Monday, November 19, 2012

Ranking BC among the Musical Chairs participants

Maryland is gone and no one thinks this is that last move. If BC wants to stay a player in college athletics, we better put on our best dancing shoes and get ready for some wheeling and dealing.

Let's assume we are really headed towards four 16 team Super Conferences. That leaves two remaining spots in the Big Ten, two remaining spots in the SEC, six in the Big 12 and four in the Pac 12. That is 14 teams that could move. There are now 14 teams in the ACC. Conceivably the conference could dissolve and all the current ACC members could find other homes. We all know it won't be that clean and we also know that the Big East and MWC teams are fighting for those same spots. 

BC does have some value. As Maryland and Rutgers just proved, this is more about cable subscribers than sports. BC still sits squarely in the seventh largest TV market in the country. A college network could never charge as much as NESN does in the New England area, but even getting a 25% of NESN's fees would be a huge revenue boone for any conference. We also brings a solid athletic and academic reputation. Plus we are non-threatening. If anything these Super Conferences are looking for a bunch of Washington Generals who happen to have good cable potential. BC could fill that need. 

The SEC is not going to come calling, so really our only non-ACC options are the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Pac 12. (I will get into the geographic issues of the Pac 12 and Big 12 later.)

Big Ten
If the Big Ten were to expand and follow the same motivations they just established with Rutgers and Maryland, this would be their order of preference:

1. Notre Dame
2. North Carolina
3. Virginia
4. Florida State
5. Virginia Tech
6. BC
7. Duke
8. Georgia Tech

I don't think the Big Ten wants Louisville, UConn or any Big 12 team (other than Texas). If they did want them, they would have already taken them. Being sixth on their list doesn't seem like a good place to be, but you have to consider that ND, UNC, UVA, FSU and Virginia Tech will all have multiple options. The Big Ten money might be attractive, but culturally and geographically they might fit better in the SEC or Big 12 and get the same money. 

In this game BC needs to be flexible and keep dialogue and options open, but if the ACC unravels, we need to focus on the Big Ten. We would be a oddball there, but it would still be the best of the remaining fits.

The SEC is never coming for BC. Ever. And it would be a terrible fit for us.

Big 12
The Big 12 is intriguing because they need money and teams to keep up with the other conferences. They are very Texas-centric and a seemingly odd fit for BC, but if they went to 16 teams and had a "Northeast Division" of West Virginia, Pitt, BC and Syracuse, it wouldn't seem all that odd to us. I doubt their expansion would be that clean and simple either. All indications are that their first move would be to get the southern football powers. The northeast TV markets would be second.

1. Notre Dame
2. Florida State
3. North Carolina
4. Virginia Tech
5. Virginia 
6. Georgia Tech
7. Duke
8. NC State
10. BC
11. Syracuse
12. Miami
13. Pitt

This is where things get dicey. This conference has six spots and we would probably be their 10th choice. But I have some belief that if Notre Dame or UNC were really determined to leave, they would not move to the Big 12, leaving spots open for a place like BC.

Pac 12
In 2010 Pac 12 (then Pac 10) commissioner Larry Scott wanted to partner with the ACC to form a national college cable channel. He was rebuffed. That will be a move that haunts the ACC for years, as Scott got his cable deal and the ACC is left scrambling. The conference realignment could bring new life to Scott's old idea. All he needs is an eastern outpost for his Pac 12 channel.

It might seem like the Pac 12 would want closer teams, but once you go to 16, you can start creating regional pods or divisions within the conference.

1. Notre Dame
2. North Carolina
3. Duke
4. Florida State
5. BC
6. Virginia
7. Virginia Tech
8. Miami
9. Syracuse
10. NC State

It might surprise some that I think we are the 5th most attractive ACC program to the Pac 12, but that is based purely on our TV numbers in San Francisco and Los Angeles. If the Pac 12 decides to do something as extreme as an East Coast division, it will be about TV numbers.

What's next
I don't know but the SEC has a TV deal coming up and the sudden urge to be bigger than the Big Ten. They will come to the ACC. Then it becomes a matter of who leaves. From there, it will be more dominoes. There is enough room for BC, but we need our new leadership working every angle. 


EL MIZ said...

Big "12" getting from 10 to 16 faster than the ACC can go from 14 to 16 seems like a bit of a stretch. the big "12" almost fell apart a few years ago when Texas wanted its own network, and it wouldn't surprise me if Texas and OU went to the SEC and left the rest of the conference hanging.

also, nothing mandates that there be 4 16-team super conferences. there could be a conference or 2 with 18.

a "national" pac-16 would be cool.

mod34b said...

I don't want to see BC in any of those mega conference. These conference are just the worst of football factories.

Think about the B1G. How is BC going to compete against tOSU, UM, Nebraska, PSU. Look at facilities, stadiums, fan base. No comparison. BC would be a doormat. I don't want to be Purdue or Indiana.

I would like to see a little more fun put back into football.

BC can play in a new Northeast version of the MAC or BE. Sounds like more fun for all.

El Suape said...

I've never understood the "BC wouldn't fit in the Big 10" argument. The B1G has really some really good academic state universities, just like the ACC. Northwestern stands alone in the private category, compared to the 4 (and soon to be 5) in the ACC. But that should never be considered a hurdle. Especially since the B1G puts such an emphasis on the academics of it's universities. As for geography, the argument isn't even be close. B.C.'s recruiting grounds have always been New England, New Jersey, Penn, and Ohio. They'd be playing northern schools. The ACC will have Pitt, Syracuse and UCONN, but the B1G has PSU, Rutgers and Maryland. Plus games in the midwest, which is a more natural fit for our fan base and recruits.

As for competition, I think BC can be equally competitive in any conference (except the SEC obviously). Meyer and Hoke will most likely have some pretty scary teams, but then again these 2011-2012 Clemson and FSU teams have been pretty scary too. And I think a revitalized BC team can be competitive against any of them.

I've always been a fan of the Big 10 and thought it's where BC belongs. Sucks that Maryland got the call first.

chicagofire1871 said...

There must be a buyout in the ESPN TV deal, no? If the lack of mo ey is what's holding us back, maybe we bite the bullet, get out if this contract and start negotiating anew.

Anonymous said...

Let Miami and FSU leave the ACC. Replace with Nova and Gtown who up their programs and play IAA style football:

NC State (wild card)
UNC (wild card)

Tell ND in or out.

Consider Army and Navy if you need numbers.

Football is already bifurcated between state schools and the rest. ND is not that good and probably could not beat the fourth best team in the SEC in a best of three series. USC sold their sole.

Drop to 65 scholarships for football, Army and Navy are exempt.

This is a nice balance of who we are in the new world. Elite schools not willing to sell their soul. Sounds like a better version of the Ivy League, and could be the best basketball conference in the country. Army and Navy will struggle in basketball but maybe David Robinson has a kid.

Bravesbill said...


That is quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

It's about money so let's play against prestige universities with large endowments:

Do you really think The Ivy League is an athletic conference?

An athletic conference is a marketing entity for these schools. Check of the growth of The Ivy League endowments since 1954. Princeton and Yale were broke in 1954 -

Chasing a bunch of SEC schools is a losing proposition for a private school in a pro sports town. Let's do what we do well. The last time we followed others into the ACC, we ended up to where we are today, the weak conference of the BCS. Turn the tables on the public universities....

Joe Gravellese said...

I kind of agree with what Michael is saying. I don't want to "Cross" the program and go Patriot League, but I'm not really all that bothered if we end up in a regional second-tier conference out of all of this. We are never going to keep up with the factories in the football arms race.

I know, you know, we all know, that eventually the playoff will expand to 8 and then to 16 teams. If that happens there will be a seat at the table for conference champions of whatever's left over of the ACC, the Big East, the MAC, etc. We can be competitive in league like that and still face some good schools, and hopefully we can partner with some other great academic schools in a "best of the rest" conference, too.

As much as it would suck to be left out of the Big Kids Tables when the next round of realignment goes down, for financial/visiblity purposes... I dunno, I don't see it as being much fun to join the B1G and get steamrolled every year by Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State et. al.

dixieagle said...

I think a couple of you have been beaten into submission during the Spaz Error. We haven't come as far as we have (thinking back to our not-too-distant #2 ranking nationally) to retreat to a "we are what we are" mentality.

MUD said...

Indiana is a big school with a traditionally horrendous football program (by admission of their own alumni). Northwestern has a good coach and has almost gone to the Rose Bowl a few times. I feel like BC, although not willing to break the rules and throw as much $ at the program as Big State U., can really pick whatever conference they want, and it will be good for the school. The question is... do these $$$ hungry conferences (who is making money off these stupid things) want a program that probably won't turn much of a profit (only 22 of ~124 D-1 programs are cash flow positive *60 minutes). People are starting to realize how corrupt and non-amateur college athletics really are (football and basketball for men).

Kevin said...

We're definitely not in a good position but it's not really our fault. If Maryland knew how to run their athletic dept and wasn't broke the ACC would probably survive. Now it's on life support.

I wish we didn't have to look around but all the talk of "we could never compete in X conference" b/c those guys are the big boys is lame and it's the same thing people were saying about the ACC. Before we hired the worst coach in the country we did well in the ACC and would probably have similar results in every other conf. (w/ the SEC clearly being the toughest).

ModA36 said...

The time has long since passed that these schools, including BC, should lose their non-profit status.

Unknown said...

Lets take a step back here, the Big 10 added two TERRIBLE programs. One that has been running in the red and needs additional football revenue just to stay afloat. The ACC should be glad that the baggage of UMD is gone. Its time to work with Notre Dame to bring it in fully with a plan to add PSU and another school to go to 16 teams. Once we get to 16 teams, we need to lock schools in and then watch the consolidation happen elsewhere.

Swofford needs to step up and become a first mover, and he has to be able to negotiate a deal with ESPN that is a step ahead of other conference deals. ACC is the conent for ESPN, so the ACC needs to get more value.

C. Scanz said...

Agree with Dixie and Bravesbill, you guys are idiots for thinking we should capitulate and join some joke Ivy League. While college football is no longer what it used to be, it is still incredibly important and vital for our marketing. Will it be difficult to compete against the Ohio States, Michigans, etc? Absolutely. But BC was a perennial top 25 program and one of the ACC's best before the disaster hire of Spaz.

Retreat to the Patriot League and watch as donations, applications, rankings, etc plummet to new lows.

dixieagle said...

Absolutely, C. Scanz.

Some of these posters are way too young to remember that it was the "Flutie Era" and the attendant success and publicity that helped propel BC as a university to where it is today. Applications soared and BC was able to capitalize on both its academic and football success. It is simply not the same place it was pre-Flutie (and not always in a good way... but that is another thread for another venue entirely...)

mod34b said...

Dixie and Sanz,

let's give up the Flutie Effect myth. It is b.s. BC was on the rapid rise well before Flutie. If you wish to give credit, give it to Father Neenan who built a world class academic university.

As for this "Retreat to the Patriot League and watch as donations, applications, rankings, etc plummet to new lows." This is troubling. Too many young BC students (and apparently others too) make a firm association between Football success and academic desirablity. It is another myth. Go ask the majority of of top 25 USNWR school who do not have FCS football if they are successful?

And, to be clear, no one is saying BC cannot beat tOSU, or other powers. Sure, BC can beat those teams in an on year. But my point was that I do not want to see bC in one of 4 giant leagues that are devoted to BIG-MONEY-NCAA Football. I'd rather go elsewhere. I would not want to see BC in RU or MD shoes today -- doormats in waiting.

And once you get to 4 mega leagues (if that really is happening??), the big STATE $$ will start pouring in at an even greater rate., and academics standards for athletes will plummet to ALAMAMA, UNC and worse levels $100,000,000 for practice facilities; $550,000,000 for stadium redesigns, etc.

BC is a an academic institution first and foremost. let's not forget that

Joe Gravellese said...

I don't see anyone on here calling for BC to join the Patriot League. I said that I wouldn't lose any sleep if we ended up in a conference with, say, Duke, UNC, UVA, GTech, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, etc. Not exactly the dregs of college athletics.

Big time sports are definitely a huge factor in what makes BC a special and desirable university. Trying to figure out what BC would look like without a special athletics program is pointless and impossible because it's always been there, and it always will be there, barring a decision by BC to change course.

Coast said...

The entire stability of this so-called Big 12 rests on how Texas feels on a given day. If you want to destroy the Big 12 and guarantee that the ACC is one of the Big Four, you make a Notre Dame- style offer to Texas.

And watch the Big 12 collapse.

Big Jack Krack said...

I'm not getting involved in this discussion - interesting as it is.

Speaking of interest, college football is losing mine.

However, I will be in Charlotte to watch Georgia Tech scare FSU - my wife and step son being GT people.

Let's go, BC - get our act together.

We could have been there again with a different coaching staff.

EL MIZ said...

i'm with Coast -- now that the ACC has ND in a semi-partnership, i think the pressure is on the "big xii" which only has 10 teams as opposed to the ACC which now has 14. could we poach West Virginia from the Big XII (a rival from our Big East days) and get Louisville as well?

if Texas leaves the Big XII that conference is ka-put. i think the odds of that happening are higher than the ACC losing a bevy of teams.

from ESPN's "ranking the HC jobs that will probably be available", BC comes in below Purdue and South Florida

9. Boston College Eagles
Current Status: Not open
Odds of opening: 9
I know a couple of guys who actually want this job, even if it isn't officially open yet. They saw the ACC as vulnerable, even before this new round of realignment. They think there's room for BC, despite the academic limitations that similarly hamstring Duke and Wake Forest.

It's a beautiful city and campus and, let's be honest, the conference isn't that challenging to make the Matt Ryan years seem that distant. A couple of solid players on both sides of the ball, and the Eagles could be equipped to be a conference contender. Frank Spaziani, most everyone believes, is simply in over his head.

Walsh601 said...

No one from the Big12 is leaving. They did the smart thing and every member did a "grant of rights". If anyone from the Big12 leaves, TV rights for that team remain with the Big12 conference.

CT said...

"Big money NCAA football" is a redundant phrase. Everyone is in it for the money, and there's nothing wrong with that. Applications soared after the '93 win vs. ND. Can the athletic dep't fund itself and can football market the school? You don't have to sell your soul to accomplish both. There's only one Alabama, one LSU, one USC, etc., but to suggest that everyone is NOT cheating on some level with perks would be naive. We can be a realistic Jesuit university that understands we fight the uphill battle in football, but that there's nobility in that. There's no nobility in reducing our already marginal football profile.

Some of these comments are weird. Drop back into a sort of rich-man's FCS? Really? Have you seen Stanford play lately? It's not all Harbaugh and Luck. It can be done consistently, but you need to get the train moving in the right direction first. The ACC is a weak conference and is in fact winnable with better recruiting and better coaching. I think Spaz has successfully dumbed down expectations of the blogosphere, however. Or maybe it's a native Atlantan like me incredulous at the thought of the northeastern mentality on college football. I don't know. Some of these comments are like Spaz's altogether dour halftime interviews. Let's just kneel down and play tight to minimize our chance to win three games this season.

The biggest issue will be, I think, keeping FSU and Clemson in the league. They've flirted with the Big 12 and if they go elsewhere, the ACC will have no football relevance whatsoever, esp. considering upcoming sanctions on Miami and UNC. We don't have to be the SEC, but there is a happy medium that the conference hasn't landed in yet.

I don't know how ATL came up with his rankings for likelihood of who goes where, but FSU and Clemson are the lynchpins imho. No matter what happens though, BC needs to stay at the Big Boy table. You can convince yourself it's for the money, the prestige, the opportunity to prove it can be done without systemic cheating, I don't care. The alternative is irrelevance. Spaz may be driving the bus to it's capital, but we're not there yet.

Knucklehead said...

Anyone who thinks we are chasing the SEC is delirious. Anyone who thinks that we are dropping to the IVY League/ Patriot League level is dumb.

Let's go crazy because Maryland left the ACC.

The best that happens is that ND joins. The worst that happens is that UCONN joins.

The league is not going to fall apart.

Ultimately when the leagues get to big(PAC-10, SEC, B-10, B-12) the federal government will be forced to blowup the conferences, make everyone independent and create a Division I-AA type tournament. Each school will sign it's own deal with media outlets and schedule games as it wants.

C. Scanz said...

Anyone who thinks this is stopping at Maryland is blind. The move itself is a big WHO CARES...except it shows that $50 million fence is worthless. FSU and Clemson leaving would be a beginning of the end, no doubt. VT isn't tagging itself to UVA anymore and would surely bolt separately if it could.

Knucklehead said...

Time will tell if the 50 million doesn't mean anything. The details have yet to be disclosed.

I find to hard to believe that the state university of Maryland/ State of Maryland itself is willing to pay $50 million to the ACC out of its own pocket.

If the exit $$ is not waived by the ACC then the Big 10 will defer some of the cost. Under a scenario where ND is not involved.

Point being that the 50 mill. would be an obstacle if the University of Maryland were paying for it in-full out of pocket. I just do not believe that they are or will.

Think about it, the University of Maryland has a $792 million endowment(2011). The 50 mill is 6%of the entire endowment. There is no way they are paying that on their own upfront in order to leave the ACC.

Hmmm . . . under what scenario would Maryland be able to leave the conference without having to pay the exorbitant exit fee and without having its athletic reputation destroyed . . .

Notre Dame/ACC/Big 10 broker a deal to send Maryland to the Big 10, Maryland gets to leave without paying the fee(and maintain its athletic integrity) and the ACC doesn;t care because ND is in the ACC.

dixieagle said...

mod34b, have to disagree completely with your view of the "Flutie effect"; there is no denying the excitement and interest he generated (e.g., 30% increase in applications over the following 2 years.) Research has actually been done (by profs from the Wharton School and Va. Tech) which shows it is not a "myth."

Fr. Neenan deserves plenty of credit for BC's academic success, though his tenure as Academic VP began in '87, by which time BC had a higher profile nationally, allowing for greater selectivity in admissions. (My husband and I have often said that neither of us would get in to BC, were we to apply today with the same h.s. creds we had in 1970.)

Bottom line... if Stanford and Notre Dame can do it, we can do it, with the right people. In which conference? I have no idea.

Walsh601 said...

"Notre Dame/ACC/Big 10 broker a deal to send Maryland to the Big 10, Maryland gets to leave without paying the fee(and maintain its athletic integrity) and the ACC doesn;t care because ND is in the ACC."

Enough with this conspiracy theory mnonsense. We already know how they can afford it, they explained it yesterday. The BiG is giving Maryland an interest free loan. Maryland will be making about $100 million more by 2020 than if they would've stayed, they can easily pay the loan back.

NEDofSavinHill said...

There are presently 14 voting members in the ACC. If the numbers in the SI story are correct( which is doubtful) $45 mil to Big 10 members and only $24 mil to the ACC in 2017 then what would stop ND and 9 other ACC schools from bolting the ACC and forming their own new conference. They could get out from under the horrendous deal Swafford negotiate a few years back. A two third majority could lower the exit fee to $one mil. The new conference could form their own network in alliance with the PAC 12, thus unshackling itself from Swafford's handiwork. A market value deal might be attainable. 2. Big East commissioner Tranghese was warned years ago not to throw Temple out of the conference. It would be a crass act done solely for money and that it would eventually backfire. You sow what you reap. Look at the state of the BE today. Nice work MR. Commissioner.3. Did anyone note the pleasantries and well wishes extended to Maryland and Rutgers upon their exits. A slightly different approach from what BC received on their departure. It got a smear from classless Boeheim, classless Pitt and classless Syracuse. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all and thanks again ATLANTA for this great site.

mod34b said...

Dixie, please read this article

mod34b said...

Dixie - sorry not Neenan, but Fr. Monan and Frank Campanella

"So was the Flutie factor real? The answer is that Doug Flutie increased applications to Boston College, but not nearly as much as the public and the media believe or as academic planners at some institutions seem to hope in justifying the millions of dollars they invest in football.

Applications to BC did surge 16 percent in 1984 (from 12,414 to 14,398), and then another 12 percent (to 16,163) in 1985. But these jumps were not anomalous for BC, which in the previous decade had embarked on a program to build national enrollment using market research, a network of alumni volunteers, strategically allocated financial aid, and improvements to residence halls and academic facilities, says John Maguire '61, Ph.D.'66. The chairman of the board of Maguire Associates, a well-known enrollment management consulting firm, Maguire headed admissions at BC from 1971 to 1983. "Doug Flutie cemented things, but the J. Donald Monan factor and the Frank Campanella factor are the real story," he said, referring to BC's former president and executive vice president."

knucklehead said...

"Notre Dame/ACC/Big 10 broker a deal to send Maryland to the Big 10, Maryland gets to leave without paying the fee(and maintain its athletic integrity) and the ACC doesn;t care because ND is in the ACC."

Enough with this conspiracy theory mnonsense. We already know how they can afford it, they explained it yesterday. The BiG is giving Maryland an interest free loan. Maryland will be making about $100 million more by 2020 than if they would've stayed, they can easily pay the loan back.

See I was not aware of the loan. Knew there was no way MD was paying it upfront though.

dixieagle said...

mod, Fr. Monan and Dr. Campanella certainly deserve enormous credit for BC's academic reputation. We'll have to agree to disagree re: the "Flutie effect".

I want us to live up to "Ever to Excel" in all areas. We have a pretty good track record in maintaining our high academic standards while (until recently) fielding pretty formidable teams in all major sports. It can be done. Success begets success, which is a major reason Spaziani's utter ineptitude and gutlessness make me livid.

I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs of conference realignments; I simply want BC to be in a position to win over tough opponents regularly.

C. Scanz said...

You have a guy who retired or was forced out in 83 taking credit for success a year and two years after he left.

Now there certainly may be other factors, but we just went through an election where every side claims economists agree their plan is the we have an article citing various opinions. Not a valid point. Most of the large increases for BC applications pre-Flutie was purely from admission of women and increased applicants nationally.

Oh...Alabama is climbing academic rankings. Something tells me it has to do with Saban...but what do I know?

starvs said...

Fuck Spaz for what he has done to some of you. BC is better than some joke second tier regional conference, or we should certainly aspire to be if we are not.

Walsh601 said...

It's not about aspiring, its that we may not have a choice.

VT is already making public overtures to the SEC.

The ACC as we know it might be over in a matter of months.

Bravesbill said...

A lot of these posters are suffering from battered women syndrome. They have simply been beaten down too much by Spaz. That said, the ACC is in a much better place than the Big 12 I think. The Big 12 relies solely on Texas and Oklahoma to a lesser extent. The SEC and Pac 12 would love to get both schools. When they go, that conference collapses and the ACC better be ready to take some teams in (West Virginia). As for right now, if you wanted to replace Maryland, the ACC has to get Louisville. UConn brings nothing to the table. It's football program is back to being a joke and Calhoun has retired. It also doesn't add a new television market. Louisville has a great football program under Strong and is the #2 team in the country in basketball under Pitino. This is an easy no-brainer.