banner
Adam Gold

John Swofford has a B1G problem

Posted November 19, 2012

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford has a full-blown crisis on his hands.

In spite of the fact that the ACC, under his guidance, has consistently answered every rumored defection with a show of strength -- if not measured aggression -- the latest news is likely going to prove to be a blow that could have long-term consequences. Maryland's board of regents is voting on whether or not to accept an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference, which would put an end to a 59-year relationship between the folks in College Park and the ACC. This is not a joke, it's not an internet rumor and it certainly isn't the ranting of an unstable member of the board of trustees.

This is very real.

Maryland's athletic department is swimming in red ink, with a $5 million budget shortfall that is estimated to reach nearly $17 million annually within the next five years. They eliminated seven varsity sports in the summer and the sport that is supposed to pay the bills for almost everything else, football, is dying on the vine. Football revenues have been in steady and alarming decline since 2006 which was the number one reason why longtime coach Ralph Freidgen was moved out just weeks after being named the league's coach of the year. Season ticket sales are dwindling, luxury suites aren't selling and there have been huge swaths of empty seats -- no, sections -- at Byrd Stadium in the last few years.

Now, that doesn't explain why new Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson replaced Freidgen with the Wonder Bread of football coaches in former U-Conn head coach Randy Edsall, but that is another matter for another time. Either way, Maryland is struggling on the field and at the box office and, well, you know what they say about desperate times. However, the real reason Maryland, a charter member of the ACC, is about to leave behind nearly 90 years of relationships should be the fear that keeps Swofford awake at night.

It is absolutely the right thing for The University of Maryland.

In fact, it would be for every other school in this conference if faced with the types of financial challenges they're dealing with in College Park. The Big Ten is cranking out more money than the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Last year, each school received roughly $25 million annually in shared revenue, about $8 million more than their counterparts in the ACC, mostly coming from television contracts. But, the biggest reason why the Big Ten can outpace the Southeastern Conference on the ledger sheet, in spite of the SEC winning the last 378 national championships in football, is that the Big Ten has it's own television network. And, the Big Ten Network is growing faster than my pants size at Thanksgiving. Take away the Big Ten Network, and there isn't a lot different between the ACC and the B1G when it comes to the shared revenue.

But you can't do that now, can you?

This leaves John Swofford in a very uncomfortable position. Whereas over the last decade it was the ACC playing the role of corporate raider, the tables have suddenly, unexpectedly, been turned. Why it wasn't detectable is a different matter all together as Maryland -- along with outwardly angry Florida State -- were the only two schools to vote against an increase in buyout fees from $20 to $50 million. How does Swofford fight this seemingly inevitable move? Does he? Does he simply say to Maryland, 'mail the check to Greensboro and you're free to go', or does he hold them in the league for a lame duck season. According to the conference bylaws, any school can leave the league as long as they notify the conference and its members by August 15 of any given year. They would then be free to leave following the end of June the next year -- providing they come up with the $50 million.

Wait, Maryland has no money, right? Didn't they just cut a fourth of their varsity sports because they're broke? How can they possibly get $50 million for a conference buyout?

You don't think West Virginia paid their $15 million to escape the Big East on their own, do you?

Even if Maryland was held to the strict $50 million exit fee -- call it ACC duty, which is how many people refer to the league's football product in the first place -- I'm fairly certain that the Fortune 500 companies that populate the B1G could help out their new BFFs and take it out of the Terrapins' share of future TV money. Oh, and did I mention that the B1G is about two years away from renegotiating their television contracts? Yep, while the ACC is sitting with deals that won't run out until well into the next decade, the Big Ten is headed to the trough again in four years. Think adding the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets -- not to mention the state of New Jersey, assuming the rumored move of Rutgers would follow -- will be attractive to the networks?

Not to worry, the University of Connecticut could easily be tabbed as a logical replacement for Maryland. They stink at football too, but at least they'd never think to leave the conference. Of course, if U-Conn was so attractive, wouldn't they have been in the league already?

John Swofford certainly didn't sound like a man who was worried about anyone leaving the ACC when they announced the addition -- at least partially -- of Notre Dame two months ago. We'd heard all the squeaky wheel stuff emanating from Tallahassee, FL during the summer, but brushed it off as typical jealousy and (TV) contract envy. But, now that one of the schools on the conference's original charter is flying the coop, it's fair to wonder whether this is the end, or just the beginning.

Intercollegiate athletics is expensive -- even with the free labor. Schools in better position to pay the bills stand a much greater chance of on-field success. In the end, for Maryland as well as others, the question won't be, 'how can they afford to make that move?' The question will almost certainly be, 'how can they afford not to?'

Your move, John. Again.

As you might have expected, there are no winners this week, so we'll just go game-by-game and sort of synopsize.

After not winning in Charlottesville since Ric Flair first won the WWF heavyweight title (Beating Dusty Rhodes), the Tar Heels have now won the last two following their 37-13 beating of Virginia. Quinshad Davis caught 16 passes for 178 yards and Bryn Renner had his best game of the year throwing for 315 yards and 3 scores without a turnover. Now, all that's left in the season is a non-conference game against Linebacker-turned-Quarterback U.

Florida State held Maryland to 32 first half yards and led 27-0 at the half en route to a 41-14 win and clinched the Atlantic Division title. This will be the third time that the Seminoles have reached the ACC Championship Game and the second time in three years under Jimbo Fisher. Meanwhile, they've been 10th in each of the last three BCS standings and would need a quarantine situation to get back in the national championship picture.

Georgia Tech had the ball for more than 38 minutes, ran 86 plays -- 72 of them runs -- and scored 6 touchdowns. They also beat Duke 42-24 and set themselves up for a spot in Charlotte should the Blue Devils snap this 3-game losing streak on Saturday against Miami. If the Blue Devils win, Tech is the Coastal champ and would meet Florida State in the title game. Plus, it would continue an interesting conference streak. Since the inception of the conference championship game, only Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech have represented the Coastal Division.

Virginia Tech needed a late field goal and then overtime to win at Boston College 30-23. If you need any more proof that this group of Hokies isn't any good, I'm not sure what you're watching on Saturdays. The Gobblers trailed 13-3 at the half and needed a 62-yard drive for a Cody Journell field goal to force overtime against 2-9 Boston College, whose only 1-A win came against Big Ten bottom-feeder, Maryland. Not even the half-naked guys standing out in front of Abercrombie and Fitch have enough cologne to cover up the stench of this season.

Miami had three different 100-yard receivers, Stephen Morris threw for 418 yards and 3 scores, and the Hurricanes became eligible to decline a bowl bid for the second straight year with a 40-9 pasting of hapless South Florida. The Hurricanes can win their first Coastal division crown since joining the ACC with a win at Duke on Saturday.

Notre Dame had touchdowns on each of their first three possessions and you could have done your souvenir shopping at the student bookstore in South Bend after 15 minutes. The Irish led 21-0 after the first, 31-zip at halftime and won it 38-0 setting up a trip to Southern Cal for a spot in the national championship game. Meanwhile, Wake Forest can still gain bowl-eligibility with a win over Vanderbilt.

And….

Michael Glennon threw for nearly 500 yards and 5 touchdowns and NC State piled up 600 yards of total offense and GOT BLOWN OUT. Huh? That's because Tahj Boyd was super human. Boyd, the only competition for Giovani Bernard in the race for ACC player of the year honors, had 530 yards of total offense and had a hand in all 8 touchdowns! This was a see-saw game from the start as Clemson jumped out to a 13-0 lead. But, NC State scored the next 24 points to take the lead and, it felt, control of the game. Alas, I forgot what games in the ACC have been like this year, and the Tigers were far from finished. They scored touchdowns on six of their next seven possessions and by the time the referee could step in and stop the fight, it was 55-24 on the way to a 62-48 final.

But wait, there's more! The Wolfpack wouldn't go away. They actually closed to within 14-points on a Niclas Sade field goal with just under eight minutes to go, but instead of trying an onside kick, Tom O'Brien opted to play the field position game. they never saw the ball again. 14 plays, 50 yards and 7 minutes and 35 seconds later, the Tigers handed the ball to the referee and that was the ballgame. Well, at least the basketball team is off to a hot start, right?

Yeah, about that.

64 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • kennywalters Nov 21, 9:09 a.m.

    As to the $50 million buy-out. Two teams voted against it, Maryland and FSU. So, maybe they... View More

    — Posted by kennywalters

    That did make me laugh, Kenny. You mean you're not a fan of condescending snark?

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    Oh, I like condescending snark. Gold isn't even good at that.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Nov 20, 2:16 p.m.

    As to the $50 million buy-out. Two teams voted against it, Maryland and FSU. So, maybe they... View More

    — Posted by kennywalters

    That did make me laugh, Kenny. You mean you're not a fan of condescending snark?

  • kennywalters Nov 20, 11:43 a.m.

    As to the $50 million buy-out. Two teams voted against it, Maryland and FSU. So, maybe they both want to leave. Let them leave. My only request is that Maryland takes Gold with them so I don't have to listen to him on 99.9 any more.

  • No Party Affiliate Nov 20, 11:11 a.m.

    So a SEC team will take a paycut to come to the ACC. That makes alot of sense!

  • ebooth0550 Nov 19, 5:05 p.m.

    Vanderbilt and Kentucky should be targets. I would love for ECU to join, but very doubtful. Tennessee might not be out of the question.

  • lascejas Nov 19, 5:00 p.m.

    For those of you who are knocking the comment that FSU is one of the ACC's biggest cash cows...you are wrong.

    In case all of you basketball-centered people have forgotten, football accounts for 80% of our contract with ESPN. Basketball and the rest of the sports only net 20% of the deal. Football is king and if you think otherwise you have your heads in the sand.

    If FSU leaves, then odds are Clemson leaves. Then the ACC is screwed.

  • NCSU84 Nov 19, 4:17 p.m.

    Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream!

  • PackMan88 Nov 19, 4:12 p.m.

    Adam it was the NWA Title not WWF Title. You are correct it was Dusty Rhodes.

  • uscnnc Nov 19, 3:47 p.m.

    When it's all said and done with, the SEC,BIG 10, BIG 12 and PAC 12(10,16 or whatever), will be the 4 super conferences that will battle it out under the future playoff rules. When one domino falls, other fall with it. Look for FSU,Clemson and possible VaTech and Georgia Tech leave the ACC next. The ACC will become a basketball powerhouse conference.

  • dbretz Nov 19, 3:44 p.m.

    LOL, Road-wearier. Wrasslin's not real sports? Blasphemy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvTNyKIGXiI&feature=fvwrel

More...

 

 

  • The Logan Zone

    Today at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Detroit at New England

    Today at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Cleveland at Atlanta

    Today at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Miami at Denver

    Today at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. South Florida

    Today at 4:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NFL: Washington at San Francisco

    Today at 4:15 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Dallas at NY Giants

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 21
NCA 14
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
Final
ECU 34
TULA 6
 
Final
COL 4
CAR 3
Final
DUKE 70
STAN 59
4:00pm Today
CREI
NCCU
 
4:00pm Today
NCSU
SFLA
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
 
Final
ORL 92
MIA 99
Final
IND 83
PHO 106
Final
NYK 91
PHI 83
Final
CLE 93
TOR 110
Final
HOU 95
DAL 92
Final
MIN 101
SAC 113
Final
SAN 99
BRK 87
Final
MIL 100
WAS 111
Final
UTA 94
NOP 106
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
 
6:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAC
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
POR
 
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
GSW
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
 
Final
UGA 55
CHSO 9
Final
UF 52
EKU 3
Final
OSU 42
IND 27
Final
OKLA 44
KU 7
Final
UAB 18
MARS 23
Final
NEB 24
MINN 28
Final
PURD 14
NW 38
 
Final
ILL 16
PSU 14
Final
MSU 45
RUTG 3
Final
UCF 53
SMU 7
 
Final
SCAR 37
SALABAMA 12
Final
WKENT 45
TXSANANTO 7
 
Final
WAKE 6
VT 3
 
Final
ODU 30
LATU 27
Final
ARST 52
WASU 31
Final
CMICH 20
WMICH 32
 
Final
COLST 58
NMU 20
Final
LALAF 16
APPST 35
Final
BST 45
EMICH 30
Final
HOU 38
TULSA 28
Final
UTAH 10
ARZ 42
Final
FSU 20
BC 17
Final
UNT 17
FIU 14
 
Final
CLEM 28
GASTATE 0
 
Final
ND 28
LOU 31
 
Final
MICH 16
MD 23
 
Final
ARK 30
MISS 0
Final
PITT 30
SYR 7
Final
ISU 31
TTU 34
 
Final
ECU 34
TULA 6
 
Final
IOWA 24
WISC 26
Final
MEM 31
SFLA 20
Final
CAL 17
STAN 38
Final
NMST 17
LAMON 30
Final
ALA 48
WCAR 14
Final
OREG 44
COL 10
Final
MTST 35
FATL 34
Final
UVA 30
MIAMI 13
Final
AUB 31
SAMF 7
Final
TENN 21
MIZZ 29
Final
BAY 49
OKST 28
Final
MSST 51
VANDY 0
Final
UCONN 0
CIN 41
Final
UCLA 38
USC 20
Final
WYO 14
BSU 63
Final
NEV 20
FRES 40
 
Final
WASH 37
ORST 13
Final
HAW 37
UNLV 35
 
Final
PRIN 68
INCWORD 79
 
Final
UMASS 68
ND 81
Final
GEOR 80
RMU 66
 
Final
LAS 59
PETE 50
Final
VT 63
APP 65
 
Final
IUPUI 71
BST 69
Final
WMICH 91
DRAK 75
 
Final
RICH 80
HIGH 56
 
Final
MSST 71
UTST 63
Final
CAMP 48
COL 54
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
Final
NIOWA 66
UNF 49
 
Final
CSNO 79
SAMF 72
 
Final
YALE 61
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
NEV 50
CLEM 59
Final
PROV 80
FSU 54
 
Final
MARQ 89
NEOM 97
Final
DET 66
SALA 53
 
Final
TXSA 80
TXST 67
 
Final
CHIST 75
TRINCHRIS 52
 
Final
UMO 63
LIB 52
 
Final
BONA 59
CAN 53
 
Final
SAV 87
CLST 83
 
Final
NW 68
ELON 67
 
Final
RFLSH 57
MDES 53
 
Final
CARK 68
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
AFA 90
WSCO 60
 
Final
YOUNG 82
LONG 72
 
Final
MTST 66
SOUTH 48
 
Final
ARKLR 73
UMKC 68
Final
ABCHRIST 81
DUQ 102
 
Final
WEBER 58
LSU 72
 
Final
BUT 80
GHND 39
 
Final
CSFU 70
SJST 66
 
Final
WOFF 72
SD 68
Final
NORST 76
TXSOU 66
 
Final
COOK 42
TOWS 63
 
Final
SILL 46
YALE 53
 
Final
KNST 83
ALCOR 80
 
Final
MAN 78
BING 63
 
Final
JVST 88
MILES 71
 
Final
CSOU 79
WRST 86
 
Final
CITA 81
BOBJONES 50
 
Final
INDST 78
BRO 66
 
Final
WYO 56
COL 33
 
Final
GSOUT 97
FCCOL 41
 
Final
CCAR 76
PIEDINT 33
 
Final
LATU 63
AMER 44
 
Final
MAR 62
ARMY 76
 
Final
TENT 69
CHAT 67
Final
EKENT 115
CLERMONT 50
 
Final
SMU 77
EWASH 68
Final
NIAG 62
HART 65
 
Final
PENN 77
LAF 83
 
Final
UCSB 91
MASTERS 45
 
Final
BUCK 69
MNTER 73
 
Final
VMI 93
UNCW 110
 
Final
RIU 66
NEB 62
Final
NKENTUCKY 98
OHMWSTRN 48
 
Final
GTDNS 73
QUIN 76
 
Final
EMICH 70
UNCG 62
Final
ETST 98
UNCA 87
 
Final
TEMPL 50
UNLV 57
 
Final
STJOE 68
VERM 60
 
Final
MON 65
CCST 50
Final
KSU 78
ILLCH 60
Final
FAIR 60
SHSU 74
Final
LIP 74
TRANSYLVAN 63
 
Final
FUR 55
UCD 58
Final
WKENT 63
BEL 64
Final
NDST 74
HAMP 66
 
Final
IND 85
LAM 72
 
Final
TTU 80
MIZST 68
Final
HOU 72
MRGST 57
 
Final
NAVY 44
NE 68
Final
ALAAM 81
OAKW 61
 
Final
WILL 60
SELA 57
 
Final
TULA 89
SONO 45
 
Final
TXPA 82
A 77
 
Final
RICE 65
WMARY 69
Final
TXARL 87
HOUB 69
 
Final
MINN 69
UMBC 51
 
Final
UTEP 77
NMST 76
 
Final
GONZ 109
STTHOM 55
Final
SUTAH 75
WLVRN 85
 
Final
PBY 49
MORE 69
 
Final
DUKE 70
STAN 59
Final
WISC 78
BSU 54
Final
PORT 75
SIUE 53
9:30am Today
MAINE
VALPO
 
11:30am Today
GMAS
COC
 
12:00pm Today
FSU
UMASS
 
12:00pm Today
SHSU
WOFF
 
12:00pm Today
UNCG
YOUNG
 
12:30pm Today
CMICH
ARKPB
 
1:00pm Today
ILLCH
SILL
 
1:30pm Today
MORE
AMER
 
1:30pm Today
CORN
DREX
 
2:00pm Today
CCST
COOK
 
2:00pm Today
ARKLR
CSNO
 
2:00pm Today
LEH
CLMB
 
2:00pm Today
USB
MERMAR
 
2:00pm Today
FAIR
SD
 
2:00pm Today
NMU
TEXAM
 
2:00pm Today
STLU
TAMCC
 
2:30pm Today
EMICH
LONG
 
2:30pm Today
ND
PROV
 
3:00pm Today
RAD
CATAWBA
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
COPST
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
JST
 
3:00pm Today
WICHS
NWM
 
3:00pm Today
OKLA
NWST
 
3:30pm Today
PSU
USC
 
3:30pm Today
KSU
YALE
 
4:00pm Today
CREI
NCCU
 
4:00pm Today
NCSU
SFLA
 
4:00pm Today
UCR
STKAT
 
4:05pm Today
HC
NICHOLSCOL
 
4:30pm Today
BC
DAY
 
4:30pm Today
MON
TOWS
 
4:30pm Today
SAMF
UMKC
 
4:30pm Today
HOF
WAGN
 
5:00pm Tonight
CIN
EILL
 
5:00pm Tonight
UGA
FATL
 
5:00pm Tonight
BRAD
NCAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
LATU
PBY
 
5:00pm Tonight
RUTG
Terriers
 
5:30pm Tonight
NAVY
BING
 
6:00pm Tonight
SHU
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNT
IONA
 
6:00pm Tonight
KENT
MNTST
 
6:00pm Tonight
FORD
MLOWELL
 
6:00pm Tonight
UCF
USCU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SCAR
AKR
 
6:30pm Tonight
WVU
UCONN
 
7:00pm Tonight
CALST
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HOOD
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
VANDY
TENST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NE
MAN
 
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
MERC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
NARZ
 
8:00pm Tonight
WASH
PAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
 
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
OTT 2
STL 3
Final
WAS 1
BUF 2
Final
PHI 4
CLB 2
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
Final
BOS 0
MON 2
 
Final
NYI 4
PIT 1
 
Final
NAS 3
FLA 2
Final
DAL 5
LOS 4
Final
COL 4
CAR 3
Final
EDM 1
CHI 7
Final
CAL 5
NJD 4
Final
SJS 3
ARI 4
4:30pm Today
WIN
STL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
 
1:00pm Today
HOU
CIN
1:00pm Today
ATL
CLE
1:00pm Today
NEP
DET
1:00pm Today
MIN
GBP
1:00pm Today
IND
JAC
1:00pm Today
CHI
TAM
1:00pm Today
PHI
TEN
4:05pm Today
SEA
ARI
4:05pm Today
SDC
STL
4:25pm Today
DEN
MIA
4:25pm Today
SFX
WAS
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL
Final
NCCU 21
NCA 14