while.

Lots of excitement here. A lot of it feels like offseason crazy talk: hot stove, but of programs and conferences instead of players and teams. Please let the season start soon.

Right off the bat is the sticking point: Notre Dame isn't going anywhere. Not right now, anyway. That squashes a whole lot of the hypotheticals out there. Driven by hubris, they've marketed themselves as above the whole conference thing and it's served them well for many decades. So they will continue to do so. I suspect this time it will come back to bite them in the ass and they'll start exploring their options a few years AFTER this whole thing shakes out, maybe catching on to a good situation maybe not. But definitely missing out on the opportunity they've got to dictate some terms right now.

I don't get why the Big Ten feels it needs to go to 14 or 16. Whatever number-crunching they've done to convince them it's worth it is certainly counterintuitive to me.

I am surprised by the occasional BC to the ACC mentions. Much as I'd like it (I live in the Midwest), it makes about as much sense as Stanford or Boise State. How haven't these been mentioned?

CT-I don't like the way this is shaking out for BC and the ACC either. But you are right about getting out of the Big East. I like where we're sitting better than where we'd be sitting if still in that cluster****. The Big East is dead. Between the time Miami and VT left, and BC followed, prompting the overexpansion, I must have said a million times in a thousand that the NBE was unsustainable and would be dead in 5 years. This isn't exactly how I envisioned it, but was there ever really any doubt that it would implode or be the sacrificial lamb of the next shift in NCAA conference affiliations?

On a side note, how ironic and perfect it would be if VT went SEC and Syracuse came on board in the ACC. That was supposed to be the plan all along, before politics screwed it up. Incidentally, I believe that the ACC would cure Syracuse football. They need money, pure and simple. The lack thereof in the Big East is what's slowly bleeding them out. They've got a long tradition. They can and have recruited amazing talent to that nowhereville tundra. Money can rebuild their stadium, and rebuild their staff, and rebuild their whole program.

By the way, screw UConn.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Darius said...

blist: there's wiggle room in the Big Ten bowl assignments.

The ACC going forward: the league is not so awesome that some of the teams wouldn't jump ship to the SEC. Arkansas left powerhouse Texas and TAMU rivals, as well as 75 years of history with the SWC, behind to join the SEC. FSU and Clemson would ditch their shorter affiliations in a hurry to go to another conference that offered more money--especially one to which their principal rival already belonged. Heck, South Carolina left the ACC, two years after winning it, with NO destination in mind. By the way, Clemson *is* a marquis program. Not a marquis school, but program. Just to be clear: academics don't drive any of this, much though we'd all like to pretend they do. It's all about money. Not academics, or geography, or even competitiveness. The loss of Clemson would badly hurt the ACC bowl lineup.

Speaking of bowls, blist, BC gets shafted because our little fanbase doesn't travel. That's a fact. Skip the lousy location-opponent-prestige-date-cost explanations. We. Simply. Don't. Travel. BC will ALWAYS get hosed on bowls, no matter the conference.

Also, I don't care about the Gator Bowl. There, I said it.

Scott- Vandy to the ACC is intriguing, but I agree with coast. And see my comments regarding Clemson.

My best-case scenario for all this is it killing the NBE, turning the Big 12 back into the Big 8, and having only a small scale effect on the ACC. Losing one team--be it Maryland or UNC or FSU or Clemson or VT or someone else--and replacing it with Syracuse. I like the conference at 12 teams, not only because of logistics but economics: there simply aren't four teams out there for the taking that would enhance the conference such that the TV contracts and other revensue streams would deliver more money to each member.

If Syracuse were to replace *VT* in the ACC, it naturally would be designated as BC's rival. Which would *ta-da* open up the schedule again. Now what? God, I hate to think of what GDF would do. I'd love to see a big game added. But I expect we'll hear that having conquered Central Michigan, the team's now going to prove itself against Eastern and Western, too.

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Darius. Clemson is a hype machine with A great fan base, it is not a marquee football program. Don't believe otherwise

In fact I would love to see Clemson leave the ACC and be replaced by syracuse or even WVa

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger SM said...

Hockey East is the only conference that matters.

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger Joe Gravellese said...

We should join the WCHA and lay waste to Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota on a regular basis instead of only in March/April.

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Walter said...

I agree with the above two comments.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Mod--Clemson is a marquis football program. It has a ton of money and it has a huge and loyal fan base. College sports in South Carolina is EVERYTHING. Trust me, I unfortunately live here at the moment. As for Darius, the Big 12 will never become the Big 8 again because it will lose its ability to have a championship game, which is one of the main reasons the ACC expanded. There is no way the Big 12 would ever give up that kind of money.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger CT said...

I agree with the above three comments.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

bbill - A marquee is what hangs over the theatre's entrance; a marquee player is a player whose name goes on the marquee e.g a superlative; headlining player. A marquis is a form of nobleman. If you can't spell/use marquee correctly it is a little hard to take you seriously, not that I ever would take you seriously anyway.

Clemson is well known in south carolina and Atlanta (big f'ing whoop), and Clemson has lots of rabid local southern fans but it is not a great program and not a big draw TV-wise or nationally....

what have they done in the past 15 years? not much. compare Alabama, Florida, FSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, even Va Tech. Clemson is a pretender to that group and thus not one of the marquee names in NCAA football.

But i guess if they dressed up in armor and rode horses they could be a marquis program.

and losing Clemson to the SEC would be no big deal for the ACC. a huge coup for Clemson, but no biggie for the ACC to replace them

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger CT said...

Well, I would agree that Clemson isn't an Alabama, FSU, Texas, etc. But Clemson has a lot of cache in the south and, despite your dismissiveness of that fact--I've said b4 that Atlanta is the best big city college football town in the country--that means quite a bit. Marquis like USC? No. Marquis enough for the SEC to want them? Definitely. That's pretty huge.

Actually, I think the ACC would be hurt if Clemson left--who else besides VTech and FSU sells tix? Nobody. Clemson is the closest thing to an SEC experience as the ACC gets. They used to play UGA every yr.

Of course, with their nat'l champ. in football came cheating and probation...twice in the 80s...so, yeah, a natural fit for the SEC.

But still, losing Clemson and adding...Syracuse? I mean, how irrelevant do you want to be in football?

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Atlanta ! ha! talk about pointless and irrelevant.

except for you, BC Mike and our gracious host, ATL, not too many people care about Atlanta (or Clemson)

 
At 1:07 AM, Blogger bobble said...

mod
you clearly have no perception of college sports nationally. atlanta hosts the biggest college football game every year outside of the national championship (sec title game)

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

Atlanta also sells out the opening kick off game every year and the Chik-fil-a Bowl every year. And in 2012 the College Football Hall of Fame is moving to Atlanta - so yeah, Atlanta matters in college football.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Mod=one big unintelligent douche.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Darius said...

Evidently I can't use the term marquee properly either. Not that I'm losing any sleep over it.

Anyway, mod, you don't have to have a perennial Top 10 team to be a marquee program. I agree that Clemson is a paper tiger, and has been annually overrated for literally decades. But hype and a great fanbase is what MAKES a program a marquee program. Alabama, Texas, USC, ND... these are marquee programs, but they're not always great or even good on the field. We BC fans like to hang our hats on wins over Texas in the 70s, Alabama in the 80s, and more recently ND and Penn State almost every time we play them. But the vast majority of those particular teams weren't much good. They just had that Name on their jerseys.

A BC fan saying "no one cares about Clemson" is the equivalent of a wasp calling a tiger "pussy." Sure, you may sting it over and over on the field, but don't be so delusional that you forget who's really got the respect throughout the land.

Losing Clemson to gain Syracuse or West Virginia is not a good trade. At all. I like Syracuse, but they don't have a tenth the following or street cred of Clemson. As far as West Virginia goes, even though the games would be good, it'd be swapping an ultra-classy program for an ultra-classless one. I thought that's the sort of thing we were all glad to get away from when we switched conferences.

On further consideration, you guys are right about the Big 12. The conference has even said as much, that it'd recruit others to maintain that size. I do wonder who they'd take. Maybe some of those that actually made up the old SWC.

If college football can be said to have a "heart," Atlanta is it.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Oh Bravesbill are you upset and cursing? what a pity.

but really, who is the one that's unintelligent here, Mr Marquis.

But to be fair, maybe you've been reading too much about the Marquis de Sade and that is the source of your confusion? Is that it Mr Bravesbill?

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

darius --- are you kidding me? you think Clemson has wide respect throughout the land? No way.

At best, its a regional school with strong support within a 100 mile radius of the school.

Here is a small test: When BC was a BE team, before BC joined the ACC, were you ever impressed with Clemson's football prowess? Did you ever think of Clemson as an FSU? Miami? Alabama? Of course not.

Clemson is not even impressive in the ACC. last ACC championship 1991!!! I would rate Clemson as the 7/12 best football program in the ACC (1 FSU, 2 Miami, 3 VTech, 4 GTech, 5 UNC, 6 BC, 7 Clemson)

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger CT said...

Losing Clemson to gain a Syracuse or USF or UCF would be awful for the conference. Obviously I think you're wrong about Clemson, Mod, and think you're being defensive for its own sake, but since you wouldn't miss the Tigers if they left, perhaps you'd do well to remember that the ACC is desperate for legitimacy in football at the moment, and switching out a rabid fanbase for crap like Syracuse--in football, which pays the bills--would be really bad. I don't know how you could disagree with that. Well, perhaps you could. Maybe just growing up in the south would've helped you not say such inane things.

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

CT -- i am a proud Northerner. Perhaps you have been bombarded with far too much Clemson and SEC propaganda to be free of bias, not to mention too many Chik-Fil-A meals.

by the way, I never suggested swapping out Clemson for USF or UCF. Heck no! maybe swap out Clemson for Pitt, or Rutgers or Syracuse. get a better northern footprint for the ACC.

I really do not think Clemson is elite in anyway, nationally, ACC-wise, southern-wise etc.

And football legitiamcy for the ACC won't be coming through Clemson, that's for sure.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Coast said...

Mod, I congratulate you for sticking to your guns, but I have to respectfully disagree with your take on Clemson's respect across the country. No, they are not Alabama, but they have a standing that is respected well outside that 100 mile radius you drew around the campus.

But when it comes down to it, the only people whose views on Clemson matter are bowl committee members, and guess what? Clemson travels and Clemson sells. It doesn't matter if it's been decades since their national title. The fans are visible, and that is a very valuable tiebreaker.

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger CT said...

Clemson for Pitt is the only way to sorta but not really make up for losing Clemson in football...their football program is okay, but their weight would come in the way of bball. But then we'd be slipping more into what the remnants of the BE would be--a bball conference that happens to play football on Saturdays.

Adding Syracuse or Rutgers would be a huge net loss for the conference in football. Huge. And, besides, the ACC is looking at picking up the detritus if more than one team bolts...we don't have many good options. Who comes in if two teams leave? Clemson does nothing but add gravitas to the ACC for football, trust me. It doesn't matter if you're a proud Northerner or Canadian or Greenlandian. The ACC could be really screwed if Clemson leaves. Remember that if we're forced to play Rutgers in front of 28,000 fans at Alumni one Saturday afternoon. Ugh. It's not propaganda. It's the truth. College football is just different down here. It just is.

Have at it...I'm done.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

And Mod, I only used "marquis" because it was in ATL's original post:

"If this happens, I assume that the ACC has been striped of some of its marquis programs (FSU? North Carolina? Clemson?) and the Big East teams looking for partners are programs we want no part of (UConn, WVU)."

Sorry for not thinking twice before I spelled it that way. That said, your hatred of Clemson is really unappealing. You're like the red-headed step-child that is jealous his parents pay more attention to his siblings. You're like the playground basketball loser that tries to tear everyone else down just to make himself feel better. You're like Notre Dame trying to claim its so fabulous and wonderful when everyone else knows you're not.

 
At 7:28 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Bravesbill -- are you that redheaded bad basketball player and ND fan you lament?

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

What a wonderfully creative comeback. Thanks for the good laugh.

 

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