Ken Medlin

For the ACC, the times are a-changing

Posted September 17, 2011

As Bob Dylan once said, “The times, they are a-changing.”

And it appears the ACC has admitted that the waters around it have grown, choosing to start swimming before it sinks like a stone. (OK, enough Bob D...)

Today’s reports that Syracuse and Pittsburgh have applied for membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference mark a major shift in the landscape of collegiate athletics.

A few initial thoughts on what seems to be the likely move of the Orange and Panthers to the ACC:

One: Basketball is served. Unlike the ACC’s last round of expansion, this would actually upgrade the conference in hoops. Imagine that...

Don’t get me wrong, I know the ACC’s not expanding for basketball purposes, but it’s a nice bonus to see two strong basketball schools on the way. Let’s face it, the ACC has long taken pride on being the preeminent basketball conference, but that reputation – outside of Duke and Carolina – has slipped in recent years. Adding Pitt and the ‘Cuse will help.

Two: This buys the ACC more time to “mess with Texas,” and possibly Notre Dame. The Longhorns and Irish are the trophy fish in the conference expansion ocean, and the ACC can now drop a few hooks.

The ideal scenario would bring both the Irish and ‘Horns in as full conference members with equal revenue sharing among all schools. But that’s not likely to happen.

Having said that, here’s a scenario: Invite Notre Dame and Texas as member schools for every sport except football, as long as they commit to playing four conference games each per season.

Both schools would continue to reap the rewards of their own television contracts as independents, and the value of the ACC’s broadcast rights would increase exponentially. Notre Dame and Texas are major draws nationally, and having eight of those games in the ACC’s package would give the conference major leverage for renegotiating with ESPN.

In this scenario, Notre Dame and Texas would receive no $$$ from the ACC’s football contract, but they would more than recoup those opportunity costs with their own networks.

Three: It’s time to junk the Atlantic and Coastal divisions for a more geographically-sensible alignment.

In a 14-team ACC football conference, we could see an alignment of:

North: BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Maryland, UVA, Va. Tech and Wake OR N.C. State
South: Duke, UNC, Clemson, Ga. Tech, FSU, Miami and Wake OR N.C. State

One Big Four school would have to go North. I’m scratching Carolina off that list purely because it would separate the Heels from Duke and NC State, which would create a scheduling headache for the conference office. The Duke-Carolina and State-Carolina games aren’t BOTH going away, but I can’t envision a scenario in which the conference would allow for more than one cross-divisional “permanent rival” per team.

Wake makes sense in that a Deacons move North would put all three Triangle-area teams in the same division, but there’s also the issue of competitive balance. Too much power lies in the South in that scenario, so it would make sense to move one of the better Big 4 football schools – State or Carolina – to the North. And since I’ve already ruled out Carolina, that makes NC State the best fit. Make State and Carolina “permanent rivals,” and the problem is solved.

Regardless, it appears major change is on the way for the ACC.
 

2 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • oldfarmer59 Sep 19, 2011

    Why not have an ACC division and a Big East division? The ACC division would include the "Big 4", plus UVA, MD, and Clemson. Throw the rest of the "newbies" into the Big East division.

  • oldfarmer59 Sep 19, 2011

    If you want a more balanced 7 team split, then you should move one of the Florida schools to the northern division. This has the added benefit of keeping the "Big 4" teams in the same division and will preserve more of the traditional rivalries of the original ACC members.

TV
  • Premier League: Leicester vs. Manchester City

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Franklin Templeton Shootout

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • Golf: PNC Father/Son Challenge

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Utah at Xavier

    Tomorrow at 5:30 pm on FOX50

  • MLS: Seattle at Toronto

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • Golf: PNC Father/Son Challenge

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Dallas at NY Giants

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

Top 25
Sat, Dec 10
25
12:00 PT1:00 MT2:00 CT3:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
Men's College Basketball
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET12:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST
Preview
10
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Dec. 8
Oakland13Final
Kansas City21
Sunday, Dec. 11
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Buffalo 
San Diego 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Carolina 
Cincinnati 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Cleveland 
Chicago 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Minnesota 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Arizona 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Miami 
Washington 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST12:00 CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tennessee 
NY Jets 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET21:05 GMT5:05 北京时间2:05 MST4:05 EST3:05 CT1:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
San Francisco 
Seattle 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET21:25 GMT5:25 北京时间2:25 MST4:25 EST3:25 CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Atlanta 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET21:25 GMT5:25 北京时间2:25 MST4:25 EST3:25 CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Los Angeles 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET21:25 GMT5:25 北京时间2:25 MST4:25 EST3:25 CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tampa Bay 
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST7:30 CT5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Giants 
Monday, Dec. 12
Baltimore 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST7:30 CT5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
NBA Scoreboard
Orlando 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Charlotte 
Toronto 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Boston 
Miami 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Cleveland 
Atlanta 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Milwaukee 
Detroit 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Minnesota 
Houston 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Oklahoma City 
Indiana 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST5:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Dallas 
Phoenix 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
LA Lakers 
New York 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Sacramento 
NHL Scoreboard
Washington 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Buffalo 
Columbus 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Detroit 
St. Louis 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
New Jersey 
Edmonton 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Minnesota 
NY Rangers 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Chicago 
San Jose 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET3:00 GMT11:00 北京时间8:00 MST10:00 EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Anaheim 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre