Old ACC vs new ACC
Posted July 1, 2013
Updated July 2, 2013
It was a grand setting in New York City for the ACC to lay out a welcome mat for Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. But while the league toasted its new arrivals with lobster, many are left with a bad taste in their mouths over the ACC's most recent expansion.
"Eight is the perfect number for a conference," commented a reader of one of our ACC stories on WRALSportsFan.com.
Eight may have been good in the golden years, but not now. In the current climate, eight teams in a conference will get your league sucked up by the vacuum of expansion.
I was all for inviting Florida State into the league back in 1991. The addition of Virginia Tech and Miami in 2004 raised a few eyebrows, and the addition of Boston College the following year generated eye rolls all over the country. Now, add three more to the list.
It makes a lot of sense from the league's standpoint, and I'm really excited to introduce Louisville into the mix next year, even if it cost us Maryland.
It's all a part of a business plan, and college athletics became as much business as sport many, many years ago. I can remember a year ago there were reports all across the country that the ACC had been weakened and was in danger of extinction.
Credit the league and John Swofford for stepping up with a home run and a 3-run triple. The home run was the grant of rights the current and future 15 members agreed to that would cost schools that leave the league ALL of the money earned in future TV money. The 3-run triple is Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. A run-scoring gapper comes next year with Louisville's arrival.
The ACC had to make moves to grow in number and stature, even at the expense of losing tradition and year-to-year match-ups that have been going on for years. Coaches like the larger footprint because it helps recruiting. Kids like to go to schools where their families can watch them play, either in person or on TV.
Feel free to gripe. You have every right. Change is hard to take, but the alternative would have been more painful. Had the ACC remained at eight and not opened its doors to expansion, the league would have folded. That's an unattractive option none of us would have wanted to live through.