Sunday, September 18, 2011

ACC expansion: BC's world just got bigger and smaller

As most of you know, the ACC is expanding to include Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The move was necessary and impacts BC in a variety of ways. While the details are still to be worked out, here are some of the ways this will impact BC. And as I said in the headline BC's world got bigger and smaller at the same time.

How BC's world got bigger.
No one knows when or how this evolution of the conferences will all stop. But everyone predicts a few Super Conferences will control everything. With the ACC expanding to 14, the conference has solidified its position among the power players. As a member in good standing and located in a Top 10 TV market, BC is assured a seat at the table. If the Super Conferences break away from the NCAA, we will be part of it. A playoff? The ACC will have access. As long as the BCS is around, we will be in position there too.

This will also mean an influx of TV money. These things are always about money. Once the Pac 12 hit the lottery with their TV deal and Texas got its own network, the ACC's once lucrative media contract seemed dated and small. The ACC knew their deal was below market. One of the triggers for a new deal was expansion. Now we can go back to ESPN and the other players and get a lot more money. And that means more money for BC too.

The ACC will probably get a TV network out of this. Did you want to watch all sorts of random BC sports? Get ready then because a lot of non-revenue sports programming would probably fill this channel.

This might also not be the end of this all. Our conference could very well expand to 16. If it does, then it BC isn't part of a conference any more. We'd be part of a cartel.

How our world gets small
Remember how the ACC move meant new rivalries and new locales? Well we will soon be in a conference with Pitt and Syracuse again. My prediction is that we will also be in some sort of division with them too. And if the ACC goes to 16 and goes to four pods/division/etc, we will certainly be clustered with former Big East members.

If the ACC gets its own network, that will mean even less coverage on the ESPN family of networks. While I would gladly trade games for real TV, I think losing coverage on ESPN feels a little smaller. It means we are not getting the random eyeballs and general sports fans that always catch a game or two on ESPN.

Finally, this means more of a closed network. If we go to nine ACC games, add UMass to the schedule and keep the FCS team, that really only leaves one other out of conference game per year. That just means fewer unique opponents and fewer opportunities to travel to our fans in the midwest and west coast.

Bottom line
If things stay like this, the ACC is now an even better place for BC. The new money, old faces and closer geography all ease some of the lingering issues BC has had in the conference. It also provides stability and a conference of peers. Regardless of what happens on the field, the money and winnable conference will always give BC a chance to excel.


Dports1 said...

ESPN reported that UConn is now angling for an ACC invite. Would be great if BC had enough pull to keep them out.

hsk said...

Interesting turn of events in an otherwise very depressing weekend of BC football. When all is said and done I hope WVU is not included in the mix.

EL MIZ said...

thank god for some BC talk that doesn't involve spaz and the duke game.

the expansion is great for BC and the ACC. instead of waiting for the dominoes to fall the ACC presumably seeked out cuse/pitt behind closed doors in an attempt to start all of the conference re-shuffling. it now appears that Texas and OU what will be the pac-14. (texas tech and Okla St would be the two logical choices for 15 and 16 if that conference went "cartel" status.)

the ACC could get its own network, but it could also use the potential for an RCN (regional cable network) to get a really big deal from ESPN. as you mentioned ATL, ESPN still retains its appeal as a national channel and the ACC could be one of the premiere conferences on it, especially given how incredible the conference basketball season would be. pitt at duke, NC at cuse, etc. wow.

if the ACC goes to 16, the next two rumored teams are UConn and Rutgers. i can live with UConn -- their basketball alone will make the ACC undoubtedly the #1 basketball conference in the country, and their football team has been good enough of late. i don't see what rutgers brings to the table and would prefer West Virginia (there were rumors of them being the 14th SEC team, possibly they just floated that to get the ACC's attention).

we are 2-3 years away from each of these 14 or 16 team superconferences having a conference championship and the BCS system will be the conference winners pairing off. with a plus 1, its basically a playoff system.

Ryan said...

I don't want UConn for obvious reasons. Let them rot for their childish lawsuit. Academics aren't terrible, but they also have consistent violations under Calhoun that the ACC doesn't want to deal with.

Rutgers offers nothing. I mean, literally nothing. I know the whole "BC brings the Boston market" thing was overblown, but Rutgers is the same deal. No one in NY cares about Rutgers. Further, they have literally no football or basketball history to justify interest.

Scott said...

Pitt/Syracuse were added because they have basketball, academics, football tradition, and media access. They are the most well-rounded of all the Big East schools, and have no real shortcomings. More importantly, they provide eliminate the need to deal with Rutgets, UConn, and WVA who each fail on 1-2 of the threshold requirements ... exact quote from an ACC insider. "Pitt/Syracuse gives the ACC the best of 5 northeast schools, for the price of 2." ESPN is in favor of UConn b/c of geography and basketball, but that's it.

ACC insider also referred to Pitt/Syracuse as the first piece of a grand, strategic move. But 14 is a good a number for running a 9 team football conference (6 in division, 3 cross division). and 20 basketball conference (home/home with 6 in-division, home/home with dedicated cross-division rival, 1 game vs. other 6 cross-division).

The move to 9 football conference games + 20 basketball conference games (with new markets) will immediately move the ACC to Pac 12 money.

Next move (if there is to be one) will only occur if it's grand. ND/PSU is the target combo.

bceagle93 said...

Agree with Scott. With Texas eyeing Pac 12, ND is the biggest "free agent" left. Logical fit for ACC (academics, sports, cache), and I think they would do it now that their football program is no longer elite (especially if Texas makes a move). I don't think there is real interest in Rutgers or WVU. UCONN is a credible candidate given their basketball programs. PSU possible I guess, but that would mean pulling from the Big 10, which is fairly strong. Interestingly, if the ACC pulled that off, Texas to the Big 10 to replace PSU could come into play.

If the ACC wants to add two additional teams, I believe ND has to be the target.

starvs said...

I think ACC should stay at 14 for football and add Nova & ND for basketball to have a truly dominant basketball league without hurting football at all (would open the door for ND joining the ACC as well I guess).

Unless there are some other viable football/basketball schools I'm forgetting?