Sunday, November 18, 2012

There's nothing BC could have done about Maryland

I don't know how or if it will play out but it appears Maryland and Rutgers are headed to the Big Ten. BC fans and observers have spent endless hours discussing conference realignment and what BC can and should do to protect our interests. Maryland and Rutgers proves that none of it matters. They will be part of one of the power conferences not because of their sports, not because of their money, not because of their academic reputation, nor because of their fundraising. It won't even be about their TV ratings. Neither school drives ratings like other "available" schools. They are being selected because of the number of cable subscribers in their respective home states. The Big Ten doesn't even care if people watch Maryland or Rutgers. They just want people who live in those states to pay $1.50 a month for the privileged of watching Maryland and Rutgers as part of Big Ten football.

In a way the move is a relief. We are starting to remove pretenses about what matters and why the conferences are doing what they are doing.

As always this leaves the ACC vulnerable. If the $50 million exit fee wasn't enough to prevent cash-strapped Maryland from leaving, it won't be enough to keep other schools. As long as the ACC is without its own cable platform, we will never have the revenue or distribution leverage. When the ACC leadership got coldfeet years ago about starting their own network, the die was cast.

The only saving grace is our codependency on ESPN and Notre Dame. Neither are going anywhere and both need BC and a few other castoffs on life support. Notre Dame needs us because this move from the Big Ten signals the Irish are going to be very limited in their Big Ten scheduling. ESPN needs us because the ACC is their only true content partner. They need college football games to fill all their networks. With the Big Ten, Pac 12 and soon to be SEC keeping more and more of their own content away from ESPN, the worldwide leader has no choice but to show ACC games.

This is not the end of conference shuffles. It never is. I just hope BC's leadership keeps all options open. That's the best we can do at this point.


Walsh601 said...

The future looks bleak for BC and the ACC. The next few years will play out just like they have for the Big East - every school scrambling for positioning and jumping at the first opportunity to get the heck out of dodge.

The ACC fate was sealed by its refusal to partner with the PAC-12 for a network like they had proposed. The disparity in money between the Big Four and the ACC is now so big that a $50 mil exit fee is no big deal - and the gap will only get wider.

As we slowly but surely shamble onwards to a 4 super conference future, we can all give thanks to Gene and Spaz for leaving BC at its worst possible negotiating position. The perception that the ACC is an unstable conference will also greatly affect possible candidates as we search for a new HC.

mod34b said...

Maryland is going to discard 59 years of league rivalries for a bigger pay day? $$ seems to be their only motive. That can't be a solid basis for such a big decision. Add to that, the fact they are financially desperate and hastily deciding based on that desperation. All sounds like bad karma. Football will not be fun for Twerps for the next decade.

Someone mentioned this elsewhere, but maybe ACC can use the $50M to pay ND to become a full member?

I also wonder if the ACC wil make a play to have RU join the ACC if MD leaves?

I hope YUKON does not join ACC. Bah

If RU and MD do join B1G, probably winding hurting BC ability to recruit in Midwest.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The premise of this argument, that the move was about Big Ten TV and subscriber money is just flat out wrong. NY, NJ, and southern CT already get the Big Ten Network and have since 2009. Philly and Wilmington already get the channel as well. I don't live in Baltimore, but would be willing to bet that at least some of the providers there include it. This isn't a channel you have to pay more for either. It is included in the lowest tiers for the most part as well.

These guys are leaving for money, but not TV money.

EL MIZ said...

after Maryland leaves ACC, ACC will have 14 teams.

after Maryland and Rutgers join Big "10", it will also have 14 teams.

so we will be on equal footing in that regard, even after we lose a team and they gain 2.

how is Swofford elected, and why doesn't the ACC look to change the leadership? it seems like ACC continually fails to maximize its market value when we are negotiating TV deals.

Big Jack Krack said...

By The Fantasy Fix, Mon, November 19, 2012


So now Maryland, a 1953 charter member of the ACC is thinking about joining the Big 10 and they might be willing to pay $50 million to get out of their conference affiliation. Are you kidding me, for what?

So it's teams and parents can travel to far away places for away games with increased costs? So it can stop playing local and traditional rivals in football and basketball like North Carolina, Duke and Virginia? I would like to read the ROI report on this move.

.......... but does the administration really think the crowds will increase with Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern on the schedule instead of North Carolina and Duke?

I thought the ACC was the big shot on campus after making the moves to bring on Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Boston College. They got their 12 teams, their split conferences and their conference championship game in football. What happened to that brilliant plan? How’s that working out for you? I guess not so well. So what’s the answer according to the big cheeses of the ACC? Add more teams including Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

The Maryland move is just a symptom and might be the epitome of a much larger problem in college athletics, which has gotten out of control. It speaks to the lack of leadership and organizational structure of the NCAA and of the conference independence. It speaks to a lack of vision and to a self-interest first approach on the part of the colleges and universities. It’s “every man for himself” and it feels like a really bad reality dating show.


Which brings us back to college athletics and the recent moves that the average Joe is attempting to keep up with.

• West Virginia plays in the Big 12, which has 10 teams?
• Nebraska is in the Big 10, which has 12 teams?
• Missouri is in the SEC? When did that happen?
• Texas was thinking of going to the PAC 10?
• Notre Dame kinda is a part of the ACC or is that the Big East?
• Texas A&M, BYU, Penn State, BC, Florida State again, Pittsburgh, Syracuse now Maryland and Rutgers, etc.…

It’s a disaster and it’s getting worse. You don’t simply replace decades of traditional rivalries overnight so you might not want to take them for granted. All of these institutions are supposed to be filled with brilliant individuals and they can’t figure out a better way? Do they not have marketing professors and deep and wide research results because even I can still remember the chapter on “Branding” in Marketing 101?

So Maryland, you go ahead and pay your $50 million to play on a greener field and all the other institutions can do what’s in their best self-interest.

Just know this: you are losing us.

Wirtten by Steve Wright for

Knucklehead said...

You are looking at Maryland leaving as a negative.

As I mentioned last week there is a high probability that the ACC waives the exit fee for Maryland because Notre Dame is in line for the Terps spot.

I go back to Hockey East accepting ND as a full member(which increased ND's leverage in their TV deal with NBC Sports for hockey), i look at the last two seasons of ND not blowing out BC on national tv in football(when they easliy could have) and i look at ND's schedule which has been pretty ACC heavy over the past three years(compared to the previous 100 years) as indicators that ND has one foot in the ACC water. The loss of Maryland makes it seem even more plausible. The fact that Maryland is not afraid of the $50 million exit fee makes the ND scenario a true possibility.

mod34b said...

Knucklehead, you say: "As I mentioned last week there is a high probability that the ACC waives the exit fee for Maryland because Notre Dame is in line for the Terps spot. "

ND is in line? No. ND can join as a full member when ever they want. MD leaving is not "opening a spot" for ND. ACC is waiving the fee?? Huh?

Please explain

Walsh601 said...

If anything, this makes ND joining full time even more of a long shot. Why would they join a destabilized conference?

Soxx22 said...

Walsh, ND joining would stabilize the conference. Back at an even number and we add a school that has a huge following. However, ND is about to go to the National Championship game as an independent so i question whether they would want to join a conference. I hope its true i just don't see their motivation - unless they were willing to be a full member when their other teams joined and it was a mutual decision to hold off so that we didn't have to add a team we didn't want (like UConn).

Unknown said...

I would take Syracuse and Pittsburgh in a heartbeat over Maryland (and their horrible uniforms) and Rutgers. The ACC will be stronger than ever. Good riddens to Maryland.

blist said...

Look at it this way - BC has the best of the Big East for us (Miami, Cuse, Pitt) plus a great new rivalry/road trip in Clemson and basketball on Tobacco Road. Do I wish the ACC wqas teh big dog? Sure, but the fact is BC is still better off now and in a pretty good league. Our long, roundabout plan to recreate the Big East to our likely is just about succeeded

ATL_eagle said...


The Big Ten Network might be carried in Maryland and New Jersey now, but it is not a premium channel. Now it will be.

Hooper said...

That's the thing. I live in PA now and there are 1 or 2 PSU grads here :). The big ten network has been on since day one and its status quo. I didn't have to do anything to add it. Maybe it is part of the sports package, but that is included in all but the basic tiers. Other channels in that package are CBS Sports, Speed, World Fishing etc. So it's not like its more money for just BTN. I am just not buying it. All Penn State games were on before and after the BTN existed. PSU's reach is well into NJ already. My guess is that Maryland is the same since Philly is 60 miles from Baltimore and 100 from NY. PSU is the de facto mid atlantic/notheast football program. Even after the scandal.

mod34b said...

I guess PSU is the big winner here. It gets to renew its "storied rivalires" with old foes, RU and MD.

The record of the rivalries to date:

Maryland v PSU - 1-37
Rutgers v PSU - 2-24

Chalk up some more guaranteed wins for PSU.

Knucklehead said...

There are 12 teams in the ACC right now.

Pitt and Syrse make 14.

The loss of MD makes 13.

The loss of MD creates an inbalance in the conference.

That inbalance is an open slot which could be filled by ND. IF ND took the slot it would not surprise me it the ACC waived the exit fee. It would not surprise me if the Big 10 were taking MD because the ACC and ND have come to terms and the only way to add one team(ND)and maintain balance between Atlantic and Coastal is if one team is dropped, MD.

Bravesbill said...

For all the dreamers out there, ND is not going to fully join the ACC period. Instead, the ACC needs to look to replace Maryland with Louisville. I'd take Louisville in a heartbeat over UConn. Not only is Louisville's football team much better, but it's basketball team is elite. With Calhoun gone, UConn's program can potentially go down the drain. And how funny would it be when the MWC becomes a better conference than the Big East. It looks like Boise St., SDSU, and BYU are looking to get back into the MWC now that only the Big 5 conferences have automatic bids. Leave UConn floating on an island begging the ACC to get in.

Unknown said...